Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lazaro, Borges Claim ITA National Fall Titles; Ahn, Smyczek Win, Take Australian Open Wild Card Lead; Sock Wins Paris Masters; Johnson, Navarro, Sieg Capture ITF Junior Titles

Top seed Nuno Borges of Mississippi State and unseeded Andrea Lazaro of Florida International won singles titles at the inaugural ITA National Fall Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden Sunday.

Borges, who received a wild card into the event, defeated No. 3 seed Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest 7-5, 6-3 and Lazaro, who received her entry based on her semifinal showing at last month's All-American Championships, came back to defeat No. 11 seed Samantha Harris of Duke 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Borges was having much less difficulty holding serve in the first set, and although Chrysochos saved two set points serving at 4-5, Borges got three more opportunities at 5-6, and converted the second.  Borges, a junior from Portugal, won a deciding point on serve to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, got the only break he needed to go up 3-1 and managed to keep it, serving for the match at 5-3.  He had to save two break points in that game, but he hit a good first serve on the deciding point to win the first ITA national title since Thomas Dupre won the All-American title back in 1996.

Harris served for the first set at 5-3, was broken at love, but managed to break Lazaro for the set.  Lazaro began to find her range in the second set, and after an early exchange of breaks, it was Lazaro who captured the big points, and she closed out the set with a break.

The third set was similar to the second, with Lazaro getting the first break, giving it back, but breaking again. Lazaro, a senior from Spain, won a deciding point serving at 4-2 to keep her one break lead and broke Harris to claim the title, the first ITA title for a Florida International player.

Chrysochos had another opportunity for a title on Sunday and he converted it, winning the men's doubles title with Skander Mansouri. The unseeded pair, who were playing together for the first time, defeated No. 8 seeds Rodrigo Banzer and Leonardo Telles of Texas 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

The women's doubles champions were also unseeded, with Stanford's  Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon beating Alexa Bortles and Arianne Hartono of Ole MIss 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

Anna Danilina of Florida, the No. 1 seed, won the women's consolation tournament for those losing in the first round.  Danilina defeated Anna Bright of Cal 5-7, 7-6(3), 7-5 in today's final.  Alex Knight of Michigan won the men's consolation title, beating Giovanni Oradini of Mississippi State 6-4, 6-2.

The ITA recap of today's finals is here.

Kristie Ahn won the biggest title of her career today at the $80,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Tyler Texas.  The former Stanford star defeated Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-4 to take the lead in the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge.  Ahn may not need the wild card however. The 25-year-old from New Jersey is now up to a new career high of 106 in the rankings with this title, close to the usual cutoff for the main draw. The final tournament in the women's wild card race is in Waco Texas this coming week. For more on today's final, see this article from the tournament.

Unseeded Tim Smyczek won his first Challenger title since 2015 today in Charlottesville, beating top seed Tennys Sandgren 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the $75,000 event. Smyczek takes the lead in the men's Australian Open wild card race, with two weeks left.

DJ Thomas and Denis Kudla won the doubles title in the worst possible way.  Mikelis Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin were leading Thomas and Kudla 7-6(4), 4-1 when Libietis tore his Achilles tendon, a serious injury that resulted in his being carried off the court after a long delay. The former Tennessee star and 2014 NCAA doubles champion is looking at a very long recovery.

At the $15,000 Futures in Birmingham Alabama, former South Florida All-American Roberto Cid won his first title since January.  The 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic, seeded No. 8, defeated No. 3 seed Fabrizio Ornago of Italy 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the final.  Raleigh Smith and Wil Spencer won the doubles title, with the unseeded pair defeating top seeds Nick Chappell and Boris Arias 6-2, 7-6(3).

Jack Sock won the ATP Paris Masters, beating qualifier Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 in today's final.  With the title, Sock qualified for the World Tour Finals in London, moved into the Top 10 for the first time, and will end the year as the top-ranked American, ending John Isner's run.  He is also the first American to win a Masters title since Andy Roddick won Miami in 2010. For more on Sock's title, see this article from the ATP website.

Emma Navarro and JanMagnus Johnson won singles titles at the ITF Grade 4 in South Carolina, with Navarro also capturing the doubles title.  The 17-year-old Johnson, seeded No. 11, defeated No. 13 seed Yeudy Villar of the Dominican Republic 6-2, 6-2 in the final.  It's the second ITF title for Johnson.  Navarro, the No. 8 seed, defeated No. 5 seed Kylie Collins 6-0, 6-1 in the final.  The 16-year-old Easter Bowl 16s champion, who has verbally committed to Duke, had won ITF doubles titles before, but this is her first title in singles.  Top seeds in doubles, Navarro and Chloe Beck beat Collins and Sophia Patel 6-4, 6-4, the fourth ITF doubles title for South Carolina residents Navarro and Beck.  The boys doubles title went to No. 8 seeds Maxwell Giddens and Julian Steinhausen, who beat Brandon and Nicholas McKinney 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

At the ITF Grade 5 in the Cayman Islands, 14-year-old Madison Sieg won her first ITF title, in her first ITF tournament.  Obviously unseeded in her debut, Sieg defeated unseeded Catherine Aulia 6-1, 6-2 in the final.  In the boys final, Keshav Chopra[9], lost to No. 3 seed Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

At the ITF Grade 5 in Canada, Bill Duo won the doubles title, and reached the finals in singles. Duo, who has committed to Princeton for 2018, partnered with Andrew Rezaev of Canada to take the doubles championship, with the unseeded pair beating No. 2 seeds Razvan Baiant and Nick Lagaev of Canada 6-2, 7-5 in the final. Duo, seeded No. 8, lost to the unseeded Lagaev in the singles final 7-6(3), 7-6(6).
Haley Giavara partnered with Jada Bui of Canada to take the girls doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds beating unseeded Alisia Manolescu and Corina Spasojevic of Canada 6-3, 6-1 in the final.