Schedule a training visit to the prestigious Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, MD by clicking on the banner above

Sunday, June 5, 2022

NCAA Finalist Holmgren Claims First Pro Circuit Title at Rancho Santa Fe $15K; Kubler Wins Little Rock Challenger; Qualifying Underway at ATP Challenger 100 in Orlando; Three ITF Junior Circuit Titles for Americans

Like NCAA champion Ben Shelton, finalist August Holmgren didn't have any time between tournaments. While Shelton received a wild card into the ATP Challenger 100 in Little Rock Arkansas, Holmgren headed back to the California for his University of San Diego graduation ceremony and to start his professional career at the $15,000 tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, the first of the six SoCal Pro Circuit events in the next seven weeks.

Both Shelton and Holmgren played their first matches Tuesday, Shelton in singles and Holmgren in doubles, and while Shelton's run ended in the semifinals Saturday, Holmgren kept going, winning the doubles title yesterday and advancing to today's singles final. The unseeded 24-year-old from Denmark, who started his singles tournament with a win over top seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota), completed the sweep today, defeating No. 2 seed Gage Brymer(UCLA) 6-4, 6-4. Holmgren, who beat the top three seeds this week, earned his first singles title on the ITF World Tennis Tour; his only previous title before this week was in doubles last year at a $15K in Tunisia. 

Holmgren gets 10 (correction:15) ATP points for the win (Shelton collected 35 this week in Little Rock) and will go into this coming week's $15,000 tournament on his home courts at the USD campus as the favorite, presuming he can rest for the next day or two.

The Rancho Santa Fe women's title went to 17-year-old Talia Gibson of Australia, with the No. 2 seed coming back from 5-2 down in the third set to beat No. 4 seed Mariia Kozyreva(St. Mary's) of Russia 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(5). It's the first ITF World Tennis Tour singles title for Gibson, who reached her first final back in April.

For more on today's finals, see this article from SoCal Pro Circuit press aide Steve Pratt, who spoke to Holmgren, Gibson, Brymer and many other who played in the finals this weekend.

Jason Kubler of Australia won the ATP Challenger 100 in Little Rock, with the No. 4 seed defeating Tung-Lin Wu of Taiwan 6-0, 6-2. The 29-year-old is now at 120 in the ATP rankings, as he tries to climb above his career-high of 91, reached in 2018.

Kubler will keep working toward that goal next week at the ATP Challenger 100 in Orlando, where he is also the No. 4 seed; in fact, the top 6 seeds are the same as in Little Rock: JJ Wolf(Ohio State)[1], Emilio Gomez(USC)[2], Christopher Eubanks(Georgia Tech)[3], Michael Mmoh[5] and Altug Celikbilek[6]. The only new face this week in among the seeds is No. 7 Bjorn Fratangelo. 

Wild cards were given to Shelton(Florida), Aleks Kovacevic (Illinois) and Brandon Holt(USC). 

The first round of qualifying was today, with Americans Martin Damm, Nick Chappell(TCU) and Keegan Smith(UCLA) through to Monday's final round of qualifying. 

With the Roland Garros Junior Championships this week, it was a slow week for competition elsewhere, with all 11 of the other junior tournaments on the ITF Junior Circuit schedule J4s and J5s.

Two 16-year-old Americans captured their first singles titles: Carson Baker, at the J4 in El Salvador and Hanu Patel at the J5 in Zimbabwe. South Carolina's Baker, the No. 8 seed, defeated No. 5 seed Cesar Cruz of El Salvador 6-3, 7-6(3) in the championship match. The unseeded Patel, who is from Guam, defeated No. 6 seed Calum Jestin of South Africa 6-1, 6-2 in the final. 

The other title for Americans this week came at the J5 in British Columbia.  Top seeds Haylee Conway and Zehra Suko took the doubles title, defeating No. 2 seeds Gianna Oboniye and Aurora Pedwell of Canada 6-1, 3-6, 11-9.

Coco Gauff left Paris with a second runner-up trophy; after falling in the women's singles final Saturday, she and Jessica Pegula lost in the women's doubles final today. The unseeded French pairing of Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia defeated No. 8 seeds Gauff and Pegula 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. See this Roland Garros website article for more on the final.