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Monday, June 15, 2009

Bhambri, Embree Out of Wimbledon Jrs; Men's Qualifying; Florida Closed; USTA Juniors in Spain

With men's qualifying starting today at Wimbledon, I visited wimbledon.org for only the second or third time this year (I've downloaded the official iPhone app, although it won't start delivering scores until the main draw starts next Monday), and I ran across a junior acceptance list that was updated last Tuesday. India's Yuki Bhambri, No. 1 in the ITF junior rankings, has withdrawn, although not for reasons of injury. He will be playing ITF Men's Circuit events instead, according to this story from The Times of India.

Lauren Embree of the U.S. has also withdrawn. JT Sundling, who wasn't sure whether he would be going over or not when I spoke with him last week, has moved into the qualifying with Bhambri's withdrawal. Nicole Gibbs and Mallory Burdette are at the top of the qualifying list now, meaning they will be next in to the main draw, and Julia Boserup (who has been ill) and Sachia Vickery have moved into qualifying. Brooke Bolender and Grace Min are next in to qualifying; I know that Bolender, who is already in the qualifying at the Roehampton Grade 1, which starts Saturday, is leaving tomorrow. For the updated acceptance list, click here.

The men's qualifying started today, although the first round wasn't completed due to late afternoon rain. Jesse Levine, Michael Yani and Brendan Evans won, but it wasn't in general a very good day for U.S. players, with Donald Young, Amer Delic, Todd Widom, Scoville Jenkins and Alex Bogomolov losing, the latter to 16-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia. Vanderbilt women's coach Geoff Macdonald has written about the qualifying for the New York Times's Straight Set blog the past two days and selects some of the U.S. players he expects to advance to the main draw. Here is his men's preview (I am in complete agreement with him about John McEnroe and what can only be termed his snobbishness when it comes to rankings) and Macdonald's women's preview is here.

For complete qualifying draws, see wimbledon.org.

The Florida Closed was last week, and the 18s champions are Danielle Collins and Gonzales Austin. For an account of all the age divisions, see the USTA Florida website. For complete 14, 16 and 18s draws, see the TennisLink site. An enterprising journalist from the Daytona Beach News-Journal asked some of the tournament's competitors why U.S. tennis is lagging the rest of the world. Their answers can be found here.

I also ran across this list from the Midwest section's website that names the junior boys who were or are training in Spain in May and June. I was wondering why some of the older boys weren't in Philadelphia, and now I know.


Jon King said...

That story about why the kids think US tennis is lagging interviews Danielle Collins, who says she thinks she should have been invited to Boca. The main knock is that even though she is in Florida and could play a top tournament schedule, her schedule strength is ranked 41st. That is not nearly strong enough. She needs to go against the best girls her age, prove how good she is, then start thinking about Boca. So far she has played 14 matches against blue chip girls and is just above .500% She may well be a classic case of a very good, not great player whose people know how to play the ranking game, happens all the time. But the Evert people have been around the block a million times and obviously saw what they saw first hand.

Austin said...

Where is our Wimbledon wildcard? 7 of the 8 slots have been filled and neither ours nor Australia seem to have gotten the exchange with AELTC, however France did. JC Ferrero also got one.

Austin said...

Also, Kevin Anderson(Illinois) and Somdev Devvarman(Virginia) are playing doubles together at Wimbledon. They are in the final round of qualifying tomorrow after winning their first match today.

Get Real said...

Jon King,

Collins has proven herself in her age division. In the past she has beaten Sloan Stephens, Channelle ect. I think she would still beat them. What it came down to is $$$. She has a sponser now. The USTA turned their back to her, because they asked the parents of the players they had then and the parents down played her and trashed her. Yes, she was immature and had an issue with winning at any cost. She has a mind, that no other junior player has and pretty much walks into almost every tourney and wins it. I wish the best of luck to her. She should have been invited to Boca. Shame on the USTA.

no said...

collins would no way beat stephens or van nguyen... her strokes don't hold up under pressure at all.

bullfrog said...

Austin, two Americans got Wimbledon wildcards. Taylor Dent in Mens Qualifying and Alexa Glatch in the Womens Main Draw.

John said...

Get Real - you must be way too close to the situation to be rational on the topic of Collin's ability.

I haven't seen her for 12 months.....but what I saw then was a competitor who will be a very good college level player - which doesn't justify "Boca" investment.

Get Real said...


Are you kidding me about Channelle. Collins is atleast 5'10 in great shape, has improved her serve. Channelle is lucky if she is 5'5 and definitly does not have Collins mind or passion. Stephens would have a better shot.

Collins is the only one that has little experience in traveling out of Fl. impressive she is ranked as high as she is Nationally.
I happen to know her through tourneys and respect the fact they do not have the $$$$ to go and compete at tourneys outside of Fl. It always bothered me that the USTA never helped them $$.

no said...

