November Awards & Achievements
Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in November 2021.
In the penultimate WTA tournament of 2021, American Alison Riske walked away with the trophy. Seeded No. 8 at the Upper Austria Ladies' Linz, Riske captured her third career WTA singles title with a resurgent run through the field, ending the week, and her season, with a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 comeback victory over lucky loser Jaqueline Cristian of Romania. Two points from defeat in the decider against Cristian, the world No. 100 who was bidding to match Coco Gauff's 2019 achievement of winning Linz as a lucky loser, Riske won three straight games from 4-5, 15-30 down on serve to take the title.
The American from Charlotte, NC, had previously been up a break twice in the final set, but Cristian won a pair of marathon games to put herself in pole position: she denied Riske six game points for 5-3 in an eventual break for 4-4, and held serve in the next game from 0-40 down to put herself on the brink of her own first career title.
For the first time in 15 years, an American man was the last player standing at the Stockholm Open. Unseeded Tommy Paul won his first ATP singles title with an inspired effort in the Swedish capital this week, capping it in style with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over No. 3 seed Denis Shapovalov in Saturday's final.
James Blake was the last American champion in Stockholm in 2006, and Paul's effort in the penultimate tournament of 2021 crowned him the season's 10th first-time ATP singles champion. Over the course of the week, Paul defeated wildcard Leo Borg—son of the legendary Bjorn—No. 5 seed Taylor Fritz, Andy Murray and No. 8 seed Frances Tiafoe before dethroning reigning champion Shapovalov in the final. The Canadian won the title when the event was last played in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul, who grew up in North Carolina, is the 10th American to win the storied event that dates back to 1969 and boasts Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe and Stan Smith among its former champions.
"I played some of my best tennis to beat Denis," Paul said in his victory speech. "This is the most fun I've ever had playing a tennis tournament. I've been working so hard to get my first title with my coach Brad [Stine] and then with people at home that aren't even here. A lot of work done behind the scenes. I just have to continue to do it."
Scotty Moore Honored with Officials Award
The USTA announced Doug Rice, Lynda Hinshaw, Scotty Moore, and Beverly Kris Jaeger-Helton as the winners of the Nicholas E. Powell Award, Woodie Walker C.A.R.E. Award, Jr. McGovern Award, and John T. McGovern Award, respectively.
The awards, which honor those individuals who serve the game of tennis with distinction in their capacity as officials and/or chair umpires, will be given out at the 2021 Annual Umpire Awards, to be held virtually on November 19.The Jr. McGovern Award is awarded for outstanding on-court officiating by a relatively new official who shows talent and potential. The award recognizes service and excellence by younger officials.
Moore, of Wilmington, N.C., was recognized for his outstanding career to date as a tennis official, as well as for his leadership skills and work ethic. The former USTA Southern Tennis Officials Committee Vice Chair is an excellent bronze badge chair umpire and continuously shows improvement at each event that he works. His personal qualities of being thoughtful, respectful, genuine, humble and caring have been recognized by his peers as attributes that set him apart from others.
Eubanks Takes Knoxville
Georgia Tech product Christopher Eubanks closed out his 2021 season on the USTA Pro Circuit in the winner's circle. A two-time All-American for the Yellow Jackets, Eubanks picked up five victories on the campus of the University of Tennessee to take the trophy at the ATP Challenger event in Knoxville last week, beating No. 2 seed Daniel Altmaier of Germany in Saturday's final, 6-3, 6-4.
Atlanta native Eubanks also beat No. 3 seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada in the first round and No. 8 seed Bjorn Fratangelo in the semifinals en route to his fourth professional title overall, third on the ATP Challenger tour and second this year. He'd previously won on the USTA Pro Circuit at the USTA National Campus in Orlanda, Fla in June, and never faced a break point against Altmaier in a tidy 72-minute victory.
"It’s pretty rare to end your season with a title, so you can bet I’m [going to] enjoy this one!" Eubanks wrote on social media. "Incredible week here in Knoxville and so happy to have won my third Challenger title."
Charleston's Navarro Wins Clay Court Tournament
Reigning NCAA champion Emma Navarro captured the Orlando women's $25K tournament, defeating American Allie Kiick. Navarro, who lives in Charleston, SC, won the clay court final 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. According to the ITF website, this is Navarro's first ITF crown.
Navarro, who is currently ranked No. 284, won the 2021 NCAA title as a freshman playing for Virginia.
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