Rubin Reaches Godfrey Futures Final; Libietis Wins Futures Title; Arconada Surprises Irigoyen in CitiOpen Qualifying
It's an extremely busy day in tennis, with the WTA/ATP CitiOpen qualifying in Washington DC and the WTA Southern California Open in Carlsbad underway. As is usually the case, those two tournaments feature many top junior and college players from the US getting a taste of the pro level.
Most notable of the early qualifying results today was 14-year-old wild card Usue Arconada's 7-5, 6-3 win over WTA No. 174 and No. 5 seed Maria Irigoyen of Argentina. Arconada, who trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland and will be playing the 16s in the San Diego Nationals next week, trailed 5-2 in the opening set. According to Kevin Fischer of the WTA, Arconada, at 14 years and 9 months, is the youngest winner (qualifying or main draw) in WTA competition since Madison Keys won a main draw match in Ponte Vedra back in 2009, when she was 14. Arconada will play Alexandra Mueller in the final round of qualifying. Reigning National 18s champion Vicky Duval also advanced to the final round of qualifying with a 6-4, 7-5 win over former Harvard player Lena Litvak.
Christian Harrison (in a third set tiebreaker, saving three match points), Rhyne Williams (in three sets) and Jarmere Jenkins (in straight sets) posted first round qualifying wins at the CitiOpen today. Former Alabama star Saketh Myneni defeated a struggling Donald Young 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 and Somdev Devvarman downed Jesse Witten 7-5, 6-0.
The semifinals of the two Pro Circuit Futures were played today, and the finalists in the Lexington Challengers for men and women will be decided tonight.
At the men's $10,000 Futures in Godfrey, Illinois, 17-year-old Noah Rubin has reached his first Futures final, defeating Michigan All American Evan King 6-3, 6-3 in Saturday's semifinal. He will play No. 4 seed Michael Shabaz, one of the few current or former Virginia Cavaliers not participating in the CitiOpen qualifying. Shabaz beat top seed Darien King of Barbados 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals. Rubin will be competing next weekend in the Kalamazoo 18s Nationals.
At the women's $10,000 Futures in Austin, Baylor's Ema Burgic has reached the final, where she will play Lauren Albanese. The unseeded Burgic defeated No. 7 seed Peggy Porter 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals, while Albanese topped Trice Capra, who has a wild card into the main draw of the CitiOpen awaiting her when she returns to the East Coast, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Burgic and Baylor recruit Blair Shankle won the doubles, defeating wild cards Rachel Pierson and Madison Westby 6-1, 7-6(5) in the final.
Over in Europe, current college stars recorded important wins, with Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis taking his first Futures title at the $10,000 tournament in Estonia. The unseeded Libietis, a rising junior, defeated top seed Vladimir Ivanov of Estonia 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 7-6(7) in the final, after beating No. 2 seed Mathias Bourgue of France 6-4, 7-6(3) in the semifinals.
USC's Sabrina Santamaria, the silver medalist at the World University Games, stopped in Italy on her way home to compete in a Futures event, and she made the singles final as a qualifier. She and teammate Kaitlyn Christian, the NCAA doubles champions but unseeded this week, won the doubles title at the $10,000 event in Italy, with four games the most they lost in any set.