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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Tien Wins Third Straight, Pareja Claims First Title at Rancho Santa Fe $15Ks; Spizzirri Earns Second $25K Title; Paul Captures ATP 500 Queens Club Championship; Wimbledon Men's Qualifying Features Seven Americans

Eighteen-year-old Learner Tien swept through his third consecutive SoCal Pro Series tournament today at the men's $15,000 tournament in Rancho Santa Fe California. The two-time defending Kalamazoo 18s champion, who played one semester at USC in 2023, defeated qualifier Matthew Summers of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1 in under an hour to post his 15th consecutive victory since returning from three-month layoff.

Tien, who won back-to-back titles at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego the first two weeks of SoCal Pro Series before taking a week off last week, was particularly impressive in Rancho Santa Fe, winning all his matches in straight sets and giving up no more than four games in any of the ten sets he won.  He defeated last week's champion Oliver Tarvet(San Diego) of Great Britain 6-1, 6-4 in the second round and SMU's Trevor Svajda, the No. 6 seed, 6-3, 6-4 in yesterday's semifinals. He is not playing the $15K in Los Angeles this coming week, and I anticipate he'll return to the Challenger level in the coming weeks, after reaching two Challenger quarterfinals in January.

In the doubles final played last night, No. 2 seeds Patrick Maloney(Michigan) and Australian Joshua Charlton(Oregon) defeated Svajda and teammate Adam Neff 7-6(5), 6-4. It's the second Pro Circuit doubles title for Maloney and the fourth for Charlton.

While Tien is still just 18, the women's Rancho Santa Fe W15 champion is a full three years younger, with wild card Julieta Pareja taking her first title this afternoon with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 7 seed Kimmi Hance(UCLA) in the first Pro Circuit final for both. Pareja, currently 190 in the ITF junior rankings, came back from a set down four times in her five victories, which included wins over three seeds.

In the women's doubles final last night, the Campana sisters, Anna and Carolyn, won their first Pro Circuit title, with the unseeded pair, who played at Wake Forest and Pepperdine, defeating unseeded Brandy Walker(Northern Arizona) and Jessica Alsola(Cal) of Canada 6-2, 6-3.

Unseeded Eliot Spizzirri earned his second USTA Pro Circuit $25K title today in Tulsa, with the recent University of Texas All-American defeating No. 2 seed Bernard Tomic(Australia) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3). Spizzirri, the ITA Player of Year for 2023 and 2024, had reached the final of last week's $25K in Wichita; his first $25K title came back in 2021 in Decatur Illinois. 

Cadence Brace of Canada won the W35 in Wichita, with the No. 8 seed beating top seed Victoria Hu(Princeton) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. It's the first Pro Circuit title for the 19-year-old Brace.

Tommy Paul won the biggest title of his career today at the ATP 500 at Queen's Club in London, with the No. 5 seed defeating Lorenzo Musetti of Italy 6-1, 7-6(8) in the final.

With the title Paul will move to 12 in the ATP rankings, and will become the No. 1 American for the first time, with Taylor Fritz dropping to No. 13.

For more on Paul's victory, see this article from the ATP.

Paul was not the only American to claim a grass court title today, with Jessica Pegula taking the WTA 500 in Berlin, saving five match points in her 6-7(0), 6-4, 7-6(3) win over Anna Kalinskaya of Russia.

For more on Pegula's title, see this article from the WTA.

Wimbledon qualifying begins Monday for the men, with seven Americans attempting to advance to the main draw: Emilio Nava[30], Nicolas Moreno de Alboran(UC-Santa Barbara), Zachary Svajda[24], Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M), Tristan Boyer(Stanford), Maxime Cressy(UCLA) and Denis Kudla. 

ESPN+ will be providing coverage of Show Court 1, which will feature the matches of Oliver Crawford(Florida) and Kudla on Monday.