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Monday, October 2, 2006

Last Week's Big Winners

I won't be doing another SMASH column until I come back from the ITA Polo Ralph Lauren All American Tennis Championships Tulsa, but there were several performances last week that merit a mention.

Belarus won the Junior Fed Cup in Barcelona, with Ksenia Milevskaya leading the way. She beat world No. 1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the second time this summer, (the first time was on grass) coming from a set down in the singles, and teamed with Ima Bohush to take the doubles point, and with it the championship. I've been a big fan of her game since I saw her play in Carson in April, and I hope she'll be at the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, since she lost before I got to see much of her in New York this year.

The Netherlands won the Junior Davis Cup, but I can't comment on any of their players, since they've never played in the U.S.

The U.S. girls finished fifth, their only loss a close one to Belarus to decide who made the semifinal round. The ITF website reviews that loss and their subsequent win over Australia in this article. The U.S. boys had a miserable week, finishing 15th out of 16 teams, their only win coming against Morocco Sunday.

Last week I mentioned Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska's victory over Venus Williams; she followed that by taking out Elena Dementieva to reach her first WTA tour semifinal and is now ranked 66th. Steve Tignor apparently got to see some of her semifinal loss in Luxembourg on The Tennis Channel, and has some observations in his weekly "Wrap". I'd also like to add that she won the French Junior title this year. Unfortunately, she pulled out of the U.S. Open juniors at the last minute, so I haven't seen her play since last year's Orange Bowl.

Adam El Mihdawy won the ITF Grade 4 in Illinois, taking the singles and doubles championships. For his partner Devin Britton, it was his fifth ITF doubles title of the year. Thirteen-year-old Valeria Solovieva, a Russian who trains in Miami, won the girls title. She has only been competing on the circuit since the beginning of the year due to the age restrictions and is already ranked 151.