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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Davis Claims Bonita Springs $100K Title, French Open Wild Card; Quarterfinals Set for NCAA Division III Team Championships; Roa Takes ITF Grade 5 Singles Title, Bicknell, Jachuck Earn Grade 2 Doubles Titles

Lauren Davis knew she had no margin for error coming into the $100,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Bonita Springs Florida. After reaching the final of the $80,000 tournament in Dothan the first week of the USTA's Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, Davis didn't play the Charlottesville $80K and lost in the second round of the $100K in Charleston last week, to Whitney Osuigwe, who was leading the points race, despite having skipped Dothan. But only two results counted in the women's Wild Card Challenge, and Osuigwe's win in Charlottesville provided fewer points than what were on offer in Bonita Springs, giving Davis a chance.

Davis had the same opportunity to win the USTA's 2019 Australian Open wild card late last year, needing a title at the WTA 125 in Houston to catch Osuigwe. Davis lost in the final to Peng Shuai of China 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, but this year she did not stumble at the final hurdle, beating wild card Ann Li 7-5, 7-5 in the final to win her first title since 2017.  Li served for both sets at 5-3, but with half of the games in the match won with breaks of serve, it wasn't exactly surprising that she failed to hold either time.

The 25-year-old Davis will play in the main draw of the French Open for the seventh time, but she has had little success on the terre battue, with her only win coming in her first appearance back in 2012. 

The doubles title in Bonita Springs went to top seeds and former Alabama stars Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Erin Routliffe of New Zealand. They defeated No. 4 seeds Caroline Dolehide and Usue Arconada 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final. It's Guarachi and Routliffe's fifth title together and their biggest; they won two $80K titles on this clay swing last year as a team.

At the $80,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in France, Christina McHale won her first title since 2016. Unseeded, McHale defeated No. 3 seed Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland in the final 7-6(4), 6-2, her fifth consecutive straight-sets win, which included three tiebreakers.

Harrison Adams fell short in his quest for a first ITF World Tennis Tour singles title, with the second-seeded former Texas A&M star falling to top seed Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru 6-2, 6-4 in today's final at the $25,000 ITF WTT event in Pensacola Florida.

Former UCLA Bruin Austin Rapp also fell one match short of his first WTT singles title at the $15,000 tournament in Cancun Mexico. The unseeded 22-year-old, who graduated last spring, lost in the final to No. 2 seed and former Memphis star Ryan Peniston of Great Britain 6-4, 6-4.  Rapp did pick up his second career ITF WTT doubles title, partnering with Alexandr Cozbinov(UNLV) of Moldova. The top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds David Fox(Denver) and Isaac Stoute of Great Britain 6-2, 4-6, 10-1 in the final.

The NCAA Division III quarterfinals are set after regional play ended today.  Fifteen of the 16 seeds advanced to the quarterfinals, which begin Monday, May 20th in Kalamazoo.  While North Carolina is the only Division I school to place both men's and women's teams in the quarterfinals, six schools have both in Division III: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Middlebury, Amherst, Wesleyan, Emory and Chicago.

None of the third round matches went to 5-4, and the only 5-3 score was the MIT women's upset of No. 6 seed Bowdoin.  MIT had lost to Bowdoin 8-1 last month.  Here are the quarterfinal matchups:

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps[1] v Carnegie Mellon[8] 
Middlebury[4] v Amherst[5] 
Wesleyan[3] v MIT 
Emory[2] v Chicago[7]

CMS[1] v Bowdoin[8] 
Amherst[5] v Chicago[4]
Middlebury[3] v Wesleyan[6] 
Emory[2] v Washington-St Louis[7]

See the SLAM Tennis Championship Central site for today's results, brackets and odds. I will have a preview of the Division III NCAA tournament for Tennis Recruiting Network late next week.

Four Americans won ITF Junior Circuit titles this weekend, with 15-year-old Jillian Roa winning her first title at the Grade 5 in Macedonia. The unseeded Roa, who has been playing competitively in Europe the past couple of years, won five matches, two from a set down, to reach the final, where she defeated her fifth seed of the week, No. 15 seed Tijana Sretenovic of Serbia 7-6(5), 7-6(6). 

Seventeen-year-old Lauren Cooper, who swept the titles at the Grade 4 in Namibia last week, won the doubles title this week at the Grade 5 in the same country. Cooper, playing with Brigitte Manceau of France and seeded No. 2, defeated No. 3 seeds Beau Deleu and Ines Stephani of Belgium 6-2, 6-3 in the final. 

At the Grade 2 in Austria, Blaise Bicknell took the doubles title, partnering with Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan. The top seeds defeated Adrien Burdet of Switzerland and Peter Sallay of Hungary 3-6, 7-6(9), 10-5 in the final. 

At the Grade 2 in Romania, Ronan Jachuck, who reached the semifinals in singles, won the doubles title with Cezar Cretu of Romania. The top seeds received a walkover from unseeded Kristijan Juhas of Serbia and Nemanja Malesevic of Bosnia in the final. Tara Malik reached the girls doubles final, with Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain. 


TennisDad said...

Thank you Collette for mentioning my daughter in your blog! As a regular reader since my daughter started playing competitive tennis, having her in your headline was a treat. More power to you!