Sunday, March 10, 2019

Mandlik Claims First World Tennis Tour Title in Carson; Sharma Sweeps Singles and Doubles in Mexico; Spring Team Championships Gallery

Elli Mandlik won her first singles title on the ITF World Tennis Tour in her first final today at the $15,000 tournament in Carson California. The unseeded 17-year-old, the daughter of four-time slam women's singles champion Hana Mandlikova, defeated No. 6 seed Carson Branstine of Canada 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. Trailing 3-1 in the final set, Mandlik got even two games later, broke the 18-year-old USC recruit at love at 4-4, then served out the match without any fuss. 

Mandlik's previous best result at an ITF pro event was a semifinal last summer at a $15,000 event in Romania. Now 20 in the ITF junior rankings, Mandlik did not play the Australian Open junior championships this year, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the junior slams this summer. 

Another 17-year-old won the doubles title, with Virginia recruit Natasha Subhash partnering with former Georgia Tech star Rasheeda McAdoo in today's final. The No. 2 seeds defeated unseeded Nicole Mossmer(Stanford recruit) and Chanelle Van Nguyen(UCLA) 6-2, 6-4. It's the second ITF WTT title for both, with Subhash's previous title coming with Caty McNally and McAdoo's with Amy Zhu(Michigan), both last year.

At the $25,000+H WTT event in Irapuato Mexico, former Vanderbilt star Astra Sharma swept the titles. Last night, the 23-year-old Australian and her partner, former Georgia Tech star Paige Hourigan of New Zealand, who were unseeded, beat unseeded Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 4-6, 12-10 in the final. It's the fourth WTT doubles title for both Sharma and Hourigan, with those coming with different partners.

Sharma got the better of Cepede Royg again today in the singles title. The No. 3 seed, who graduated last spring, beat the second seeded Cepede Royg 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3 in the two-and-a-half hours for her seventh WTT title.  Sharma will be solidly into the WTA Top 150 when those points are added.

I mentioned my Tennis Recruiting Network recap of this past week's USTA National Spring Team Championships yesterday. Added to TRN today is my photo gallery, featuring all 24 of the competitors in the two finals.

And here's a Los Angeles Times article on Marcos Giron (and Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime), with comments from his former coach at UCLA, Billy Martin.