American teenager Hailey Baptiste capped a career week on Monday in the rain-delayed final of the ITF World Tennis Tour’s Plantation Pathway Women’s $25K, held at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla.
The unseeded 17-year-old, who had to navigate the qualifying to reach the main draw, outlasted No. 5 seed Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-2 in the final for her first pro circuit title.
Baptiste denied Bondar a second straight title as the Hungarian was attempting to repeat her trophy-winning effort a week ago at the ITF event in Daytona Beach, Fla. A Washington, D.C. resident, she clinched the final after three hours and 32 minutes on court.
Baptiste in the first round upset No. 6 seed Daniela Seguel 6-3, 6-3, then beat American veteran Louisa Chirico 7-5(2), 6-4, and in the quarterfinals ousted No. 4 Yiena In-Albon of Switzerland 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. She then gained the final by defeating Colombia’s Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-2, 7-5 in the semis.
Bondar dropped to 1-1 in ITF finals in 2019.
Ranked No. 411 entering the event, Baptiste will rise to a new career high when the next WTA rankings are released on Monday.
The doubles title was claimed by the No. 3-seeded team of Yu-Chieh Hsieh and Pei-Chi Lee of Taipei, who defeating the unseeded Belarus/American pairing of Olga Govortsova/Jada Robinson 6-1, 6-1.
ITF World Tennis Tour events in the U.S. are part of the USTA Pro Circuit. With more than 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $15,000-$125,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka, and Sam Querrey and are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
For more info go to www.procircuit.usta.com.