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Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Good Day for Indian Tennis and Kalamazoo Champions

As Nadalfan mentioned in his or her comment today, Somdev Devvarman beat Sam Querrey yesterday at the Kennedy Funding Invitational, 7-5 in the third. TheJournal News filed this story about the two-time NCAA champion's win over the Top 50 Californian, and if the message boards are correct (the tournament website hasn't been updated as of 10 p.m. Saturday) Devvarman beat Dudi Sela today to win the title. This is a charity event that pays a very tidy sum ($40,000) to the winner of the 11-man tournament, although there are no ATP ranking points at stake. Devvarman wasn't seeded despite reaching the finals last year, where he lost Michael Russell.

In Newport, Rhode Island, former USC Trojan and 2002 USTA Boys 18s champion Prakash Amritraj reached the finals of the Campbell Hall of Fame Classic, where he will face defending champion Fabrice Santoro of France. He's making his first appearance in an ATP final, at the tournament his father Vijay won three times.

And Michael Chang, the 1987 USTA Boys 18 champion, was inducted into the Hall of Fame today. I recall several people telling me back then they doubted he had a chance as a professional because he was small and lacked weapons (similar to what I've heard people say about Devvarman), not realizing how much speed and tenacity matter. A few weeks after winning Kalamazoo, he went on to become the youngest man to win a main draw match at the U.S. Open, and the doubts about his future evaporated.


Austin said...

Chang and Devvarman are nothing alike outside of the fact that they are both fast. One was a top5 player and grand slam champion at the age of 17 with a very good forehand, the other is a 23yr old just starting out on tour. Their body types are not similar either. Scott Oudsema has a similar game to Andy Roddick, but we know where they each stand.

On a different note, this was brought up before. The title of this topic ruffles my feathers in reference to Amritraj, "A Good Day for Indian Tennis." He is part of Indian tennis by heritage only. Had he been a successful pro and been highly ranked he is still playing for U.S.A., he underachieved and went to play for India, lets be honest here. I know exactly who his father is, but this kid is from SoCal, grew up playing USTA, went to USC, then gladly accepted a wildcard from the USTA into the U.S. Open that only an American would have received. Lets say I am wrong and he knew all along he would play for India as a pro, then in that case he manipulated the system here. Its not just him, there are others as we have discussed before.

With that being said I hope he beats Santoro tomorrow and Isner/Fish take the title home as well.

Carol said...

Speaking of Michael Chang, I just read that he and Amber Liu, former Stanford player, are engaged (it was in the caption of a picture of the two of them, taken at his Hall of Fame induction). Do you know if that is correct?

Colette Lewis said...

I knew Chang was coaching her, but the engagement is news to me.

AndrewD said...


If you're going to accuse someone of manipulating the system you need to acknowledge that it is equally likely (more than) the USTA did everything in their power to lure Amritraj as a US rep in the hopes that, given his last name, he would turn out to be a world-beater.

Marcia Frost said...

Amber was by Mike's side at the Hall of Fame induction yesterday. I did not even think to look (or ask) about an engagement, but they did seem happily together.

John & Mardy are another happy duo (professional speaking) and seem to complement each other's games on the court. I'm not surprised they did so well in the tournament.

I had to leave Newport this morning to head to the Claycourts in FL so I'm missing the final. I will have a story and some pictures up within the next day on the tournament and the Bill Talbert Sportsmanship Award winners (less Alexa Glatch, who had told me the other day she wasn't coming -- more to come on that).


van said...

Captions on the pictures of Chang and Liu that I saw refer to them as being engaged.

And, I know I'm a new interloper here, but as far as Amritraj goes, I think Austin and Andrewd both have it right. But isn't that just the way it's become in sports? Look at women's basketball player Becky Harmon playing for Russia in the upcoming Olympics. We can't begrudge the athletes, or else there would be a LOT of begrudging going on!

Man in the Moon said...

Austin,and AndrewD,
finally, Austin I agree with your entire post- no if, ands, or buts.

I knew it would happen sooner or later!!!

AndrewD, yes you are correct that the USTA tried to get Amritraj--but Amritraj took a boat load of money and Wild Cards. The USTA paid a high price for his loyalty and got kicked in the pants for it.

Amritraj thought he could do better in India because he (after he exhausted his good will in the USA) and only after he exhausted his good will that he went to India where the compettion is not so vigorous.

Amritraj got exactly what he deserves - to represent India.

Good luck to him playing not as an American but as an Indian!!