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Saturday, September 20, 2008

News on Niu, Yurovsky; Brasseaux, Sardinha Win at Illinois ITF

Two of the top 14-year-old girls in the country, Ronit Yurovsky and Belinda Niu, were profiled in their local papers recently, in the context of high school tennis, of course.

Niu, from Portland, is apparently joining the USTA High Performance Training Center in Boca Raton, although this article says that she is going to the Evert Academy, which I think is just confusion on the part of the Portland Tribune reporter. Niu won the Oregon high school state championship 6-0, 6-0 as a freshman last spring, so it's understandable that she would leave that level of competition behind. The 16s clay court champion is ranked seventh in the USTA 16s rankings and also is seventh in the Tennis Recruiting Network's 2011 class.

Yurovsky, from the Pittsburgh area, is playing high school tennis in her freshman year this fall, according to this profile in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Yurovsky is currently ranked fifth in the USTA 14s rankings, and tenth in the class of 2012 by the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Saturday in Champaign, the ITF Grade 4 was concluded, with Garrett Brasseaux defeating Christian Harrison in three sets to win the boys title, and CC Sardinha downing Michaela Boev of Belgium, also in three sets. For complete results, visit the TennisLink site.


love-tennis said...

Hi Collette,

Actually unless things changed, she did switch over to the Chris Evert Academy as of the start of the school year. The way I understand it, her program is not tied into that special high performance one. You'd think it would soon though, wouldn't you?

She won 0 and 0 in the finals of State, but that was because she was not seeded (did not play enough high school tennis to get seeded), so she had to eliminate her most powerful competitor, Meghan Moore, in 3 sets in the 2nd round of State. It was a tough match. Why they did not seed her makes no sense, does it? From the newspaper accounts, Moore did not sound happy about it either. Moore is a very strong player but for some reason doesn't travel.

There are some really good players that come out of the Pacific Northwest, there is no doubt. There are fewer but they are good.

coach.. said...

niu does attend the evert tennis academy not the USTA center

tennis fan said...

No Nui, is at Everts. She began going there a couple of weeks ago. The girls at USTA have not changed. It's still Mchale, Van Nguyen and Herring in the dorms.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks for clarifying that. The coach referring to the USTA training center confused me. I know they are distinctly different entities.

high schol tennis..ehhh said...

no offense love tennis, but girls high school tennis is a joke anywhere, the only reason im guessing niu played it in the 1st place is because it was the only tournament in the pacific northwest that had a LITTLE bit of competition, niu is very good for her age in the usa, but even then she is #8 or #7 on tennis recruiting. shes probably the best girl from the pacific northwest and shes still #7 on girls her own age, shes still got a ways to go.

coach.. said...

no problem colette, i just wanted to clear it up for you,many people get confused with evert and usta, but yes she is training at evert

love-tennis said...

Well, let me clarify what I meant. I was just explaining that Niu did not just fly through the high school tournament, and did have to go 3 sets with one strong opponent.

No, I doubt she played high school tennis for the top notch competition. But there are a few good competitors.

In our state, there are quite strong, nationally ranked players starting at the regional level, and then into the state level. I agree totally that it is not the highest level but you do get strong players playing high school tennis. For example, Kate Turvy, Zoe DeBruckyer, Taylor Davis, Lilly Kimbell, Hideko Tachibana, Hilary Davis, Millie Nichols, and Lauren Embree (etc.) all played (or play) high school tennis.

While it is not the highest level, it is a great morale boost for tennis players. It gives outside people something to relate to. The tennis players FINALLY get some press from the local newspapers. People of all walks of life relate to a "state champion" whereas they'd stare at you if you said you won the Easter Bowl. "The what???" That is a strong reason for playing high school tennis. Also, you make lots of friends and become part of the school, instead of being the elite athlete that is rushed away to practice every day.

When you are 40 and are at work, if you say you won Spring Supernationals, your co-workers would say, "Oh, um great." You say you won State and they are impressed. Everyone relates to high school sports.

love-tennis said...

Hey, ehhh tennis...

