Sunday, July 12, 2020

Former Collegians Norrie, Borges and Perez Win National Competitions; Sandgren and Nakashima Lead Storm and Smash to Victories on World Team Tennis's Opening Day; Fish Claims Celebrity Golf Title

Former Georgia star Ellen Perez won her second consecutive UTR Pro Series title in Sydney Australia and former Mississippi State star Nuno Borges won his second title in Portugal in the the past three weeks, with national competitions becoming one of the most reliable ways for players to get matches while the ATP/WTA and ITF tournaments are shuttered.  Cameron Norrie, the former TCU star, also took a title, this one at the second British Tour, with the top seed defeated No. 2 seed and 2019 NCAA champion Paul Jubb (South Carolina) 6-1, 6-3. 

Norrie, along with partner Alastair Gray, a rising senior at TCU, also won the doubles title, beating top seeds Dom Inglot(Virginia) and Joe Salisbury(Memphis) 4-1, 4-3(4) in the final. For more on the today's competition, see this article from the LTA website.

Perez, who had also won the singles title the first time it was in Sydney, again defeated Alexandra Bozovic in the final, but this time had to save two match points in a 1-6, 7-6(7), 10-7 decision. The 24-year-old Perez has now won six matches in a row in the Australian UTR Pro Series, which is being contested in major cities across the country. Max Purcell won the men's title, also repeating as the Sydney champion. For more on the champions, see this Tennis Australia article.

Borges, who lost to Jubb in the NCAA singles final last year, saw his winning streak in Portugal snapped in week 2, but he recovered in week 3 to win his second title. Borges, 23, defeated University of Florida rising senior Duarte Vale 6-1, 6-1 in the final. For more results from the Portugal exhibition, click here.

Former college stars also took center stage today on World Team Tennis's Opening Day at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.  Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee), who is playing for the Orlando Storm, played singles, doubles and mixed doubles today, winning two of those three matches and then clinching the match in extended play, as his team defeated defending champions Springfield Lasers 21-18.  Sandgren opened with a 5-3 win over Mitchell Krueger in men's singles, then partnered with James Ward to defeat Jean-Julien Rojer(UCLA) and Robert Lindstedt(Pepperdine) 5-3.

Although Sandgren and Jessica Pegula lost to Caty McNally and Lindstedt 5-2 to give the Lasers a chance to catch the Storm in extended play, Pegula held serve in the first game of extended play to clinch the match.

Former Virginia star Nakashima took the court against Sam Querrey in a men's singles match featuring the two best UTR rankings in World Team Tennis. The 18-year-old Nakashima, playing for the Chicago Smash, had no luck against Querrey, playing for the Las Vegas Rollers, with Querrey losing only one point on serve in his first three service games. Nakashima, who won a deciding point to hold his first service game, earned two break point opportunities in the seventh game and converted the second on a deuce point to take a 4-3 lead. He held at love to earn the win, and while he didn't play mixed doubles, Nakashima and partner Rajeev Ram(Illinois) held their own against the Bryan brothers in men's doubles, and went on to clinch the Smash's 24-18 win by taking the first game in extended play.

The third match of the night will feature the Orange County Breakers against the San Diego Aviators, with Steve Johnson(USC) and Jennifer Brady(UCLA) on the Breakers team.  That match is scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN 2; the full TV and streaming schedule for the next three weeks is here.

US Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish was expected to play World Team Tennis for the New York Empire, but he pulled out at the last minute with an injury. Fortunately for Fish, the injury wasn't one that kept him from golfing, and today he won the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, becoming the first tennis player to win the event in its 31-year history. For more on Fish's win over former Buffalo Bills lineman Kyle Williams, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and current Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, see this article from the Reno Gazette Journal.