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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Giron, Min win Pro Circuit Titles; Alabama Women Save Match Points, Win Doubles Shootout to Beat Florida 4-3

UCLA junior Marcos Giron won his third Futures title, all of them since last September, and all of them in California, defeating  No. 3 seed Jason Jung 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the final of today's $15,000 tournament in Calabasas.

The unseeded 20-year-old from Thousand Oaks, California has won three of the last four Futures he has played, and reached the semifinals of the tournament he didn't win, back in September.  He has three losses in college matches this year, two of them this fall, to Amerigo Contini of Virginia Tech and Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, and one this spring, to Yannick Hanfmann of Southern Cal at the Team Indoor. With his win today, Giron will add 27 ATP points to his total, and he'll easily reach the ATP Top 500 for the first time.

Top seeds Evan King(Michigan) and Sekou Bangoura(Florida) won the doubles title, beating unseeded Dennis Novikov(UCLA) and Connor Smith(Ohio State) 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Grace Min, who will be 20 in May, overcame a slow start against NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs to post a 7-5, 6-0 victory in the final of the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Innisbrook, Florida.  Gibbs was serving at 4-3 in the first set, but lost ten of the next 11 games, and Min earned her first title since May of 2012.

The doubles title went to unseeded Gioia Barbieri of Italy and Julia Cohen(Miami), who beat wild cards Allie Kiick and Sachia Vickery 7-6(5), 6-0 in the final.

I watched quite a bit of the College Match Day doubleheader at Duke, which featured the women against Florida State and the men against No. 7 Virginia. The top-ranked women's team earned a straightforward 6-0 win over No. 43 Florida State, with the match finishing in an hour and 45 minutes, but the men's match was closer. Even without Michael Redlicki in the lineup, No. 13 Duke managed to hold its own, before Virginia's Mitchell Frank closed out Jason Tahir at No. 2 6-3, 7-6(5) to secure the win for the Cavaliers.

The ESPN3 streaming crew is still looking for its first dual match tied at 3-3, but in a College Match Day contest today in Alabama, with the No. 8 Crimson Tide women hosting No. 5 Florida, that elusive outcome became a reality.  When Alabama's Luicelena Perez defeated Kourtney Keegan 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (3) at line 6, the two teams were tied, sending the match's outcome into the doubles point, where match tiebreakers would be played, with the team winning two of the three taking the match.  Florida rolled at No. 2, Alabama took the No. 3 line, and it came down to No. 1 with Florida's Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock facing Alabama's Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe.  Oyen and Woolcock had two match points at 9-7, but couldn't convert and Jansen and Routliffe won the tiebreaker 12-10 to give Alabama a 4-3 victory, and its first win ever against Florida.

With Georgia's 4-2 loss to Vanderbilt today, Alabama is now the only women's team undefeated in the SEC.  Interesting to note that the match time was over four hours, while the bulk of the College Match Day contests have been under two, without any doubles played at all.


College Tennis said...

Over four hours during the new format?

That sure back-fired as the main reason to have a new format is to shorten the matches for TV.

TV still showed the match with a long time frame.

Doubles was FINALLY played which is very important.

Colette Lewis said...

@College Tennis:
the Alabama - Florida match was not streamed on ESPN3