Jacquelyn Cako might argue that she is the best PNW player....lol

They are both great!

justthefacts said...

I was curious if anybody could tell me what style of player Niu is? Weapons? Steady (which is also a weapon of its own sort)? Serve? Movement?
I have heard of her for quite some time, but have never seen her play, and not much is written about her, I guess because her Pacific area location?

high school tennis..ehhh said...

i didnt know cako was from the pnw..she is very good i agree, not top pro good, but a very solid junior and she will be a great college player.

and love-tennis, noone mentioned by you is very good, the only exception being embree who plays in florida, and florida high school tennis is the best there is in the country, followed by socal. i am not saying that high school tennis is bad, its great for team competition and to have fun at. im saying if you are tryin to do something special with your tennis(going pro), you cant really play high school tennis. that is mostly the case with girls, not as much boys.

just a note about the toughness and so called strength of high school tennis, a 14 year old girl won jr wimbledon this year born in 1994, 1 year younger than niu.

justthefacts, niu is basically a grinder and a very very consisten player unless the match i watched was not her usual style. she hass an extreme backhand grip, and cannot hit the ball too hard. she hasa pretty good movement, not much power though. if she can work on her power and get a bit taller, who knows, maybe she can become a very good player.

10is said...

Lilly Kimbell won 16's orange bowl. I would hardly call her or any of the other girls not very good.

love-tennis said...

Not very good? Huh? I guess you mean pro? I am not talking pro.

I never said that those girls would go pro. I did not realize that was your clarification of whether or not girl's tennis in high school was a joke. That is a big leap. I would not call those girls jokesters--whether or not they'd go pro. I would put them in the same class as Belinda and Jacquelyn--excellent players. I have no idea if any of them would be of pro ability or not. No one knows. Most of them will just be very good solid college players.

Belinda has a very calm cool demeanor which really helps her. She also is extremely smart and very coachable. She comes from a very disciplined loving family so that helps. Now she'll get the extra training she needs, so that will be great.

Jacquelyn also has a very focused different attitude than most teenagers, so she might make it, I don't know.

I never said that high school tennis was a great building ground for pro tennis, either. Glad the girl won Wimbledon.

steven s said...

Is it etched in stone that the only players that make it in PRO Tennis are one's like Larcher De Britto, or this Robson gal, or on the men's side Ryan Harrison or Donald Young. Even if this is true on the majority of players, it seems very premature to discount a slower development route. (Which the USTA DOES NOT support in any way).

If Julie Ditty and Younes El Aynaoui ever paid attention and believed the majority of these opinions, they would be in other lines of work!

Lester S. said...

I wouldn't put Ryan Harrison in the same conversation as Donald Young professionally or juniors. He has done virtually nothing since the one win in Houston. His junior record doesn't even stack up against some of the other American juniors lately. There seems to be some attitude problem with him.

kraa said...

steven: it's not etched in stone - some successful players started later. However if you look at the current WTA top 10 all of them turned pro at 16-17 (some 15). Boys start a bit later, but not much later...

high school tennis..ehhh said...

to what i said before, everyone is right, pro is a very difficult and i should give the girls more credit for their accomplishments, i appologize

however, this is the second time someone has mentioned julie ditty and El Aynaoui on this site. ditty is a very bad example as she has not really done anything, i think her high ranking hasnt been inside the top 75, and el anynaoui had his run for a year or so and out. also, if you can only come up with two players, one from each gender, that can take the long route to pro, you might want to reconsider your argument.

steven s said...

Yes, not many late bloomers have come through to I guess what you (HS Tennis) and the USTA ONLY deem as successful: Winning Grand Slams, and being in the top 10 in the world.

Never mind a Ditty type player who is making a living (albeit not a millionaire) doing something she loves, and getting to travel the world while doing so. Also, you were pretty harsh on your synopsis of El Anynaoui's career, his "run" was not only the year he pushed Roddick in Australia, he had many other good years as well.

