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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Spizzirri Claims Singles Title at Grade 1 in Mexico, Grishuk Earns Grade 2 Title in Bolivia; Sock and Bryan Win ATP World Finals; Pro Circuit Update; Columbia's Lin Takes ATP New York Open Wild Card

Sixteen-year-old Eliot Spizzirri won his first ITF Grade 1 title today in Campeche Mexico, with the No. 7 seed defeating No. 3 seed Tyler Zink 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-0 in an all-American final. Spizzirri, who reached his first Grade 1 final last month at the Pan American Closed, defeated No. 14 seed Taha Baadi of Canada 6-3, 6-0 in last night's semifinals, while Zink had taken out No. 2 seed Harold Mayot of France by the same score to reach his first Grade 1 final.

Hurricane Tyra Black advanced to the finals of both doubles and singles, winning the doubles, but falling in the singles. Black, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 2 seed Lulu Sun of Switzerland 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals last night, but lost to No. 7 seed Kamilla Bartone of Latvia 6-2, 6-0 today.  Black and Selin Ovunc of Turkey, the No. 2 seeds, won the doubles title Saturday night, beating No. 3 seeds Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan and Adrienn Nagy of Hungary 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 in the final.

Unseeded Canadians Liam Draxl and Cleeve Harper won the boys doubles title, beating No. 5 seeds Roko Horvat and Admir Kalender of Croatia 6-3, 4-6, 13-11 in the final.

At the ITF Grade 2 in Bolivia, No. 4 seed Skyler Grishuk won her first title at that level, beating No. 3 seed Romina Ccuno of Peru 6-3, 6-1 in the final. The 16-year-old Grishuk, daughter of Olympic gold medalist in ice dancing Oksana Grishuk, had won a Grade 3 title earlier this year in New Zealand.

At the ITF Grade 5 in Antigua, top seed Sasha Wood, who received a wild card, earned her second title of the year on the ITF Junior Circuit. She defeated No. 2 seed Sydney Clarke of the Bahamas 6-3, 7-5 in the final.  No. 2 seeds Artemis Pados and Gabriella Soliman won the girls doubles title, beating top seeds Clarke and Tangia Riley-Codrington of Barbados 6-1, 6-4 in the championship match. Top seeds Toby Kodat and Billy Suarez won the boys doubles title, beating No. 4 seeds Kaipo Marshall of Barbados and Xaveam van Mijk of Curacao 6-1, 6-0 in the final.

Although the Davis Cup final between France and Croatia is still to be played next weekend, the ATP season came to a close today at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, with 21-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany upsetting World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to claim the singles title.  For more on the biggest title of Zverev's pro career, see this article from the ATP website.

Jack Sock and Mike Bryan completed an amazing second half of 2018 by winning the men's doubles title, saving a match point in their 5-7, 6-1, 13-11 decision over Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. Sock and Bryan, who won Wimbledon and the US Open this year, will not be playing together in 2019, with Bob Bryan returning from his injury layoff.  For more on Sock and Bryan's title, see this article from the ATP website.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Norman Oklahoma, 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada. the No. 1 seed, won her second $25K event in the past five weeks, beating unseeded 16-year-old Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia 6-1, 6-0 in the final. Andreescu, who has had her share of injuries throughout her junior and pro career, played five straight weeks in the US and Canada beginning in mid-October and went title, semifinal, semifinal, quarterfinal, title during that stretch. She added nearly 100 points to her total, meaning that Australian Open qualifying is now an option for her in January.

The men's singles title at the $25,000 Futures in Norman also went to the No. 1 seed, with Gijs Brouwer of the Netherlands defeating Oklahoma State sophomore Matej Vocel of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

Two-time NCAA singles semifinalist Nuno Borges, a 21-year-old senior at Mississippi State, won his fourth career Futures singles title today--his first outside his home country of Portugal--at the $15,000 tournament in Pensacola. The No. 2 seed, who won the inaugural Oracle ITA Fall National Championships last year, defeated Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela of 6-4, 6-3 in the final, his fifth consecutive straight-sets win. Borges is 26-5 this year in Futures competition.

No. 2 seed Jack Mingjie Lin of Columbia won the ATP New York Open main draw wild card Sunday at the USTA's Billie Jean King Tennis Center, beating top seed Alafia Ayeni of Cornell  6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final of the Collegiate Invitational Wild Card Tournament.  Although the TennisLink site said a match tiebreaker would be played in lieu of a third set, that was used only in the early rounds, with sophomore Lin winning a traditional three-setter in the semifinals, and then again in the final to earn his place in the February event. For more on the match, see this article from the New York Open website.

The men's and women's Oracle Series Challenger finals in Houston have been delayed all day by rain, and the finals were eventually moved indoors this evening. I will try to update the results here later tonight.

UPDATE 6:00 am Monday:  Bradley Klahn beat Roy Smith 7-6(4), 7-6(4) to win Houston $150K+H Challenger.  Peng Shuai of China beat Lauren Davis 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 for the WTA 125 title in Houston.  More details on Monday night's post.