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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Kalamazoo Finals Videos; Blumberg and Schnur Win Cary Challenger Doubles Title; Damm and Boitan Reach Champaign $15K Final; Columbus Challenger, WTA 125 Wild Cards

It's the first weekend since late July that I haven't been at or traveling to a tournament, so I finally had the opportunity to process the videos from last month's finals in Kalamazoo. 

The Tennis Recruiting Network's Bill Kallenberg also created a photo gallery from Kalamazoo, with more than 100 photos. 


It's rare to have your first professional doubles title come at the ATP level, but Will Blumberg's title with Jack Sock in Newport back in July was that rarity.  Today, the recent North Carolina grad got his second pro title, at the ATP Cary Challenger, partnering with former Columbia star Max Schnur. Blumberg and Schnur, who were unseeded, beat top seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Nick Monroe in the first round, No. 4 seeds Christian Harrison and Dennis Novikov in the semifinals and today, unseeded Stefan Kozlov and Canadian Peter Polansky 6-4, 1-6, 10-4.

Schnur, who is 28, had a dozen titles coming into this week, with a career-high ATP doubles ranking of 95 back in 2017. 

The singles semifinals are now underway in Cary, with Mitchell Krueger facing No. 2 seed Denis Kudla, followed tonight by Aleks Vukic(Illinois) against Bjorn Fratangelo. Vukic defeated Kalamazoo champion Zachary Svajda 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Friday.

Live streaming is available here.

The singles final at the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign Illinois Sunday will feature 17-year-old Martin Damm and Baylor junior Adrian Boitan of Romania. Damm, the No. 2 seed, defeated John McNally(Ohio State) 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-3 in a three-hour-plus battle of former Kalamazoo 16s champions (McNally 2014, Damm 2018). The unseeded Boitan defeated Ohio State junior Cannon Kingsley 6-4, 6-4. The 22-year-old Boitan will be appearing in his first Pro Circuit singles final, while Damm is looking to win his first title after two previous losses in the finals, both on clay.

The fourth-seeded team of Karlis Ozolins, a freshman at Illinois, and Kweisi Kenyatte, a senior at Illinois, won the doubles title today, defeating Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) and Ryan Shane(Virginia) 7-5, 2-6, 10-7. It's the first pro circuit title for both Ozolins and Kenyatte.

The ATP Challenger circuit moves to Columbus next week, where it combines with a new WTA 125 event. I received an email Thursday with this information on wild cards:

The qualifying has begun for the women, with Yu and Cantos losing their first matches today.

WTA 125 Wildcards:
Katrina Scott (Main Draw), Peyton Stearns (Main Draw), Elsa Jacquemot (Main Draw), Elvina Kalieva (Main Draw), Eleana Yu (Qualification), Irina Cantos Siemers (Qualification).

ATP Challenger Tour Wildcards:
Matej Vocel (Main Draw), Cannon Kingsley (Main Draw), JJ Tracy (Main Draw), James Trotter (Qualification), Justin Boulais (Qualification), Jake Van Emburgh (Qualification).

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