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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Gauff Advances at WTA Citi Open Qualifying; Crawford and Brooksby Reach Champaign $25K Final; Escobedo Makes Final at Canadian Challenger; Fritz Moves into ATP Championship Match in Atlanta

Coco Gauff is one win away from the main draw at the WTA International Citi Open in Washington DC after the 15-year-old defeated former Cal star Maegan Manasse 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round of qualifying today. The top-seeded Gauff, who was unable to accept a main draw wild card due to the WTA's age eligibility restrictions, will play No. 8 seed Hiroko Kuwata of Japan, who defeated alternate Maria Sanchez(USC) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0.

Fourteen-year-old local Robin Montgomery took the first set from WTA 192 Destanee Aiava, but lost to the 19-year-old Australian 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Rising North Carolina sophomore Cameron Morra lost to Varvara Gracheva of Russia 6-3, 6-1. The other two Americans advancing to the final round of qualifying are No. 2 seed Sachia Vickery and No. 3 seed Francesca Di Lorenzo.

University of Michigan rising sophomore Andrew Fenty received a wild card into Citi Open ATP 500 men's qualifying and he had an impressive performance against former ATP No. 12 Viktor Troicki of Serbia, but lost 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. Thai Kwiatkowski(Virginia), Tim Smyczek and Donald Young are the Americans advancing to Sunday's final round of qualifying.

At the WTA Premier event in San Jose, 15-year-old Katrina Scott fell just short of advancing in the qualifying, with the wild card losing to top seed Timea Babos of Hungary 7-5, 2-6, 7-5. Scott has been on a roll this spring and summer and will definitely be a player to watch at the USTA Girls 18s Nationals next month in San Diego. Seventeen-year-old Katie Volynets, who was also granted entry into qualifying by a wild card, lost to Kristie Ahn(Stanford) 7-5, 6-0.  Amanda Anisimova is the No. 4 seed in the main draw, and Danielle Collins(Virginia) is the No. 8 seed.

Two young Americans will face off for the $25,000 USTA Men's Pro Circuit title in Champaign-Urbana Sunday, with No. 4 seed Oliver Crawford playing No. 3 seed Jenson Brooksby.  Twenty-year-old University of Florida rising junior Crawford, who won his first $25K singles title last fall, defeated top seed Liam Broady of Great Britain 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Baylor rising freshman Brooksby, 18, defeated NCAA semifinalist Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois) 6-4, 6-3. Brooksby and Crawford played three years ago at the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships, with Crawford winning 6-1, 6-2 in a second round match.

In the doubles final, Stanford's Axel Geller of Argentina and Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar of Bolivia won the title, beating Keenan Mayo and Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela 6-4, 6-3 in a battle of unseeded teams.

University of Virginia rising freshman Natasha Subhash lost in the semifinals of the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Evansville Indiana. The 17-year-old was beaten by top seed Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel 6-2, 6-3. Khazaniuk will face No. 6 seed Grace Min in the final, after Min defeated No. 5 seed Haruna Arakawa 7-5, 6-1.

Top seeds Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan and Chanel Simmonds of South Africa won the doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Arakawa and Pam Montez(UCLA) 6-2, 6-0 in the final.

Robin Anderson lost in the semifinals today at the Ashland Kentucky $60,000 tournament to Zoe Hives of Australia. It will be an all-Aussie final, with former Georgia star Ellen Perez advancing with a win over Katie Swan of Great Britain. In an all-collegiate doubles final between unseeded teams, Sanaz Marand(UNC) and Caitlin Whoriskey (Tennessee) defeated Vladica Babic(Oklahoma State) of Montenegro and Julia Rosenqvist(Cal) of Sweden 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final.

Mitchell Krueger lost in the semifinals of the ATP 80 Challenger in Binghamton to Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Sugita will face Joao Menezes of Brazil in Sunday's final.

An American has reached a Challenger final however, with Ernesto Escobedo advancing to the championship match at the ATP 90 in Granby Canada. The unseeded Escobedo defeated Wake Forest star and 2018 NCAA finalist Borna Gojo of Croatia 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-2 in the semifinals. Escobedo, who last made a Challenger final back in 2016, will face No. 3 seed Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan for the title Sunday.

After winning a $25,000 tournament last week, French Open girls champion Leylah Fernandez is now into the final of the $80,00 tournament in Granby. The 16-year-old will face Lizette Cabrera of Australia for the title, with neither player seeded.

No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz has advanced to the final of the ATP 250 BB&T Atlanta Open, where he'll face No. 3 seed Alex De Minaur of Australia. Fritz, who hit 15 aces, defeated former TCU star Cameron Norrie 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, while De Minaur prevented an all-American final with a 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-3 win over Reilly Opelka earlier this afternoon.

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