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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Nakashima Wins Laguna Niguel Futures; Mmoh Claims Columbus Challenger Title; Perez-Somarriba and Verboven Are Oracle Masters Champions

Thanks to Jonathan Kelley for filling in for me yesterday with his post from the Laver Cup in Chicago.Today, Europe retained the title today, beating the World team 13-8, with Alexander Zverev of Germany clinching it with a 6-7(3), 7-5, 10-7 win over Kevin Anderson of South Africa. For more on Europe's win, see this article.

After the Laver Cup excitement ended this evening, there's still a lot of catching up to do on the pro and collegiate circuits.  Aside from the Laver Cup result, the news was good for American men, who won both USTA Pro Circuit events in the US this week.

Seventeen-year-old Brandon Nakashima received a wild card into the main draw of the $15,000 Futures in Laguna Niguel California and when he won his first round match, he had already had a historically good week for himself.  Although the Kalamazoo 18s finalist did have eight ATP points from his win in qualifying at the US Open, he had not won a main draw match in the six other Futures he had played in the past several years. But this week, the San Diego resident beat three seeds to reach the final, where he came up against unseeded Maxime Cressy of France, a senior at UCLA. Nakashima was up 6-4, 5-3 and had three match points, but he dropped that game, giving Cressy hope. That didn't last however, with Nakashima breaking Cressy by winning the last three points of the match for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Michael Mmoh won his first ATP Challenger title of the year today at the $75,000 tournament in Columbus Ohio. The 2016 Kalamazoo 18s champion, seeded No. 3, beat top seed Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-3, 7-6(4).  Thompson broke Mmoh at 5-5 in the second set, but was unable to close it out, with Mmoh converting his second break point, then taking the tiebreaker. Mmoh will move to a career-high 108 in the ATP rankings with his third Challenger title.

Unseeded Tommy Paul and Canadian Peter Polansky won the Columbus doubles title, beating Ecuador's Gonzalo Escobar(Texas Tech) and Roberto Quiroz(USC), also unseeded, 6-3, 6-3 in today's final.

In yesterday's final of the $25,000 women's USTA Pro Circuit event in Lubbock Texas, No. 7 seed Rebecca Marino of Canada defeated Robin Anderson(UCLA) 6-4, 6-1.  Marino did not drop a set in capturing her fifth ITF Women's Circuit title this year.

The champions were crowned today at the ITA Oracle Masters in Malibu.  No. 6 seed Laurens Verboven, a senior at USC, defeated No. 7 seed Nicolas Moreno of UC-Santa Barbara 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3 to take the men's title.  No. 4 seed Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami, who had beaten top seed Fernanda Contreras of Vanderbilt in the semifinals Saturday, defeated Pepperdine sophomore Evgeniya Levashova, the No. 6 seed, 6-4, 6-3 to claim the women's title. The mixed doubles tournament, a rarity in college tennis, was completed Saturday, with top seeds Yuya Ito of Texas and Lisa Marie Rioux of Oklahoma State beating No. 6 seed Sven Lah of Baylor and Michaela Bayerlova of Washington State 8-3 in the final.  For more about the women's final, see this article from Miami's website. For more on Verboven's win, the second straight for a USC Trojan, see this article. More on the mixed doubles final is available at the Texas website.