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Awards & Achievements, July 2019

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July 8, 2019 05:21 PM
Cori "Coco" Gauff competes at the US Open.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski wins 2017 NCAA singles title.

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 July 2019.

Atlanta-bred Gauff: the teen darling of Wimbledon
How to become a global sensation? Beat Venus Williams and two other players at Wimbledon ... when you're only 15 years old!

Cori "Coco" Gauff endeared herself to a world-wide audience - inside and outside of tennis - when she showed poise and game well beyond her years in London. 

Starting in qualifying, she won six straight matches, only dropping a set. After taking down five-time Wimbledon champion Williams in the main draw opening round, she bounced Magdalena Rybarikova and then Polona Hercog. It wasn't until the round of 16 that she brought down to earth by the eventual champion and former No. 1 Simona Halep.

Still, match reports can't describe the love shown to Gauff, with extensive media coverage on top of soaring counts of social media hits. Gauff's soft-spoken delivery in on-court interviews and press conferences showed a maturity that most parents would love to see in older children. 

Gauff was born and now resides in Delray Beach, FL. However, she spent much of her childhood in Atlanta. Always more advanced than her junior competitors, she won the Peach State Girls' 18s when she was 12. In the last few years, she won the prestigious Girls' 18s Orange Bowl when she was 14, followed by the 2018 junior French Open crown, and later, in July became the youngest-ever No. 1 girl under the current ITF ranking system. She also became a junior Grand Slam doubles champion, teaming with Caty McNally to win the US Open girls’ trophy. 

Forbes forges to Wimbledon crown
Abigail Forbes (pictured above) won the girls' doubles title at Wimbledon. From Raleigh, NC, Fobers and American Savannah Broadus downed Kamilla Bartone and Oksana Selehmeteva 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 in the final. Both teams were unseeded.

Broadus/Forbes defeated the sixth seeds in the first round and the second-seeded duo from Russia in the quarters. 

Forbes is schedule to attend UCLA in the fall.

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Boys' 18s won the National Team Championships, 4-3 in finals over Southern California. Left to right: Coach Cornelius Jordan, Wesley Vagner, Keshav Chopra, Phillip Jordan, Josh Raab, Andres Martin, Garrett Johns, Welsh Hotard.
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Girls' 18s were national winners.

Boys take 18s National Team Championships
USTA Southern's boys' 18s team won the national team championship, played at Champions Club in Lupton City, TN.

Southern hadn't won the title in years but fought off USTA Southern California 4-3. Winning in straight-set singles were Keshav Chopra, Welsh Hotart, Phillip Jordan and Andres Martin. Cornelius Jordan was the coach.

Hall of Famer Bill Weathers passes
Southern Tennis Hall of Fame inductee William "Bill" Weathers died on July 24 in Southern Pines, NC. 

He learned the game in Chapel Hill under the direction of longtime University of North Carolina coach John Kenfield. He made the UNC varsity and played at the No. 4 and 5 positions. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he transferred to North Carolina State University, playing the No.1 singles for three years. He had an outstanding adult tournament career and won over 300 North Carolina and Southern singles and doubles titles. Weathers held the No.1 singles ranking in every age group since the 55s and won numerous sportsmanship awards.

Weathers served as Director of Tennis at the Pinehurst National. In addition to his induction into the Southerh HOF in 2008, his club received the 1982 North Carolina Tennis Family of the Year Award and was he inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

Links: Obituary, Southern Tennis Hall of Fame (including two videos)

Riske advances to the Wimbledon quarters with a win over Barty
Nashville, TN's Alison Riske had her best Grand Slam run, reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals. She defeated No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Read the story on USTA.com. Other seeded players who fell to Riske were the 22nd-seed Donna Vekic and 13th-seed Belinda Bencic. 

Riske ran into the great Serena Willians and was defeated 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinal. Read the match report on USTA.com.

Richmond takes doubles title
Pawleys Island, SC, product John Harrison Richmond teamed with Simon Freund to win the Pittsburgh Tennis Classic. They defeated the top seeds - Maksim Tikhomirov and Colodymyr Uzhylovskyi - 6-2, 4-6 [10-6].

Richmond, who also goes by Harrison Richmond, was a star player for the University of Virginia that won the 2013 and 2016 NCAA Championships He was ranked No.7 in doubles and No. 52 in college in the 2013 campaign.

Grace Min wins in Evansville
Metro Atlanta produce Grace Min prevailed in a three-hour, 15-minute final to win the Women's Hospital Deaconess 2019 Classic. Min won the $25,000 tournament in Evansville, IL, over Deniz Khuzaniuk 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-5.

Born in Atlanta, Min grew up in Lawrenceville, GA. She reached a carerr high of No. 97 in March 2015.

Eubanks/Kwiatkowski reach doubles final
Christopher Eubanks, of Atlanta, and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, a native of Charlotte, NC, advanced to the doubles final of $54,160 Nielsen Pro Tennis Championships in Winnetka, IL. 

Eubanks/Kwiatkowski were defeated by Buorn Fratangelo/JC Aragone 7-5, 6-4. Kwiatkowski won the 2017 NCAA singles title as a senior and led Virginia Cavaliers to three straight NCAA team titles (2015-17). Eubanks was a standout player at Georgia Tech. 

Oliver Crawford advances to final
Oliver Crawford, of Spartanburg, SC, reached the final of the $25,000 Neitzel Family Open in Urbana, IL. The fourth seed fell to third-seeded American Jenson Brooksby 6-2, 6-1.

Crawford hit a career high of No. 529 after the tournament.

Kevin King named to Pan American team
Kevin King, 28, is one of 12 Americans will represent the U.S. in the 2019 Pan American Games, to be held July 29-Aug. 4 in Lima, Perum

King, of Atlanta, is ranked No. 397 in singles and No. 527 in doubles. A collegiate star at Georgia Tech from 2008-12, King reached a career-high No. 162 world ranking in May 2018 and has served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup Team. He was a doubles All-American as a junior in 2011 and has won six singles and 11 doubles titles at the ATP Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tour level. 

At this month's BB&T Atlanta Open, King won his first ATP match by defeating former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov. He also defeated Ryan Harrison in qualifying.

 

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