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Monday, July 24, 2017

Hewitt, Baird Earn ITF Grade 4 Titles in Dominican Republic; Pera Claims $80K in Czech Republic; Rublev Wins ATP Title; Lleyton Hewitt Opens Academy in Bahamas

International Tennis Federation junior tournaments numbered 17 last week, but US juniors, most of whom were competing at the USTA Clay Courts or in USTA Pro Circuit events, earned just two singles titles, both at the Grade 4 in the Dominican Republic both in all-USA finals.  Dalayna Hewitt swept the girls events as the No. 1 seed in both singles and doubles.  The 16-year-old from Ohio beat No. 8 seed Sasha Wood 6-3, 6-4 in the final.  Hewitt and Ariana Arseneault of Canada collected the doubles title when Hina Inoue and Uruguay's Lucia De Santa Ana retired in the final trailing 6-3, 3-0. 

Drew Baird, the No. 2 seed, won the boys singles title, beating No. 3 seed Blaise Bicknell 6-3 7-6(3).  It's the second ITF singles title for Baird, who won the Grade 4 Grass Courts in Philadelphia last month. 

At the ITF Grade 4 in Germany, 15-year-old Julian Steinhausen won the doubles title, with Benjamin Niv of Bulgaria.  The pair defeated Germans Fynn Kuenkler and Bastien Presuhn, the top seeds, 7-6(8), 5-7, 10-7 in the final.

Tristan Boyer won the boys doubles title at the ITF Grade 2 in Switzerland, partnering with Kaya Gore of Turkey.  The No. 2 seeds defeated the unseeded Swiss team of Luca Staeheli and Yannik Steinegger 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-7 in the final.

Andrew Fenty and Venezuela's Brandon Perez fell in the boys doubles final at the Grade 1 in Austria. The No. 6 seeds lost to No. 3 seeds Igor Gimenez and Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida of Brazil 6-3, 6-7(8), 10-8 in the final.  Top seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina won the boys singles title and No. 12 seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy took the girls singles championship.

The big ITF Junior tournament this week is the Grade B1 European Championships in Switzerland.  Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine and Corentin Moutet of France are the top seeds.

Bernarda Pera, the 22-year-old American (by way of Croatia), won the biggest title of her career yesterday at the $80,000+H tournament in the Czech Republic.  Pera, who was unseeded, beat No. 2 seed Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals, and in the final, she defeated top seed Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.  With the win, Pera has reached a career high WTA ranking of 146.

Nineteen-year-old Andrey Rublev of Russia won his first ATP title last night in Umag, defeating Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-4, 6-2 in the final.  Rublev, who lost in the qualifying at the 250 level event in Croatia but got in as a lucky loser, has now moved into the ATP Top 50.  Rublev talks about his breakthrough, his young compatriots in the Top 50 and what parts of his game have improved since he left the juniors in this interview on the ATP website.

Grant Doyle, who was a top junior himself and has coached Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison, is now working with Lleyton Hewitt at the elite tennis program of the Albany Sports Academy in the Bahamas.  The academy is starting small, with approximately 25 students, and will officially open on August 28th.  Doyle talked to Nina Pantic about the new venture; like me, you may not have been aware that Hewitt has had a residence there for years.


Tony Bahama said...

The Albany Sports Academy. 80 Large per year and you can learn how to be a professional by observing Nick Kyrgios. Where do I sign, Lleyton?

dab said...

TonyB comment IMO not a fair comment about Hewitt or Doyle