Sandgren Sweeps Titles in Little Rock $15K; Georgia and Virginia Men, Forida and Duke Women Take Conference Tournament Titles
With all the junior tennis I've been covering this month, I haven't been able to keep tabs on the Pro Circuit as much as I'd like. This week, I've been able to follow more closely, and took particular interest in the $15,000 men's Futures in Little Rock, Ark., where all four semifinalists were recent college players.
No. 5 seed Tennys Sandgren, who left Tennessee after his sophomore year last May, won both the singles and doubles titles today. On Saturday he beat JP Smith of Australia, who played in front of Sandgren in the two years they were both in Knoxville, 6-4, 7-5, and today he took out former Middle Tennessee State and Baylor player John Peers of Australia, the No. 8 seed, 6-1, 7-6(6) in the final. Peers had beaten unseeded Dennis Lajola, who recently completed his eligibility at Hawaii, in the semifinals.
Also notable was qualifier Christian Harrison's run. The 17-year-old brother of Ryan Harrison hadn't played the first three months of the year, but he beat top seed Stefan Seifert of Germany, ranked 232 by the ATP, 7-5, 6-1 in the opening round and won another match before losing to Sandgren in the quarterfinals.
In the doubles, Sandgren and former Florida Gator Greg Ouellette, who won the Futures singles title in Oklahoma City a week ago, beat former Texas Longhorn Ed Corrie of Great Britain and Marvin Barker of New Zealand in today's final. Sandgren and Ouellette, seeded fourth, beat third-seeded Barker and Corrie 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-8.
The women have been in Alabama the past two weeks, with Canada's Heidi El Tabakh taking the title at the $25,000 Pelham tournament, and unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi winning today at the $50,000 event in Dothan. Giorgi beat Lauren Davis 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals, which were held over to today after rain disrupted play Saturday. Giorgi beat No. 2 seed Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the the final, after Gallovits-Hall had defeated Julia Cohen in the semifinals. The Dothan tournament is the first of three events that will decide the USTA's wild card into the French Open. The American with the most WTA points earned in two of the three events (the upcoming Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach tournaments are the others) will be given the wild card. See the Pro Circuit page at usta.com for full draws. The qualifying draw in Charlottesville this week features juniors Grace Min, Liz Jeukeng, Krista Hardebeck, Chalena Scholl, Allie Kiick and Samantha Crawford.
There are only two men's events to decide the French Open wild card, in Sarasota and Savannah. This week's $100,000 tournament in Sarasota was won by Sam Querrey, who is already in the main draw at Roland Garros, but Wayne Odesnik and Michael Russell both need a wild card, and they made the semifinals. The Savannah challenger this week is a $50,000 tournament, so fewer points are available, but both Odesnik and Russell are in the main draw. Dan Kosakowski and Bjorn Fratangelo received wild cards into the main draw.
Complete results and next week's draws are available at the Pro Circuit
In the major college tournament finals today, the Virginia men won their sixth straight ACC conference tournament title, beating Duke 4-1. The Georgia men avenged their regular season loss to Kentucky, winning the SEC conference tournament title with a 4-1 victory.
The Duke women took the ACC conference title with a tight 4-2 win over North Carolina, and the Florida women took the SEC conference tournament title with a 4-1 win over Georgia.
The Louisville men and Notre Dame women took the Big East conference tournament titles today.
Another notable result was posted by Oklahoma State's women, who defeated No. 6 Texas 4-3. Oklahoma State, currently ranked 51, should see a boost in their ranking come Tuesday, and will head into next weekend's Big 12 tournament with added confidence, where they'll probably meet Texas again.