Thursday, August 14, 2008

Collegians Abound in US Open Men's Wild Card Selections

I just got the press release from the USTA on the US Open Men's wild cards, and although I'm once again disappointed in their snub of an NCAA champion (I never expected a main draw for Somdev Devvarman, but I thought a qualifying wild card would be appropriate given his results this summer), overall there is much more to be grateful for among college tennis supporters than there was when the women's wild cards were revealed.

Jesse Levine, Sam Warburg, Amer Delic and of course, Austin Krajicek, all have collegiate ties and accomplishments. The other two Americans chosen, Scoville Jenkins and Brendan Evans, have been professionals for several years, but have had good results this summer.

Jean-Yves Aubone, Alex Clayton, Bryan Koniecko and Travis Helgeson, all current or recently graduated college players, received qualifying wild cards, as did juniors Chase Buchanan, Ryan Harrison and Ricardas Berankis. Tim Symczek and Michael McClune round out the list. Kalamazoo finalist Ryan Thacher, who hadn't decided as of last Sunday whether he would accept the qualifying wild card or not, obviously declined it.

For the complete press release from the USTA, click here. The one Levine loss in college referred to in the release was not to John Isner, but to Alex Slovic.


Anonymous said...

Really a shame about Somdev. How many people in the top 100 or so does he have to beat to prove his ranking is currently not reflective of his talent level. Not sure if there's been a foreign college guy who has been so successful & at the same time so well liked/respected by his peers & other coaches

Anonymous said...

All I have to say are two things:

1. I can't believe the USTA won't give Somdev a wildcard just because he's from India. This kid has got serious talent, and is backed up by some remarkable results, and yet, not even a qualifying wildcard. I think one day he's gonna qualify himself, and win the Open. That'll truly be something towards the USTA.

2. Why won't Ryan Thacher play the men's qualies? He's such a good player with so much talent. Last year, apparently he went on a family vacation. But he's not even playing juniors this year, so why not just end your junior career with a bang and play the US Open? I really would of like to seen him play there.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the fuss about Somdev. Does anyone believe if a big pro tournament were held in India and an American went to school over there that they would reward him with a wildcard. No No No! Why? Because he is American. If Somdev wanted the U.S. to take care of him then he should register as an American at tournaments. As it is he plays Davis Cup for what country? Yes India! We already allowed him to come to school over here and train within our system and how do we get repaid. PLAY FOR INDIA. Wake up people he is not AMERICAN. No he should not have been considered. WAKE UP PEOPLE. Common sense will get you through life. Just use it.

Anonymous said...

will more pics be posted on ustaboys?

Anonymous said...

Ricardas Berankis isn't American either. Yet he got a qualie wild card and his pro circuit results don't even come close to Devarman's.

Anonymous said...

The junior wild cards are now listed on the end of the acceptance lists on the USTA high performance site. Seal, Kandath, Britton and Noble all get passed over. Bangoura, a 1991 by the way, is in, and in spite of his ATP points there is no way he is a stronger player than Kandath or Noble.Once again at least one totally unfair selection: Sean Berman. Why because he took Boyajian to 3 sets? And Christian Harrison in the main draw is a waste.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

The Open main draw wildcards are all reasonable. The qualy wildcards? Why did they only choose college players still in college. Didn't Clayton and Konieko already get wild cards into past U.S. Open Qulaies? Do some of the "chosen" qualy players have family that work within the USTA system? I have been told so. Is Clayton's dad a lawyer for the USTA? Does Aubone have a parent that works within the USTA? Clayton has next to zero results this year and is still in college.! Aubone had a good couple of weeks but is there an inside track to the USTA?

I'll leave you with this quiz. Who is 11-3 against the entire field of qualy wildcard reciepients within the past year and is not in the field?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all the hypocrites. Let's just give Somdev a WC to make life even easier for him on his way into the top 100.

