Tuesday, 14 November 2017 20:05

Pro Circuit Recap - Carol Zhao Wins in Shenzhen; Strong Showing from Yannick Maden in France; Challenger Doubles Success

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For the second week in a row a former Stanford Cardinal claimed a singles title as Carol Zhao won the biggest singles title of her pro career at the ITF $100K event in Shenzhen, China. Zhao started off the week with a 6-4 (ret.) win over the No. 7 seed Anna Zaja and then in the second round she came back from a 5-1 third set deficit to defeat former top 30 player Laura Robson 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. Zhao defeated Xu Liu Sun 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals and then in the semifinals she won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Yuxuan Zhang. In the final, Zhao ousted the No. 4 seed Fangzhou Liu 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour and 19 minutes. The singles title is the second of Zhao's career with the other coming back in August at a $25K event in Japan. 

Zhao entered the week with a WTA ranking of 221 but with the title and corresponding 140 points she moved up 71 spots to a new career high of 150. Zhao also picked up a nice payday of $15,200. Zhao's former teammate Kristie Ahn won an $80K event last week in Tyler, Texas. 


Former Clemson Tiger Yannick Maden made it to his second Challenger singles final of the year at the $85K in Mouilleron Le Captif, France. Maden defeated four top 200 opponents, all in straight sets, before falling to Elias Ymer 7-5, 6-4. Maden won $7,200 and picked up 60 ATP points which moved his ranking up to a new career high of 148. 




The Skupski Brothers, Ken and Neal, won their third Challenger doubles title of the year with a close three set win over Sander Arends and Antonio Sancic at the $106K Bratislva, Slovakia Challenger. The Skupski's knocked out the No. 2 seeds Podlipnik-Castillo and Vasilevski 7-6, 7-6 in the first round and then got a walkover win over Gombos and Lacko in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals they defeated Brunstrom and Krawietz 7-6, 6-4 and in the final they came back from 7-5 down in the third set supertiebreak to win 5-7, 6-3, 10-8. The Skupski's split the $6,580 winner's purse and each picked up 110 points. Neal has now equaled his career high ranking of 68 while Ken is currently ranked 86 (CH-44). 



Former Arizona State Sun Devil Jacqueline Cako won her second doubles title in the past month as she and Nina Stojanovic won the ITF $100K event in Shenzhen, China. Cako and Stojanovic won a tough three setter in their opening round match and then they won their next three matches in straight sets including a 6-4, 6-2 win in the final. Cako earned $2,700 for the win and picked up 140 ranking points which moved her ranking up to a new career high of 92. 



Below is a list of last weekend's winners and runner-ups on the pro circuit.

Singles Champions (1) 
$100K Shenzhen, China - Carol Zhao (Stanford '16*) 


Singles Runner-Ups (2)
$85K Mouilleron Le Captif, France Challenger - Yannick Maden (Clemson '13)
$15K Niceville (FL), USA F36 Futures - Sekou Bangoura (Florida '11*)


Doubles Champions (12)
$106K Bratislava, Slovakia Challenger - Ken Skupski (LSU '07) & Neal Skupski (LSU '12)
$100K Shenzhen, China - Jacqueline Cako (Arizona State '13)
$85K Mouilleron Le Captif, France Challenger - Andre Begemann (Pepperdine '08)
$75K Knoxville (TN), USA Challenger - Purav Raja (Loyola Marymount '04)
$50K Kobe, Japan Challenger - Ben McLachlan (Cal '14)
$15K Niceville (FL), USA F36 Futures - Julian Lenz (Baylor '16)/Juan Benitez (Baylor '17*)
$15K Antalya, Turkey F42 Futures - Diego Hidalgo (Florida '16)
$15K Meshref, Kuwait F2 Futures - Robert Galloway (Wofford '15)/Benjamin Lock (Florida State '16)
$15K Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Romy Koelzer (Clemson '15)
Doubles Runner-Ups (8)
$75K Knoxville (TN), USA Challenger - James Cerretani (Brown '04)/JP Smith (Tennessee '11)
$50K Kobe, Japan Challenger - Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (Washington '11)
$15K Niceville (FL), USA F36 Futures - Nick Chappell (TCU '15)/Boris Arias (LSU '16)
$15K Heraklion, Greece F8 Futures - Conor Berg (New Mexico '13)/Mousheg Hovhannisyan (Pepperdine '13)
$15K Thu Dau Mot City, Vietnam F1 Futures - Michael Look (UCLA '09)

* didn't stay in college for all four years 


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