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2012 Year in Review: USTA Pro Circuit

December 30, 2012 03:00 PM
Maria Sanchez won five USTA Pro Circuit titles in 2012.
Brian Baker finished the 2012 season ranked No. 61 in the world, up almost 400 spots from his 2011 year-end ranking.
The USTA Pro Circuit posted success across the board in 2012 and once again carried out its goal of developing the next generation of world-class players and delivering world-class tennis to communities across the country.
The men’s USTA Pro Circuit began the year with a tournament title from rising star Jack Sock—the 2010 US Open boys’ singles champion and 2011 US Open mixed doubles champion—and witnessed the impressive ascent of Brian Baker, who began the year ranked in the 400s but would rise to No. 61 by season’s end on the strength of his results on the USTA Pro Circuit as well as a fourth-round showing at Wimbledon and a second-round finish at the US Open. Denis Kudla, meanwhile, earned the most ATP points of any man on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012, reaching the quarterfinals or better at six events and taking home two tournament titles.
The women’s USTA Pro Circuit featured some rising stars of its own. Grace Min, the 2011 US Open girls’ singles champion, won three singles titles and one doubles title, highlighted by a victory at the $50,000 event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., to surge from No. 414 in the world rankings to as high as No. 169. Maria Sanchez also had a standout season, winning five titles (two singles, three doubles) and earning more WTA ranking points than any American woman on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012. Also posting a standout 2012 was Lauren Davis, won reached four singles finals, taking home two titles.
The USTA Pro Circuit also continued its close collaboration with USTA Player Development by utilizing the Pro Circuit to determine the USTA wild cards (one men’s, one women’s) awarded for the 2012 French Open and US Open. Baker and Melanie Oudin claimed the French Open wild cards by earning the most ATP and WTA points, respectively, at select clay-court USTA Pro Circuit events, and both recipients used the wild cards to good measure, each advancing to the second round at Roland Garros. College stars Mallory Burdette and Steve Johnson nabbed the honors of earning wild cards into the US Open. Both would use their wild cards to good effect, with each player advancing to the third round in Flushing Meadows.
In all, the USTA Pro Circuit was well-represented at the US Open. Three USTA Pro Circuit players advanced to the main draw after receiving wild cards into qualifying—Samantha Crawford, Bradley Klahn and Rhyne Williams, with Klahn becoming the first qualifying wild card ever to win a round in the men’s singles draw and Crawford following her showing in qualifying by going on to win the junior girls’ singles title. The USTA Pro Circuit also made a splash at the 2012 Olympic Games, with Pro Circuit graduates taking home armfuls of medals, including all six in the inaugural mixed doubles competition.
On the women’s USTA Pro Circuit, Las Vegas had a rockin’ 2012 thanks to new presenting sponsor Redfoo of the hit band LMFAO, and Redding, Calif., and Troy, Ala., joined the growing list of events that have spent 10 years or more on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Among the men’s events, Joplin, Mo., made a triumphant return to the USTA Pro Circuit following a one-year absence as a result of the devastating 2011 tornado, and the Challenger in Aptos, Calif., celebrated a quarter-century on the USTA Pro Circuit calendar.
Click here for a photo gallery of some of the players who shined on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012.


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