Steadman holds firm in Big Al's opener

ASHLAND — Top-seeded Mitchell Steadman held off Akeem Williams’ upset bid to advance to the men’s open singles semifinals and Ashland High senior-to-be Rox Rogers breezed through his opening round match during the first day of the Big Al’s Tennis Tournament Friday.

Steadman, a Jacksonville resident who graduated from South Medford High in 2015, beat Williams, 6-3, 7-6 to advance to the semis, where he will face the Justin Barton-Shaw Campbell winner at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Rogers, who advanced to the Class 5A state championship match in singles as a junior, beat Ethan Smith of Roseburg, 6-0, 6-3 to move into the elite eight. Next, the third-seeded Rogers will face another first-round winner, Kyle Pierson, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

In other men’s open singles action Friday, Williams of Medford beat Tyler Skeete of Redding, California, 6-2, 6-2; Justin Barton pulled out a marathon match against Kaleb Murphy of Grants Pass, 7-5, 2-6, 14-12; Pierson of Redding beat Jonathan Maravilla of Grants Pass, 6-0, 6-2; and Gabriel Kinder of Redding beat Anthony Maravalla of Grants Pass, 6-0, 6-3.

The No. 2 seed, Austin Kische of Yreka, California, had a first-round bye Friday and will face Kinder in a quarterfinal match at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The women’s open singles, men’s and women’s open doubles and mixed open doubles tournaments all begin Saturday. The women’s open singles division will begin with a pair of first-round matches at 1 p.m. Saturday — Adele Duval of Dallas, Texas, will face Elizabeth Kelley of Redding and Katelyn Ross of Lake Oswego will play Ellis Work of Redding.

The top-seeded team in the men’s open doubles draw, Ashland High alums Ari Zaslow and Evan Schleining, will begin their title quest at 11 a.m. Saturday with a semifinal match against an opponent yet to be determined.

The championship matches for both the men’s and women’s open singles brackets are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hunter Park.

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