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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Johns Wins Memphis $15K; Oreshchenkova Sweeps J3 Titles in Mexico; Intriguing First Round Matches to Kick Off ITF Grade 1 in College Park; Ram and Salisbury Claim Cincinnati Doubles Title

Duke senior Garrett Johns claimed his first Pro Circuit title today in impressive fashion, with the unseeded 21-year-old defeating Tennessee sophomore and No. 6 seed Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan 6-2, 6-0 in 79 minutes to win the $15,000 tournament in Memphis Tennessee. Johns, who lost only one set all week, in yesterday's three-hour plus semifinal against No. 7 seed and 2021 NCAA champion Sam Riffice of Florida, had not gotten beyond the quarterfinals of a Pro Circuit tournament until this week.

At the $60,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in the Bronx, No. 5 seed Kamilla Rakhimova won the singles title, beating unseeded Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden 6-2, 6-3. 

Anna Blinkova of Russia and Simona Waltert of Switzerland won the doubles title, beating Na-Lee Han of Korea and Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Both teams were unseeded.

With the ITF Grade 1 in College Park main draw beginning tomorrow, I'll be concentrating on that and the US Open qualifying, which begins Tuesday in New York. So I'll review last week's results on the ITF Junior Circuit a day early, with six titles to highlight.

Seventeen-year-old Arina Oreshchenkova of New York won her first two titles on the ITF Junior Circuit this weekend, at the ITF Grade 3 in Tampico Mexico. Oreshchenkova, the No. 8 seed, got a walkover from No. 11 Kate Fakih from the United States to win the singles title. In doubles, No. 3 seeds Oreshchenkova and Maya Dutta defeated No. 7 seeds Pamela Badillo Hernandez and Aime Reynoso of Mexico 6-2, 6-7(3), 10-3 . It's the third ITF Junior Circuit doubles title for Dutta and the first for Oreshchenkova.

At the J5 in Guayaquil Ecuador, 16-year-old Sahana Sanjeev, the No. 4 seed, won her first ITF Junior Circuit title, beating No. 2 seed Gabriella Kellner 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) in the all-USA final. 

And Americans were a part of all four titles at the J5 in Trinidad and Tobago. Unseeded 16-year-old Maximo Oberto Calleri defeated unseeded Ty Host of Australia 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 in the boys singles final to post his first ITF Junior Circuit title.

The girls singles title went to 14-year-old Tejaswini Narala, with the No. 2 seed beating top seed Sofia Corte Real of Portugal 6-3, 6-1 in the final. It was Narala's first title on the ITF Junior Circuit. 

Unseeded Miles Kennedy and Noah McDonald won the boys doubles title, beating top seeds Gabriel Porras of Guatemala and Danny Yassine of Canada 6-2 ,6-7(1), 10-4 in the final. 

Medha Chandana partnered with Corte Real in the doubles, and the top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Narala and Cookie Jarvis-Tredgett of Canada 6-4, 6-2 in the final. 

There are some intriguing matchups in the first round of the ITF J1 in College Park Maryland and I'll be at the Junior Tennis Champions Center bright an early to see wild card Shannon Lam take on No. 2 seed Mirra Andreeva of Russia, last year's finalist.

I'll also be watching Mayu Crossley of Japan, who lost to Liv Hovde in the final of the J1 in San Diego this spring, and Christasha McNeil, the 16s finalist at the USTA Nationals last week in San Diego, with the winner playing the survivor of the match between Andreeva and Lam. Top seed Yaroslava Bartashevic of France will take on Ahmani Guichard in the third series of matches at JTCC. 

Top boys seed Lautaro Midon of Argentina will face Evan Wen in the opening match on Stadium court.

Most of the competitors in the draw are Americans, meaning several play each other to open the tournament, but most of the seeds are not. The only girls seeds are No. 11 Mia Slama and No. 14 Kaitlin Quevedo; the boys seeds from the US are: No. 6 Alex Frusina, No. 9  Aidan Kim, No. 13 Kaylan Bigun, No. 15 Meecah Bigun and No. 16 Alexander Razeghi.

See the JTCC website for the completed qualifying draws, the main draws and the order of play for Monday.

The Western & Southern Open finished today, after a less than ideal week of weather in Mason Ohio. Borna Coric of Croatia became the lowest ranked player (152) in the tournament's history to take the title, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-6(0), 6-2. Coric, who didn't play for over a year after having shoulder surgery, will now be seeded at the US Open.

Caroline Garcia of France won the tournament's first women's final between two unseeded players, beating Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4.

Top seeds Rajeev Ram(Illinois) and Joe Salisbury(Memphis) of Great Britain won the men's doubles title, their third Masters 1000 championship today, beating No. 6 seeds Tim Puetz(Auburn) of Germany and Michael Venus(LSU) of New Zealand 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in the final. 

For more on Ram and Salisbury's title run, see this article from the ATP website. 

Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia took the women's doubles title in Cincinnati, with the No. 7 seeds beating unseeded Ellen Perez(Georgia) of Australia and Nicole Melichar-Martinez 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final.