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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Qualifier Whittle of Gonzaga Wins ITA All-American Title; Borges, Wolf Reach Mens A-A Final; Youth Olympic Games Underway; Rizzolo, Kuzuhara Claim ITF G5 Titles; Pan American Closed Begins Monday

Qualifier Sophie Whittle of Gonzaga is the 2018 ITA Women's All-American champion after she defeated Duke freshman Maria Mateas 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 today at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Steve Pratt has all the details of Whittle's improbable run to the title in this article for the ITA website.

The women's doubles title went to unseeded Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch of Kansas, who beat Kimberly Yee and Caroline Lampl of Stanford, also unseeded, 6-3, 6-2 in today's final.

Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami, who was the No. 2 seed in the tournament, won the consolation draw for those who lost in the first round. She defeated Wisconsin's Sara Castellano 6-4, 6-1.

The singles and doubles finals of the ITA Men's All-American Championships will be Monday, with top seed Nuno Borges of Mississippi State taking on JJ Wolf of Ohio State for the singles title. Borges saved two match points in his 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(4) semifinal win over unseeded Alex Brown of Illinois. Wolf, a 9-16 seed, defeated unseeded Emil Reinberg of Georgia 6-0, 7-6(5) in the other semifinal. Matches the past two days have been played indoors due to rain in Tulsa.

The doubles final will feature the Ohio State team of Kyle Seelig and Alex Kobelt, who got into the draw as lucky losers after falling in qualifying. They will face Baylor's Jimmy Bendeck and Sven Lah, who got into the main draw through qualifying.

John McNally of Ohio State and Christian Sigsgaard of Texas are in the men's consolation final. The ITA recap of today's action in Tulsa is here.

The ITF Youth Olympic Games got underway today in Buenos Aires with the boys singles first round and the girls doubles first round.  The American boys went 1-1, with Drew Baird winning over Patrick Sydow of Aruba 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 but Tristan Boyer losing to Yanki Erel of Turkey 6-3, 7-6(9).  Top seed Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan and No. 2 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina won in straight sets.

In girls doubles, the two American girls in the tournament, Alexa Noel and Lea Ma, lost their first round match to Selma Cadar of Romania and Lulu Sun of Switzerland 6-4, 6-1.

The girls singles, which begins Monday, boasts three of the past four junior slam champion, with Xiyu Wang of China (US Open), En Shuo Liang of Taiwan (Australia Open) and Iga Swiatek of Poland (Wimbledon) in the field, along with Kaja Juvan of Slovenia, who has a WTA ranking of 197. Swiatek(179) and Wang(182) also have Top 200 WTA rankings.

The draws and order of play are available at the ITF Youth Olympics website.

The singles finals were played at the USTA Pro Circuit events today, with former Texas Tech star Gabriela Talaba winning the $25,000 tournament in Charleston South Carolina. The Romanian defeated No. 4 seed Ellie Halbauer 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 in just under three hours to earn her third Pro Circuit singles title, but the first at the $25,000 level.

At the $60,000 women's tournament in Stockton California, top seed Madison Brengle defeated former Southern Cal star Danielle Lao 7-5, 7-6(10) for her third ITF Pro Circuit title of the year. Brengle had dropped out of the Top 100 this summer, but after last week's semifinal and this week's title, she is back there now.

In the doubles final played today, Hayley Carter(North Carolina) and Ena Shibahara(UCLA) defeated Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) and Luisa Stefani(Pepperdine) of Brazil 7-5, 5-7, 10-7 for their third Pro Circuit title as a team this year.  Gleason and Stefani finish one win short of a title for the second straight week.

At the ATP $100,000 Men's Challenger in Stockton, No. 4 seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa defeated No. 8 seed Marc Polmans of Australia 6-2, 6-2 for the title.

I covered the Corpus Christi ITF Grade 4 results in yesterday's post, but Jacob Bullard and Madison Sieg were not the only Americans to pick up titles on the ITF Junior Circuit this weekend. At the Grade 5 in the Dominican Republic, Americans swept the singles titles, with Bruno Kuzuhara and Maria Rizzolo earning their first ITF Junior Circuit titles. The unseeded Kuzuhara, just 14, had not won a main draw match in ITF Junior Circuit play until this week, but he dropped only one set all week, in the final against No. 5 seed Alexander Zederbauer Lapentti of Ecuador, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.  The 15-year-old Rizzolo, also unseeded, defeated No. 2 seed Melody Hefti of Switzerland 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

At the Grade 5 in Montenegro, Michelle Tikhonko partnered with Vanessa Popa Teiusanu of Romania to win the doubles title. The No. 3 seeds defeated Nadezda Khalturina of Russia and Andjela Lopicic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Tikhonko also won the doubles title in last week's Grade 5 in Montenegro with a different partner.

I will begin my onsite coverage of the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed in Charlotte North Carolina beginning tomorrow, with qualifying having been completed today.

The boys top 8 seeds:
1. Tyler Zink, USA
2. Govind Nanda, USA
3. Eliot Spizzirri, USA
4. Taha Baadi, CAN
5. Liam Draxl, CAN
6. Ronan Jachuck, USA
7. Blaise Bicknell, USA
8. Alan Magadan, MEX

The girls top 8 seeds:
1. Hurricane Tyra Black, USA
2. Elli Mandlik, USA
3. Chloe Beck, USA
4. Emma Navarro, USA
5. Natasha Subhash, USA
6. Kacie Harvey, USA
7. Vanessa Ong, USA
8. Lauren Anzalotta, PUR

There are several blue chips who just missed being seeded. Siem Woldeab will take on Baadi in one of the best boys first-rounders, and unseeded Emma Jackson, who had such an impressive US Open this year, will face No. 15 seed Jada Bui of Canada. Abigail Forbes is another top player who, like Woldeab, just missed being seeded. She will play Victoria Hu in the first round.

The order of play for Monday is available at the ITF Junior Circuit tournament page.


5.0 Player said...

Congratulations to Gonzaga's Sophie Whittle on her amazing Cinderella win. Does anyone have any logical explanation for how she improved so much as a senior in college? I noticed that she was only ranked #168 in her class as a senior in high school, so her improvement as the top player in college tennis, which includes not only the top U.S. players over 4 years of college classes, but also so many top international players, is pretty mind boggling.