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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wolf Wins First Futures Title; Townsend Claims Second Straight Sweep in Florence; Kozlov is Champion at Las Vegas Challenger; Americans Sweep Titles in Bermuda Grade 5

Ohio State sophomore JJ Wolf may have missed his opportunity for the ITA Midwest Regional Championships this weekend, but the 2017 Kalamazoo 18s finalist more than made up for it by winning his first USTA Pro Circuit title at the $25,000 Futures in Harlingen Texas.  For the second consecutive day, the 18-year-old from Cincinnati dropped the first set, but fought back, with the wild card defeating qualifier Evan Zhu, a 19-year-old UCLA sophomore, 6-7(1), 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

Unseeded twins Hunter and Yates Johnson(SMU) won the doubles title in Harlingen, beating former Texas A&M teammates Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, the No. 3 seeds, 7-6(2), 6-3. It's the fourth Pro Circuit title for the 23-year-old Johnsons together. Yates has a fifth title, with Adams as his partner.

For the second straight week, Taylor Townsend swept the titles at a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in South Carolina. A week after taking the singles and doubles titles at the Sumter tournament, top seed Townsend won her fourth title in eight days in the singles final at Florence, beating No. 8 seed Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium 6-1, 7-5.  Townsend won the doubles title with Maria Sanchez yesterday.

Another Kalamazoo 18s finalist won a title today, with 2015 runner-up Stefan Kozlov taking his second ATP Challenger title at the $50,000 event in Las Vegas.  The 19-year-old fourth seed defeated unseeded Liam Broady of Great Britain 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, despite failing to convert two match points serving for it at 5-3 40-15 in the third set.

Top seeds Brydan Klein and Joe Salisbury(Memphis) of Great Britain won the doubles title in Las Vegas, beating No. 3 seeds Hans Hach Verdugo(Abilene Christian) of Mexico and Dennis Novikov(UCLA) 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.

For more on Kozlov's win in the final, see this article from tournament press aide Steve Pratt.

At the 43,000 ATP Challenger in his home country of Germany, former USC star Yannick Hanfmann won his first title at that level, with the No. 3 seed beating unseeded Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the final.  Hanfmann will move to an ATP career high of 114 with the title.

The ITF Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup in Japan is complete, with top seed Whitney Osuigwe falling to No. 2 seed Xin Yu Wang of China 6-4, 6-4 in the final.  Top boys seed Yuta Shimizu of Japan won the boys title, beating No. 2 seed Timofey Skatov of Russia 6-3, 7-6(5).  I believe the boys doubles title went to No. 8 seeds Admir Kalender of Croatia and Valentin Royer of France, who beat No. 3 seeds Jaimee Angele of France and Nicolas Mejia of Colombia 7-6(4), 4-6, 10-4.  That result is not entirely clear, with the ITF recap of the final day giving Angele and Mejia as the champions.

Americans swept the titles at the ITF Grade 5 in Bermuda this week, with 15-year-old Andrew Dale claiming his second singles title in two weeks. Dale, who opted for Grade 5s in the Dominican Republic and Bermuda instead of playing the Grade B1 in Tulsa, has earned 60 points from singles titles these past two weeks; he would have needed to reach the quarterfinals of the Pan American Closed to earn that amount in that tournament.  Dale, the No. 5 seed, lost his first set in his winning streak in the final, beating No. 1 seed Alexander Kiefer 6-3, 6-7(0), 6-3 in the all-American final.

Marcella Cruz won the girls title, with the No. 4 seed needing to win just four matches, with only 13 girls in the main draw (Dale also won just four matches, due to a bye). The 17-year-old won her first ITF singles title with a 7-5, 6-2 decision over No. 2 seed Annali Olivelle of Great Britain.

Cruz also won the doubles title, with Nicole Hammond, needing just two win for that championship.  The top seeds beat No. 2 seeds Olivell and Charlotte Russell of Great Britain 6-2, 6-3 in the final.

The boys title went to top seeds Kiefer and Jeffrey Fradkin, who beat No. 3 seeds Dale and Benjamin Kittay 6-3, 6-4 in the final.