Chen Wins Austin $10K; Gibbs Wins USO Wild Card; Black, Donaldson, Townsend Qualify for Citi Open in Washington, Zhao Reaches Main Draw at Bank of the West Classic
Fifteen-year-old Kelly Chen went straight from the G18s Clay Courts in Memphis to the qualifying tournament of the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Austin. Before she made that trip, Chen had only one main draw victory in a professional-level tournament, but this week she got five, beating 2013 NCAA finalist Mary Weatherholt 6-3, 7-6(7) in Sunday's final. The Cerritos, California resident, who works with former NCAA champion and WTA Top 40 player Debbie Graham, now heads back home to compete in the Girls 18s National Championships, with the main draw in that division beginning next Sunday.
At the men's $10,000 Futures in Godfrey, Illinois, Daniel Nguyen posted his second straight win over Mitchell Frank, this time in a final, defeating the Cavalier rising senior 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(2). Frank served for the match at 5-3 in the third, but Nguyen rebounded and after trailing 2-0 in the tiebreaker, captured the finals seven points for his first title of 2014. The former USC Trojan, who completed his eligibility in 2012, has won four Futures singles titles in his professional career.
Nguyen wasn't the only Trojan having a good week on the professional tour. Steve Johnson reached the BB&T Atlanta Open doubles final with Sam Querrey, losing to Wimbledon champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 5-7, 10-5 today. Rising senior Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador swept the titles at this week's $15,000 Futures in Venezuela. The No. 7 seed, Quiroz downed former Duke star Henrique Cunha, seeded third, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals and defeated No. 8 seed Jorge Panta of Peru 6-3, 6-4 in the final for his first ITF Men's circuit singles title. He and Mateo Martinez of Argentina were the top seeds in doubles, and they claimed the title when their opponents retired trailing 6-4, 1-1. Quiroz now has 10 Futures doubles titles.
Nicole Gibbs lost in the final of the $50,000 Lexington Challenger to Madison Brengle today 6-3, 6-4, but the two-time NCAA champion while at Stanford secured her third straight US Open wild card by just reaching the final, after winning the $50,000 tournament in Carson last week. The only player who could catch her was Melanie Oudin, whom she beat in the final last week, and when she again beat Oudin, this time in the semifinals, Brengle couldn't match Gibbs' point total. Here is the usta.com article on Gibbs' US Open Wild Card Challenge win.
In the final round of qualifying at the Citi Open, Jared Donaldson, Tornado Alicia Black and Taylor Townsend all advanced to the main draw with straight-set wins. Donaldson defeated Sekou Bangoura Jr. 6-3, 6-1 and will face fellow qualifier Rajeev Ram in the first round Monday evening. Also on Monday, on the stadium court, televised by the Tennis Channel at 8 p.m., 16-year-old Francis Tiafoe makes his main draw ATP debut against Evgeny Donskoy of Russia. Monday's complete order of play is here.
Black and Townsend are also on Monday's schedule, with Black defeating Great Britain's Emily Webley-Smith 6-3, 6-0 in today's final round of qualifying, and Townsend downing top seed Tereza Smitkova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4. Black meets Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan and Townsend plays Julia Goerges of Germany with both matches Monday night, but not on the stadium court.
Out at the WTA's Bank of the West Classic, rising Stanford sophomore Carol Zhao of Canada earned her way into the main draw, beating Marina Shamayko of Russia 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in today's second, and final, round of qualifying. She will play Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium Tuesday in the first round. Recent Stanford graduate Kristie Ahn meets CoCo Vandeweghe Monday night. For more on Zhao and Ahn, see this article from the Stanford website. Sachia Vickery also advanced to the main draw, with a 6-4, 6-1 upset of top qualifying seed Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, 103 in the WTA rankings. The 2013 USTA National 18s champion will play Shuai Zhang of China in just her second WTA main draw appearance (not including her appearance in this year's Australian Open after winning the USTA wild card tournament, and her wild card into last year's US Open as junior champion, where she won a round).