Pro Circuit Round-up:
Bangoura wins 8th ITF title
Arthur Kapetanakis | January 22, 2019
The blaze of American success at the 2019 Australian Open was echoed stateside by Sekou Bangoura, who was crowned champion at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Naples, Fla., on Sunday.
The 27-year-old took out three fellow seeds on the way to the USTA Pro Circuit title in his home state, defeating No. 6 Alejandro Gomez (Colombia), 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Pietro Rondoni (Italy), 7-6, 6-1, in the semis. The fourth-seeded champion was an underdog in the final, at least according to the seeding, but he recorded another bagel set in a 7-6, 6-0 victory over No. 3 Pedro Sakamoto (Brazil) to take home the trophy.
It is the eighth career ITF singles title for Bangoura, who won three Futures crowns in 2018 before ending the year at No. 378 in the ATP World Rankings. Prior to a barren 2017, he had won one title each year from 2013-16. ADVERTISEMENT Bangoura has also won an impressive 16 ITF doubles titles since 2011. He holds career-high ATP rankings of No. 213 (singles) and No. 147 (doubles), both achieved in late 2016.
In April 2018, he was tabbed by U.S. Fed Cup captain Kathy Rinaldi to travel with the team as a hitting partner during Team USA’s 3-2 semifinal victory over France.
Strong Kirchheimer made it two American champions in Naples, as he teamed with Julian Bradley of Ireland to win the doubles title – his first career ITF trophy, in singles or doubles. After winning a match tiebreak to take out Bangoura and Paul Oosterbaan in Round 1, the 23-year-old American and his partner won another 10-point breaker to dispatch the No. 2 seeds in the semis. The final was a more straightforward contest, with the champions dismissing the Chilean duo of Alejandro Tabilo and Gonzalo Lama, 6-4, 6-2.
On the women’s Pro Circuit, Grace Min reached the singles semis at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event in Daytona Beach, Fla., where Louisa Chirico was a quarterfinalist. Hailey Baptiste and Emina Bektas reached the doubles final.
Other notable American results on the ITF Circuit include:
- Quinn Gleason was a singles semifinalist and a doubles champion at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event in Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe. Rasheeda McAdoo reached the singles quarterfinals at the event.
- David Wagner, who will compete in the Australian Open this week, was the quad singles champion at the Melbourne Open ITF Series 1 event.