Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meanwhile in Melbourne, Bolton and Boca Raton...

Now that I've returned from the Florida Sectional and Plaza Cup, I've had time to catch up on what's going on in Australia and in England, where the Teen Tennis competition for 14-and-under players is underway.

It isn't surprising the news from the Australian juniors is centered on Bernard Tomic; he's reached the quarterfinals, taking on top seed Cesar Ramirez of Mexico Thursday (later this evening here in the U.S.). Here's The Times Neil Harman's British prospective on the phenomenon Tomic is becoming in his home country. Not that Harman hasn't had plenty to write about on his own country's juniors. Daniel Evans is also in the quarterfinals, but he was called on to stand up for British juniors when Marcus Willis was sent home from Australia for disciplinary reasons. The Daily Mail has the story here.

Ryan Harrison is the only American of the five that started in the tournament still remaining in singles and doubles. (It's interesting that three 15-year-olds made the boys quarterfinals: Tomic, Harrison and Yuki Bhambri of India.) Harrison, the No. 4 seed, plays unseeded Di Wu of China. The Shreveport Times, the paper of the Harrisons' former hometown, spoke with Pat Harrison about the decision to sign with IMG in this article.

Two U.S. girls have reached the quarterfinals in Bolton, site of the Teen Tennis tournament. Unseeded Kyle McPhillips rolled past the top seed in the third round, while Grace Min, the No. 4 seed, also advanced. Both U.S. girls doubles teams have also advanced to the quarterfinals. None of the U.S. boys reached the quarterfinals, but John Harrison Richmond and Reo Asami are still alive in doubles. For complete draws, visit the LTA's results page.

Marcia Frost is covering the Boca Raton Futures this week, with an emphasis on the college and junior competitors. With 17-year-old Vlad Ignatic's win last week in N. Miami Beach and Virginia's Somdev Devvarman's win the previous week in Tampa, those two categories are 2-0 for 2008.

16 comments:

tennis man said...

last years boys did so much better?
how was john richmond picked when he was 14 on tennisrecuriting.net

david said...

Harrison, Tomic, and Bhambri all advanced to the semis. 1992 is just a phenomenal year for junior tennis. And to think that Krajinovic and Miccini didn't even play. Krajinovic beat both Tomic and Harrison at the Eddie Herr. Miccini has beaten both Tomic and Bhambri. I don't remember the last time there were so many prodigious juniors in one year.

BTW, the fourth semifinalist, Tsung-Hua Yang, is only 16-years-old. When is the last time that no players from the oldest eligible birth year reached the semis of a Grand Slam?

florida said...

Hey David...Nothing to take away from the excitement of the 15 - 16 year olds advancing in the Australian but most of the top 91s and 90s, especially the older ones, opted to play futures instead of the Australian. Would have been a much different draw. Also silly to get hung up on the birth year..."1992 is a phenomenal year...." vs. actual birthday as Krajinovic has a January birthday so he's between a 92 and 91, as are several other top 1992 players.

better judgment said...

Is amazing that all of this 92 guys that David mentioned (Tomic, Harrison, Bhambri, Krajinovic and Miccini) have contract with IMG. I know that Krajinovic and Miccini train full time at IMG/Bolletieri and that Bhambri goes and comes. In my impression, in order to become pro is becoming a neccesity to have a contract with a big managment firm like IMG at a very young age. And IMG is dominating this field.

Pierrick said...

Well done to French player Tsonga (bravo !!) who literally creamed Nadal at the Australian Open, and Ryan Harrison who will be playing his quaterfinal in the junior draw. Bonne chance à vous !
Pierrick

Not A USTA Fan said...

Hey Tennis Man,

From what I understand, the USTA DID NOT look at the player's national ranking and based their selection decision solely on a one weekend playoff system, which in my opinion is extremely short sighted. If a top player had a bad weekend, then guess what - they weren't selected. If a borderline player had an outstanding weekend, then they made the team which appears to be what transpired. From the Teen Tennis results, you can reach your own conclusion if the best players were selected. My opinion is definitely not. The selection process should be based on sustained performance (i.e., National and ITF rankings), and not on a single playoff. Asami is the only player that can compete at this level and there is an open question pertaining to his US citizenship status. Livi is good for pushing the ball but can't compete at the international level. I'm not sure about Richmond. I don't think he had a great Orange Bowl, squeeking through some easy opponents. I know nothing about the other player from California.

Bad Selection said...

Tennis Man - I agree with you. Looking at the results from the Teen Tennis tournament, John Richmond lost first round in the main draw and consolation draws. Robert Livi didn't do much better by losing his first round main draw singles and doubles matches. Alexios Halebian and Reo Asami had good runs until they met top seeds in the tournament. Halebian lost a very close tie-break in the second set to the #1 seed before getting bageled in the third set. Asami had a close two-set match with the #3 seed before falling. Looking at the National rankings, does anyone know why Mitchell Krueger wasn't selected to play? Didn't he win the 12's Eddie Herr last year? Based on those results and a couple of wins he's had in ITF tournaments, it would appear he should have made the team. From what I understand, he's an agressive player that goes for his shots, which is what the USTA is supposedly looking for in developing players.

tennisman said...

mitchell krueger didn't do well at the usta weekend tournament which is why he wasn't picked.

tennis man said...

i thought richmond did not do that well either and kruger did better

florida said...

To Better Judgement...There are several young top americans who are not signed or signing w/ a management company whose results are equal to the players you mentioned...Rhyne Williams, Chase Buchanan, Jamere Jenkins, to name a few. The problem here is you go for broke and throw away any chance of a college scholarship, which anyone of these players may need to develop their game. Look at what happened to prodegy Brandon Evans who signed at 15. Donald young has improved but the jury is still out on how far he will go. As for the players mentioned, way too soon to know if any will crack the top elechoens of ATP. My feelings are very mixed on this. You are really rolling the dice with your kid's future, it's an all or nothing approach, which most Amerian players are not willing to take. The only advantage of siging with an agency is the $$$ to travel to tournaments, unless I am wrong please give me another advantage. That is where the USTA should step in as Harrison, the only young american you mentioned, has had the results to be fully sponsored by the USTA for all his tournaments going forward.

Tennisman said...

I didn't know that richmond had done better than krueger at the tournament. Could a player born in 93 not have competed in teen tennis?

Colette Lewis said...

If you turn 15 in 2008, you are not allowed to play in the European 14-and-under tournaments.

Tennisman said...

thanks colette
when will the draws for Tarbes come out?

Colette Lewis said...

The Les Petits As main draws will be out Sunday.
Qualifying play has begun. Note that Madison Keys is in the qualifying.
The website is here.

South Florida said...

I noticed Robert Livi was the only US player (boys and girls) not making it into the main draw for the Les Petit tournament. This is not surprising having watched him play in Florida tournaments. Does anybody know how he was selected to the US team when there appears to be other more qualified players, including those that have already accumulated ITF points?

Colette Lewis said...

Livi won his round robin group at the tournament held in Boca Raton last month. Please see my post here (scroll to bottom) for more about the playoff.