Thursday, July 19, 2007

Heat Continues, Upsets Don't at Boys 18s Clay Courts


©Colette Lewis 2007--
Delray Beach, FL--

When the thermometer read 88 degrees at 8 o'clock this morning, there was no hope for any relief from the withering heat that has made the Clay Court Championships more about survival than tennis.

After the top two seeds Jordan Rux and Dennis Nevolo lost on Wednesday, any upsets in Thursday's round of 16 would pale in comparison, and as it turned out, there weren't any even minor surprises. There were also no three-setters, as the favorites kept themselves out of the sun, and avoided any drama. No. 10 seed Luke Marchese lost only one game in defeating Spencer Smith, who had shocked Rux on Wednesday. Marchese has cruised through his first four matches in straight sets, as has his Friday quarterfinal opponent, 2006 16s Clay Court Champion Brennan Boyajian, the No. 5 seed, who beat unseeded Evan Bernstein 6-3, 6-1. The other quarterfinal in the top half will pit No. 3 seed Reid Carleton against unseeded Clint Bowles. I watched quite a few games of Carleton's 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 16 seed Jon Jaklitsch, and was impressed by the quality of play despite the miserable heat. Carleton used his drop shot judiciously, and made few unforced errors, but Jaklitsch kept running shots down and getting them back, making Carleton work for every point.

Bowles, who won the Florida State Closed last month, subdued 15-year-old Ryan Harrison 6-3, 7-5, by using speed and depth, and putting away the short balls.

In the only quarterfinal that has gone to form, No. 6 seed Bradley Klahn will face No. 4 seed Wil Spencer. Spencer, who has finished sixth or better at the past three Clay Courts, beat No. 13 seed Bryant Salcedo 7-5, 6-2. Up 4-1 in the first, Spencer allowed Salcedo back in the match but at 5-5, he found another gear, and won eight of the next ten games. Klahn bested unseeded Aba Omodele-Lucien 6-3, 6-3.

Like Carleton and Bowles, the quarterfinal between No. 9 seed Jeff Dadamo and Joey Burkhardt will be Floridian vs. Floridian. Dadamo outlasted No. 17 seed Drew Daniel 6-3, 7-5, while Burkhardt followed up his win over Nevolo on Wednesday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over fellow 17th seed Kayvon Karimi.

The day didn't end without drama however. A doubles match between the unseeded team of Spencer Smith and Jordan Bridge and No. 3 seeds Joey Burkhardt and Zach Nichols ended with a trip to the hospital for Nichols. Early in the third set, Nichols, who had won two back draw matches earlier in the day, went up for a backhand overhead and shortly thereafter complained of dizziness. A trainer was called, and he received treatment, mostly ice, for heat-related illness, but he refused to retire, although he could barely move. Eventually, having collapsed to the court once, he was kept on the courtside chairs until a EMT team could arrive to take him to a local hospital, where he was given IV's and treated for heat exhaustion. Bridge and Smith, who throughout the ordeal refused to take advantage of Nichols' obvious distress, won by the unusual score of 7-5, 4-6, 4-4 ret. inj.

The 16s, who wrapped up their last day at Broken Sound Country Club, did have a major upset on Thursday, when No. 2 seed Bo Seal lost to No. 13 seed Sekou Bangoura 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. No. 5 seed Mousheg Hovhannisyan also lost in a third set tiebreaker, to unseeded Devin McCarthy.

For complete results, see the TennisLink website.

20 comments:

stephenh said...

mccarthy was down 5-4 40-0 in the 3rd set

Anonymous said...

Am I too old at 28 or is it disgraceful how many kids are defaulting and retiring. Kudos to Zach Nichols for refusing to quit. Someone should count the total number of retires and defaults. I'm guessing that a total of 2-3 are legitimate. I guess American juniors are too good for the back draw. In the end, one person gets the ATP wild card out of 256. The rest are playing matches in a pressure situation to develop their game to go to college or pro???, so it doesn't matter whether it's main or back draw, right? Please tell me if I am the crazy one. Who took 2nd place in the '05 clays? Who took 128th? Nobody cares about either. Parents and kids need to take accountability. Stop blaming the USTA for everything. (just for some things) haha.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Devon McCarthy, does anyone have an explanation for why he's doing so incredibly well in the B16s Clays? The guy is probably not even in the top 20 of his Midwest Section and lost quite early in his own sectionals just a few weeks ago. I think it was the round of 32. Then he goes to the super national clays and gets to the semis? I just don't get it and it can't be that he's a clay court specialist because he's from the Midwest.

Colette Lewis said...

Although some of the retirements may be suspect the vast majority are not. Unless you are here playing six to eight sets in these conditions, I would be very careful about criticizing those who are.

Austin said...

