Saturday, July 1, 2017

Paul, Gibbs Return to Pro Circuit Finals; Gauff Makes ITF Junior Debut at Grade 1 Roehampton; Norrie Ready for Wimbledon Debut; Navarro Commits to Duke

Tommy Paul and Nicole Gibbs are both on track for a second straight $25K title after wins today in Tulsa and Auburn respectively.  Paul, the No. 7 seed, defeated top seed Austin Krajicek 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, the second week in a row Paul has taken down the former Texas A&M star in the semifinals.  In the final, Paul will face No. 4 seed Christian Harrison, who ended Georgia rising junior Emil Reinberg's impressive run with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in today's semifinals.

Gibbs, the top seed and a wild card, beat Georgia's Ellen Perez of Australia 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the final against No. 5 seed Miharu Imanishi of Japan. Imanishi prevented an all-Stanford final by taking out Carol Zhao of Canada 6-2, 2-6, 6-0. 

The doubles title in Auburn went to top seeds Emina Bektas and Chile's Alexa Guarachi Mathison, who beat last week's Baton Rouge $25K champions Perez and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 4-6, 6-4, 10-5. Since the first of May, Bektas and Guarachi Mathison have won three doubles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit, two $25Ks and a $60K.

The third champion from last week's USTA Pro Circuit events saw his winning streak halted at the $15,000 tournament in Pittsburgh, with Ohio State rising senior Mikael Torpegaard, the No. 1 seed, falling to No. 4 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan 6-3, 6-3.  Uchida's opponent in the final will be former Georgia star Nathan Pasha, who eliminated No. 6 seed Dennis Nevolo  6-3, 6-4. It's the 24-year-old Pasha's first career Futures final,  while the 22-year-old Uchida is looking for his fourth Futures title.

With the Wimbledon qualifying over, the juniors now descend on Roehampton for the ITF Grade 1, with main draw matches starting on Sunday.  Thirteen US boys and 13 US girls are competing in the Wimbledon junior warmup, with French Open champion Whitney Osuigwe and French Open finalist Claire Liu the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the girls draw.

Other US girls in the draw are Hurricane Tyra Black, Elysia Bolton, Sofia Sewing[12], Hailey Baptiste, Taylor Johnson[5], Caty McNally, Ann Li, Ellie Douglas and qualifiers Salma Ewing and Victoria Flores.  Cori Gauff, 13, received a wild card and will be making her ITF Junior Circuit debut Monday.

The US boys in the main draw are Danny Thomas, Alafia Ayeni, Alexandre Rotsaert, Patrick Kypson, Oliver Crawford[8], Brian Cernoch, Gianni Ross, Trent Bryde[6], Sam Riffice, Sebastian Korda, Vasil Kirkov and qualifiers Andrew Fenty and Sangeet Sridhar.  No. 1 seed in the boys draw is France's Corentin Moutet, who received the top seed due to his ATP ranking of 337.

Great Britain's Cameron Norrie, who turned pro in May after his junior year at TCU, makes his Wimbledon debut on Monday against No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Norrie, who received a wild card into the main draw and has already beaten two ATP Top 100 players on grass in the past several weeks, spoke about how college tennis helped him overcome his junior tennis burnout and added balance to his life in this article from the Independent.

Although she won't begin her sophomore year in high school until this fall, Easter Bowl 16s champion Emma Navarro has announced a verbal commitment to Duke. James Beck has more on her decision at Charleston's The Post and Courier.