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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

McPhillips, Papa Win ITF Grade 2 Titles in Chile; Barty Wins $25K; Rubin Qualifies for Brownsville $15K Futures

Between the ITA Team Indoor Championships and the Wayne Bryan discussion, I haven't been able to devote much time to junior tennis results, but I'll try to catch up a little bit today.

Americans Kyle McPhillips and Spencer Papa won the singles titles at the ITF Grade 2 Copa Milo in Chile last week, on clay. McPhillips, the top seed, beat Orange Bowl 16s champion Erin Routliffe of Canada, the 16th seed, 7-6(9), 6-1 in the final. McPhillips and her partner Kelsey Laurente, who reached the third round in singles, advanced to the doubles final, where as top seeds, they lost to No. 3 seeds Maria Constanza de las Mercedes Vega of Argentina and Laura Ucros of Colombia 7-6(5), 6-4. With her results in Chile, McPhillips is now up to No. 12 in the ITF world junior rankings, a career high.

The boys semifinals featured three Americans, with the unseeded Papa beating American Martin Redlicki in the semifinals and Thai Kwiatkowski, the No. 5 seed, in the final 7-6(5), 6-4. Papa won three consecutive three-set matches prior to the final. Kwiatkowski and Redlicki, the No. 2 seeds, fell in the doubles final to unseeded Chilean team of Rodrigo Encinas and Marcelo Plaza 4-6, 6-4, 10-4.

Note that the ITF websites have changed their look and navigation, and I've experienced a few error messages dealing with the site tonight.

Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal won the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Surprise, Arizona last week, beating Claire Feuerstein of France 6-1, 6-3 in the final. Former USC All-American and 2010 Indoor champion Maria Sanchez reached the semifinals as a qualifier, picking up a win over college rival Irina Falconi, who was the top seed in the tournament. Complete results for Surprise can be found at usta.com.

Last week in a $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in her home country, 15-year-old qualifier Ashleigh Barty of Australia collected her first professional title, beating No. 2 seed Olivia Rogowska, also of Australia, in the final 6-1, 6-3. For more on Barty's victory, see this article from the ITF website.

Another 15-year-old, Noah Rubin, who actually turns 16 today, has made news this week in Brownsville, Texas, where he is competing in his first Pro Circuit Futures event. Rubin qualified yesterday, and on Wednesday he will play former Texas All-American Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria, the No. 6 seed, who less than a week ago was competing in the quarterfinals of the ATP SAP Open in San Jose. For more on Rubin's win over No. 1 seed Chris Kwon in the final round of qualifying in Brownsville, see this article from The Herald.

Wild cards into the tournament were Michael Redlicki, Jon Wiegand, Michael Shabaz and Sekou Bangoura Jr. The latter pair played today, with Bangoura winning 7-6 in the third. Mitchell Krueger qualified and will play lucky loser Harrison Adams in the first round. Krueger beat Adams in the final round of qualifying, so it's uncertain whether Adams considers himself lucky or not. Nicholas Naumann is the third junior to reach the main draw via qualifying. Bjorn Fratangelo, who received entry based on a junior exemption for ITF Top 10 players, lost to Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe in a first round match today.

For full draws, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.