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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rachael White Profile; Querrey Downs Gasquet to Reach Monte Carlo Quarterfinals

My weekly article for The Tennis Recruiting Network is this recruiting profile of Midwest section junior Rachael White. Until Mobile, I had not seen her play, but after she won the K-Swiss and a National Open back-to-back I made a point to watch her there, and was impressed with her ball-striking. I imagine come July 1, she'll be getting lots of phone calls from college coaches.

The big news in tennis today, in the U.S. anyway, was Sam Querrey's win over No. 7 seed Richard Gasquet on the red clay in Monte Carlo. For the first time since last year's U.S. Open, I had a chance to chat with Sam while I was in Carson, where he was training on the clay courts there with his coach Grant Doyle and Michael McClune. During a lunch break, he came down to watch fellow Thousand Oaks resident and sometimes hitting partner Denis Lin in his third round match against ISC top seed Alexei Grigorov. He was excited about going to Europe again this year to play on clay, and with wins over Moya and Gasquet this week, he's certainly gaining confidence every day. Bonnie Ford spoke with both Querrey and Doyle about his recent unexpected success and filed this story today at espn.com.

One tournament that Querrey surprisingly didn't win was the Men's Open at Ojai; this year's tournament began today. Visiting that tournament, now in its 108th(!) year, is high on my personal "bucket list"; everyone in Southern California tennis speaks glowingly of it. Querrey competed in the Men's Open division in both 2005 and 2006, losing to Cecil Mamiit in the quarters when Mamiit was the top seed, and to Zbynek Mlynarik in the finals, when Querrey was the top seed.

Ryan Thacher, who has been playing high school tennis, but few junior events this year, is in the Men's Open draw, which can be found here. Ojai also serves as the Pac-10 singles and doubles championships, and has a small college and a high school component as well. For the tournament's website, go to ojaitourney.org.


40-Love10is said...

Ojai has always been a fantastic tournament. However the past few years, Ojai has been competing for the top juniors because it runs the same weekend as Mutherspaw in Vegas. Ojai is not a national level tournament but Muthespaw is so the top juniors opt to head to vegas. Someone told us that Ojai was a national tournament at one time, what happened? It is too bad that such a great tradition and tournament has been diluted by by competition!!

Bystander said...

I don't think thhere's any dilution. The Muterspaw is yet another level 3 national where you can spend $ to pick up some points to game the system but doesn't attract the top juniors.

t3nnis said...

I agree with bystander. I've heard great things about Ojai, it seems to be a favorite to those living in SoCal. And the top junior players as you can see (Thacher, Sundling, Johnson, etc) chose to play Ojai. Muterspaw would only become a problem if the top juniors were desperate for USTA points. But considering that Muterspaw is only a G3, as well as the top juniors don't need the points, the two tournaments do not conflict.

Man in the Moon said...

Way to go Sam,
huge win in bigtime arena, go figure on clay no less.

40-love10is said...

Well bystander and t3nnis...I stand corrected, I read a few articles during last year's Ojai that this was the situation. I am thrilled to see that the juniors are opting to play Ojai tournament this year.

Austin said...

Sambo sure laid an egg once he got behind today. I dont like seeing that.

40-love 10is said...

Hey Colette,

The new junior national rankings just came out and it looks like they gave out Level 5 national points for for all age divisions for the Ojai. Do you have any idea how that happened?

Just wondering?