Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shake-up at Bollettieri's Tennis Academy; Australian Men's Qualifying Draw; Pro Circuit Opens 2009 in Boca Raton

First, I want to welcome Lynn Berenbaum back to the world of tennis blogging at her site Off The Baseline, and thank her for drawing my attention to this story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune about the firings of four IMG employees at the Bollettieri Academy, including director of tennis Gabe Jarmillo. Given the length of employment of those let go and their direct relationship with Nick, it seems shocking, but there is little in the story to explain it, other than an implication that it was a cost-cutting move, with the possibility that it relates to a sale.

The Australian Open men's qualifying draw has been posted, and there are nine Americans vying for spots in the main draw: Amer Delic, Brendan Evans, Zach Fleishman, Scoville Jenkins, Kevin Kim, Wayne Odesnik, Rajeev Ram, Ryan Sweeting and Michael Yani. I was surprised to see Sam Warburg, Jesse Levine and Donald Young missing from the list of U.S. competitors. An interesting first round match pits Indians Prakash Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman. In many junior tournaments, the draw is structured so players from the same country don't play each other in the first round (the same goes for USTA sections), but that's obviously not a consideration in a Grand Slam.

We did make it to Florida, and tomorrow will be checking in on the first Pro Circuit Futures of the year in Boca Raton. Wild card Alex Domijan and qualifiers Chase Buchanan and Rhyne Williams are playing their first round matches on Wednesday. For complete draws, see the Pro Circuit draw and schedule page at usta.com.

8 comments:

TechGirl said...

Of course they don't rig the draw in a grand slam, I though everyone knew that. BUT, are you telling us that they do rig the draws in junior tennis? If so, do they do that in events like Kalamazoo, Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl?

Jesse said...

What's the story with Donald Young and Jesse Levine? Might they get in some other way, or does this mean they're not entering the Aus Open?

the old pro said...

Nearly half of the US Futures over the next 6 months are being played on clay. I am very supportive of the new USTA emphasis on using clay as a developmental tool. The USTA probably doesn't need to establish an overseas facility, as Australia is doing in Spain, but our top juniors would certainly benefit from some serious blocks of training time on the red clay of Spain or Argentina, ala Andy Murray. Jose Higueras would seem to be the perfect person to take US player development in that direction.

Austin said...

I dont even know what to say about Warburg, Levine, Young, Bogomolov, DeHeart and Russell not going to Australia for qualies unless they are injured, especially Levine & Young. This is a grand slam boys, and one that Americans can do very well in. For two of our most promising young guys to sit it out and not try to qualify doesnt make sense. Anyone have answers as to why none of them showed? Come to think of it they didnt go Down Under for any of the tournaments.

Colette Lewis said...

It is required that tournament referees in USTA national events structure the draws so players from the same section do not meet each other in the first round.

lee said...

According to Levine's Facebook, he's nursing a shoulder injury.

Austin said...

I hope he recovers quickly for the spring season

Colette Lewis said...

Levine told me today that he injured his shoulder against Isner in the wild card tournament, and didn't want to risk it in qualifying for Australia, but he says he'll be ready for the Challenger in Carson at the end of the month.