Kudla Beats Sock in San Jose; Putintseva, Shabaz Win ITF Circuit Titles; Robin Anderson in the College Spotlight
The men's Pro Circuit is quiet this week in the United States, but the ATP's SAP Open in San Jose has attracted many of the young Americans and former college players who would normally be playing in Futures and Challengers. Denis Kudla qualified for the ATP 250 event, and today met wild card Jack Sock in a first round battle of 19-year-olds. Although Kudla had picked up a win over Sock in the USTA Australian Open wild card tournament last December via retirement, he hadn't beaten Sock in official ATP/ITF competition, losing to him twice in Futures events and once in the final of US Open boys championship in 2010. Kudla won today however, beating Sock 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 to advance to a second round meeting with No. 2 seed Andy Roddick.
Former Texas all-American Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria played former University of Hawaii standout Dennis Lajola of the US in a first-round meeting of qualifiers today, with Kutrovsky earning a 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(3) win. USC's Steve Johnson, who received a wild card, dropped his first round match to Belgium's Steve Darcis 7-6(4), 7-6(5).
The women's Pro Circuit is in Surprise, Arizona this week for a $25,000 event, and qualifying concluded today. Former collegiate players Samantha Murray (Northwestern), Yasmin Schnack(UCLA) and Maria Sanchez(USC) reached the main draw as did 15-year-old Mayo Hibi. Sanchez and Schnack will renew their Pac-10 rivalry when they meet in the first round. Grace Min, who received entry with a junior exemption, won her first round match today over Shuai Zhang of China, the No. 3 seed and WTA No. 137 by a score of 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, but Melanie Oudin's disappointments continue as she fell to Olga Puchkova of Russia 6-3, 6-1. For complete draws and results, see the USTA Pro Circuit page.
Last week Russia's Yulia Putintseva captured a $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in Australia, where she has continued to compete since her loss in the final of the Australian Open girls championships. Putintseva, the fifth seed, beat top seed Olivia Rogowska of Australia in the quarterfinals and in the final downed unseeded qualifier Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-3. Putintseva didn't lose a set in her five victories.
In the $100,000 YP Dallas Challenger last week, unseeded Jesse Levine beat No. 2 seed Steve Darcis in the final 6-4, 6-4, while the doubles title went to former University of Virginia all-American and 2009 NCAA doubles champion Dominic Inglot of Great Britain and his partner Chris Eaton. The unseeded Inglot and Eaton beat No. 4 seeds Nick Monroe and Jack Sock 6-7(6), 6-3, 19-17.
Michael Shabaz, who won the NCAA doubles title with Inglot in 2009 and Drew Courtney in 2010, won a $10,000 Futures event in Guatemala last week without loss of a set. Unseeded, Shabaz beat top seed Agustin Velotti of Argentina in the semifinals 6-2, 7-5 and No. 3 seed Adam El Mihdawy of the US in the final, 6-1, 6-4. He and partner Amrit Narasimhan reached the finals of the doubles, the third week in a row Shabaz has lost in a Futures doubles final.
And in a timely College Spotlight, UCLA's Robin Anderson, who clinched the ITA Women's Team Indoor for the Bruins yesterday, answers questions about her college tennis experience at usta.com.