Pro Circuit Round-up:
Crawford wins first pro title
Arthur Kapetanakis | October 22, 2018
After a pair of $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit events, one each on the men’s and women’s calendars, University of Florida sophomore Oliver Crawford emerged with his first professional title. While Crawford claimed the singles crown at the Futures event in Harlingen, Texas, Nicolas Meister lifted the doubles trophy to make it two American champions on the week.
Crawford, a former world No. 9 junior, made his run as a wild card, defeating Texas A&M product Jordi Arconada, 6-4, 6-0, in the semifinals before topping Great Britain’s Andrew Watson, 6-1, 6-1, in the championship match. The 19-year-old South Carolina native prefers clay courts, but he was right at home on the Texas hard courts, dropping just one set in his five matches.
"This is something I will remember for the rest of my life,” Crawford told USTA.com.ADVERTISEMENT
Traveling with Florida assistant coach Tanner Stump, the 5-foot-10 right-hander was planning to compete in qualifying at the event, before being granted a late wild card. He made the most of the extra preparation time, as he was able to adjust to the windy Harlingen conditions and fine-tune his game ahead of main-draw play. In particular, Crawford has been working hard on the two most important shots in tennis: the serve and return.
"It was very effective in the wind, a high first-serve percentage and then making a lot of returns," he said. "I think I managed the conditions really well."
Next up for Crawford is the $75,000 USTA Challenger in Charlottesville, Va., which begins on Oct. 29. He earned a wild card into the event, which will be the biggest of his young professional career, by winning the UVA Masters, a collegiate tournament also held in Charlottesville, in September.
In his freshman season at Florida, he posted a combined 27-8 singles record across both tournament and dual matches, along with a 26-7 mark in doubles. Crawford competed across the top four spots in the Gators’ lineup, spending most of his time in the No. 3 position, where he went undefeated at 10-0. He was also a perfect 4-0 at the top spot. He was named to the All-SEC first team for his freshman campaign and was also honored as the SEC Freshman of the Year and the Gators’ team MVP, among many other accolades.
In 2017, Crawford competed in the boys’ singles and doubles (with Patrick Kypson) competitions at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, reaching the last 16 of the singles draws in Paris and London and the quarterfinals in New York.
Meister, who lifted the Harlingen doubles title with France’s Maxime Cressy on Saturday, celebrated a second Pro Circuit trophy in as many weeks. The No. 3-seeded champions, who previously won the $25,000 Futures event in Houston, defeated the American duo of Ronnie Schneider and John-Paul Fruttero, 6-4, 6-2, in the final.
In women’s Pro Circuit action, Maria Mateas and Katie Volynets reached opposite singles semifinals in Florence, S.C., while Robin Anderson was a quarterfinalist. Mateas, seeded No. 8, defeated the No. 2 seed, Francoise Abanda of Canada, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, in the quarters, while Volynets, a qualifier, knocked off No. 6 Sherazad Reix of France, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to reach the last four.
Other notable results for Americans on the ITF Circuit include:
- Jeremy Sonkin was a singles quarterfinalist at the $25,000 ITF Futures event in Meitar, Israel.
- Naomi Cheong was a singles quarterfinalist at the $25,000 ITF event in Hamamatsu, Japan.
- Haley Giavara reached the singles quarterfinals at the $15,000 ITF event in Ofakim, Israel.
- Amber Washington was a doubles finalist at the $15,000 ITF event in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
(Photo credit: Alex de la Osa/UAA Communications)