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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weekend News

  • I spent the morning avoiding my computer, so I wouldn't know who won the Davis Cup tie between the U.S. and the Czech Republic and could watch the tape-delayed broadcast by Versus in suspense. After Roddick had a 3-0 lead in the second set, I had an unshakable feeling that he was going to win, and happily, he did. Jason Brown of usta.com puts together a synopsis of Roddick's clinching win here.


  • Jill Craybas came from behind to defeat Laura Granville 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to take the Dow Corning Tennis Classic title Sunday. Granville didn't leave Midland without a championship however, as she and Abigail Spears captured the doubles title over another unseeded team--Maureen Drake and Stephanie Dubois of Canada--by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

  • Georgia Tech will not be fashioning any Stanford-like winning streak, as the nation's top-ranked women's team fell 4-3 to the obviously underrated team from William and Mary, ranked 25th. The details of the win--on a neutral court in Illinois--can be found at tribeathletics.com.

  • I mentioned a couple of days ago that the University of Florida would be missed at the ITA Men's Team Indoor beginning Friday in Chicago, and so will undefeated USC. Here are the details of the No. 15-ranked Trojans' 5-2 win over No. 18 Boise State.

  • And finally, thanks to the reader who sent in this link to a New Zealand article about 14-year-old Sean Berman, entitled "The Star We Don't Want." The tone is all too tabloid for my taste, but you've got to wonder how someone gets overlooked in a country that small (4 million).

  • 19 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    I thought GaTech might stumble. It's hard for a team that has never reached #1 to deal with the pressure. Every match out, the target on your back is huge and every opponent will give you their best shot. It's impressive what Stanford(and Florida to a certain extent) have done over the years in staying at or near the top in women's tennis. Challengers come along, but those 2 always seem to be there at the end. Texas, Duke and Georgia have all had solid programs over the years as well. It was great for GaTech to pull off the big win last week, but they got a taste of what it's like to be the hunted. Congrats to William & Mary as well on the big win.

    Anonymous said...

    Regarding the Berman article, it says...

    "Berman is ranked No 1 in his age group in California and No 6 in the US -a ranking that would have been higher but for an injury meaning he had to withdraw from December's high-status Orange Bowl tournament in Florida."

    How did the author arrive at these rankings?

    AndrewD said...

    Collette,

    I'm a little bit confused. I saw Berman last year at the Heineken Open where he was part of a team representing New Zealand. Later that month he won the New Zealand National (not open) 14 Hardcourt Championships. He was also sponsored by the Peter Snell Institute of Sport (a bit like the Australian Institute of Sport)and receiving coaching from both Chris and Mark Lewis, possibly the two highest profile men in New Zealand tennis.

    All of that being the case, how is it (if true) that he is now, after only 12 months in America, getting USTA support?

    Anonymous said...

    Berman was number 1 in SoCal at one time, and he is number 6 on tennisrecruiting.net for 8th graders.

    Anonymous said...

    But I thought the following was based on Tennisrecruiting.net rankings: "He is also rated as the US' third-ranked prospective college prospect"?

    Anonymous said...

    It is worth noting that the 1993-born Sean Berman and Emmett Egger both have January birthdays. So does Carlos Boluda for that matter. Had the 3 of them been born a few weeks earlier, then they would have had to compete directly with Bernard Tomic who is only a couple of months younger than thy are; same with Ashot Katcharian who is also only about two months younger than the "January Boys." There are also about 10 other players, just in the U.S. alone who are born in 92 and who have either easily beaten, or have much better records than Berman and Egger. These U.S. 92 players include: Ryan Harrison, Raymond Sarmiento; Evan King; Jordan Cox; Dennis Kudla; Jack Sock; Junior Ore; and several others. Internationally, the list gets even longer with David Suto, Bashiavelli; Euwang (Hong Kong); Micini (Italy); Gaio (Italy); and the kid from Japan who won Eddie Herr in November, and that's only a small fraction. Therefore, we should not get overly excited about junior prospects who, while they are certainly excellent players, rise to the VERY top of their class year partly due to a fantastic birthday. Another way to look at it is had Berman and Egger been born just a few weeks earlier, they would be looked at as only about top 75 in the world vs. top 10 in the world.

