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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Krajinovic Reaches Knoxville Challenger Semis; Welcome to New ZooTennis Sponsor

The big junior news of the day comes from Knoxville, Tenn., where 16-year-old Filip Krajinovic of Serbia has reached the semifinals of the $50,000 Pro Circuit event. After winning three qualifying matches, the Bollettieri student took out No. 3 seed Robert Kendrick, who has an ATP ranking of 84, in the first round, then followed up that win with two more, yesterday beating unranked Brian Battistone and today taking out Alex Kuznetsov. With all three of his main draw matches going three sets, Krajinovic may be wearing down (he is by no means physically mature) but his next opponent, No. 2 seed Bobby Reynolds, has been around long enough to know that a confident young player with nothing to lose will always be dangerous. Not much detail, but Nick Bollettieri's blog is following Krajinovic's progress.

The Knoxville News focused their coverage this morning on today's match between longtime doubles partners and friends Rajeev Ram and Reynolds, which was won, of course, by Reynolds. Reporter Dave Link also talks with Michael Russell about his win over top seed Vince Spadea.

If you've checked out the sidebar in the past two days, you may have noticed a new ZooTennis advertiser, Own The Zone Vibration Dampeners. Clicking on the ad takes you to their products page, and there are testimonials, FAQs, scientific studies and other news available on the website as well.

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I appreciate their support of ZooTennis, and I hope you will take a moment to consider their product--a great stocking stuffer for the upcoming holidays!

And don't forget to use the Tennis Warehouse link above for other tennis related holiday purchases. The revenue generated from these sponsors helps offset the cost of traveling to tournaments and allows me to continue to provide this content free of charge.


the old pro said...

Pete Sampras' new book with Peter Bodo probably gives us a pretty good road map for junior development and many of the issues discussed at length in this blog. His career also gives a nice timeline for the development of a top player culminating with winning the US Open less than one month after turning 19. Federer moved from around 300 ATP to 150 ATP at about 17 1/2. Nadal's maturity, game style and talent let him reach ATP top 50 while he was still 16. When any juniors reach any of these milestones at the tour level they probably have a shot at being a contender at the Slams and for top 10 or even, perhaps, world number one. We will all found out which of the 16 year old juniors has top-level ability soon enough.

Austin said...

Bobby will rout the Serb.

Pete Sampras has also said how he had absolutely no life growing up outside of tennis. Its tough to find kids like that who do it because they want to and not because of their parents pushing them for their entire career.

the old pro said...

Austin- I'm not commenting on whether it is a desired way to grow up or not. who knows? it probably requires that sort of commitment to go with the talent. you'd probably need to ask sampras, agassi, federer, nadal, et al., if it is worth it or not. The real purpose of my observation is that we don't really need to waste much time discussing which 16 years in the US or the World will be great, they will start to get results and rankings at the tour level in the next 2 or 3 years. and if they don't, odds are they aren't going to be the champions we are looking for.

Tom C said...

How tall is Krajinovic? What about Dimitrov?

justthefacts said...

Austin..agree with you regarding kids doing it because they "want to". I think as years (and success) goes by, many learn to love the sport simply because it has been a daily part of their lives. I really feel high levels of tennis, gymnastics, figure skating, perhaps even golf will fit into this category. Sports that to reach the high levels, for the most part, you must start at young ages. Much different than 11-12 year old "Bobby" who likes watching Allen Iverson on TV, so he takes up the game without parents asking him too. For the most part, if Bobby decided he liked tennis, he would not become a PRO player, but perhaps would be one of those 55 year old guys you see begging for singles matches at your local club one day. Nothing against the parents of the Agassi types, because realistically, the young Andre's are not going to willingly say, "hey dad, lets go hit 2000 balls today"...and the one's who do, without parents asking, are the ones that are trying to please the parent who they know would approve of such a thing. From what I read, Monica Seles seemed one of the rare one's who truly would have played the sport without parental pressure..again, hopefully this does not come across as blaming tennis parents, because without them, mnay champions would have never existed!

Colette Lewis said...

I would estimate Dimitrov as 6 foot 1 or 2 (the media guide says 1.78 meters, which works out to 5 foot 10--he's definitely taller than that.)
Krajinovic maybe 6 feet? But it must be said that at their age, they can grow very quickly in a very short amount of time.

Austin said...

It seems like just about all of the Serbians, Croatians, Bosnians, etc. that play tennis are huge guys. Wonder why that is. I assume soccer is the #1 sport in that region, is tennis #2?

the old pro said...

Nadal actually didn't reach 50 ATP until he was 17 years and one month. I heard he was 16 and didn't check it for myself. My bad. I agree with Colette's height estimates on Dimitrov and Krajinovic. I suspect that both will still grow some, and I would suspect both might reach 6'3.