Scholl, Mmoh Win ITF Titles; Novikov, Keys Earn Qualifying Spots at BNP Paribas Open; Stanford, Florida Women Post Wins Over Cal and Tennessee
Qualifier Michael Mmoh of the United States won the singles and doubles titles at this week's ITF Grade 4 in Guatemala, beating No. 2 seed Sebastian Penaloza of Chile 6-4, 6-2 in the final. In addition to defeating the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, the 14-year-old, playing in just his sixth ITF event, beat American Henrik Wiersholm, last week's Grade 4 winner, in the semifinals. Mmoh also won the doubles, teaming with Thomas Adriano Tenreiro of Venezuela.
At the Grade 2 Uruguay Bowl, No. 3 seed Chalena Scholl of the US won both singles and doubles titles. The 16-year-old defeated No. 4 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-3, 7-6(7) and that was the closest match she had all week. In the doubles, Scholl and American Stephanie Nauta, the top seeds, beat unseeded Haddad Maia and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, also of Brazil, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
Top seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan won the boys title, defeating unseeded Albert Alcaraz Ivorra of Spain in the final, 6-2, 6-4. Qualifier Jared Donaldson went the deepest of the six American boys in the draw, reaching the semifinals before losing to Alcaraz Ivorra. Gabriel Friedrich and Andre Napolitano of Brazil won the boys doubles title.
The pre-qualifying for next week's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells ended today, with 18-year-old Dennis Novikov and 17-year-old Madison Keys earning places in the the qualifying draw. Keys, seeded third, beat 18-year-old Jessica Pegula, seeded fifth, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0 in the final of the women's tournament, which featured a 64-player draw. The unseeded Novikov, who is to start school at UCLA in a few weeks, beat former UCLA Bruin Haythem Abid 6-2, 6-3 in today's final. Neither player was seeded in the 128-draw. According the UCLA twitter account, Abid was also granted a wild card into the qualifying when USC's Steve Johnson, who is injured, was unable to use the qualifying wild card he had been given earlier.
In two important college dual matches yesterday, NCAA defending champion Florida, currently ranked 15th, beat No. 5 Tennessee 7-0 in Knoxville, while Stanford, currently No. 11, beat No. 7 Cal 5-2 in Berkeley. Cal's Jana Juricova, who did not play in losses to UCLA and USC recently, also did not play against Stanford. Tennessee's No. 1, Natalie Pluskota, played doubles but not singles in the Volunteers loss to the Gators. I notice that neither Florida or Stanford's recaps featured the word "upset."