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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Young Loses in Paris; Cornet Upsets Wozniacki

I keep holding out hope that the Roland Garros website will publish a junior story, but when they didn't Tuesday, even after French junior star Alize Cornet upset fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 8-6 in the third, I'm guessing they are waiting for the finals.

Donald Young will be honored at the annual ITF awards dinner tonight in Paris for finishing 2005 as the world's top junior, but I imagine the food would have tasted a lot better if he had beaten unseeded Pedro Sousa of Portugal today in the round of 16.
Or even if he and Jamie Hunt, seeded third, had won their doubles match, neither of which happened.

The boys draw is in its usual Grand Slam shambles. No. 1 Thiemo de Bakker has survived to reach the quarterfinals, as has Petru-Alexandru Luncanu, no. 8, but Luncanu is it for the bottom half. The top half still features two seeds who could make the quarters, but the best case for seeded players is only 50% will reach the quarters; the worst--25%.

The girls have gone more to form, with the top three still in the hunt. The ITF junior website has this look at top seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's victory today.

U.S. players are faring even worse than the seeds (there were much fewer of them to begin with) and only three remain playing--all boys. Johnny Hamui and Clint Bowles are in the second round of doubles, as is Kellen Damico, who is playing with Luncanu, a Romanian.

For complete draws, see rolandgarros.com.


Anonymous said...

Let's stop praising and touting Donald Young as the next great tennis star for America. His arrogance and cockiness can't be backed up. Let's chose another boy to praise and push.

Young cannot beat boys let alone men. His arrogance that he should be playing with Federer and Nadal and Berdych, is preposterous.

Until he can beat boys he should shut up.

Anonymous said...

Take it easy. He's just a kid. Probably a bit cocky because of the money he's being paid, the attention he's got and he has had some decent results.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I agree with Anonymous #1. Anyone who follows junior tennis knows that Donald Yound has exhibited spoiled-brat behavior for years. He has consistently shown himself to be a sore loser and an ungracious winner. Donald is too immature, both physically and intellectually, for the pro circuit. Why did you rush him into it, Mr. and Mrs. Young?

Jim said...

Instead of beating up on kid whose weakness at Pro level are clearly evident to everbody except IMG. I think the more important issue is Young's and fellow Americans failure highlights more important deep seeded problems that face traditional tennis countries like the U.S Australia and Britain. I think Collete said in a previous article the traditional tennis powers like the USA and Australia's decline in tennis was to do with the Global expansion of tennis. Australia like the USA didn't have ANY singles players get past the second round in the Juniors at Roland Garros I don't think Britain had any players in any of the singles draws. The countries junior development programs receive millions dollars from there Grand Slams to fund their programs.
What I find strange is lack of logic.If you want to prepare your elite juniors to be professionals tennis players you must teach them the skills necessary.Today professional tennis is played on basically two surfaces hardcourt and Clay. By only concentrating on hardcourt tennis you are depriving your juniors of a 50% chance of becoming a pro.They should be able to play on both hardcourt and clay at elite level . How often do we hear top juniors say "I am only a hardcourt" player or "My favourite surface is hardcourt". The surface shouldn't matter They should be taught the skills to adapt to all conditions and any surfaces. Donald Youngs father was quote as saying " What was Roger Feder doing at 16 and 17?" The answer was simply he wasn't worried about beating kids in junior competitions. He was being coached and taught skills that allow him to play at a professional level on all surfaces and from all parts of the court. By continually neglecting to the importance claycourt in junior development countries like the USA , Australia and Britain will continue to get overwhelmed by the Spanish the Russians ,the French and Argentians and Eastern Europeans who use clay courts as the most important tool in their juniors development.
If you look at the competitors in the mens who have won Junior Roland Gaross since 1998 they all except one have successfully transtition to professional tennis.The three teenagers to break into the top one hundred this year in the mens game Monfils Murray and Djokovic are all proficent clay court players.The arguement in Australia was not one claycourter has ever won the the Australia Open. Where did Murat Safin learn his tennis? Andrew Murray left the LTA to train in Spain because he claimed it ruin his brothers career. Instead IMG shoving millions dollars infront one child because they can win out of there age group they should be investing in 50 or 100 kids who can play tennis on clay as well as a hardcourt.

Anonymous said...

Andre Agassi Winner French Open
Michael Chang Winner French Open
Pete Sampras Semi-Finalist
I can come up with more if you need.
How many clay courts did they see growing up?

traveltot said...

I do not understand this aversion to clay among Americans. Back in the 40's I do not remember a court in Florida that was not clay. I loved playing on clay. As remarked above why give away half of your ranking points because you "don't like clay". The clay courters have realized they have to be all surface players and made their mark. Re: Donald Young. I will be clear that I have watched him and did not see pro potential. The USTA seems to have their pets but Lubjic was saying that for players like himself from eastern europe you have to win because no one is there to help you.

Jim said...

My point about clays courts is to highlight the lack of balance in the development of juniors in three of major Grand Slam Nations. You are always going to have absolute champions like Agassi and Sampras.May be if Sampras had of seen a few more clays courts when growing up he would have won Roland Gaross.He would have been crowned the greatest of all time. Chang had a Spanish coach who taught him to play on clay.He was Courier's coach. Not every player possesses the skills and mental edge of champions but as admistrators and coaches you can give those other less gifted mortals the opportunity to reach there potential.Tennis shouldn't about a few champions it should about all competitors who make up a tournament.
Even if your only 50 in the world itshould mtter. If Roddick had Dent's Volleying ability he would nearly be unbeatable. Many Professional TENNIS had have one particular strong part to there game.Federer has balance, he strong in all partsof the court and on all surfaces. Children who have dreams of becoming professional tennis players need to be taught balance. Not told there are potential Professional Champions because there beating other children Britain doesn't even have a woman in the top one hundred in the world. They are excited because have 12 year old that got to the semi finals of the Eddie Herr.This is stupid because THE USA and Australia have semi finalist in the 12 divisons every year How many make it to the Pro's. An Australian boy Todd Ley won the singles the doubles and mix doubles 6 years ago and is now not playing.Another example is Johny Hamui beat Donald Young in the 12 divson four or five years ago. Will they make it to the pro's. There is too much importance put on junior results by parents and coaches. I feel sorry for Donald Young. If your the goose who has to lay the golden eggs for IMG and can't produce, its off with your head. The kid must be under so much pessure.Its unfair a child is taken out of school trained 6 hours to play a sport where you got about0.01% chance of making it professionally. Lets be realistic and fair to our children The kid starts to beat kids older because all he does is playtennis and has some talent when compared to other children two three years older. Who are not sponsorsed and don't have opportunity to fly all around the world to play tennis.He IS given hundreds of thousands of dollars and told he is going to be next champion.The only problem is when he starts to lose against his peers let alone professinal players.Of course he shows arrogance to cope with the insecurity he must be feeling. You find parents and coaches start to make excuses instead examining the developmental process. Arthur ASHE said you can always tell a bad Tennis Coach or parent by the way they make excuses when their child loses and by the way they overstate their child's ability. What one of the biggest excuses/cop outs going around is he/she a really good player but he/she is no good on clay. He/she good at the baseline but he doesn't like to volley.The RANKINGS of the top 100 TENNIS players in the ATP and WTA clearly demonstrates advantages of clay court tennis. Even countries like Peru and Isarel have players in the top 100.

Tennis is a fantastic game let us give our elites junior real choices and real balance.THAT ALL OUR JUNIORS NOT JUST SOME.