Team USA in Review:
Pat Mitsch | June 1, 2018
Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Townsend proved to be at their best in the lead-up to the French Open, turning in clay-court results that earned them Team USA Player of the Month honors for May.
Tiafoe, the 20-year old Maryland native who was recently profiled on USTA.com, reached his second tour-level final of the season at the clay-court ATP 250 event in Estoril, Portugal. He beat defending champion and 2017 US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals to become the youngest American man to reach a final on European clay since Andre Agassi at the 1990 French Open.
Townsend, meanwhile, did her damage on green clay, in America, winning the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit singles title in Charleston, S.C., over fellow American Madison Brengle. That result, paired with her title won two weeks prior at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit clay event in Dothan, Ala., helped the 22-year old Chicago native clinch the USTA’s Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge and buoy her ranking up to No. ADVERTISEMENT 72 ahead of the French Open, where she won her first-round match before running into No. 1 Simona Halep in the second round.
Further Tour-level highlights from Americans in May include:
- Alison Riske reached her seventh WTA singles final, at the International tournament in Nuremberg, Germany.
- Steve Johnson reached his third ATP semifinal of the year at the 250 event in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Rajeev Ram won his 15th career ATP doubles title at the 250 event in Munich, Germany.
- Jack Sock won his third ATP doubles title of 2018, and the 11th of his career, with Nick Kyrgios at the 250 event in Lyon, France.
- Nicole Melichar won her second career WTA doubles title, at the International event in Prague.
Challenger- and Pro Circuit-level highlights include:
- Former Wimbledon boys’ champion Reilly Opelka won his second career Challenger title at the €106,000 event in Bordeaux, France, where former NCAA singles champ at Stanford Bradley Klahn won the doubles title.
- Mackenzie McDonald, an NCAA singles champion while at UCLA, won his second career Challenger title at the $100,000 event in Seoul, South Korea.
- Former NCAA doubles champions at USC Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria won the doubles title at the $100,000 event in Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France.
- Las Vegas native Asia Muhammad won two $60,000 doubles titles, in Kurume and Fukoka, Japan; former Ohio State star Francesca Di Lorenzo won one, in Saint-Guadens, France.
- Christian Harrison reached the singles final at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Savannah, Ga.
- Players to win $15,000 singles titles: former Virginia Cavalier Alexander Ritschard, who won three (Lund, Kalmar and Karlskrona, Sweden); former Ohio State all-American Peter Kobelt, who won two (Sajur and Akko, Israel); Queens native Adam El Mihdawy (Cordoba, Mexico); former Virginia star and USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Collin Altamirano (Singapore); former Florida Gator Sekou Bangoura, who won two (Ustron, Poland; Czech Republic); Houston native Hady Habib (Jerba, Tunisia); former NCAA singles champion at Virginia Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Singapore); Maryland native Raveena Kingsley (Gothenburg, Sweden); Charleston, S.C., native Ellie Halbauer (Antalya, Turkey).
- Former North Carolina all-American and NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb won the $25,000 doubles title in La Bisbal, Spain, her first title of 2018.
- Players to win $15,000 doubles titles: New Albany, Ohio, native Madeleine Kobelt, who won three (Tiberias, Sajur and Akko, Israel); brothers and former SMU Mustangs Hunter and Yates Johnson (Cordoba, Mexico); Altamirano (Singapore); former Texas A&M standout Junior Ore (Mexico City); Bangoura (Ustron, Poland); former Harvard Crimson Nicholas Hu (Singapore); reigning Australian Open boys’ singles champion Sebastian Korda (Valldoreix, Spain); former Yale Bulldog Tyler Lu (Kampala, Uganda); former USC Trojan Connor Farren (Sajur, Israel); former Northwestern Wildcat Samuel Shorpshire (Morelia, Mexico); former Virginia Tech star Patrick Daciek (Wisla, Poland); San Francisco native Matt Seeberger (Kampala, Uganda); former Michigan Wolverine Amy Zhu (Hua Hin, Thailand).