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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Townsend, Luetjen Sweep USTA Pro Circuit Titles; Ohio State Men and Women Win Big Ten Conference Championships; TCU Men, Oklahoma State Women Earn Big 12 Titles

Taylor Townsend put herself in great position to win the USTA's French Open Wild Card Challenge by defeating Grace Min 7-5, 6-1 today in the final of the $50,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Virginia. Townsend, who made the final of last week's $50,000 tournament in Dothan, avenged her loss there to Rebecca Peterson of Sweden in the first round in Charlottesville, and barring a title by any of the eight Americans still mathematically alive in next week's $75,000 Indian Harbour Beach, Florida event, Townsend will earn the reciprocal wild card for the second time. She made the third round of the French Open when she won the wild card in 2014, having claimed the titles in Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach.

Townsend and Asia Muhammad also claimed their fifth doubles title of the year, with the No. 2 seeds defeating unseeded Alexandra Panova of Russia and Shelby Rogers 7-6(4), 6-0.

At the $10,000 Futures in Vero Beach, former Ole Miss star Jonas Luetjen of Germany also swept both singles and doubles. In the singles final, Luetjen, who completed his collegiate eligibility in 2013, beat Martins Podzus 7-6(4), 6-3. In the doubles final that followed, Luetjen and Serbian teen Miomir Kecmanovic, an unlikely pairing, defeated top seeds Deiton Baughman and Anderson Reed 6-1, 5-7, 10-8.

The last two of the Power Five conferences completed their conference tournaments today with both Ohio State teams winning the Big Ten titles, and the TCU men and Oklahoma State women taking the Big 12 titles.

Although three of the four matches were close, there was nothing like last week's Virginia - Wake Forest finish for the men's ACC title.

Indoors at Michigan State due to the cold and rainy weather, the Ohio State women, who had won the regular season conference title, beat Michigan 4-2 to win their first conference tournament title.  In Minnesota, the Ohio State men met Illinois for the ninth time in the last 11 years in the tournament final and it was the Buckeyes who came out with the title, by a 4-1 score.

At the Big 12 tournament in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the home team took its first tournament title since 2003 with the top-seeded Oklahoma State women blanking Texas Tech 4-0. Oklahoma State, who, like Ohio State, had gone undefeated in their conference's regular season, won the doubles point and got three straight-set wins at 1, 2, and 3 in singles to claim the title.

In the men's final, TCU defeated Texas Tech 4-2, avenging the 4-2 loss to the Red Raiders last weekend that left the two teams co-champions of the regular season. TCU again lost the doubles point but came back to take four points in singles points, with Jerry Lopez clinching at line 4.

Not all of the conference championships are complete, but they will be by tonight.  Scroll to the bottom of the College Tennis Today tournament page to see who has earned automatic NCAA bids from the other conferences.