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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Charney, Truwit Claim ITF J4 Titles in Atlanta; Shang Aims for Second Straight $15K Title Sunday; Lilov Through to Final at Cancun $15K

Top seed Emma Charney defended her 2020 singles title at the ITF J4 in Atlanta today, with the University of Southern California recruit defeating 13-year-old wild card Iva Jovic 6-2, 6-0. Charney, who beat Ashlyn Krueger in the final last year, lost only 16 games in her six singles victories this week. Yesterday, Charney and her younger sister Piper took the doubles title, and again, were never taken to a third set. Charney, who also swept the titles at the J5 in McKinney Texas last month, now has a total of six ITF Junior Circuit titles.

In the boys singles final, 18-year-old Teddy Truwit won his first ITF Junior Circuit title, in his first and only appearance on the ITF Junior Circuit since he lost in qualifying four years ago in Lexington South Carolina. The blue chip, who has committed to Duke, defeated No. 3 seed Fnu Nidunjianzan of China, a Princeton recruit, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. 

Juncheng Jerry Shang has stretched his USTA Pro Circuit win streak to nine matches, advancing to the final of the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Vero Beach Florida. The 16-year-old, who reached the final of the US Open junior championships last month, defeated the No.1 ranked player in the ITA Division I preseason rankings, Canadian Liam Draxl of Kentucky, 6-4, 6-4 in today's semifinals. The unseeded Shang, who won the $15K in Naples last week and is 15-1 in Pro Circuit $15Ks in the past month, plays No. 3 seed Ricardo Rodriguez-Pace of Venezuela for the Vero Beach title Sunday.  Rodriguez-Pace defeated No. 7 seed Zeke Clark(Illinois) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the other semifinal.

In the doubles final, former University of Florida teammates Johannes Ingildsen of Denmark and Duarte Vale of Portugal defeated No. 2 seeds Draxl and another Gator, Ben Shelton, 6-3 6-4. Ingildsen, who completed his eligibility this spring, and Vale, a senior this year, did not come close to dropping a set this week, despite being unseeded.

While Shang is competing for his third $15K title tomorrow, another junior slam finalist will be playing for his first. Victor Lilov, the Wimbledon boys runner-up, has advanced to his first ITF World Tennis Tour men's final, a day after reaching his first semifinal at the $15,000 tournament in Cancun.  The unseeded Lilov, who is 17, defeated No. 7 seed Mwendwa Mbithi 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals, after Mbithi had to finish his quarterfinal match with No. 2 seed Jerry Lopez(TCU) of Mexico. Lilov will get another shot at top seed Matias Descotte of Argentina, who beat Lilov in three sets last week in the quarterfinals of another $15K in Cancun.

Mbithi did get a title out of a grueling day's worth of tennis however. The 23-year-old American won his first title on the Pro Circuit in the men's doubles, partnering with Joshua Peck of Canada, a recent North Carolina graduate, who also won his first Pro Circuit title today. The fourth-seeded pair defeated top seeds Peter Bertran(South Florida) of the Dominican Republic and Jorge Panta of Peru 7-5, 7-6(4) in the final, after completing their semifinal earlier in the day.

Madison Brengle will take over the top spot in the USTA's Australian Open wild card challenge, although with her ranking at 78, it's unlikely that she would need it. Brengle, the top seed, defeated No. 7 seed Xiyu Wang of China 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the final of the $80,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Macon Georgia. Brengle will face No. 2 seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, who defeated No. 4 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-4, 6-1.

No. 2 seeds Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) and Catherine Harrison(UCLA) won the doubles title, beating unseeded Alana Smith(North Carolina State) and Alycia Parks 6-2, 6-2 in today's final. It's not their biggest title as a team, with that a title at the $100,000 tournament in Kentucky last February.  Harrison has nine pro doubles titles; Gleason now has 13, including a $60K title earlier this month in Las Vegas.