June 4th, 2018

Gibbs, Khazaniuk Win Florida USTA Pro Circuit Tennis Titles

General News Pro Tennis USTA Pro Circuit

Nicole Gibbs (left) and semifinal opponent Allie Kiick

American Nicole Gibbs won in Naples, and Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel beat American Sophie Chang in the final in Osprey as the USTA Pro Circuit wound its way through Florida in late May and early June.

Last Saturday Gibbs won the $25,000 Sanchez-Casal Women’s Pro Circuit Naples stop, in the final beating fellow American Ashley Kratzer 6-4, 6-4. The 19-year-old Kratzer is the reigning USTA national 18s hardcourts champion.

The top-seeded Gibbs did not drop a set until the semifinals where she worked past Floridian Allie Kiick, the No. 5 seed, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. At No. 113 on the WTA rankings entering the event, Gibbs has fought various injuries over the last year and is attempting to climb back toward her career-high ranking of No. 68 in 2016. She improved to 9-9 in career ITF/USTA Pro Circuit finals, going 1-1 in finals last year.

Kratzer dropped to 0-3 in career USTA Pro Circuit final appearances after 2017 Stockton, Calif., and 2016 Austin, Texas. This year she was also the doubles runner-up at Charlottesville in April with partner Whitney Osuigwe.

The doubles title was won by recent University of Florida graduate Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan and Genevieve Lorbergs of Australia. In the final the unseeded pair defeated No. 4 seeds and Floridians Rasheeda McAdoo and Katerina Stewart 6-3, 1-6, 11-9.

Deniz Khazaniuk

The Oaks Club $25,000 Women’s USTA Pro Circuit Event in Osprey concluded May 27 after a rain-plagued week. Israel’s Khazaniuk, the top seed, outlasted the No. 7-seeded American Chang 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 in the final.

The two played the final a day early due to wind and rain and the weather forecast, and played a 10-point tiebreaker in lieu of a third set due to the weather. The doubles tournament went unfinished due to the weather throughout the week.

“I’m so emotional right now,” the 23-year-old Isreali Fed Cup player told the Herald Tribune. “It’s been a great week…Sophie is so fearless. She was going for the shots. I knew I needed to stay solid and not rush too much.”

Khazaniuk improved to 20-13 in career ITF/USTA Pro Circuit finals, her first of the year after going 2-1 in finals in 2017. The formerly-heralded teen in 2013-14 won seven straight ITF titles in Israel, Belgium and Greece.

Chang dropped to 1-2 in career USTA Pro Circuit finals, winning at Orlando in March of this year.

For more USTA Pro Circuit news go to www.usta.com/news.