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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Danilina, Bourgue Take Grade A Copa Gerdau Titles; Claremont Grade 4 Kicks Off California ITF Swing; Baker Wins Costa Mesa Futures

Sixteen-year-old Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan swept the titles at the Grade A Copa Gerdau in Brazil, a week after winning both singles and doubles at the Grade 1 Banana Bowl. Currently ranked 17th, Danilina will make a big jump when the new ITF junior rankings are released on Monday. Danilina, seeded 10th, beat home country favorite and No. 12 seed Beatriz Hadda Maia 6-2, 6-3 in today's final. Danilina and Zuzanna Maciejewska of Poland, the top seeds, beat No. 5 seeds Gerny Angeles Paz of Peru and Maria Constanza de las Mercedes Vega of Argentina 2-6, 6-3, 10-1 in the doubles final Saturday.

Thirteen-year-old American Tornado Ali Black, a wild card, reached the semifinals, losing to Danilina 6-4, 6-4.

The boys Copa Gerdau title went to 18-year-old Mathias Bourgue of France, the 11th seed, who beat No. 8 seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 6-3, 6-2. Bourgue, who won the Copa Gerdau title in 2010, had lost all his points from winning the Banana Bowl last year, and had fallen to 145 in the ITF junior rankings, but this win get him back to where he needs to be to play the remaining junior slams.

The boys doubles title went to the British pair of Luke Bambridge and Joshua Ward-Hibbert, the fourth seeds, who defeated unseeded Pedro Cachin of Argentina and Quentin Halys of France 7-5, 7-5.

In addition to the Grade A in South America, there were two Grade 1s going on in Europe and Asia this week. Unseeded Storm Sanders of Australia won the Grade 1 in the Philippines, beating No. 4 seed Anna Tyulpa of Russia 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Top seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia beat No. 11 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-0, 7-5 in the boys final.

In the Croatia Grade 1, second seed Daniel Masur of Germany defeated No. 9 seed Eduard Esteve Lobato of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 for the boys title. The girls champion is unseeded Bernarda Pera of Croatia, who beat No. 4 seed Elena-Teodora Cadar of Romanian 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).

A number of teenagers took home Women's ITF Pro Circuit titles this week, with 15-year-old Donna Vekic winning a $25K in India, 17-year-old Margarita Gasparyan of Russia winning the $25K in Russia, 17-year-old Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, the 2010 Roland Garros girls champion, won a $25K in Tunisia, beating 2011 Roland Garros girls champion Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the semifinals, and 15-year-old Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain won a $10K in her home country.

Another big splash by a Spanish teenager was wild card Garbine Muguruza Blanco's upset of No. 24 seed Flavia Pennetta in the third round of the Sony Ericsson today. The 18-year-old, playing in her first WTA main draw, beat the Italian veteran 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(6).

The three-tournament ITF California swing began this weekend with qualifying for the Grade 4 in Claremont. There has been rain in the area today, but it appears they finished the qualifying. The main draws should be posted this evening at this tournament page at usta.com.

At the $15,000 Futures in Costa Mesa, California, Brian Baker continued his comeback, winning his second Futures title of the year today with a 6-1, 6-2 win over former Florida Gator Gregory Ouellette. Although he was beaten soundly by Baker in the semifinals, former Texas Longhorn Josh Zavala had a great tournament, qualifying and beating top seed Andre Begemann of Germany in the first round.

Current UCLA Bruin Nick Meister and former Baylor Bear John Peers of Australia won the doubles title on Saturday. The third-seeded pair beat top seed Carsten Ball and Begemann by the impressive score of 6-3, 6-7(1), 17-15. That's five change of ends before the match tiebreaker was decided.

There is no men's event this week in US, with the women taking center stage on the Pro Circuit at the $50,000 tournament in Osprey. Qualifying began today, and results can be found at the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.