Pro Circuit Round-Up:
Ahn, Smyczek lead standings
Sally Milano | November 6, 2017
The 2018 Australian Open Wild Card Challenge continued last week with big results from American players competing on the USTA Pro Circuit.
On the women's side, Kristie Ahn (pictured above) moved up to a career-high ranking of No. 106 after defeating fellow American Danielle Collins, 6-4, 6-4, in the final of the $80,000 RBC Pro Challenge in Tyler, Texas. Fourth-seeded Ahn, a 25-year-old from Upper Saddle River, N.J., dropped just one set during the tournament, in her quarterfinal win over Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria. She picked up her second USTA Pro Circuit title of the year – she also won the $60,000 event in Dothan, Ala., in April – with the victory and moved into first place in the women's challenge after the second week of play, with 116 points.
For the men, Tim Smyzcek survived a tough battle from top-seeded Tennys Sandgren to claim the title at the $75,000 Charlottesville Men's Pro Challenger in Charlottesville, Va.
The 29-year-old from Tampa, Fla., upset four seeded players en route to the title, defeating No. 5 seed Bjorn Fratangelo, 6-1, 6-2, in the second round; No. 2 Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland, 7-6 (2), 2-1, ret., in the quarterfinals; No. 6 Stefan Kozlov, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, in the semifinals; and No. 1 Sandgren, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2, in the final. With his win, Smyczek earned 80 points in the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, taking an early lead in the men's standings after Week 1 of play.
The Australian Open Wild Card Challenge wraps up this week for the women and next week for the men.
U.S. players posted impressive results in both Charlottesville and Tyler, with all-American semifinals contested at both tournaments. In addition to Ahn and Collins, Sofia Kenin and Irina Falconi reached the semis in Tyler, while Michael Mmoh joined Smyzcek, Sandgren and Kozlov in the final four in Charlottesville.
Other results from Americans competing on the USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Pro Circuit last week included:
- Denis Kudla and Danny Thomas won the doubles title in Charlottesville.
- Alexander Sarkissian reached the singles quarterfinals at the $75,000 Challenger in Canberra, Australia.
- Austin Krajicek advanced to the singles quarterfinals at the $75,000 Challenger in Shenzhen, China.
- Raleigh Smith and Wil Spencer won the doubles title, and Nick Chappell reached the doubles final, at the $15,000 USTA Futures in Birmingham, Ala.
- Michael Zhu reached the singles quarterfinals at the $15,000 ITF Futures in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
- Robert Galloway won the doubles title at the $15,000 ITF Futures in Meshref, Kuwait.
- Evan Song reached the singles semifinals and Hady Habib advanced to the singles quarterfinals at the $15,000 ITF Futures in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Taylor Townsend and Julia Boserup teamed to win the doubles title in Tyler, while Jamie Loeb finished runner-up in doubles there. Townsend and Ashley Kratzer also reached the singles semifinals at the tournament.
- Asia Muhammad won the doubles title at the $60,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Canberra, Australia.
- Francesca Di Lorenzo reached the singles semifinals at the $60,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Toronto.
- Bernarda Pera advanced to the singles semifinals at the $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Nantes, France.
- Kariann Pierre-Louis reached the doubles final and Anastasia Nefedova advanced to the singles semifinals at the $15,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Pereira, Colombia.