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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Osuigwe, Brengle, Li, Arconada and Paul Advance to Sunday Pro Finals; Canada's Girls and USA's Boys Finish No. 1 in ITF Junior Team Qualifying; Fenty Hands Wolf First Loss of Collegiate Season

Five Americans have advanced to title matches at the three USTA Pro Circuit tournaments being played in the United States this week.

Seventeen-year-old Whitney Osuigwe defeated unseeded Katarzyna Kawa of Poland 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(1) to advance to a first meeting with No. 2 seed Madison Brengle at the $80,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in Charlottesville Virginia. Brengle beat No. 4 seed Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the day's second semifinal. Osuigwe, who will move to a career-high in the WTA rankings regardless of the outcome of Sunday's final, won an $80,000 title last fall in Texas, which led her to her winning the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. Osuigwe, the 2017 French Open girls champion, is very much in the hunt for the French Open wild card that is being awarded by the USTA in a similar manner; Lauren Davis, who reached the final last week at the $80,000 in Dothan Alabama, did not play this week. There are two more weeks after this one in the Challenge, with the two $100,000 tournaments in the US likely to decide the winner. Brengle does not need the wild card, as she has received direct entry into the main draw at Roland Garros.

Tommy Paul is definitely the front-runner for the men's French Open wild card after he defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-3 at the ATP 80 Challenger in Tallahassee to reach his second straight Challenger final. No. 9 seed Paul, the 2015 French Open boys champion, beat No. 2 seed Sandgren 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Sarasota Challenger last week. This week Paul will face unseeded Emilio Gomez of Ecuador, with the former USC star taking out his fourth consecutive seed today by defeating No. 3 seed Corentin Moutet of France 6-1, 6-4. One more week remains in the men's USTA French Open Wild Card Challenge.

The third tournament this week, the women's $25,000 tournament in Osprey Florida, is not a part of the Wild Card Challenge, but like the tournament in Charlottesville, it will also be a contest between two Americans. Unseeded Usue Arconada came from 4-0 down in the second set and 3-0 (two breaks) down in the third set to defeat No. 5 seed Olga Govortsova of Belarus 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in today's semifinal, while Ann Li, the No. 3 seed, defeated top seed Gabby Ruse of Romania 7-5, 6-4. Li and Arconada have not played on the ITF Circuit before, but Li does have a win over Arconada in the round of 16 of the USTA Girls 18s Nationals in San Diego back in 2017. It will be the biggest singles title for whoever wins Sunday, with Li having one $15,000 title and Arconada one $10,000 title.

There were mixed results for the US ITF junior teams in Montreal, all four of whom were playing Canada to win their group in the round robin competition. The boys 14-and-under World Junior Tennis team and the 16-and-under Junior Davis Cup team both finished the competition undefeated, but the girls World Junior Tennis team and the Junior Fed Cup team both lost to Canada to put them in second place in the final standings. The top two teams advance to the 16-team world finals later this year.

Learner Tien at 2 and Kyle Kang at 1 took their singles matches to give the 14U boys an insurmountable lead. Dali Blanch at 2 and Martin Damm at 1 won their singles matches to assure first place to the Junior Davis Cup team.

In the girls 14s, the singles were split, with Qavia Lopez losing to Kayla Cross at 2 singles and Clervie Ngounoue beating Victoria Mboko at 1 singles. That meant the doubles would decide who would finish No. 1, with Cross and Mboko beating Tsehay Driscoll and Lopez 4-6, 7-5, 10-7.

The Canadian girls swept the US girls in Junior Fed Cup, with Annabelle Xu beating Charlotte Owensby at 2, Melodie Collard defeating Robin Montgomery at 1 and Marina Stakusic and Collard beating Ellie Coleman and Owensby in doubles, all in straight sets.

For all the results from the three days of competition, see the ITF tournament site.

Both Americans still in the ITF Grade 1 in France won their quarterfinal matches today, but lost in the semifinals.  Unseeded Andres Martin defeated No. 1 seed Bu Yunchaokete of China 6-3, 6-3 but then lost to unseeded Timo Legout of France 7-6(4), 6-1.  No. 2 seed Toby Kodat beat No. 7 seed Arthur Cazaux of France 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, but lost to No. 3 seed Holger Rune of Denmark 6-0, 7-6(1).

At the Big 10 men's conference tournament at the University of Michigan, top seed Ohio State overcame the loss of the doubles point and went on to beat the fourth-seeded hosts 4-2, but the Wolverines second point was certainly notable. Michigan's Andrew Fenty, named Big 10 freshman of the year a couple of days ago, beat JJ Wolf of Ohio State 6-3, 7-5, handing the perennially top-ranked Wolf his first loss of the season, after 30 wins. Fenty started the year at line 3, but has been playing at line 1 the past several dual matches.

Ohio State will play No. 2 seed Illinois in the final, after the Illini beat Penn State 4-2.


Arizona said...

Usue Arconada and Ann Li both signed NLI with LSU. Usue went to school but never got eligible and Ann turned pro.

Can you imagine that team with them both in the lineup?

Trifecta said...

As predicted.... Sebastian Korda gets his 3rd WC in a row in the Challenger Series... and the Winner of the HWC Award goes to.... nice to see the USTA and IMG folks are spreading out those valuable WC’s😱