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Saturday, February 3, 2024

Quinn Advances to First Challenger Final in Cleveland; Hovde and Kessler Meet Sunday for Rome W75 Title; Shnaider Reaches Second WTA 250 Final; No. 3 Oklahoma State Women Top No. 6 Pepperdine

Two Americans will meet for the ATP Challenger 75 title in Cleveland Sunday, with 2023 NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia), who turns 20 next month, advancing to a Challenger final for the first time in his career with a  6-3, 6-4 win over No. 4 seed Denis Kudla today. His opponent will be Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M), the 2017 Kalamazoo 18s champion, who earned his third ATP Top 100 win today, beating No. 1 seed James Duckworth of Australia 6-3, 7-6(1). Kypson, seeded No. 5 this week, holds a 2-0 advantage in previous matches with Quinn, the most recent a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory in the November Challenger in Champaign, which Kypson went on to win.

In the doubles final today in Cleveland, the unseeded team of George Goldhoff(Texas) and Japan's James Trotter(Ohio State) defeated top seeds Will Blumberg(North Carolina) and Alex Lawson(Notre Dame) 6-7(0), 6-3, 10-8. It's the first Challenger title for the 29-year-old Goldhoff, although he has 17 doubles title on the ITF Pro Circuit. Trotter, the 2023 NCAA doubles champion, won the Columbus Challenger doubles title last September with Robert Cash.

Quinn and Kypson are not the only former collegians in a Challenger final Sunday, with No. 2 seed Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) continuing his excellent results on the ATP Challenger Circuit this year by reaching his second final of the year. The 22-year-old from San Diego, who won the Tenerife Challenger last month and made two other Challenger semifinals in Europe, will face top seed Jurij Rodionov of Austria in the final of the Challenger 100 in Koblenz Germany

Both finals are available for streaming at the ATP Challenger TV page.

Eighteen-year-old Liv Hovde advanced to the biggest final of her career today, with the 2022 Wimbledon girls champion defeating Robin Anderson(UCLA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 indoors at the W75 in Rome Georgia. Hovde will not only be playing in her first final above the 25K level, she will be attempting to stop the Rome winning streak of No. 5 seed McCartney Kessler(Florida). Georgia resident Kessler, who won her first Pro Circuit title at a $60K in Rome last fall, defeated No. 2 seed Hailey Baptiste 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 for her ninth consecutive win on the Rome courts.

Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) and Angela Kulikov(USC) won the doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds getting a walkover from No. 3 seeds Baptiste and Whitney Osuigwe in this afternoon's final.

A year ago, Diana Shnaider was back in the United States, competing in her first matches as a freshman at North Carolina State, after qualifying and winning a round at the Australian Open. This year, after failing to win a match in the three tournaments she competed in Australia, she made a much shorter trip, to Thailand, where the 19-year-old from Russia is now in the final of the WTA 250 tournament in Hua Hin. Unseeded, Shnaider took out top seed Magda Linette of Poland in the first round and beat No. 3 seed Xinyu Wang of China in the semifinals to reach her second WTA 250 final. She will face No. 2 seed and defending champion Lin Zhu of China in the final. 

Seventeen-year-old Sara Saito of Japan, who came into the Australian Open Junior Championships with a semifinal and final in W50s in Thailand, fell short of her No. 2 seeding in Melbourne, losing in the quarterfinals to Emerson Jones of Australia. But she has picked up right where she left off in the ITF women's World Tennis Tour competition, making the final this week at the W75 in Burnie Australia. She will face No. 2 seed Priscilla Hon of Australia for her second ITF Pro Circuit singles title. Seventeen-year-old Maya Joint of Australia reached the quarterfinals  in Burnie before falling to qualifier Ena Shibahara(UCLA) of Japan 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(10).

Today's marquee battle of Top 10 teams in women's D-I didn't disappoint, with No. 3 Oklahoma State toughing out a 4-2 victory over No. 6 Pepperdine in Stillwater. Oklahoma State took the doubles point and got a quick win at line 5 from Ayumi Miyamoto, but Pepperdine got points from Lisa Zaar at line 1 and Savannah Broadus at line 2 to tie it up, with Broadus coming back from a set down to beat Ange Obi Kajuru. The other three matches were early in third sets, and all went down to the wire, with Oklahoma State getting their final two points from Lucia Peyre at line 3 and Kristina Novak at line 6.


Fery? said...

Hey Colette Do you know if Arthur Fery is playing for Stanford this year?

Colette Lewis said...

I do not know. The last I heard, there was a chance he might return for Stanford's spring quarter, which begins April 1.