Sponsored by IMG Academy

Saturday, June 30, 2018

My Midwest Closed Recap; Yarlagadda Wins ITF Grade 4 Intl Grass Courts; 20 Americans Begin Play at Roehampton Grade 1 Sunday; Riffice, Aragone Reach $25K Futures Finals

I spent two days this week at the 18s and 16s Midwest Closed in Indianapolis, one of the biggest tournaments of the year in the USTA section where I live. Two Michigan boys--Andrew Zhang and 14-year-old Ozan Colak--took the titles, with Chicago's Kiley Rabjohns and Indianapolis's Ellie Pittman claiming the girls singles titles.  My coverage of the finals is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network. The 12s and 14s divisions of the Midwest Closed are played in the Lansing Michigan area. The results of the singles finals are below, with the complete draws available at the TennisLink site.

B14s: Mert Oral[4] d. James Albarracin[3] 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(2)
B12s: Dylan Long[1] d. Andrew Spurck[2] 7-5, 6-2
G14s: Olivia Sears[7] d. Thea Latak[16] 6-3, 6-0
G12s: Amara Brahmbhatt[3] d. Kavitha Gowda[10] 6-2, 7-5

The singles finals of the ITF Grade 4 International Grass Courts were played today at the Merion Cricket Club in Philadelphia, with Anika Yarlagadda and Romania's  Sebastian Gima winning the titles. The third-seeded Yarlagadda, a rising senior who committed to North Carolina earlier this year, defeated No. 4 seed Nicole Hammond 7-6(10), 7-5 for her second ITF singles title, with the previous one coming in April. Gima, the No. 2 seed, defeated unseeded Joshua Lapadat of Canada 7-6(5), 6-3.  The 16-year-old Gima has now won four ITF tournaments this month, two Grade 5s and two Grade 4s, with the three previous on European clay.

Adam Neff and Eliot Spizzirri, the No. 3 seeds, won the boys doubles title, beating unseeded Jeremie Casabon and Jeffrey Fradkin 6-3, 6-1 in the final. No. 2 seeds Kailey Evans and Robin Montgomery won the girls doubles title, beating Isabella Barrera Aguirre and Italy's Rachele Rimondini 6-4, 3-6, 10-5 in the final.

At the Grade 2 this week in Germany, unseeded Ronan Jachuck reached the singles final, falling to unseeded Cezar Cretu of Romania 6-3, 6-1 in the championship match.  Will Grant and Nathan Han, the No. 3 seeds, lost in the doubles final to unseeded Fynn Kuenkler and Justin Schlageter of Germany 3-6, 6-0, 10-8.

Another Grade 2, this one in the Czech Republic, saw Tomas Kopczynski and Mark Mandlik, the No. 4 seeds, reach the doubles final. They lost to No. 3 seeds Nicholas David Ionel of Romania and Lilian Marmousez of France 2-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the championship match.

Mandlik's sister Elli, who had played both Grade 1s in Germany the last two weeks, making a final and a semifinal, moved up to the Pro Circuit this week. She reached the semifinals of the $15,000 tournament in Romania before falling 6-1, 6-2 to No. 2 seed Miriam Bulgaru of Romania today.

The ITF Grade 5 in Cuba produced three US championships. Sara Seivane Torres won the singles and doubles titles and Preston Brown won the boys doubles title.  Brown and Toi Kobayashi of Japan, the No. 1 seeds, defeated the Mexican team of Rodrigo Mendoza Valverde and Santiago Perez Casamayor 6-3, 6-0 in the final.  No. 3 seed Sara Seivane Torres, 15, won her first ITF singles title with a 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 5 seed Kristen Borland of Canada in the final. In the doubles, Seivane Torres and Fatima Gutierrez Martinez of Mexico, who were unseeded, beat No. 4 seeds Borland and Sofia Kostirko of Canada 6-7(4), 7-6(7), 11-9 for the title.

Results from the Grade 4 this week in Aruba have yet to be posted, but Americans are in all four finals.

The draws are out for the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, with 11 US girls and nine US boys warming up for Wimbledon in this week's only other major grass court event.  Govind Nanda qualified, joining Trey Hilderbrand, Tristan Boyer[10], Drew Baird[13], Emilio Nava, Brandon Nakashima, Tyler Zink, Cannon Kingsley and Sebastian Korda[2]. Korda, the Australian Open boys champion, is seeded behind Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan, the French Open boys champion. Three of the last five girls slam winners are in the draw: 2017 French Open champion Whitney Osuigwe, the top seed, No. 2 seed En Shuo Liang of Taiwan, the 2018 Australian Open champion and No. 3 seed Coco Gauff, the 2018 French Open champion.  Other US girls in the draw are: Natasha Subhash, Dalayna Hewitt, Gabby Price, Katie Volynets, Caty McNally[12], Peyton Stearns, Alexa Noel[5], Lea Ma and Hurricane Tyra Black.  All first round matches are scheduled for Sunday.

Nineteen-year-old Sam Riffice has reached his third career Futures final and his first at the $25,000 level with a 6-0, 6-3 win today in Tulsa over Emil Reinberg. Riffice will face No. 7 seed Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland, who won his fourth straight three-setter against an American opponent when he beat Martin Redlicki(UCLA) 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. Reinberg did pick up a victory today, with the Georgia rising senior winning the doubles title.  Reinberg and Sasha Gozun(South Florida) beat Trevor Johnson(TCU) and Alexander Cozbinov(UNLV) of Moldova 7-6(6), 6-3 in the final between unseeded teams.

At the $25,000 Futures in British Columbia, top seed JC Aragone(Virginia) came up with 12 aces to defeat UNC rising sophomore Benjamin Sigouin of Canada 6-1, 6-7(1), 6-4 to reach the final, his fourth in Futures competition. He will play 19-year-old North Carolina State rising junior Alexis Galarneau, a wild card, who advanced to his first Futures final when No. 2 seed Steven Diez of Canada retired in the third set, trailing 2-6, 6-2, 2-0.

Aragone's former Virginia teammate Thai Kwiatkowski won the doubles title last night, partnering with North Florida's Julian Bradley of Ireland. The No. 2 seeds defeated unseeded Charlie Emhardt(Valpariso) and Sam Shropshire(Northwestern) 7-6(5), 7-5 in the final.