Ginepri Wins Tallahassee Challenger and French Open Wild Card; Neel, Kecmanovic Take ITF Grade 4 Titles in Coral Gables
Another week, another series of rain delays affecting the Pro Circuit tournaments, this time exclusively in Florida.
At the $50,000 Challenger in Tallahassee, rain was so heavy and persistent this week that many of the singles matches were played indoors at Florida State, and today, although competition was back outside, both the semifinals and finals were scheduled. Unseeded Robby Ginepri needed only win his semifinal match to claim the USTA Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, which he did, beating Ireland's James Magee(NC State) 6-1, 6-4. But Ginepri came back two hours later and put an exclamation point on his success, beating No. 4 seed Frank Dancevic of Canada 6-3, 6-4. Dancevic had beaten top seed Donald Young 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals. The 31-year-old Ginepri, who will be playing in the main draw at the French Open for the first time since 2010, when he made the fourth round, lost only one set in Tallahassee.
The doubles title went to Ryan Agar of Australia, and Sebastian Bader of Austria, who played college tennis at Division II Hawaii-Pacific. Agar and Bader, who have won three Futures titles together, beat Bjorn Fratangelo and Mitch Krueger 6-4, 7-6(3) in the final. Neither team was seeded.
The women's French Open wild card is still up for grabs, with rain washing out the semifinals at the $50,000 Indian Harbour Beach tournament. Charlottesville $50K winner Taylor Townsend, who completed her 6-2, 6-2 victory today over Allie Kiick, will play Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Sunday, with Townsend able to clinch the wild card, as Ginepri did, simply by reaching the final. She and Grace Min are currently tied, and Min would win the tie with a higher WTA ranking.
The Futures in Vero Beach also had its schedule disrupted, with Connor Smith(Ohio State) leading No. 2 seed Jorge Aguilar of Chile 6-3, 2-3 in one semifinal. Greg Ouellette(Florida) had not begun his semifinal with top seed Facundo Mena of Argentina when the rain arrived for the day. Smith and teammate Devin McCarthy are in the doubles final, which will be after the singles final, since either Smith or Aguilar will be playing the singles final, and Aguilar is also in the doubles championship.
The rain didn't get as far south as Coral Gables, where the ITF Grade 4 there, the first of three Har-Tru tournaments in Florida, was played.
Unseeded Ingrid Neel, who turns 16 next month, won the girls title, beating top seed and Miami recruit Yolimar Ogando of Puerto Rico 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the final. It is Neel's first ITF junior title.
No. 11 seed Miomir Kecmanovic, a 14-year-old from Serbia, who was one of my April Aces, won his third Grade 4 title in three weeks. The reigning Eddie Herr 14s champion defeated No. 6 seed Alexey Aleshchev of Russia 6-0, 6-0 in the final.
The boys doubles title went to No. 8 seeds Stephen Madonia and Alfredo Perez, who beat fellow Americans Vasil Kirkov and Sam Riffice 3-6, 7-5, 10-8.
Vera Aleshcheva of Russia and Stephanie Hazell of the US, seeded No. 5, won the girls doubles title, their second straight, beating top seeds Sabrina Faybyshev of the US and Ogando 6-4, 7-5.
At the ITF Grade 2 in Italy, Dennis Uspensky of the US is continuing his outstanding play on European clay this week. The No. 14 seed beat top seed Nino Serdarusic of Croatia in the semifinals today 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and will play No. 8 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the final.