Last week was another strong on the pro tour for players with college ties. The unstoppable doubles duo of Rob Galloway (Wofford '15) and Ben Lock (Florida State '16) ran their winning streak to 23 after winning a sixth straight doubles title. Galloway and Lock won a third straight doubles title in South Africa after previously winning three straight in Kuwait. They won their first three matches in straight sets and then in the finals of the South Africa F3 in Stellenbosch they edged Jaime Pulgar-Garcia (NC State '12) and Javier Pulgar-Garcia (San Diego State '12) 7-6, 6-7, 10-5. Lock's ranking is now a new career high of 247 while Galloway has a new career high of 284. Galloway finished the year with seven doubles titles while Lock won nine.
The United States had won the Master'U BNP Paribas for six straight years, and seven of the last eight, but Great Britain put an end to that streak with a 4-2 upset win last Sunday. The US came back from a 2-1 deficit in wins over France and Germany but it couldn't do it a third time against Great Britain. UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara put Team USA in front 1-0 after coming back from 3-0 down in the third set to win 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 but recent North Florida graduate Jack Findel-Hawkins tied it up after defeating UCLA senior Martin Redlicki 6-4, 6-4. Pepperdine sophomore Ashley Lahey fell 7-6, 7-6 but it looked like USC sophomore Brandon Holt would tie it up when he served for the match up 6-5 (40/0) in the third. However Holt would be unable to close it out and would fall 7-6(3) to GB's Jonny O'Mara. Shibahara and Lahey trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 win in doubles but Redlicki and Holt fell 6-4, 6-3 to Findel-Hawkins and O'Mara to give Great Britain its first-ever Master'U championship. Former Texas Longhorn Pippa Horn was also a member of Team Great Britain.
Kristie Ahn won her second singles title of the year, seventh career, after defeating two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins in the final of the $80K RBC Pro Challenge in Tyler, Texas. The match started off with three consecutive breaks until Ahn held for 3-1. The rest of the opening set was all holds, including a six-deuce hold by Ahn for 5-3, as Ahn would go on to take it 6-4. Ahn went up an early break in the second set but Collins back on serve at 4-4. However Ahn would break back at love for 5-4 and then go on to serve it out in a one-deuce game to claim the title with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
Ahn earned $12,000 and picked up 115 WTA ranking points which moved her ranking up to a new career of 106. As the runner-up Collins earned $6,500 and picked up 70 WTA ranking points which moved her ranking up from 206 to 167.
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.