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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Rabman Downs No. 2 Seed for First Pro Circuit Win; Trio of Cal Bears Qualify for Berkeley $60K; Kingsley, Boulais Win All-Buckeye Challenger Matches; Reinberg, Pinnington Jones Top Seeds at Men's $15Ks

After a dearth of USTA Pro Circuit events since the US Open, there are five events this week: men's and women's $15Ks in Lubbock Texas, a men's $15K in Fayetteville Arkansas, a women's $60K in Berkeley California and the ATP Challenger 80 in Columbus Ohio.

Thea Rabman, fresh off her win at the ITF J2 in Montreal last week, received entry into the $15,000 women's tournament in Lubbock via the ITF's junior reserved program and today the 17-year-old from New York earned her first professional circuit win, defeating No. 2 seed Katarina Kozarov(Furman) of Serbia 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2 in just under three hours. The North Carolina recruit, who is now at a career-high of 60 in the ITF World Junior rankings, will play a qualifier in the next round.

The only American to qualify today in Lubbock is Arkansas senior Kelly Keller. Wild cards were given to Texas Tech sophomore Avelina Sayfetdinova of Russia, Megan McCray(Oklahoma State) and Mccartney Kessler(Florida). Martyna Kubka of Poland is the top seed. Liv Hovde, the No. 7 seed, won her match today; Oklahoma State freshman Raquel Gonzalez Vilar of Spain, who reached the second round of the US Open Junior Championships this month, defeated No. 3 seed Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan in the first round 6-3, 7-5.

At the $60K in Berkeley, the wild cards were not given to any current Cal women, although former Bear Maegan Manasse did get one of the four main draw wild cards. The others went to Florida freshman Rachel Gailis, Jenna DeFalco, who recently left Pepperdine after just two weeks in Malibu and Johanne Svendsen, an 18-year-old from Denmark, who is currently No. 16 in the ITF Junior rankings. I don't know if she's considering attending Cal, but the wild card is a little puzzling if she isn't.

Although none of the current Cal players received a main draw wild card, three will be playing in the main draw after qualifying: sophomores Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm and junior Hannah Viller Moller. Alsola will face Svendsen in the first round; Wiersholm plays No. 5 seed Robin Anderson(UCLA) and Viller Moller No. 2 seed Yue Yuan of China. 

In addition to Wiersholm, other Americans qualifying for the main draw today were Robin Montgomery, Kylie Collins(Texas/LSU), Maribella Zamarripa(Texas) and Makenna Jones(North Carolina).  Pepperdine senior Lisa Zaar of Sweden also qualified today to set up an intriguing first round match against NC State freshman Diana Shnaider of Russia.

Madison Brengle is the top seed, Yuan is No. 2 and Katie Volynets No. 3.  No. 4 seed Greet Minnen of Belgium lost to 2022 NCAA champion Peyton Stearns(Texas) 7-5, 6-1 this evening in first round action.

The first round of the ATP Columbus Challenger is spread over three days, but four of the five Ohio State Buckeyes played today, against each other. In the battle of the wild cards, Justin Boulais of Canada defeated JJ Tracy 7-5, 7-6(4), and wild card Cannon Kingsley beat qualifier James Trotter of Japan 6-4, 6-4. 

At the men's $15,000 tournament in Lubbock, six Americans qualified for the main draw with wins today: Jaycer Lyeons (Tyler JC), Pranav Kumar(Texas A&M), Oren Vasser (Miami), Nathan Chavez, Tyler Stewart(Abilene Christian/Texas Tech) and Jakub Ostajewski. 

Emil Reinberg(Georgia) is the top seed, with Blaise Bicknell(Florida/Tennessee) of Jamaica the No. 2 seed. Wild cards were given to Aidan Kim, Jibril Nettles, and Texas Tech seniors Isaac Arevalo of Mexico and Franco Ribero of Argentina. 

At the men's $15,000 tournament in Fayetteville, Great Britain's Jack Pinnington Jones, recently added to the TCU roster, is the top seed, with Blu Baker of Great Britain the No. 2 seed. 

Americans qualifying into the main draw today are Adit Sinha(Cornell), Warren Wood(CMS) and Ryan Dickerson(Duke/Baylor). Wild cards were given to Arkansas freshman Benedikt Emesz of Austria, Arkansas juniors Adrien Burdet of Switzerland and Melvin Manuel of France and Cornell freshman Aman Sharma, who lost to No. 7 seed Sam Riffice(Florida) 6-2, 6-1 today.