Cooper Williams, the 17-year-old New Yorker and a recent practice partner of Andy Murray in Orlando, will face No. 3 seed Sekou Bangoura in Thursday’s 6 pm night match in the second round of the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships at The Boulevard.
Williams had a memorable Wednesday evening in Vero Beach, defeating Alejandro Franco of Ecuador 7-6 (1), 6-0 to earn his career ATP ranking point. To boot, there to watch the hallmark event was Vero Beach resident and tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl, who now coaches Murray and oversaw the practice sessions with Williams in Orlando.
For Bangoura, his match with Williams will mark his second straight match against an teenage American after beating reigning Easter Bowl champion Alex Mickelsen 4-6 6-3 6-0 in Wednesday’s first round. Bangoura is a former standout at the University of Florida who competed in the main draw of doubles at the U.S. Open in 2010. Bangoura was a singles and doubles finalist at The Boulevard back in 2019.
While Williams was earning his first ATP point on the Grandstand court at The Boulevard with Lendl watching on, two other tennis legends, two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Joe Fernandez and Roger Federer’s agent Tony Godsick were watching their 17-year-old son Nico play against top-seed Liam Draxl of Canada. Despite being up an early service break, Godsick was unable stage the upset, falling 6-4, 6-3.
Godsick, however, is still alive in doubles with partner Ethan Quinn and will play their doubles quarterfinal not before 3 pm Thursday. Quinn, who is undergoing a redshirt freshman year at the University of Georgia, plays Alex Knaff, a Davis Cup player from Luxembourg, in the second match on Grandstand Thursday. Ryan Shane, the 2015 NCAA singles champion for the University of Virginia, plays former University of Georgia player Emil Reinberg third on stadium Thursday.
Read Harvey Fialkov’s TCPalm story “Vero Beach pros make strong impression at Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships” here https://www.tcpalm.com/story/sports/2022/04/27/vero-beach-tennis-pros-make-strong-impression-mardy-fish-tourney/9559448002/
View Thursday’s schedule here: https://www.usta.com/content/dam/usta/2022-pro-circuit/20220425_vero_beach_m15/OP.pdf
View the updated singles draw here https://www.usta.com/content/dam/usta/2022-pro-circuit/20220425_vero_beach_m15/MDS.pdf
View the updated doubles draw here