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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ong Reaches Lawrence $15K Final; Svajda Claims First Pro Title in Champaign; Da Silva Named Head Coach At Louisville; Other College Notes

Vanessa Ong, who announced her commitment to UCLA for 2020 last month, will play for her first USTA Pro Circuit singles title tomorrow at the $15,000 tournament in Lawrence Kansas. Ong, who has already won six matches, including two in qualifying, this week, advanced to her first pro singles final when fellow 17-year-old Charlotte Chavatipon retired after dropping the first set 6-4. Ong will play No. 2 seed Anastasia Nefedova, who beat No. 4 seed Vladica Babic(Oklahoma State) of Montenegro 6-2, 6-3. Nefedova and Ong met two years ago in qualifying at a $25K in Naples Florida, with Nefedova winning 7-6(6), 6-4.

Kansas sophomore Malkia Ngounoue, older sister of Clervie, and fellow Jayhawk Maria Toran Ribes of Spain won the doubles title in Lawrence, with the wild card team defeating Oklahoma State's Ayumi Miyamoto of Japan and Bunyawi Thamchaiwat of Thailand 4-6, 6-2, 10-6 in the final.

Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda picked up his first Pro Circuit title last night at the $15,000 tournament in Champaign Illinois, taking the doubles title with Iowa's Kareem Al Allaf of Syria. The wild card team defeated the unseeded Brazilian team of Alex Blumbenberg and Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida 7-5, 7-6(3).

Sunday's singles final in Champaign will feature No. 4 seed Axel Geller against qualifier Adam Walton of Australia. Geller, a junior at Stanford, took out NCAA semifinalist Aleks Kovacevic (Illinois) 6-4, 6-4, while Walton, a junior at Tennessee beat Pucincelli di Almeida 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Geller has won two singles titles on the Pro Circuit, with Walton reaching a final for the first time in his career.

At the $25,000 in Redding California, both singles semifinals are later tonight, but the doubles championship has been decided, with No. 2 seeds Emina Bektas(Michigan) and Great Britain's Tara Moore winning it. Bektas and Moore defeated No. 3 seeds Catherine Harrison(UCLA) and New Zealand's Paige Hourigan(Georgia Tech) 6-3, 6-1 in today's final.

At the ATP 80 Challenger in Cary North Carolina, Michael Mmoh has advanced to the singles and doubles final. Mmoh, the No. 11 seed, defeated unseeded JC Aragone(Virginia) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. He will play top seed Andreas Seppi of Italy, who beat No. 5 seed Enzo Couacaud of France 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 in the other semifinal. Mmoh and Sekou Bangoura(Florida) advanced to the doubles final with a walkover from Tommy Paul and Korey Lovett(UCF). They will play Treat Huey(Virginia) of the Philippines and JP Smith(Tennessee) of Australia in the final, with both team unseeded.

Louisville has named a new head coach to replace Rex Ecarma, who was terminated last month based on the results of an independent investigation conducted by the university. Rodrigo da Silva, who was an assistant under Ecarma from 2009-2014, was head coach of the University of Texas San Antonio from 2016-2019. See the Louisville website for more on da Silva's resume.

Tennis.com has posted an article today discussing the pros and cons of college tennis, featuring interviews with Marcos Giron, Nicole Gibbs and Noah Rubin.

French Open doubles champion Andreas Mies was recognized at an Auburn football game last Saturday, and the ATP posed this article about what that means to the former Tiger.

Former Stanford standout Michael Genender now works in finance in New York, but he hasn't put away the racquets entirely. The 22-year-old Californian had an opportunity to serve as a hitting partner at the US Open with finalist Daniil Medvedev and champion Bianca Andreescu and spoke to CNN about the experience in this article.