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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wu Claims Shanghai Challenger; King Defeats Norrie for Cary Title; Anderson Earns Title in Redding; TCU's Gray Wins Newport; OU's Bakshi Captures Shootout at Napa

Wu speaking with press after winning the US Open boys title
Just one week after taking the singles and doubles titles at the US Open Junior Championships, 17-year-old Wu Yibing of China earned his first Challenger title in his first trip to a final, defeating top seed Rendy Lu of Taiwan 7-6(6) retired in the championship match at the $75,000 ATP Challenger in Shanghai. Wu, who will move to around 320 in the ATP rankings with the win, plays his first ATP 250 event week after next in Chengdu and will also receive a wild card into the main draw of the Masters event in Shanghai next month.  The ATP spoke with the ITF's top-ranked junior for this article after his title in Shanghai.

Closer to home, Kevin King won his first Challenger title today in Cary North Carolina, beating former TCU standout Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the $50,000+H event.  The 26-year-old former Georgia Tech All-American has now won ten straight matches in the past two weeks, having won the title at the $25,000 Futures in Toronto a week ago. King, who had hip surgery that kept him out of competition for most of 2016, will now reach a career-high in the ATP rankings of approximately 253, up from 434 at the start of the month.

Marcelo Arevalo(Tulsa) of El Salvador and Miguel Reyes Varela(Texas) of Mexico won their third straight Challenger doubles title, beating Mikelis Libietis(Tennessee) of Latvia and Dennis Novikov(UCLA) 6-7(6), 7-6(1), 10-7 in the final.

At the $15,000 Futures in Claremont California, qualifier Karue Sell of Brazil beat former UCLA teammate Martin Redlicki 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3 to win his first Pro Circuit singles title.  More on today's final from press aide Steve Pratt:

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 17, 2017) – Former UCLA star Karue Sell won his 13th consecutive match over 10 days in the city of Claremont on Sunday, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3, beating his one-time Bruin teammate Martin Redlicki in three sets in the final of the $15,000 USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures Claremont Club Pro Classic played at the Claremont Club.
Just like he did warming up with his doubles partner Deiton Baughman before he faced him in a Saturday semifinal, Sell warmed up against his final opponent and good friend Redlicki before the two squared off.

“He warmed me up for every dual match during my senior year,” said Sell, 23, who won his first Futures title. “It’s not like we’re going to learn something new in 20 minutes. It’s fine. It was a nice way to warm up.”

Starting with qualifying a week ago Friday, Sell won four qualifying singles matches, five main-draw singles matches and posted four main-draw doubles wins on his way to also winning the doubles crown with Baughman.

On his @KarueSell Twitter account on Saturday, Sell posted: “After 18,466 matches this week, finals tomorrow!”

“I’m actually feeling pretty good right now,” said Sell, who did have the benefit of a walkover in singles and a second-set retirement versus Baughman on Saturday as part of his 13 wins. “I thought I’d be more sore at this point.”

The Redondo Beach resident Sell did not receive a special exemption so will not play singles this coming week in Laguna Niguel, but will play doubles with Baughman. The following week he will play singles at the Fountain Valley Futures, and doubles with Redlicki.

Sell will cash a nice check worth $2,160 and Redlicki will deposit $1,272 for his runner-up appearance, although he can only claim expenses as he is still an amateur. Maybe more importantly for Sell is the 12 valuable ATP ranking points he receives. Before the tournament, Sell had just four total ATP points during his career.

The final was tight from the start, with both players holding their strong serves early. “It was a pretty close match, and I knew it would be decided on the big points,” Sell said.

It’s quite a start to pro tennis full-time to a player who spent the summer playing Men’s Open events, and last college season as the volunteer assistant at Pepperdine.

Another former UCLA star picked up a title Sunday in California, with the Bruins No. 1 Robin Anderson winning her first $25,000 level tournament in Redding. The unseeded 24-year-old defeated No. 6 seed Chanel Simmonds of South Africa 6-1, 6-4 in the final.

Former Florida State standout Daneika Borthwick, who is now a volunteer assistant at Wake Forest, won the doubles title. The 24-year-old from Great Britain and Ana Veselinovic of Montenegro beat No. 3 seeds Maria Sanchez and Great Britain's Harriet Dart 6-3, 6-4 in the final. 

At the $60,000 Las Vegas tournament, No. 7 seed Sesil Karatantcheva beat No. 8 seed Elitsa Kostova in an all-Bulgarian singles final 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Top seeds An Sophie Mestach of Belgium and Laura Robson of Great Britain won the doubles title, beating No. 3 seeds Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller 7-6(7), 7-6(2) in the final.

At the ITA's Hall of Fame Grass Court Invitational in Newport Rhode Island, the big prize, a main draw wild card into next year's ATP event, went to TCU freshman Alastair Gray.  Gray defeated teammate Alex Rybakov 6-3, 6-3 in the final, with Rybakov earning a qualifying wild card by reaching the final.  In the women's event, Florida's Anna Danilina won the top flight, beating North Carolina's Jessie Aney 6-7, 6-1, 10-7. The ITA's release on the final states that Danilina is not eligible for a USTA Pro Circuit wild card that was offered to the winner. Aney will receive a wild card into a $25,000 Pro Circuit qualifying draw.

The Audi Napa Valley event, which features round robin play including both Division I college players and USTA juniors, was completed today, with Oklahoma's Alexander Bakshi winning the shootout that decides the USTA Pro Circuit wild card recipient.  Bakshi defeated Texas A&M's Valentin Vacherot 10-7 in the final of the super tiebreaker format that makes up the shootout.  None of the USTA juniors advanced to the shootout from their round robin groups. Complete results are here.


Just sayin' said...

Colette, Kevin King's long time coach is based at the Cary facility where King won this week.