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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Damm Claims First Pro Singles Title in Champaign; Krueger Wins A Second Challenger in Cary; Three Americans Qualify at WTA 125 in Columbus

Martin Damm gave himself an early birthday present this week, claiming his first Professional Circuit singles title today at the $15,000 USTA men's tournament in Champaign Illinois. Damm, who will turn 18 on September 30th, was the No. 2 seed this week, and one of the few non-collegiate players in the draw, and he was no stranger to ITF or USTA Pro Circuit finals, having made the final of a $25K in Naples Florida two years ago and a $15K in Croatia this spring. With three pro doubles titles already this year on the surface, and one in 2020, Damm has had his best results on clay, so this one, on the hard courts at the University of Illinois stands out.

Baylor junior Adrian Boitan made Damm work for it, today, with the unseeded Romanian forcing a third set after nearly two hours of play. But Damm, who had to be disappointed in his round of 32 loss as the No. 2 seed in Kalamazoo last month, came from a break down in the the third set, hitting seven of his 12 aces, to earn his first singles title on the pro circuit. His semifinal win over John McNally Saturday took three hours and 13 minutes, so he has to be happy with his fitness in taking the final five games of his 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory.

The ATP Challenger 80 in Cary North Carolina finished the same way as the Challenger there in July, with Mitchell Krueger as the champion. The 27-year-old, seeded sixth, defeated No. 2 seed Denis Kudla in the semifinals last night 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(2) and came back this afternoon to beat No. 8 seed Bjorn Fratangelo 6-4, 6-3. Fratangelo had also prevailed in a long, tough semifinal last night, beating former University of Illinois star Aleks Vukic of Australia 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-2.

Krueger is projected to reach a new career high with his second Challenger title of the summer, moving to 156. His previous career-high was 159 in February of 2019, after he won the Dallas Challenger.

The qualifying is complete for the WTA 125 in Columbus Ohio, with three Americans reaching the main draw: Alexa Glatch, Louisa Chirico and Danielle Lao(USC). Priscilla Hon of Australia is the fourth qualifier. 

Three main draw matches were played today as well, with No. 5 seed Lauren Davis defeating Usue Arconada 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, Caroline Dolehide losing to No. 6 seed Renata Zarazua 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(8), and Coco Vandeweghe taking out wild card Peyton Stearns, a sophomore at the University of Texas, 6-2, 6-4.

Wild card Elvina Kalieva, the US Open girls doubles finalist, will face her first WTA Top 100 player tomorrow: No. 2 seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz of Spain, who is No. 88 in the rankings.


Teddy said...

Krueger was actually seeded #6 at the Cary Challenger.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks, will correct.