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Monday, August 12, 2019

Pro Circuit Update; Kristie Ahn, Ernesto Escobedo Win USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge

With most of my attention focused on the USTA Nationals and the ITF World Junior Tennis competition, I couldn't keep up with the Pro Circuit results, but American veterans won singles titles at the $60,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Landisville Pennsylvania and the men's ATP Challenger 90 in Aptos California.

Top seed Madison Brengle defended her title, defeating No. 2 seed Zhu Lin of China 6-4, 7-5 in the final for her second title of the year. Brengle also won a $60,000 tournament in Berkeley California last month.  Claire Liu and Vania King won the doubles title, beating former North Carolina teammates Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 in the final. Neither team was seeded.

No. 2 seed Steve Johnson, whose ATP ranking had fallen into the 90s, returned to the Challenger level for the first time in over a year in Aptos. He claimed his second title there, with the first coming back in 2012, by defeating former Tulane star Dominik Koepfer of Germany, the No. 4 seed, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the final.

Top seeds Marcelo Arevalo(Tulsa) of El Salvador and Miguel Reyes-Varela(Texas) of Mexico won the doubles title, beating unseeded Nathan Pasha(Georgia) and Max Schnur(Columbia) 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in the final.

At the $25,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit event in Edwardsville Illinois, 2018 NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos (Wake Forest) of Cyprus won his first Pro Circuit singles title of the year and the fifth of his career. The No. 6 seed defeated rising Arizona State senior Nathan Ponwith, who was unseeded, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. It was Chrysochos' fourth three-set victory of the week, and the only match he won in straight sets involved two tiebreakers.

Ponwith did earn his first pro doubles title since 2016, with Liam Caruana(Texas) of Italy. In another final between unseeded teams, Ponwith and Caruana defeated George Goldhoff(Texas) and Alfredo Perez(Florida) 4-6, 6-4, 10-5.

This week's US events are a $60,000 women's tournament in Concord Massachusetts and a $25,000 men's event in Memphis Tennessee.  A number of Americans are also competing in Vancouver Canada, in a women's $100,000 ITF tournament and an ATP Challenger 100 there.

With the USTA Nationals drawing most Americans to those events, there's not much to report as far as the ITF Junior Circuit results go. The only title for an American junior came at a Grade 4 in Zimbabwe, where Lauren Cooper won the doubles titles with Li Zongyu of China. The top seeds defeated No. 8 seeds Vasilisa Lisina of Russia and Vipasha Mehra of India 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

Last week marked the end of the USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge, with Ernesto Escobedo and Kristie Ahn winning the competition by accumulating the most ATP and WTA points in their best three results in five weeks of hard court tournaments around the world. Escobedo won the Granby Challenger and reached the semifinals in Aptos to finish at the top of the US competitors, while Ahn secured her first appearance at the US Open since she qualified as a 16-year-old back in 2008. Escobedo had also won the wild card challenge back in 2016.

Complete standings from this year's US Open Wild Card Challenge can be found here.

2 comments:

Big Junior Tennis Fan said...

New video came out of Ilagan vs Bullard at KZOO this year. Crazy match under the lights. Interesting to see the line calls made by Bullard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eAH2364G70&lc=z22bibtyrlf0xx4gn04t1aokgvqci5xuafgb5iwzumzxrk0h00410.1565658038099805

Hook 'Em Horns said...

"....Ponwith did earn his first pro doubles title since 2016, with Liam Caruana(Texas) of Italy. In another final between unseeded teams, Ponwith and Caruana defeated George Goldhoff(Texas) and Alfredo Perez(Florida) 4-6, 6-4, 10-5."
Colette, Caruana (Texas)? Please!... Liam wasn't at the University long enough to have lunch.