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Monday, September 30, 2019

Nanda, Paul and Rogers Claim USTA Pro Circuit Titles; Pepperdine's Lahey and USC's Cukierman Win Oracle Masters; Stoiana, Kida, Williams and Anthrop Win ITF Grade 5 Events

Because I was so busy covering the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competitions last week, I didn't have a chance to follow much of the USTA Pro Circuit events, but Americans won all three titles, at the ATP 100 Challenger in Tiburon, the women's $60K in Templeton and at the $25K in Harlingen.

Top seed Tommy Paul won his second ATP Challenger of the month in Tiburon California, with the 22-year-old beating No. 8 seed Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 7-5, 6-7(3) 6-4 in the final. With the title, Paul has moved to a career-high of 81 in the ATP rankings. No. 3 seeds Robert Galloway(Wofford) and Venezuela's Roberto Maytin(Baylor) won the doubles title, beating unseeded Darian King of Barbados and JC Aragone(Virginia) 6-2, 7-5 in the final.

In Templeton California, the finalists were unseeded Americans, but not exactly surprises to get that far. Shelby Rogers, a former WTA Top 50 player before an knee injury sidelined her from more than a year, beat former WTA Top 10 player Coco Vandeweghe, also returning from a long injury layoff, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the final. For more on Rogers' win, see this recap from tournament press aide Steve Pratt. 

No. 3 seeds Vladica Babic(Oklahoma State) and Caitlin Whoriskey(Tennessee) won the doubles title, beating unseeded Gabriela Talaba(Texas Tech) of Romania and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

This year's Kalamazoo 18s finalist Govind Nanda won his second $25,000 level title this year, in Harlingen Texas. The unseeded Nanda, who is taking the fall off from classes at UCLA after playing the spring semester with the Bruins, defeated qualifier Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria, also 18, in the final by a 6-4, 6-4 score. Nanda, whose previous title was earned in Tucson, right before he began school at UCLA, will move to a new ATP career-high of around 550 when these points are added.

No. 4 seeds Harrison Adams(Texas A&M) and George Goldhoff(Texas) won the doubles title, beating Jaime Bendeck(Baylor) of Honduras and Timo Stodder(Tennessee) of Germany 5-7, 6-3, 10-1 in the final.

At the ITA Oracle Masters in Malibu, all four singles finalists were from Southern California, with Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey taking the women's title and Daniel Cukierman of USC claiming the men's title.  No. 3 seed Lahey defeated UCLA's Jada Hart, the No. 5 seed, 6-3, 6-0 in the final and No. 2 seed Cukierman took out top seed Keegan Smith of UCLA 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the men's championship match.  Natasha Subhash of Virginia and Sven Lah of Baylor won the mixed doubles title. For more on the finals and the complete draws, see the ITA website. The finals will re-air on ESPNU Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern(women) and Wednesday at 4 p.m.(men).

The ITF Junior Circuit returned to the United States this week, with the Grade 5 in Austin Texas. No. 3 seed Sophie Williams, 15, won the girls singles title, beating  top seed Leyden Games 6-4, 6-2 in the final for her first ITF singles title. Top seed Jack Anthrop, also 15, captured the boys singles title, beating No. 13 seed Hugo Hashimoto 7-5, 6-1. Anthrop, who now has two ITF Junior Circuit singles titles, had reached the final at the same event last year.

Samir Banerjee and Andrew Chang won the doubles title, beating Ozan Colak and Hugo Hashimoto 6-3, 6-4 in the final between unseeded teams. The girls final also was between two unseeded American teams, with Reya Coe and Skylar Moody beating Simran Chhabra and Isabella Flodin 1-6, 7-5, 10-8.

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Kida won the girls title at the ITF Grade 5 in New Zealand last week. The top seed, Kida defeated No. 6 seed Ana Tamanika of New Zealand 7-6(5), 6-1 in the final. Kida, who has recently committed to Eastern Washington, now has three ITF junior singles titles, all at the Grade 5 level.

At the Grade 5 in Canada, Mary Stoiana won her first title on the ITF Junior Circuit in just her second tournament played, coming through qualifying to win eight matches during the week. The five-star high school junior from Connecticut defeated three seeds and lost only one set in her eight victories. She downed No. 4 seed Kristen Borland of Canada 6-4, 6-1 in the championship match.

Unseeded 14-year-old Madeleine Jessup lost in the final of the Grade 3 in Malaysia, falling to top seed Janice Tjen of Indonesia 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the championship match.