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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Caty McNally and JJ Wolf Take ITF Grade 4 Grass Court Titles; Rubin Leaving Wake Forest after Freshman Year; Pro Circuit Update

While most of the attention was on Paris the past two weeks, and for me, on the juniors there the past week, it's time to catch up on the other junior and Pro Circuit results.

At the ITF Grade 4 International Grass Courts, Caty McNally and JJ Wolf won the singles titles.  The 13-year-old McNally, playing in only her fourth ITF junior tournament, won her first singles title in Philadelphia. The No. 8 seed, McNally didn't drop a set, beating No. 4 seed Carson Branstine 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final.

The 16-year-old Wolf was playing in only his third ITF event, all this spring, and was not seeded at the Grass Courts, but he lost only one set all week, defeating No. 2 seed Sebastian Arcila of Puerto Rico 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Branstine and Taylor Johnson won the girls doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds beating unseeded Bridget Forster and Jacqueline Pelletier 6-4, 6-3 in the final. No. 4 seeds Alexaner Donski of Canada and Sebastian Mermersky beat William Peters and Karl Poling 7-5, 3-6, 10-4 to win the boys doubles title.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Costa Rica, unseeded 15-year-old Floridian Melissa Plambeck won her first ITF title, defeating unseeded Tania Aizenman Sanchez of Costa Rica 6-4, 6-2. Plambeck did not lose a set in her five victories.

Noah Rubin, the 2015 NCAA finalist, will leave Wake Forest after his freshman year, announcing that decision on Twitter Saturday.

Bobby Knight has Rubin's full collegiate record posted at College Tennis Today. Rubin went 21-4 in singles, with his four losses to Oklahoma's Andrew Harris, Duke's Nicolas Alvarez, Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis, and Virginia's Ryan Shane, the latter in the NCAA singles final.

Rubin played the $15,000 ITF Men's Futures in Winston-Salem last week, losing 6-1, 7-5 to former Tennessee All-American Tennys Sandgren in the second round.  Sandgren, the No. 3 seed, lost in the final today to former Princeton All-American Matija Pecotic of Croatia, the top seed, 6-2, 6-3.  Pecotic, an Ace last month for his two consecutive Futures titles in Nigeria, now has three titles in a row.

At the $10,000 Women's USTA Pro Circuit event in Bethany Beach, Delaware, 16-year-old North Carolina recruit Alexa Graham lost in the final, with the No. 6 seed falling to former Iowa standout Sonja Molnar of Canada, the fifth seed, 6-1, 7-5. Graham had beaten No. 2 seed Jacqueline Cako(Arizona State) 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals.

Sophie Chang (Virginia incoming freshman) and Andie Daniell (Alabama incoming freshman) won their second Pro Circuit title together in the doubles championship.  The No. 3 seeds beat unseeded Australians Ellen Perez (Georgia rising sophomore) and Belinda Woolcock (Florida, rising junior) 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

In Korea, 2014 NCAA finalist Alex Sarkissian won his first Challenger title, with the former Pepperdine star, the No. 8 seed, beating Connor Smith, the former Ohio State standout and No. 5 seed, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the $50,000 tournament's final. It's Sarkissian's first Challenger title after winning three Futures titles in his first 12 months as a professional.

In other ITF Pro Circuit events outside the United States, former Cal Poly All-American Andre Dome (like Sarkissian and Pecotic, a May Ace) won his second $10,000 Futures title in the past two months, this one in Mexico. Dome, who was unseeded, beat No. 5 seed Tigre Hank of Mexico 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-5 in the final.

Rising Florida State senior Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe won his first Futures title in at the $10,000 tournament in Mozambique. He defeated Kentucky's rising sophomore William Bushamuka, a qualifier, 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Rising Southern Cal senior Giuliano Olmos, who grew up in the US but plays under the Mexico flag, won her first pro title at the $10,000 ITF Women's event in Mexico.  Olmos, unseeded, beat top seed Fernanda Brito of of Chile 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 in the final. Tornado Alicia Black and Dasha Ivanova reached the doubles final before falling to Carolina Betancourt of Mexico and Steffi Carruthers of Samoa 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match.


fan said...

Graham is also going to UNC?! That's 3 for UNC with Daavettila and Sanford...thanks for the scoop

Frank said...

Rubin is being rushed just like Tiafo and Koslov. Getting wild cards and losing in the first round isn't the way to develop but 3-4 years of steady college tennis is. They are listening to agents instead of doing what's in their long term best interest.

Frank don't know anything said...

How is Tiafoe being rushed? He qualified for his first 100k which sent him on the run to get his WC into the French open. He then got to SE into the next week based on his results from the previous weeks. He has won a future in March. He is top 300 in the world. What more do you want from this kid. It takes 4 years to get into the top 100. This kid is ahead of the mark. Born is right on track to hit that mark with being injured. I am a little confused by your misinformed comments.

bye bye... said...

His college record is not that impressive, he didn't beat everybody. He is no Stevie Johnson that's for sure, here's another one that will not keep up in a couple years and be gone. There are other college players he didn't run into that would have beat him and there will be a lot more in the pros. But maybe he wants a tennis career in coaching when he fades away on the tournament circuit anyway, in which case college isn't important. So might as well go have some fun, just not bank on anything but experiencing something different than college.

Just Saying said...

Good luck to Rubin. He should turn pro. He seems to be in a similar situation to Jesse Levine after his Fr. year at Florida. How many guys in the college game are going to challenge him and help him raise his game? Maybe a couple: Shane, Alvarez, Lenz etc. He doesn't play on a deeply talented team, so he doesn't have the day in/day out high level practice partners some other players do Rubin did go on a 17 match winning streak to finish the year and was a couple of points from making it 18. Extended winning streaks at the #1 spot are one sign that you are at the top of the college game. Rubin may not be Stevie J, but then again very few are.

Is Rubin going to be a great pro? Who knows? We know he doesn't have the weapons of some other guys like an Isner or Anderson, but maybe he can be a Levine or Somdev 2.0. Both reached around the top 50-60 before injuries derailed them.

Regardless, I think he will improve a lot more concentrating solely on the pro tour instead of playing a handful of quality matches every now and then.