Pro Circuit Round-up:
Rubin wins Tallahassee Title
Arthur Kapetanakis | April 30, 2018
After missing much of 2017 with a wrist injury, Noah Rubin is back to playing his best tennis in 2018. The New York native won the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit and ATP Challenger event in Tallahassee, Fla., on Sunday to claim his second Challenger title of the year.
The Tallahassee Tennis Challenger trophy helped move Rubin back into the Top 200 in the ATP World Tour rankings. He now sits at No. 197, up from No. 252, after his first career clay-court title.
The unseeded 22-year-old knocked off No. 1 Denis Kudla in round two with a 6-2, 6-4 upset. Kudla, the world No. 117, has been in fine form of late, winning a $75,000 Challenger event in Drummondville, Canada, and reaching the final of another Challenger in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe within the past six weeks.
Rubin, a former Wake Forest Deamon Deacon, cruised to the Tallahassee final without dropping a set but was pushed to the limit at the last hurdle by Australian Mark Polmans. ADVERTISEMENT
After six match points and two hours, eight minutes, Rubin prevailed, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, for his fourth career Challenger title.
With a clean bill of health and his recent return to form, the former junior Wimbledon champion will be looking to improve on his career-high ranking of No. 161, first achieved in January. His strong start to 2018 puts him at No. 97 in the ATP Race to London.
Rubin has made three Grand Slam main-draw appearances in his young career – he debuted at the 2014 US Open and reached round two in Australia in 2016 and 2017 – and is now in line to add to that via the USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge.
The Tallahassee victory gives Rubin an enviable lead in the men's challenge. After three out of four total weeks, his 86 points put him well ahead of second-placed Bjorn Frantangelo, who has 50 points. Kudla, Rubin's second-round victim, sits third with 39.
In the women's challenge, Taylor Townsend cemented her lead with a semifinal run as the No. 3 seed in the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va. No. 2 Jennifer Brady reached the opposite semifinal before bowing out, with each American winning one three-setter in the tournament.
Brady has already qualified for the French Open main draw via her WTA ranking, and with one week remaining in the Wild Card Challenge, Townsend's 157 points put her very close to joining her compatriot.
Caroline Dolehide, who kicked off the challenge by winning the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., sits in second place with 80 points, while Francesca Di Lorenzo is in third with 52.
The women's challenge comes down to one final tournament – this week's $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charleston, S.C. – while the final week on the men's side consists of five different tournaments, including three ATP 250 events and a $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Savannah, Ga.
Other notable results from American men and women on the USTA and ITF Pro Circuits include:
- Chris Eubanks won the $75,000 ATP Challenger event in Leon, Mexico, while Alexander Sarkissian was a singles quarterfinalist.
- Denis Kudla and Robert Galloway won the doubles title at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit and ATP Challenger event in Tallahassee, Fla.
- Sekou Bangoura won the doubles crown at the $25,000 ITF Futures event in Santa Marherita di Pula, Italy.
- Ronnie Schneider was a doubles champion at the $25,000 ITF Futures event in Abuja, Nigeria.
- Strong Kirchheimer was a singles semifinalist at the $15,000 USTA Futures event in Vero Beach, Fla. Junior Ore was a singles quarterfinalist at the event and also won the doubles title with Miles Seemann. They defeated Harrison Adams and Nick Chappell in the final.
- Grace Min and Katerina Stewart reached the singles quarterfinals at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va. Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller won the doubles title at the event, defeating Ashley Kratzer and Whitney Osuigwe in the final.
- Danielle Lao was a singles quarterfinalist at the $60,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Quanzhou, China.
- Sabrina Santamaria was a doubles finalist at the $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Wiesbaden, Germany.
- Ellie Halbauer was the singles champion at the $15,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Antalya, Turkey.
- Shelby Talcott was a singles quarterfinalst at the $15,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Cairo, Egypt, and also reached the doubles final with Madeleine Kobelt.