Monday, May 11, 2009

In Other (Non-NCAA Division I) News.....

The past three days have been all NCAA Division I tennis all the time here at zootennis, so today's post will check out some of the other action over the weekend, although there still will be college references. It's unavoidable this time of year!

There were a huge number of Challenger and ITF events--mens, womens and juniors. If you haven't yet checked out this page on CoreTennis, you should. It's an invaluable compilation of every important tournament result, from juniors to pros, men and women, for the previous week. I somehow survived without it before it existed, but it would be difficult to replace in my weekly routine now.

I'll stick to the events that were held in the U.S. for this brief synopsis. Melanie Oudin won the second pro event of her young career. The 17-year-old from Georgia was the top seed in the $50,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Indian Harbour Beach, and with the win, she has a new career-high WTA ranking of 138. See the ITF Women's Circuit site for the complete results.

Former Miami Hurricanes won the two men's tournaments in the U.S. Luigi D'Agord, who apparently didn't enter the tournament in a timely fashion, was the No. 1 seed in the $10,000 Orange Park Florida Futures, but he had to make his way through qualifying to claim that top position in the main draw. Michael Russell, whose career has seemingly been one continuous recovery from injury, won the $50,000 Challenger in Savannah, Ga. With Miami's upset of Florida on Saturday, you'd have to say it was a pretty good weekend for Hurricane tennis. For complete results, see the ATP site.

Congratulations to Ellen Tsay and Dane Webb, who won the Grade 4 ITF in Hawaii on Saturday. For complete results, see the ITF junior website.

Both Tsay and Webb are entered in one of my favorite tournaments, the ITF Grade 3 Grass Courts in Philadelphia, which will be accepting applications through Thursday, May 14. See the usta.com's ITF page for more information.

The acceptances for the French Open Junior Championships are out, and are available at the ITF junior site. Laura Robson heads the list of girls entered, with Ksenia Pervak, the Russian who beat her for the Australian Junior title, also in the field. Americans girls in the main draw are Lauren Embree, Christina McHale, Beatrice Capra and Madison Keys. In the qualifying draw are Sloane Stephens, Nicole Gibbs, Mallory Burdette and Alexandra Cercone. Ester Goldfeld is the first alternate.

The boys entries include Australian Open champion Yuki Bhambri of India, Virginia's newly signed recruit Julien Uriguen of Guatemala, and somewhat surprisingly, Bernard Tomic of Australia. U.S. boys accepted in the main draw are Tennys Sandgren, Denis Kudla, Evan King, Alex Domijan, Devin Britton, Harry Fowler and Mitchell Frank. In qualifying are Bob van Overbeek and Jordan Cox.

Just a couple of quick college notes. Southern Cal's Amanda Fink is the subject of the USTA's College Spotlight this week. And Marc Lucero examines the early college careers of the Tennis Recruiting Network's top prospects from 2006 & 2007 in his post there today.

And finally, this New Yorker article from one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, doesn't have much to do with tennis, but Austin's last comment reminded me that the tennis team concept differs a bit from normal team sports. Gladwell asks why more basketball teams don't press, especially when they are less skilled than their opponents. Underdogs have a much greater chance of winning when they don't accept the conventional terms of engagement. But that sort of philosophy isn't popular with those who value the beauty of the sport when played conventionally, and often many underdogs would rather lose gracefully than resort to the arduous work required to win ugly. Brad Gilbert wasn't one of those.


AR Hacked Off said...

Britton will have a tough time transitioning if he does well in Team and Individuals for Ole Miss this upcoming weekend and week after.