Take Five: Michelsen reaches first ATP final; Day breaks Top 100 with ITF title
Welcome to Take Five, a weekly series on USTA.com recapping five of the biggest stories from American tennis over the last week on the professional circuit. Alex Michelsen reached his first ATP final in Newport, Rhode Island, and Kayla Day won an ITF World Tennis Tour W100 title in Granby, Canada.
Michlesen reaches first ATP final
Playing in just his second ATP Tour event, 18-year-old Alex Michelsen advanced to the final on home soil in Newport. The American, who is committed to play college tennis at the University of Georgia, defeated four-time champion John Isner in the semifinals on the lawns at the International Tennis Hall of of Fame.
“I think I’m going to need a month [to process this],” said Michelsen, who qualified to make his ATP Tour main-draw debut last month in Mallorca. “It’s going to need a little bit for sure. It doesn’t feel like I’m in the final, but that’s probably a good thing. That’s why I’m playing so loose.”
The California native finished runner-up after a defeat to second seed Adrian Mannarino in the final, but his path to the title round included upsets of fifth seed Maxime Cressy in the opening round and fourth seed Mackenzie McDonald in the quarters.
His run to the final followed his maiden ATP Challenger title in Chicago the week prior. Together, those two results have helped his ranking soar from world No. 250 to a career high of No. 140 as of Monday.
Legendary coach Brad Gilbert, who worked with the likes of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick after his own playing career, is tipping Michelsen to break into the Top 100 soon.
Day breaks Top 100 with ITF title
Kayla Day is the newest member of the WTA's Top 100, thanks to her ITF title triumph at the W100 in Granby. After reaching the semis without losing a set, the 23-year-old finished her run with three-set wins against countrywoman Ashlyn Kreuger in the semis and Canadian home favorite Katherine Sebov in the final.
By claiming the hard-court title as the the third seed, Day moved up 31 places in the WTA rankings to a new high of world No. 94, cracking the Top 100 for the first time.
Day, who won her first W100 title this May on the clay of Bonita Springs, Fla., also qualified and won two main-draw matches this year at Roland Garros, including an upset of Madison Keys.
Mathewson goes deep in Geneva singles and doubles
One week after winning an ITF doubles title in Berlin alongside Japanese partner Manami Tanaka, Dana Mathewson produced another strong showing in Geneva.
The world No. 8 American reached the singles semis at the ITF 1 Series wheelchair event and also advanced to the doubles final with Tanaka. Mathewson's best singles results this season are a pair of titles in Bolton, Great Britain, in February—one at the Series 2 level and the other at a Series 3 event.
Lammons/Withrow wins Newport doubles crown
In addition to Michelsen's title run and Isner's semifinal showing in Newport, Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow took home the doubles title at the ATP 250 event. The all-American champions defeated compatriot Will Blumberg and Aussie Max Purcell, 6-3, 5-7, 10-5, in the title match.
As the top seeds, Lammons and Withrow picked up all four of their victories via match tiebreaks in Newport, where top seed Tommy Paul joined fourth seed McDonald in reaching the singles quarterfinals.
On the WTA side, Claire Liu reached the singles semifinals in Budapest while Emma Navarro was a quarterfinalist in Palermo, Italy—both 250-level events.
Also in Budapest, Jessie Aney was a doubles finalist with Anna Siskova of the Czech Republic.
Kingsley reaches USTA Pro Circuit singles, doubles finals
At the USTA Pro Circuit M25 even in Champaign, Ill., Ohio State star Cannon Kingsley picked up his best win of the season by measure of the ATP rankings to reach the final. His straight-sets win against world No. 243 Evgeny Donskoy earned him a place in the singles final, though he was beaten there by Great Britain's Aidan McHugh.
Kingsley also reached the final in the doubles event, teaming with Jack Anthrop. In an all-American title match, they were turned back by champions Noah Schachter and Trey Hilderbrand. Schachter and Alexander Bernard also reached the singles quarterfinals.
At the USTA Pro Circuit M15 event in Rochester, N.Y., Americans A.J. Catanzariti and Tyler Stice advanced to the singles semis, while Nicholas Heng and Henrik Wiersholm reached the quarters. Stice was also a doubles finalist in Rochester.