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Saturday, August 5, 2006

Three Seeded Players Lose Saturday in Second Round at Nats

©Colette Lewis 2006

Jared Pinsky, Bradley Mixon and Alexei Chijoff-Evans made a beautiful summer Saturday downright miserable for three of the top 32 seeds in boys 18 singles.

Pinsky scored the biggest upset when he eliminated No. 8 seed and 2005 semifinalist Jamie Hunt 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 late Saturday evening at Stowe Stadium.
At Western Michigan University, Mixson disposed of 11th seed Dennis Lajola 6-2, 6-3 while Chijoff-Evans outlasted 21st seed Justin Kronauge 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

"The first set he beat me pretty bad," said Pinsky, of Potomac, Md. "I just wasn't ready to play and he makes you play every point. He doesn't give you anything."
After Pinsky had evened the match, the 17-year-old lefthander jumped out to a comfortable 4-0 in the third set, but Hunt fought back to 4-3. "I started to get a little tight there," Pinsky admitted. "But I just said, 'this is my match, this is what I've worked for, so just fight hard the rest of the match.'"

Unseeded, Pinsky was match-tough after his first round victory on Friday, citing that as an advantage Saturday.

"The first match you are always the most nervous," said the 16s divisions sixth place finisher in 2005, "so I got that out of the way and came into today just relaxed. I think it helped playing that first match yesterday."

A bevy of college coaches were looking on during the match, but the senior says he will be taking official visits this fall before making any decision. "Stanford, Duke, Virginia, Illinois are possibilities, but I'll have to visit and see."

The top two seeds in the boys 18s didn't lose a game between them, as No. 1 Donald Young downed Patrick Collins of Tulsa Okla. 6-0, 6-0. Not to be outdone, No. 2 Jesse Levine immediately followed Young on Court 2 at Stowe Stadium and double bageled Andrew Mateljan.

Alex Clayton, the fifth seed, was jolted awake by Skyler Tateishi of Hawaii, who lead 4-1 before losing the next nine games. "I wasn't really hitting the ball very well and I wasn't focusing as hard as I should have," Clayton said. "But I'm actually glad it was a tough match, to play a better player and to get some competition in," said the 2004 16s finalist.

The 16s began play on Saturday with one round of singles and two rounds of doubles. Five seeded doubles teams failed to make the third round, with the seventh seeded team of Kyle McMorrow and Alex Johnson the most highly-regarded team to fall; they lost to Alex Rafiee and Will Reynolds 7-5, 6-0.

For complete draws, click here.


Jeff Szekely said...

I find it interesting that the 3 seeds that lost early did not play the USTA National Clay Courts and the 3 players who won did. Tournament tough (recently), luck, coincidence?

In USTA National Junior events,it is the Tournament that makes the player, not the player who makes the tournament.

At the end of the summer only two players will get a wild card into an ATP event. The winner of the Zoo goes to the US Open and the winner of the Clays goes to the $600,000 ATP Legg Mason. I just returned from watching 18 year old Andy Murray win his semi final match and make it into the final, so juniors in ATP finals are possible.

This is only the 3rd year of the Wild Card to the ATP Legg Mason and the combined USTA National Clay Boys' 18 & 16 event. The top players have now figured it out, Clay Courts is the most direct way to get into an ATP event, aside from the Zoo. The draw will only get stronger-this is obvious-- by the last 3 years. The players will compete against players their own age for a spot in an ATP Main Draw.

Yes, it is directly after Junior Wimbledon and yes, it is only 2 weeks prior to the Zoo; perhaps, Pinsky, Mixson and Chijoff-Evans have figured something out.

Jeffrey W. Szekely
Tournament Director
USTA National Boys' 18 & 16
Clay Court Championships

Colette Lewis said...

Andy Murray is 19.

Anonymous said...

