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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Tordoran and Stojsavljevic Win Roehampton U14 Titles, Berths in Wimbledon's Inaugural Tournament; Martin and Diallo Reach East Lansing $25K Final; Ponwith Faces Vale for San Diego $15K Title

The finals of the first Tennis Europe 14U Category 1 grass tournament were today in Roehampton, with top seed Matei Todoran of Romania and unseeded Mika Stojsavljevic of Great Britain taking the titles.

Todoran, who didn't lose a set all week, defeated No. 6 seed Maximilian Heidlmair of Austria 6-3, 6-1. Stojsavljevic also avoided a third set in her run, defeating the No. 2 seed in the first round and picking up three more straight-sets victories over seeds, including a 7-5, 6-0 win over No. 6 seed Andreea Soare of Romania in the final.

All four finalists have earned their places in the upcoming 14U tournament that Wimbledon has organized for the first time this year, scheduled to take place on the last four days of the second week. Keaton Hance and Nicole Okhtenberg will represent the United States after their performances at Easter Bowl, which served as the USTA's qualifier.

The $25,000 USTA men's tournament in East Lansing will feature two current collegians looking for their first pro titles. Twenty-year-old qualifier Andres Martin, a Georgia Tech rising junior, saved two match points in his 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-5 victory over Tennessee rising sophomore Shunsuke Mitsui, in a three hour and three minutes battle. Mitsui had a match point with Martin serving at 5-6 in the second set, but an ace got Martin out of it, and he went on to take the tiebreaker. Mitsui was up 5-3 in the third and had his second match point serving for it at 5-4, but Martin saved that and took the final four games of the match to advance to the final. Martin, who played No. 1 for Georgia Tech last season, is competing in his first Pro Circuit tournament, so every win this week was a milestone for him.

Gabriel Diallo, a 20-year-old from Canada, defeated University of Michigan rising junior Jacob Bickersteth 7-6(0), 6-2 in the other semifinal. Bickersteth served for the first set, but the errors began to pile up when he didn't get that game, and Diallo rolled from there.  Diallo, who played No. 2 for Kentucky most of the season, has been in two ITF Pro Circuit finals, both last year at the $15,000 level. He lost to Jason Kubler in Champaign last summer and to Raymond Sarmiento(USC) last fall in East Lansing. 

Mitsui did get one title this week, winning the doubles title with James Trotter(Ohio State), also from Japan. Mitsui and Trotter, who were unseeded, defeated No. 4 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida) and Noah Schachter(Texas A&M) 7-5, 6-3 for the first pro doubles title for both.

The men's $15,000 Pro Circuit event in San Diego will feature a final between No. 6 seed Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) and No. 3 seed Duarte Vale(Florida) of Portugal. Ponwith squeezed past wild card Ryan Seggerman(Princeton) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(9), saving two match points in the tiebreaker, at 8-7 and 9-8. Vale, a recent Florida graduate, had a considerably less dramatic semifinal win, beating No. 2 seed Zhe Li of China 6-4, 6-3.

In the men's doubles final this evening, Jacob Brumm(Baylor) and the Czech Republic's Tadeus Paroulek(Baylor) overcame a nearly disastrous start to beat Sid Banthia(Wake Forest) of India and Yuta Kikuchi(Cal) of Japan 0-6, 6-2, 11-9.

In the women's $15,000 tournament in San Diego, No. 5 seed Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan defeated top seed Jessica Failla (Pepperdine) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in a match that took over three hours and featured countless breaks of serve. Yang will face USC rising sophomore Snow Han of China, who saved nine match points in her astounding 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-0 win over Mariia Kozyreva(St. Mary's). Serving down 2-6, 2-5, 0-40 Han came all the way back to take a tiebreaker that broke the spirit of Kozyreva. 

Kimmi Hance(UCLA) and Makenna Jones(North Carolina) won their first professional doubles title, with the No. 3 seeds beating last week's champions in Rancho Santa Fe, Kozyreva and Veronica Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount), 6-3, 6-3 in this afternoon's final. Hance is a rising sophomore at UCLA; Jones won the NCAA doubles title last year, her final season with the Tar Heels.

At the ATP Challenger 100 in Orlando, Jason Kubler (see above) of Australia will go for his second consecutive Challenger title after beating top seed JJ Wolf(Ohio State) 6-1, 6-3. He will play unseeded Yibing Wu of China, who took out No. 2 seed Emilio Gomez(USC) of Ecuador 6-4, 6-1.  In the doubles final, unseeded Yunseong Chung of Korea and Michail Pervolarakis of Greece defeated unseeded Malek Jaziri of Turkey and Kaichi Uchida of Japan 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 16-14.