Team USA in Review: May 2018

June 1, 2018 08:43 AM

Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Townsend proved to be at their best in the lead-up to the French Open, turning in clay-court results that earned them Team USA Player of the Month honors for May.


Tiafoe, the 20-year old Maryland native who was recently profiled on, reached his second tour-level final of the season at the clay-court ATP 250 event in Estoril, Portugal. He beat defending champion and 2017 US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals to become the youngest American man to reach a final on European clay since Andre Agassi at the 1990 French Open.


Townsend, meanwhile, did her damage on green clay, in America, winning the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit singles title in Charleston, S.C., over fellow American Madison Brengle. That result, paired with her title won two weeks prior at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit clay event in Dothan, Ala., helped the 22-year old Chicago native clinch the USTA’s Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge and buoy her ranking up to No. 72 ahead of the French Open, where she won her first-round match before running into No. 1 Simona Halep in the second round.


Further Tour-level highlights from Americans in May include:

  • Alison Riske reached her seventh WTA singles final, at the International tournament in Nuremberg, Germany.
  • Steve Johnson reached his third ATP semifinal of the year at the 250 event in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Rajeev Ram won his 15th career ATP doubles title at the 250 event in Munich, Germany.
  • Jack Sock won his third ATP doubles title of 2018, and the 11th of his career, with Nick Kyrgios at the 250 event in Lyon, France.
  • Nicole Melichar won her second career WTA doubles title, at the International event in Prague.

Challenger- and Pro Circuit-level highlights include:

  • Former Wimbledon boys’ champion Reilly Opelka won his second career Challenger title at the €106,000 event in Bordeaux, France, where former NCAA singles champ at Stanford Bradley Klahn won the doubles title.
  • Mackenzie McDonald, an NCAA singles champion while at UCLA, won his second career Challenger title at the $100,000 event in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Former NCAA doubles champions at USC Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria won the doubles title at the $100,000 event in Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France.
  • Las Vegas native Asia Muhammad won two $60,000 doubles titles, in Kurume and Fukoka, Japan; former Ohio State star Francesca Di Lorenzo won one, in Saint-Guadens, France.
  • Christian Harrison reached the singles final at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Savannah, Ga.
  • Players to win $15,000 singles titles: former Virginia Cavalier Alexander Ritschard, who won three (Lund, Kalmar and Karlskrona, Sweden); former Ohio State all-American Peter Kobelt, who won two (Sajur and Akko, Israel); Queens native Adam El Mihdawy (Cordoba, Mexico); former Virginia star and USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Collin Altamirano (Singapore); former Florida Gator Sekou Bangoura, who won two (Ustron, Poland; Czech Republic); Houston native Hady Habib (Jerba, Tunisia); former NCAA singles champion at Virginia Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Singapore); Maryland native Raveena Kingsley (Gothenburg, Sweden); Charleston, S.C., native Ellie Halbauer (Antalya, Turkey).
  • Former North Carolina all-American and NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb won the $25,000 doubles title in La Bisbal, Spain, her first title of 2018.
  • Players to win $15,000 doubles titles: New Albany, Ohio, native Madeleine Kobelt, who won three (Tiberias, Sajur and Akko, Israel); brothers and former SMU Mustangs Hunter and Yates Johnson (Cordoba, Mexico); Altamirano (Singapore); former Texas A&M standout Junior Ore (Mexico City); Bangoura (Ustron, Poland); former Harvard Crimson Nicholas Hu (Singapore); reigning Australian Open boys’ singles champion Sebastian Korda (Valldoreix, Spain); former Yale Bulldog Tyler Lu (Kampala, Uganda); former USC Trojan Connor Farren (Sajur, Israel); former Northwestern Wildcat Samuel Shorpshire (Morelia, Mexico); former Virginia Tech star Patrick Daciek (Wisla, Poland); San Francisco native Matt Seeberger (Kampala, Uganda); former Michigan Wolverine Amy Zhu (Hua Hin, Thailand).