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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Top Seeds Rux and Nevolo Fall in Round of 32 at Clay Courts

©Colette Lewis 2007--
Delray Beach FL--

When I arrived at the Delray Beach Swim and Tennis Club early this afternoon, I had already missed unseeded Spencer Smith's upset of the 18s top seed Jordan Rux in two tiebreak sets. But No. 2 seed Dennis Nevolo and Joey Burkhardt, a No. 17 seed, were still in the first set, and it was a match that I had wanted to see. Knowing both players' games, I thought there would be an impressive display of shotmaking, but I hadn't accounted for the heat.

Only two of the 16 man draw singles matches on Wednesday ended in retirements, but in every match I saw, the strain of playing in temperatures that reached 105 on the heat index took its toll.

After Nevolo had won the first set 7-5, Burkhardt took a 4-1 lead, and Nevolo decided to let the second set go, barely waving at Burkhardt's serves in the final game. The ten-minute mandatory rest break was an opportunity for both players to get off the dusty courts and into the shade or an air-conditioned car, but neither returned to the court with much energy.

Burkhardt got an early break and Nevolo, who had played consecutive three-hour three-setters on Monday and Tuesday, couldn't summon his best tennis, but Burkhardt was struggling too. Time between points stretched, as towels were sought, balls were gathered, and then, short bursts of activity as a point was decided.

Down 5-1 in the third, Nevolo wasn't conceding anything, and he saved five match points serving at that score, most on winners, as he successfully ended points quickly to save energy. But in the final game, Burkhardt held on, and by winning 6-2 in the third, saved himself the torture of the two-a-days in the back draw.

Both players faced the prospect of doubles matches less than two hours later, and although Burkhardt survived that with a three-set win with partner Zach Nichols, Nevolo did not. Playing with Bradley Klahn as the top seeded team, Nevolo had to retire with illness down 3-0 in the second set, after they had won the first set 6-0. He had requested a trainer, but none was available, so he retired with Klahn serving up 40-15 in the fourth game.

The 16s are playing at another site, so I won't have an opportunity to see them until Friday, when the quarterfinals in both divisions will be played at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. There have been fewer upsets in the 16s; of the top eight seeds, only No. 6 David Holiner and No. 4 Matt Spindler have failed to reach the round of 16. The doubles are nearly the opposite--No. 2 seeds Ryan Noble and Bo Seal are the only top eight seeded team remaining in the quarterfinals.

For complete draws, see the TennisLink website.


david o said...

collete, this is the worst tournament i have ever played. rockville was a lot better. they dont water or sweep the courts here at all and its like playing on cow dung. it is run terribly and the conditions are terrible. i have heard of 10 people going to the hospital and it is a disgrace. the heat here is ridiculuous and its like playing in a steam room. clay courts suck and i hate it. i was overruled by a 90 year old community resident who wore short shorts and had no idea what was going on. i showed him the mark and all he could say was ooops.

Anonymous said...

The only time we saw a trainer was the first day of the tournament . You ask someone at the tournament a question , besides being grouchy , they don't know anything . We want this tournament back in
Rockville where it belongs !!

Anonymous said...

I don't know where precisely to post this, but did anyone else see the embarassing entry in this month's Tennis Magazine? On the editor's comment page called "Chrissie's Page" they talk about American junior hopes and the caption of one picture identifies the player as "Marcus Fugate."... One big problem.... It is actually a picture of Jarmere Jenkins, an entirely different African American junior player. This is particularly embarassing because not only does it imply that Chris Evert and the magazine are not aware of who the top U.S. "hopes" are, but also that they can't tell the two black players apart which has historical racial implications.

The other sad thing about this is that the two players look nothing alike and even have different body types with Fugate being about 6 ft. 3 and Jarmere probably about 5 ft. 10 in. tall. Also, Jarmere is about 15 or 16 years old and Fugate is about 19 years old.

The Dude said...

If they don't move this tournamnet back to Rockville, I will be skipping the Clays 18s. FL in July is ridiculous for the older age groups. It was bad enough for the 14s in Ft Lauderdale but when you're older, the heat and humidity is unbearable. Beside, there are no chair umpires for the matches and no trainers! Rockville had a chair ump for all matches, front and back draw. Why do they have to make so much money, hire some more people! In the 16s, one linesman defaulted a player for not calling the score before he served!!! He was later re-instated.

