Sunday, April 25, 2021

Brooksby Wins Third Challenger Title in Tallahassee; North Carolina Women and Virginia Men Claim ACC Conference Championships; Texas Women Capture Big 12 Title

Jenson Brooksby, photo courtesy Tallahassee Challenger

Last week at the Orlando Challenger, on hard courts, 20-year-old Jenson Brooksby won the title without dropping a set. This week, on the green clay in Tallahassee, the 2018 Kalamazoo 18s champion only won one match in straight sets, but he now has his third Challenger title, all since February, with today's 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Bjorn Fratangelo.

Fratangelo was the last player to beat Brooksby in a main draw on the professional circuit (Brooksby lost to Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in the second round of Miami Open qualifying shortly after that loss to Fratangelo), and clay is not Brooksby's best surface, but his competitive instincts(he saved 16 of 19 break points) kept him in every match. He now is 19-2 in Challenger play in 2021, after being out most of 2020 due to the pandemic and an injury, and with three Challenger titles in the first four months of the year, he is off to the best start to a year on the ATP Challenger Circuit since Kei Nishikori went 19-2 through August of 2010, according to the ATP.

Brooksby, who was on the Baylor team in the spring of 2020, but did not play a match for the Bears, is up to an ATP career-high of 166.

The top-seeded Brazilian team of Orlando Luz and Rafael Matos won the doubles title today, beating wild cards Sekou Bangoura(Florida) and Donald Young 7-6(2), 6-2 in the final.

The ACC conference championships concluded today in Rome Georgia, with the top seeds claiming both titles. Top seed North Carolina won its fifth straight conference tournament title, beating No. 6 seed Georgia Tech 4-1.  Virginia, the top seed in the men's tournament, had a much tougher time with the third-seeded North Carolina men, taking a 4-3 decision, although all matches were decided in straight sets. Freshman IƱaki Montes earned the fourth point for the Cavaliers with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Simon Soendergaard. Neither Will Blumberg nor Rinky Hijakata played singles today for the Tar Heels.

The women's Big 12 title went to the third-ranked Texas Longhorns, who defeated Baylor 4-0 today in Waco. Texas is now 25-1 on the season, with the only loss by a 4-3 score to North Carolina in the Team Indoor final. Freshman Kylie Collins was the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

The men's Big 12 title will be decided on Monday, also in Waco, with top seed Texas taking on No. 2 seed Baylor. Texas downed No. 4 seed Oklahoma State 4-1, while Baylor had to battle past No. 3 seed TCU 4-3, with Spencer Furman clinching for the Bears at line 6.  Baylor won the first two meetings this year with the Longhorns, but Texas won 5-2 ten days ago in Waco.

The Pac-12 women's championship is set, and for the first time since 2016, when the women began playing a conference team tournament, Stanford will not be in it. The No. 2 seeded Cardinal lost to No. 3 seed Cal 4-1 to end Stanford's string of four consecutive titles.  Cal will play top seed UCLA, who beat No. 4 seed Arizona State 4-2.

The men's Pac-12 championship match Monday will feature No. 3 seed Southern California against No. 5 seed Arizona State. USC defeated No. 2 seed Arizona 4-1, while Arizona State toppled No. 1 seed Stanford 4-3 in a match that just ended, with freshman Max McKennon saving two match points in the decider against Timothy Sah at line 5 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(8). 

The Big Ten conference championships begin Wednesday for the women and Thursday for the men.

See College Tennis Today for the results of all the conference championships.


Tennis fan said...

Ryan Harrison has had 71 (SEVENTY-ONE!) wild cards - very interesting article about wild card inequities that notes the:
"71 senior wildcards given to the former US prodigy Ryan Harrison underline, and they can produce a culture of entitlement."



The USTA always told us the Wild Cards were "Merit Based"..?? 71 and counting..
I'm so confused:))

Siblings WC's said...

Eric Sock, Jack Sock's old brother, received 6 wild cards and was 0-12 in ITF /ATP Pro Events since 2012

Clark Coleman said...

Well, Eric Sock was a 4-star recruit. Don't all 4-star recruits go on to get pro wild cards? :-)

Tennisgrinder said...

Tennis is unique in that most of the tournaments are owned by someone, or someone is putting up the money. If I’m investing in a tournament and I’m allocated 2 wild cards, I can allocate to whoever I want, merit based or not, I’m putting up the money and it’s my choice. I do agree that Federation WCs should be merit based, but good luck deciding what the criteria should be.