Pro Circuit Round-up: Mandlik wins first ITF singles title
Elizabeth Mandlik still has a long way to go to match her mother’s 27 career WTA singles titles, but the 17-year-old American is beginning to make a name for herself as she racks up trophies on both the ITF senior and junior levels. That trend continued on Sunday, as she claimed her first career ITF World Tennis Tour singles crown at the W15 event in Carson, Calif.
The daughter of International Tennis Hall of Famer Hana Mandlikova, Mandlik (along with twin brother Mark) has had plenty of success in the junior ranks. She ended 2018 at a career high of No. 17 in the ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Rankings, and that success is now translating to the senior level.
In previous interviews, both younger Mandliks have said that they do not feel any pressure from their mother’s past success, but benefit from her battle-tested advice. That bore out in Carson, where Mandlik navigated a 32-woman draw that featured 28 Americans.
The outdoor hard-court field was headed by top seed and WTA No. 340 Sophie Chang, who was taken out in Round 2 by another rising junior star in 14-year-old Robin Montgomery. In the draw's bottom half, Mandlik took care of the No. 2 seed, WTA No. 444 Hanna Chang, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, in the quarterfinals.
She had an easier time against No. 5 Rasheeda McAdoo in the semifinals, advancing, 6-1, 6-4, before winning her second three-setter of the week in the final. Against Canadian No. 6 seed Carson Branstine, the Delray Beach, Fla., resident gutted out a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 result for the biggest win of her career to date.
With the Carson title, Mandlik has now won at least one singles and one doubles crown on both the ITF World Tennis Tour and ITF World Junior Tour in the past year. She is the reigning champion at five combined events, including the junior circuit's Pan American ITF Championship, a Grade B1 event at which she won the singles title. She was also a singles finalist at a pair of Grade 1 junior events, including the Eddie Herr International Junior Championship, and reached the singles Round of 16 at the 2018 junior US Open. Her doubles success over the past 12 months includes one senior-level title, at the $15,000 event in Cuerta de Arges, Romania, in June, and two junior victories stateside.
The world No. 20 ITF junior has competed exclusively in ITF World Tennis Tour W15 events in 2019, eschewing the junior tour to compete in four such tournaments to date. The first three came in consecutive weeks in Monastir, Tunisia, throughout the month of February. Her best singles result in that outdoor hard-court run was a quarterfinal appearance, as she compiled a combined 4-3 record in main-draw singles play. In doubles action, she reached one semifinal and two quarterfinals in Tunisia.
In the Carson doubles event, McAdoo and Natasha Subash defeated Nicole Mossmer and Chanelle Van Nguyen, 6-2, 6-4, in an all-American final. The No. 2-seeded champions won two third-set match tiebreakers to open their campaign before dropping just 10 combined games in the semifinals and final. Mandlik, teaming with junior world No. 17 Alexa Noel, was eliminated in a third-set match tiebreaker in Round 1.
Other notable results from Americans on the ITF Circuit include:
- Catherine Harrison was a singles semifinalist at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event in Yokohama, Japan.
- Maria Sanchez was a singles semifinalist at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event in Iraputo, Mexico, where Usue Arconada and Whitney Osuigwe reached the quarters.
- Henry Craig reached the singles quarterfinals at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Loule, Portugal.
- Sebastian Korda was a doubles finalist at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Antalya, Turkey.