The two Pro Circuit events last week in the United States produced a familiar champion and a new one. Georgia's Anna Tatishvili, who won the tournament in Macon and was a finalist last week in Rock Hill, claimed the singles title at the $25,000 women's tournament in Florence, SC while in the $10,000 Futures in Birmingham, Ala., Romain Arneodo of France won his first singles title.
No. 4 seed Tatishvili, a 23-year-old who has been as high as No. 50 in the WTA rankings, defeated No. 3 seed Madison Brengle of the US 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the final. Brengle did pick up a title, however, winning the doubles with former Pepperdine standout Anamika Bhargava. Brengle and Bhargava beat former Ole Miss teammates Kristi Boxx and Abigail Guthrie 7-5, 7-5, with neither team seeded.
Arneodo, a 21-year-old whose previous success on the ITF men's circuit had all come in doubles, with seven titles in the past two years, defeated No. 2 seed Hans Podlipnik-Castillo of Chile 6-4, 1-6, 6-0 in the final, after beating top seed Chase Buchanan in the quarterfinals and 16-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany in the semifinals. Arneodo and his partner Benjamin Balleret of Monaco won the doubles title, their fifth this year, with the top seeds beating No. 2 seeds Sekou Bangoura Jr. and Evan King 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-7.
At the $50,000 women's tournament in Saguenay, Canada, 2011 French Open girls champion Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, seeded No. 7, defeated No. 2 seed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7(0), 6-3, 6-3 in the final. WTA veterans Marta Domachowska of Poland and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, the No. 2 seeds, defeated unseeded teens Vicky Duval and Francoise Abanda of Canada 7-5, 6-3 in the doubles final.
This week, there is another $10,000 Futures, this one in Pensacola, Fla., for the men, along with the $75,000 Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. The women have a $50,000 event in New Braunfels, Texas, with another $50,000 challenger in Toronto also attracting many Americans.
The qualifying for Pensacola, which was a 128 draw without any byes, finished today, with 17-year-olds Aron Hiltzik and Korey Lovett winning their fourth consecutive match to move into the main draw. Podlipnik-Castillo is the top seed, with main draw wild cards going to Deiton Baughman and Stefan Kozlov.
The Charlottesville Challenger features as its top seed Tim Smyczek. Recent Virginia graduate Jarmere Jenkins received a wild card, as did current teammates Mitchell Frank and Mac Styslinger. Jenkins is playing Styslinger in the first round tonight, which is a rematch of a second round match the two played at the All-American last year. Styslinger won that contest 6-1, 6-4. Former Cavalier Somdev Devvarman of India is the No. 2 seed, and his teammate Ted Angelinos of Greece is also in the draw. Angelinos won his opening round match today over No. 6 seed Alex Kuznetsov 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. Free live streaming is available at usta.com.
In New Braunfels, qualifying will finish on Tuesday, with recent USC graduate Danielle Lao in the final qualifying round. (Lao has written an article for Tennis Recruiting Network today about what to look for in a college coach.) Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia, who won the Rock Hill $25,000 tournament, is the top seed. Main draw wild cards went to Jacqueline Cako, Rosalia Alda, Julia Elbaba and Ashley Weinhold.
In Toronto, Timea Babos of Hungary is the top seed, with wild cards to Canadians Marie-Alexandre Leduc, Gloria Liang, Francoise Abanda and Elisabeth Fournier.
Former Oklahoma State All-American Oleksandr Nedovyesov won the Kremlin Cup Challenger over the weekend, and those points put the 26-year-old Ukrainian in the ATP Top 100 for the first time in his career. Nedovyesov, who was the ITA Player of the Year in 2009, has won three Challenger titles this year and moved his ranking from 202 at the end of 2012 to 99 now. It looks like he'll appear in his first grand slam main draw in Australia in 2014.