Again, I do agree that there is not many who come through this way. But who's to say that hard work and dedication cannot get the job done when you are past the early-mid teens of the USTA (their mentality) tennis graveyard? (Especially for females). Many on this board make College Tennis like a death sentence for anybody that wants to go further. Why should it be? And the USTA IMO should support this by rewarding top College players with opportunities to play top flight competition (Wildcards)..that would be start. Maybe have some sort of training scenario where they gather older players together for training situations instead of only the "up and comers", and "next ones"? They are MUCH too limited in their approach to development, and not just on this issue. Also IMO, their total focus on grinding type tennis, rather that a longer term approach to developing Mcenroe's and Navratilova's,..and even Federer's and Safin's. Kids with real God-given talents that may not be in the top of the rankings due to lack of coaching, $$, or both. What if the Harrison boys did not have the dad? Where would they be right now? Well, to think there are not others as gifted as them out there, without the direction (thus results) is very naive. Sorry Colette, a little off topic there!

btw, very excited about what Higueras may bring to the table.

love-tennis said...

Hey, how about this? Make it so they HAVE to attend college first! HA HA, what an idea. I love it. They'd be college educated and tennis could start later and top tennis kids would not have to feel like losers if they go to college.

Ditty inspires me. Have heard she is very nice too.

same old stuff... said...

kraa..i agree 100%...and you do not even mention serena, venus, safina, and sharapova, who turned pro at the AGE OF 14(age of niu..what started this whole convo)..3 former or current number 1's and a on the way to be a #1 possibly very soon

so for everyone writing about how we should develop players later, i disagree. if the usta is looking for the next great player, GREAT(top 10..slam winners) you cannot look at the older players, because if they are good enough to get to top 10, they will b ready before college and at a younger age.

to just give you all some facts behind my argument, the ages of the top 10 players men and women and when they turned pro are

1 serena age 14
2 jankovic 15
3 safina 14
4 ivanovic 15 almost 16
5 dementieva 16 almost 17
6 sharapova 14
7 kuznetsova 15
8 venus 14
9 zvonereva 16
10 radwanksa 16

1 nadal 15
2 federer 17
3 djokovic 16
4 murray 18
5 ferrer 18
6 davydenko 18
7 nalbandian 18
8 roddick 18
9 wawrinka 17
10 blake 20

so as you can see just from top 10 perspective, you need to be as a girl at the OLDEST age around late 16 maybe 17, but its better younger

in the mens game blake being an outlier, everyone else no later that 18.

these stats do not even show how young these players were when the cracked the top 100. in the mens game almost all were in the top 100 before the age of 20 or earlier, and the girls even younger.

so unless you are not talking about being great, which is what i think the usta should look for, the next GREAT player, do not say that they should be looking for older players.

steven s said...

I agree, the USTA is looking for great. So lets just ignore the rest, and use ALL our resources on a crap shoot. If you have top 50 or less potential, and wish to play tennis for a living, you fend for yourself.

Why same old stuff is that a good philosophy? And how do you know it is etched in stone that only very young players will come through? Yes, those are very compelling stats you showed, but how can those stats be truly accurate in our current system of development? I dare the USTA to take a Steven Forman, or a Jacquelyn Cako or any other of the many successful older players out there, and give them the same training situations, and opportunities that the next great hopes get. I bet the success rate on their search for greatness would not be less at all, and in fact, may turn out a few more suprises.

love-tennis said...

There is something different about Cako. She started later than the average junior and has just risen, risen, risen. She has this mental toughness--doesn't-care-what-anyone-thinks mentality, and I really think it is going to take her far. It isn't really her talent, I mean she is good, but not a Jennifer Capriati. But still, she has this toughness of 'get out of my way' that most teenagers/people don't have. I don't mean she is not a nice person, I just mean she has this mental endurance that will take her somewhere.

She will beat Oudin. Just as she has beaten Embree. She will beat Oudin at some point. Not quite yet, but in the next year.

get real said...

