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Monday, November 12, 2007

Jung Wins Big Ten Singles; Krajinovic and Burdette Take Evert ITF; Challenger Circuit Moves to Champaign


Michigan freshman Jason Jung won the Big Ten Singles title today in Ann Arbor, and although the field didn't feature many of the conference's top echelon of players, he did have an impressive win over fellow Wolverine and defending Big Ten singles winner Matko Maravic. The final day story is available here at mgoblue.com.

The recently completed Grade 4 ITF at the Evert Academy featured a very familiar name as the boys champion. With his win over Evan King, Filip Krajinovic of Serbia has now won three straight ITFs in the U.S., 19 consecutive matches, and his only loss of the fall was to Jordan Cox in the final at Illinois back in September. I saw him play in last year's Junior Orange Bowl, where he lost to Bernard Tomic, but I can't say he made a big impression. I'll definitely be watching at the Eddie Herr, where he is entered in the 16s, not the 18s as are most of the other 15 and 16 year olds. The girls' title went to Mallory Burdette, who appears to be fully recovered from an injury that kept off the junior circuit most of the year. Burdette beat Alexandra Cercone of Florida in the final. The boys doubles winners were Frank Carleton and Mousheg Hovhannisyan; the girls doubles champions were Brooke Bolender and Lauren Herring. The next stop for the ITF circuit is Bradenton for the Grade 1 Eddie Herr to be followed by the Orange Bowl. For the complete Evert draws, click here.

The coverage of the Nashville Challenger and qualifier Jesse Levine's 7-6 in the third finals victory over Alex Kuznetsov is nonexistent as far as I can tell, but it boosted his ATP ranking to a career high of 242. He received a special exemption into this week's Challenger in Champaign, and drew Sam Warburg as his first round opponent. The website for following the tournament is here, and features live scoring (although the titles of the matches aren't correct; see the results tab for correct round information).

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow levine went from qualies to winning the whole thing...good effort!!! happy for him..looks like he will be going to australia now for qualies he he decides to go! i take it he makes your honor role colette?? hehe congrats to levine!

Anonymous said...

Does any one know how good is this guy Krajinovic? He has beaten everyone, including Boyajian. Has anyone seen him play?

Anonymous said...

It seems Levine has finally re-grouped from his year at college. Thankfully, he is not going back so he now has a chance to make it on the tour. He wasted a critical year and did set himself back slightly but seems to be recovering. Good luck Jesse.

Randy said...

I can tell you that none other than Brad Gilbert wrote him up several weeks ago on his website.

He and his son were visiting/training at Bolettieri's and he saw Krajinovic while there.

He basically said that Krajinovic was an exceptional player who had a very decent future.

Colette Lewis said...

Gilbert actually gets more credit than that. A look at his website shows that it was back in July, 7/31/07 in fact, that he mentioned Krajinovic in his blog, long before this current ITF run by the Serbian. Click here and scroll down.

Anonymous said...

This krajinovic kid has beaten everyone. All the players that where considered very good in the states where beat by this guy. He has shown how good is the junior tennis in europe compare to the states.

Anonymous said...

The problem is USTA high performance. Again, as blog after blog has pointed out it's a big country and the USTA hand picks a few players in each age group and leaves everyone else to fend financially for themselves. The USTA never has had a big picture approach and that's why so why so many of our talented players fall through the cracks because they don’t have the funding to develop their games despite all the sacrifices families. Their new Academy is a continuation of much the same approach. Unless a player has had major results like a Rhyne Williams or Ryan Harrison it’s shortsighted to invest 95% of your resources in a few at the exclusion of everyone else with similar , better or almost as good results at the same age. I just don’t get it w/ all the $$$ the USTA makes at the Open why their isn't more $$$ to spread around. I think one problem its run like you typical non-profit rather than a business. My suggestion is to get some outside input on why what they are dong is not working.

Anonymous said...

and he is a 92. He just beat formentara, boyajan and king.

5.0 Player said...

For anyone interested, Krajinovic is VERY tall which is to be expected because he's a serb. He's built like a beanpole. Similar to Colette's observations at the Orange Bowl last year, his actual game didn't jump out at me, but he did give Tomic a fit in the first set making him win it out in a tie-breaker so this certainly showed something. I think that was at least the quarterfinals so he got pretty far.

