In a just-completed first round girls singles match in Melbourne, No. 5 seed Laura Robson of Great Britain has defeated Christina McHale of the U.S. 7-5, 6-3. It's dangerous to speculate without seeing the match, but it's apparent that neither player served well, with nearly as many breaks of serve (10) and holds (11). McHale was serving for the first set at 5-3, but she was broken without reaching set point and went on to lose eight of the next nine games. Serving at 4-2 in the second set, Robson was broken, but McHale couldn't pull even, losing her 3-4 service game and allowing Robson to serve out the match.
With McHale's loss, No. 8 seed Lauren Embree and qualifier Alexandra Cercone, both of Florida, are the only Americans remaining in the junior singles draws.
I heard while in Florida that Denis Kudla had signed with BEST, the sports and entertainment management company, and that has been confirmed with his addition to their junior client list. Lynn Berenbaum of Off The Baseline recently posted about the possibility that BEST, whose most famous U.S. client is Andy Roddick, will be acquired by the French company Lagardere.
Laura Robson is not the only seeded girl that British fans will be following this week in Melbourne, as Eddie Herr finalist Heather Watson is seeded at No. 9, and won her first round match Sunday, a result duly noted by Neil Harman of The Times. Harman speaks with Watson's parents and finds she has received financial sponsorship from online bookmaking group Sportingbet which allows her mother to travel with her. Although Harman may not be aware of the intricacies of NCAA regulations, with that sponsorship, the Bollettieri-trained Watson is no longer eligible for a tennis scholarship that was mostly likely the reason she attracted the interest of what he refers to as "premier American educational establishments."
And for those of you don't read comments regularly, please take a moment to check out Scott's report on the 10th-ranked Florida men's 7-0 win today over No. 7 Baylor. And Andrew D also took the time to comment about some of the junior matches in Australia on Sunday. I really appreciate their efforts, and invite any of you observing live tennis to do the same. If you would prefer to email me rather than using the comment function, please contact me via my profile page.
I would have liked to be watching live tennis myself today, instead of monitoring the Australian Open live scoring, and the match I wish I could have seen was at the Plantation Florida Men's Pro Circuit Futures event. In the third round of qualifying there, Chase Buchanan beat Ryan Lipman 4-6 6-3 7-6(5). For results of all the Pro Circuit events, see usta.com.
Sunday, January 25, 2009