Sunday, June 12, 2011

Strobel, Mamalat Win Grass Courts; Kosakowski Beats Johnson; Scholl Sweeps El Paso; Wimbledon Qualifying Begins Monday


Anna Mamalat defended her title at the ITF Grade 4 International Grass Court Championships at the Philadelphia Cricket Club Saturday, defeating No. 7 seed Chanelle Van Nguyen 6-4, 6-3. Mamalat travels very little and has only played three tournaments this year: two on the women's Pro Circuit, where she lost in the first round, and the Grass Courts, which are near her home. Third seed Trey Strobel won the boys title, defeating unseeded 13-year-old Stefan Kozlov in the final 6-2, 6-4. Strobel, who has won two other ITF events in the past 12 months, is a left-hander who can volley, so he has the game style to do well on the Cricket Club courts. Unlike the current flawless surface at Wimbledon, the courts at the Cricket Club have dead spots, odd bounces and don't provide a high bounce, so if you can volley, you can eliminate one of the sources of frustration. Strobel and partner Luca Corinteli, the No. 2 seeds, won the doubles title over unseeded Daniel Khanin and Javier Restrepo 6-4, 6-4. Van Nguyen and her partner Kyle McPhillips, who won the Grass courts doubles title in 2009, did so again on Friday. The top seeds beat No. 2 seeds Blair Shankle and Denise Starr 7-6(5), 6-4.

At the $15,000 Sacramento Futures, unseeded Daniel Kosakowski broke his losing streak against NCAA champion Steve Johnson, taking his first Pro Circuit title with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory over his Pac-10 rival, who was the No. 8 seed this week. Kosakowski, who just completed his freshman year at UCLA, had lost four matches to USC's Johnson this year, including a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 loss in the second round of the NCAA individual tournament just over two weeks ago. Recent NCAA semifinalists Alexandre Lacroix and Sekou Bangoura, Jr. of Florida won the doubles title, beating James Ludlow and Ty Trombetta 6-4, 7-6(3).

In the women's $25,000 in El Paso, Chi Chi Scholl won both the singles and doubles titles. Scholl had reached the finals of a $10,000 and two semifinals in $25,000s this year in singles, but today marked her first Pro Circuit championship. She also claimed her first doubles title, teaming with Alyona Sotnikova of Ukraine for a 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 win over Amanda Fink and Yasmin Schnack.

For complete results and the qualifying draws for next week's events, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

Barely a week after the finish of the French Open, the men's qualifying begins for Wimbledon tomorrow. There are seven American men in the qualifying draw: Rajeev Ram, Bobby Reynolds(24), Alex Kuznetsov, Ryan Harrison(14), Jesse Witten, Lester Cook and Zack Fleishman. As I tweeted earlier today, the 31-year-old Fleishman hasn't played since the 2009 US Open qualifying and is listed as inactive on the ATP site.

See Wimbledon.org for the men's qualifying draws in singles and doubles.