Saturday, September 19, 2015

Finals Set for Oracle Masters; McDonald and Baughman in Claremont Futures Final; Novikov and Harrison in Cary Challenger Final

The terraced court layout at the Malibu Racquet Club, site of the Oracle ITA Masters

After a very long day at the Malibu Racquet Club, the finals are set for the inaugural Oracle ITA Masters.

All four men's seeds lost in the first round on Friday, and when the quarterfinals and semifinals were completed on Saturday, TCU sophomore Cameron Norrie and Duke sophomore Nicolas Alvarez had advanced to the final.

Norrie defeated Tulsa's Or Ram-Harel 6-4, 6-1 and Alvarez downed Guillermo Nunez of TCU 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.  The semifinals were not as straightforward.  Alvarez needed to win a second set tiebreaker to get into a third set with Texas Tech's Felipe Soares, but he survived for a 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-0 decision.  Norrie also dropped the first set in his semifinal, but came back to defeat Dominik Koepfer of Tulane 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The women's final will be an all-ACC affair with North Carolina's Hayley Carter playing Virginia's Danielle Collins.

Carter's two wins on Saturday came against Giuliana Olmos of USC, by a score of 6-4, 6-3 and Clemson's Joana Eidukonyte, whom she defeated 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals.

No. 4 seed Collins, who lost only two games in her first two victories, had a much tougher task against top seed Maegan Manasse of Cal, but the Virginia senior came through with a 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4 win in a match that ended after 8:30 p.m. Pacific time.  Manasse is still scheduled to play her doubles semifinal match tonight.

The complete results, including doubles and consolation matches, can be found at the tournament page at the ITA website.

The finals are scheduled to be aired on the Tennis Channel Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m Pacific.

At the $10,000 Claremont Futures, UCLA junior Mackenzie McDonald will play 19-year-old Deiton Baughman in Sunday's final.  It is McDonald's first Futures final, while Baughman has won two Futures titles, both this year. Neither has lost a set in their first four wins, with Baughman beating former Pepperdine All-American Sebastian Fanselow of Germany 6-3, 6-3 and McDonald defeating Virginia sophomore Collin Altamirano 6-2, 6-2 in today's semifinals.

The doubles final, played Friday, was won by Jean-Yves Aubone(Florida State) and Gonzales Austin(Vanderbilt). The No. 2 seeds beat top seeds Junior Ore(Texas A&M) and Hunter Nicholas (San Diego State) 7-5, 3-6, 10-6.

Tournament press aide Steve Pratt filed this report, which includes quotes from Baughman about his win.

2012 Kalamazoo champion and former UCLA Bruin Dennis Novikov has reached his first ATP Challenger final in Cary, North Carolina. The No. 7 seed defeated No. 6 seed Brydan Klein of Great Britain 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 in today's semifinal and will face No. 5 seed Ryan Harrison, who defeated No. 4 seed Blaz Rola of Slovenia 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Unlike Claremont and Cary, the final at the women's $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Redding, California will not feature Americans.  Vania King, who had beaten top seed defending champion Jennifer Brady in the first round, lost in today's semifinal to Heidi El Tabakh of Canada 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-1. The eighth-seeded El Tabakh will play No. 5 seed Sherazad Reix of France, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over No. 7 seed Paula Goncalves of Brazil.  The doubles title went to top seeds Caitlin Whoriskey and Ashley Weinhold, who defeated No. 2 seeds Michelle Sammons of South Africa and Varatchaya Wongteanchai of Thailand 6-2, 7-5.

Jonathan Kelley is in Redding, and you can read his account of the past few days of action at his blog On The Rise.