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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New ITF Regulations for 2009; Christina McHale Talks About Australian Open Junior Title

The ITF has released their rules and regulations changes for 2009, and although I'm not extremely well versed in the previous ones, a couple of items stood out.

All doubles matches will now be no-ad, with match tiebreakers. Previously, this format was confined to Grade A and Grade 1 tournaments. I know it is popular with tournament directors, but to me there's something fundamental about deuce-ad scoring, and I hate to see it abandoned in the juniors. Also, there is no specific mention of it, but I assume that the Grand Slams will continue to do as they wish in regards to this issue and in playing out the third sets.

The discussion about adjusting draws so players from the same country do not play in the first round is addressed as follows:
The top four ranked players from each nation should be drawn in different sections.
Wherever possible players from the same nation should not be drawn against each other in the first round.

There is a very lengthy new section about 12-and-unders, and the ITF is adamant about not ranking players in that division. There is also this:
Players may not participate in any 12 & under international individual tournament
sanctioned by a Regional Association and/or National Association unless they have
reached their 10th (tenth) birthday on or before the start of the main draw.

There is much, much, more, so please go to the ITF junior website to read and/or download the complete list of changes.

Christina McHale was interviewed in Australia after her doubles victory with Ajla Tomljanovic, and she confirms that it was their first time playing together. For the complete video interview, go to: usta.com.