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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Townsend Claims Title at Charleston $80K; McDonald Wins Challenger in Korea; Former Collegians Capture All Three ATP Doubles Titles This Week

Taylor Townsend has been at her best on the Har-Tru courts of the south throughout her pro career, and today she added another title at the $80,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Charleston South Carolina.  No. 2 seed Townsend, the 2012 ITF World Junior Champion, now 22 years old had already clinched the USTA's Roland Garros wild card with a title and a semifinal result, but she will end up lapping the field with another title in the four weeks of the race after beating top seed Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-4 in today's final.  The first few games featured long points and plenty of deuces, but Townsend seemed to win them all. The second set was closer, and Brengle was able to draw even after going down 4-1, but Townsend was less error-prone on the big points late in the set and she broke Brengle for the title.  Townsend will now move into the WTA Top 75 for the first time and should make the main draw of Wimbledon and the US Open without a wild card. For more on today's final, see this article from the Charleston's The Post and Courier.

In Savannah Georgia, Hugo Dellien of Bolivia won his second Challenger title in a three-week span, defeating Christian Harrison 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 at the $75,000 tournament. The No. 7 seed, who won the Sarasota Challenger last month, has moved his ATP ranking all the way up to 129 after his results in the past three weeks. Top seeds Luke Bambridge of Great Britain and Akira Santillan of Australia won the doubles title, beating No. 3 seeds Enrique Lopez Perez of Spain and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of India 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

With the completion of this week's two USTA Pro Circuit events, there's a break on the schedule, with no events at all for the next two weeks, with the women having two $25,000 tournaments later this month in Florida. The men have no more USTA Pro Circuit events on the schedule until the week of June 11th.

Mackenzie McDonald won his first Challenger title of the year and his second overall at the $100,000+H tournament in Seoul Korea.  The 23-year-old Californian, seeded No. 5, defeated No. 3 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final.  The former UCLA Bruin, the 2016 NCAA singles and doubles champion, will move to a career-high of 114 in the ATP rankings.

Frances Tiafoe fell in the final of the ATP Estoril Open today to Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-4

Former collegians have had notable success in doubles for many years, with the Bryan brothers leading the way for two decades.  Today former college players won all three doubles titles at the ATP 250 events.  In Estoril, Cameron Norrie, the former TCU star who left for the pro tour last year after his junior season, partnered with Kyle Edmund, also of Great Britain, to claim their first title. Norrie and Edmund defeated Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Artem Sitak of New Zealand 6-4, 6-2 in what was Norrie's first foray into ATP doubles competition.  For more on their unlikely title, see this article from the ATP website.

In Istanbul, former Virginia star Dom Inglot won his second consecutive title, after taking the championship with Franko Skugor of Croatia last week in Budapest.  This week, Inglot partnered with former Fresno State and Pepperdine star Robert Lindstedt of Sweden for another title, with the pair beating two more former collegians in Nick Monroe (North Carolina) and Ben McLachlan (Cal) of Japan, the top seeds. With the 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 victory, Lindstedt, now 41, has amassed 400 wins on the ATP tour. For more on that final, see this ATP article.

In Munich, Rajeev Ram(Illinois) and Ivan Dodig of Croatia won their first title as a team, with the No. 2 seeds defeating No. 3 seeds Nikola Mektic of Croatia and Alexander Peya of Austria 6-3, 7-5 in the final. Ram and Dodig have been playing together since the start of the year, but this was the first final for the pair, who have 25 ATP titles between them.  For more, see this ATP article.