Unseeded Hibi and Smith Claim ITF Claremont Titles; International Spring Championships Preview; Kentucky Men Beat Georgia 4-3 in Athens
Two unseeded 15-year-olds took the singles titles Saturday at the ITF Grade 4 tournament in Claremont, Calif. Mayo Hibi, who turns 16 on Tuesday, beat No. 2 seed Julia Elbaba 6-4, 6-2 to win her first ITF junior title. Logan Smith, playing in his first ITF 18-and-under event, won the boys title, beating Deiton Baughman 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.
The first round of qualifying is complete at the International Spring Championships at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, with the final two rounds in the 18s scheduled for Sunday. Hibi did not receive a wild card into the main draw, but she did have a bye today as the No. 3 seed, and will need to win two matches on Sunday to make the main draw. Smith is entered in the 16s, where he will now be even more of a favorite than he was before his Claremont victory.
Steve Pratt, who has been doing the USTA's daily summaries in Carson for several years now, wrote an International Spring Championships preview, which can be found at Tennis Panorama. Taylor Townsend, who has not played since winning the Australian Open girls championship two months ago, will be blogging for usta.com. Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com will begin his three days of coverage on Monday. I will begin my live coverage on Tuesday this year. Draws can be found on the tournament page.
Mitchell Krueger, the top seed in the Carson boys field, talked with the Dallas Star-Telegram about his recent trip to Switzerland where he played doubles with Marat Safin and competed in the Talent division of the ATP Champions event. He also spent time hitting with Sam Querrey in Dallas before heading out to California according to this article.
In a rain-delayed match in Athens, Georgia last night, No. 9 Kentucky beat No. 3 Georgia 4-3, with the winner decided in a third-set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles. Kentucky's Tom Jomby, who had lost to Ohio State's Ille Van Engelen 7-5 in the third in a similar situation at the Team Indoor quarterfinals, won with the match on the line this time, defeating Ignacio Taboado 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(1) to give the Wildcats sole possession of first place in the SEC. For more on the match, see ukathletics.com.