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.