Pro Circuit Round-up:
Rybakov, Townsend defend titles
Sally Milano | June 18, 2018
Taylor Townsend captured her ninth career USTA Pro Circuit singles title in Sumter, S.C., without having to step foot on the court, and Alex Rybakov claimed his second pro singles championship in Buffalo, N.Y., in a shortened match, as both players successfully defended their titles in the 2018 editions of the tournaments held last week.
Townsend, the top seed in the Palmetto Pro Open in Sumter, was to face No. 2 Alize Lim in the final, however Lim withdrew just before the scheduled start of the match with a back injury, giving Townsend the ninth singles title of her career.
“I have never had something like this happen in my career," Townsend said. "I completely understand, though, that Alize has to take care of her body in order to get healthy and play again this season.”
Townsend advanced to the final without dropping a set after surviving an opening-round, 7-5, 7-6 (7) challenge from Australia's Astra Sharma.
She went on to defeat Americans Anastasia Nefedova, 6-1, 6-1, in the second round, No. 6 Maria Mateas, 7-5, 6-3, in the quarterfinals and Gail Brodsky, 6-2, 7-6 (4), in the semifinals before reaching the final.
The 21-year-old Chicago native has had a red-hot spring, winning two titles in three weeks at the $80,000 events in Dothan, Ala., and Charleston, S.C., and reaching semifinals at the $60,000 events in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., and Charlottesville, Va.
Her wins in Dothan and Charleston catapulted her into first place in the USTA French Open Wild Card Challenge, giving her a wild card into the 2018 French Open, where she won her first-round match against Myrtille Georges before falling to eventual champion Simona Halep in the second round.
Townsend is now ranked No. 75 in the WTA rankings, just four spots below her career-high mark of No. 71 that she reached in May.
Rybakov (pictured above) claimed his second straight singles title at the Sargent & Collins, LLP Men's $25,000 Futures in Buffalo Sunday, after his opponent, No. 4 seed Deiton Baughman, retired in the second set of their match with the score at 7-6 (5), 3-1.
Rybakov, seeded fifth, easily won his first two matches and then pulled out a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-3 comeback win over Mateo Martinez of Argentina in the quarterfinals. He had not played a pro match singles January, when he reached the quarterfinals at the $25,000 Futures in Long Beach, Calif.
Rybakov won his first pro singles title last year in Buffalo. The 21-year-old lefty recently completed his junior season at TCU, where he went 19-6 in singles as the team's captain and led the Horned Frogs to their third straight Big 12 regular-season title.
Other results of Americans competing last week on the USTA and ITF pro circuits include:
- Michael Redlicki finished runner-up in singles at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Winston-Salem, N.C. Alexander Ritschard reached the semifinals, while Brian Shi and Yuval Solomon advanced to the quarterfinals. Ronnie Schneider and Trevor Johnson teamed together to reach the doubles final.
- John-Paul Fruttero was a doubles finalist at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Gyeongsan, Korea.
- Sumit Sarkar was a singles finalist at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Martos, Spain.
- Emmett Ward reached the singles quarterfinals, and Jordan Parker reached the doubles final at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Harare, Zimbabwe.
- In other Sumter singles action, Ashley Lahey reached the semifinals, and Robin Anderson and Hailey Baptiste advanced to the quarterfinals. In doubles, Julia Elbaba reached the final.
- Jessica Ho won the doubles title at the $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Barcelona, Spain.
- Hanna Chang won the singles title at the $15,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Gyeongsan, Korea.
- Nick Taylor was the quad singles and doubles champion at the VINCI Wheelchair Czech Open ITF 2 Series in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
- Dana Mathewson reached the singles final and doubles semifinals in the Women's Open division at the Toyota Open International de L'ile de Re - ITF 1 in France. In the Quad Open division, Bryan Barten reached the singles semifinals and doubles final, Greg Hasterok advanced to the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals, and Steve Baxter reached the singles and doubles quarterfinals.
- Casey Ratzlaff was the singles and doubles champion in the Men's Open division at the Windsor Classic - ITF Futures Series in Windsor, Canada. Conner Stroud reached the singles final and doubles semifinals at the event, while Chris Herman advanced to the singles and doubles semifinals. On the women's side, Emmy Kaiser won the singles title, and Joanna Nieh finished runner-up.