Monday, March 2, 2020

Fruhvirtova and Landaluce Take Tennis Europe Super Category Titles in Stockholm; Former Collegians Claim WTA and ATP Doubles Titles; Oracle Challenger Series Underway at Indian Wells

Brenda Fruhvirtova is just a month away from her 13th birthday and the opportunity to compete in ITF Junior World Tennis Tour events, but in the meantime, she is dominating 14-and-under Tennis Europe tournaments. The Les Petits As champion defended her title last week in Stockholm Sweden, beating No. 3 seed Daria Shadchneva of Russia 7-6(3), 6-3 in the final of the Kungens Kanna & Drottningens Pris tournament. Even though she won this tournament last year, and was demonstrably the best player in the field, she wasn't seeded, just as she wasn't seeded when she won Les Petits As last month. Fortunately for the tournament, the best match was not early in the event, as it might have been, with Fruhvirtova losing only six games in her first five matches. Shadchneva wasn't as dominant, but she didn't lose a set in advancing to the final.

Martin Landaluce, photo by Richard van Loon, 2020 Les Petits As
Spain's Martin Landaluce, who won the Super Category event in Moscow early this year and reached the quarterfinals at Les Petits As, losing to American Alexander Razeghi, won the boys title. The No. 2 seed defeated top seed Atakan Karahan of Turkey 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in the final. Landaluce, 14, also won the doubles title, with Karahan. The girls doubles title went to Eddie Herr 12s champions Mira Andreeva and Alina Korneeva of Russia.

For more on the finals, see this article from Tennis Europe.

At the Open Super 12 Auray in France, another major event on the Tennis Europe calendar, this one for the 12s division, American qualifier Tyra Grant lost in the final to Hannah Klugman of Great Britain 6-4, 6-3. The boys final was an all-French affair, with Antonin Witz defeating Luka Nikolic 6-0, 2-6, 7-6(8).

With everything going on Sunday, I didn't have an opportunity to mention the results of the WTA and ATP events over the weekend. In his first ATP 500 final, Taylor Fritz lost to Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2 in Acapulco.  Qualifier Leylah Fernandez, the 17-year-old Canadian who won the French Open girls title last year, lost in the Acapulco women's  final to Great Britain's Heather Watson 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-1.

In the women's doubles in Acapulco, former USC star Giuliana Olmos of Mexico and former Arizona State star Desirae Krawczyk took the title, with the No. 2 seeds beating Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Sharon Fichman of Canada 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final. The 26-year-old Krawczyk has three WTA doubles titles, two with Olmos, which are the former USC star's only titles. Olmos is the first Mexican to claim a title at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

The unseeded team of former LSU star Michael Venus of New Zealand and former Baylor star John Peers of Australia won the doubles title at the ATP 500 event in Dubai, beating Venus's former partner Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Oliver Marach of Austria, the No. 4 seeds, 6-3, 6-2 in the final. It's the first title for Venus and Peers after getting together for the 2020 season. Venus has 11 ATP titles now and Peers has won 21. For more on their partnership, see this article at the ATP website.

The Oracle Road to Indian Wells ends this week with a WTA 125 event and an ATP Challenger 125, both at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which will host the BNP Paribas Open next week.  Wild cards into the main draw of the event are available to the top two American finishers in the Oracle Challenger Series, which began last fall in New Haven and continued through Houston and Newport Beach. Marcos Giron and Thai Kwiatkowski, the winners of Houston and Newport Beach, are 1 and 2 in the men's standings going into this week's Challenger, while Newport women's champion Madison Brengle and Houston finalist Coco Vandeweghe currently hold the top two women's spots.

Qualifying, just four players for both men and women, was completed today, with Gage Brymer(UCLA) and Sem Verbeek(Pacific) of the Netherlands advancing to the men's main draw, and Asia Muhammad and Danielle Lao(USC) advancing to the women's main draw.

Men's wild cards went to American collegians Govind Nanda(UCLA), Keegan Smith(UCLA) and Brandon Holt(USC), as well as top seed Ugo Humbert of France and No. 4 seed Radu Albot of Moldova. Unseeded Americans winning their opening round matches today are Jack Sock, Michael Redlicki, Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Sebastian Korda, Mitchell Krueger, Noah Rubin, Mackenzie McDonald and Raymond Sarmiento.

Wild cards in the women's event went to Vandeweghe, Claire Liu, Hailey Baptiste and Jamie Loeb. Sachia Vickery, who beat Caty McNally 6-2, 6-3, is the only American woman to post a first round win today. Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic is the top seed.

The tournament website has match recaps, and links to free live streaming can be found here.