The ones who are retiring in their main draw matches aren't in good enough condition, plain and simple.

However, I completely sympathize with the kids who have to play back to back three setters in this heat, that's why it's insane they aren't playing a superbreaker for the third set. You can't expect these kids to play a match that goes the distance and turn around a couple hours later and try to do it over again.

BUT, the one's who default matches after they lose in the main draw are disturbing. Ricky Bobby was not right when he said if your not first your last, sometimes 5th is a good showing.

Are the courts and tournament management really that bad down there? Someone say something positive about it please. Anyone? anyone?

Jason said...

To the second comment:

It is not at all disgraceful that this many kids are retiring. It is disgraceful that you are 28 and on this website getting on these kids. Maybe if you were there playing 3 set matches you would stop talking. So, basically you are the crazy one.

P.S. Thanks Austin for disproving Ricky Bobby...

Anonymous said...

Austin I played in Rockville for 2 years and now I am in the 18s.There is no comparison between the 2 events. Rockville was so much better on all counts-- courts, maintenence, umpires, trainers, front desk much more knowledgeable and much more friendly-sweet 16 dinner, fancy breakfast Sat and Sunday for players and families. The heat was bad in Maryland and Florida.
The tournament in Maryland was just much more special for the players and parents. They went out of their way to make things good.

Anonymous said...

Typical american whining, learn to deal with the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

as for back draw w/draws my guess is the back draw is grueling in a negative way and this sport is getting so injruy prone that these guys want to preserve their bodies for the zoo. The harder they hit the more pounding to the body.

Anonymous said...

As for Devon McCarthy he just could be having the tournament of his tennis life. A player is only as good as his overall record so time will tell if this an aberation or a break through.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Devin McCarthy on his success. I don't know him, nor have I ever seen im play. But good for him to get this far. No one should put any negative spin on his success here. He's done great. Just applaud him and encourage him.

Man in the Moon said...

Austin

It is not plain and simple as you say, just because a player retires in a main draw match. It might no be conditioning at all.

It might be he didn't hydrate a WEEK in advance.

It could be he does not play in the Southern, Florida, Texas, or Southwest Section where you can get comfortable with the heat and humidity. There is no way to train for heat except to play in it. All the work in a gym is not going to do it. Why do you think the Pros go to Austrailia a week or 2 or 3 weeks early? To get use to the heat.

It might be the player had 2 really long 3 set matches in the middle of the day for the past 2 or three days. And has nothing left, that is not conditioning. That is exhaustion.

I don't know if you were ever a National player, parent or coach of a National player. It certainly does not sound like you have been around top players.

You might work for the USTA but it is really not the same, as being out there. Or playing recreational tennis.

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of Devon McCarthy, does anyone have an explanation for why he's doing so incredibly well in the B16s Clays? The guy is probably not even in the top 20 of his Midwest Section and lost quite early in his own sectionals just a few weeks ago. I think it was the round of 32. Then he goes to the super national clays and gets to the semis? I just don't get it and it can't be that he's a clay court specialist because he's from the Midwest."

The guy actually got to the quarters of his sectionals (lost to a good player, nelson vick in 3 sets) and his 8 in his section so you shouldnt start running your mouth before you know what you're talking about. Devin has been in the top 30 nationally in the 12s and 14s so this isnt really a huge surprise. He has always had the talent. He obviously trained hard before the tournament so give him SOME credit.

Anonymous said...

The last poster has totally overeacted to the original poster about Devon McCarthy. It's quite apparent that all the original poster was seeking was an explanation for how someone's results "went through the roof" in this tournament. They are seeking some insight as to how he improved so much. Was it coaching, conditioning, mental toughness improvement (similar to what Tennys Sangren attributes to his recent success)? Perhaps a former injury which was holding him back has healed. This is a legitimate question and a mystery that everyone could perhaps learn something from in terms of what can help a player improve. This last poster reduces this question by attacking the poster as "running his mouth off" and not "giving Devon credit." It's not about "giving credit." Everyone, including probably the original poster, would love to give Devon credit, we would just like to know what he did to reach this unprecedented level of tennis success.

Devon McCarthy is currently ranked only 170th in the nation. His most recent super national was the Easter Bowl where he only won match and then was dispatched handily. While he did reach the quarters of the main draw of his section (where he lost the next two matches), this is "light years" from the semis of a super national.

I'm sure that there are a lot of us who are still waiting for someone to give us some insight as to how Devon put the great performance together and/or really improved in the span of a few weeks. Could anyone that could be helpful to this discussion (other than the most recent poster, a.k.a. "Mr. Defensive") please respond?

Anonymous said...

