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Monday, July 22, 2019

Brengle Sweeps Titles at Berkeley $60K; Four USTA Pro Circuit Events This Week; European Championships Underway; Brooksby Withdraws from Kalamazoo Nats; Gauff's Options for US Open Include Main Draw Wild Card

The singles final at the $60,000 ITF World Tennis Tour in Berkeley finished after I posted Sunday, with top seed Madison Brengle adding the singles title to the doubles title she won on Saturday. Brengle, 29, defeated unseeded Mayo Hibi of Japan 7-5, 6-4 to claim her first singles title of the year and the 14th of her career. Brengle partnered with Sachia Vickery for the doubles title, with unseeded pair beating Francesca Di Lorenzo and Great Britain's Katie Swan 6-3, 7-5 in the final.

Both the women and the men have two events in the United States this week, with the women's tournaments a $25,000 in Evansville Indiana and a $60,000 in Ashland Kentucky. The men have a $25,000 tournament in Champaign Illinois and the ATP 80 Challenger in Binghamton New York. There is also an $80,000 ITF World Tennis Tour women's tournament in Granby Canada which has four Americans in the main draw, including No. 3 seed Di Lorenzo, and a men's ATP 90 Challenger in Granby with seven Americans, none of whom are seeded.

Brengle and Anna Kalinskaya of Russia are the top seeds in Kentucky, with wild cards given to Peyton Stearns, Vicky Duval, Hayley Carter and Jennifer Elie. Marcel Granollers of Spain was the No. 1 seed in Binghamton, but he withdrew late last night, and was replaced at the top of the draw by alternate John Paul Fruttero, a doubles specialist and one of five places in the main draw available to an alternate. Ramkumar Ramanathan of India is the No. 2 seed.

There are no WTA events in the United States this week, but the ATP is in Georgia for the BB&T Atlanta Open, with John Isner and Taylor Fritz the top two seeds. Georgia Tech rising sophomore Cole Gromley received a main draw wild card and will play Tuesday night against No. 8 seed Ugo Humbert of France. Kevin King, a former Georgia Tech star, qualified into the main draw and will face wild card Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. For more on the Georgia Tech representatives, see this article on the Georgia Tech website. Jack Sock is also scheduled to return to competition in Atlanta after an injury has kept him off the tour since the Australian Open.

The European Championships are underway in three countries, with the 14s in the Czech Republic, the 16s in Moscow, and the 18s, an ITF Grade B1 tournament, in Switzerland. Gauthier Onclin of Belgium is the top seed in the boys 18s, with Alina Chareva of Russia the top seed in the girls 18s. There is live streaming of two courts for the 18s, available here.

Defending champion Jenson Brooksby has withdrawn from the USTA 18s Nationals in Kalamazoo. I don't know the reason, but the Baylor rising freshman has not played since April.

Last week the New York Post published an article discussing the options for Coco Gauff playing at the US Open. Apparently the slams do not have to follow the WTA age eligibility restrictions and the USTA is prepared to offer her a main draw wild card, but it's my understanding she will not earn WTA points if she accepts it. Her ranking now after her run to the fourth round at Wimbledon puts her in the US Open qualifying and if she chooses to go that route, she would be eligible for WTA points earned. I don't see any way around the restrictions for next week's WTA event in Washington D.C., but it sounds like she will play qualifying if she manages to get in it, although currently more than a dozen players are ahead of her on the alternate list.  If not, she will be there for practice matches and Kid's Day.