Monday, August 13, 2018

Geller Takes Futures Title in Edwardsville; Muhammad Claims US Open Wild Card; Two Doubles Titles for Americans on ITF Junior Circuit

I don't have the time to devote to the Pro Circuit results during Kalamazoo, but today I can look back at last week's results, which included the first title on the ITF Men's Circuit for ITF World Junior champion Axel Geller of Argentina, who is a rising sophomore at Stanford.

For the second week in a row, Geller, 19, and Sebastian Korda, 18, met in the late stages of a $25,000 Futures.  Geller had lost to Korda 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals of the Decatur Illinois Futures, but when they met in the final in Edwardsville Illinois this week, it was Geller who prevailed, beating Korda 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(0) in the final. Neither player was seeded, and in fact, no seed reached the semifinals. Korda, who decided not to play Kalamazoo this year, reached two finals and a semifinal in the past three weeks of $25,000 Futures, and is nearing the ATP Top 500.

The double final in Edwardsville also was without seeds, with Liam Caruana(Texas) of Italy and Nicolas Alvarez(Duke) of Peru defeating Nick Meister(UCLA) and Evan Zhu(UCLA) 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 10-7 in the final.

Asia Muhammad won the USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge despite not playing at the $60,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Landisville Pennsylvania.  Kristie Ahn(Stanford) had a chance to take the wild card with the title in Landisville, but retired in the final to No. 3 seed Madison Brengle 6-4, 1-0. From the USTA's announcement:

Muhammad won the US Open Wild Card Challenge, which awards one American man and woman a wild card into the Open based on their performance at select hard-court events over a five-week period.

Muhammad claimed her spot atop the Challenge standings by winning the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Lexington, Ky., last week and reaching the quarterfinals of another $60,000 event in Honolulu in July. She clinched the Challenge when Kristie Ahn retired during the singles final of the $60,000 event in Landisville, Pa., on Sunday, and therefore couldn't tie her in the Challenge points standings. Muhammad and Gail Brodsky are still tied atop the standings with 95 points each, but Muhammad will get the wild card based on having a higher singles ranking on Monday.

A 27-year old from Las Vegas, Muhammad is currently ranked No. 217 in singles and No. 98 in doubles. Her only singles main draw appearance in New York came in 2008, but she reached the doubles quarterfinals with Taylor Townsend in 2016.

Bradley Klahn won the men's US Open wild card last week.

The doubles title in Landisville went to the top seeded Australian team of Ellen Perez(Georgia) and Arina Rodionova, who beat Pei Hsuan Chen and Fang-Hsein Wu of Taiwan 6-0, 6-2 in the final.

No Americans reached the finals of the $100,000 ATP Challenger in Aptos California, with Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia sweeping the singles and doubles titles.  Kokkinakis, the No. 4 seed, beat unseeded Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final. Kokkinakis and Matt Reid, who were unseeded, won the doubles title, beating top seeds Joe Salisbury(Memphis) and Jonny O'Mara of Great Britain 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 in the championship match.

Few Americans were active on the ITF Junior Circuit last week, with the USTA National Championships on the schedule (see the Honor Roll at left for all the USTA National singles and doubles champions), but three did take home doubles titles.  Sasha Wood and her partner Lara Van Der Merwe of South Africa, the No. 2 seeds, claimed the doubles championship at the ITF Grade 4 in Zimbabwe, beating top seeds Hania Abouelsaad and Amira Badawi of Egypt 4-6, 7-5, 10-2 in the final. At the ITF Grade 5 in St. Lucia, Zeba Jamal and Anjali Mogili, the No. 3 seeds, won the doubles title with a 6-1, 6-0 decision over No. 2 seeds Sydney Clarke of the Bahamas and Tangia Riley-Codrington of Barbados.


Unknown said...

Not sure you can count Liam C as a Texas guy, he only stayed on campus a few weeks.