UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara was attempting to win a second consecutive Oracle ITA Masters but despite serving for the match she’d come up short with North Carolina freshman Alle Sanford winning a title in her second collegiate event.
Shibahara served for the first set up 5-3 (40/0) but Sanford managed to come back and break on the no-ad point and then hold for 5-5. Shibahara held on the no-ad point for 6-5, after leading 40/15, and then she broke from 15/40 to finally close out the set 7-5.
Sanford broke Shibahara on the no-ad point to start the second set, after Shibahara was up 40/30, and then after three consecutive holds Sanford broke again to go up 4-1. Shibahara broke back and held for 3-4 but Sanford would hold and break from 15/40 to take the second set 6-3.
Shibahara had three break points on Sanford’s opening game of the third set but the UNC freshman held on the no-ad point for 1-0. Sanford broke Shibahara from 15/40 for 2-0 and held from 40/15 for 3-0. Shibahara got on the board after coming back from 15/40 down to hold for 1-3 and then she broke Sanford on the no-ad point for 2-3. Shibahara held at love for 3-3 and then she broke on the no-ad point for 4-3 after Sanford sent a forehand long. Shibahara made it five straight games with a hold from 40/15 but Sanford would stop the bleeding with a love hold for 4-5. Sanford broke from 15/40 to even it at 5-5 and then she held from 40/30 to go in front 6-5. Shibahara held from 40/15 to send the match to a winner take all tiebreak.
Shibahara jumped out to a 3-1 in the tiebreak but Sanford evened it at 3-all at the changeover. Shibahara went back in front 5-3 but Sanford took the next two to even it at 5-5. Shibahara went up 6-5 and then got a look at a Sanford second serve but she sailed a backhand return wide and long to make it 6-6. Sanford went up 7-6 after she hit a nice backhand that forced a Shibahara error but on the next point Sanford just missed a backhand wide to make it 7-7. Shibahara went in front 8-7 after Sanford netted a backhand but Sanford came back with a big forehand that Shibahara couldn’t return for 8-8. Shibahara earned her third match point after Sanford sent a forehand well long but she couldn’t convert on the next and sent a forehand just wide to make it 9-9. Shibahara went up 10-9 after she hit a forehand that Sanford couldn’t put back in play but Sanford came back with a big serve and followed it up with a big forehand for 10-10. Shibahara earned a fifth match point at 11-10 after Sanford sent a forehand long but on the next point Shibahara hit a forehand that clipped the net cord and bounced back on her side for 11-11. Sanford went in front 12-11 after she hit a backhand off the line in front of Shibahara’s feet and then she closed out the championship on the next point after Shibahara netted a forehand.
Shibahara had so many opportunities to close it out but Sanford stayed the course and came away with the big trophy.
— ITA Tennis (@ITA_Tennis) September 25, 2017
USC sophomore Brandon Holt and North Carolina freshman Alle Sanford were the big winners on Sunday at the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu. Holt started off his match with Columbia junior Victor Pham by going down an early break however he’d break back for 1-1. Holt followed that up with a hold and another break for 3-1 but Pham broke back for 3-2. The next three games would also result in breaks until Holt managed to hold from 40/30 close out the set 6-3.
The second set started off with back-to-back breaks until Pham held for 2-1. Surprisingly it’d be all holds the rest of the way with the second set going to a tiebreak. Holt would take the first six points of the tiebreak and would close it out 7-2 with Pham netting a forehand on the final point.
Check out the highlights from Brandon’s Oracle ITA Masters Championship Match! pic.twitter.com/iTLYB4FEn9
— ITA Tennis (@ITA_Tennis) September 25, 2017
By winning the Oracle ITA Masters both Sanford and Holt also earn direct entry into the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships which will take place in Indian Wells, California, in early November.
You can watch full replays of both finals along with the trophy ceremonies on the ITA’s event page.
— MKE Tennis Classic (@MilwaukeeTC) September 24, 2017
Virginia Tech junior Mitch Harper and Miami senior Sinead Lohan won singles title at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic and by doing so locked up their bids to the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Harper defeated Minnesota senior Felix Corwin 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 while Lohan got past Syracuse sophomore Miranda Ramirez 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Below are some quotes from the ITA’s recap of Sunday’s final:
“We didn’t practice for nearly two weeks,” said Lohan, the No. 1 seed in the tournament and ranked eighth nationally. “We worked on our fitness, but didn’t hit a ball until we got back to campus, because we didn’t have any of our gear with us. When we got back together, everyone was very focused and knew they had to work extra hard with tournaments coming up.”
“I got off to a slow start in the first set,” said Lohan, who receives a wildcard entry into the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships for winning the ITA Gold Level event. “I started playing more aggressive tennis in the second set and she started breaking down. I hit a high first-serve percentage (Sunday), which I hadn’t been doing all weekend. I think I was just mentally tougher in the end, competing hard and making more balls.”
University of Georgia senior Wayne Montgomery won the Battle in the Bay Classic by defeating a pair of teammates. In the semifinals Montgomery knocked off junior Emil Reinberg 6-4, 6-1 while sophomore Nathan Ponwith upset the top seed TCU junior Alex Rybakov 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(8). In the finals Montgomery defeated Ponwith 6-4, 6-3 which locked up a main draw wild card into next week’s $100K Fairfield Challenger. Montergomery also won a main draw wild card into this week’s $100K Tiburon Challenger by the wild card shootout on Saturday.
Full results from all the matches are available at this link.
Below are quotes from Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz via Georgia’s recap
“It was a great week for our guys,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Nathan picked up a really big win today against a very good singles player in Alex Rybakov from TCU. Obviously, when you have two guys make the finals it means we played really well to get to that point. I am proud of Wayne for winning the singles title and pleased with how all of our guys competed and improved over the last three days.”
The Gators closed out the Gator Ranked +1 Tournament with two more championship trophies!
— Gators Men’s Tennis (@GatorsMTN) September 24, 2017
Florida swept the two singles flights at its Gator Ranked +1 Tournament. Freshman Duarte Vale defeated Mississippi State sophomore Giovanni Oradini 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 to win the orange draw while sophomore Johannes Ingildsen ousted the top seed Tulane senior Constantin Schmitz 7-6, 5-7, 6-2 to win the blue draw.
Coach Shelton on the Gator Ranked +1 via Florida’s recap:
“Want to thank Tanner Stump and Kate Harte and our entire support staff for putting on such a great event. I also want to give a shout out to all the coaches and participants that came and competed. We had a first class field here and I really appreciate those that came to support our event. I hope that they got as much out of it as we did.”
“For our team to win all four titles, two in doubles and two in singles was pretty special. I thought we did a nice job of controlling the things that we can control this weekend and keeping our energy high and competing at a high-level. Lots of positives to take away and things that we can work on to get better.”
“I’m encouraged that this group is looking for ways to continue to get better. In sports we always talk about finishing, and our team finished today. Special congrats to Duarte and Joe for winning the singles titles today just a gritty gutsy performance from both of them.”