Eighteen-year-old Frances Tiafoe claimed his first ATP Tour Challenger title at the Challenger Banque Nationale de Granby in Granby, CA on Sunday, and 13-year-old Alexa Noel, representing Team USA, was the runner-up in the ITF World Junior Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
JTCC alumnus Tiafoe, who was the #4 seed, secured a major breakthrough win as he defeated Marcelo Arevalo of Salvador 6-1, 6-1 in the finals. The match lasted only 48 minutes as Arevalo was unable to handle his opponent’s powerful groundstrokes.
The Hyattsville, MD native dropped only one set throughout his championship run. His triumph in Canada has vaulted him 26 places in the ATP rankings to a career high #123.
Tiafoe also reached ATP Challenger Finals in Winnetka, IL and Lexington, KY in addition to competing in the main draw of an ATP 500 tournament in his hometown at the Citi Open in Washington, DC earlier this summer.
“Frances is fully deserving of this win given the total commitment he has towards achieving his goals,” said Frank Salazar, JTCC Senior Director of High Performance, who coached Tiafoe throughout his junior career. “This is a significant milestone and he will use it as a springboard to breaking into the top 100 very soon.”
Current JTCC High Performance player, Alexa Noel was an integral part of Team USA’s run to the ITF World Junior finals in the Czech Republic. Noel gained selection based upon her outstanding results earlier the summer including wins at both the ITF 18U International Grass Court Championships in Haverford, PA and at the Girls’ 16s USTA National Clay Court Championships in Virginia Beach, VA.
Noel went 6-3 in combined singles and doubles play on the red clay throughout the week which helped the USA qualify for the semifinals winning the round robin group with victories over Slovakia, Latvia and South Korea.
The semifinal match against Russia pitted Noel and partner Whitney Osuigwe against the previously undefeated duo of Daria Fragman and Avelina Sayfetdinova to decide the tie after the two singles matches had been split. The Americans slipped behind before recovering to win in a tightly contested match tiebreak 1-6, 7-5, 10-8.
In the finals against Ukraine, Noel defeated Daria Saigur 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 in the opening singles match to give Team USA the early advantage. The world junior title ultimately came down to a decisive doubles encounter between Noel/Osuigwe and Marta Kostyuk/Dasha Lopatetska. The match seesawed before the Ukrainians eventually prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 leaving Noel and her teammates with well-deserved and hard-earned silver medals.