I now think we have to put Krajinovic up there with Bernard Tomic, Carlos Boluda, Ryan Harrison and Giacomo Micini (Italy) as the top 4 players in the World for that age born around 1992. I realize that Boluda is technically a 93 but he has a January birthday and he is so clearly the top 93 in the world so the only remaining question is whether he is also the top 92 in the world.

Obviously, all 4 of these guys could be top pros and all should be at least top 200 in the ATP some day. IMHO, Micini might have the least likely chance because he's been full grown since he was 12 years old and so he probably won't get any additional natural improvement from growing and maturing.

Anonymous said...

krajinovic is playing great at the moment.. has had only 1 loss in the states so far against cox.. ne one see the match

Anonymous said...

Anon, Your letter is very confusing and hard to understand what you meant."Unless a player has had major results like a Rhyne Williams or Ryan Harrison its shortsighted to invest 95% of your resources in a few at the exclusion of everyone else with similar better or almost as good of results at the same age". Is this implying that they have taken better care of these 2 individuals but there are other kids with similar or better results that haven't gotten help. Very confusing wording.

anonymous gutless poster said...

I disagree with the comment made in an earlier post that the USTA only selects players with major results, for the financial help, with access to training and competition that goes with it. There is a female player who they have been training since 9-10 I believe, without the resume of others that have perhaps had better results. She is now living at the Boca facility, and has traveling coach to most events she plays. Nothing wrong with this, except, the comment you make that I agree with 110%. " why isnt more $$$ spead around "? Their panel of experts make a few determinations. This process should be expanded throughout the country. They should seek out more talent (even they will admit that there is more potential out there than just those selected to live at Evert). These other players should not be left to fend for themselves. If you are not rich, or, do not have parents who are tennis instructors, the other two options are this: 1) be innovative, and driven like a Richard Williams, or Mike Agassi..or 2) perhaps find a sponser to help with costs.
I think there should be a third option. Have the USTA help with the coaching and travel expenses on a local level. If "Johnny" in Oregon, who is 9-10 years old has great potential, but the parents can only afford two lessons per week from a coach who is very qualified, why not help with this? Are the USTA coaches the only ones qualified to develop talent?

Anonymous said...

Where Krajinovic trains?

John said...

Congrats to Jason Jung! Quite an accomplishment for a freshman. I'm very excited to see how this season will turn out for Michigan, I think they are definitely in big ten title contention. Colette are you planning on attending any of the dual matches at ann arbor?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone describe Krajinovic's game style?

Colette Lewis said...

I have the Feb. 3 Michigan vs. Virginia men's dual circled on my calendar.

Anonymous said...

The Reason Krajinovic is doing so well is because he obviously has talent but many american players do to. He is from serbia making his first trip over to the USA (this year) and trying to prove everybody that he is a great player. Playing and having great results is the number one thing for these foriegn players because it is a way out for them from the rough lifestyle they would live otherwise. These kids are willing to do anything to get better and kids in the USA are just lazier because they havent had to experience or see the other lifestyle many out of the country players live!

Anonymous said...

Anyone knows where Krajinovic trains?

Colette Lewis said...

I believe he is still at IMG/Bollettieri's.

Anonymous said...

The USTA should had made a partnership with the Bollitieri academy. The USA talents could benefit by practicing with great players like Krajinovic, Miccini and others that train there.

Anonymous said...

Don't think it's a question of teaming up w/ IMG for match play because our kids can play those international kids at tournaments. It's but more a question of how can the USTA do a better job of identifying potential talent and then helping with player development with a wider range of players at a younger age, from 10 to 16 for boys and maybe 8 to 14 for girls, until it becomes clearer who has more of a game to develop into the pros. The USTA rarely adds to its player mix are stick with them. Look at some of their junior pros (not Donald Young) they are still supporting heavily who are not exactly setting the pro tour on fire. If their high performance coaches were more involved with the sections they could hear about more players who have potential and try to support/include them. The problem is the US is a very large country with a lot of very potentially talented younger players who continually fall though the cracks because of a lack of financial support/interest from the USTA and don’t get any match play to take their games to the next level. I don’t see any move to change that approach. Baseball, basketball and football sends scouts all over the place trying to identify talented high school players. You may have a small no-name high school with a great young pitcher with 20 scouts watching that kid play. The USTA always had as too narrow vision/approach and identifying talent and have not changed despite thier lack of success over the past decade.The kids they pick get far too comfortable becasue there is no fear of having someone biting at their heals for their spot.

