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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Johnson Claims First ATP Title; 16 US Juniors in Roehampton Grade 1 Main Draw; Reynolds to Lead Auburn Men's Program; TCU's Norrie Reaches Tulsa Futures Final

Steve Johnson at 2014 Winston-Salem Open
Steve Johnson, who won four NCAA team and two NCAA singles titles while at USC from 2008-12, captured his first ATP title today at the rain-plagued tournament in Nottingham, England.  The sixth-seeded Johnson, who had reached one ATP final previously at last fall's event in Vienna, defeated No. 2 seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6(5), 7-5. Johnson had won in Nottingham in 2013 when it was a Challenger, not an ATP 250, and that win resulted in a Wimbledon wild card. For more on Johnson's breakthrough, see the ATP website.

The ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton begins on Sunday, with nine US girls and 7 US boys in the main draw.  The four US boys that played the LTA Junior Challenge Trophy in Nottingham: JJ Wolf, Sam Riffice, Ulises Blanch and John McNally, are competing, with Blanch the No. 2 seed and McNally the No. 14 seed. Gianni Ross, Vasil Kirkov and Trent Bryde all qualified with wins today.  World junior No. 1 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece is the top seed.

Three US girls are seeded, No. 3 Amanda Anisimova, No. 5 Kayla Day and No. 7 Sonya Kenin. All three played in the Four Grand Slam Nations Challenge in Eastbourne, as did Alexandra Sanford and Claire Liu, also in the Roehampton draw. Michaela Gordon, Morgan Coppoc and Maria Mateas are also competing in the only European warmup event for juniors on grass. World junior No. 1 Olesya Pervushina of Russia is the top seed, with French Open girls champion Rebeka Masarova seeded second.

Shortly after I went to bed last night (trying to get a head start on adjusting to European time), Auburn announced it had hired Bobby Reynolds to head its men's tennis program, replacing the retiring Eric Shore.  Reynolds had been John Roddick's assistant at Oklahoma last year, his first in college coaching. Last year at Kalamazoo, I spoke to Reynolds, a former star at Vanderbilt, about his return to college tennis for this Tennis Recruiting Network article.

The singles finals are set at this week's Pro Circuit events.

At the $25,000 women's tournament in Baton Rouge, Jennifer Elie will take on Valeria Solovyeva of Russia.  Solovyeva, who reached the final last week in Sumter, received a special exemption into the main draw this week, and today defeated top seed Riko Sawayanagi of Japan 6-2, 6-3. Elie got by Raveena Kingsley 6-4, 6-2.

Lauren Herring and Ellen Perez, who had to qualify for the main draw, won the doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Jamie Loeb and Ingrid Neel 6-3, 6-3.  Herring, who graduated from Georgia in 2015, and Perez, a rising junior there, lost their only set of the tournament in that qualifying match.  It's Herring's first pro doubles title and Perez's second.

At the $25,000 Futures in Tulsa, TCU rising junior Cameron Norrie of Great Britain will face Ryan Haviland in Sunday's final.  Norrie defeated No. 3 seed Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 1-0 retired, while Haviland put an end to the run of Georgia rising junior Paul Oosterbaan 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

In the semifinals of the $10,000 Rochester Futures, Juan Benitez Chavarriaga of Colombia outlasted No. 7 seed Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5.  Benitez Chavarriaga will play No. 2 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan, who beat wild card Thai Kwiatkowski 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

The $25,000 Futures in British Columbia will feature top seed Jason Jung of Taiwan against No. 5 seed Peter Polansky in Sunday's final. Jung defeated No. 4 seed Finn Tearney of New Zealand 7-5, 6-1, while Polansky eliminated Ray Sarmiento 6-4, 6-4 in today's semifinals. Top seeds Polansky and Philip Bester won the doubles title last night, beating former Illinois teammates Tim Kopinski and Farris Gosea 7-6(2), 6-2.


AR Hacked Off said...

impressive result for 35 y.o. Haviland, always good to cheer for the old guy :)