Everyone is always bashing the USTA about the lack of top 100, top 50, and top 10 American players that we don't have and you people want to give Somdev a WC? He's a great kid and all but c'mon, HE'S FROM INDIA PEOPLE. The US gave him a free education and he got to train here and play all of our best college players on Virgina's dime and at the same time he got to prepare for the tour. Why do we own him anything else?

Think back to when Goran got a WC and won Wimbledon beating Henman in the semi-finals. Do you think the Lawn Tennis Association regrets that Wimbledon gave him a WC? It's not like in the US where the USTA owns the US Open, The LTA doesn't own Wimbledon so I bet somebody regretted it at the time.

And if the USTA would have given Somdev a Qualifying WC, I GUARANTEE the haters would have been out in full force criticizing the USTA for taking a spot away from an American.

The USTA can never win and somebody is always going to be disappointed no matter what the USTA does. I'm tired of all the cry babies bashing the USTA! Get better on your own people, stop looking for a scapegoat!

Anonymous said...

I think it's a poor decision that Sean Berman was chosen over Kandath. It's tough to make everyone happy but this seems very odd.

Anonymous said...

analyst, first of all, berankis won us open juniors lastyear which is an AUTO wc, 2nd, CHRISTIAN HARRISON IS THE HARDEST WORKING KID THE GAME KNOWS, he also has proven that he is capable of steping up toplay high levels, anyone remember the orange bowl? yeah he beat the guy that made quarers of french dubs and is now about 100 itf, THINK BEFORE YOU POST COMMENTS, THIS SITE BECOMES RETARDED WHENEVER IGNORANT PEOPLE SAY IGNORANT THINGS.

Anonymous said...

Now that's just plain wrong! Kandath gets overlooked and they give it to Sean Berman, huh? That's like last year Egger getting the wild card over many others who would trash him. The USTA really has this penchant for hoisting youngster up before their time. Throwing them to the wolves, looking for the next Pete Sampras. IMO, they don't know how to manage the process. Nothing will ever change. Patrick Mac is an insider ensconsed in the mutually admiration society. The USTA answers to no one. There is no accountability. They pay themselves handsomely, they don't invite outsiders into their club. What do they do with the $100 million they take in every year at the US Open? Raising tournament fees every year making the sport more and more exclusive? Giving their own chosen few the wild cards to all the important events and never having success at the process. Things need to be shaken and stirred or this sport will go to the dogs. Kandath has continually beaten Bangoura, Ore, Kudla and many others. Are you sure he is working with Roditi? And he couldn't help him get the wild card? Maybe they short circuited Kandath because he has two hand on both sides. USTA High Performance has only one purpose and hat is finding the next Pete Sampras....and I guarantee you that he will not come out of the system, for sure.

Anonymous said...

What people don't seem to understand or realise about the Devvarman situation is that, for every player like him, or a John Isner/Kevin Anderson, who excel in college and then on the pro tour, you have a ready-made advertisement for the inherent value in going to college before hitting the pro tour. If the USTA had even the slightest bit of intelligence they'd realise that Devvarman is, along with John Isner, potentially the best advertisement college tennis has had since the days of Smith and Lutz. He and Isner showed that you can go to college, stay long enough to get your degree but still achieve almost immediate success when you hit the pro tour.

If that's not the image the USTA wants to promote then there's no hope for them.

Devvarman deserves a main-draw wildcard because, while he might not be American, he's shown more clearly than anyone that the American college way can still be the right way. Reward him for the example he sets but don't punish him just because his passport isn't stamped 'made in the USA'.

Anonymous said...


Somdev ALREADY promotes college tennis, and will continue to promote it with his results, without the USTA doing one thing for him so why pay for something when you get it for free, especially something as big as a WC into the Open. A WC into a Challenger or Tour event is something different and I could except that but they didn't do that either so I'm not going to blame them for doing nothing.

Listen, he's not being punished. Did he deserve a WC based on his result? Absolutely, but the backlash would have been much greater for the USTA if they would have given him a WC then if the didn't so what they did was a no brainer, and the right move. There will always be critics to which ever side the USTA takes in a decision so it's a no win situation for them.

