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Monday, February 23, 2009

King in ATP Debut Tuesday; Riske Wins FC Cup Qualifying Wild Card; 1998 NCAA Champ Vanessa Webb

Way back in July of 2008, Evan King won the USTA National Boys 18s Clay Court singles championship, and tomorrow, he will take the courts again in Delray Beach, to use the main draw wild card he earned with that victory, although this time the surface will be hard.

King, who trains with the USTA in Boca Raton, was back home in Chicago watching his future teammates at the University of Michigan compete at the ITA Men's Indoor, and he was obviously very excited about his first match at the tour level (he has played a few Futures and Challengers). The Delray draw, which was posted yesterday, puts him against 21-year-old Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan, who is currently ranked 115th, although he finished last year 89th. The down side of not drawing Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Querrey or Mardy Fish is that King won't be playing on the Stadium court Tuesday. According to Tuesday's order of play, he'll be the third match on court 1.

Today at the SMASH Junior Cup in South Carolina, Alison Riske defeated Kristie Ahn 6-4, 6-1 to earn the qualifying wild card into the Family Circle Cup in April by winning the girls 18s title. The stakes were not as high for the boys 18s, but John Harrison Richmond, the 2008 Junior Orange Bowl 14s winner from Pawley's Island, S.C., has a head start on his USTA 18s ranking, winning the Southern section's Level 3 event. For complete results, see the TennisLink site.

My colleague McCarton Ackerman recently caught up with Vanessa Webb, the 1998 NCAA women's singles champion from Duke, and filed this story for The Tennis Recruiting Network, detailing her business career and her continued involvement in the highest levels of the game.

And in case you missed it yesterday (I did), the Baylor men defeated UCLA 4-3 in a dual match in Waco, giving head coach Matt Knoll his 300th victory.