The third time was a charm for both Sekou Bangoura and Ricardo Rodriguez Sunday in the singles and doubles final at the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships at The Boulevard.
Both veteran professional tennis players were competing in their third career finals in this elite USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour event but were without a victory here. All that changed for both players as Bangoura defeated rising young American Ethan Quinn 6-4, 6-3 to win the singles title and Rodriguez paired with another young American Nisesh Basavareddy to win the doubles title over the University of Kentucky pair of Liam Draxl and Millen Hurrion 6-4,6-3.
Bangoura previously lost in both the singles and doubles final in Vero Beach in 2019, falling to Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan in singles and with Boris Arias, to Italians Lorenzo Frigerio and Adelchi Virgili in the doubles final. Rodriguez lost in two previous singles final in 2018 to Juan Benitez of Colombia and in 2021 to Jerry Shang of China.
Bangoura is a former standout from the University of Florida who calls Bradenton home and is ranked No. 572 in the ATP rankings, having been ranked as high as No. 213 in 2016. At age 30, he is the oldest player in the field and defeated four teenagers and a 20-year-old to win the title. He also escaped from a 0-3 third-set deficit to 16-year-old Cooper Williams in the second round.
Quinn, a wild card entry into the tournament by the U.S. Tennis Association, will move within the top 900 in the ATP rankings that will allow him now direct entry into $15,000. He is a freshman at the University of Georgia but currently red-shirting.
Rodriguez and Basavareddy did not even know each other before the start of the tournament but after Rodriguez signed into doubles without a partner, co-tournament director Randy Walker introduced him to Basavareddy, who also did not have a partner. Then, when Rodriguez and Basavareddy were the first team who did not qualify to get into the doubles draw, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation awarded their remaining wild card entry into the tournament. They are the first wild cards to win a doubles title in Vero Beach.
Read more of the singles final from respected tennis writer Harvey Fialkov in TCPalm here: https://www.tcpalm.com/story/sports/2022/05/01/mardy-fish-foundation-tennis-tournament/9587228002/
To watch the post-match awards ceremony for the singles final, click here: https://youtu.be/zyOrH64bQrY
To watch the post-match awards ceremony for the doubles final, click here https://youtu.be/iR4ya55sJbc