HANNA CHANG, ANDRE ILAGAN WIN SOCAL PRO SERIESPRO TENNIS | USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SINGLES TITLES IN LAKEWOOD
SINGLES TITLES IN LAKEWOOD
JULY 10, 2023 | STEVE PRATT
HANNA CHANG, ANDRE ILAGAN WIN SOCAL PRO SERIES SINGLES TITLES IN LAKEWOODUSTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JULY 10, 2023
Top: Fontana’s Hanna Chang takes the SoCal Pro Series title in Lakewood; Bottom: Andre Ilagan wins his maiden ITF singles title.
(Photos – Jon Mulvey/USTA SoCal)
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Fontana’s Hanna Chang spent eight minutes on the court Sunday in capturing her sixth career ITF singles title in her hometown SoCal Pro Series event at the Lakewood Tennis Center.
After both players held serve and were tied 1-1 in the first set, Chang’s final opponent Mary Stoiana motioned to the chair umpire that she was done, unable to continue due to fatigue giving the 25-year-old Chang the victory in her first SoCal Pro Series appearance this summer on the same courts Chang honed her game at as a top SoCal junior just a few years ago.
“Getting a title at home is always exciting,” said the top-seeded Chang, ranked just outside the top 300 in the world WTA rankings and the highest ranked player to take part in the seven-week SoCal Pro Series. “I remembered all the matches I played here in the juniors. And Sectionals, Ojai, El Dorado Park, Anaheim, Woody Hunt – I played them all. That’s why I was able to get so good because I played as many junior events as I could.”
One of the few SoCal Pro Series players with their own Wikipedia page, Chang is coming off the biggest win of her career winning a $25,000 ITF Pro event in South Korea in May. She said she plans to play Lakewood No. 2 this week in hopes of winning the “Race to Indian Wells” qualifying wild card. San Diego’s Haley Giavara currently has the lead in the standings with 47 points, followed by Megan McCray’s 37 points. Chang is in third place winning 32 points during the week.
RadioTennis.com’s Ken Thomas said during his broadcast that it should have been Chang who was most fatigued Sunday following her “brutal” marathon three-set win against Pepperdine’s Savannah Broadus.
However, the qualifier Stoiana, a Texas A&M junior from Connecticut, was attempting to play her 11th match in seven days having won the doubles title and a singles semi on Saturday.
“It was a great week and I learned a lot and picked up a lot of good wins,” Stoiana said. “I’m just bummed I wasn’t able to continue.”
In his pre-match advance, Thomas commented that Chang has a huge heart and “would play you in a parking lot…she doesn’t care.”
Chang, who is coached by her father Jun Chang, said after the match she will likely go back to Asia after this coming week to play more ITF $25Ks in hopes of earning enough ranking points to get into the US Open qualifying.
Chang reached a career-high of No. 212 in the world last March. After high school, she had verbally committed to play at Pepperdine before deciding at the last minute to turn pro.
“There are pros and cons to whichever direction you take,” Chang said. “I don’t regret going pro. I’ve learned so many things. I’ve been able to experience so much and have seen so many eye-opening things.”
She added: “Fontana isn’t really the hot spot for tennis, but I was somehow able to fit in and be competitive. For me right now the goal is to improve my game and try and get into the top 100 by the end of the year.”
College tennis was the route both men’s singles finalists took as recent University of Hawaii graduate Andre Ilagan outlasted former University of Florida All-American Alfredo Perez, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, for his first ITF pro title.
You wouldn’t have been able to tell who won the title on match point as a subdued Ilagan simply put his head down and came to the net for the handshake.
“It was nice, but I’m already thinking about this week and coming back here to play Tuesday or Wednesday so I’m not even thinking about the win right now,” Ilagan said.
Last week at the Racquet Club of Irvine event, Ilagan led eventual champion Learner Tien after being up 4-1 in the third set, and 5-1 in the third-set tiebreaker before falling to the USC star in the second round.
Ilagan is the first All-American in University of Hawaii history. “We don’t have the best reputation as a tennis school, but I can say I did a little bit to change that,” said Ilagan, who wasn’t recruited by any mainland Division I schools. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t good enough in high school, but college made me mature and grow up a little bit.”
The following are the “Race to Indian Wells” point standings heading into the last week of play:
Top 5 Men’s Standings:
- Omni Kumar – 36
- Jacob Brumm – 35
- Learner Tien – 33
- Keegan Smith – 21
- Stefan Dostanic – 15
Top 5 Women’s Standings:
- Haley Giavara – 47
- Megan McCray – 37
- Hanna Chang – 32
- Katherine Hui – 20
- Eryn Cayetano – 19
In the women’s doubles final Saturday, Fiona Crawley and Stoiana beat SoCal natives Brandy Walker and Mary Lewis, 10-5 in the third-set breaker. Crawley helped the University of North Carolina win its first NCAA team title in May and then won the NCAA Division I Doubles title in the individual tournament played in Orlando.
In the men’s doubles final, Coronado’s Ryan Seggerman and San Diego’s Patrik Trhac beat the top-seeded Perez and Jamie Vance, 6-2, 6-4.
Daily tournament admission and parking is free to the public at all SoCal Pro Series events. The final SoCal Pro Series’ event will take place this week at Lakewood Tennis Center.