The year's first National Opens were played over the holiday weekend. Although there are too many to detail here, I did want to post a link to the article that appeared in the Dothan (Alabama) Eagle about the boys and girls 14s National Open held there. Any time a local paper takes the time to cover a junior event, I'm going to make sure they get credit for it. Although they sent a reporter, there are no photos, so I'm including one of girls champion Rasheeda McAdoo, the daughter of former NBA star Bob McAdoo, from January's Plaza Cup. To see all the February National Open results, see the TennisLink search page, and click on the short cut National Junior Tournaments in the box on the right. It will take you to 2009, and once you select February, you will get a page with all 19 of the different tournaments.
The SMASH Junior Cup, which begins Saturday, and features a WTA Family Circle qualifying draw wild card to the girls 18s winner, has published its draws. Kristie Ahn has entered the event and is the No. 1 seed. Alison Riske is a No. 5 seed, but unfortunately is in the same quarter of the draw as Ahn. For complete results see the TennisLink site.
While I was in Chicago, Wimbledon and U.S. Open Junior Champion Grigor Dimitrov made quite a splash; following up his win over Tomas Berdych in Rotterdam, the 17-year-old Bulgarian took a set from Rafael Nadal in the second round. This week in Marseille, he drew Gilles Simon of France, the No. 2 seed, and barely lost again, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Charlie Bricker, the longtime Sun-Sentinel tennis reporter who left the paper last summer, is writing regularly now for Bob Larson's Tennis News, and he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of Dimitrov's game in this post.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009