Bektas set for Top 100 debut after WTA 125 title; Navarro wins on USTA Pro Circuit
Emina Bektas won the biggest title of her career at the WTA 125 in Tampico, Mexico, on Sunday—and with it, set herself up to enter the WTA's Top 100 for the first time.
The German-born American claimed the singles crown by winning a trio of three-setters among her five victories. Her dramatic run climaxed in a winner-takes-all tiebreak for the trophy, with the 30-year-old edging Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3), in the final.
Her trophy triumph follows a trip to the semifinals of the WTA 250 in Seoul earlier this month. That result moved Bektas up to a career high of world No. 104, and she is projected to enter the top 90 behind her title in Mexico. There is no new edition of the WTA rankings this week due to the WTA Finals, so she will have to wait one more week to officially make her move.
A former college standout at the University of Michigan, Bektas was outside the Top 300 this January and has climbed the rankings with the help of two ITF titles, as well as a run to the final round of US Open qualifying. While she has yet to compete in the New York main draw, Bektas made her first Grand Slam main-draw appearances last season at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Bektas was not the only American success story last week in Tampico. Elizabeth Mandlik was a singles semifinalist at the event and teamed with Ashlyn Krueger to win the doubles trophy, while Caroline Dolehide and Katie Volynets both made the singles quarterfinals.
Back stateside on the USTA Pro Circuit, Emma Navarro won her fourth ITF singles title of the season at the W80 in Tyler, Texas. The 22-year-old, who made her Top 100 debut this May, is projected to enter the top 40 for the first time in next edition of the WTA rankings.
The former University of Virginia star defeated Kayla Day, 6-3, 6-4, in an all-American final between the tournament's top two seeds, capping a title run during which she dropped just one set. The top-seeded champion also defeated countrywoman Allie Kiick, 6-1, 6-2, in the semifinals; Ayana Akli fell to Day in the opposite semi, making it an all-U.S. semifinal lineup.
With Navarro's victory in the seventh edition of the Christus Pro Health Challenge, an American has now won the singles event five times.
In a tension-filled Tyler doubles final, American Abigail Rencheli and British partner Amelia Rajecki edged Americans Alana Smith and Anna Rogers, 7-5, 4-6, 16-14.
On the men's USTA Pro Circuit action, 17-year-old Learner Tien won his second professional title at the M15 in Norman, Okla. The American lost the opening set of his campaign but did not lose another on the week, finishing with a 7-6(6), 6-2 final victory against Portugal's Duarte Vale.
With the result, Tien became the youngest American to win two ITF World Tennis Tour singles titles since Michael Mmoh in 2015.
Tien also enjoyed a stellar 2023 season at the junior Grand Slams, reaching the US Open and Australian Open singles finals, the Roland Garros semis and the Wimbledon quarterfinals. He also won the junor AO doubles title with fellow American Cooper Williams.