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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lahey Advances to Grade 1 Final in Germany; Neel Aims for Second $10K Title; Nevolo, Sandgren Meet in Charlottesville Futures Final

Ashley Lahey won her sixth match of the tournament today at the ITF Grade 1 in Offenbach, Germany, beating No. 8 seed Lara Salden of Belgium 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Lahey, who won one match to qualify and who has beaten three seeds in the main draw, has been taken to three sets three times, and her second round win was via a third set tiebreaker. The 16-year-old Californian, who has committed to Pepperdine, gets the opportunity to play top seed and French Open girls champion Rebeka Masarova of Switzerland in Sunday's final.  Masarova, the rare junior slam champion to play the following week, also needed a third-set tiebreaker to win a match this week in Germany, when she defeated No. 6 seed Mira Antonitsch of Austria in the quarterfinals.

The boys finals will feature unseeded Rudolf Molleker against No. 4 seed Marvin Moeller, a quarterfinalist last week at Roland Garros. Moeller beat top seed Genaro Olivieri of Argentina 6-4, 6-2, while Molleker advanced over No. 3 seed Alexei Popyrin of Australia 6-3, 6-4.

In the boys doubles final, unseeded Jesper Freimuth and Valentin Guenther of Germany defeated No. 5 seeds Sebastian Baez and Olivieri of Argentina 6-3, 6-2.  An unseeded German team also won the girls doubles championship, with Shaline-Doreen Pipa and Anastazia Rosnowska defeating No. 2 seed Antonitsch and Johana Markova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-0.

Seventeen-year-old Ingrid Neel reached the final of the Bethany Beach $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Ashley Kratzer, also 17.  Neel, a Florida recruit, had not lost a set in her previous three matches. On Sunday, she will face Alexandra Mueller, who ended the run of 15-year-old qualifier Abigail Desiatnikov, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.  Neel will be seeking her second $10,000-level singles title, having won her first in 2014. The 28-year-old Mueller already has collected one title this week, partnering Sophie Chang. The No. 2 seeds defeated unseeded Veronica Miroshnichenko of Russia and Sofia Sewing 6-1, 6-4 in today's final.

Sunday's final at the $25,000 Futures in Charlottesville Virginia will feature two former collegiate All-Americans.  Unseeded Dennis Nevolo of Illinois, will face No. 4 seed Tennys Sandgren of Tennessee.  Nevolo ousted top seed Darian King of Barbados 6-4, 7-5 to reach his first Futures final since September of 2014. Nevolo has had three previous semifinal appearances in Futures this year.  Sandgren, who defeated wild card Thai Kwiatkowski 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals, has two semifinals and a final in Futures this year, but is looking for his first singles title since this same tournament a year ago.

Kwiatkowski may have not made his first Futures singles final, but he did collect his first title on the Pro Circuit, partnering Virginia teammate Mac Styslinger to take the doubles championship.  The unseeded pair defeated Greg Jones of Australia and Rubin Statham of New Zealand 6-4, 6-1 in today's final.  Kwiatkowski and Styslinger did not drop a set in their four victories.

There are two men's Futures events next week on the USTA Pro Circuit: a $10,000 event in Buffalo, and a $25,000 event in Winston-Salem, as part of the USTA Collegiate Futures series.

Frances Tiafoe advanced to the final round of qualifying for the ATP 500 at Queen's Club by defeating No. 4 seed John Millman of Australia 6-4, 6-3. Millman, ranked 66th, is the highest-ranked player Tiafoe has beaten in his short pro career.  His opponent in the final round of qualifying is Donald Young, whom Tiafoe beat in three sets in April at the Tallahassee Challenger.

CoCo Vandeweghe and Alison Riske have both reached WTA finals, in s'Hertogenbosch and Nottingham respectively. Vandeweghe, the 2014 champion, beat Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-2 to reach the final, where she will play Kristina Mladenovic of France; Riske will face top seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic after two victories on Saturday, over Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and Saisai Zheng of China.