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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Czech Republic Sweeps Les Petits As Singles Titles; Baptiste Reaches Final at Plantation $25K; Fritz, Andreescu Win in Newport Beach; McNally, Gauff Receive Midland $100K Wild Cards; ITA Team Indoor Fields Almost Set

In the 36 years of Les Petits As, the Czech Republic didn't have a singles champion, but that changed today in Tarbes, with Linda Fruhvirtova and Vojtech Petr winning titles.

Fruhvirtova, the top seed, had lost only 14 games in her first five matches and she continued her domination today, beating No. 2 seed Sofia Costoulas of Belgium 6-1, 6-0 in less than an hour.  Fruhvirtova wasn't sure she would play Les Petits As when I asked about it at the Eddie Herr, thinking there might be a conflict with the Grade 1 the week before in Prague. But Fruhvirtova lost in the third round there, so she was able to prepare for Tarbes, the biggest 14-and-under event in Europe. It could be her last, although I think she may play the World Junior Tennis team competition this summer, especially if Brenda is also named to the team.

The fans may have been disappointed by the brief duration of the girls match, but the boys final made up for it, with No. 13 seed Petr coming from behind for a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1) victory over No. 11 seed Rashed Nawaf of Qatar.  Nawaf served for the match at 5-3 in the third, but Petr stepped up his aggressive play, going into the net at every opportunity. Nawaf, in contrast, seemed to be content to just send balls back over the net and his tentative play gave Petr the opportunity he needed. Nawaf never had a match point, and although he held for a 6-5 lead, it was Petr who controlled the points in the 12th and 13th games to seal the title.

Both ITF World Tennis Tour events in Florida will have their finals on Monday after rain kept them from finishing.  The women's $25,000 event in Plantation did finish its semifinals, with Hailey Baptiste advancing to her first WTT $25K final with a 6-2, 7-5 win over fellow 17-year-old Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia. Osorio Serrano had beaten Baptiste in their two previous junior meetings. Baptiste will face No. 5 seed Anna Bondar of Hungary, last week's $25K winner, in Monday's final.

No. 3 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida) will play unseeded Nicolas Alvarez(Duke) of Peru in the final of the men's $25K in Palm Coast on Monday.  No. 2 seeds Alejandro Gomez(Kentucky) of Colombia and Junior Ore(Texas A&M) won the doubles title in Palm Coast, beating the unseeded team of Alvarez and Luis Patino of Mexico 7-6(2), 6-3 in the final.

At the Oracle Challenger series in Newport Beach California, top seed Taylor Fritz defended his title, beating former North Carolina star Brayden Schnur of Canada 7-6(7), 6-4 in the final. Fritz will move to a new career high of 40 in the ATP rankings with the title.  See the tournament website for more on the final. In the women's final, 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada, seeded No. 6, defeated No. 7 seed Jessica Pegula 0-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Collegians swept the doubles titles in Newport Beach, with No. 4 seeds Nathaniel Lammons(SMU) and Robert Galloway(Wofford) beating No. 3 seeds Romain Arneodo of Monaco and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus 7-5, 7-6(1) in the final.  Unseeded Hayley Carter(North Carolina) and Ena Shibahara(UCLA) won their fourth, and biggest, title as a team, beating No. 3 seeds Taylor Townsend and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-3, 7-6(1) in the final of the WTA 125 event. Carter and Shibahara did not lose a set in their four wins.

I will be covering the ITF World Tennis Tour $100K Dow Tennis Classic in Midland beginning Monday, with the tournament announcing its wild cards yesterday.  Coco Gauff, 14, and Caty McNally, 17, received main draw wild cards, as did Ashley Kratzer and Grace Min.  Wild cards in qualifying, which begins Monday at 10 a.m., were given to Ellie Coleman, Ellie Douglas(TCU) and Catherine Harrison(UCLA). See the tournament website for the order of play.

The fields for the Division I ITA National Team Indoors are set, with one match still to be played on Monday, due to all the rain in Florida.

See the Slam Tennis site for the box scores and results from the ITA Kickoff Weekend.  Below are the teams that have advanced, with their current rankings, if Top 25. Those without asterisks won their berths on the road.

Men (hosted by Illinois):
Wake Forest*[1]
Notre Dame[17]
Mississippi State*[3]
North Carolina*[6]
Ohio State*[2]

Women (hosted by Washington):
Ohio State
Oklahoma State*[10]
North Carolina*[3]
South Carolina*[14]
Florida*[11] v NC State (Monday)


Rain was also an issue at the ITF Junior Circuit Grade 2 in Tunisia, where unseeded American Stefan Leustian made the final, but lost to unseeded Fausto Tabacco of Italy by the unusual score of 3-5, 4-1, 7-2.


fan said...

Browsing ITA results and I see 5-0 in doubles TB. Has the rule changed, is doubles shortened again?

fan said...

Juliana Valero/Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) defeat McCartney Kessler/Sydney Berlin (UF) - 7-6 (7-5)
Tsveta Dimitrova (UF) defeats Stephanie Yamada (UCSB), 6-4, 6-6 (8-6)
Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) def. #56 Magda Adaloglou (MS) 6-3, 7-6 (5-0)
3. Oleksandra Korashvil/Kianah Motosono (OU) def. Emma Kurtz/Georgia Drummy (VANDY) 7-6 (0-5)

Confusing TB scores.