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There was plenty of action today on the pro circuit but before I get into those results I wanted to give everyone an update on Luke Siegel who is the 10-year old son of former Texas Tech men’s coach Tim Siegel. I’m sure many know the story but for those that don’t Luke was involved in a golf cart accident almost a year ago (July 28, 2015) which caused serious head and chest trauma and left Luke with an anoxic brain injury. The Siegels were told that Luke would never regain the use of his limbs, eyes, or voice but he has managed to make progress over the last several months. KAMC TV in Lubbock did a story on Luke and the community support earlier this week with Tim talking about the kind of progress that Luke has made in the last couple of weeks – make sure you check out that story here.

The Lubbock and tennis community has rallied around the Siegels and raised almost $100,000 to help with medical expenses and care through this GoFundMe page. There is a Facebook page, Pray for Luke Siegel, that gives updates and posts videos about Luke’s progress so if you are able to help in any way please do and make sure you keep Luke and the Siegels in your prayers.

17-year old American Catherine CiCi Bellis announced that she has committed to play collegiately at Stanford in the class of 2017-18. Bellis turned down $60K in prize money when she won her opening round match at the 2014 US Open so she could retain her amateur status. Bellis, who currently has a WTA ranking of 203, still plans to play pro events and if her ranking rises high enough she may forgo college so we will have to wait and see.

 

Saturday was a successful day on the pro tour with eight former/current college players winning titles across the globe.

Mikelis Libietis (Tennessee ’15) won his third singles titles this year, fifth overall, with a 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-0 win over Krisjanis Stabins in the finals of the $10K Lithuania F1 Futures in Vilnius. Libietis entered this week with a ranking 476, which was just 11 spots below his career high, and once these 18 points are added in he will have a new career high.

Dragos Dima, who played a semester of tennis at Cornell in the fall of 2012, won his fourth Futures singles title this year with a 6-2, 7-5 win over #716 Jordan Ubiergo at the $10K Romania F9 in Pitesti. Dima achieved a career high ranking of 358 last week and he should see another career high once these points get added in.

Max Schnur (Columbia ’15) won his ninth career pro doubles title at the $42.5K Challenger in Tampere, Finland. Schnur teamed up with David Perez Sanz to defeat Andreas Mies (Auburn ’13) and Steven De Waard 6-4, 6-4. Schnur entered this tournament with a career high ranking of 118 and that should rise to around 105 when the new rankings come out on Sunday.

Sanz (left) and Schnur (right)

Sander Gille (East Tennessee State ’12) and Joran Vliegen (East Carolina ’14) won their 16th doubles title as a team after winning the $10K Belgium F6 Futures in Knokke. Gille and Vliegen defeated SMU’s Hunter and Yates Johnson 6-4, 6-4. Vliegen and Gille were ranked 214 and 215 respectively coming into this week.

Ben Lock (Florida State ’16) and Courtney Lock (UNLV Rising Jr) won the doubles title at the $10K Egypt F16 Futures in Sharm El Sheikh. The Lock Brothers captured their second doubles title as a team with a 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8) win over Jarmere Jenkins (Virginia ’13) and Anderson Reed (Florida State ’13). Ben will have a chance to win the singles title on Sunday after he defeated Alan Gadjiev (Wake Forest Redshirt Fresh) 6-1, 6-4 in the one semifinal. Ben, who is the second seed, will face the top seed Adam El Mihdawy after El Mihdawy defeated Jarmere Jenkins (Virginia ’13) 6-4, 7-6(3).

Strahinja Rakic (Mississippi State Rising Soph) won his first career pro title as he and Nebojsa Peric won the $10K Serbia F1 doubles title in Belgrade. Rakic and Peric defeated Ivan Bjelica (Miss St ’08) and Arsenije Zlatanovic 5-7, 6-2, 1-0

Julian Lenz (Baylor ’16) and Yannick Hanfmann (USC ’15) will square off on Sunday in the finals of the $25K Germany F8 Futures in Kassel. Lenz, who got into the tournament as a wild card, defeated #303 Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (UNC ’12) 6-2, 7-6(5) in the one semifinal while Hanfmann ousted #322 Giovanni Lapentti 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Lenz will be seeking his first pro singles title (won first doubles title two weeks ago) while Hanfmann will be looking for his third this year and fifth overall.

Tennys Sandgren (Tennessee ’11) won the All-Vol semifinal at the USA F24 Futures in Godfrey, Illinois, with a 6-2, 7-5 win over former teammate Rhyne Williams (Tennessee ’11). The top seed Sandgren will meet the second seed Facundo Mena in the finals.

Kennedy Shaffer (Georgia Rising Jr) advanced to her first career pro circuit final after defeating Keri Wong (Clemson ’12) 6-2, 7-5 at the ITF $10K in Evansville, Indiana. Shaffer will face Emina Bektas (Michigan ’15) in the finals with Bektas’s one career singles title coming in Evansville back in 2013.