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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Catching Up on Junior News

The past two weeks have, as always, been dominated by college tennis, but there have been some notable junior stories, too.

The University of Georgia's prize recruit, Chelsey Gullickson, won the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Raleigh, NC defeating No. 7 seed Audra Cohen, No. 3 seed Maria-Fernanda Alves and, in the final, No. 4 seed Lauren Albanese. Gullickson is now 407 in the WTA computer rankings.

Fifteen-year-old USTA Spring National champion Kristie Ahn (she turns 16 next month), won the first professional event she entered, the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ahn defeated Rebecca Marino, Georgia Tech's prize recruit, who has decided to take a year off before joining the Yellow Jackets, in a three-set final. En route, Ahn beat two seeded players with WTA rankings in the 370s, losing only four games. This story from the Intelligencer Journal, reports on that final and does explain that both players retain their amateur status.

Melanie Oudin, who is playing the French Open Juniors, and will likely be the No. 1 seed there, is the subject of this ESPN The Magazine feature NEXT.

And the Sun-Sentinel's Charlie Bricker, who is covering the French Open, recently filed this look at young black junior hopes in the U.S. I appreciate that he called me to ask if he may have overlooked anyone, although all of the players we discussed did not make his story. I'm puzzled, however, as to where he got Asia Muhammad's ITF junior ranking. It is actually in the 500s, lower than her WTA ranking, which is 374.


Austin said...

Correct me if Im wrong, but I believe there were 4 men and 2 women who are black competing in the French Open. Gael Monfils is the only non-American in that group.

Lets hear it for the Atlanta area. 4 of the 10 American men in the field call it home.

Bricker is right, Vickery is extremely athletic. She could excel in almost any sport. The first I saw her play when she was 10 or 11 my first thought was that she will be top20 in the world someday.

phyllis said...

its funny how charlie can write about black american tennis players. i wonder what kind of would be racist uproar it would cause if we read an article on white american tennis players. why not write about up and coming americans period and not black or white. i guess that would be too easy.

charles said...

First Bollietteri seemed enamored with foreign players over the last 15 years. Now, like the USTA, he has seemed to include Blacks in his "potential" mindset as well. I honestly feel, like the foreign players, he feels many of them are "hungrier", and of course this goes along with the USTA thinking of the athleticism factor. Is there anything wrong with this scenario? Absolutely not. As long as other promising kids are not being left behind in this "support".

Bystander said...

The problem is, many are left behind when the USTA makes it's picks in the meaningless 12s and 14s. BTW, what happened to Shaun Bernstein.

t3nnis said...


shaun got injured for a while, i believe a wrist injury. and then he switched to a one-hand backhand, and hasn't done well since the 14s, but i do believe he's trying to make a come back.