I think that the comment from Mr. Szekely above is a little over the top. The seeded young men that lost are all very good players. Maybe their games didn't mesh with their opponents, maybe they were thinking of something else, maybe they were sick or injured. I think Mr. Szekely is great, he runs a really nice tournament but presuming that because the guys didn't play Clays therefore they weren't tournament tough is ludicrus. They aren't getting paid to play, they play because they want to compete. I watched a young man play Midwest Open recently. He was given a wild card to play because his coach said his USTA ranking was down the toilet. He had advised him to play ITF's because he couldn't always be available to play his section, therefore his USTA ranking had gone south. He was playing great, basically killing his opponents when he cramped out. I have never seen anything like it. His coach said he didn't know what to do, his player did everything he was supposed to but still cramped out. This kid was awesome, he was winning but had to default. I looked for him the next day. Same thing, he was winning, cramped and again defaulted. I talked to his coach, he said that the kid is great, competes really well. Just had a little problem with the conditions. For anyone to presume that the seeds that lost at the Zoo should have played clays is presumptious at best, perhaps they were playing futures, or maybe they couldn't afford to go to clays. How about we let these young men develop a game and stay off of them. Most are doing the best they can. In the end, some may make it, some won't but each should feel they did their best. With all respect it is not the tournament that makes the player, it's the player that competes that makes a tournament. To the kid that made my day, keep at it boy, with your game you will go places.

Austin said...

I didnt know this was a tenis blog AND an advertisement site for the Clay Courts, equipped with a link and all

Jeffrey Szekely said...

Austin, after reading your previous comments, I understand where you are coming from.

Austin, which is probably not your real name, you most likely live in KY and probably in Louisville. I have read all the way back, to your comments on Sam English and you were 100% correct about Sam.

I met Sam when my oldest son played in the Clay Courts (Louisville) in ’94 and ’95. Sam and I spoke about once a week from then on. We would meet at the four day Tournament Directors Meeting and have dinner each night. I would also visit him on my business trips to Louisville.

We became such good friends that he invited my wife and me, to attend his induction into the Southern Hall of Fame Award Dinner in Atlanta in 2002.

One of the first things the Clay Court Championships did when we procured the Boys’ 18 in addition to the Boys' 16, was establish the Sam O. English, Jr. Sportsmanship Award (see below-taken from the website history ).

Colette once said “ I'm willing to put my name on everything I say….. Accountability is important.”

Austin, I put the website address on my comments, not as an advertisement, but as a way for people to call, e-mail or fax me directly concerning my comments.

Austin, I promise I won’t think for you---please don’t think for me.

This sportsmanship award is being initiated in honor of the quintessential Kentucky gentleman, Sam O. English, Jr. of Louisville. Almost single-handedly, Mr. English put Louisville "on the map" in the world of tennis.
Cliff Drysdale may have said it best when he stated about Sam that “You were a true pioneer in the promotion of tennis. You were so successful because you were a friend to everyone.” Rod Laver said, upon meeting Mr. English in the early 1970’s, that it was “obvious that you were instrumental in bringing championship tennis to Louisville. Your long history of involvement has kept Louisville a force in tennis.” And Mrs. Arthur (Jeanne) Ashe noted that Sam “has everyone’s appreciation for all the great work that you have done in tennis and for the community.”
As a player, Mr. English captained his high school tennis team and then served as captain of his Yale University team in 1955, when Yale won the Eastern Championship. His exceptional play won him more than 100 singles and doubles titles, and he was five times honored as Louisville Courier-Journal’s Kentucky Men’s Player of the Year.
As one can imagine, Mr. English has received numerous honors awards. Foremost among these are his induction into the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985, the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.
Mr. English served as the chairman of the USTA Boys’ 18 Clay Court Tennis Championships from 1967-2001. To honor this gentleman and commemorate his many accomplishments, the Sam O. English, Jr. Boys’ 18 Sportsmanship Award will be bestowed upon the athlete who embodies his spirit of excellence.
2006 Ryan Lipman, Nashville, TN

2005 Wil Spencer, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

2004 Andrew Orban, Fayetteville, NC

Jeffrey Szekely
Tournament Director
USTA National Boys’
18 &16 Clay Court Championships

Austin said...

Close, I'm from just down the road in Lexington, but still a U of L fan, thankfully not a UK one

Anonymous said...

