Sunday, April 11, 2021

Reigning US Open Girls Champion Osorio Serrano Wins First WTA Title; Orlando Challenger Begins Monday; Three Americans Qualify for WTA 250 in Charleston, with Navarro and Fruhvirtova Awarded Wild Cards

2019 US Open girls champion Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia made the big step from junior slam champion to WTA champion in less than two years, winning the WTA 250 in the city of Bogota in her home country. The 19-year-old wild card, ranked 180, defeated No. 5 seed Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 50 minutes for her first title above the ITF $25K level. Osorio Serrano is the fourth teenager to win a title this year, according to the WTA article on her title, joining Leylah Fernandez of Canada, Iga Swiatek of Poland and Clara Tauson of Denmark.

Former college stars Ingrid Neel (Florida) and France's Elixane Lechemia (South Carolina) joined Osorio Serrano as first-time WTA champions. The unseeded pair defeated No. 3 seeds Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania and Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-3, 6-4 in the final. 

Another former collegiate star claimed a tour doubles title this weekend, with former Texas Tech All-American Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador winning his second career title with partner Ariel Behar of Paraguay at the ATP 250 in Marbella Spain. The pair defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Tomislav Brkic and Serbia's Nikola Cacic of Serbia 6-2, 6-4 in a final featuring two unseeded teams.

Doubles champions Schuurs and Melichar

At the WTA 500 Volvo Car Open in Charleston, No. 15 seed Veronika Kudermetova of Russia earned her first WTA title, beating Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-4, 6-2 in the final

Top seeds Nicole Melichar and the Netherlands' Demi Schuurs won the doubles title, beating unseeded Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 in today's final. 

The WTA stays in Charleston for another tournament this week, a 250 level event that was added to provide more playing opportunities without adding travel. The MUSC Health Women's Open features a 32-player draw with no byes.

Osorio Serrano is in the draw, as a special exempt entry, as is Tauson. Ons Jabeur of Tunisia is the top seed, followed by Magda Linette of Poland and Charleston's own Shelby Rogers. Wild cards went to UVA freshman and local resident Emma Navarro, 15-year-lld Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic and Coco Vandeweghe.

Qualifying concluded today with Americans Claire Liu, Grace Min and Alycia Parks joining Australia's Storm Sanders in the main draw. Although she lost to Min today, 17-year-old wild card Gabby Price had a big win in the first round, defeating WTA 153 Leonie Kung of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4. Price won the USTA 18s Clay Courts in 2019 in Charleston, but did not have the opportunity to use the Volvo Car Open wild card she earned with that title when the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic. 

The second ATP Challenger of the year in the US will begin Monday in Orlando, an 80 level event, with four first round matches scheduled. Steve Johnson, Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama and Mackenzie McDonald are the top three seeds. Christian Harrison, Zane Khan and Illinois senior Aleks Kovacevic received main draw wild cards. The first round of qualifying was begun but washed out today, so two rounds will be necessary on Monday. Wild cards in qualifying went to Toby Kodat, Martin Damm and Roy Smith (Baylor).