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The US Open National Playoff is down to the final four with the top two seeds still alive on the men’s side and only one seed left on the women’s side. Nick Meister (UCLA ’12) and Gage Brymer (UCLA Sr) both won in straight sets and will face off in the top half semifinal while Evan King (Michigan ’13) will meet Jose Statham in the bottom half. Statham fought off match points in his 7-6(6) win in the third over Jesse Witten.

Three of the four semifinalists on the women’s side have college ties with the bottom semifinals set to be an All-ACC affair. Sanaz Marand (North Carolina ’11) will meet Julia Elbaba (Virginia ’16) after each won in straight sets while Nika Kukharchuk (Ole Miss ’08) meets Sophie Chang with Chang winning the only three-set match of the day. Chang was originally committed to Virginia but chose to go pro instead.

Men’s doubles action at the USONP gets underway on Sunday while the women got started today – the mixed draw should be out soon but I still haven’t seen it. Victor Melo (MTSU ’10) and Thiago Santos (Wichita State ’09), Missouri Valley Runner-Up, replaced Trevor Johnson (TCU Jr) and Patrick Kawka (BYU ’13, Intermountain Champion, in the men’s draw.

The following women’s teams got in as region runner-ups:
Samantha Galu (HS Class of ’17) and Courtney Kowalsky (’17 Brown Commit) – Eastern
Christina (Wisconsin) and Katherine Zordani (Iowa ’15) – Midwest
Ketevan (ASA) and Magda Okruashvili (ASA) – Intermountain
Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller – Middle States

For one reason or another these women’s region champions did not make it to New Haven
Priscilla Annoual (Grand Canyon ’15)/Savannah Slaysman (’16 Arizona State Commit) – Southwest
Sara Tsukamoto (HS Class of ’18)/Diane Wong (HS Class of ’16) – Hawaii-Pacific
Jada Hart (’16 UCLA Commit)/Ena Shibahara (’16 UCLA Commit) – Nor Cal

Ohio State rising junior #792 Mikael Torpegaard won his first career pro singles title with a 6-0, 7-5 win over #961 Peter Goldsteiner in the finals of the $10K Finland F3 Futures in Helsinki. Torpegaard only had one game go to deuce in the opening set but the second set was much tougher. Goldsteiner had leads of 3-1 and 5-3 but Torpegaard won the final four games to close it out. It was Torpegaard’s third career pro final and second in the last three weeks.

Torpegaard and Helinski’s own Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State Sr) defended their doubles title from last year with a 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Daniel Appelgren and Patrik Rosenholm. Torp and Pollanen had a 5-3 lead in the opening set but after dropping three straight games they got a love hold to send it to a tiebreak. The Buckeye duo went up an early mini-break and never trailed in route to taking it 7-5. Torp and Pollanen only dropped four points on serve in the second set and an early break to go up 2-0 was enough to hold up. The title was Torpegaard and Pollanen’s third doubles title as a team and it was Torpegaard’s fourth overall doubles title.

Nathan Eshmade (UCSB ’16) won his first career pro title when he teamed up with fellow Aussie Brad Mousley to win the $10K Egypt F20 Futures in Sharm El Sheikh. Eshmade and Mousley won the finals 6-1, 6-0 over Imran Aswat and Alexander Merino. Eshmade entered this week with 0 main draw wins in either singles or doubles but he also earned his first singles point by advancing to the second round.

Andre Begemann (Pepperdine ’08) won his second doubles Challenger of the year as he and Aliaksandr Bury defeated Roman Jebavy and Zdenek Kolar 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (9) in Cordenons, Italy. The title was Begemann’s 28th career doubles title and 15th at the Challenger level.

Vlad Victor Cornea (Middle Tenn State/Texas Tech ’15) lost in the doubles final at the $10K Romania F13 Futures in Medias. Cornea and Victor-Mugurel Anagnastopol were seeking their third title in the last four weeks but they fell 6-3, 6-4 to Nicolas Jarry and Simon Navarro.

Roberto Cid (South Florida ’16) made it to his second consecutive doubles final at the Germany F11 Futures in Karlsruhe but unfortunately he came up short again. Cid and Naoki Nakagawa were on the wrong end of a 6-3, 7-5 result against Johannes Haerteis and Hannes Wagner.

#730 Cid was also in the singles semifinal but he dropped that one 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to #426 Marc Giner. Cid went up 15/40 on Giner’s 4-4 third set service game but Giner came back to hold and then broke Cid from 30/40 to win it.

#363 Yannick Maden (Clemson ’13) fell in the semifinals at the $10K Belgium F10 Futures in Koksijde. Maden, who was the top seed, had a break lead twice in the third set but on both occasions he failed to consolidate it with a hold and ended up losing 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-3 to the third seed #452 Tallon Griekspoor.