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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Anisimova Reaches Final at Indian Harbour Beatch $80K; Vondrousova Shocks Strycova to Advance to WTA Final in Switzerland; Kozlov, Shi and Gawande Win ITF Junior Titles

Amanda Anisimova just keeps rolling at the $80,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach Florida, reaching Sunday's final with a 6-0, 6-2 win over wild card Vicky Duval.  The 15-year-old Floridian won the first nine games of the match, and Duval, who had not played for nine months, might have tapped all the reserves she had in beating Genie Bouchard and Ajla Tomljanovic prior to today's semifinal. Anisimova will face unseeded Olga Govortsova of Belarus, who beat No. 5 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.


Normally the spotlight would be squarely on Anisimova after such an impressive run, and she is starting to draw notice, but the result of the day for a teenager came from 17-year-old Marketa Vondrousova, who beat top seed and WTA no. 18 Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-6(3), 6-2 to advance to Sunday's final at the WTA International tournament in Biel Switzerland.  The Czech left-hander, who needed three sets to get through two of her three qualifying matches, hasn't lost in her four main draw matches and will face another former top junior, unseeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, in the final.  Vondrousova, who turns 18 this summer, is still eligible for junior events, but has not played in one since the French last year. She was out with an injury the last half of 2016, but since returning she has gone 32-4 in ITF Women's Pro Circuit events (including qualifying) and is now 7-0 against WTA competition. For more on Vondrousova's win today, see the WTA website.

Three US juniors won titles in ITF tournaments today, with 17-year-old Brian Shi and 15-year-old Sanyukta Gawande taking the singles titles at the Grade 4 in Barbados and 16-year-old Boris Kozlov sweeping the titles at the Grade 5 in Canada.

Shi, the top seed, defeated No. 2 seed Kirac Bekisoglu of Turkey 7-5, 6-1 in the final, earning his third ITF singles title and his second this year.  No. 7 seed Gawande, who also won an ITF Grade 4 title last month in Puerto Rico while I was focused on the California tournaments, won her third career ITF singles title with a 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-0 win over unseeded Tara Malik.

No. 2 seeds Lillian Gabrielsen of Norway and Kennedy Bridgforth won the girls doubles in Barbados, beating unseeded Zoe Hitt and Michelle Sorokko 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in the final. Unseeded Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan and Martin Damm won the boys title, beating top seeds Bekisoglu and Ronan Jachuck 6-1, 0-6, 13-11 in the final.

In Burlington Ontario, the top-seeded Kozlov won all five of his matches in straight sets, defeating No. 8 seed Ivan Mitric of Canada 6-1, 7-6(5). It was the first ITF singles title for Kozlov, the brother of Stefan Kozlov. In  doubles, Kozlov and 2016 Kalamazoo 16s doubles champion Max Wild, the No. 3 seeds, beat No. 2 seeds Razvan Baiant and Niels Peter Van Noord of Canada 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match.

At the $25,000 Little Rock Futures, both Jared Hiltzik and Eric Quigley were beaten, with No. 5 seed Philip Bester topping Hiltzik 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-2 and No. 4 seed Brayden Schnur beating No. 6 seed Quigley 6-1, 7-5. 

Usue Arconada fell in the final of the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Pelham Alabama.  The 18-year-old, seeded No. 4 lost to Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway 7-5, 6-2.

At the ATP's US Clay Court Championships in Houston, the run of Ernesto Escobedo came to an end, after the 20-year-old wild card lost to No. 8 seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.  In the all-US semifinal, No. 4 seed Steve Johnson defeated top seed Jack Sock 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach his third ATP final.  Sock had defeated Johnson the past two times they had played earlier this year, with Sock winning in straight sets in both the Auckland semifinals and Delray Beach quarterfinals.

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