Austin, these kids can and should be expected to play back to back matches if needed with no SUPERTIEBREAK for the third. This thought is what is wrong with American tennis. Ryan Harrison played a 3 hr. and 45 minute match against Dennis Nevolo was down 6-2, 5-0 and comes back and wins the 2nd set 7-6, then gets down 5-2 and 2 breaks in the 3rd and wins 7-5 in the third. They gave him an hour and 30 minutes to rest and eat and then 2 hours and 30 minutes later he comes back from 4-1 down in the third to beat Casey Watt, a hard hustling baseliner who is no slouch. This is what makes men out of boys: no complaining or crying just play and was also in the doubles final that got rained out. If you were one of the many coaches who saw that effort that day you saw something special and it was in the back draw where coaches look for that something special. That kid is the true definition of a BALLER. He has the game and heart to make it on the big stage. I've not seen anything like that performance in a long time.

Anonymous said...

First of all i dont play many tournaments at all and that is why my ranking is horrible. you might want to look back to my 12's and 14's rankings back when you didnt have to play all these tournaments to have a good ranking. and i am way above 20 in my section and i got to the quarters and did not play so well.

Anonymous said...

"First of all i dont play many tournaments at all and that is why my ranking is horrible. you might want to look back to my 12's and 14's rankings back when you didnt have to play all these tournaments to have a good ranking. and i am way above 20 in my section and i got to the quarters and did not play so well."

Thank you, Devon, for finally chiming in. It is not our intention to denigrate your abilities nor your past record in seeking some insight as to how you were able to deliver such an great performance at the clays. What we are all so impressed by is that you got to the semis of a national championship after not being able to do anything like this in the past two years. I would have to look at your record but I don't recall that you even reached the semis of your sectionals or a national open (level 2) in the past 2 years.

Please give us your analysis and insight as to why you think you performed so much better at the clays vs. every other national tournament in the past 2 years. You strongly imply that your ranking would be top 20 if you travelled more, but there is simply no evidence of that. For example, you did travel to the most recent national championships which was the Easter Bowl and you only won one match and one of your losses was by a score of 2 & 2 by a guy named Alex Rovello who has also never gotten very far at a national championship.

Furthermore, tennisinformation.com bases their rankings on quality of wins, not points accumulated from tournaments travelled to and even they have you currently ranked at #114 and this was actually computed AFTER your superlative clay court performance. I have to think that your tennisinformation.com ranking was something like in the 200's before you did so fantastically at the clays.

Did you train differently, change coaches, heal a previous injury, change your attitude? Something else? Can you give us some insight as to what you attribute this great performance? No one is asking you to defend your previous record nor does anyone suspect foul play, just some insight that we can all learn from.

stephenh said...

Who is this guy "anonymous" who thinks he knows everything about tennis? You sit there behind your computer and tell kids what kind of results they should be having. PEOPLE CAN PLAY WELL. Devin had a good tournament and has always had the ability. When he is intense and working hard he can beat anybody on any given day. You cant base someones potential on results from earlier in the spring.

Anonymous said...

“stephenh said...
Who is this guy "anonymous" who thinks he knows everything about tennis? You sit there behind your computer and tell kids what kind of results they should be having. PEOPLE CAN PLAY WELL. Devin had a good tournament and has always had the ability. When he is intense and working hard he can beat anybody on any given day. You cant base someones potential on results from earlier in the spring. “

Well, so much for my attempt to reassure Devin and his surrogates that they shouldn't feel defensive and that no one is suspecting foul play regarding his surprising performance at the Clays. This is about the most defensive answer I could imagine.

First of all, "Stephenh"'s claim that "I think I know everything about tennis" could not be more ridiculous. If he had read and comprehended the postings that I have made on this subject, he would realize that, to the clear contrary, I am seeking ANSWERS from anyone who can help INFORM me why Devon improved so much. If I thought I knew everything about tennis, why would I be REQUESTING information in 90% of my posts on this subject as opposed to giving my opinion.

Second, I am not merely discussing one Easter Bowl result, I am talking about the PAST TWO YEARS worth of results. Stevenh's "analysis" (if you want to call it that) seems to be that Devin simply "was intense" and "worked hard" during the week of the clays, but that he wasn't intense and didn't work hard for the past two years prior to this one week at the clays? This is nonsensical.

Finally, I find even more laughable "Stephenh"'s attack on my using the user name "anonymous" when he uses a similarly anonymous user name as it is only a first name and there is no reason to believe that his name is even Stephen. "Stephenh" is as anonymous as "anonymous" and yet he seems to think that he's being brave by using this moniker.

If you are not authorized to speak on behalf of Devin then I recommend that you refrain from doing so because your illogical and petty postings might be attributed to him and he deserves better.

shavens said...

Um well I live about 5 minutes from devin and we have talked and laughed about what you are saying online so I think I can speak for him