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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Eubanks Earns First ATP Win in Atlanta; Greif Collects First ATP Point; Anisimova Beats Day in Sacramento $60K; Caty McNally's Wimbledon Ball Experience

Chris Eubanks Clinches 1st ATP Win (photo by Bill Kallenberg)
Tuesday was College Night at the ATP's BB&T Atlanta Open and Georgia Tech rising senior Christopher Eubanks made the most of it, picking his first victory on the ATP level with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win over fellow wild card Taylor Fritz.  This is the third year that Eubanks has played in the main draw of his hometown ATP event; last year he qualified but fell to Reilly Opelka in two tiebreakers in a first round match.

The day didn't go as well for the many other young Americans playing their first round matches today, with Opelka failing to convert on eight match points in a loss to Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, while Bjorn Fratangelo and Frances Tiafoe both lost in third set tiebreakers, to Vasek Pospisil of Canada and John Millman of Australia.  Stefan Kozlov also lost his first round match, to fellow qualifier Quentin Halys of France.

But because it's Atlanta and the first tournament of the US Open Series, there are plenty of Americans left in the draw.  Jack Sock and John Isner and Ryan Harrison, the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 seeds, have first round byes, with Donald Young, qualifier Tommy Paul, and Jared Donaldson also advancing to the second round.  Donaldson, the No. 8 seed, will face Eubanks next.

Despite the $75,000 ATP Binghamton Challenger being held the same week as the BB&T, the number of Americans at that event is impressive. TCU rising junior Alex Rybakov and UNC rising sophomore William Blumberg are among those advancing to the second round, joining Daniel Nguyen, Kevin King, Michael Mmoh and Christian Harrison.  Recent TCU standout Cameron Norrie of Great Britain beat No. 3 seed Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 7-6(3), 6-2 and former Tulane star Dominik Koepfer of Germany, who won the $25,000 Futures in Champaign last week, beat No. 7 seed Andrew Wittington of Australia 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

There's a $25,000 Futures in Champaign Illinois again this week, with former Illinois star Jared Hiltzik the top seed.  2016 Kalamazoo 16s champion Lukas Greif picked up his first ATP point with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 3 seed and 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane. Shane double faulted 14 times in the match.  John McNally and Sam Riffice, two additional players who will be participating in the Kalamazoo 18s tournament next week, also won their opening round matches.

Qualifying for the $60,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Sacramento was completed today, with UCLA rising sophomore Ena Shibahara and Vicky Duval the two Americans to reach the main draw. Irina Falconi, Danielle Collins[7], Kristie Ahn[2] and wild card Robin Anderson all advanced with first round wins today, as did Amanda Anisimova.  The 15-year-old Floridian defeated No. 3 seed Kayla Day 6-3, 7-5 and will play the winner of the Wednesday match between wild card Emina Bektas and 46-year-old Kimiko Date of Japan. Wimbledon girls champion Claire Liu takes on top seed Jennifer Brady in her first round match Wednesday.

French Open girls champion Whitney Osuigwe and Wimbledon girls finalist Ann Li are playing the $15,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Evansville this week, where former Tennessee star Caitlyn Whoriskey is the top seed.  Among the many top juniors who are playing in Evansville prior to the USTA 18s and 16s event in San Diego is Caty McNally, who reached the Wimbledon girls doubles final earlier this month for the second year in a row.  As a finalist, the 15-year-oldMcNally was invited to the Wimbledon Champions Ball (which is really a dinner now, from what I understand) and she spoke to her local newspaper in Cincinnati about what that experience was like. McNally also mentioned she may decide on whether to turn pro or go to college by the end of the year.


Essie said...

Kimiko Date??? Mercy. Still playing challengers at age 46? Is she playing for fun or just to actually get a ranking? If it's just for fun then she needs to give it up and leave that space for a young player who needs it. If she's trying for a ranking to play in tournaments, well, good luck.

Another kind of fake news said...

So they play a WC (Fritz) versus a WC (Eubanks) and a WC wins. Wow, do people really think it is random when this happens over and over again? Let's see Eubanks earn his way through the futures circuit, through Challenger then into an ATP event, then I would be impressed. Getting a win over another WC in a tournament you didn't earn your way in, not so much. It's just another one hit wonder produced by fabricated draws that happens all the time in an effort to manufacture American tennis.

Essie said...

Well, actually, Fritz isn't "just another wildcard." If you have been following him for the last couple of years, he is/was a very good player who has played several times in the main draw of top events. Beating him was a good win for Eubanks. In my opinion, that is.

Alex Ho said...

Eubanks got to the final of one futures event this summer, and won another, he got to the semi finals of a challenger in November (beating Rubin, Mmonh, and Bangoura. He is ranked 491, but without playing as many tournaments during school year as most players. It is not unusual for a local player to get a wild card into ATP/WTA tour event, it is also a random event how the draw gets set up, that is why its called a "draw". Players get good and bad draws (like he lost in the first round of qualifying at Newport to the #1 seed in 3 sets).

No idea why Kimoko Date is still out there playing, she is playing on a "special ranking", and has mentioned that she is playing with injuries. She says she enjoys being out there, but she is definitely taking the spot of a more deserving player. She is still a good player, she was up on Anaconda, but got tired and lost in 3

5.0 Player said...

@another kind of fake news,

Why don't you do just a little bit of cursory research before you trash a very promising American college player's accomplishments (Eubanks) who is doing this well despite attending college. To denigrate his win in a tour level main draw over Taylor Fritz as merely a win over a Wild Card player is absurd. Fritz is currently ranked 125 in the world and was ranked #25 in the world less than 12 months ago. The only reason his ranking dropped was because he was had to stop playing tournaments when recovering from an injury.

These are facts, not fake news, something that you and your incompetent lying "hero" who Russia put in the White House is similarly unfamiliar with.

KB10s said...

5.0 player....... while I agree with your comment that a win over Taylor Fritz is a "big scalp" to get, you may want to check your research. No way on earth he was #25 in the world 12 months ago! His highest ATP ranking up til this point has been #53 (August of last year).

5.0 Player said...

@KB10s, you are correct. #53, not #25. I must have read the wrong stat page.