Ellen Perez, Lizette Cabrera win ITF titles
Ellen Perez triumphs over fellow Aussie Zoe Hives in the Ashland 60K ITF final while Lizette Cabrera hoists the trophy at the 80K ITF event in Granby, Canada.
The rankings of Australian women Ellen Perez and Lizette Cabrera are set to surge after the duo won big ITF titles on North American hard courts at the weekend.
Perez overcame Zoe Hives in an all-Australian final at the ITF 60K tournament in Ashland, Kentucky, winning after Hives retired when trailing 6-2 3-2, suffering heat exhaustion and a shoulder injury.
Cabrera, meanwhile, beat rising Canadian star Leylah Fernandez 6-1 6-4 to hoist the trophy at the ITF 80K tournament in Granby, Canada.
It is by far the biggest singles title of Cabrera’s career and her first in three years; the 21-year-old Queenslander’s last tournament victories came at 25K Australian Pro Tour events in 2016 at Tweed Heads and Brisbane.
Impressively, Cabrera was able to turn her form around after arriving at the tournament on a four-match losing streak, dropping just one set in five matches in Granby.
She is projected to rise 71 places when the new rankings are released, making her top-200 return at No.195. This means she is now inside the ranking cut-off for the US Open qualifying draw.
Perez, too, is set to enjoy a significant rankings boost, expected to jump 34 places to set a new career-high ranking of 163rd.
Like Cabrera, Perez’s victory in Ashland marks the biggest singles title of her career; her previous title came at an ITF 10K tournament in Brussels in 2016.
Since then she reached seven ITF singles finals — including five in 2018 — before finally breaking through for victory in Ashland.
Despite the loss in the final, it was also an impressive week for Hives, who came to Ashland on a four-match losing streak before winning four straight matches on the Kentucky hard courts.
She is projected to vault 23 places to a new career-high ranking of No.177.
At the ATP Challenger title in Binghamton, Max Purcell and Luke Saville won their sixth Challenger title of the season with a 6-4 4-6 [10-5] win over JC Aragone and Alex Lawson.
The Aussie duo have improved their win-loss record in 2019 to 37-11.