How often do the top 64 players in each age division in the US play the same event????
USTA may get a bum rap for player development, but they also make the rules for the tournaments. There was a time when in US tennis when all the top juniors competed in the same tournaments at least 5 times a year. The USTA changed their ranking system, their tournament schedule what do they expect? They have promoted these changes and the effects are now being felt. ITF junior tournaments COME ON That's the biggest joke. Why would parents waste all that money to chase meaningless points? Name a player from the US in the last 20 years who made it big that ran around the world chasing ITF points? Why wouldn't a parent save money for a child's education or even better when their son is ready to travel around the world to compete for points that actually mean something on the ATP tour. Kids are home schooled, have more free time to play tennis than then previous generations, have better coaching, better physical and mental fitness trainers but yet there are not near as many good players.
How many kids actually go to the clays or the zoo thinking I'm playing for the wildcard? Could it be these tournaments have been saturated in order for more $$$?
Perhaps Jeff Szekely needs to take a closer look at what's happening. How many other players did not play the Clays and won their first round? Have a little respect for Pinsky, Mixson and Chijoff-Evans maybe they were the better players not just because they played the Clays. Draws will not get stronger when it’s about the $$$? More players more $$$$.
And by the way the ZOO is a fine oiled machine that happens to be the best junior tournament in the world. Having said that the tournament is not that dependent on a tournament director.

Jeremy said...

I happen to be friends with the Roddicks and last time I checked Andy "ran around the world chasing ITF points." He played in Hong Kong, Australia, Europe, and South America. I'd say top 15 in the world (formerly number 2) and a U.S. Open Championship is quite an accomplishment!

Anonymous said...

Jeremy Thanks for correcting that person. I am sure there are other players besides Roddick too. But I do think it is unfortunate, that with so many players in the US, the USTA is not taking advantage of a great opportunity. If the USTA recognized the benefits of all the top juniors competing against each other in a number of events throughout the year the results would be positive for the USTA junior development and the US juniors. If a family like Roddick’s has the resources and wants to give their child the opportunity to travel around the world to play tennis that’s a great experience for a number of juniors. There is a great opportunity being lost by not having a tournament schedule in the US that brings all of the top juniors together for competition. There are tons of tournaments available for juniors to play in the US, but for some reason the tournaments ranking levels are saturated.

Anonymous said...

Coming from a parent. It is less expensive to play ITF events than the US events. ITF pays for hotel, meals and the entry fee is usually $50. All it costs is a plane ticket. If you are in the main draw of a Slam the USTA gives you a stipend that covers the plane fare. It is incredible how expensive all the nationals are.

Anonymous said...

And yet, you continue to pay.

Super parent said...

Yeah I continue to pay soooo what about it. I am rich and I want my kid to travel the world and play ITF's. He's a superstar. His name is going to be in bright lights one day. People will pay lots of money to him to wear their product. And it will because of me. ME me me me I did it.

The hired help said...

Superparent- what a crack up.
This must be what happens once in awhile when the uncouth posters from the Tennis Warehouse accidentally find there way over through the links and throw a little cold water on the King's new clothes.

Anonymous said...

Its shocking how much of these "super parents" are really out there. Basically, any decent athletic ability+ lots of money, with a dose of at least one aggressive parent (its usually one), and you are successful. Then you have the children of coaches, who in many cases also turn out good. And then you have the rest. Normal parents, not filthy rich, decent athletic ability, and middle of the road rankings. Not saying this is cut and dry, but this scenario is not to be dismissed. I wonder if all the kids in the last scenario would never have a chance at being a great player, even if they had all the oppurtunities of the first two? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I think Pete Sampras and Roger Federer had "normal" parents.

Anonymous said...

"Sampras and Federer seemed to have normal parents"..agree 100%

Anonymous said...

I worked around Pete Sampras' father in El Segundo at what (was) Hughes Aircraft. His father was a chief engineer (scientist) very, very smart. By worked around, I mean I couldn't carry his slide rule, but worked in same area. Except for a small picture of typical family shot you would never had picked up on it, and no one was that into tennis to bother him. I recall they lived over in the Palos Verdes area just south of El Segundo.

Mango said...

Sampras family is a class act.