While I was in Tulsa covering the All-American and the Pan-American, there was plenty happening on the USTA Pro Circuit elsewhere. Ten days ago, Alison Riske defeated 17-year-old Christina McHale, saving six match points in the process, to take the title in the $50,000 tournament in Troy, Ala. With the points earned there, and with her first round victory in Kansas City's $50,000 event last week, McHale is now at a career-high ranking of 210. The 19-year-old Riske is just a few spots behind, and is also at a career high of 235.
Beatrice Capra won her first Pro Circuit singles title at the $10,000 tournament in Williamsburg, Va. prior to traveling to Tulsa for the ITF Junior B1, the Pan-American Closed. Quite a few players who might have competed in Tulsa were instead at the new $10,000 event in Cleveland, Ohio. Fifteen-year-old Kyle McPhillips made the singles final as a wild card, defeating No. 5 seed Grace Min, No. 3 seed Taka Bertrand and No. 2 seed Diana Nakic before losing to unseeded Jamie Hampton in the final. Min and Hampton won the doubles title, defeating McPhillips and her partner Lauren Davis in the semis and Bertrand and her partner Liz Lumpkin in the final.
Recent TCU graduate McCall Harkins won the ITF Women's Circuit's $10,000 event in Mexico last week.
The $15,000 Futures tournament in Austin, Texas was a nice showcase for Longhorn senior Dimitar Kutrovsky, a wild card who reached the final with wins over No. 5 seed Nick Monroe, top seed Victor Estrella, and 17-year-old Jack Sock, who made the semifinals. Sock, a wild card, defeated No. 4 seed Matej Bocko in the first round and No. 8 seed Dennis Zivkovic in the quarterfinals before falling to Kutrovsky. Michael McClune, the No. 2 seed, won the tournament, his second Futures win in as many months. Cory Parr won yet another Futures doubles title, this time with former Aggie Conor Pollock. In the Tiburon Challenger in California, former Minnesota star Harsh Mankad, the ITA Indoor champion in 2001, and former Virginia star Treat Huey, who won the ITA Indoor doubles title in 2007, took their second challenger-level doubles championship.
The Texas College Tennis Blog is following the many Texas collegians in these local events, including this week's Pro Circuit tournament in Mansfield. Fifteen-year-old Mitchell Kreuger has qualified for the main draw, where he'll play A&M's Austin Krajicek in the first round. Sock is in on a special exemption, Raymond Sarmiento and Pan-American champion Sekou Bangoura Jr. received wild cards, and Jordan Cox and Bob van Overbeek, who has committed to Florida, qualified.
The Calabasas Challenger this week features collegiate rivals Bradley Klahn of Stanford and Steve Johnson of USC, both of whom received wild cards. Klahn has advanced to the second round with a three-set win over former Trojan Gary Sacks.
See the usta.com ProCircuit results page for complete draws and results.
The national small college "super bowl" champions were crowned yesterday, with South African Damian Hume of Collin County (Texas) CC, the Junior/Community College champion, winning the ITA Indoor berth. Sona Novakova of Armstrong Atlantic won the women's overall title.
Retaining the wild card for the small college champion is about the only qualification that remained intact for the ITA Indoor. Instead of inviting all the quarterfinalists from the All-American, it is now the semifinalists, and with the expanded regions, now at 12, only the regional winner receives an automatic bid. There is no wild card for the consolation winner at the All-American, as had been the case previously. There are now two wild cards for the host school (I'm not sure how this will work when the USTABJK National Tennis Center hosts beginning next year), an ITA wild card and 12 at-large bids. For the method of selecting at-large entries, see the D1 Coaches Meeting Materials document on the ITA website.
A few regionals have been completed. Mortiz Baumann of Wisconsin won the Midwest Regional title, defeating Notre Dame's Casey Watt in the final. Illinois's Marek Czerwinski and Dennis Nevolo won the doubles. North Carolina's Clay Donato won the Carolina Region in singles, with Duke's Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha taking the doubles. In the Southwest, Robert Farah and Steve Johnson won the doubles; the singles title is between UCLA's Amit Inbar and Pepperdine's Alex Llompart and will be played on Tuesday. In the Northeast region, Harvard's Alistair Felton and Andy Nguyen won the doubles, with the singles semis and finals on Tuesday.
On the women's side, Boise State's Pichittra Thongdach won the Mountain regional in singles, with BYU's McCall Jones and Megan Price taking the doubles.
Most of the regionals are taking place this coming weekend.
Monday, October 19, 2009