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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Farah Takes Singles Gold at PanAm Games; Min Reaches Final in Rock Hill $25K; Upsets at Carolina Regional

Eighth seed Robert Farah of Colombia won the Pan American Games gold medal in singles tonight, defeating No. 4 seed Rogerio Dutra of Brazil 6-4, 6-3. Farah, who led USC to two NCAA titles in 2009 and 2010, won all of his six matches in the Guadalajara, Mexico competition in straight sets, just as women's gold medalist Irina Falconi had won all five of hers. They also share the honor of being named the 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year. Here's a photo of his celebration tonight.

I don't know exactly how the Olympic selections will be made for the Colombian team, but I assume this win can only help Farah's prospects. Falconi's too, for that matter, but I understand the Williams sisters are interested in playing in the 2012 Olympics in London, competition that Farah doesn't face in his selection.

Farah and his partner Juan Sebastian Cabal, the top seeds, will play for the doubles gold later tonight.

US Open girls champion Grace Min has continued her excellent play, reaching the finals of the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Rock Hill, SC. As a qualifier, Min has already won seven consecutive matches; fortunately for her stamina, they have all been in straight sets. Today she beat WTA No. 141 and No. 4 seed Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-1, 6-3, repeating her victory from last week in the $50K in Troy. Min will play another Italian, top seed Romina Oprandi, who won in Troy last week. Oprandi defeated unseeded wild card Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-1 in today's other semifinal.

In the $15,000 Futures in Mansfield, Texas, recent Tennessee grad JP Smith meets former Florida Gator Jesse Levine in the final. Smith beat Peter Polansky of Canada 6-4, 6-4, avenging his loss to Polansky in the final last week in the Austin Futures, while the fourth-seeded Levine continued to roll, beating former Baylor standout Denes Lukacs 6-4, 6-1. Levine has lost 12 games in his four victories.

For complete results, and the qualifying draws for the women's Puerto Rico $25K and the men's Birmingham $10K next week, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

I haven't had the opportunity to review all the results from the ITA regionals going on this weekend, but there have been several surprising results. At the women's Carolina regional in Chapel Hill, Duke's Hanna Mar, a 9 seed, beat top seed Zoe DeBruycker of North Carolina, and Duke's Monica Turewicz, also a 9 seed, beat No. 2 seed Josipa Bek of Clemson in the round of 16. For more on those wins, see goduke.com.

In the women's Southeast regional in Gainesville, Florida has four players in the quarterfinals, none of whom play each other, so there's a possibility of nothing but Gators in the semifinals.

At the men's Ohio Valley regional in Knoxville, Kentucky has five of the quarterfinalists, and four of them are in the bottom half, assuring a Wildcat in the final. For more, see ukathletics.com.