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Monday, March 26, 2007

Sony Ericsson Pre-Luxilon

©Colette Lewis 2007--
Miami, FL--

After last night's very entertaining and emotional dinner for Bobby Curtis (more about that in my Thursday article for the Tennis Recruiting Network), it was probably a good thing that Nadal got a walkover and Serena's match was postponed, because we weren't tempted to stay too late.

I had heard about the annual Luxilon draw breakfast, and although we missed what I gather was a great motivational speech from Nick Bollettieri, we did get there in time for the actual draw. I was interested in the seeding, and perhaps not surprisingly, I was disappointed, as there didn't seem to be any common sense in not seeding Michelle Larcher de Brito, especially given her win over Meghan Shaughnessy here just last week.

The four girls seeds are:
1. Sorana Cirstea
2. Naomi Cavaday
3. Anastasia Pivovarova
4. Tammy Hendler

The four boys seeds are:
1. Fernando Romboli
2. Ricardas Berankis
3. Guillermo Rivera
4. Kei Nishikori

Matches begin Tuesday at 11 a.m. on two adjacent courts, so I shouldn't miss any of the action. For full draws, see the Sony Ericsson website.

Below is the group photo(click to enlarge); 22 of the 24 participants were present. Players from left to right standing: Brooke Bolender, Julia Boserup, Maria Mohk, Tammy Hendler, Petra Martic, Nastassya Burnett, Naomi Cavaday, Sorana Cirstea, Anastasia Pivovarova, Allie Will, Jamie Hampton. Kneeling: Guillermo Rivera, Guido Pella, Devin Britton, Giacomo Miccini, Fernando Romboli, Austin Krajicek, Matt Reid, Gastao Elias, Tyler Hochwalt, Mike McClune, Ricardas Berankis.

After the draw breakfast, I had to decide between watching Amer Delic versus Nikolay Davydenko in the stadium or Paul Goldstein/Sam Querrey in a second round doubles match against the No. 4 seeds Paul Hanley/Kevin Ullyett. Since I had missed Querrey's contest against Federer, I decided to watch the newly formed U.S. team with four Kalamazoo singles titles between them (Goldstein 3, Querrey 1), and therefore missed the biggest win of Delic's career. (My husband Paul did get a few photos of Delic, however.)
Delic, who was at the Bobby Curtis tribute dinner, used a successful challenge on set point to turn the tide in the match, according to this acount on the University of Illinois website.

The doubles match, which drew an impressive number of fans on the sunny and breezy day, was so one-sided at the beginning that I was tempted to bail out early. Neither Goldstein or Querrey held their serve in the first set and lost it 6-1. But things changed in the second set, both started serving much better. Neither lost his serve, getting one break and holding on to take the second set 6-4. Then that unsatisfying ATP 10-point tiebreak had to be played (call me old-fashioned, but I wanted to see the third set). Although Goldstein and Querrey led 8-4 at the second change, they couldn't put it away, much to the displeasure of the crowd, who were urging the Americans to put away the pair from Australia and Zimbabwe. Querrey served for the match at 9-8, but missed on his first serve, and although it took Hanley and Ullyett three match points, they eked out the win, 13-11.

Querrey was obviously the weakest volleyer of the four, and he also was undeniably the most accomplished server. Although he and Goldstein may be disappointed in the way they let the tiebreak slip away, it may be a partnership worth continuing.

After lunch, we watched a few of the juniors hit on the courts where they will be playing for the next four days, checked the scoreboard and then headed back to the hotel (not the Ritz!, that was just one breakfast) to write and to rest up for the Luxilon.


Anonymous said...

"The Battle of the Andy's" - sonyericssonopen.com.....What's happened to grammar?