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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Top Seed Arconada Wins Bethany Beach $25K; Qualifier Ponwith Claims Champaign $15K; Hanzlik Sweeps ITF Grade 5 Titles in Canada

Usue Arconada earned her first singles title since 2015 today at the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Bethany Beach Delaware, beating wild card Natasha Subhash 6-1, 6-1 in the final. Arconada, 20, has won three doubles titles this year on the Pro Circuit, including at this tournament, but a singles title had eluded her. She has reached three quarterfinals, a semifinal and two finals this year, and has an 18-8 record, so she hasn't been slumping by any means, but I'm sure holding the winner's trophy again after so many years was gratifying. Arconada, the top seed, did not lose a set all week. It was another great week for University of Virginia rising freshman Subhash, who won the Williamsburg $15K last month and extended her pro winning streak to nine before losing today.

Arizona State rising senior Nathan Ponwith won his first Pro Circuit singles title today at the $15,000 tournament in Champaign Illinois. Because he hadn't entered the tournament, the 21-year-old played a pre-qualifying event just to get a wild card into qualifying, winning three matches right before the qualifying began. As it turned out, he did not need the wild card he won, gaining entrance as an on-site alternate, but the former ITF Top 20 junior went on to win both his qualifying matches, then five more main draw matches. Today he defeated No. 6 seed and former Northwestern star Strong Kirchheimer 7-6(2), 6-4 in the final.

The doubles title in Champaign went to unseeded Alex Blumenberg of Brazil and Mark Whitehouse of Great Britain, who defeated No. 2 seeds Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador and Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 in the final.

Two former collegians met in the final of the men's $15,000 WTT tournament in Cancun, with former TCU star Jerry Lopez of Mexico, seeded No. 2,  defeating unseeded Connor Farren(USC) 6-1, 6-1 in the final. It is the 24-year-old Lopez's second Pro Circuit singles title.  In the women's $15,000 tournament in Cancun, recent Vanderbilt graduate Fernanda Contreras, who was raised in Texas but plays for Mexico now, made the final. She lost to former WTA Top 100 player Patricia Tig of Romania 6-0, 6-0 in the singles final, but picked up the doubles title with Baylor rising senior Jessica Hinojosa of Mexico. The unseeded pair defeated Baylor's Mel Krywoj of Argentina and Texas's Fernanda Labrana of Chile, also unseeded, 2-6, 6-4, 10-7.

No. 3 seed Alison Riske defended her title at the $100,000 ITF WTT tournament in Surbiton England, beating No. 5 seed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-2 in the final. That gave the US a sweep of the titles, with Jennifer Brady and Caroline Dolehide winning the doubles title two days ago. Jonathan Kelley pointed out on Twitter that all five ITF Women's $100,000 singles titles this year have been by Americans: Caty McNally(Midland), Taylor Townsend(Charleston), Lauren Davis(Bonita Springs), Bernarda Pera(Tnrava) and now Riske.

No. 8 seed Dudi Sela of Israel won the ATP 90 Challenger in Little Rock, taking the title when No. 12 seed Duckhee Lee of Korea retired trailing 6-1, 4-3. The unseeded team of Matias Descotte of Argentina and Orlando Luz of Brazil won the doubles title, beating unseeded Treat Huey(Virginia) of the Philippines and Max Schnur(Columbia) 7-6, 1-6, 12-10. Huey and Schnur are both returning to competitive tennis this spring after year-long breaks due to injury.

Although most of the attention on juniors was at the French Open, there were other smaller ITF tournaments being played, and Cash Hanzlik swept the titles at the ITF Grade 5 in British Columbia this weekend. Hanzlik, 17, earned his first two titles on the ITF Junior Circuit, starting with the doubles championship, partnering with Dominik Jakovljevic. The top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Nedim Suko and Canada's Luka Vukovic 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

As the No. 2 seed in singles, Hanzlik didn't drop a set, again beating Vukovic, the top seed, in a final. Hanzlik won it 6-3, 6-2.

At the ITF Grade 4 in El Salvador, No. 5 seeds Jameson Corsillo and Jake Krug won their second straight doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Mateo Gomez of Colombia and Carolos Solares Midence of Bolivia 6-0, 7-6(5) in the final. Ava Krug, seeded No. 7, reached the girls singles final, falling to No. 6 seed Julia Garcia of Mexico 6-2, 6-3.