    In contrast, while Carlos Boluda is also born in January of 1993, he is one of the very top players internationally even against players born in 1992 winning Les Petits and Nike International a year early. Now, that's a player to get excited about as his results and great performance has virtually nothing to do with a fortunate birthday.

    Tomic and Katcharian have beaten Egger and every other 93 (except for Boluda) very easily and they are only about two months shy of being 1993's. In conclusion, it appears that Tomic, Katcharian, Boluda, and both Harrisons are the boys to pay the most attention to at this stage.

    Anonymous said...

    instead of focusing on the current results of these 93 kids (or 92s or 91s), a better indicator would be to pick which of our juniors is most likely to be comparable at age 18 to juan martin del potro or marin cilic. as young 18s these two players are obviously on track to be top-20 ATP. there is nothing to indicate that any of the kids mentioned will be on that same track by age 18. the croatian and argentine federations are either very lucky or very good.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with Collette that the article on Sean Berman is tabloidy.
    It seems like the author hasn't done his research as there is several errors, including referring to Berman as one of the "big four" who represent Americas hopes. Does he not realise these boys are just from one age group. I think Sam Querry and Donald Young might be interested to know they aren't in the "big four".
    The New Zealand tennis association must be desperate if the "light at the end of the tunnel" is a 14 year old kid whose most recent ITF result was losing 6-0 6-2 in 1st round qualies of a grade 4 tourney.

    Anonymous said...

    Why does everybody keep bashing the '93 group. Just a little over a year ago Egger won the Eddie Herr and Decoster lost in the finals to Harrison in the Orange Bowl yet we keep playing up Tomic and Boluda and these other foreign kids like they have done something special. Tomic has never done anything special in the Orange Bowl before the last year of his age group and Boluda has never played it at all. Wait and see what the '93s do this year in the Orange Bowl when it is also their last year in the group before making those comparisons.

    Pierrick said...

    Hi,
    Does anybody know if apart from Les Petits As, there exists another big French tournament for 12/14-year old players ? Thank you.
    Pierrick

    Pierrick said...

    Hi myself !
    In answer to my question, there is another big tennis tournament for 13-year old players and older. This is Les Petits Princes in Annecy, in summer. But does anybody know another big tennis tournament in France for young players ? Thank you for not letting me answer to my own questions. :) Keep posting comments on this great website.
    Pierrick

    Anonymous said...

    The Paribas Cup in July is a big 14-and-under tournament. It's held in Paris.

    Gatorboy said...

    How come were giving financial support and coaching to a New Zealand guy? Sounds like another Michael Venus or Ryan Sweeting situation to me.

    Venus called himself American but when he dropped out of college and needed some easy assistance he ran home to New Zealand to play their national residential championships. Sweeting totally played the Bahamas and the USA for the best deal.

    Anonymous said...

    So under what conditions do you support the USTA giving assistance to foreign born players? I assume that you're okay with Jesse Levine receiving assitance from the USTA, even though he moved here from Canada when he was 13 (the same age as Sweeting).

    Anonymous said...

    What's up with the college tennis rankings? Did voters forget that Florida already beat Baylor? They moved Baylor back ahead of Florida this week.

    Anonymous said...

    All this talk about who will be the best based on results at 13 or 14 is speculation....too many variables. Some of these kids play a lot more tennis each day and results reflect that, others won't develop into the type of game it takes to play professional tennis. Some won't grow or develop weapons. With all this talk about the Eggar or Suan Bernstein, have seen both play and not impressed. Christian Harrison is good, alwasy has been. To me the year to look at for depth and talent is the 1991s from January through December it has more depth and potential than the 1992s and 1993s combined.

    Pat Harrison said...

    To Gatorboy, The U.S.T.A. has never given a penny to Michael Venus or helped pay for any trips of his since he's lived here in the U.S. and he didn't get any assistance from New Zealand either for that matter. He also did not drop out of college. He is currently enrolled at L.S.U. and is awaiting a ruling from the N.C.A.A. on his eligibility. To Anonymous, I think you were referring to Sean Berman and not Shaun Bernstein who is a'92.

    Anonymous said...

    I have a somewhat unrelated question. What is the consensus on Ryan Thacher's pro potential? He's won 36 consecutive matches and 46 of 48. It's hard to ignore that. Also, is he set on going to college or would he consider turning pro?

    Anonymous said...

    this link is dead, but who are the "big four"
    Egger, Kudla, Ore and Berman?