Anonymous said...

IMG/Bollitieri have a proven method of developing junior players into professional players. They had done it in the past and continue to do it. The USTA is still learning how to do this. They are doing a trial an error method and trying to compete against federations that have been doing this for more than 15 years. For example, the spanish federation method has been working for mor than 10 years. They pick a young player and assign them a coach and that coach brings him to the pro level. The USTA is still learning the how to do it. In USA the proven method and the experience in developing pros is in IMG/Bollitieris. If the USTA could learn from them a put their kids in the mix with the IMG kids they could develop players in much less time. The USTA is like 10 years behind and there is no time to begin a trial an error process. Maybe the big difference between IMG and the USTA is in the attitude of their players. The majority of the IMG elite kids are pro oreinted while the USTA kids are college oriented. If they USTA could mix their player with the IMG kids a reorientation of their future goals could occurred. The USTA have the biggest machinery of pro level development and they are not using it. Why IMG constantly develop player in the USA and the USTA cannot?

The Dude said...

IMO, IMG/Bolleterri is overated. Yes, they have developed girls but the girls game is one dimensional baseline play. Which ATP pro did they develop besides Agassi and maybe Hass is all these years? They didn't develop Marcus Fugate who is very athletic but has a weak forehand and is a baseliner. As great a player as Agassi was, he also had a one-dimensional WTA type game. It was acute hand eye prowess and his hard work that catapulted him to the #2 spot not so much Bolletti's dvelopment. If he was developed properly with an all court game and a bigger serve, he might have been #1 rather than second fiddle to all court Sampras.

Anonymous said...

What is missing here is the hard reality that the % of top juniors who break into the top 100 pros is miniscule. Yes the USTA does a miserable job of identifying/supporting talent outside of its small elite group. We all know once they identify a few top players in each age group they close the door. This becomes self-fullfilling in that they reduce the odds that one top US junior will actually pop through. This has nothing to do with IMG. I could care less who they pick for their academy in Boca because if the odds play out maybe one of those kids will actually really make it on the tour. Also, their high performance coaching staff is so incredibly arrogant, pompous at tournaments and I have never seen their USTA high performance coaches watch or look for other players at the big tournaments. Again, the problem with US tennis is the USTA. If they were a pulically traded company the board would fire management becuase thier stock has done nothing in years. Sadly though, the acadmey is a continuation of the past, allocate most of the development $$$$/resources into a few players.

Anonymous said...

Jesse Levine just beat Isner and Young and won his second challenger in a road. He is form IMG. Kei Nishikori is just 18 as in 159 in the ATP race and he is IMG. Krajicek is 17 and made the semis of a future and he is IMG. Gastao Elias is 17 and just whon a future and he is IMG. If they are overated, how can they can manage so many prospects and make them have results at the pro level?

Anonymous said...

No one thinks IMG is overrated at all. It's the best in the US, and perhaps the world. But as for US juniors there has to be a system to identify a wider group w/ potential and to give as many talented US juniors s the opportunity to take their game to the pro level. The US needs to increase the odds. That's it. Not rocket science.

Thw Dude said...

A good private coach is always better than IMG/B factory. If you want to go to a baseline factory and feel good that you are attending the famous IMG/B then fine. The best thing about that place is the competition. The worse thing about that place is the coaching and the number of people on the court. To anon, because alot of the highly ranked juniors attend there does NOT mean that they can produce pros in the ATP. I ask again, who besides have they developed in the last 50 years to be top 20 ATP? WHO?

Anonymous said...

The usta needs to give the kids money to travel with there own personal coaches instead of assigning a coach.. Thats where the biggest problem is the usta tries to groom every player the same when in fact every player is different. They always try teaching everyone the same game style same game plan.. thats not gonna cut it for every juniior player and the ones it works for great.