USTA Opens Training Center East in New York; Goldfeld and Austin Capture South Carolina ITF; Kubler Rolls On; Mijacika Reaches Finals in SC Challenger
I had heard at the US Open that the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center in New York was going to become a National Training Center, and today the USTA made the official announcement, which can be found here. New USTA National Coach Tim Mayotte, who conducted a seminar for coaches at the ITA Indoor Championships at Yale Friday, will be stationed there, with programs beginning this winter. Another interesting note from the release: they will be adding four clay courts to the facility, which currently doesn't have any of that surface.
On the International Tennis Federation junior circuit last week, Americans Gonzales Austin and Ester Goldfeld claimed the Grade 2 titles in Lexington, South Carolina. For Austin, the USTA 16s National Champion, it was his first ITF tournament title. Unseeded, he beat top seed Dennis Novikov, 12th seed Alex Petrone and 4th seed Dane Webb in succession to reach the final, where he took out No. 2 seed Alexis Carlos of Mexico 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.
The fourth-seeded Goldfeld, a finalist at the Pan-American Closed last month, defeated No. 5 seed Madison Keys 0-6, 6-2, 7-5 in her third consecutive three-setter. The 16-year-old from New York now has a career-high ITF junior ranking of 42.
Novikov and partner Nick Chappell, the No. 1 seeds, took the boys doubles with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-7 decision over No. 2 seeds Emmett Egger and Shane Vinsant. The girls doubles title went to top seeds Katarena Paliivets of Canada and Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. They defeated unseeded Robin Anderson and Kelsey Laurente 6-4, 6-2 in the final. For complete draws, click here.
Jason Kubler of Australia, who was one of my October Aces, keeps on rolling. The 16-year-old won the Asian Oceania Closed and has now won 28 consecutive ITF junior matches, not including his Junior Davis Cup victories. His ITF ranking is now No. 4.
At the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Rock Hill SC, Sacha Jones of New Zealand took the title, beating former Clemson star Ani Mijacika 6-0, 6-4. Jones, the younger sister of former Illinois standout GD Jones, has now won four ITF women's tournaments in a row, putting her on a 20-match winning streak. Mijacika, who last year at this time was playing in the final of the ITA Indoor, will crack the WTA Top 300 when her points from yesterday go on her record next week.
In the $50,000 Challenger in Charlottesville, Virginia junior Sanam Singh took champion Kevin Kim to a third set tiebreaker before falling in the quarterfinals. Kim beat Singh's compatriot and former teammate Somdev Devvarman in the final 6-4, 6-7(8) 6-4. Two former Cavaliers also reached the doubles final, with Dom Inglot and Rylan Rizza falling to former Middle Tennessee State's NCAA doubles champion Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden and Martin Emmrich of Germany 6-4, 3-6, 11-9.
In the Birmingham Futures, unseeded James Lemke of Australia beat top seed and former Cal standout Conor Niland of Ireland 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Artem Sitak and former Kentucky standout Tigran Martirosyan, the second seeds, won the doubles over former LSU Tigers Colt Gaston and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-4.
This week the Pro Circuit is in Knoxville for a 50K for men, in Niceville Fla. for a $10K for men and in Phoenix for a women's 50K. See the Pro Circuit page for draws and results.