Pro Titles for Two Juniors; USTA Names French Wild Card Participants; Farah, Schnack Win Pac-10 Singles and Doubles in Ojai
Two teens captured their first professional titles over the weekend, with Jordan Cox and Monica Puig winning tournaments in Korea and Spain. As I mentioned on Saturday, Cox has been playing in Korea for three weeks and will be there for one more, before coming back to play in the Challenger in Sarasota the week of May 10th. A lucky loser, Cox dropped only one set on his way to the final, where he beat unseeded Ze Zhang of China 6-4, 6-3. The 2009 Wimbledon boys finalist and 2008 Kalamazoo 16s champion currently has a ranking of 892, which will go up after those points are added next week.
Puig, 16, doesn't even have a WTA ranking, but her ITF junior ranking is No. 2, and she demonstrated how well she is playing earlier this month, when she took Fed Cup heroine Bethanie Mattek-Sands to three sets in the second round of qualifying for the WTA event in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. In a $10,000 clay event in Spain, Puig was a qualifier, and in her eight wins, she lost only one set, in the final against top seed Nanuli Pipiya. Puig went on to take the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. She will play in two more ITF Women's circuit events before playing the Grade A Italian and Roland Garros junior events.
The USTA has announced the participants in this year's French Open wild card tournament, which begins Tuesday in Boca Raton. The eight men competing are: Jesse Levine, Ryan Sweeting, Donald Young, Alex Kuznetsov, Tim Smyczek, Ryan Harrison, Bjorn Fratangelo and today's winner of the pre-wild card match between Jeremy Efferding and Spencer Newman. I was critical of the omission of Krista Hardebeck from this week's Junior Davis Cup qualifying, so it's only fair that I voice my approval of the invitation the USTA extended to Fratangelo, who has won two major junior tournaments this spring, and won the 16s clay courts last year. I am assuming that Jack Sock and Alex Domijan were invited and declined, but I don't know that for sure.
The eight women competing are: Christina McHale, Alison Riske, Jamie Hampton, CoCo Vandeweghe, Sloane Stephens, Asia Muhammad, Beatrice Capra and Julia Boserup.
For the draws, click here. For the order of play, click here.
I plan a recap of all the college tennis action this past weekend Tuesday, after the new rankings have been released, but I wanted to mention the Pac-10 singles and doubles finals yesterday in Ojai. USC senior Robert Farah and UCLA senior Yasmin Schnack collected the singles and doubles titles; Farah with Steve Johnson and Schnack with Andrea Remynse. For more on those wins and on Farah's very accomplished girl friend, see the Ventura County Star story by Rhiannon Potkey, who does a fantastic job of covering the event, or more accurately, the events. Lester Cook and Gail Brodsky again won the Men's and Women's Open titles. For Bob Buttitta's story on that event, click here.