Sunday, July 18, 2010

Farah Wins Challenger in Colombia; Falconi Takes Atlanta 10K, Turns Pro

I spent the day traveling to Memphis to begin my live coverage of the USTA Girls 18s Clay Court championship Monday, but before I turn my focus to that tournament, there's news from the Challenger and Pro Circuit level.

Robert Farah, who played No. 1 for the NCAA champion Southern California Trojans, won the $125,000 challenger in Bogota Colombia today. Farah, a wild card, beat No. 7 seed Carlos Salamanca, who also is from Colombia, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3) in the final. When Farah left USC at the beginning of June he had no ATP points. With his win today, he will likely be inside the Top 300. He and his partner Juan Sebastian Cabal also won the doubles title. A photo of Farah with the trophy can be found here.

Complete draws can be found on the ATP website.

I had received a couple of emails yesterday from readers in Atlanta who had heard that Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi had turned pro, and I can confirm that she has. Falconi defeated Florida sophomore Allie Will 6-1, 6-4 in the singles final of the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Atlanta today, and I spoke to her by phone while she was on her way to Lexington. The 20-year-old from Florida said she had turned pro, feeling the time was right, and that her coach Bryan Shelton supported her decision. In the doubles, Kristy Frilling of Notre Dame and Julia Glushko of Israel defeated Falconi and Maria Sanchez of USC 6-2, 2-6, 10-7.

At the Peoria Futures, former Florida All-American Greg Ouellette won the singles title over Daniel Yoo, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, avenging his loss in the June final at the Chico Futures. In the doubles, former North Carolina Tar Heel Taylor Fogleman and former Tennessee Volunteer Benjamin Rogers beat Jack Sock and Sekou Bangoura of Florida 6-2, 6-4.

In Aptos, unseeded Marinko Matosevic of Australia won the $75,000 event, defeating No. 3 seed Donald Young, 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Carsten Ball and Chris Guiccone made it a sweep for Australia with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Australians Adam Feeney and Greg Jones in the doubles final.

This week the men and women have a combined event ($50,000 prize money each) in Lexington as well as two smaller events. The men's $10,000 is in Joplin, Mo., while the women's $10,000 tournament is in Evansville, Ind.

For complete results and draws, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.


trojanfan said...

Congratulations to Farah. He's the real deal!

Brent said...

Interesting that Van Overbeek needed to go to 6-4 in the third before surviving his round of 256 match today...

Wright Thinking said...

Does the community have an opinion on Falconi's decision? Rebecca Marino after 3 years on the tour is only inside the top 200. Is that worth leaving college for?

5.0 Player said...

Even more interestng is that he (Van Overbeek) lost 2d round today.

simonsaystennis said...

Congrats Irina! Hope you have a great pro career!

Brent said...

Van Overbeek and Giron, my two predicted finalists, both lost in the round of 128. I'm not good. I feel bad for the poor kids that I pick to make a long run at the Zoo. They may figure that showing up isn't worth their plane fare after my kiss of death. Doh!

I don't believe, though, that the Van Overbeek loss proves the 'seeding doesn't matter' point. The point is that, if you are going to try to keep those most likely to win from playing each other as long as possible, you should do it in a way that serves that end, and for the Clay Courts, they did not do that.

5.0 Player said...

Wright Thinking said...
"Does the community have an opinion on Falconi's decision? Rebecca Marino after 3 years on the tour is only inside the top 200. Is that worth leaving college for?"

Actually, Marino never even started college.

College Tennis Fan said...

I haven't heard much about Jacqueline Cako lately.

Does anyone know what her plans are now that she deferred one year from starting at Arizona State and the Fall is just around the corner?

been-there said...

I was told by my PNW friends that she is indeed heading to Arizona State this fall.

5.0 Player said...

What the heck is going on down there in Florida?! Van Overbeek lost second round. Now Egger loses first round 4 and 2 to Richmond who he just beat recently.

Tons of top seeds are falling early. I heard that the B16s first seed also lost in the first round.

I guess anything can happen on clay.

love-tennis said...

There is a lot of pressure being a top seed in one of those Supernationals. Yes, you are supposed to be good enough to deal with it, but reality is, it is darn hard. At the Easter Bowl, they made you sit and wait for the "show court" even if you had to wait an extra hour. You have a target on your back every round because everyone wants to take you out. Your friends laugh with you as you walk up and say, "Here comes the # 1 seed!" The newspapers want to interview you. If you have lost the first set, a crowd starts to gather around, buzzing, and you know what they are talking about.

Obviously you are supposed to be strong enough mentally to get past the comments and hype, but it is really hard.

bullfrog said...

I think Falconi's decision is very unwise. Just look at the long list of NCAA champions who fared poorly in the pros (Cohen, Cecil, etc). Pro's is another planet from college. Plus, you just go broke fast if you aren't at least Top 100. Look around...how many American girls have been able to sustain Top 100? Very, very few.

vhog said...

From what I understand, Cecil has been plagued with injures since July, 2009, which has been unfortunate. The real question is should Cecil have gone pro before college when she beat 3 top 100 players in the fall of 2008? The statistics of getting into the top 50 after going to college for the females is less than 1%.

duke fan said...

Cecil spent less than 5 months at Duke - it's hard to believe that really stunted her growth as a player.

Eric Amend said...


Duke fan is right!

Cecil started in January and finished in May by leading her team to the NCAA Title and winning the individuals. There is no possible way that playing collegiate tennis for that short of time frame, coupled with the success and titles she won, had a negative effect on her pro career, No way!! In fact, I'm sure it boosted her confidence, and a US Open WC doesn't hurt either.

I'm going to list a number of American girls that decided to forgo college that I feel could have used some college tennis to improve their games before turning professional.

My criteria was 20-25 years old, played professional for a minimum of 3 years, and never "maintained" a top 100 ranking. Some have been successful and made their money on the doubles tour, but I'm only looking at their singles ranking. These are players that are in, or nearing the prime of their tennis careers based on age. I've probably left off some names but this is a subjective list anyway.

Alexandra Muller (20 years old, Highest rank 280, Current rank 448).
Lauren Albanese (20, H=158, C=260)
Kim Couts (21, H=259, C=285)
Angela Haynes (25, H=95, C=310)
Ahsha Rolle (25, H=82, C=324)
Alexa Glatch (20, H=102, C=364)
Jennifer Elie (23, H=311, C=337)
Ashley Weinhold (21, H=366, C=542)
Carly Gullickson (23, H=123, C=257)

Both Albanese and Weinhold won the 18 Nationals.

My point in naming these players isn't to call them out as unsuccessful, but that it doesn't matter if you go to college because vhog's said "The statistics of getting into the top 50 after going to college for the females is less than 1%", and that's an incorrect statement because it's the same statistic for those that opt out of college tennis altogether as well.

People need to realize that the lifestyle of the newly turned professional, traveling week in and week out, makes it's so difficult on the mind and body, in conjuction with intense competition where it's "do or die" for every single player on tour, that can wear people down, injure them, and/or burn them out.

We need to stop blaming the collegiate game for the lack of Americans that find it a difficult transition from college to the professional ranks. It's not that easy whether you go to college or not!!! So, why not utilize the collegiate system for a minimum of two years, even if your an 18's National Champion.

John said...

Eric - great post........very well said.

Eric Amend said...

Actually, I made a mistake.
I think Mueller is 22, not 20.

bullfrog said...

In the near future you will be able to add a whole bunch of new names to the list: Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens, Shelby Rogers, Coco Vandeweghe, Asia Muhammed, .... Sad.

georgia said...

probably another, oudin