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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Two All-Collegiate USTA Pro Circuit Finals Set; Flores Ousts Top Seed to Reach Grade 1 Final in Germany; Beck, Baird Claim ITF Grade 4 Grass Court Titles; Han, Madurawe Win Grade 4s in Guatemala

Four of the six finalists in the three USTA Pro Circuit championship matches Sunday are current college players: Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine sophomore), Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State junior), Alex Rybakov(TCU junior) and Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech senior).

Wild card Lahey and No. 4 seed Di Lorenzo advanced to the final of the $25,000 tournament in Sumter South Carolina, with Di Lorenzo beating No. 6 seed Robin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 and Lahey saving a match point in her 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) win over No. 7 seed Connie Hsu of Taiwan.  Lahey needed three hours and 5 minutes to advance today, after being on court for three hours and 26 minutes in her semifinal win over Julia Elbaba, so that could be a factor in tomorrow's final, which is a career-first for Lahey.  Di Lorenzo won a $25,000 tournament last summer.

The doubles title went to former USC teammates Kaitlyn Christian and Mexico's Giuilana Olmos who beat Australian Ellen Perez(Georgia) and Brazilian Luisa Stefani(Pepperdine) 6-3, 2-6, 10-7 in the final. Both teams were unseeded.

Rybakov advanced to his third Futures final and first since 2015 with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over No. 3 seed Dennis Nevolo at the $15,000 tournament in Buffalo.  Rybakov will face fellow 20-year-old Naoki Nakagawa of Japan, the No. 4 seed, who beat No. 2 seed Kaichi Uchida, also of Japan, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.  Rybakov is looking for his first Futures title, while Nakagawa is aiming for his second, but first since 2013.

The singles final at the $25,000 Futures in Winston-Salem North Carolina will be an all-Georgia Tech affair. Eubanks will take on Kevin King, a former Yellow Jacket All-American who served as volunteer assistant the past two years while recovering from hip surgeries. Eubanks defeated Andrew Harris of Australia 6-3, 6-2 in today's semifinals, while King downed No. 8 seed Wil Spencer 6-2, 6-4. Eubanks is seeking his first pro title, while King has four Futures titles, the most recent last month in Mexico.

Recent Virginia graduate JC Aragone will play for his first title on the Pro Circuit tomorrow at the $15,000 Futures in Spain. The unseeded Aragone, who turns 22 next week, defeated unseeded Lucas Ruepke of Germany 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to advance against No. 8 seed Carlos Gomez-Herrera of Spain.  Gomez-Herrera defeated Andres Artunedo Martinavarr of Spain 6-4, 6-3.  Evan King(Michigan) and Robert Galloway(Wofford) took the doubles title, beating Aragone and Daniel Nolan of Australia 6-4, 6-4 in the final between two unseeded teams.

Victoria Flores[10] ousted top seed Xin Yu Wang of China 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 today at the ITF tournament in Offenbach Germany to reach her first Grade 1 final. She will face 14-year-old Qinwen Zheng of China, the No. 15 seed, for the title.  Flores, who has committed to Georgia Tech for this fall, has already claimed the doubles title. She and Thaisa Pedretti of Brazil, seeded No. 3, beat No. 7 seeds Hurricane Tyra Black and Ukraine's Viktoriya Petrenko 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

The boys singles final will feature top seed Rudolf Molleker against fellow German Marvin Moeller, the No. 7 seed.  Moeller has one win against Molleker in the bank this week, with he and partner Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine of France beating Molleker and Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the boys doubles final.

The ITF Grade 4 International Grass Court Championships were completed Friday in Philadelphia, with Drew Baird and Chloe Beck earning three of the four titles.  The 16-year-old Baird, seeded fifth, defeated top seed Kirac Bekisoglu of Turkey 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 to earn his first ITF junior singles title.

Beck, the No. 3 seed, also took out the top seed, beating Alana Smith 7-6(4), 6-3 in the final.  It's the third Grade 4 title for the 15-year-old Beck, who also claimed the doubles crown in Philadelphia.  No. 3 seeds Beck and Emma Navarro defeated top seeds Smith and Malkia Menguene 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the final.

Baird fell just short of the sweep, as he and Tyler Zink, the No. 1 seeds, lost to No. 4 seeds Jeffrey Fradkin and Eliot Spizzirri 4-6, 7-6(6), 10-8 in the boys doubles final.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Guatemala, 16-year-old Nathan Han swept the titles, winning his first ITF junior singles title with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) decision over qualifier Antonio March of Ecuador and partnering with Pierce Rollins for the doubles title.  Unseeded 17-year-old Niluka Madurawe won her third ITF singles title, all this year, beating No. 6 seed Charlotte Chavatipon of Guam 6-3, 6-1 in the final.  No. 2 seeds Kacie Harvey and Peru's Kianah Motosono won the girls doubles, beating Madurawe and Luba Vasilyuk 2-6, 6-0, 12-10 in the final.