Saturday, February 4, 2017

Osuigwe Wins Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl Title; Day and Dolehide Reach Midland $100K Doubles Final; Muhammad Takes $60K Title; US Advances Past Switzerland in Davis Cup

Unseeded 14-year-old Whitney Osuigwe won her first Grade 1 title today at the Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay.  The Bradenton Florida resident defeated unseeded Draginja Vukovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-2 in the championship match. Osuigwe, who reached the semifinals at the Orange Bowl with a win over recent Australian Open girls champion Marta Kostyuk, lost only one set in her five victories this week.  Next up for Osuigwe is the ITF Grade 1 Banana Bowl in Brazil, where qualifying has begun.

The boys title, his second of the week, went to No. 5 seed Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine of France, who defeated unseeded wild card Thiago Tirante of Argentina 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.

The finals are set at the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland, with the past two champions advancing to the championship match.  2016 champion Naomi Broady of Great Britain, the No. 3 seed, ended the run of 18-year-old qualifier Katherine Sebov 6-4, 6-3 and 2015 champion Tatjana Maria of Germany, the No. 5 seed, took out the last American in the draw, No. 8 seed Julia Boserup, 6-1, 6-4.

For the second year in a row, an unseeded wild card team of teenagers has made the doubles final, with Kayla Day and Caroline Dolehide one step from equaling the impressive run by Ingrid Neel and CiCi Bellis last year.  Day and Dolehide came up huge on the deciding points in their semifinal match with Alexandra Mueller and Sophie Chang today, winning seven of eight games that way in their 6-2, 3-6, 10-2 victory. As the third set score indicates, Day and Dolehide, the US Open girls doubles finalists, dominated the tiebreaker, taking a 6-0 lead and closing it out without drama.  Day and Dolehide will play No. 2 seeds Ashley Weinhold and Caitlin Whoriskey, who defeated No. 3 seeds Broady and Irina Falconi 7-5, 6-3.

At the $60,000 ITF Women's Pro Circuit event in Burnie Australia, Asia Muhammad won the fourth title of her career, with the No. 4 seed beating No. 8 seed Arina Rodionova of Australia 6-2, 6-1 in the final. The 25-year-old from Las Vegas, who is in the WTA Top 50 in doubles, will move to a career high in singles, around 138, with the title.

At the $15,000 Futures in Palm Coast Florida, top seed Tommy Paul will face unseeded Renta Tokuda of Japan in Sunday's final.  Paul defeated unseeded Facundo Arguello of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 and the 18-year-old Tokuda got by Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-4, 7-6(3).

In Dallas, top seed Ryan Harrison and No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz will play later tonight in the final of the $125,000 ATP Challenger.  Fritz managed to squeeze by No. 6 seed Denis Kudla  6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) after going down a break in the third, but he finished after 11:30 p.m., while Harrison had a routine two-set win over Tatsuma Ito of Japan much earlier in the day.

The United States swept Switzerland in singles on Friday and won the doubles point on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup.  Jack Sock defeated Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to open Friday's singles and John Isner made it 2-0 with a  4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1) win over Henri Laaksonen. Olympic bronze medalists Sock and Steve Johnson closed out the Swiss with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Laaksonen and Adrien Bossel in Saturday's doubles.   The United States will face Australia in Australia in April's quarterfinal round. Australia also won the first three matches against the Czech Republic to advance.