Although there are lower level ITF events going on in Illinois this week and Atlanta next week, the next big event points-wise in the U.S. is the Pan-American B1 in Tulsa. Coming right on the heels of the ITA D'Novo All-American college tournament, it's convenient for me to get two tournaments for the price of one plane ticket, and the Case Tennis Center is a great facility. Entries close Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern, and last year players without ITF rankings did get in. There was a small qualifying field for boys and no qualifying for girls.
Jacqueline Cako lost in the Kentucky Grade 1 final last week, in three sets to Victoria Kamenskaya of Russia, but her great form over the week extended to a wild card tournament for the $50,000 Pro Circuit event in Ashland, Ky. Cako won three matches to earn a main draw wild card for next week's event, according to this article in the Ashland Daily Independent. Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com will be livestreaming from that event again this year. Thomas is currently covering a Pro Circuit Futures tournament in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Stephanie Myles, who writes about tennis for the Montreal Gazette was in New York covering the Open, without, alas, many of Canada's best juniors to write about. Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic didn't enter, and Rebecca Marino, who is the third player in her article entitled "Canadian Teens Take Aim at the Pros," lost in the first round, to eventual finalist Gabriela Paz. Gabriela Dabrowski, the only other Canadian in the draw, qualified but fell in the first round. Marino still has the option of attending college, presumably Georgia Tech, where she committed last fall prior to deciding to take a year off, but Raonic has signed with BEST (formerly SFX), so he will not be playing tennis for the University of Virginia. According to Myles, Pospisil was not considering college seriously. Is Tennis Canada actively discouraging their promising players from taking the college development route? If so, they are doing a disservice to the players and to the long-term success of their own federation.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008