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.