It was the final that was predicted when the Bakersfield Tennis Open was seeded, and it certainly produced plenty of drama with a thrilling second-set tiebreaker the propelled Dimitry Popko to the championship on Sunday at the Bakersfield Racquet Club.
Popko, who represents Kazakhstan and who is ranked 211th in the world, defeated Belgian Kimmer Coppejans, the tournament’s No.1 seed and the 200th ranked player in the world, in the title match, 6-3 and 7-6.
Popko advanced to the final after defeating the No. 3 seed Sebastian Fanselow of Germany in the semifinals. Despite being the No. 1 seed, Coppejans had to play his way through the qualifying rounds due to his late entry into the tournament.
In the qualifying round, Coppejans powered through by not losing a set in three matches but he faced a three-set match in the quarterfinals against Gemany’s Dominik Koepfer. In the semifinals, Coppejans defeated the biggest surprise of the tournament in Keegan Smith, another qualifier who was ranked in the top 1,700 players in the world.
Popko finished the tournament by winning all 10 sets he competed in.
In doubles, Keegan Smith partnered with Patrick Kawka to claim the championship.
Pictures by Michael Renzi of the 2017 Bakersfield Tennis Open from the Bakersfield Racquet Club. The singles championship was won by Dmitry Popka of Kazakstan against Belgium’s Kimmer Coppejans. In doubles, Patrick Kawka and Keegan Smith rallied to claim the championship.