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Saturday, September 16, 2017

King, Norrie to Decide Cary Challenger Title; Wu Advances to Final in Shanghai Challenger; Redlicki Makes First Futures Final; Khan Wins ITF Grade 5 in Honduras

Kevin King won a Futures title last week in Canada and has now extended his winning streak to nine in reaching his first ATP Challenger final at the $50,000+Hospitality tournament in Cary North Carolina. The 26-year-old former Georgia Tech star, who used a protected ranking for entry this week, defeated No. 6 seed Noah Rubin 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, coming from a break down in the final set to earn the victory. King, who beat top seed Ernesto Escobedo in the second round, will face former TCU star Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in Sunday's final. Norrie, who would have been seeded in Cary based on his US Open results had it been one week later, defeated former Tulsa star Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvadore 6-0, 6-4.  Arevalo had won his first Challenger title last week in Bogota Colombia. Less than two months ago, Norrie, who beat No. 2 seed Tennys Sandgren in the second round, had an ATP ranking of 275. If he wins Sunday, he will be approaching 150 in the rankings.  Live streaming is available here for Sunday afternoon's final.

On the other side of the International Date Line, US Open boys champion Wu Yibing has reached his first Challenger final at the $75,000 tournament in Shanghai. Wu, who barely had a day to travel from New York to China, defeated Matthias Bachinger of Germany 7-5, 7-5 to advance to the championship match against Rendy Lu of Taiwan. Lu and Wu played last month in the semifinals of the Chengdu Challenger with the 34-year-old winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.  Wu has also received a wild card into the ATP 250 event in Chengdu week after next. 2010 NCAA champion Bradley Klahn has reached doubles final in Shanghai, with Canadian Peter Polansky.

Martin Redlicki watching brother Michael at 2017 ACI in New York
Another player making a first final appearance on Sunday is UCLA senior Martin Redlicki, who will face former teammate Karue Sell of Brazil in the final of the $15,000 Futures in Claremont California.  Sell already has one title, winning the doubles championship with Deiton Baughman.  For more on today's matches, see this recap from press aide Steve Pratt:

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 16, 2017) – UCLA senior Martin Redlicki beat a familiar face in former junior rival Henry Craig, 6-4, 6-2, on Saturday in the semifinals of the $15,000 USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures Claremont Club Pro Classic being played at the Claremont Club.

In the Sunday 10 a.m. final, Redlicki will meet an even more familiar foe when he plays his former Bruin teammate Karue Sell. The 2016 NCAA doubles champion with Mackenzie McDonald, Redlicki will be contesting his first Pro Circuit Futures final. Redlicki and Sell were teammates for two years during Redlicki’s freshman and sophomore years.

“I remember in last year’s semifinals I was up a set and 4-2 and had a break point, but ended up losing the match (to eventual winner Sebastian Fanselow),” Redlicki said. “I had the same exact thing happen today, but tried to get any negative thoughts about last year out of my head quickly.”

The 2015 ITA Rookie of the Year Redlicki also won the US Open junior doubles title in 2013. 

“I was able to minimize my mistakes today and played the big points well,” Redlicki said. “It’s great to have two Bruins in the final.”

Sell defeated an injured Deiton Baughman as the 2015 Claremont Club was forced to retire with Sell leading 7-5, 3-0, because of an elbow issue that has bothered him all week.

The final of the $25,000 Futures in Toronto was played today, with No. 4 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan defeating former Illinois star Dennis Nevolo, the No. 6 seed, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-1.  Former Texas A&M teammates Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant won the doubles title, beating Gary Kushnirovich and France's Yanais Laurent 6-3, 6-2 in a battle between unseeded teams.

At the WTA International tournament in Quebec, Australian Open girls doubles champions Bianca Andreescu and Carson Branstine have reached the final.  The 17-year-old wild cards defeated second seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals and Irina Falconi and Hungary's Fanny Stollar in the semifinals to advance to the championship match against top seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.

Zane Khan has been out with an injury since March (as has his brother Faris), but he won his first tournament back today at the ITF Grade 5 in Honduras. The 15-year-old, seeded No. 4, defeated the top seed in the semifinals and took out No. 3 seed Antonio March of Ecuador 6-2, 6-4 in the final to win his first ITF junior singles title. The Khan brothers also made the doubles final, but Faris was apparently injured in his semifinal match and they gave a walkover to their opponents. Jenna Dean won the girls doubles title, with Japan's Natsumi Kawaguchi. The top seeds defeated  Romary Cardenas Rifka and Ingrid Millan of Mexico, the No. 2 seeds, 6-3, 6-2 in the final. Kawaguchi, the top seed in singles, beat Dean, the No. 2 seed in singles, 6-0, 6-4 in that final.

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