Anonymous said...

"i have heard of 10 people going to the hospital and it is a disgrace. the heat here is ridiculuous and its like playing in a steam room. clay courts suck and i hate it."

Now that sounds like a perfect description of what Rockville was like! Heat is heat in the summer -- in Maryland and in Florida. Everyone seems to be forgetting that the 14s have been played in FL for years so having "claycourts in Florida" is not something rare.

The tournament isn't going back to Rockville. Most people wanted it out of there, the clubs didn't want it, and the tournament director doesn't want to do it anymore. It's a little silly to keep asking for it to go back.

Man in the Moon said...

I also saw the article in Tennis Magazine (Chrissie's Page) and frankly thought the exact same thing. I noticed that it was Jarmere in about 1 second.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Florida is dominating this tournament!!!

Austin said...

The backdraw should be a superbreaker in lieu of a 3rd set.

Can someone please explain the seedings for the Boys 18's? They make VERY little sense.

Tyler Hochwalt didnt fare too well, bounced early in all draws.

Anonymous said...

The courts are so bad that at the 16's site (Broken Sound) we had to get court maintenance twice to add more clay because there were holes on our court where if you slid in them, you could fall over.

The Dude said...

Fomentera is a good example of why USTA High Performance shouldn't be wasting their time picking from the 12s and 14s. He just beat USTA boy, Jordan Cox, 6-1, 6-1. In tennis, you don't know what you get until the 16s.

Anonymous said...

Tyler Hockwalt went into a full body cramp in his first match and couldn't even move on the court. It was all he could do to win a couple matches in the back draw.

As a player, i prefer Rockville, they treat you great.

Anonymous said...

This Tournament is a complete waste of time and money . It doesn't feel like a Super National. It's like like playing in a park . The tournament desks know nothing . unfriendy . There's no sense of excitement in all the sites . Everybody just want to get out of there, as soon as they are done.

They just have to move this out of here, if they want players and families to go back, because so far , the report card says F .

stephenh said...

of course the florida kids are doing well, this is what they play in every day, when you live up north there is no way to prepare for this, it should be moved back to louisville, kentucky where it was about 7-8 years ago

The Dude said...

You know, I agree with Anon, this tournament has no flair for excitement. It really doesn't feel like a SuperNational. Rockville had alot of class, along with the Easter Bowl and The Zoo. If you made it to the final two days at Woodmont, Jeff laid out a great brunch spread with eggs benedict, fruit, waffles, etc., for players and their families that was unbelievable! Thanks for the memories, Jeff.

Anonymous said...

It really gets very monotonous reading blogs criticizing players after a loss, as if one loss decides whether you are worthy of playing tennis. It's not proof that you shouldn't have been seeded. It's not proof that you are a bad player. Even if you lose to someone who you clearly should have beaten on paper. I am sure that every player reading this can relate to the fact that there are days on the court when things just aren't right. But you come back the next day and do it again. Some might say that a real winner can get it together no matter what inorder to win a match. That's true. But it takes alot of time and alot of experience inorder to do that. It's OK to criticize the adults running the system, but please stop bad mouthing the kids who work so hard to become better players. That goes especially to all those players who spend so much time trashing other players.

Anonymous said...

I am so suprised by all the comments concerning the heat. Being a former Divistion 1 tennis coach for 15 years, I know from experience that players have to be able to adapt to many different weather and court conditions. In my 15 years of coaching, I can honestly say that I do not remember having any of my players complain about how hot it was, they were just happy to be playing tennis. I am sure many of the junior players posting on this blog have a bright college tennis career ahead of them. My question is, are you going to tell your coach one day that "Hey coach, I am going to sit this match out, it's too hot..or hey coach, can we move a match or tournament out of Florida because it is to hot outside" If some of you all are fortunate enough to make a living playing professional tennis, I am sure all of you will probably be skipping the Aussie open because of the hot weather down there!

Man in the Moon said...



Players in college play from September thru May (if they are in the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS) thru April if they are not. Florida is much, much hotter in July.

College Players play one singles match and an 8 game pro set in Doubles in one day. College players are age 18-25 and are much more physically fit and should be.

USTA National Juniors (age 14-18) play in the MIDDLE of JULY on CLAY (LONGER POINTS) and can play 2 SINGLES MATCHES AND 1 FULL DOUBLES MATCH IN A DAY.