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.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008