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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Davis Cup High Performance Camp; Will Tennis Canada Pursue Levine?


The USTA's High Performance coaches Roger Smith and David Roditi will be conducting a camp in conjunction with the Davis Cup final next month in Portland, and I've received the names of the boys who will be attending. They are: Sean Berman, Carlos Bermudez, Mika DeCoster, Jeremy Efferding, Emmett Egger, Marcos Giron, Spencer Mitchell, Spencer Simon and Shane Vinsant. All except Bermudez are 1993 birth years. I covered a similar camp for 90s and 91s early last year in La Jolla, and it was a fascinating experience. That was a first round Davis Cup tie; I can't imagine how exciting it will be for those boys to be around the atmosphere of the first final held in the U.S. since 1992.

Tom Tebutt in the Toronto Globe and Mail has taken note of Jesse Levine's recent surge and posts this story about the possibility of the Canadian-born left-hander playing Davis Cup a bit farther north.

For a excellent report on Levine's win over Donald Young last night, see this post on usta.com.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why Bermudez is considered 93?

Anonymous said...

canada only wishes they could get levine now that he is having some big time success, i think levine will stick with the usta for sure because they have been behind him since he was 13! tennis canada had there chance and lost it! no way levine goes back and plays for canada!! USA!

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Christian Harrison going?

Anonymous said...

agree w. anonymous about WHY is C Bermudez being placed w/ 93s. Could understand if he was a borderline 92/93 with a December birthday but w/ a Sept birthday he is clearly a 92 in the same group w/ King, Kulda, Harrison etc. Again, the USTA makes no sense in its decisions.

Anonymous said...

Bermudez may be considered a 93 because he is ranked well below several 93s in the 16s national standings. He is close enough to a 93 birthday though, and it was difficult to get other 93s to agree to train at the Boca Center.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of 92 guys ranked way much better than Bermudez in the boys 16 ranking and they are not even considered good by the USTA. This does no make any sense.

Anonymous said...

Dont agree w/ anonymous. Sept is not close to a 93 birthday. That is essentially the same birthday as 92s. Junior Ore and Dennis Kulda. Seems not a valid reason to make an exception. Don't get why they didn't give it to another deserving 1993.

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous...maybe they tried to give the camp spot to someone else, but there are other things happening at that same time that might have led the USTA to go with Bermudez. Christian Harrison is entered in the qualifying at the 16s Orange Bowl, as are some of the higher ranked (in the 16 and under) 93s, and that tournament happens at the same time as the camp. They must have had a good reason, as these decisions are probably not made on a random basis.

Austin said...

Congrats to both Donald and Jessie, they are both stepping it up and playing great. I hope DY3 isnt discouraged by going 1-4 in Challenger finals this year, the more he makes it to the finals the more he will start winning.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that Levine is not gona play Davis Cup to Canada. The USTA has gave everything (money, support, widl-cards etc.) to him and he is thankful to them. Also he still needs the wild cards to play the higher level tournaments and the USTA is his only way to get them. Also, in the publicity and commercial aspect of pro tennis playing to the USA is the best way to get big sponsorship etc. He knows the importance of being considered American for his future pro career.

Anonymous said...

Carlos is also entered into the qualifying for Boys 16 organge bowl so what is your point. the decision seems pretty random to me especially as there equally deserving 93 and Bermudez is a realy 92, not a boderline one.

Anonymous said...

I think the USTA is not very fair. I am a late 92 and they never once considered me with the 93s. I dont think they are fair at all.

birdword said...

It should be noted that Jesse did not lose a set the entire tournament. It's a shame that after Knoxville he won't have any more opportunities to earn points before the Australian events.

By beating Isner in the semis and jumping 350 ranking spots in two months, is it an argument for or against playing college tennis? In other words, was Jesse's Freshman NCAA season integral to his success?

More likely, the success of Young and Levine -- as opposed to Isner -- is an argument for players with high enough levels of tennis precocity to skip, or almost skip, college tennis. Even a less touted player without college, like Wayne Odesnick, has done quite well before he reaches his 22nd birthday. In almost every other case, though, college seasoning appears to be crucial. Isner, along with Goldstein, is the paradigm of how four years of college tennis allowed physical (and mental) maturity to come without pressure for instant results.

In the case of slightly less precocious and dominant players like Scott Oudesma or Tim Smyczek (to name just two of many), it seems a year or two or three of college seasoning might have helped. Similarly, Alex Kuznetsov, who was defeated by Levine in the final at Nashville, seems to have reached a threshold where maturity and lack of variety in his game are holding him back. Perhaps a year of college tennis might have helped him like it did Levine. To see the two of them playing doubles at the US Open was to see a stark difference in maturity. Levine was the dominant doubles player in their three matches and constantly calmed Kuznetsov down when he was on the brink of going south because of frustration.

In the end, one year of college tennis (but not more) seems to have been an advantage to Jesse just as no college for Young and four years for Isner have worked out. The US challenger circuit is filled with ex-college players who will never see the other side of 100 (let alone 50), but for the rare phenom, like Young or Levine or Odesnik, college tennis will maximize rather than stall professional tennis success.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the kids should email Rodney Harmon, director of tennis at Harmon@usta.com and express their views as they dont care what parents think.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the USTA have an agreement with Australia where they get to choose one wildcard for the Australian Open? Who will the USTA choose? Would have been Young probably but now he will be directly in on his own.

Anonymous said...

Christian Harrison is also entered in the Eddie Herr which would conflict with the camp so maybe he was invited and chose to play these tournaments instead of doing the camp.

Randy said...

First - interesting how so many of you remain "anonymous". No guts?

There seems to be some controversy regarding the 92/93 selections. However, there's nothing in Colette's article that states the camp is supposed to be only 93s. In fact, she specifically mentioned a camp earlier in the year that covered 2 birth years. There's certainly nothing on the USTA Player Development website, either.