Fields Complete for US Open National Playoffs; Zhao vs. Scholl in Waterloo; Fratangelo and Baker Reach Quarterfinals in Pittburgh
It's been a while since I reviewed the results of the Sectional Qualifying for the US Open National Playoffs. With the completion of the Southern section's tournament on Tuesday, the fields for the National Playoffs at Yale University are complete, with the men's and women's singles competition taking place August 18-21, and the mixed doubles being played August 24-27.
The 2010 men's singles winner Blake Strode had already qualified earlier by winning the New England sectional event, and 2010 finalist Cecil Mamiit, who has been working as a hitting partner for Maria Sharapova, also earned his way into the national competition again by repeating as the Southern California section's champion. Macall Harkins, the former TCU star, won the women's tournament over former USC All-American Amanda Fink in Southern California, and USTA board member and USC volunteer assistant Jeff Tarango teamed with Patricia Tarabini to take the mixed sectional title over USC's Kaitlyn Christian and UC-Irvine's Chris Kearney. Tarango reached the final in the men's draw before falling in straight sets to Mamiit.
Mashona Washington won the women's event at the Texas section, beating University of Tennessee's Rosalia Alda and SMU's Artem Baradach defeated high school junior Juan Moreiras in three tough sets to win the men's event. The mixed doubles title went to Samantha Adams of Texas Tech and her younger brother Harrison, a high school junior. They beat former Baylor All-American Lenka Broosova and Jordan Rux, who recently completed his career at Baylor, in a third-set tiebreaker.
The Missouri Valley men's tournament final featured two future Big 12 competitiors. Jackson Withrow, who started school at Texas A&M this spring but was not on the roster, defeated future Oklahoma State Cowboy Christopher Haworth 6-3, 6-4, in the final. Former University of Memphis player Ashley Murdock beat current Tennessee player Whitney Wofford to take the women's title. University of Oklahoma women's coaches Dave Mullins and Brook Connelly took the mixed title over Trevor Horstmann and Yawna Allen.
The Northern section men's title went to former St. Cloud State player Tony Larson, who beat Nelson Vick, currently on the Ohio State roster, and Megan Falcon, the former LSU All-American, won the women's event, beating University of Minnesota recruit Aria Lambert. Former Minnesota Gopher Erik Donley teamed with former Nebraska standout Imke Reimers to take the mixed title.
NCAA champion Amanda McDowell, who won the title as a sophomore at Georgia Tech in 2008, captured the Southern section women's event, beating 15-year-old Liz Jeukeng in the final. Former Stanford star David Martin, who has been concentrating more on doubles lately on the professional circuit, won the men's event, beating recent Georgia Tech graduate Guillermo Gomez in the final. Martin and former Cal Bear Christina Fusano won the mixed doubles title.
For the complete draws, click on the section name link on this page, and you will be taken to the TennisLink site.
Sixteen-year-old Carol Zhao of Canada has been playing both junior and professional events the past year or so, and she has had enough success in the former to get near the Top 50 in the ITF rankings, and enough in the latter to be ranked 740 in the WTA. She will reach a new WTA career high next week, as she has advanced to the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Women's ITF Circuit event in Waterloo, Canada, beating No. 4 seed and WTA 200 Julia Glushko of Israel in today's second round 7-5, 6-1. Zhao will play No. 7 seed Chichi Scholl of the US in Friday's quarterfinals. Alison Riske and Julia Boserup of the US have also advanced to the quarterfinals.
For complete results, see the tournament website, which will also feature live streaming of the semifinals and finals.
In the men's Futures event in Pittsburgh, French Open boys champion Bjorn Fratangelo is playing in his first tournament since he won that title, and the 17-year-old has reached the quarterfinals, beating No. 4 seed Dennis Zivkovic in the second round today 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. His first round match, which drew over 500 fans, was the subject of these two articles, one from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the other from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Next up for Fratangelo is recent Texas A&M graduate Austin Krajicek.
Brian Baker's comeback continues, as he too has reached the quarterfinals. After defeating No. 2 seed Robbye Poole yesterday, Baker blew past qualifier Dilshod Sharifi of Tajikistan 6-1, 6-0. Baker will play University of Virginia recruit Mitchell Frank in the quarterfinals.
A couple of years ago New York Times Straight Sets blog contributor Geoff Macdonald, women's head coach at Vanderbilt, spoke with Baker about his many surgeries and injuries, and about his prospects for resuming his career. At the time, Baker said:
“If I can get my elbow 100 percent I think I have a few good years left in me.”He certainly deserves at least that.
Complete results can be found at the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.