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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Subhash, Cressy and Arconada Win ITF World Tennis Tour Titles; Kenin Claims WTA Mallorca Championship; Nine US Men Begin Wimbledon Qualifying Monday

Seventeen-year-old Natasha Subhash won her second career ITF World Tennis Tour $15,000 event today at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, with the fourth-seeded University of Virginia rising freshman beating No. 2 seed Tori Kinard 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour. Subhash, who won her first pro circuit title last month in Williamsburg Virginia, dropped just one set this week, to top seed Grace Min in the semifinals, and is now 17-2 in USTA Pro Circuit matches since the first of May.

One of the two players to beat Subhash was Usue Arconada, who defeated the teenager in the final of the $25,000 tournament in Bethany Beach earlier this month. The top-seeded Arconada won her second title of the month today at the $25,000 tournament in Denver, beating wild card Alexa Glatch 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in another all-American final. The 20-year-old's only loss this month was to Vicky Duval in the quarterfinals of last week's tournament in Sumter, and she avenged that this week, also in the quarterfinals.

The third all-American final of the day saw top seed Maxime Cressy put an end to the winning streak of University of Florida rising sophomore Sam Riffice, with the recent UCLA graduate beating Wichita $25K champion Riffice 6-3, 6-1 in today's championship match at the $25,000 tournament in Tulsa Oklahoma. It's Cressy's  third pro singles title, and the second at the $25,000 level. He also won an ATP Challenger back in January.

Although Riffice fell short, a former Florida Gator (2013-16) did pick up a title today, with Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador winning his first singles title at the $15,000 men's tournament in Lake Nona. Hidalgo, the No. 6 seed, defeated No. 2 seed Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela 6-1, 6-4 in the final. The 26-year-old didn't drop more than four games in any set all week.

Twenty-year-old Sonya Kenin won her second WTA title today in Mallorca, with the No. 7 seed winning a nearly three-hour battle with No. 3 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4. Kenin, who won her first title in Hobart in January, saved three match points with Bencic serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Kenin is now at her career-high ranking of 28, and will be seeded at Wimbledon. For more on the dramatic final, see this article from the WTA website.

The final Wimbledon main draw wild cards were awarded today to the champions of the ITF $100K and ATP 125 Challenger grass tournaments in Ilkley and to Feliciano Lopez, who won the ATP 500 Queens Club. Monica Niculescu of Romania will avoid qualifying with her win in Ilkley today, and former Tulane star Dominik Koepfer of Germany will make his slam debut after winning his first Challenger title thre. The unseeded 25-year-old defeated No. 9 seed Dennis Novak of Austria 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final.

Two men's wild cards and three women's wild cards were not used, with the next direct acceptances moving into the main draw instead. Two former collegians earned qualifying wild cards with their performances in the LTA's playoff tournament: Ryan Peniston(Memphis) and Samantha Murray(Northwestern). The updated wild card list is here.

Wimbledon qualifying begins Monday for the men, with nine Americans on the schedule.  Unfortunately, two of the first round matches pit US players against each other, with Mitchell Krueger facing Tim Smyczek and Michael Mmoh facing Noah Rubin.  The other American men in qualifying are Bjorn Fratangelo[27], Christopher Eubanks, Tommy Paul[30], Marcos Giron and Donald Young. The men's qualifying draw is here. Women's qualifying begins Tuesday.


Marlene Roberts said...

Women's tennis is going to really struggle going forward. Its sad the lack of big time shots that many of these players have. Kenin has nothing about her game that stands out. Just solid, and boring. She is surly to the ball kids, and acts like a fast walking robot on court, just nothing for fans to be attracted to. I enjoy watching Ash Barty play, and Halep can be entertaining. But I really miss prime Graf, Williams sisters, Evert, Martina, Hingis, Pova, Henin, Clijsters, and the others. So many today are cookie cutter, take zero chances kind of players. Sooner or later its going to destroy the sport unless we get some players with some pizazz, some all time great shots, some personalities the fans can be interested in. The strange thing is the bar is raised with each passing year in all other sports....players are faster and come up with more amazing plays all the time, soccer players are more amazing, NBA guys keep doing more and more higher level dunks and shooting better from farther, the stories of many players are interesting, they go out of their way to engage fans etc. But women's tennis is regressing in every possible way and fast. Strange.