Rancho Santa Fe’s Jacob Brumm Opens SoCal Pro Series Title Defense at USD With First Round Win - USTA Southern California




Jacob Brumm



JUNE 13, 2024

Jacob Brumm
Kyle Kang

Top: Rancho Santa Fe’s Jacob Brumm is the defending singles champion at the University of San Diego SoCal Pro Series event.

Bottom: Stanford rising sophomore and Fullerton native Kyle Kang will face San Diego’s Alafia Ayeni in the second round.

(Photos – Lexie Wanninger/USTA SoCal)


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Jacob Brumm returned to the scene of his most glorious week in professional tennis. Although the Rancho Santa Fe resident was a collegiate product of the Cal and Baylor tennis programs, he can be forgiven for having grown a reverence for the Torero-blue courts of the University of San Diego as a professional.

Playing in his 109th ITF World Tour event this week, Brumm, 25, advanced to Thursday’s second round following a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over fellow Baylor University product Ryan Dickerson in the 2024 SoCal Pro Series’ third $15,000-purse ITF World Tour/USTA Pro Circuit tournament.

Wednesday marked the opening of a defense to Brumm’s only pro singles title achieved one year and one day after the fact. But the memories of 2023 remain vividly entrenched in Brumm’s mind. It was a somewhat improbable run as an unseeded Brumm rallied from a set down to win three consecutive matches, from the second round through the semifinals.

“It was one of the most special weeks of my life, tennis-wise, for sure, and I come back and hit with the USD men’s team a good bit,” Brumm said. “Every time I come out here, I remember the matches from each court. I thought that I would come here and feel a lot of pressure from last year, and I didn’t really. There’s just a lot of special memories here.”

Brumm’s reaction to winning his only pro singles title was, undoubtedly, the most heartfelt moment of the 2023 SoCal Pro Series. Immediately after shaking the hands of his competitor, Jack Anthrop, and the chair umpire after winning match point, he shared an extended, emotional, teary, on-court embrace with his father, Bruce, that lasted many minutes.

The two reflected on Brumm’s journey that had spanned 76 ITF events (dating back to his Torrey Pines High School days) before breaking through at USD, with a dedication of the moment to Brumm’s mother, Laurie Goldenson, who passed away in 2019.

“During the course of this whole last 12 months, I would think about this event and, if things weren’t going so well, I’d look back on this event to try to give me confidence and inspiration,” Brumm said. “I feel good being back here in San Diego. All these Futures, it’s up for grabs for whoever wants it, and I want it.”

Coming off last weekend’s SoCal Pro Series singles final – his first ITF final since he won his only pro singles title in 2018 – San Diegan Alafia Ayeni, 24, began his final SoCal Pro Series tournament with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over USD senior Blake Kasday.

Third-seeded Ayeni (No. 519 ATP ranking) will face a tricky second-round matchup on Thursday against Fullerton’s Kyle Kang, who debuted on the 2024 SoCal Pro Series Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 first-round victory over Australian Jeremy Jin. 

Kang, 19, cracked the Stanford lineup in his freshman year. Triumphs in ITF competition against Aliso Viejo Alex Michelsen (currently No. 61 in the ATP Tour rankings), UCLA recruit and 2024 French Open junior singles champion Kaylan Bigun, 2024 NCAA Division I men’s singles semifinalist Ozan Baris and 2023 NCAA Division I singles champion Ethan Quinn over the past 15 months speak to his pedigree.

He has now played in all three years on the SoCal Pro Series, first debuting in 2022 alongside the likes of his Orange County junior contemporaries in Michelsen and Irvine’s Learner Tien. Kang’s experiences against them inspires him to also ascend up the tennis ranks, even if not quite at the same pace, as those two.

“I’ve grown up with these guys for a long time. Seeing the success they’ve had has been great for my perspective,” Kang said. “I think it gives me a bit of fuel. I can see myself having a similar level to them and if I can continue to improve my game, hopefully I can get to where Alex is at now.”

Kang suffered a triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tear in his right wrist a week before April’s Pac-12 Conference Championships in Ojai. He did not pick up a racket for the previous three weeks and while he is still feeling his wrist, he wanted back in for the final five weeks of the SoCal Pro Series and is tolerating any lingering weakness.

This week’s tournament included a name of tennis royalty and Grand Slam bloodlines, but the SoCal Pro Series debut of top-seeded Swede Leo Borg (No. 419 ATP ranking) – a product of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain – ended abruptly.

Mexico’s Alan Rubio, a men’s singles semifinalist in each of the first two weeks of the SoCal Pro Series, eliminated the 21-year-old son of former World No. 1 player and 11-time Grand Slam champion Bjorn Borg, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 7-6 (4), in Tuesday’s first round.

Tustin resident Tyler Lee, 14, and Pacific Palisades native Lexi Wolf, 16, earned main draw wild cards this week, by virtue of winning men’s and women’s pre-qualifying tournaments, and made their debuts in pro competition on the SoCal Pro Series.

Additionally, San Diego’s Yilin Chen, 14, and South Pasadena’s Nicole Weng, 16, advanced through qualifying to play in their first main draw of a professional women’s ITF event. Weng was the only one to earned her very first (WTA) singles world ranking point with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over eighth-seeded Australian Stefani Webb.

The youngest men’s singles entrant in the first three weeks of the series, Lee fell in the first round, 1-6, 3-6, to 2023 SoCal Pro Series-USD finalist and current Ohio State player Jack Anthrop.

Wolf dropped a 2-6, 3-6 decision against 36-year-old American Tori Kinard. Chen, who just completed her freshman year at Westview High School, fell 2-6, 2-6, to 2024 USC graduate Eryn Cayetano, the No. 5 seed who was raised in Long Beach and Corona.

San Marino resident Tianmei Wang, soon to be a senior at San Marino High School, upended fourth-seeded Oregon native Dasha Ivanova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Wang, 17, won her first-round women’s singles match for the second straight week on the SoCal Pro Series.

Follow along with the SoCal Pro Series on Instagram and Facebook.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email