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Friday, July 31, 2009

Pro Tour Main Draw Wild Card for U.S. Juniors; Pro Circuit News

Two big pro tournaments are taking place on each coast next week--the ATP Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington D.C. and the WTA Los Angeles Women's Tennis Championships. The wild cards have been announced, and several juniors are among them.

At the Legg Mason, withdrawals of James Blake, Gael Monfils, Radek Stepanek and Arnaud Clement moved John Isner into the main draw, and wild cards have been awarded to Alex Domijan, Donald Young, Jerzy Janowicz and Michael Russell. Domijan, who is currently playing the Pro Circuit Futures in Godfrey, Ill., and today beat Blake Strode in the quarterfinals, will have a hectic week between that, a trip to D.C. for his pro debut and the start of Kalamazoo. But after the frantic schedule of World Team Tennis, he's probably accustomed to it now. Young's wild card is a bit odd, given his recent results (for a perceptive analysis of Young's slump and prospects, see this week's mailbag by Jon Wertheim of SI.com), but Janowicz is not. The 18-year-old from Poland, a finalist at the 2007 U.S. Open Juniors, is a client of BEST, which manages the event, and he is at a career-high ranking of 231. Mike Russell won the Carson Challenger in May and was a semifinalist in the Yuba City challenger in June. Receiving LMTC qualifying wild cards were Junior Tennis Champions Center's Junior Ore, Mitchell Frank and Denis Kudla, along with Scott Oudesma, who helped the Washington Kastles win the WTT championship.

Blogger Lynn Berenbaum of Off The Baseline has written a preview of the Legg Mason for TennisX; she will also be providing live twitter updates during the tournament at twitter.com/lynnlovestennis.

In Los Angeles, CoCo Vandeweghe has received a main draw wild card, along with Vania King and Michelle Larcher de Brito. Vandeweghe, who played World Team Tennis for the Sacramento Capitals, hasn't played much regular tournament tennis this spring and summer, and as the top seed, she lost to Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech yesterday at the Pro Circuit event in St. Joseph, Mo. In the qualifying draw at the L.A. tournament, four young Americans received wild cards: Kristie Ahn, Nicole Gibbs, Sloane Stephens and Alison Riske. UPDATE: Ahn apparently got into qualifying on her own, with Danielle Mills and Lindsey Nelson getting qualifying wild cards. For the complete release on the wild cards, click here.

Although I've already mentioned a couple of the Pro Circuit results, there are others worth noting. Falconi, last week's winner, is through to the semis, where she will meet 16-year-old Sabrina Santamaria. The other semifinal features two college stars: Caitlin Whoriskey of Tennessee and Maria Sanchez of Southern Cal. None of the four are seeded. Falconi and Whoriskey have reached the doubles final, although not together. Falconi is playing with Ashley Weinhold, Whoriskey with Chelsea Orr.

In addition to Domijan, the other semifinalists in Godfrey, Ill. are Matt Reid (the only seed remaining at No. 7), who plays UCLA's Holden Seguso, and Adam El Mihdawy, who is Domijan's opponent. Wake Forest grads Cory Parr and Todd Paul, the No. 4 seeds, won the doubles title today, defeating former LSU players Colt Gaston and Michael Venus.

For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page on usta.com.


RunningHillsAllDay said...

Why isn't the USTA hiring coaches who have been down in the trenches for years. Why not pick coaches who want to do the dirty and have been doing the dirty work, coaching little munchkins to top juniors.

Barry Horowitz, Jerry Baskin, Mark Bey, Stanford Boster, Lee Mary...etc etc....

The top coach from each major Metropolitan area around the country. They already have relationships in place with the community. You gotta bring the little ones up with the top ones. Incorporate them to train together- learn from each other.


Kids should play in their own age division. If you dominate the 16's, great! But can you win the 16's with your B game or C game? Can you serve and volley and win the 16's? Are you so good that you can slice every backhand and win the 16's?

FabriceSantoro said...

Great points RunningHillsAllDay! Media drives everything in this country. Who doesn't like attention? How many people read ZooTennis as their first website, even before Facebook or their email? LOTS!

So why doesn't the USTA subsidize or provide a generous grant to Colette to publish everything from the training, advice from top coaches, players- things that will make us better players. Media will bring money into the sport.

Dusan Vemic has the best dropshot ever. Also, he comes off as such a disrespectful player, but I think he does that on purpose to dismiss that you are on the other side of the net. I hate when I'm ignored on the court, makes me feel inferior. Whether he knows it or not, it helps him!

RunningHillsAllDay said...

Tim Blenkiron...I would add him. Down in the trenches is so true. Get the kids to love the game and learn. Great role models.

Never get it right said...

Isn't there a rule that prohibits a player from entering 2 tournaments that might overlap? My son was told last year (by college coaches) that he couldn't enter the Decatur Futures, even the qualifying, because the MD dates overlapped with the start of Kalamazoo. Were they misinformed, or will Domijan's WC into the Legg Mason prevent him from playing at the Zoo? Legg Mason ends August 9, Zoo starts Aug 7.

collegecoach said...

He would need to get to the quarters of Legg Mason for it to be an issue.

Colette Lewis said...

@ Never get it right--
This is the only reference I can find in the Friend at Court:

Player shall not enter two tournaments at the same time. When entries close, a player shall not be entered in two or more sanctioned tournaments, if any part of the tournaments overlap unless each
Tournament Committee involved understands the situation and concurs in writing. After a player has been eliminated from a tournament whose schedule of play partially overlaps with that of a second tournament, the player may enter the second tournament.

I'm not sure exactly what it means, but there seems to be a gray area.

Leroy Jethro said...

In 3 Pro Circuit Events this summer Irina is now 11 and 1.

Almost Sanctioned said...

My son entered a National Level 3 when he had just aged up and knew he would not get past the 2nd round. He also entered a So Cal Designated which partially ran into the National tourney. He received a warning letter from the USTA indicating he would be sanctioned if he did not withdraw from one of the tournaments...but then again, he is not a USTA "favorite" like Domijan who I assume they will be cut a lot of slack in that the USTA "gave" him the wild card and is a favorite at the Zoo...and the USTA is/are the "tournament committees."

Austin said...

Do ATP Tour level events fall under USTA jurisdiction outside of the US Open?

aa said...

@ Never Get it Right.

I believe it is only so between like organizations. So you can't enter 2 USTA tourneys at the same time. Or 2 ITFs. But even though its USTA Pro Circuit, the tournaments are governed by the ITF, and a Kalamazoo/Futures overlap is not punishable.

GT fan said...

Speaking of Falconi, in watching her this spring she was not in the best of shape. Imagine if she really worked on her fitness