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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Stearns Claims $25K Title in Austin; Brengle and Wallin Go Back-to-Back; Quevedo Earns Second Cancun $15K Title in Three Weeks; ITF JB1 Pan Am Closed Begins Monday, with Slama and Pacheco Top Seeds

Although the two USTA Pro Circuit tournaments in South Carolina were canceled in the middle of last week due to Hurrican Ian, the other three concluded today, with Peyton Stearns, Madison Brengle and Olle Wallin taking the singles titles.

Stearns, the reigning NCAA Division I singles champion, turned pro after leading Texas to its second straight team championship and following it with the singles title in her sophomore year. The 20-year-old from Ohio returned to Austin to play the $25,000 women's tournament there and absolutely dominated the latter stages of the event. Seeded No. 6, Stearns dropped just four games in the quarterfinals and semifinals, and today she defeated wild card Clervie Ngounoue 6-1, 6-0 in 56 minutes to win her second Pro Circuit title and first since turning pro in June. When the points are added a week from tomorrow, Stearns should be in the 250s in the WTA rankings, getting close to Australian Open qualifying territory. 

At the $60,000 women's tournament in Templeton, top seed Madison Brengle won her second straight tournament in California, defeating 18-year-old qualifier Robin Montgomery 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to run her winning streak to 10 after a first round loss at the US Open. For more on today's final, read tournament media contact Steve Pratt's recap below:

TEMPLETON, Calif. – October 2, 2022 – Madison Brengle won her 10th consecutive singles match and hoisted a trophy for the second straight week as the WTA Tour veteran came back to defeat qualifier and 18-year-old Robin Montgomery, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on Sunday to win the EPIC Central Coast Tennis Classic at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.


“I’m pretty happy to get these two titles back-to-back,” Brengle said. “I’m a little tired but I’m going to take a couple of days off, and I think it’s well-deserved.”


Brengle has been on a tear since falling in the first round of the US Open to eventual finalist Ons Jabeur dropping just one set over those 10 match wins. Brengle, 32, jumped to No. 51 in the WTA world rankings and by winning 80 more points Sunday she is projected to be in the mid- to low-40s as she attempts to eclipse her career high of No. 35 she attained in 2015.


The 2021 US Open Junior Girls’ singles and doubles champion Montgomery came out strong from the start taking the first set, but let down to start the second set as Brengle broke early for a 3-0 leadt. Montgomery broke Brengle’s serve for 4-5, but couldn’t even it up with a poorly played service game double-faulting twice, including on set point.


Brengle once again got the early break in the third set to go up 2-0 but lost her serve at love to allow Montgomery right back into the match. But the veteran Brengle continued her steady play, forcing Montgomery into a couple of unforced errors at crucial points in the match.


“She has a wonderful game,” Brengle said of Montgomery. “She can come in, has a good serve and she can do a lot with the ball, so I feel like she’s going to keep getting better and better.”


Following her week off, Brengle will play the qualifying at the upcoming San Diego WTA 500 next weekend. 


“I thought I played OK,” said Montgomery, whose No. 313 ranking will climb with the 48 ranking points she earned. “There were times when I had a hard time choosing whether to come into the net or stay back. But overall, I thought it was a good match.” 


Brengle will cash a check for $9,142 and receive 80 WTA ranking points. Montgomery, who was playing her seventh match in seven days, earned $4,886 and 48 points.


In Sunday’s doubles final, the No. 2 seed Nao Hibino from Japan and American Sabrina Santamaria, a former NCAA doubles champion from USC, defeated the top-seeded team of Sophie Chang and Katarzyna Kawa. It was the first time playing as partners for both teams. The winners split $3,344 and the finalists earned $1,672 to split.

Olle Wallin has been the breakout star of collegiate tennis the past two weeks, with the 20-year-old Texas Tech junior running his winning streak to 12 at $15,000 tournaments by claiming the USTA Pro Circuit title in Albuquerque New Mexico today. Wallin, who is from Sweden, qualified for last week's $15K on his home courts in Lubbock; this week he received a special exemption into the main draw and proved last week was no fluke. He defeated top seed Emil Reinberg(Georgia) in three sets in the first round, came from a set down in the quarterfinals and semifinals and today defeated No. 4 seed Maciej Rajski of Poland 7-6(6), 7-5 in the championship match. 

University of New Mexico teammates Alexander Maggs of Great Britain and Jan Pucalka of the Czech Republic won the doubles title, with the wild cards defeating the unseeded Texas Tech pairing of Demetris Azoides of Greece and Franco Ribero of Argentina 7-5, 7-5 in the final.

Since losing in the first round of the US Open Junior Championships to eventual semifinalist Victoria Mboko, 16-year-old Kaitlin Quevedo has gone 13-1 in three $15,000 tournaments in Cancun. Quevedo picked up her second title there today, defeating 19-year-old Mika Dagan Fruchtman of Israel, the No. 4 seed, 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Quevedo, who lost in the semifinals last week after winning her first pro title the previous week, dropped only one set in taking her second title, in the quarterfinals to fellow 16-year-old Mayu Crossley of Japan. 

Quevedo was expected to compete in this coming week's ITF JB1 Pan American Closed tournament in Nicholasville Kentucky, but she withdrew Friday, no doubt due to all her success in Cancun.

Qualifying was completed today at the Top Seed Tennis Club, and those six boys and six girls will be in action again Monday, with play beginning at 9 a.m. The 16 seeds in the 48-player draws do not play until Tuesday.

The boys seeds:
1. Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez(MEX)
2. Leanid Boika(USA)
3. Yannik Rahman(USA)
4. Luis Carlos Alvarez Valdes(MEX)
5. Kaylan Bigun(USA)
6. Meecah Bigun(USA)
7. Alexander Razeghi(USA)
8. Duncan Chan(CAN)
9. Preston Stearns(USA)
10. Felipe Pinson Moreno
11. Marko Mesarovic(USA)
12. Keegan Rice(CAN)
13. Armando Sotelo(MEX)
14. Roy Horovitz(USA)
15. Adithya Ganesan(USA)
16. Evan Wen(USA)

The girls seeds:
1. Mia Slama(USA)
2. Tatum Evans(USA)
3. Valeria Ray(USA)
4. Iva Jovic(USA)
5. Gabriella Broadfoot(RSA)
6. Ariana Pursoo(USA)
7. Martyna Ostrzygalo(CAN)
8. Natalia Perez(PUR)
9. Ashton Bowers(USA)
10. Alexia Harmon(USA)
11. Maya Iyengar(USA)
12. May Joint(USA)
13. Martina Marica(USA)
14. Scarlett Nicholson(CAN)
15. Ria Bhakta(USA)
16. Arina Oreshchenkova(USA)

I will be providing on-site coverage of the tournament beginning Monday.