When American professionals travel around the world to play pro tennis, we never get the help from other countries at the tournaments like we give foreign players here in the U.S. and unless you've experienced it firsthand then you don't understand that this was the right decision!

Again, it's not a punishment, it's the cold hard facts of life in professional tennis and the USTA is here to help American tennis.

Anonymous said...

raymond saymeirton gets a wild card i mean there are several other good players ahead of him

Anonymous said...

I dont have a problem with Devvarman not being given a wildcard. Hes not American and none of us would know who he is had he not played collegiately. However, I do wish he were given a wildcard into the qualies.

I cant really complain about any of the main draw wildcards given. I was going to complain about Scoville getting yet another wildcard, but only Kevin Kim and Rajeev Ram are ranked ahead of him that needed one. Im actually a tad surprised Warburg got one. I didnt think Helgeson would get one, but I wish he would have.

Overall they did a good job with the mens wildcards. Asia Muhammad should not have been giving one. She lost in the main draw then got her butt kicked in the backdraw. How can you possibly justify giving such a coveted wildcard to someone with that as a recent result?

Anonymous said...


You've missed the point.

You said that Devvarman is not being punished due to his nationality. Of course he is. If he wasn't, he'd have received a wildcard. You also said that "the USTA is here to help American tennis". Of course it is. However, as I pointed out, part of helping American tennis is to extol the virtues of collegiate tennis (for those players who are wavering between turning pro or going to school). Providing Devvarman with a wildcard does that perfectly. It would be a PR dream and one the USTA should have made good use of.

If a decision like that brought some harsh criticism ('haters' is a childish term) then so be it. The USTA is, one would hope, a strong enough organisation to make an unpopular decision and cope with the inane chatter from the peanut galleries.

Finally, you said that "unless you've experienced it first hand then you don't understand that this was the right decision". How do you know I haven't experienced it first hand but still think this is the wrong decision?

Anonymous said...

Andrew D. and other people who believe Devarman should get a wildcard, WAKE UP!!! He plays Davis Cup for INDIA.. If he wanted help from the U.S.T.A. then he should play as an American. He doen't do that because India stinks and he can already play for them. How in the world you people think he ought to have his cake and eat it too is beyond common sense and comprehension. AMERICA give me a free education and allow me to build my game with your competition and coaches but then I'm going to play for my native country when it matters. Then please give me a wildcard to your countries main event so I can return to my homeland and play for them some more.(but i'll tell them you all are great guys) GREAT LOGIC PEOPLE. HELLO McFly. Oh by the way it'll look good for your college game if you help me out some more. I now know why this country is about to elect OBAMA.

Anonymous said...

to tired of igonarance,

I agree w/ you that Christian Harrison is very talanted for a 14 year old but to say he is the most hard working is only your opinoin unless you take a survey to back that up. And a WC to jur open main, not ready and a waste. Look at his ITF results this year for grades 4 and 5, the weakest possible. He played 6 and not only was unable to win one, he lost in the first rd of two made the rd of 32 and 16 at another two. So what if he had a good win at the 16s organge bowl, not the same as provimgn he ready for a GA 18 and under. Until he shows he is copmetitive at the 18 level for grades 2 and 1 it is a waste. I am not saying the kid is not talented but it should have been the qualies.

Anonymous said...

to usta parent-
clearly you have never seen him work or practice. let me explain something to you. hard work results in good things, why waste a wc on someone right now whose 18 and may have a better chance at winning a match or 2 but in 10 years NO ONE will know. i think everyone agrees that the goal is to develop professional players, now WHY give the wc to someone who will win one round maximum here and the amount to ZERO. wc's should go to the most desrving players. desreving= hardest working/most talented. Im going to take a TOTALLY random guess that your a parent of a kid who didnt get the wc. and as far as brining up results, yeah hes had some shaky results in a coupel tournaments, but he also made finals of 1 u forgot to mention. and the reason i bring up the orange bowl is because that match proves he has the POTENTIAL to do damage in the open....