Team USA in Review:
Pat Mitsch | February 28, 2018
It wasn’t long ago that Frances Tiafoe and CiCi Bellis were prolific juniors whose talent many were eager to see develop on the pro tours. That’s already happening, as the 20-year-old Tiafoe and 18-year-old Bellis each produced milestone results in February.
Tiafoe won his first ATP title, defeating German Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets to capture the Delray Beach Open championship in Florida, becoming the youngest American to win an ATP title since Andy Roddick in Houston in 2002. The list of players that the Maryland native and former junior world No. 2 beat to get to the final was perhaps even more impressive, taking down No. 10 Juan Martin del Potro and then fellow #NextGenATP stars Hyeon Chung and Denis Shapovalov in consecutive rounds to lift his ranking to No. 61.
Bellis, meanwhile, came through qualifying at the WTA Premier 5 Qatar Open in Doha, beating fellow American Madison Keys in the first round and No. ADVERTISEMENT 5-ranked Karolina Pliskova in the second – her first win over a Top 5-ranked opponent – en route to the quarterfinals, where she fell to No. 2 Simona Halep.
Those results headlined a month in which both the U.S. Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams won their first-round ties, with the men winning in Serbia, 3-1, and the women taking down the Netherlands, 3-1, in Asheville, N.C.
Other Tour-level highlights from February:
- Delray Beach proved to be a success for Americans at multiple levels, with Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow winning the doubles title, Steve Johnson making the singles semifinals and both Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz reaching the singles quarters.
- Sam Querrey, after earning a point for the U.S. with a singles victory over Serb Laslo Djere in Davis Cup, reached the singles final of the New York Open ATP 250 event.
- Venus Williams earned two singles victories and CoCo Vandeweghe notched one to clinch the Americans’ victory over the Netherlands and put the U.S. through to the Fed Cup semifinals.
Challenger- and Pro Circuit-level highlights:
- Madison Brengle won an all-American singles final over Jamie Loeb at the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event in Midland, Mich. Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria won the doubles title there. (They also won the doubles title at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
- Dennis Novikov, the 2012 USTA Boys’ 18s national champion, won the singles title at the $50,000 Challenger in Cuernavaca, Mexico, after reaching the semifinals at the $100,000 Challenger in San Francisco.
- Former NCAA singles and doubles champion Mackenzie McDonald reached the singles final at the $125,000 Challenger in Dallas.
- Vania King won the doubles title at the $60,000 women’s event in Burnie, Australia.
- Asia Muhammad won the singles title at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., where Ann Li and Sachia Vickery made the semifinals.
- The following players won $15,000 ITF Circuit doubles titles: JP Fruttero (Vale Do Lobo, Portugal); Quinn Gleason (Solarino, Italy).