Neel, Sandgren Earn Pro Circuit Titles; Shi Claims First ITF Title at El Salvador Grade 4; Vandeweghe Wins WTA Ricoh Open
Ingrid Neel won her second $10,000 Pro Circuit singles title today in Bethany Beach Delaware, defeating Alexandra Mueller 6-3, 6-3 in a final between unseeded players. Neel, who turns 18 on Thursday, had previously won a $10,000 title back in September of 2014. The Florida recruit has five doubles titles on the Pro Circuit, including three this year. Last year I spoke with Neel about her decision to play at Florida for the Tennis Recruiting Network.
In addition to Neel, it was a productive week for many women aged 18 and under, with titles by 17-year-old Anna Kalinskaya of Russia at the $25,000 tournament in Belarus, 18-year-old Shilin Xu of China at the $25,000 tournament in Italy, 18-year-old Jia-Qi Kang of China at the $10,000 tournament in China, 18-year-old Jaqueline Cristian of Romania at the $10,000 tournament in Egypt, and 17-year-old Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic at the $10,000 tournament in Poland.
The Women's Pro Circuit tournament in the US this week is a $25,000 event in Sumter, South Carolina, where qualifying began today. Many current and just graduated collegiate players have moved into the second round of qualifying.
At the $25,000 Futures in Charlottesville Virginia, No. 4 seed Tennys Sandgren defended his title, defeating unseeded Dennis Nevolo 6-3, 6-3. Sandgren's title last year in Charlottesville was his most recent on the Pro Circuit, although he had reached two finals since then.
On the ITF Junior Circuit, qualifier Ashley Lahey ended an impressive week at the Grade 1 in Germany with a 6-0, 5-7, 7-5 loss to top seed and French Open girls champion Rebeka Masarova of Switzerland. Unseeded 15-year-old Rudolf Molleker of Germany won his first Grade 1 title in the boys final, defeating No. 4 seed Marvin Moeller 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Sixteen-year-old Brian Shi won his first ITF title at the Grade 4 in El Salvador. Rain appears to have been a problem throughout the tournament, with no doubles played, and No. 3 seed Shi taking the final over top seed Juan Hernandez Serrano of Mexico 6-7(2), 6-3, 10-7. Shi had reached the final in El Salvador last year and the semifinals there the year before that.
The International Grass Court Championships, a Grade 4 in Philadelphia, get underway Monday. Andrew Fenty and Jessica Livianu are the top seeds.
Rain all over Europe made for a difficult Sunday, leaving both men's ATP tournaments unfinished. The WTA did manage to get both their finals completed, with CoCo Vandeweghe claiming the title at S'hertogenbosch Netherlands with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kristina Mladenovic of France. Vandeweghe also won the title at the tournament in 2014. Alison Riske fell 7-6(8), 7-5 to top seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the WTA Nottingham final.
Qualifying at the ATP 500 Queen's Club in London was not finished, but the final round qualifying match between Donald Young and Frances Tiafoe was, with Young earning a 6-3, 6-3 victory and a place in the main draw.