Team USA in Review:
Pat Mitsch | December 4, 2017
CoCo Vandeweghe and Jack Sock each wrapped up 2017 with performances befitting such a successful year in American tennis.
Vandeweghe (pictured above) powered the United States to its first Fed Cup title since 2000 by winning three points for the second consecutive tie in the final vs. Belarus in Minsk, beating Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in singles and clinching victory with Shelby Rogers in doubles. It capped a year in which the soon-to-be 26-year-old won eight points during the U.S. team’s three-tie quest, something no player had done in Fed Cup since the current eight-team format was adopted in 2005.
Prior to the Fed Cup final, Vandeweghe reached the final of the WTA Elite Trophy tournament in Zhuhai, China, which propelled her ranking to a career-high No. 10.
Also breaching the Top 10 for the first time was the 25-year-old Sock, thanks to a whirlwind effort on the indoor courts in Paris that ended up lifting him across the channel to London. ADVERTISEMENT Sock whipped up his finest run of the year at the Rolex ATP Masters 1000 in Bercy, winning his first Masters crown after trailing Kyle Edmund 5-1 in the third set of their second-round match. The victory was enough for Sock to make it into the year-end ATP Finals in London, where he upended both Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev to reach the semifinals. He’ll end the year ranked a career-high No. 8.
Challenger-level highlights from Americans in November include:
- Tim Smyczek clinched a main-draw wild card into the Australian Open in January by winning the Men’s Australian Open Wild Card Challenge presented by the USTA. The 29-year-old Milwaukee native won singles titles at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit/ATP Challenger in Champaign, Ill., where he beat American Bjorn Fratangelo in the final, and at the $75,000 Challenger in Charlottesville, where he beat Tennessean Tennys Sandgren.
- Taylor Townsend won the singles title at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Waco, Texas, which gave her enough points to clinch the Women’s Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. Townsend probably won’t need the wild card, as her ranking of No. 95 is likely good enough for direct entry into Melbourne. Therefore, former Stanford all-American Kristie Ahn will be the wild card recipient, after she won the $80,000 singles title in Tyler, Texas, over Danielle Collins.
- Julia Boserup reached the singles semifinals at the Hawaii Open $125,000 Series WTA event in Honolulu.
- Former Arizona State Sun Devil Jacqueline Cako won the doubles title at the $100,000 event in Shenzhen, China.
- Sofia Kenin won the doubles title at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Waco, Texas.
- Denis Kudla was a singles finalist at the $75,000 Challenger in Knoxville, Tenn., and also won the doubles title there, with recently turned pro 18-year-old Danny Thomas.
- Asia Muhammad won the doubles title, her first of the year, at the $60,000 event in Canberra, Australia.
Pro Circuit-level highlights include:
- Two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins beat American Sachia Vickery to win the singles title at the USTA Pro Circuit Collegiate Series $25,000 event in Norman, Okla.
- Reigning USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Patrick Kypson won the singles title over Sekou Bangoura at the $15,000 event in Niceville, Fla.
- Evan Song won the singles title at the $15,000 Futures in Campeche, Mexico.
- Salma Ewing won her first ITF Pro Circuit singles title, in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
- Chiara Scholl, in Norman, Okla., was the only American to win a $25,000 doubles title in November.
- Players to win $15,000 doubles titles: Robert Galloway (two in Stellenbosch, South Africa; and three in Meshref, Kuwait); Tyler Lu (Thu Dau Mot City, Vietnam); Hunter and Yates Johnson (Pensacola, Fla.), Miles Seemann (Heraklion, Greece); Chiara Scholl (Santiago, Chile); Raleigh Smith and Wil Spencer (Birmingham, Ala.).