Monday, November 9, 2015

Hand, Leschly, Plambeck Win ITF Titles; Hong, Zheng Take ITF Grade B1 Asian Closed Titles

With the help of indoor courts and match tiebreakers, the ITF Grade 4 in Lexington, South Carolina did finish despite a week of rain, with Clarissa Hand sweeping the girls titles.  The 15-year-old from New Jersey, seeded No. 12, defeated top seed Ali Collins of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 in the singles final for her first ITF title. She and Emma Decoste, the No. 5 seeds, won the doubles title, beating Ann Li and Natasha Subhash, the No. 2 seeds, 7-5, 6-4.

No. 8 seed Rafael Wagner of Brazil won the boys singles title in South Carolina. After defeating top seed Oliver Crawford in the quarterfinals, the 17-year-old went on to beat Tristan McCormick, the No. 16 seed, 7-6(6), 7-5 in the final to claim his first ITF singles championship.

Wagner wasn't able to match Hand's sweep, falling in the doubles final to No. 6 seeds Ryan Goetz and Mac Kiger.  The unseeded Wagner and Jean Mendes Muniz, also of Brazil, fell to the American team 6-3, 7-6(1).

At the Grade 5 in the Cayman Islands, Lane Leschly swept the singles and doubles titles, his first two career titles on the ITF junior circuit. The 17-year-old Harvard recruit, seeded No. 2, defeated No. 4 seed Tyler Zink 6-3, 6-2 in the final, his fifth consecutive straight-set win. He won the doubles championship with Ryan Meuller of Guatemala, with the top seeds defeating unseeded Daiki Yoshimura of Japan and Tomas Kopczynski 7-5, 6-2 in the final.

Top seed Melissa Plambeck won her third singles title, defeating No. 4 seed Kate Paulus 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Plambeck, a 15-year-old from Florida, had won two Grade 4 titles back in June.  Paulus and Chloe Hamlin, the No. 2 seeds, won the doubles title, beating the unseeded Japanese team of Natsumi Kawaguchi and Sena Takebe 4-6, 6-2, 10-6.

This week the US ITF fall circuit wraps up with the Grade 4 tournament at the Evert Academy in Boca Raton. As is customary, the tournament draws a very strong field for a Grade 4, with both Hurricane Tyra Black, the top seed, and Caty McNally, the No. 4 seed, playing again for the first time since the Pan American Closed last month. John Jorgeson and Canadian William Tutecky are the top two seeds in the boys draw.

The Grade B1 Asian Closed in Korea drew an excellent field last week, with ITF No. 2 Seong Chan Hong of Korea taking the boys title, and No. 17 Wushuang Zheng of China collecting the girls title.  Hong, the top seed, defeated No. 6 seed Toru Horie of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in the final.  In the boys doubles final, No. 2 seeds Alberto Lim of the Philippines and Chan-Yeong Oh of Korea defeated top seeds Yunseong Chung of Korea and Tung-lin Wu of Taiwan 7-6(5), 6-2.

Zheng, also the top seed, defeated No. 2 seed Chihiro Muramatsu of Japan 6-0, 6-3 in the final.  In an all-Chinese girls doubles final, No. 5 seeds Ziyu Wang and Yue Yuan defeated Siqi Cao and Shou Na Mu, the No. 8 seeds, 6-3, 6-3.

Despite the big points on offer in the tournament, Hong and Zheng only retained their current rankings, with Zheng having reached the final last year at the same tournament and Hong gaining points with his title, but still well behind the top junior boy, Taylor Fritz.