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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Montgomery, Chrysochos Win Las Vegas $25Ks; Johnson Claims Indian Wells Challenger; Kenin Back on Winning Track in Lyon France

Last year at this time, Robin Montgomery was playing her first professional tournament at a $15,000 event in Carson California. Then 14, Montgomery turned heads by reaching the quarterfinals, but in her next exposure to the professional game two months later, she lost in the first round of a $15,000 tournament to a fellow American junior, Kylie Collins. Last summer, Montgomery received a wild card into her home town WTA tournament, the Citi Open in Washington DC, losing in three sets to fellow teenager Destanee Aiava of Australia.

Although Montgomery built an impressive ITF World Junior ranking in 2019, and is now No. 5, she didn't venture back out on the Pro Circuit until this week, where she used a ITF junior exemption for entry into the Oracle Pro Series $25,000 women's tournament in Las Vegas. Five matches later, Montgomery was the champion, winning the first three matches without much difficulty, and fighting through the semifinals and final.

In today's championship match, Montgomery trailed No. 3 seed Xiaodi You of China, last week's Rancho Santa Fe $25K champion, 6-2, 3-1, then won the last five games of the second set. The pattern continued in the final set, with Montgomery trailing 4-2 before winning the last four games of the match for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. She did not have a WTA ranking going into the tournament, but when these points are added, she will be around 600.

In the men's Las Vegas $25,000 singles final, 2018 NCAA singles champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus, the No. 6 seed, defeated former LSU standout Justin Butsch 6-2, 6-1 in just under an hour. After winning two $25,000 tournaments last year, Chrysochos was off to a slow start in 2020, losing in the first round of his last two events, but the former Wake Forest star should start climbing back to his career-high ATP ranking of 378.

In the men's doubles late last night, Nicolas Barrientos of Colombia and Junior Ore(Texas A&M) defeated Nick Chappell and Reese Stalder, both of whom played at TCU, 7-6(1), 6-3.

Another former Aggie, 20-year-old Patrick Kypson, won his second career ITF World Tour singles title at the $15,000 tournament in Antalya Turkey. The 2017 Kalamazoo champion used a protected ranking for entry after being out most of last year with injuries. Kypson defeated top seed Ivan Nedelko of Russia in the first round, and earned his first title since 2017 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 4 seed Peter Heller of Germany in today's final.  Stanford recruit Tristan Boyer and Martin Damm reached the doubles final, where they lost to top seeds Heller and Peter Torebko 7-5, 6-2.

At the ATP Challenger 125 in Indian Wells, Steve Johnson, the No. 5 seed, defeated Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4 in today's final, his second Challenger title this year. After seeing his ranking drop as low as 99 last fall, Johnson is back up to 63 with this title.

Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania won the WTA 125 in Indian Wells, beating No. 13 seed Misaki Doi of Japan 6-3, 6-3.

After two opening round losses in Doha and Dubai, Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin returned to her winning ways this week, winning the inaugural WTA International in Lyon France. The top seed, Kenin battled through four three-setters, including in today's final, where she defeated unseeded Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. For more on today's final, see this article from the WTA website.