It's just that I've watched both of them play and game wise, sure Collins hits some flashier shots, but shot selection wise Nguyen is better. I watched Collins lose a match and just wasn't that impressed. Also, to say Nguyen doesnt have the same passion or mind game could or couldn't be wrong-- but I don't think you are to judge unless you actually are Nguyen. Just because she doesn't scream come on and yell after mistakes doesn't mean that she doesn't have passion. Also, I played Collins last year and her mental game sucked. She does things that will work in the juniors to distract, but in no way does she have a professional mental game. She actually cried on the court in our match...

justthefacts said...

"No"...I certainly respect your opinion regarding the USTA hopefuls, but I disagree wholeheartedly.

To warrant the attention and $$ and time that the USTA invests, they say themselves that they are looking for PRO Talent and potential. Most of these female players have been on their "list" since the 12's, and even then, Collins was pretty much ignored by them. Collins began to improve even more after that, without all the spoon-fed training advantages/camps/confidence that I am some great next hope that the USTA thinks...instead, she played "up" in the state with the best competition, and has continued to win. 100% agree with "Get Real" on this. Now this is nothing against a Channele Van Nguyen, but she has been coddled and supported by the USTA since age 10! Every single conceivable advantage as far as tennis training/confidence, fitness training/mental training..and all free of charge. This began when her ranking was much lower than Collins in the 12's. OK, the USTA maybe saw "something" in her back then..quick feet, decent racquet headspeed etc..I am not saying that Collins is top 10 material, I just feel she at least deserved maybe a smidgen of the attention that Van Nguyen has had, because does anybody on this board believe that Channelle is going to make a living on the PRO tour? Absolutely nothing personal against her, as she is just one of MANY who gets favored by the USTA, with in this bloggers opinion, no real chance at PRO success (which is what they specify..they do not offer this support for College potential) Yes, Sloane Stephens is showing some potential, but for the most part, the girls they favor do not. That is alot of time and expense to garner to a select few, when someone like Collins (and I bet their are more!!) were never even given a opportunity.

no said...

just the facts-

i think you may not be understanding my viewpoint. in no way am i saying that i don't think the usta should support more people, Collins or anyone else. Sure, they should be given a chance and to put all your money one a few players is not smart AT ALL in my opinion. thats clearly why the usta is producing close to no one who has success on the tour.

in fact, i am in the same situation you are describing that collins is in. no support from the usta, and im not lucky enough to even be in a great section like florida where there are so many players to compete against.

anyway, understand that all i was saying that it is unfair to cut down the usta players like van nguyen and bring some sense into that collins RIGHT NOW isn't extremely mentally strong and isn't quite the player you are making her seem to be. do i think she should get some support by the usta? YES. But we all know that there are many kids out there that shouldn't be overlooked but are completely

justthefacts said...

Im not saying this is the reason "why" Collins has not had much interest from USTA, but do know she is not one that will talk about baking some cookies, or going to the mall, when she is between the lines. In fact, it can be said that she is downright nasty at times, as far as extreme competitiveness. Contrast that to someone like Van Nguyen, who is a pleasure to be around, not just in a training scenario, but competing against as well. Perhaps the USTA's issue and selection process has something to do with "personality". Maybe they do not want any "Chihuahau" types who do not get along with others..however, I believe the tennis court, especially inside the lines, is not about making friends. I hope this issue does not factor into their selection process.

Appreciate your post "no", and you seem like a very thoughtful player, who actually realizes that many others deserve the chances that the select few get. I do disagree with Collins not being mentally strong. She is emotional, but an extreme competitor in my opinion. Basically a "weapon" in itself, to be able to have such a "drive" to get the job done. Again, not saying she is top 10 in the world material, but "intangibles" she does possess. BTW, Sampras, Federer, and probably a million female PRO players have "cried" on the court at some point, and do not feel being "emotional" like this dismisses them as prospects. Not everyone can be like a Chris Evert or Bjorn Borg.

tennis said...

sampras cried because he just lost his coach/best friend to brain cancer, and federer has not ever cried DURING a match, that anyone has ever seen. so lets not bring that into the argument. AND, sloane stephens would tear collins apart, no question.

justthefacts said...

Federer was on the verge of tears as he served for the French Open, and as a junior, he may not have cried, but was a very emotional player. My point is, having alot of emotion on the court is not a bad thing..just a different way of approaching things. People are wired differently, but its still the "W" that counts.

Yes "tennis" you are correct, Sloane would tear Collins apart right now, but back a couple pf years ago, it would have been reversed. Suppose Collins had been entitled to all the advantages of USTA $$ and support. (I realize Sloane has gone back and forth with others besides USTA). In my opinion, anything short of 3 U.S Open's, and 4 Wimbledons is a disappointment considering all the $$ and time invested in all the USTA's chosen ones.