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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Min and Riske Claim Pro Circuit Titles; Khan, Benabraham Sweep ITF Junior Events in El Salvador and Ecuador; Stotland Named Women's Head Coach at Arizona

Grace Min returned to the United States after qualifying for the French Open and losing to Camila Giorgi of Italy in the first round. Today she won her first title of the year at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Bethany Beach Delaware.  Min, the No. 1 seed, defeated one of the top American clay court players, Katerina Stewart, seeded No. 3, 6-4, 6-2. There were seven breaks of serve in the first set's ten games, but Min managed to hold twice to take it. The 24-year-old from Georgia ran out to a 5-1 lead in the second set, and although she couldn't serve it out, she broke the 20-year-old from Florida for the seventh time to get the win. 

The doubles title went to unseeded wild cards Robin Anderson and Maegan Manasse, who defeated No. 2 seeds Quinn Gleason and Sanaz Marand  2-6, 7-6(6), 10-3 in the all-USA final. It's Anderson's third and Manasse's second career doubles title on the Pro Circuit, and their first as a team.

Alison Riske won her first title since 2016 today in England, with the No. 2 seed defeating unseeded Conny Perrin of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4 in the final at the $100,000 ITF Women's Circuit tournament in Surbiton.  Riske, who has always had good results on grass, did not drop a set this week.

In addition to the success this weekend in Paris for the US girls, two other young Americans swept titles at less glamorous tournaments on this side of the Atlantic.  Sixteen-year-old Zane Khan won both singles and doubles at the ITF Grade 4 in El Salvador, and 14-year-old Daniella Benabraham won both draws at the Grade 5 in Ecuador

The top-seeded Khan, who must have entered late, because he came through qualifying, won his third ITF Junior Circuit singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 2 seed Niroop Vallabhaneni.  Khan and Vallabhaneni, the top seeds, won the doubles title with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 3 seeds Rafael De Alva Valdez of Mexico and Juan Dominguez Collado of Guatemala.  Dakota Fordham won the girls doubles title with Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico, with the No. 1 seeds defeating No. 4 seeds Remika Ohashi of Japan and Mell Reasco Gonzalez of Ecuador 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

Benabraham, playing in just her third ITF Junior Circuit tournament and the first outside the United States, was unseeded in Ecuador, but she didn't lose more than three games in any set in her five victories. The New Yorker, who won the 16s USTA Level 2 in Grand Rapids I covered last month, defeated No. 3 seed Ana Jimenez Coello of Ecuador 6-2, 6-3 in the final.  Benabraham also won her first Junior Circuit doubles title, partnering with Petra Miszczak of Canada. They defeated another unseeded team, Brazil's Ana Candiotto and Juliana Munhoz, 7-6(4), 6-0 in the final.

The University of Arizona filled its women's head coaching vacancy with Ryan Stotland named to the position last night. Stotland was an assistant at Arizona from 2008-2012 under Vicky Maes, who left the program after going 0-10 in Pac-12 play this season.  Stotland returns to Tucson after six seasons as head women's coach at Fresno State.  For more on his hiring, see this article.