Kudla Wins First Pro Event in Austin; Riske Takes Another Challenger Title; Grade A Osaka Cup Underway
My annual Tulsa festival of college and junior tennis is over, and it's time to catch up on some of the news from the other tournaments this week.
Denis Kudla captured his first professional singles title today in at the $15,000 Pro Circuit event in Austin, Texas, beating former Florida Gator Tyler Hochwalt 7-5, 6-1 in the final. Neither player was seeded, with both getting big wins in Saturday's semifinals. Hochwalt defeated top seed and ATP No. 380 Andrea Stoppini of Italy, while Kudla took out No. 2 seed and ATP No. 426 Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa. Chris Haggard and Conor Pollock won the doubles championship.
After winning a $75,000 Challenger in England last week, Alison Riske went across the Channel and won a $50,000 Challenger in France. In the past month, Riske is 14-1 in three challengers, the only loss coming in a third set tiebreaker to Rebecca Marino of Canada last month.
Speaking of Marino, she won her third straight Challenger title, taking the $50,000 Pro Circuit event in Troy, Alabama today. She easily defeated wild card Ashley Weinhold in the final, after needing three sets to get by Irina Falconi in the semifinals. Madison Brengle and Asia Muhammad won the doubles championship.
At the Tiburon men's Challenger, Ryan Harrison fell in the final to top seed Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-1, 6-1. On his way to the final, Harrison, who was unseeded, beat Lester Cook, Donald Young (2), Alex Bogomolov and Carsten Ball (6). Robert Kendrick and Travis Rettenmaier won the doubles title.
The draws for these tournaments can be found on the Pro Circuit page at usta.com. Qualifying is underway for the $15,000 men's Futures in Mansfield, Texas, the $50,000 men's Challenger in Calabasas, Calif., and the $25,000 women's Challenger in Rock Hill, S.C. Jack Sock, who withdrew from Austin with a hand injury, will not be playing in Mansfield as he had originally planned.
The ITF Grade A Mayor's Osaka Cup in Japan has begun, with Puerto Rico's Monica Puig the top girls seed and Mate Pavic of Croatia the No. 1 seed in the boys field. Traditionally few Americans venture to Japan for this, due to the scheduling proximity to the Pan American Closed, but two U.S. boys made the trip from Tulsa to Osaka this year: Evan Song and Robert Livi. Sean Berman, whose nationality is still listed as USA by the ITF, is seeded eighth.
The ITF junior website's Mayor's Osaka Cup preview can be found here.