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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ivanova, Mmoh Win ITF Grade 2 Titles in Canada; Giron Meets Novikov in Claremont Futures Final Sunday, Anderson Reaches $25K Final

There's no question that Canadian tennis is on the upswing, especially after today's doubles win by Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil that gave them a 2-1 lead over Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals, but at the ITF Grade 2 in Montreal, Americans captured three of the four titles, including both singles championships.

Fifteen-year-old Michael Mmoh, who was injured and unable to play in Kalamazoo and retired from his second round match at the Grade 1 International Hard Courts last month, took the boys title, while 16-year-old Dasha Ivanova won the girls championship.

Mmoh, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Seong Chan Hong of Korea 6-4, 1-6, 7-5,  Mmoh's fourth three-set match of the week. It was Mmoh's second ITF junior title, with his first coming last year at the Grade 4 in Guatemala.

Ivanova, who went through qualifying to get her place in the main draw, now has five ITF titles, with four of them coming in Canada, after defeating 16s Orange Bowl champion and No. 3 seed Gloria Liang of Canada 6-3, 1-6, 7-5. Like Mmoh, Ivanova was also a No. 2 seed, and she too needed three sets in four of her five victories.

Ivanova came up just short in her attempt to sweep both titles, with she and Madison Bourguignon, the top seeds, falling to the unseeded Canadian pair of Marie-Alexandre Leduc and Charlotte Petrick 7-5, 6-7(4), 10-7.

In the boys doubles final, unseeded Anudeep Kodali and Carter Lin of the United States defeated No. 4 seeds William Bushamuka of the Congo and Toshiki Matsuya of Japan 6-2, 6-1.

At the $15,000 Futures in Toronto, former Virginia Cavalier Sanam Singh, seeded No. 2, reached the final, losing to top seed Peter Polansky of Canada 6-2, 6-2.  Former Michigan standouts Evan King and Jason Jung, the No. 3 seeds, won the doubles title, beating top seeds Polansky and Milan Pokrajac of Canada 7-5, 6-2 in the final.

At the $10,000 Futures in Claremont, California, the singles semifinals were an all-UCLA affair, with UCLA's No. 1 this past spring, Dennis Novikov, advancing to meet the Bruins No. 2 player Marcos Giron.  Novikov beat former teammate Nick Meister 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Giron got past Haythem Abid, who played for the Bruins from 2005-2010, 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(6).

At the $25,000 Challenger for women in Redding, Calif., UCLA junior Robin Anderson, who is unseeded, has reached the final, with her opponent yet to be determined.

Below is the release on today's Claremont action by Steve Pratt:

CLAREMONT, Calif. , (Sept. 14, 2013) – Former junior rivals and UCLA teammates Dennis Novikov and Marcos Giron will meet for the 18th USTA Claremont Club Classic title on Sunday after both won hard-fought three-set matches over former Bruins on Saturday at the Claremont Club.
The No. 3-seeded Novikov, 19, had to come back from down a set and a break to beat No. 2-seeded Nick Meister, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, while the unseeded 20-year-old Giron survived a match point against him in his 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) over Haythem Abid of Tunisia in the $10,000 Men’s Pro Future event.
As teammates, Novikov and Giron led the Bruins all the way to the NCAA Championship match in May where they eventually fell to Virginia.
Novikov, who turned pro just three weeks ago at the US Open, will be attempting to win his second pro singles title as he captured the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures title in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., in June.
Novikov is obviously familiar with Giron’s game as the two have practiced together since Novikov joined the Bruins at the end of April, 2012. A month before that, Novikov beat Giron in the final-round of qualifying at a $15,000 Futures event in Calabasas, avenging three earlier defeats against Giron at big national junior events, including a loss in the quarterfinals at the USTA National 18s Championships at Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2011.
“We’ve played a lot of matches together, and I feel like I know his game pretty well,” Novikov said. “For me this is a full-time job now. I know what I need to do against Marcos and I’ve been playing pretty strong.”
Giron has, as well, winning all his matches in Claremont in straight sets before Saturday, giving up just four, seven and three games in his first three matches.
Giron went up 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker but Abid battled back with two quick points. The  players traded points as the score was knotted at 3-all, 4-all, 5-all and 6-all with Giron earning his first match point at 6-5 before closing out the match 8-6.
Sunday's final will take place at 10 a.m.
Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Results
Dennis Novikov (3), U.S., def. Nicolas Meister (2), U.S., 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Marcos Giron, U.S., def. Haythem Abid, Tunisia, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6)

Friday’s Final Doubles Result
Carsten Ball, Australia / Daniel Garza (1), U.S., def. Matt Fawcett, South Africa / Fabian Matthews, U.S., 6-3, 6-2