I completly disagree that there is an age limit for pro. There are kids girls included who do not mature physically as soon as others. Alot of that is due to growing.(that is a great thing). Lets face it the girls you talked about are at least 5'10 and up. What is the height of the girls you are talking about. I thought the Capriati days of pushing your kid early is over. That american mentality is why there are no outstanding U.S. players coming up.

same old stuff... said...

you use steve forman as your example?? interesting choice there bud.
do you know the reason why the USTA chooses the younger players rather than the older? because its how the REST OF THE WORLD does it, and as of now, it seems to be working very well for the rest of the world. you dont see ANY federations saying, "oh, heres a pretty good 20 year old, he hasnt made it yet, but lets see if he can make that jump". no, they say "lets look at the younger kids that have potential and lets train them to become the best. the problem in the US is that the good players in the US, or at least a good % of them are already in good situations where they are so they dont go to the usta exapmles: kudla, cox, ore, frank, harrison(ryan and christian) etc.

side note: frank, ore, and kudla train at the same academy .

so until there is a real breakout in the ATP rankings by an older person, dont argue that we chould be pushing older players.

oh, and by the way, the usta is still working A LOT with players such as jamea jackson and jamie hampton who are both 19 or older and are still giving wildcards to players like asha rolle shanay perry who are much older, and how is that working out? not too well for any of them. giving me YET ANOTHER reason to argue against working with older players.

Tom C said...

If you go to "a top academy" in Florida you will see top young juniors hitting with former tour players... you will see 16-19 year olds hitting with current tour players... can the USTA implement such a system where Harrison, Williams, King,McHale, Brodsky hit with Roddick, Blake, Serena, Venus, ect... no, because Blake trains at Saddlebrook, Roddick trains somewhere else and the juniors train ... you get the point. My friends student is down in Fla. at a big time academy (free ride) and he is training with top 100 professionals daily and he is 18 years old... he will get better... will he be top 100? Who knows, but he is training properly and is being given the best chance possible..

Steven s said...

Same old stuff, those female players you mentioned are not winning Grand Slams, but are not embarrasing themselves either. Again, making a living doing something they love. Do you suggest that Pat Mcenroe throw them to the curb, and instead give more support and time to the top 20 ranking kids in the 12's? How about that Egger kid? Is he ready for the curb yet in your opinion, or is he still young enough to deserve to be developed as a player? My argument, is why not expand your development ideas, rather than keep them limited? "Because other countries do it this way" is a weak argument. Have you ever heard the expression, "thinking out of the box"?

love-tennis said...

So much of tennis is so mental too. As you get older, you might really develop in a more mature way. It reminds me of what I read that Kristie Ahn said recently. She said that about a year ago she was frustrated with tennis and just ready to get through college on a scholarship so that she could be done with tennis. She then got a new coach who revitalized her and has her playing soccer and doing other things besides strictly tennis.

hmm said...

If the USTA is just looking for that one top player that is top 10 in the world, then probably they should look towards the younger kids as odds show that the top 10 players are almost always so talented that it is easy to see as a young kid and they make get the recognition and coach. But there is also a hard work aspect of getting to the top, and that is where the older americans could change things.If say everyone Top 25 in the nation was supported, or at least in contact with the USTA (a couple training camps a year to get hitting exposure, etc), then kids start to feel like they have a chance, start believing in themselves, and then a few real champions may come out of the larger group. Focusing on such a small group creates alot of talk about whether one player deserves it over another and it also gives the USTA less of a chance to find their good players. Why not spread it out to the Top 25, see who proves themselves, and go from there accordingly

player said...

