USC's Farah Starts Pro Career with Singles and Doubles Titles; Sock Wins USTA Open Hard Courts, Women's Qualifying Begins Tuesday at Wimbledon
With the disappointing way his college career ended--with a rolled ankle leading to a retirement against Henrique Cunha of Duke in the quarterfinals of the NCAA individual tournament--it was a relief to see USC's Robert Farah competing in the ITF men's circuit in Venezuela as he had planned.
As a qualifier, Farah won the singles championship at the $10,000 Futures tournament last week without losing a set, and won the doubles title too. He received a special exemption into the main draw of the F2 in Venezuela this week, and is also scheduled to play next week in the F3. Farah currently has no ATP ranking, but that will change soon, and there's no reason to think that he can't do what Arnau Brugues of Tulsa did in his first year on the pro circuit: win enough to raise his ranking to the point where he is in the qualifying tournaments of the slams.
Jack Sock has a substantial collection of gold balls from USTA junior tournaments, but he got his first two in a USTA open event yesterday, winning the men's open hard courts in San Diego. Sock, the top seed, didn't drop a set, in fact didn't lose more than six games in any match, and in the final he defeated No. 5 seed Allessandro Ventre, an NAIA All-American from California Baptist, 6-3, 6-1. Sock and partner Mika DeCoster, the No. 2 seeds, won the doubles title 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 over No. 4 seeds Derek Miller and Michael Paradowski. Tori Kinard won the women's singles title, over UCLA's Stephanie Hoffpauir, and the doubles gold ball went to Gretchen Magers and Ros Nideffer.
For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.
Sock received a wild card into the main draw at the $15,000 Pro Circuit Futures event in Davis, Calif. this week, as did Daniel McCall, Aaron Yovan and Nicholas Lopez. NCAA champion Bradley Klahn of Stanford is one of several current collegians in the main draw, and many former collegians are also among the 32 competitiors.
The women are in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina for a $10,000 clay event. Lauren Davis, Alexis King, Jeanette Draeger and Maria Belaya are the wild cards, with the final round of qualifying set to take place Tuesday. Although they played the Italian and French junior tournaments, Davis and Beatrice Capra are not playing the Wimbledon Juniors, and Christina McHale has withdrawn as well.
For complete Pro Circuit draws, see usta.com.
The women's Wimbledon qualifying begins on Tuesday, with only seven U.S. women among the 96 competitors. They are: Lauren Albanese, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Julie Ditty, Julia Cohen, Shenay Perry, Lilia Osterloh and Madison Brengle. The first round of men's qualifying was interrupted by rain today, which may be a good thing, considering the U.S. men were not doing well. Alex Bogomolov, Donald Young, Tim Smyczek and Ryan Harrison lost, as did Lester Cook, who was beaten by Jesse Levine.
There is a live blog from the qualifying, which is held at Roehampton, not the AELTC, on the Wimbledon website, and Guy McCrea is also doing podcasts for Wimbledon radio. His first one can be found here.