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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pro Circuit, ITF Roundup

This afternoon I listened to Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com, who was calling the final of the $10,000 Costa Mesa Futures tournament between 17-year-old Ryan Harrison and 20-year-old Michael McClune. The number two seed McClune, who won the Cosa Mesa event in 2007 and was a finalist last year, won the match 6-4, 7-6(2), and according to Thomas, did it by playing aggressively throughout. The unseeded Harrison double faulted at break point at 4-4 in the first set and 5-5 in the second, but he fought back to get to a tiebreaker. You could hear his frustration as he sensed the tiebreaker and match slipping away, but it was only his second final on the Pro Circuit, and wins over top seed Lester Cook, No. 5 seed Tigran Martirosyan and Blake Strode in succession are confidence-builders. In the doubles, former Ole Miss players Robbye Poole and Erling Tveit won the title over another pair of former collegians--Arkansas's Strode and Tulsa's Will Gray. You have to say that Poole and Tveit dominated as they didn't need a match tiebreaker in any of their four wins.

In the women's $75,000 Pro Circuit event in Albuquerque, No. 3 seed Shenay Perry took the title with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over No. 2 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic. Perry had beaten former Clemson star Ani Mijacika, who qualified for the event, in the semifinals. In the doubles final, former NCAA doubles champion Riza Zalameda, who won that title as a UCLA Bruin in 2008, teamed with Mashona Washington to defeat No. 3 seeds Melinda Czink and Lindsay-Lee Waters. Zalameda has now won five titles this year on the Pro Circuit, all with different partners.

For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

Ken Skupski, the former LSU star from Great Britain, partnered with Colin Fleming to take their first ATP tour title, defeating top seeds Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra of France 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 in Metz, France. The ATP website had this story, and the second-guessing over failing to name them to the Great Britain Davis Cup team will probably begin in earnest now.

Former California Bear Bojana Bobuscic of Australia reached the finals of the $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in her home country as a qualifier, where she was defeated by Sacha Jones of New Zealand 6-4, 6-1.

At the Illinois ITF Grade 4 tournament, Dan McCall won his first ITF singles title, defeating top seed Dane Webb 6-1, 6-2. McCall also won the doubles title, with Eric Johnson, taking a 6-1, 6-4 decision over Webb and Mitchell Krueger. Caitlyn Williams captured the girls title, with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Blair Shankle. It is Williams' second ITF singles title. Alexus Coats and Luksika Kumkhum won the doubles, beating Williams and her partner Julia Elbaba 6-4, 7-6(5).

Americans swept the titles in the ITF Grade 5 in the Dominican Republic, with 16-year-old Floridian Morgan Mays and Texan Elizabeth Begley earning a pair of championships. Mays defeated Yohhei Kamono of Japan 6-4, 6-2 in the final, the only match in which he lost more than four games. He teamed with Eli Brown of Canada to take the doubles title too.

Begley, who has verbally committed to the University of Texas, beat fellow American Jillian Rooney 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in the final, to collect her third ITF singles title. She and partner Fausthyara Pietersz of the Netherlands Antilles earned the doubles championship.

For complete draws, see the ITF junior website.