DeVine, Smith Win Wild Card Tournaments, Entry into Nationals; Paul Advances at Binghamton. Joins Bryde in ATP Event in Atlanta; Kentucky's Gomez Beats Baghdatis; Are Spain and Switzerland Heading for Men's Tennis Decline?
The inaugural USTA Wild Card tournaments for entry into the 18s Nationals were completed today in Arlington, Texas, with Jake DeVine and Maria Smith earning their places in Kalamazoo and San Diego.
Smith, also a No. 2 seed, needed only three victories to earn her wild card, with a bye and a walkover in her first two rounds. The 18-year-old from Texas beat top seed Olivia Hauger 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the final.
The complete list of Kalamazoo wild cards:
Mwendwa MbithiLogan Smith
Alexandre RotsaertMatthew Rodriguez
The complete list of San Diego wild cards:
Today in Binghamton, Tommy Paul joined Frances Tiafoe in the second round of the $50,000 Challenger, defeating Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador 6-3, 7-5. Paul has received a qualifying wild card into next week's BB&T Atlanta Open, the first ATP event in the US Open Series. Fifteen-year-old Trent Bryde won a wild card challenge playoff today in Atlanta, earning a qualifying wild card with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kyle Montrel of Xavier University of Louisiana. Tiafoe was awarded a main draw wild card into the tournament last month.
At the women's $50,000 Sacramento Challenger, wild cards Brooke Austin, Jamie Loeb and Robin Anderson won their first round matches, as did Kristie Ahn and No. 5 seed Jennifer Brady. UCLA teammates Brady and Anderson will play in the second round Thursday.
After Alex Sarkissian picked up his first ATP win last night in Bogota, former Kentucky star and qualifier Alejandro Gomez of Colombia came up with an even bigger victory there tonight, beating No. 5 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(3). Gomez, who completed his senior year in 2014, is ranked 698, while the former Australian Open finalist is No. 45 in the ATP rankings. For more on Gomez's win, see this article from the University of Kentucky website.
ESPN.com's Kamakshi Tandon looks at the men's talent pipeline in Switzerland and Spain and asks if those two countries are prepared for the seemingly inevitable decline they face as their superstars move closer to retirement.