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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Gauff Qualifies for Citi Open; Brooksby, Min Win $25K Titles, Escobedo Claims ATP Challenger Title in Granby; European Championships Conclude; USTA Girls 18s National Team Championship Underway

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff, who didn't know if she would get into qualifying until Friday, has advanced to the main draw of the WTA International Citi Open. The top-seeded Gauff, who has already used all of the WTA wild cards available to her until next March, when she turns 16, had to make her way through qualifying to have a chance to compete in this week's WTA tournament in Washington DC. She had no trouble doing that, beating Maegan Manasse 6-4, 6-2 yesterday and No. 8 seed Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 6-1, 6-2 today. Her next opponent will be unseeded Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.  Sachia Vickery, the No. 2 seed in qualifying, also advanced to the main draw, beating No. 5 seed Destanee Aiava of Australia 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3.

All three US men in the final round of qualifying advanced, with Donald Young, Thai Kwiatkowski(Virginia) and Tim Smyczek moving into the main draw with wins today. Former Ohio State All-American Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark also advanced to the main draw via two wins in qualifying.  Tommy Paul, Bjorn Fratangelo, Jack Sock and Christopher Eubanks have received main draw wild cards into the ATP 500 event in DC.

Jenson Brooksby and Grace Min won titles today at $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournaments in Champaign-Urbana Illinois and Evansville Indiana respectively.

The 18-year-old Brooksby, who won the Kalamazoo 18s nationals last year but is not defending his title this year, defeated No. 4 seed Oliver Crawford, a rising University of Florida junior, 6-2, 6-1 in the final. The No. 3 seed, Brooksby needed just over an hour to claim his second title on the Pro Circuit, with the first coming this past March, also at the $25,000 level.

Min needed considerably longer to claim her first title in over a year, with the No. 6 seed beating top seed Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-5 in three hours and 15 minutes. Min, who didn't play for four months between February and June saw her ranking plunge into the 400s, but that will rebound with this title.

At the ATP 90 Challenger in Granby Canada, Ernesto Escobedo won his first Challenger title in nearly three years, with the unseeded 23-year-old taking out No. 3 seed Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 7-6(5), 6-4 in the final. Escobedo's ranking, which had fallen outside the top 250, will rebound to around 214, meaning he will make the US Open qualifying. But even better, with his 90 points this week, he will take over the lead in the USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge, with two weeks to go.

In the Granby doubles final, former Cal star Andre Goransson of Sweden partnered with Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands, a University of the Pacific alum, to win the title. The No. 3 seeds defeated top seeds Zhe Li of China and Hugo Nys of Monaco 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

At the Binghamton New York ATP 80 Challenger final, Yuichi Sugita of Japan took the singles title, beating Joao Menezes of Brazil 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-2 in the final. Top seeds Max Purcell and Luke Saville of Australia won the doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds JC Aragone(Virginia) and Alex Lawson(Notre Dame) 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 in the final.

Other results from this weekend will be highlighted in my July Aces column, which will be published on Wednesday.

Taylor Fritz lost to Alex De Minaur of Australia 6-3, 7-6(2) in the final of the ATP 250 BB&T Atlanta Open today. The 20-year-old De Minaur, who didn't face a break point throughout the tournament, is the youngest ever champion of the tournament.

The European Championships concluded today with Valentin Royer of France and Anna Kubareva of Belarus the 18s champions at the ITF Grade B1 in Switzerland. The ninth-seeded Royer, who also won the doubles title, beat No. 8 seed Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the final. The unseeded Kubareva defeated No. 8 seed Caijsa Hennemann of Sweden 6-2, 7-6(5) in the girls final, played indoors (but still on clay) due to rain.

Les Petits As champion Vojtech Petr added the European 14s title to his impressive resume. Click on the headings to go to the Tennis Europe draws for the younger age groups.

Boys 14s
Vojtech Petr(CZE)[3] d. Dino Prizmic(CRO)[9] 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Girls 14s
Michaela Laki(GRE)[10] d. Melisa Ercan(TUR) 6-3, 6-2

Boys 16s
Mehdi Sadaoui(FRA) d. Max Westphal 6-4, 6-2

Girls 16s
Polina Kudermetova(RUS)[1] d. Elsa Jacquemot(FRA)[3] 7-6(3), 7-5

The USTA Girls 18s National Team Championships began today in Claremont California. A draw doesn't appear to be available, but results, and the list of the players competing, can be found on the Tennis Link page.