Team USA in Review:
Pat Mitsch | November 3, 2017
Venus Williams continues to astonish at 37 years old. Taylor Townsend continues to rise at 21. And in the middle, a 27-year old Bradley Klahn has seemingly revived a pro career he once thought was over.
All three players earned Team USA Player of the Month honors for October, as each turned in worthy results around the globe.
As it has so many times before, the spotlight shone the brightest on Williams this month, as she swung her way through the field at the WTA Finals in Singapore, advancing to the title match before falling to Caroline Wozniacki. Her performance in Singapore capped in year in which Venus reached the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals and fell just 578 ranking points shy of becoming the oldest year-end No. 1.
Townsend (pictured), formerly the world’s top-ranked junior, flashed the same singles and doubles skills she employed as a teen in sweeping the singles and doubles titles at two consecutive USTA Pro Circuit $25,000 tournaments, in Florence and Sumter, S. ADVERTISEMENT C., to ascend to No. 107, climbing back toward the Top 100 and her career-high ranking of No. 94, achieved in early 2015.
That was also around the time that a back injury forced Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion at Stanford and career-high No. 63, out of competition for nearly two years, during which he contemplated retirement. In this, his finest month since returning to competitive play last November, Klahn reached the singles final at back-to-back $100,000 Challengers, in Monterrey, Mexico, and in Fairfield, Calif., where he fell to the 2016 NCAA champion, former UCLA Bruin Mackenzie McDonald.
More WTA and ATP World Tour-level highlights from October:
- Former UCLA All-American Jen Brady made her first WTA semifinal appearance, at the WTA International event in Hong Kong, where two-time NCAA singles champ Nicole Gibbs (Stanford) reached the quarterfinals.
- Jack Sock reached the singles quarterfinals at the ATP 500 event in Basel, Switzerland and at the 250 in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Ryan Harrison upended US Open finalist Kevin Anderson to join Steve Johnson in the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 event in Tokyo.
- John Isner reached the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 event in Beijing.
- Christina McHale made her third WTA quarterfinal appearance of 2017 at the International tournament in Tianjin, China.
- Scott Lipsky won his 16th career ATP doubles title in Antwerp.
Further ATP Challenger, USTA and ITA Pro Circuit-level highlights:
- Mackenzie McDonald’s $100,000 Challenger title in Fairfield, Calif., was the first of his career.
- Recently-turned-pro Chris Eubanks, the Georgia Tech All-American, won the $100,000 doubles title at the Challenger in Monterrey, Mexico.
- Cancer survivor Vicky Duval reached her second Pro Circuit singles final of the fall season at the $80,000 event in Macon, Ga., where former NCAA doubles champions Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian won the doubles title.
- Former Arizona State Sun Devil Jacqueline Cako won the doubles crown at the $60,000 event in Suzhou, China.
- Stefan Kozlov won his first pro title of 2017 at the $50,000 ATP Challenger in Las Vegas.
- Ohio State sophomore JJ Wolf took home his first career pro singles crown by defeating countryman and UCLA sophomore Evan Zhu at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Harlingen, Texas.
- 2017 NCAA singles champion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won the singles title at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Houston.
- Chiara Scholl swept the singles and doubles titles at a $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy.
- Players to win $25,000 doubles titles: former collegians Alex Lawson (Notre Dame) and Nate Lammons (SMU), in Rodez, France; brothers and former SMU standouts Hunter and Yates Johnson, in Harlingen, Texas; former USC standout Maria Sanchez, in Florence, S.C.; Illinois senior Aron Hiltzik and alumnus Dennis Nevolo, in Houston; former Georgia Bulldog Nathan Pasha, in Cairns, Australia; former Tennessee Vol Hunter Reese, in Falun, Sweden.
- Players to win $15,000 doubles titles: Hunter Reese, in Kuching, Malaysia; junior Caty McNally, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.