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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Quevedo, Pursoo and Williams Win ITF J1 Guadalajara Titles; Michelsen, Bernard Reach Pro Circuit Finals; Shelton to Play for Third Straight Challenger Title in Champaign; Fritz Loses to Djokovic in Semis of ATP Finals

Kaitlin Quevedo won her first ITF Grade 1 title today in Guadalajara and did it in style. In six matches, the 16-year-old from Naples Florida lost just 20 games, and four games in her last two matches. Today against No. 8 seed Mingge Xu of Great Britain Quevedo posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory after taking out top seed Ella Mcdonald of Great Britain 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals Friday. Quevedo is certainly one to watch as the junior circuit heads into the final two Grade As, with the Eddie Herr in between. As of now, Quevedo is entered in all three. 

An American boy was guaranteed to win the boys doubles title, with Cooper Williams nabbing his fourth title of the year, all at J1s or JAs, today with Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico. The No. 2 seeds defeated unseeded Cooper Woestendick and Roy Horovitz 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

An American girl was also guaranteed a J1 title in Guadalajara when Quevedo and partner Piper Charney won their semifinal last night, but the No. 7 seeds fell to the unseeded pair of Ariana Pursoo and Mexico's Carolina Alonso 1-6, 6-4, 10-7 in today's final. It's Pursoo's second ITF Junior Circuit doubles title. 

Qualifying began today for next week's Grade A in Merida Mexico.

Alex Michelsen has reached his second straight $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit final, with the 18-year-old from Southern California defeating No. 5 seed Mitchell Harper(Virginia Tech) of Australia 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in East Lansing. Michelsen, the No. 3 seed, will face Columbia junior Alex Kotzen in the final, after Kotzen defeated LSU junior Ron Hohmann, a qualifer, 6-3, 7-6(7). It is the first Pro Circuit final for Kotzen.

Michelsen and Learner Tien both won their first Pro Circuit titles today, with the unseeded pair, who train together in Irvine California, claiming the doubles title in East Lansing. Michelsen and Tien defeated the unseeded British team of Josh Goodger(Tulsa/Florida) and Emile Hudd(Tennessee) 6-4, 6-3. 

Ohio State freshman Alex Bernard reached his first USTA Pro Circuit final today in his new collegiate home with a three-hour,  win over former Ohio State All-American and No. 4 seed John McNally 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 at the $25K in Columbus. The 19-year-old from Florida, seeded No. 5, will play qualifier Matej Vocel of the Czech Republic in Sunday's final. Former Oklahoma State star Vocel, who played his fifth-year at Ohio State in 2021-22, defeated Alexander Cozbinov(UNLV) of Moldova 6-2, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

McNally did get a title in his collegiate hometown however, taking the doubles final with partner Eduardo Nava(TCU/Wake Forest). The No. 2 seeds defeated the unseeded pair of current Oregon Ducks Joshua Charlton(AUS) and Quinn Vandecasteele 6-4, 6-4. 

At the women's $15,000 tournament in Waco, No. 8 seed Victoria Hu(Princeton) is through to her first Pro Circuit final, defeating 16-year-old Lexington Reed 7-6(1), 6-4 in today's semifinals. The 20-year-old Hu, who turned pro after her freshman year in 2021-22, will face former Tulsa standout Martina Okalova of Slovakia in the final. Okalova, a qualifier, defeated No. 4 seed Maria Kozyreva(St. Mary's) of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. 

In the doubles final, No. 2 seeds Alicia Herrero Liana(Baylor) of Spain and Maria Kononova(North Texas) defeated unseeded Melany Krywoj(Baylor) of Argentina and Baylor freshman Vanda Vargova of Slovakia 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. 

Current NCAA champion Ben Shelton is through to his third consecutive ATP Challenger final in as many weeks after defeating No. 7 seed Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois) 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4 in Champaign. The 20-year-old left-hander from Gainesville Florida, seeded No. 4, bombed a career-high 25 aces to get his second win over Kovacevic in the past three weeks. Shelton, up to 105 in the live rankings, will face another former Illinois star in No. 6 seed Aleks Vukic, who prevented a third straight final between Shelton and Christopher Eubanks with a 7-6(7), 6-4 win today over the former Georgia Tech star. If Shelton wins tomorrow, he should move into the ATP Top 100, which means he will not need the Australian Open wild card he clinched yesterday. Eubanks is currently in second place, so he would receive it.

In the Champaign doubles final, top seeds Robert Galloway(Wofford) and Mexico's Hans Hach Verdugo(Abilene Christian) earned the title, beating unseeded Zeke Clark(Illinois) and Alfredo Perez(Florida) 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. 

Michael Mmoh can't move ahead of Eubanks in the race, but the 24-year-old is getting closer to the Top 100 and direct entry after reaching the final of this week's ATP Challenger 80 in Drummondville Canada. No. 2 seed Mmoh, currently 109 in the live rankings, will face No. 3 seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada for the title Sunday. 

In Drummondville doubles, the British team of Julian Cash(Mississippi St/Oklahoma St) and Henry Patten(UNC-Asheville) won their eighth Challenger title of the year, tying a record, when they defeated unseeded compatriots Arthur Fery(Stanford) and Giles Hussey(Georgia St/Tennessee) 6-3, 6-3 i the final. 

The ATP Finals in Turin Sunday will feature Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud in singles. Djokovic defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in today's semifinals, while Ruud took out Andre Rublev 6-2, 6-4. In tomorrow's doubles final, Rajeev Ram(Illinois) and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury(Memphis) will face Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia. Ram and Salisbury, who are undefeated this week, lost in the championship match at last year's ATP Finals to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France.