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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chirico, Chung, Ram and Rola Win Pro Titles; Conference Tournament Champions Crowned with NCAA Draw Announcement Set for Tuesday

Eighteen-year-old Louisa Chirico and 17-year-old Katerina Stewart battled for nearly three hours this afternoon in Dothan, Alabama before Chirico came away with a 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-6(0) victory at the $50,000 Pro Circuit tournament.  Stewart, using her drop shot effectively, went up 4-2 in the final set, but could not serve it out at 5-4, double faulting at 15-40 to put Chirico right back in the match.  Stewart was able to get a difficult hold at 5-6, but played a poor tiebreaker, with Chirico just staying in points until Stewart made an unforced error.

With Chirico's first title at the $50,000 level, she will move to a career high ranking of 122 and has taken the lead in the USTA's Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, which will continue next week at the $50,000 tournament in Charlottesville, Va.

Rajeev Ram added the singles title to the doubles title he won on Saturday in Guadalajara Mexico, with the No. 7 seed beating unseeded Jason Jung 6-1, 6-2 at the $100,000 ATP Challenger. It is Ram's seventh career Challenger title.

At the $50,000 Challenger in Santos, Brazil, 2013 NCAA champion Blaz Rola of Ohio State collected his second career Challenger title. The No. 2 seed defeated unseeded Germain Gigounon of Belgium 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Former Baylor standout Roberto Maytin of Venezuela won the doubles title with partner Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina.

In Savannah, 18-year-old Hyeon Chung of Korea took the singles title at the $50,000 Challenger, his third career Challenger title, with the No. 4 seed defeating unseeded James McGee 6-3, 6-2.  With the title Chung will move into the ATP Top 100 for the first time at 88, and with Nick Kyrgios turning 20 tomorrow, Chung will be one of only two teenagers in the Top 100, with Borna Coric of Croatia the other.

The third and final stop in the USTA's Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge for men is in at the $50,000 Challenger in Tallahassee.  Frances Tiafoe, the current leader in points, received a special exemption and drew top seed Facundo Bagnis, while wild cards were given to Tommy Paul, Stefan Kozlov, former Florida State All-American Jean-Yves Aubone and current Seminole Benjamin Lock.

There is also a $10,000 Futures tournament in Vero Beach next week, Florida, with the final round of qualifying set for Monday.

The last of the conference championship tournaments were completed today, with no real surprises in the major conference finals.  The No. 1 Oklahoma men defeated No. 2 Baylor 4-3 in another Big 12 thriller that was interrupted several times by rain and lightning in the Waco area. The women's final was played indoors at Baylor, with the Baylor women having no trouble with Texas Tech, taking that final by a 4-0 score.

The ACC titles went to Virginia, with the top-seeded men defeating No. 3 seed Wake Forest 4-2 and the fourth-seeded women downing No. 6 seed Georgia Tech 4-0.  Both matches, which were scheduled to be shown on ESPN3, were sent indoors due to rain, and no streaming was provided.

The Big Ten titles went to the top seeds, with the Michigan women taking down No. 2 Ohio State 4-0 and the Illinois men rolling over No. 2 Ohio State, also by a 4-0 score.

Last night in Ojai, the University of Southern California men claimed the Pac-12's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, defeating Stanford 4-3.

I'll have a rundown of the other results from Ojai on Monday.

For a complete list of all the conference champions, see this page from the ITA website.


Sooner said...

It was glorious to watch Oklahoma beat Baylor Men on TV for the fourth consecutive time this year. Baylor is one of those programs that want to be recognized as a power team so bad. Unfortunately, they haven't recognized that they need to have to act like champions, and not spoiled brats. It appears their spoiled brat antics are consistent across all their sports. What message does that send?

marcoforehand said...

I enjoyed watching the broadcast of the finals as well. Even the commentators !
Baylor has worked hard to earn a reputation for boorish fans, but they seemed reasonably tame on Sunday, at least as presented on tv.
The commentators mentioned that there were fewer people on hand because of rain delays and the women's match being played at the same time indoors.

NoBaylorFanHere said...

Marcoforehand - yes there were very few Baylor fans in attendance. Even before the rains started, there were only a sprinkling of fans throughout the stands. The women moved indoors and took their 25 fans with them. Either the tennis purists decided to forego the event based on the immature antics which occurred at their last meeting, or either the true Baylor fans were still in church (haha) no pun intended here.

Phred said...

I think the Big 12, including Baylor, were very concerned about the image the Baylor fans were going to portray on TV. As a result, their more rabid fans were asked to find something else to do on Sunday.