Bangoura, Goldfeld win New Jersey ITF; Features on Oudin, Querrey, Devvarman; Andy Murray Looks Back; My Post on Britton
It was difficult to follow the results from last week's ITF International Hard Courts, and I'm not even sure what grade it is--the ITF site says 2 and the TennisLink site says 3--but the final results are posted on the the latter site. Congratulations to Sekou Bangoura, Jr. and Ester Goldfeld for winning titles there. Seeded seventh, Goldfeld defeated Grace Min 6-0, 6-3 and the unseeded Bangoura beat No. 5 seed Oliver Golding of Great Britain 6-3, 7-6(10). Both are also playing in the Grade 1 in Canada on special exemptions, and won their first round matches today.
Lots of comments about what's missing from U.S. tennis on this blog over the weekend, and in this excellent feature from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about Melanie Oudin, her coach, Brian de Villiers addresses an aspect of that issue:
There is a lot of talent out there,” said Brian de Villiers, who coaches Oudin out of the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross. “Personally, I don’t think [young players] are pushed enough. I don’t think they have the big picture of the dream. Life in the States is very results-now; people aren’t willing to believe in something and stick to it over the long run through the ups and downs.”
Another young American going into the Open with high expectations is 21-year-old Sam Querrey, who reached his third US Open Series final at the Pilot Pen, clinching the Series title en route. Even though he is seeded in a Grand Slam for the first time, Querrey has a lot of points to defend; he reached the fourth round at the Open last year. This story, from the Hartford Courant, looks at the young friends that have accompanied Querrey on his rise into the highest level of the men's professional game.
The Indian press has both junior No. 1 Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman to follow this week and next, now that the NCAA champion from Virginia has qualified for the main draw. Bhambri, who just won a Futures event in India this weekend, is indeed one of the favorites for the boys title in New York, as this story states. Devvarman is only the seventh Indian player ever to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam in the Open era, according to this story in the Hindustan Times.
No. 2 seed Andy Murray did a brief Q and A for the New York Times Straight Sets blog, and he remembers very well who he played on his way to the U.S. Open boys title in 2004. One win he doesn't mention is his 6-0, 6-1 first-round trouncing of Argentina's Juan Martin de Potro, who wasn't quite 15 years old at the time.
And my second entry for the Times' tennis blog, on Devin Britton's whirlwind of a weekend, can be found here.