Sunday, August 19, 2018

Defending Champion Nicolas Mejia, Alexa Noel Top Seeds at ITF Grade 1 in College Park; Bangoura Wins Boston Futures Title; Olmos and Krawczyk Claim Vancouver $100K Doubles Title

2017 finalist Axel Geller and champion Nicolas Mejia

Colombia's Nicolas Mejia, who swept the titles last year the ITF Grade 1 Prince George's County International Hard Court tournament in College Park Maryland, is back to defend his titles. Ranked No. 4 in the world junior rankings and the No. 1 seed for the tournament, Mejia will face qualifier Jack Anthrop in Monday's first round singles action.  No. 2 seed Facundo Diaz Acosta of Brazil, who is No. 10 in the world junior rankings, also faces an American qualifier in Hunter Heck.  The top seeded American is No. 6 Drew Baird, who will play Daniil Glinka of Estonia in the last series of matches Monday afternoon.

Three American girls are among the top eight seeds, including the top two seeds: Alexa Noel and Lea Ma.  Noel, No. 5 in the world junior rankings, will face Martina Biagianti of Italy to open play on Monday, with Ma to follow her on court at the Junior Tennis Champions Center against Celestine Avomo Ella of Gabon.  The other American seeded in the Top 8, No. 5 Katie Volynets, plays Federica Rossi of Italy in Monday's first round.

This year the tournament's second site will not be the University of Maryland, as in the past, but the Greenbelt Community Center, where four courts will be used for 20 matches.

For Monday's order of play, completed qualifying draws and singles main draws, see the tournament's website.  I will be providing onsite coverage beginning tomorrow.

At the $25,000 Futures in Boston, No. 3 seed Sekou Bangoura won his third Futures singles title of the year, beating top seed Antoine Hoang of France 7-5, 6-2.  The former Florida star, now 26 years old, has also won two Futures doubles titles this year. His win today is his first title in the United States since 2016.

The $100,000 ITF Women's Circuit tournament in Vancouver is still not complete, with Great Britain's Heather Watson facing qualifier Misaki Doi of Japan in tonight's final, but the doubles final was last night, with Giuliana Olmos(USC) of Mexico and Desirae Krawczyk(Arizona State) winning the title. Olmos and Kawczyk, the No. 2 seeds, defeated unseeded Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine and Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-2, 7-5 in the championship match.  Last year the pair won five titles together, four at the $15-25,000 levels, one a $60K; this is their biggest title as a team, although Krawczyk did win a WTA doubles title last month with former Alabama star Alexa Guarachi.

Unseeded Dan Evans of Great Britain won the men's singles title, beating No. 4 seed Jason Kubler of Australia 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) in just under three hours.