I personally know Belinda and she is attending the Evert Tennis Academy not the USTA center.

same old stuff... said...

tom c, that would be a great idea if it was so accessible as you said it isnt, which i agree, the usta has the kids hit with some pros, but very rarely. if the kids could train like that all the time, it would benefit them a great deal.

hmm, i agree that they should widen the parameters and maybe they should have them compete together and see who can come out the great champion. but they have to prove themselves somewhat as you said.

love-tennis, you may be right about cako, i disagree but we will see. i have seen her play and she is VERY MENTALLY TOUGH i agree, but i dont think she has the power that it takes, but we will see.

get real, umm how did capriatis career end up. top 10 for a while a couple slams, id say thats a pretty darn good career. so i dont see exactly what was wrong with going pro when she did. and no matter how much you want to deny it, size matters in pro tennis men and women. so if you are not going to be big, its gunna be even harder.

and steven s, your logic baffles me. the reason i said THE REST OF THE WORLD, is because whatever the rest of the world is doing right now, is better than what we are doing. and they may be making a living, but thats not what the USTA is going for. Rodney harmon doesnt wake up and say " lets help people make an ok living and not do much with there tennis as long as they are happy" im guessing he says "lets see if we can get the best people we can and try to make them GREAT". its a much better shot than taking older players who have tried to make it and havent. and egger, has been kicked to the curb. if you had seen him play, you would realize why: no size, power or racket head speed.

until someone can give me a better example than julie ditty or el anyoui(?) and not only the needle in the haystack, as you can only give me 1 exapmle from each gender, stop arguing for turning pro late. and for all of you who think im saying dont turn pro, im not saying that. im saying the USTA shouldnt invest in them. but whoever has the aspirations to go pro, i say GO FOR IT and GOOD LUCK i hope you do the best you can. im just saying dont expect anyone else to pay for it.


american tennis said...

A little off topic but today in the irvine futures devin britton beat chase buchanan 5,6. Seems like his confidence is on an all time high. Good job to him for all of his hard work. Seems like he should be considered as one of the american hopefuls.

older players said...

lilia oosterloh (sp?). She made top 50. john isner...doing pretty well also

krush said...

todd martin. james blake. bob and mike bryan (are we talking doubles too? i think if you make a couple mil then you have made it). mal washington.
besides foreign players who play college, aren't Americans pretty much the only people who turn pro late?

steven s said...

Same old stuff, I will try to explain my logic. It seems to me, that if you were running USTA, you would insist on no players supported that have reached puberty. And I believe your perception of me, is, if I were in charge I would only focus on mature College players, and be very content on churning out the hard working grinders. I hope I am wrong about my perception of same old stuff running things, and to simplify my ideas, I only wish the USTA would ADD a component to their development where they could IN ADDITION to looking for the next #1 in the world (again, your argument is compelling as far as the younger age groups), also support and develop players that could still represent the U.S well. Their approach is too selective, and too limited, and this issue is not the only one. (another topic).

Your opinion of Egger cemented my perception of your ideas. "If the USTA feels that a certain player has no chance at Grand Slams, then they should be discarded". On the contrary, the USTA's job should be to develop great tennis players. And "great" should not be limited to potential #1's, or even top 10's.

Someone once asked "Roy Hobbs" in "The Natural", "why do you play baseball" He said, "because I want everybody to look at me on the street one day, and say, there goes Roy Hobbs, the greatest to ever play the game".

I actually agree and admire your opinion in that the USTA should have these lofty goals for players, and they should never give that up.

But because the Julie Ditty's of the world are not like Roy Hobbs, is no reason to ignore them as potential great tennis players.

krush said...

i'm reminded of a quote from Hoop Dreams, which I think is very applicable in this case. Gates says that people always come up to him and say "when you make the NBA don't forget about me." He then goes on to say that he wants to say back "if I dont make the NBA, YOU don't forget about me"

get real said...

To same old stuff,
Everyone is intitled to their opinions and mine was based on the well being of a player/person. About Capriati, ask is there regrets for starting pro at a young age YES. I happen to know for a fact her opinion on that. Yes she has accomplishments that juniors wish they could come close to achieving. She had a major bump in the road, GEE could it have been she had to grow up to quick, was she happy at the time, how about after her career ended any regrets? Yes, maybe and Yes again. I happen to live in an area where alot of retired professinal athletes live, and you ask them their thought on eveyone should turn pro at 15 & 16 yrs. everyone of them said it depends on the individual, you cannot discard a player at 18 or 19. I do not think anyone is saying turn pro at 23.
I am glad i live outside of the box.

