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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rybakov, Kenin Win Daytona Beach ITF; Edmund Wins Vero Beach Futures; Kudla Claims Tallahassee Challenger; Keys Gets First Top 10 Win in Madrid

No. 2 seed Alex Rybakov and unseeded Sofia Kenin took the titles at the rain-plagued ITF Grade 4 tournament, which ended today in Boca Raton, although it began in Daytona Beach and was moved South on Friday.

The 16-year-old Rybakov beat fellow Floridian Christian Langmo 6-3, 6-3 in the boys final to collect his second ITF Grade 4 title on clay.  Rybakov won his first ITF title in Panama back in March. The two finalists then teamed to win the doubles title, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Aron Pierce and Tommy Paul 6-4, 1-6, 10-7.

Kenin, who is the reigning USTA 14s champion, won her first ITF title, beating No. 3 seed Marie Norris 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The 14-year-old from Pembroke Pines, Florida was making her first appearance in an ITF final.  Caroline Dolehide and Abigail Chiu won the girls doubles title, over Sabrina Faybyshev and Yolimar Ogando, with both teams unseeded.

At the $10,000 Futures in Vero Beach, Florida, 18-year-old Kyle Edmund  of Great Britain, the No. 7 seed, won his second career Futures title, defeating unseeded Carsten Ball of Australia 6-3, 6-2 in today's final.  For more on Edmund's blossoming professional career, see this article by Randy Walker from World Tennis magazine. In this article about today's final, Edmund reveals he will be playing the French Open juniors.

Vladimir Obradovic of Serbia and Juho Paukku of Finland won the doubles title by posting only two wins during the week. The unseeded team received a walkover in the first round and a walkover in the final against Ball and Daniel Garza of Mexico, the No. 1 seeds.

At the $50,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, 33-year-old Petra Rampre of Slovenia won the singles title, defeating Dia Evtimova of Bulgaria 6-0, 6-1, with neither player seeded.

The doubles title also went to unseeded competitiors, with 18-year-old Jan Abaza and 16-year-old Louisa Chirico defeating No. 3 seeds Allie Will and Asia Muhammad 6-4, 6-4 in an all-US battle. It was Chirico's first doubles title on the Pro Circuit, while Abaza won a doubles title in a $10,000 event last year in Sumter, South Carolina. Coincidentally, Chirico won the singles title in that same tournament.

In a rain-delayed final yesterday in the $50,000 Tallahassee Challenger, No. 7 seed Denis Kudla won his third title at that level, beating unseeded Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany 6-3, 6-3. It's unfortunate that Kudla was having pain in his right arm and was unable to play in the Sarasota Challenger, effectively ending his chances at the USTA French Open wild card.

Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren gave the US another title in the doubles, with the top seeds, who have never played together before, beating Greg Jones of Australia and Peter Polansky of Canada 1-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the final.

For more on the Tallahassee singles and doubles finals, see this article.

Today at the WTA Madrid Open, lucky loser Madison Keys, who had lost in the final round of qualifying to Bethanie Mattek-Sands, picked up her first win over a Top 10 player, beating No. 5 seed Na Li of China 6-3, 6-2. Keys had little time to contemplate the prospect of facing such an accomplished opponent, and she admitted that may have helped her claim her biggest victory. She also had gone three sets with Li earlier this year, so she may have gained insight from that experience.  For more on Keys' win, see this article.