Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pro Circuit Update; Other Notes From Around the Tennis World

Pro Circuit singles titles today went to Germany's Misha Zverev in the Mansfield Futures and Rebecca Marino in the Rock Hill, SC $25K.  Zverev, the top seed, defeated Alex Kuznetsov of the US 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.  Both Zverev, seed 1 and Kuznetsov, seeded 2, are rarely found in Futures draws, with most of their match play coming in Challengers and ATP qualifying.  This Dallas Star-Telegram article, written prior to today's final, explains why they decided to play the $15,000 Futures tournament, the only men's tournament on the schedule this week in the US.

Zverev and Kuznetsov were not able to follow their singles final with a doubles victory however. The No. 4 seeds lost to unseeded Vahid Mirzadeh (Florida State) and 2006 NCAA doubles champion Ryan Rowe (Illinois) 6-2, 6-7(5), 10-7, a team who had also defeated top seeds Devin Britton and Austin Krajicek in the semifinals.

Another unseeded college pair of former collegians took the Rock Hill doubles title, with recent Tennessee graduate Natalie Pluskota and Arizona State junior Jacqueline Cako taking the title over another unseeded team from the US, Chi Chi Scholl and Connie Hsu (Penn) 6-2, 6-3.

Marino, who was ranked as high as 38 in the world in 2011, took time away from the game from March through August of this year (for more on that see this article) and this is her first title in what is her fifth Pro Circuit event of the fall.  A qualifier, Marino defeated fellow Canadian Sharon Fichman, the No. 8 seed, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in today's final.

The women stay in South Carolina for the inaugural $25,000 tournament in Florence (for more on how that came about, see this article), with qualifying underway.  Taylor Townsend is playing in her first sanctioned competition since the US Open juniors and tomorrow will take on Chalena Scholl in the qualifying, a rematch of the 2011 Pan American Closed final, which Townsend won.

The men are in Birmingham, Alabama for a $10,000 Futures, which has one of those daunting 128-player qualifying draws. There are still three more Pro Circuit challengers remaining in the US, starting with a $75K at Charlottesville at the end of this month, then the $50Ks in Knoxville and Champaign in November.

Other quick links:

The ITF Grade A Osaka Mayors Cup begins Monday, with Michael Mmoh the sole US participant. Australia's Nick Kyrgios and Czech Republic's Katerina Siniakova are the top seeds.

Ronnie Schneider decided to play high school tennis for Bloomington South in his senior year, and unsurprisingly won his third straight title.

Alexander Waske, a 37-year-old from Germany who reached the Top 20 in doubles and the Top 100 in singles on the ATP tour, retired this year, and the former San Diego State star explains in this ATP website article how much his coaches in college meant to his professional success. He recalls how different recruiting was when he was a junior, before email and the internet made global communication much easier.

I received a release earlier this month about a new service available, https://www.juniortennismatch.com/. It "allows parents to find tennis partners for their juniors all over the country."  For the complete release and further explanation, see the Parenting Aces blog.