same old stuff.. said...

blake martin and washington all were 20 when they turned pro, and they definately had an ATP ranking before that. so there are 3 exapmles.

older players, isner has made top 100, im not saying its not good, its very good. not many people could do that, but its not great. and osterlooh?? thats the girl you give me an example of?? haha, i meant players such as blake and martin and wasshington who actually did something great with there tennis.

steven s, first of all, ditty has got to be about 30 by now, she is not going to make her breakthrough now, so not, shes not a POTENTIAL top or great player.
tha USTA shouldnt waste there time working with players that they know wont get passt top 100. if thats where they end up ok, but they should be trying to make the players into top 10 and GREAT players.

people around the world know the top 10 players basically. they do not know who is just inside that top 100 who is still grinding through the challengers trying to make it.

until i can get a few more examples than just 3 or 4 people, it still makes no sense at all.

steven s said...

The USTA's goal should ALWAYS be to develop top 10 players or better. Just expand the horizons, work with talented and dedicated older players as well as the younger ones, and if some do not look like they will win Grand Slams, but are still very fine players. (If you are #120 in the world, there are still about 6.7 BILLION people in the world who cannot beat you) then take that as a plus, instead of a negative.

You (same old stuff) keep wanting examples of older players that have made it. Did people ask the Wright Brothers of examples of things (besides birds and bugs) that could fly?

Only good things can happen, if you expand your horizons, and tennis development is no exception.

mary said...

You should all remember that to play pro doesn't mean you need to be number 1. If only the top 10 players showed up for a tournament, there would not be a tournament. It's insulting to all those players who work hard and make a living doing something they love to do. Stop dissing people. It is so very annoying. There can only be one number 1 at any given time. The vast majority of people in life are average. The implication is that if you can't be in the top 10 you shouldn't bother. Well, you should. End of discussion.

same old stuff... said...

mary, if you think im saying dont bother, i am not saying that AT ALL. im saying that if you dont look as if you are going to have the best shot, dont expect the ustas help. i already said everyone who wants it, to go for it and good luck, but the usta shouldnt help those who havent proved much. the usta should help the younger kids who have some potential, AND the older players who have made a name for themselves and is already highly ranked atp or players on the rise.

again to mary, read what i have written, i think its great for all different players to give it all they can, but the USTA shouldnt fund it. and players shouldnt expect them to pay for it.

as for being better than 6.7 billion people in the world, thats all great. but if you are 30 in the USA in boys 12s, you are better than a few billion as well, but i dont think its something to get animated about. i mean, good job, but you have a long way to go.

get real said...

Same old stuff,

do you thimk the usta should help a child out because of their wins and talent at the time? I have seen some good athletes at the age of 12-14 yrs old good results , look like they have some talent, but for one reason or another that was it for them. They started to lose to kids that they use to beat ,whether it was due to early maturity ect. You have stated not to let the older ones with no results or talent have the ustas help. You need to look at the whole picture. If a kid has a great foundation, works hard but is a little awkward in movement and has a game bigger than he or she is at the moment(due to size and mentality), they should be past up. Makes no sense to me. Sounds like you are part of the usta clan. A tree that is going to be around for a very long time and has strong roots, needs to be watered and time. So i guess you would have discareded Feder and Sampras? I think they were in the group you would have tossed aside.

same old stuff... said...

first of all, who is feder?? and if im not mistaken sampras was a great junior player once he was about 14, he just played up so he didnt win every tournament. and he did turn pro at 16, won the us open at 19, so id say i wouldve helped him. and if i could fund 1 player, and it was down to a 21 year old who has been grinding in futures for a while never been able to breakthrough, or a young player who has been doing well or has good size, racket head speed, and a hardworker, id choose the younger kid in a heartbeat. this is because the older player has virtually no shot. even tho the kids chances are not good either, id rather go with someone who can maybe have a shot as he gets a little older than go with someone who has tried and almost definately wont make it.

SFJ:l said...

as a clarification...
nui went three with moore at state, but beat her 0 and 1 in a local tournament the week after