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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Johnson Wins Claremont Futures; Levine Downs Williams in Canadian 15K Final; Reynolds Defends Tulsa Challenger Title

Steve Johnson, who is taking the fall semester off at USC to play professional tournaments as an amateur, won his first professional title today at the $10,000 Claremont, Calif. Futures tournament. Johnson, the top seed, beat unseeded 19-year-old Darian King of Barbados 6-2, 6-3 in the finals. After losing the first set he played in the tournament, to University of Washington's Kyle McMorrow, Johnson cruised through the next four matches, losing only 16 games. Johnson is playing the Costa Mesa, Calif. Futures this coming week and then will move up to $100,000 Challengers for his next two tournaments, in Sacramento and Tiburon California. The fourth-seeded team of Alex Lacroix of Florida and Sanam Singh of Virginia, who both completed their final year of college eligibility this spring, won the doubles title.

Steve Pratt, who worked the media relations beat for the Claremont Futures this week, wrote an article about Johnson's win, which can be found at Tennis Panorama.

The $15,000 Futures event in Canada this past week drew a large number of current and former college players, with Jesse Levine, who played one semester for Florida back in 2007, defeating Rhyne Williams, who just turned pro after two years at the University of Tennessee, by a 6-1, 6-0 score. Levine, the No. 3 seed this week, has now won back-to-back Futures titles in Canada this month. Like Johnson, Levine's toughest match came in the first round, where he won two of three tiebreakers from Devin Britton. Williams and former teammate Tennys Sandgren, who also turned pro this summer, won the doubles title over another unseeded team made up of college teammates, Ohio State's Chase Buchanan and Peter Kobelt, who are returning to school this fall.

The complete draws can be found at the ATP Challenger/Futures results page.

At the Tulsa Challenger, former Vanderbilt star Bobby Reynolds defended his title, defeating qualifier Michael McClune 6-1, 6-3. McClune had surprised top seed Sam Querrey in the semifinals yesterday. The third-seeded Reynolds received a walkover into the final when No. 2 seed Michael Russell was unable to play due to a leg injury. The top seed in doubles, Reynolds and David Martin won over Querrey and Chris Wettengel 6-4, 6-2.

At the $25,000 Pro Circuit Women's tournament in Redding, Calif., Julia Boserup collected her first professional singles title. The No. 3 seed defeated No. 5 seed Olga Puchcova of Russia 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Boserup had beaten unseeded wild card Allie Will of Florida in the semifinals and Lauren Davis in the quarterfinals. Top seeds and recent Pac-10 rivals Yasmin Schnack(UCLA) and Maria Sanchez(USC) won the doubles over No. 2 seeds Brittany Augustine and Whitney Jones 7-6(2), 4-6, 10-7.

Qualifying for the $75,000 women's challenger in Albuquerque and the Costa Mesa men's Futures has begun. According to the Albuquerque tournament notes, US Open junior champion Grace Min has received a wild card into the main draw. See the Pro Circuit page at usta.com for draws and schedules. There is also another $15,000 Futures in Canada this week and a $10,000 Futures in Mexico for the men.

And finally, the doubles title at the WTA event in Quebec went to former college players Raquel Kops-Jones(Cal) and Abigail Spears(UCLA), the top seeds, who defeated unseeded Jamie Hampton and Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 in the final.