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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Junior Championships Begin Sunday at Roland Garros

The singles draws for the Junior Championships at Roland Garros were released today, and although there were no deviations from the ITF junior rankings in the boys' seedings, there were some adjustments made in the girls'. Alize Cornet of France, who needed a wild card to get into the main draw, is seeded second, due to her WTA ranking of 118. Sorana Cirstea of Romania has a 169 WTA ranking and is seeded fourth, while Evgeniya Rodina of Russia is 172-ranked in WTA and was given the fifth seed. The top seed is the world's No. 1 player and winner of the past two junior Grand Slams, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, and the third seed is Anastasia Pivovarova, also of Russia, who won the recently completed Italian Open. Another oddity is the seeding of Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia, who was required to qualify but given a seed when she did. Jovanovski, 15, has been on fire during the European clay season and has seen her ranking go from 70 to 15 in the month since the French Open acceptances were announced. I definitely think she deserves a seed, but I can't recall the ITF ever taking recent results into consideration. I'm not sure what happened to Sacha Jones. At the NCAAs, she said she was on her way to France, but she's not in the draw.

It's good to see Alexa Glatch's name in a draw again. She qualified and faces Simona Halep of Romania, who won two consecutive $10K events in Bucharest last month. Madison Brengle seems underrated at No. 9, especially since she just won the Grade 1 in Belgium today, on clay, but she was barely seeded in Australia and still made the final. Reka Zsilinszka, seeded 16th in Paris, made the semifinals in Belgium, and Julia Cohen, at No. 7, is the other U.S. girl seeded in France. Veronica Li and Mallory Cecil are the other U.S. girls in the draw.

On the boys' side, the U.S. will have two seeds--Rhyne Williams at No. 13, a semifinalist in Belgium, and Kellen Damico, No. 10. Johnny Hamui, Mateusz Kecki and Austin Krajicek round out the U.S contingent in Paris.

The boys' top seed is Matteo Trevisan of Italy, who has won 17 straight junior matches, including the Italian Open, since losing in the third round in Australia. Trevisan recently took over the top ranking from Jonathan Eysseric of France, who has become a celebrity for serving as Roger Federer's hitting partner on clay (he's a lefty--go figure). Australia is well-represented with four seeds--Greg Jones (5), Aussie Open winner Brydan Klein (6), Radford recruit John-Patrick Smith (8), and Stephen Donald (9). Fourteen-year-old Bernard Tomic also qualified, to give Australia the same number of entries as the U.S. (Correction: Australia has one more than the U.S. I overlooked Andrew Thomas.)

One player that won't be contending for the French title is today's boys' winner in Belgium unseeded wild card Germain Gigounon of Belgium, who defeated Gastao Elias of Portugal. Had he entered the French, he would have earned a special exemption, but apparently he wasn't expecting to do quite as well as he did.

The ITF junior site released this preview of the French Juniors yesterday.


Anonymous said...

I totally get that a player who relies on their national association might be obliged to continue playing the junior events but that isn't the case for Glatch or Young. Might make the sponsors happy and raise their profile but that they need to go back to the juniors to do either of those things is pretty sad and kind of pathetic.

Anonymous said...

just confirms that Young's advisors don't have a clue. After getting all those wild cards into ATP events, now he drops back to the juniors . What is he going to gain- 1 more trophy. It is a joke after playing on the pro circuit. Young and his advisors don't know whether he is coming or going.

Austin said...

Why wouldn't you want to win a Wimbledon trophy if you were 17yrs old? What's a joke is saying he shouldn't be playing juniors at all, then when he loses on the tour people say he needs to move back down. If you have the opportunity to win a Wimbledon trophy of any kind you take it. It's better than playing the Winnetka Challenger that week. Nobody remembers that Federer won a challenger in Brest, France, but we know he won the Wimbledon juniors.

Anonymous said...

Austin, Austin, Austin
directly below is a quote from Paul Roetert
""There's a fine line between doing what makes us look good and what's good for the players," said Paul Roetert, managing director for USTA player development. "If we just wanted the U.S. to look good here, we'd have asked Donald Young to play, and he'd have a good shot at winning it.

"But Donald is playing a Challenger tournament [on hardcourt] in Carson, Calif., and in the semifinals [where he lost Saturday], so that's very good for him."

In fact, said Roetert, there are quite a few talented juniors not here, who have chosen to play pro events. There's Lauren Albanese of Parkland, who trains with Harold Solomon in Fort Lauderdale. She's in the finals at Carson. There's Ashley Weinhold of Austin, Texas, who trains at the Evert Academy in Boca Raton. And Michael McClune of Irvine, Calif., another top U.S. junior."

Austin all I am saying is Donald Young has been mishandled from the beginning. He was a great junior and America called him the King- the next great pro player -- and Donald and his gang bought into it --too bad for Donald and his gang-- what is he going to learn from beating up on some juniors -- that doesn't help in the long run -maybe in the short run-so what!!!

His handlers have not done a good job mananging his " PRO CAREER" as of yet--who knows where it will go. I personally don't think he has the goods to be a top 50 player-let's see what happens!!

The world remembers Federer for what he does in the pros not what he won in junior tennis (not even the junior slams).

Please, Austin don't put Young and Federer in the same sentence, paragraph or even the same blog-- there is absolutley, positively no comparsion.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, playing a junior Grand Slam is going to wreck his career. Not. It's one tournament against the best juniors in the world at the most prestigious venue in the world. I can't fault him for wanting to play there. It will be a nice experience for him, and should he win it, he will have something to be proud of, even if it is only junior tennis.

