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Awards & Achievements, April 2012

April 1, 2012 09:41 AM
Melanie Oudin reacts during her stunning run at the 2009 U.S. Open.
Brian Baker has moved up to No. 214.
Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in April 2012.
Oudin wins first tournament in nearly three years
Marietta, Ga.'s Melanie Oudin, 20, won her first singles tournament in nearly three years.
2009 US Open quarterfinalist Oudin is atop the standings for the French Open women’s wild card after winning the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va., this weekend. She defeated Irina Falconi, of Atlanta, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-1.
Oudin, who is currently training at the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, earned 80 points after winning Charlottesville and reaching the second round in Dothan. Oudin can clinch the wild card by reaching the final regardless if any other American wins the event.
In 2009 Oudin won the Charlottesville and Raleigh (N.C.) tournaments as a prelude to reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals and the fourth round of Wimbledon.
Baker wins Savannah $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit stop
USTA Player Development announced that Brian Baker, of Nashville, Tenn., has earned a main draw wild card into the 2012 French Open. This year, the USTA awarded one men’s singles main draw wild card into the French Open to the American player who finished with the best combined results at two USTA Pro Circuit clay-court challengers—a $100,000 event in Sarasota, Fla., and a $50,000 event in Savannah, Ga. Baker earned a combined 88 points, winning the title in Savannah and reaching the second round in Sarasota. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2012 French and US Opens are exchanged.
Baker, who was one day shy of his 27th birthday, was a qualifier in both Savannah and Sarasota and climbed 79 spots in the ATP rankings this week to No. 214 in the world—his highest ranking since February 2006. Baker has won two USTA Pro Circuit Futures events this year and started 2012 ranked No. 456.
Baker returned to pro tennis in 2011 after undergoing five surgeries for a series of ailments from 2005 to 2008, including Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in February 2008. In 2005, he reached the second round of the US Open after upsetting then-No. 9 seed and former French Open champion Gaston Gaudio. Baker was also a standout junior, peaking at No. 2 in the ITF World Junior Rankings in 2003 after reaching the boys’ singles final at the French Open and winning the 2002 Orange Bowl International. While he was away from the game, he served as an assistant coach at Belmont University in Nashville, where he was also enrolled as a student.
The USTA will award one women’s singles main draw wild card into the 2012 French Open to the American woman who finishes with the best combined results in two of the following three $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events—Charlottesville; Dothan, Ala. (held prior to Charlottesville); and Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. (being held this week).
Bobby Reynolds of Acworth, Ga., and Carsten Ball won the doubles title by beating Travis Parrott and Simon Stadler in a very competitive final match 7-6(7), 6-4.
Sandgren wins third title in two months
Tennys Sandgren of Gallatin, Tenn., defeated John Peers 6-1, 7-6(6) to claim the St. Vincent Tour De Paul Tennis Tournament singles title. Sandgren also captured the doubles title with partner Greg Oullette after defeating Edward Corrie and Marvin Barker 4-6, 7-6, 10-8 at the even in Little Rock, Ark.
Former University of Tennessee star Sandgren took his first professional title by winning the Men's Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas in March.
Townsend reaches top of girls' tennis world
Taylor Townsend, a 16-year-old from Stockbridge, Ga., who trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., became the top-ranked junior in the ITF World Junior Rankings (for players 18 and younger) on Monday, making her the first American girl to earn the No. 1 ranking since the ITF combined singles and doubles rankings in 2004.
Donald Young, of Atlanta, was the last American to reach No. 1 in the boys’ rankings in 2005. Coincidentally, Young’s parents were Townsend’s first tennis coaches.
In January, Townsend swept the girls’ singles and doubles titles at the Australian Open, becoming the first American to sweep the junior singles and doubles titles at a Grand Slam event since Lindsay Davenport at the 1992 US Open. In addition, Townsend captured the prestigious Easter Bowl title earlier this month in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where she also reached the doubles final, and she owns a 19-2 singles record in ITF World Junior Competition in 2012.
Townsend is representing the United States this month at the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas North/Central American and Caribbean Championships, held in Merida, Mexico, April 26-28. The team is coached by USTA Lead National Coach Kathy Rinaldi, who works with Taylor in Boca Raton.



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