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Awards & Achievements, November 2012

November 5, 2012 09:33 AM
Melanie Oudin Wins New Braunfels Title
Jarmere Jenkins
Natalie Pluskota
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 November 2012.

Jenkins Selected To Lead Team USA At The Master’U BNP Paribas
 Another week in November, another accomplishment for Jarmere Jenkins. The USTA announced that University of Virginia senior Jarmere Jenkins of College Park, Ga. was one of six, top American collegiate tennis players selected to represent the United States in the seventh annual Master’U BNP Paribas, an international collegiate team competition held Dec. 5-9 in Aix-en-Provence, France. Jenkins, who won the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships singles title last week and reached the doubles final of the ATP Challenger event in Charlottesville, Va., will join represent Team USA for the second straight year in the competition, helping bring home the title in 2011. Jenkins and Team USA will play against players from countries such as Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and Russia.
 
Jenkins Takes Crown At USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
Sixth-seed Jarmere Jenkins, of the University of Virginia and College Park, Ga., won the men's singles title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Columbia University at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. 
 
The men's singles final was expected to be a lengthy battle between Jenkins and ITA wild card selection Sebastian Fanselow from Pepperdine. The opening three games saw each player with chances to strike first with a break, but neither could do so. The set remained on serve until 3-2, when Jenkins pulled off a spectacular backhand passing shot on the full run to break Fanselow. Jenkins came through with a solid hold in the next game, and riding the wave of momentum, broke again for the set.
  
Jenkins seemed determined to not give Fanselow the slightest opening to work his way back into the match in the second set, drilling winners off of both wings from the baseline while also keeping a number of points alive with his terrific scrambling. The Pepperdine senior was clearly worn down toward the end of the match, managing to fight off two match points to hold at 0-5, but he was no match for Jenkins serve in the next game for the 6-2, 6-1 triumph. Jenkins is the second straight Cavalier to win the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships men's singles title, with then-freshman Mitchell Frank pulling out a three set victory last year.
 
The men's doubles final pitted the No. 2 seeds Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler of Duke against the unseeded duo of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland from Georgia.The Duke team prevailed.
 
Jenkins Partners With Sock, Makes Surprise Appearance in Charlottesville Doubles Final
University of Virginia standout Jarmere Jenkins, 21, partnered with fellow young up-and-coming player Jack Sock to make the doubles final of the USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event in Charlottesville, Va., beating the top seeded duo of Treat Huey and Bobby Reynolds along the way, before finally succumbing to the second-seeded Australian duo of John Peers and John-Patrick Smith, 7-5, 6-1. Jenkins, of College Park, Ga. made a great run at the title with Sock, pleasing the home crowd who came to watch the University of Virginia student perform well in his adopted hometown of Charlottesville.  Jenkins and Sock were given a wildcard into the doubles draw along with Jarmere’s brother Jermaine, who teamed up with Brendan Evans.
 
Jenkins and Sock making the final is less surprising, perhaps when looking at their individual records. Jenkins had a great year at UVA, where he was ranked as high as #3 in singles in the college rankings, and his college team made the NCAA Championship finals before falling to USC. Sock, meanwhile has climbed up to 164 in the pro rankings in singles and made his third doubles challenger final of the year after similar appearances in Honolulu and Dallas (w/Monroe). This is Jenkins’s second doubles title this year after winning earlier in the year at a Future’s event in Florida with fellow UVA player Drew Courtney, prevailing over, who else, but Jack Sock and partner Nicholas Monroe.
 
Pluskota Partners Cako, Punches Her Way to Another Doubles Win in Phoenix
Playing in their third final of the year together, Natalie Pluskota of Sharpsburg, Ga. and Jacqueline Cako of Brier, Wash. once again prevailed over stiff competition, taking the doubles title at the Goldwater Tennis Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. with a bruising three-set win, 6-3, 2-6, 10-4. Since pairing up together for the first time in Vancouver back in July, the pair have been having great success, making the finals in Vancouver, winning in Rock Hill, S. C., making the quarters of New Braunfels, Tex., and winning the title this week in Phoenix. If you throw in Pluskota's success in making the final of Evansville, Ind. with partner Mallory Burdette, Pluskota was contesting her fourth doubles final since the beginning of June, a very impressive feat. Pluskota and Cako's successful partnership has put both of them on the cusp of breaking into the Top 200 in doubles to start the 2013 calendar year.  
 
Oudin Plays A Big Game, Cruises To Newcombe Women’s Pro Challenge Win
There’s a saying in Texas that states that, "Everything is bigger in Texas." Melanie Oudin, 21, sure seemed larger than life to her opponents last week in the Newcombe Women’s Pro Challenge in New Braunfels, Texas, as she cruised to the title without dropping a set, blasting away Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino in the final, 6-1, 6-1. The diminutive Marietta, Georgia native entered the tournament as the third seed, but outplayed bigger, taller opponents by playing smart, confident tennis throughout the entire week.
 
The win also continued Oudin’s climb back up the pro rankings this year, coming back from all the way down to No. 370 in the world to place herself safely in the Top 100 at No. 84. The New Braunfels title is Oudin’s third title of the year after having prevailed at the WTA event in Eastbourne and the USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville. Oudin will also be competing in the final USTA event of the year next week in Phoenix, Ariz. where she will have the chance to push her ranking into the 70’s before the start of the 2013 season.
 
Britton Takes Doubles Title
2009 NCAA Division I singles titlist Devin Britton won the JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana doubles crown.
 
Brittion and American Austin Krajicek teamed up to defeat South Africans Jean Andersen and Izak van der Merwe 6-3, 6-3 in the final. The duo was seeded second in the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit/ATP Challenger tournament played in Champaign, Ill.
 

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