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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pro Circuit Results; Grade A Osaka Mayors Cup Begins Monday

Covering the back-to-back tournaments in Tulsa is always fun, especially when the weather is so beautiful, but I've missed reporting on a lot of the Pro Circuit news the past two weekends.

As I reported briefly last week, Danielle Collins won the $10,000 Pro Circuit in Williamsburg, Va. as an unseeded wild card. Julia Cohen, who played for Florida and Miami as a collegian, won a $25,000 ITF women's circuit event in Armenia.

This week on the USTA Pro Circuit, JP Smith, the recent University of Tennessee graduate, reached the singles and doubles final of the $15,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Austin, Texas. The unseeded Smith lost to No. 8 seed Peter Polansky of Canada 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in today's singles final; Smith and former Volunteer Ben Rogers lost the doubles final to the third-seeded British team of Chris Eaton and former Texas Longhorn Ed Corrie 7-6(6), 6-2. Listed in qualifying for this week's Futures in Mansfield, Smith should receive a spot in the main draw via a special exemption.

At the $50,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Troy, Ala., top seed Romina Oprandi of Italy won the title with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 2 seed Vavarva Lepchenko of the US, who reversed her result from the previous week's final in the $50K in Kansas City. US Open girls champion Grace Min had a good run, qualifying and reaching the quarterfinals, posting wins over Madison Keys, Camila Giorgi of Italy (no. 146 in the rankings), and Ahsha Rolle.
Russians Elena Bovina and Valeria Savinykh won the doubles title in Troy.

At the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger, No. 2 seed Ivo Karlovic won his second straight title, beating third seed Sam Querrey 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-4 in this afternoon's final. Karlovic had beaten James Blake in Sacramento the year before.

The wild card team of Querrey and USC's Steve Johnson reached the doubles final, falling to Australia's Carsten Ball and Chris Guccione 6-1 5-7 10-6. Neither team was seeded.

This week the women will be at a $25,000 in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and the men are in Mansfield, Texas, at the $15,000 Futures. The qualifying for both is underway now.

All results can be found at the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

The Osaka Mayors Cup, the ITF Grade A held every autumn in Japan, is underway, with two junior slam boys champions in the draw: Australian Open champion Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic and Wimbledon champion Luke Saville of Australia. Both have a shot at earning the title of ITF World Champion this year, which likely contributed to their decision to play the tournament. Normally the field does not attract many European players, although it is popular with Australians. Japan has 28 boys in the 64-player draw, between qualifiers, wild cards and direct entries. There are no US boys playing the tournament.

The girls field is much weaker, especially at the top, with the Ellen Allgurin of Sweden the No. 1 seed, ranked 27th. Well over half the players in the girls draw, 37 to be exact, are from Japan. Blair Shankle of the US is the sole US player competing there.

There is a preview on the ITF junior website, with a promise of daily coverage throughout the week.