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Sunday, April 22, 2012

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.


Austin said...

SEC mens final was a little deceiving as UK was close to winning each of the two remaining matches, both their guys were a game away from victory.

Curious to see how the rankings unfold, USC has the top spot wrapped up, but UCLA could make a run at the #2 ranking if they can beat the Trojans again in the Pac12 tourney this weekend.

been-there said...

I agree about the men's score It was deceiving. It was the same on the women's (UGA vs. UF) end. Two matches against Florida, possibly coming back or certainly close. I guess the moral is: Get the matches over with and quick!!!

Austin said...

I was impressed with UGA women. Dont know if Jankowicz is injured or if they are just going with Hitimana now, but seems odd to do so late in the year. Also think it's weird Embree played #1 and Will #2. Maybe they were just doing it for SEC tourney. Embree is a very, very good player, but tough to justify moving the #1 ranked player in the country down to #2 in the lineup at the end of the season, even if the person replacing her did make the semifinals of individuals last season.

been-there said...

Why'd Will play at # 2? Because #1 UGA Chelsey Gullickson has solidly beaten #1 UF Allie Will lately. Last time it was like 2 and 2. So UF knew that it might likely happen again. So they move Allie down one to play Maho, and move that very-very-winning-Lauren-Embree up to the #1 spot to get back Chelsey's winning screamer, and to get it back again and again, until Chelsey missed. Similar to how Embree played Mallory Burdette in last year's final. That is very effective against the big hitting girls.

Seems like they have been alternating Hitimana and Janowicz.