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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Wolf Reaches Columbus Challenger Final; Chappell and Hijikata Meet for Arkansas $15K Title; Livianu and Hewitt Advance to Lubbock $15K Final; Kenin Wins Third WTA Title

Twenty-year-old JJ Wolf, who turned pro this summer with one year of eligibility left at Ohio State, advanced to the final of the ATP 90 Challenger on his recent home courts in Columbus, beating top seed Emilio Gomez(USC) of Ecuador 6-2, 7-6(5). Wolf, the No. 13 seed, won his only other Challenger title early this year, also at the Ohio State indoor courts in Columbus. Wolf, the 2017 Kalamazoo 18s finalist, will face No. 4 seed Peter Polansky of Canada, who defeated No. 9 seed Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador 7-6(7), 7-6(4). Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, Wolf will move into the ATP Top 250 for the first time, and is in good shape for the 2020 Australian Open qualifying. The final, which begins at noon on Sunday, can be streamed at the ATP Challenger website.

No. 4 seeds Martin Redlicki(UCLA) and Jackson Withrow(Texas A&M) won their first doubles title as a team today in Columbus, beating unseeded Nathan Pasha(Georgia) and Max Schnur(Columbia) 6-4, 7-6(4) in the final.

The final of the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Fayetteville Arkansas will see No. 2 seed Nick Chappell(TCU) take on North Carolina freshman Rinky Hijikata of Australia. Chappell, who is seeking his second Pro Circuit singles title, advanced when Virginia senior Carl Soderlund of Sweden retired trailing 6-4, 4-3. Hijikata also advanced via retirement, with top seed Takuto Niki of Japan retiring with Hijikata leading 6-1, 2-0.  Hijikata will be competing in his first Pro Circuit final Sunday.

Oklahoma State teammates Dominik Kellovsky and Matej Vocel of the Czech Republic won the doubles title in Fayetteville, beating Chappell and another Horned Frog, Reese Stalder, 1-6, 6-3, 13-11. Neither team was seeded.

The $25,000 men's tournament in Houston will feature a final between unseeded Liam Caruana(Texas) of Italy and No. 2 seed Hugo Gaston of France. Caruana beat No. 2 seed Alex Sarkissian(Pepperdine) 6-2, 6-0 and Gaston defeated unseeded Austin Rapp(UCLA) 6-2, 6-2.  Florida teammates Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice have advanced to the doubles final, and will play the winner of tonight's match between Rapp and Preston Touliatos(Tennessee) and top seeds Korey Lovett(UCF) and Ian Dempster(Wake Forest).

At the $15,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Lubbock Texas, qualifier Jessica Livianu, a senior at St. John's, had never won in main draw match in Pro Circuit competition prior to this week, but today she defeated No. 3 seed Dasha Ivanova 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 to earn her place in the final. She will face 18-year-old Dalayna Hewitt, who beat Lauren Proctor 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(3). Hewitt, who was out six months at the beginning of this year, had never reached the quarterfinals in singles at a Pro Circuit event prior to this week.

No. 3 seeds Sofia Sewing and Mexico's Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez won the doubles title in Lubbock, beating unseeded Shiori Fukuda(Ohio State) and Ashlyn Krueger 6-4, 6-2 in the final. It is their third title as a team, but first since 2017.

Sofia Kenin claimed the third WTA title of her career today at the Guangzhou Open in China, defeating wild card Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2. The 20-year-old from Florida, seeded No. 3, will move to a career-high ranking of 17 following this title. For more on Kenin's third title, see this article from the WTA website.