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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Krajicek Falls to Calleri; Kendrick, Warburg Get First Round US Open Wins; Ahn Talks About College

U.S. National 18 champion Austin Krajicek lost to Agustin Calleri of Argentina 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in his opening round match today. Wild cards Amer Delic and Jesse Levine also were eliminated in first round play Wednesday, Delic losing in three sets to Robby Ginepri and Levine falling in four to Chris Guccione of Australia. Levine had some good news though today, as he and Scoville Jenkins were added as hitting partners for the U.S. Davis Cup team, joining Krajicek in helping the team prepare for the tie with Spain.

Qualifier Robert Kendrick picked up a win over Nicolas Mahut of France and wild card Sam Warburg advanced to the second round when Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic retired trailing 6-2, 1-0. Kendrick's second round opponent will be No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, but Kendrick won't be getting a fraction of the attention that will descend upon former Illinois player Ryler De Heart, who is scheduled for the Thursday night session at Ashe against Rafael Nadal.

There is a new acceptance list out for the US Open Juniors, with Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and Alexey Grigorov of Russia, both of whom would have been seeded, no longer on it. There haven't been any notable withdrawals in the girls event, but Alexa Guarachi of the U.S. has made the qualifying draw.

Despite what was implied by Tracy Austin and Bill Macatee yesterday in Kristie Ahn's loss to Dinara Safina, the 16-year-old from New Jersey is not embarking on her "pro career" and pocketing the first round prize money from the Open. Ahn had a lot to say about the subject of college in this story by McCarton Ackerman at TennisGrandStand, and there is an interesting contrast between her words and those of Asia Muhammad, who has turned pro.

Everybody I’ve talked to says that college is the best four years of your life,” said Ahn. “I’ve always played well in team events and it would be unbelievable to be around that atmosphere. Even if the level isn’t that high, I can always travel and play pro events during the summer.”

Another sentiment expressed by Ahn that I hadn't actually considered before is this one:
“I think rather than worrying about turning pro right away, you should appreciate being one of the top juniors in the country,” said Ahn. “It’s a tremendous honor to be able to have that distinction.

In England, 14-year-old Wimbledon champion Laura Robson has been a professional for several years, meaning that she has had management company representation, but she hasn't played pro events yet. As this story from the Daily Mail explains, Robson is keeping a low profile and not playing the U.S. Open juniors, but is expected to play in a few ITF women's circuit events this fall and the Orange Bowl in December.


Anonymous said...

American men went 10-9 1st Round; as long as Roddick holds on here against Santoro.





People who got into the main on their own went 7-3, qualifiers went 2-1 and wilcards were a predictable 1-5.

Anonymous said...

On this whole college vs pro thing for girls. I say don't be so black and white. Turn pro if IF it gets you more money than a college scholarship is worth...but don't ever forget that an education lasts a lifetime and don't ever get offtrack from making sure you can get into college on your academics if you eventually want to.

Anonymous said...

I think the Davis Cup team should spread the wealth. What about giving a slot to Reynolds, Kendrick, Odesnik, Warburg, Ram, Yani, DeHeart or Helgeson? Odesnik and Reynolds are probably the two best claycourters and would best help prepare the squad for Spain. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Another thought I had was, how many wildcards do Americans get in Challengers and ATP events compared to people of other countries. It has to be a huge number. There are lots of Futures in other countries to get wildcards for. I'm not so sure of Challengers, but ATP wildcards are not balanced. If you are not from the U.S., you have a tougher time getting your chances on the big stage.

I think things just come too easy for the entitlement generation in this country, in tennis and in general. Because, let's be honest, there is no secret to tennis. It's about making sacrifices and being accountable for yourself and your training as a player to develop. whether you are 17 or 25.

My national training center would not have cable/satellite tv, wireless internet, ipods, nor fancy dorms. It would be bare bones dorms, grinding it out in Palatka or someplace. I'll find out who wants it bad enough. haha.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what all the fuss is about. If you are good at it you make money from it, if not you might as well retire and leave it to the best of them all. Besides, there is always modeling or giving your name to promote something. A lot of athletes do that, even the really talented ones.

Anonymous said...

So the one. US win by a WC in qualifying was over a guy ranked in the upper 600s & the one win by a US main draw wildcard was by ret in the 2nd set. Congrats to Kendrick for earning his way. I bet he's one that's glad Somdev didn't get a WC since they seem to play in every event they both enter

Anonymous said...

My Personal feeling is Ahn should go to college along with Coco. Coco in my opinion was an embarrassement and a waste of a wild card. Ahn who is much better in the limelight but way to short,and not able to take advantage of her opponent when they are not playing well at all.
I wonder if tennis will now go the same route as golf with the speaking english. I hope so

vhog said...

Asia has gone pro, yet her name is still on tennisrecruiting.net. All the other girls who have gone pro are off that list. Plus, I think I read somewhere that she can still go to college and play tennis. How can that be? Is she accepting money?

Colette Lewis said...

I've informed Tennis Recruiting Network about Muhammad's change of status, which I did not learn about until last week. Often they will wait until they have confirmation from the player to remove them from the rankings.

If she has signed with an agent, she has no chance of playing college tennis. There are isolated instances of those playing as professionals being reinstated as amateurs for collegiate play, but they are rare.

Anonymous said...

Does she have the results to merit turning pro? The few results of hers that I know about makes me think she has no business doing so, but I may be wrong. However, based on the fact that she hasnt gone deep at a junior grand slam, was beaten twice at hardcourts and got blown away at the Open it makes me wonder if she bought into the hype that has been manufactored around her. Are my assumptions right or wrong?

scott said...

Ahn sounds like she's got a good head on her shoulders and is realistic about the future. I like her attitude.

Muhammad is doing what she feels is best for her, but I don't agree with her comments. Just cause someone goes to college doesn't mean it's a distraction, doesn't mean they aren't serious and certainly doesn't mean they aren't improving their games.

BTW, kudos to Clemson alum Julie Coin with the biggest win of her life over Ivanovic today on Ashe.