Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shishkina, Kalyuzhnyy Win Evert ITF Grade 4; 15-year-old Zverev reaches Final at Bradenton Futures

The last Grade 4 of the fall US ITF swing finished today at the Evert Academy in Boca Raton, Florida, with Maria Shishkina of the US and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy of Ukraine winning the singles titles.

The top-seeded Kalyuzhnyy, who turns 17 next month, needed three sets to get through in three of his matches, but today against US qualifier Baker Newman, he came through in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. Newman can hardly be disappointed with his showing this week, however, as the 17-year-old Floridian picked up eight wins including qualifying.

Third-seeded Shishkina breezed to the title, losing only 10 games in her six victories, and she beat three players, including unseeded Maria Smith in today's final, 6-0, 6-0. She is, at the moment, in the qualifying draws at both the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, in the 18s division, and in this run, and her success at the Grade B1 in Tulsa, where she reached the semifinals before withdrawing with an injury, it's obvious she can compete with those three and four years older.

The girls doubles title went to unseeded Mia Horvit and Katerina Stewart, who beat seventh-seeded Lisa Ponomar of Germany and Tyler Smith of Bermuda in the final by a 6-1, 6-3 score. 

Lamar Remy and Alejandro Tabillo of Canada took the boys doubles title. The No. 5 seeds defeated unseeded Jake Devine and Nathan Ponwith 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-6.

On the other side of the state, another teenager got the attention of the tennis world, with 15-year-old Alexandre Zverev of Germany reaching the final of the $10,000 Futures tournament in Bradenton.
Zverev beat fellow teen Luke Bambridge of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 in today's semifinal after picking up wins over No. 8 seed Sekou Bangoura Jr. and No. 4 seed Benjamin Balleret earlier in the week.
Although the field is not a strong one, with Zverev getting direct entry with his ATP ranking of 1156, it's still an impressive accomplishment for one so young. He will play top seed Florian Reynet of France in Sunday's final.

Zverev is in the main draw of both the Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl, which are being played on the same surface (and for the Eddie Herr, the same courts) as the Futures tournament. Zverev, the younger brother of ATP pro Mischa Zverev, will not be seeded, so where he lands in the draw will be of great interest to everyone.

Recent Stanford graduate Ryan Thacher picked up his second doubles title in as many weeks today in Bradenton, teaming with former UCLA star Haythem Abid of Tunisia, after winning at the Niceville Futures with Jason Jung.

Thacher and Abid, who were unseeded, beat No. 2 seeds Romain Arneodo of France and Balleret of Montserrat6-3, 3-6, 10-4.

The last US Pro Circuit challenger of the year finished up today in Champaign, Ill., with No. 6 seed Tim Smyczek defeating No. 7 seed Jack Sock 2-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 for the singles title.

Devin Britton and Austin Krajicek won their fifth doubles title of the year together, but their first Challenger, in Champaign, defeating the South African team of Jean Andersen and Izak van der Merwe 6-3, 6-3. Britton and Krajicek were seeded No. 2, while Andersen and van der Merwe were unseeded. It was Britton's 11th title overall, and Krajicek's sixth in 2012.

The complete draws can be found at the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.