Coric Takes Challenger Title, Barty Takes Break; Gosea, Jenkins Earn Futures Titles, Tatishvili Wins Albuquerque $75K
Croatia's Borna Coric, who won't turn 18 until November, won his first Challenger title today in Turkey, defeating top seed Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-1, 6-7(7), 6-4 in the final of the €106,500 tournament. The 2013 US Open boys champion showed some mental toughness in the third set after letting five match points slip away in the second set, including a 6-3 lead in the tiebreaker.
Josh Meiseles, who it the ATP's resident Challenger expert, reports in this article that this is one of just four years when more than one 17-year-old has won a Challenger (Alexander Zverev of Germany is the other this year). Coric is one of five teenagers to win a Challenger this year joining Nick Kyrgios of Australia, Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, Hyeon Chung of Korea and Zverev. With the title Coric will break into the ATP Top 150.
While one junior grand slam champion is moving into the spotlight, another is walking away from it. Australia's Ashleigh Barty, who won the Wimbledon girls title in 2011 and reached three senior slam finals in doubles last year, is leaving the game, according to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Only 18, Barty has not given any time frame for a return, saying in a statement only that "it is best for me to take a break from professional tennis."
University of Illinois senior Farris Gosea won his first title on the ITF men's circuit today at the $15,000 Futures in Canada. Gosea, who is from Wales and competes under the Great Britain flag, defeated No. 6 seed Phillip Bester of Canada 7-6(8), 3-6, 6-4. For more on Gosea's victory, see this article from the University of Illinois website.
2013 NCAA singles finalist and doubles champion Jarmere Jenkins won his third Futures title, defeating Dennis Novikov, formerly of UCLA, 6-4, 6-2 in the $10,000 event in Costa Mesa, California. Novikov had beaten Jenkins in their previous meeting in a Futures final last summer, but the former Cavalier won a rematch the following week in the quarterfinals, and including the NCAA team finals in 2013, is now 3-1 against Novikov.
“I don’t think he played his game today, by far,” Jenkins told Joel Beer, the media liasion for the tournament. “I just got some breaks early and that helped me keep up my momentum.”
Jenkins earned $1,440 for the victory and will pick up 17 points toward his world ranking. He entered the event ranked 280th in the world.
The next five weeks, his focus with be playing Futures events in Australia.
“The circuit in America is usually the top American players beating up on each other, so it’s good to get away and see different players in a new atmosphere,” Jenkins told Beers.
The title will no doubt help Jenkins feel a little bit better about this fall, which took place yesterday in his semifinal match with Tennys Sandgren. Jenkins linked to it on his twitter account, and ESPN has noted it for its Not Top Ten feature.
Former Texas A&M player Junior Ore and former San Diego State player Jeremy Hunter Nicholas won the doubles title in Costa Mesa, defeating current UCLA teammates Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki 4-6, 6-4, 10-8.
At the $75,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Albuquerque, top seed Anna Tatishvili defeated Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-4 in the singles final. Melanie Oudin and Jan Abaza won the doubles title, defeating No. 4 seeds Nicole Melichar and former Gator All-American Allie Will 6-2, 6-3.