Townsend Wins $50,000 Charlottesville Tournament; Virginia Sweeps ACC Tournaments; Baylor Sweeps Big 12 Tournaments; Ohio State, UCLA Men, Northwestern Women Earn Titles
Taylor Townsend, who turned 18 earlier this month, won her first two professional titles today, sweeping the singles and doubles at the $50,000 Pro Circuit challenger in Charlottesville, Virginia. Townsend, who received a wild card into the tournament, beat 19-year-old qualifier Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final, then partnered Asia Muhammad in the doubles final. Townsend and Muhammad, the No. 2 seeds, defeated top seeds Maria Sanchez(USC) and Irina Falconi(Georgia Tech) 6-3, 6-1 in today's final, with the champions winning all four of their matches in straight sets.
Townsend is now very much in the running for the French Open wild card awarded in the USTA Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge with one tournament remaining, the $50,000 challenger in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida next week.
Australian Nick Kyrgios, who turned 19 today, won his second straight Challenger title, beating Jack Sock 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final of the $50,000 Savannah tournament. Michael Venus(LSU) and Ilija Bozoljac of Serbia won the doubles, defeating Facundo Bagnis of Argentina and Alex Bogomolov 7-5, 6-2 in the final. The third and final leg of the USTA Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge for men is at $50,000 tournament in Tallahassee. The final round of qualifying Monday includes 17-year-old wild card Alex Rybakov, who beat No. 1 qualifying seed Erik Crepaldi of Italy 7-6(4), 6-4 today.
I spent the day in East Lansing covering Ohio State's 4-2 win over Illinois in the Big Ten Conference tournament championship. My complete account will be available Monday at the Tennis Recruiting Network, and from actually being there, I can report that there was some excitement and some controversy, despite Ohio State's eighth tournament title in the past nine years.
If twists and turns are more your style, the Northwestern women beat Michigan 4-3 to win the tournament title, with Northwestern losing the doubles point, but going way up in singles, only to watch Michigan roar back to take a 3-1 lead. Northwestern's Belinda Niu ended up clinching the win, saving two match points and coming back from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to beat Ronit Yurovsky 6-1, 6-7(2), 7-5 at line 2. For more on that thriller, see the article on the Northwestern website.
In the ACC, the Virginia men and women captured the tournament titles, with the men beating North Carolina 4-0, and the women beating Duke 4-2. It was the men's eighth straight ACC title, but a first for the women's program, after they tied with three other teams for first in the regular season.
Baylor swept the Big 12 titles, with the men edging Oklahoma 4-3 (I wasn't there so I can't tell you what the controversial call referred to in the Oklahoma release was) and the women beating Oklahoma State 4-1.
Late last night in Ojai, UCLA defeated Southern Cal 4-2 to win the Pac-12 tournament. The Bruins took the doubles point and got wins from the bottom of their lineup, with Gage Brymer, Karue Sell, and Adrien Puget, playing No. 6 in his return to the singles lineup, getting points. Southern Cal's two wins came at No. 1 and No. 2. with Hanfmann and Sarmiento beating Giron and Thompson, respectively. The two teams have now split their four meetings this year.
The NCAA will be announcing the draw on Tuesday at 5:00(men) and 5:30(women) EDT, at ncaa.com. There will be no new ITA rankings released until Thursday.
College Tennis Online hasn't completed its updates of all the automatic qualifiers yet, but they can be found on this page.
I'll have more on the ITF junior results and the Ojai results on Monday.