There seems to be an assumption that Young will trounce everyone he faces. While I would like that to be true, I doubt that it will happen. Young may be the favorite, but there are some very good juniors who will be formidable competition. He's not a lock to win, just as he wasn't a lock to win when he played the Orange Bowl (lost to Luncanu, who will be in the Wimbledon field) and the U.S. Open.

But let's say that every match is a cakewalk. Is that so bad? He can go back to playing the pro circuit the next week. He loses little and gains an impressive victory, additional confidence, and a memorable experience.

Young just can't do anything right in many people's eyes. He plays pro tournaments and people say he should play juniors. Now he plays one junior event and he's criticized for that. I'm sure he'll be criticized again if he accepts ATP wild cards this summer.

Anonymous said...

Nobody said playing a junior event was going to blow his career. Frankly, I don't think he will have much of a PRO CAREER (unless he changes what he is doing).

As far as gaining confidence winning a grand slam junior and converting that to confidence in the PROS-- good luck. He turns 18 this year -- so he can kiss the juniors good-bye.

Yes, he had a great junior career-- if he can't convert that to a PRO Career-then where is he. Another guy asking "DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT BIG MAC".

Anonymous said...

He's already has millions, so I doubt that McDonald's is in his future. And his results on the pro circuit have been very respectable, in case you haven't noticed. Nobody his age or younger has outperformed him to date. I think his track record (pro and junior), combined with the assessments of very knowledgeable people, give reason to believe that he will be able to make a career out of tennis.

I'm sure he would appreciate your concern, though.

Austin said...

I guess he should have just gone the Sam Querrey or Andy Roddick route and not played pro tournaments until this year so that people would think he's doing incredible things. The only reason people say this is because he started playing pro tournaments when he was 15yrs old. Had Sam or Andy done so they would have been trounced as well. Roddick was ranked #26 in the nation in the 16's when he was 15, Young won The Zoo in the 18's a month after turning 16. Please remember he still can't vote before writing him off because they are not a lot of 17yr olds making the quarters of Challengers.

Anonymous said...

let's see what happens in the next 2- 3 years.

Sam and Andy had better (mentors, mangament) than Young which is clearly proven in the results.

As far millions -you are not on this planet -- when they say a player signed with Nike, Addias,Wilson, Reebok, etc.it is based upon performance with bonuses tied into achieving top 10, grand slam etc. What the bonuses produce -maybe is travel money -approx $50,000-$125,000 per year for a short number of years. The newspapers then say a guy signed for $2,000,000 etc. but that is if they perform.

Since 1992 there have been less than 12 American players to make it in the pros. That is an average of less than 1 per year. Roddick, Fish, Ginepri were 3 to make in one age group. Gimelstob, Goldstein, Gambil were 3 in another age group. And of course the Bryan Twins.

Mike Russell very tough competitor has been a pro since '97 and has earned a total of $600,000 or about $60,000 /year -- without a college degree --where is he going?

My oringial comment was -Young is mis-managed - and up until this point -- you can't argue -concerning his pro career--where it goes from here-- not even the so called experts know or don't know.

Talk to me about Andy Murray or the kid from Serbia who are 1-2 years older and have incredible results.

An old Southern saying--"Potential rain don't make grass grow" and that's how I see Young regardless of the experts- I don't think he has IT-- maybe he will find IT if he changes what he does!!! Don't bet on it!!!

Anonymous said...

I made a mistake concerning the age of Andy Murray (ATP #11) -2 years older than Young, along with Novak Djokoivc (ATP #6) and of course there is Juan Martin Delporto (ATP # 59) who is only 1 year older than Young.

Young turns 18 in one month -so stop calling him an age 17 like he has an entire year to go before he is 18.

Anonymous said...

You may be right about the endorsements, although I'm sure he's made enough to pay for college should it come to that.

Querrey wasn't doing anything in the pros at Young's age, FYI.

Murray and Djokovic are over two years older than Young. Djokovic was ranked around 160 at Young's age. Murray was ranked around 400. Young, if the rankings had been updated this week, would be ranked around 290. Regardless, he doesn't have to be as prodigious as those players to be a successful ATP player. And as I said, nobody Young's age or younger is doing better than him thus far.

Lastly, we're not dealing with an abstract player. We're talking about Donald Young, which means that the probability of him being successful can be adjusted based on the information we have about him. We don't have to rely on an average. The probability of success goes up considerably when a player has his type of record. Personally, I think he has a good chance to be top 100 within a couple of years. To me, a consistent top 100 career definitely makes you a successful pro.

Anonymous said...

fine, you want to talk about Young directly: great, great hands, great speed, knows all the angels on the court, has most of the shots, improved his serve but still needs a lot of work on both 1st and 2nd-now for the bad news- no guts, no heart, no fight and he quits (you can only go so far without those very special ingredients)- not only for a point but sometimes for games at a time. This is not because of his age -- I have seen players as young as 12 who have gone on to become great top 20, even top 10 ATP pros and the fight,heart etc-that they had in the 12's and 14's went with them to the pros.

Unless Young can either find (fight, heart, no quit attitude)or develope it -- he has no chance-- the ATP will eat him for breakfast.

He has all the tangibles to be successful and that is probably why the "EXPERTS" think he will make a splash-- His tangibles were good enough in the juniors so he really did not have to work that hard.

It is a totally different ball game up with the big boys.

It remains to see if he can pull it off.

I am done talking about Young- I don't want to tell you "I TOLD YOU SO" in 2- 3 years -lets see what happens!!!