TEMPLETON, October 3, 2022 (by Steve Pratt)
Madison Brengle won her 10th consecutive singles match and hoisted a trophy for the second straight week as the WTA Tour veteran came back to defeat qualifier and 18-year-old Robin Montgomery, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on Sunday to win the EPIC Central Coast Tennis Classic at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.
“I’m pretty happy to get these two titles back-to-back,” Brengle said. “I’m a little tired but I’m going to take a couple of days off, and I think it’s well-deserved.”
Brengle has been on a tear since falling in the first round of the US Open to eventual finalist Ons Jabeur dropping just one set over those 10 match wins. Brengle, 32, jumped to No. 51 in the WTA world rankings and by winning 80 more points Sunday she is projected to be in the mid- to low-40s as she attempts to eclipse her career high of No. 35 she attained in 2015.
The 2021 US Open Junior Girls’ singles and doubles champion Montgomery came out strong from the start taking the first set, but let down to start the second set as Brengle broke early for a 3-0 leadt. Montgomery broke Brengle’s serve for 4-5, but couldn’t even it up with a poorly played service game double-faulting twice, including on set point.
Brengle once again got the early break in the third set to go up 2-0 but lost her serve at love to allow Montgomery right back into the match. But the veteran Brengle continued her steady play, forcing Montgomery into a couple of unforced errors at crucial points in the match.
“She has a wonderful game,” Brengle said of Montgomery. “She can come in, has a good serve and she can do a lot with the ball, so I feel like she’s going to keep getting better and better.”
Following her week off, Brengle will play the qualifying at the upcoming San Diego WTA 500 next weekend.
“I thought I played OK,” said Montgomery, whose No. 313 ranking will climb with the 48 ranking points she earned. “There were times when I had a hard time choosing whether to come into the net or stay back. But overall, I thought it was a good match.”
Brengle will cash a check for $9,142 and receive 80 WTA ranking points. Montgomery, who was playing her seventh match in seven days, earned $4,886 and 48 points.
In Sunday’s doubles final, the No. 2 seed Nao Hibino from Japan and American Sabrina Santamaria, a former NCAA doubles champion from USC, defeated the top-seeded team of Sophie Chang and Katarzyna Kawa. It was the first time playing as partners for both teams. The winners split $3,344 and the finalists earned $1,672 to split.