Pro Circuit Round-up:
Baptiste claims first pro title
Arthur Kapetanakis | January 29, 2019
A pair of USTA Pro Circuit events produced two American singles finalists, as Hailey Baptiste and Sekou Bangoura each contested rain-delayed finals on Monday in Florida.
The 17-year-old Baptiste claimed her first career professional title, at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event in Plantation, Fla., while Bangoura fell just short in his quest for back-to-back Pro Circuit titles, at the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 event in Palm Coast, Fla. Also in the Palm Coast event, Junior Alexander Ore teamed with Colombia’s Alejandro Gomez to win the doubles title.
Baptiste qualified for the Plantation clay-court event and dismissed three seeded opponents on her way to the title, dropping just two sets in seven matches on the week, including qualifying. The Washington, D.C., native scored three-set victories over No. ADVERTISEMENT 4 Ylena In-Albon of Switzerland in the quarterfinals and Hungary’s Anna Bondar in the championship match.
The No. 5-seeded Bondar came into the final on a nine-match win streak, having claimed the title at the W25 event in Daytona Beach, Fla., the week before – where Baptiste fell in Round 1 of qualifying. But this week, the American could not be stopped.
After the pair split a tight first two sets, Baptiste took control in the decider to clinch the trophy with a 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 victory.
A former ITF Top-50 junior, Baptiste reached the 2018 US Open girls’ doubles final with Dalayna Hewitt and won the 2018 Easter Bowl doubles event with Caty McNally. Her professional title breakthrough comes after three quarterfinal showings and one semifinal appearance at $25,000 ITF events in 2018, with a semifinal run in an $80,000 event in October ending her year on a high note.
Also at the Plantation event, Lauren Davis and Nicole Gibbs reached the singles quarterfinals, while Jada Robinson was a doubles finalist with Bulgaria’s Olga Govortsova.
Just as Baptiste stopped Bondar from claiming back-to-back Pro Circuit titles in South Florida, Peru’s Nicolas Alvarez derailed Bangoura’s repeat bid in the Palm Coast final. After winning his eighth career ITF singles title at the M15 event in Naples, Fla., last week, the 27-year-old fell one set short of matching that result, dropping the final, 7-6, 1-6, 6-4.
Ore exacted a measure of revenge in the doubles championship, teaming with Gomez to top Alvarez and Luis Patino, 7-6, 6-3. Rounding out the American effort, Harrison Adams and Paul Oosterbaan both reached the singles quarterfinals of the event.
Other notable American results on the ITF, ATP and WTA circuits include:
- Taylor Fritz defended his singles title at the Oracle ATP Challenger 125 event in Newport Beach, Calif., where Donald Young reached the semifinals and Collin Altamirano reached the quarters. In doubles play, Robert Galloway and Nathaniel Lammons teamed for the title.
- Jessica Pegula was a singles finalist at the Oracle WTA $125,000 Series event in Newport Beach, where Lauren Davis reached the semifinals and Nicole Gibbs and Taylor Townsend reached the last eight. Hayley Carter and Ena Shibahara were crowned doubles champions, taking out Townsend and her German partner, Yanina Wickmayer, in the final.
- Madison Westby and Amy Zhu reached the doubles final at the ITF World Tennis Tour W15 event in Monastir, Turkey.