Team USA in Review:
Pat Mitsch | November 6, 2018
Two 25-year-olds achieved their own successes in October, earning Team USA Player of the Month honors as the 2018 season winds down.
Sloane Stephens qualified for her first year-end WTA Finals in Singapore and wrought havoc once there, defeating Top-10 players Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova before falling to champion Elina Svitolina in the title match. Stephens finished the year at No. 6 in the WTA rankings, with a 37-19 record.
Bjorn Fratangelo, meanwhile, won his first professional title in more than two years, at the $100,000 Challenger in Fairfield, Calif. Fratangelo, the 2011 French Open boys’ singles champion, worked through a nagging knee injury he suffered in May in Madrid to tally his third ATP Challenger title and rebound from a tough summer season.ADVERTISEMENT
More ATP and WTA-level highlights from October:
- Taylor Fritz reached his fifth ATP quarterfinal of the year at the ATP 500 event in Basel, Switzerland, en route to qualifying for the NextGen ATP Finals.
- Rajeev Ram won his 16th and 17th career ATP doubles titles, at the Paris Masters – his second ATP Masters 1000 title – and at the ATP 250 in Moscow, with former Texas A&M All-American Austin Krajicek.
- The ATP 250 in Stockholm saw John Isner reach the semifinals and Jack Sock and Tennys Sandgren reach the quarterfinals.
- Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Nicole Melichar won her second WTA doubles title of the year, at the International event in Tianjin, China.
Challenger- and Pro Circuit-level highlights:
- Former junior world No. 1 and 16-year old Whitney Osuigwe won her first pro singles title at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Tyler, Texas, where two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs and former US Open doubles quarterfinalist Asia Muhammad won the doubles title.
- London 2012 Olympian Varvara Lepchenko won her first pro singles title since 2011, at the USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 event in Macon, Ga., where Americans swept the singles and doubles titles; Buffalo’s Jessica Pegula and Cincinnati’s Caty McNally won the doubles trophy.
- Madison Brengle won her fifth $60,000-plus singles title in the last two years, beating former USC Trojan Danielle Lao to win the USTA Pro Circuit event in Stockton, Calif. Former UNC standout Hayley Carter and UCLA’s Ena Shibahara won the doubles title.
- Former French Open boys’ champion Tommy Paul, 21, won his first Challenger singles title, at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Charlottesville, Va.
- Noah Rubin won the doubles title at the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Stockton, Calif.
- Former USC Trojan Maria Sanchez won her fourth doubles title of the year at the $60,000 event in Toronto.
- NCAA doubles champion at UCLA Evan Zhu won his first pro singles title at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures tournament in Waco, Texas, over Baylor sophomore Roy Smith.
- University of Florida freshman Oliver Crawford also won his first pro singles title, at the $25,000 Futures singles title, at Harlingen, Texas.
- Former Illinois All-American Jared Hiltzik won his second career pro singles title, at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Houston, over former North Carolina Tar Heel Ronnie Schneider.
- Players to win $25,000 doubles titles: Nicolas Meister (3: Waco, Harlingen and Houston); former Florida standout Ingrid Neel (Obidos, Portugal); Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller (Charleston, S.C.).
- Players to win $15,000 doubles titles: Tennessee All-American Preston Touliatos (Birmingham, Ala.); Jeremy Sonkin (Monastir, Tunisia); Felix Corwin (Hua Hin, Thailand); Junior Ore (Lima, Peru); Madeleine Kobelt (Herzlia, Israel).