After she won the French Open main draw wild card back in May, I asked Shelby Rogers, during a conference call, what she thought of method the USTA was using to award both the French reciprocal and one of their US Open wild cards.
"Yeah, I think it's a great way of picking a wild card recipient. It shows a little bit more the player that can be consistent with results instead of just having one good weekend or one good week. You really have to prove yourself over three weeks, which I think is a
That probably goes double now, with Rogers winning her second straight wild card by collecting the most WTA points in two of the three recently completed Challengers. Rogers reached the semifinals in Portland and won last week's Lexington Challenger, which she had to do to overtake Nicole Gibbs, who had won the first Challenger in Yakima. The fourth-seeded Rogers, who beat unseeded former Clemson star Julie Coin 6-4, 7-6(3), finished the competition with 102 points, with Gibbs second at 88. Gibbs will undoubtedly receive a US Open wild card for winning the NCAAs, as she did last year.
The men's competition, which includes four events (only two count), is only two tournaments in, with the performances at the $100,000 Vancouver and Aptos Challengers in the next two weeks, likely to be the deciding factor. Currently, Binghamton Challenger winner Alex Kuznetsov leads Bradley Klahn, Binghamton finalist and Lexington semifinalist, 80 points to 77. Klahn is in the field at the Vancouver Challenger this week, while Kuznetsov qualified for the main draw at the ATP CitiOpen in Washington DC.
In the Pro Circuit Futures finals Sunday, former University of Virginia All-American Michael Shabaz won his second Futures title of the month, and fourth overall, defeating Noah Rubin 6-3, 7-5 in Godfrey, Illinois. According to this article in the Alton Telegraph, Shabaz trailed 5-3 in the second set, but won the final four games of the match. Third seeds Evan King and Peter Kobelt won the doubles title, defeating unseeded Marcos Giron and Devin McCarthy 7-5, 6-2 in an all-college final.
At the $10,000 women's tournament in Austin, 2006 USTA junior champion Lauren Albanese picked up her first ITF women's circuit title since 2010, defeating Baylor standout Ema Burgic 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4). Burgic did take home the doubles title however, teaming with Blair Shankle to beat Rachel Pierson and Madison Westby 6-1, 7-6(5) in the final.
This week the men's Futures is in Decatur, Illinois, and the women are in Fort Worth, Texas, with both $10,000 level events. Qualifying is complete in both events. In addition to the men's Challenger in Vancouver I mentioned earlier, the women also have a $100,000 tournament there this week.
The European Championships concluded last week, with Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and Karen Khachanov of Russia claiming titles in the ITF Grade B1 18s. Krejcikova ended top seed Belinda Bencic's junior winning streak at 39 matches, beating the French and Wimbledon girls champion from Switzerland 6-1, 7-6(4) in the semifinals. There was no letdown in the final, with the 17-year-old Krejcikova, seeded No. 4, beating No. 7 seed Karin Kennel of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4. Khachanov, the No. 6 seed, defeated No. 10 seed Quentin Halys of France 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the boys final.
Orange Bowl 16s champion Andrey Rublev of Russia won the boys 16s, defeating Roman Safiullin, also of Russia, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the final. The girls 16s title went to yet another Russian, Darya Katsatkina, who defeated Jill Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match.
Corentin Moutet of France won the boys 14s, defeating Samuele Ramazzotti of Italy 6-2, 6-1, while the girls 14s title went to Evgeniya Levashova of Russia, who beat Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2. That means Russia took four of the six available singles titles at the European championships.
For complete draws, see the TennisEurope website.