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Baughman outlasts McDonald to win Claremont Club Pro Classic

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Deiton Baughman wouldn’t admit that winning his third career USTA / ITF Pro Circuit title was any easier than the first two, but did express that he was glad Sunday’s $10,000 Futures singles title came with a lot less hours logged on court.

Baughman needed three sets to defeat Mackenzie McDonald on a hot Sunday, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, to win the 20th annual Claremont Club Pro Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 Futures event that took place at the Claremont Club and was attended by USTA Pro Circuit Director Brian Earley, who recognized the event for 20 outstanding years.

Baughman, a 19-year-old pro from Carson, Calif., didn’t need to win a third set during his four wins and run to the final. Back in January on the clay in Sunrise, Fla., Baughman had to come back to win after losing the first set in his final four matches, and did the same in his final two matches to win his second Futures event ($15,000) in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina in June.

“It was kind of nice to have my second Pro Circuit title in the States come that way and not to have to play a three-set match till the final,” Baughman said after receiving the $1,440 first-place check and 17 valuable ATP points. “After I lost the first set I just had to remind myself mentally that I’ve been in this situation before this year and been able to get it back down a set and a break or whatever.”

After dropping the first set 6-2, Baughman played more aggressive and focused getting an early break for a 3-0 lead. But down 1-4, McDonald was able to hold and break to get back to 3-4 on serve but Baughman promptly broke right back for 5-3 and then served out the second set.

“I had four break points against me in the first two (service) games in the first set,” Baughman said. “He just outplayed me. I just told myself I’m not playing terrible, he’s playing great and all I can do is raise my level.”

Baughman began the third set with a huge break of serve and continued to serve well hitting a huge ace to win the eighth game and go up 5-3 after being down love-30.

McDonald said the service game was the key to the match. “I thought my serve kind of decreased as the match went on, and I started to think about that,” said McDonald, a 20-year-old UCLA junior from Piedmont, Calif., playing in his first Pro Circuit final. “I thought I played really good tennis this week. I was really happy with a lot of things I did. I got to play five matches and I just have to keep getting better. I’m going to keep working on my serve.”

Baughman concluded: “I don’t feel like we both played our best. I look at my match in the quarterfinals against Gonzales (Austin) and his match in the semis yesterday against Collin (Altamirano) and they were just 10 times as better as this. Sometimes you get that in a final.”

Sunday’s Final Singles Result:

Deiton Baughman, U.S. (2), def. Mackenzie McDonald, U.S., 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

Final Doubles Result:

Jean-Yves Aubone, U.S. / Gonzales Austin, U.S. (2), def. Junior Ore, U.S. / Hunter Nicholas, U.S. (1), 7-5, 3-6, 10-6