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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Krejcikova and Siniakova Win US Open Women's Doubles Title; Navarro Falls in Final at $60K in Switzerland; Qualifying Underway for Cary Challenger; Kang and Ngounoue Win Inaugural US Open Junior Sportsmanship Awards

It's a travel day for me, although I was able to watch the US Open women's doubles final today before heading for the airport. Caty McNally, still just 20 years old, was playing for the championship for the second consecutive year, but again she came up short. Last year McNally and Coco Gauff lost to Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; this year, she and Taylor Townsend lost to Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Siniakova and Krejcikova have been playing together since the juniors (they won three junior slam doubles titles in 2013, including the US Open) and they were able to work their way out of a 6-3, 4-1 hole with all those years of experience behind them. They played much better in the second half of the match, both on serve and return, while Townsend and McNally could not match that level as the match progressed.

Siniakova and Krejcikova now have won six women's doubles titles at slams, plus an Olympic gold medal, and with today's championship, now have a career grand slam, with the US Open the only title previously missing from their resumes. For more, see this article from usta.org.

Emma Navarro, who did not play the US Open qualifying due to a flare-up of a back issue she has had for some time, was back in action this week at a $60,000 ITF Women's World Tennis Tour event in Switzerland, making the final.  Seeded No. 4, the 2021 NCAA singles champion at Virginia, lost to No. 3 seed Tamara Korpatsch of Germany 6-4, 6-1 in today's final. Navarro is now up to a career-high of 133 in the WTA rankings.

After three weeks without any non-US Open tennis in the United States, today marked the return of competition, at least for men, at the ATP Challenger 80 in Cary North Carolina. Qualifying began today, with many current and former college players in the draw, and will conclude tomorrow. 

Denis Kudla is the top seed in the main draw, with Jordan Thompson of Australia the No. 2 seed. Kudla's first round opponent is two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda. Wild cards were given to Martin Damm, North Carolina State's Braden Shick and North Carolina transfer Ryan Seggerman(Princeton). 

The USTA announced its inaugural Junior Sportsmanship awards this evening, for one girl and one boy from both the able-bodied and wheelchair divisions. Although the awards are not limited to American players, the first awards in the boys and girls divisions went to Kyle Kang and Clervie Ngounoue, both of whom reached the quarterfinals of the singles competition. They were honored in a video montage on the Ashe Jumbotron during the women's doubles final.

The winners of the sportsmanship awards in the junior wheelchair division were Great Britain's Dahnon Ward and Brazil's Jade Moreira Lanai.

The men's and women's sportsmanship awards have been discontinued.