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Rogers, Gauff reach personal-best rankings weeks ahead of US Open
Shelby Rogers makes Silicon Valley final, in Top 30
It’s been a remarkable year for female tennis stars from the U.S., which – earlier this summer – featured five players in the Top 25. Making a run to the final of last week’s Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, South Carolina’s Shelby Rogers looks to join the club in 2022: On Monday, she cracked the Top 30 for the first time in her career.
En route to the championship match, the unseeded Rogers took down big names – including top seed Maria Sakkari of Greece in the second round, and compatriot Amanda Anisimova in the quarterfinals. Despite winning the final’s first set against seventh-seeded Daria Kasatkina, Rogers ultimately lost 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2.
“I don’t know if you guys are golf fans here,” Rogers said to the crowd after her defeat. “But I read a quote the other day from Tony Finau – he’s one of my favorites – and he had back-to-back titles, and he said a winner is just a loser that doesn’t quit, and that really resonated with me. So hopefully I’ll be back here and get to the final and get it done.”
Rogers, now 29 years old, looked like the future of American tennis when she reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals in 2016. Knee surgery in 2018 caused her to drop out of the Top 100 for almost two years. But she’s hovered around the Top 40 since the 2020 US Open, when she made her second quarterfinal appearance at a major.
If she keeps playing like she did in California, Rogers could perform just as well at this year’s Open.
Gauff defeats Osaka in San Jose, approaches Top 10
Florida’s 18-year-old Coco Gauff has enjoyed a stellar year on the professional circuit, highlighted by her run to both the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros. While she’s already cracked the Top 10 in doubles (currently ranked world No. 6), the teenager is on the brink of pulling off that feat in singles – reaching a personal best world No. 11 ranking after making the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic quarterfinals.
Seeded sixth, Gauff defeated four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka of Japan in the second round, 6-4, 6-4. But she couldn’t overcome Spain’s No. 2 seed Paula Badosa in her next match, losing 7-6(4), 6-2.
“You know certain players, no matter what the score is, it’s going to be tough,” Gauff said after defeating Osaka.
Later, after her loss to Badosa, Gauff put a positive spin on things: “Tough players and playing high seeds like this in warm-up tournaments for the US Open is what I ask for.”
Sock, Pegula win doubles titles at Citi Open
Over in Washington DC, Nebraska’s Jack Sock and New York’s Jessica Pegula won the men’s and women’s doubles titles at the Citi Open.
Sock teamed with Australian Nick Kyrgios for his second doubles title of the year, following a big win with compatriot John Isner at the Masters 1000 BNP Paribas Open. Sock and Kyrgios defeated American Austin Krajicek and his Croatian partner, Ivan Dodig, 7-5, 6-4.
Top seeds Pegula – the world No. 7 in singles, and No. 12 in doubles – and New Zealander Erin Routliffe took down the fourth-seeded pairing of American Caty McNally and Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 5-7, [12-10].
Pegula previously won the tournament’s most recent women’s singles competition in 2019. This year, she was upset in the second round by Australia’s Daria Saville.
Blumberg wins in doubles
Down in Los Cabos, Mexico, Connecticut’s William Blumberg won his third doubles title alongside Serbian partner Miomir Kecmanovic at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel, or Los Cabos Open. Blumberg and Kecmanovic defeated South Africa’s Raven Klaasen and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo 6-0, 6-1.
The win vaulted Blumberg 17 spots in the doubles rankings to a personal-best world No. 85 – the first time he’s cracked the Top 100.
Casey Ratzlaff twice a finalist at the Austrian Open ITF 2 Series
After winning last month’s singles and doubles competition (alongside partner Jason Keatseangslip) at the ITF Futures Kamloops Legacy Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, Casey Ratzlaff was a finalist in both divisions at last week’s Austrian Open ITF 2 Series. Seeded first in doubles alongside partner Takuya Miki of Japan, Ratzlaff and Miki lost to Great Britain’s Dahnon Ward and Andrew Penney.