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Friday, August 21, 2009

USTA Announces US Open Junior Wild Cards; My First Post for New York Times Tennis Blog

The PR department at the USTA has been busy this week with all the wild card announcements, and another one, for the US Open Junior championships, appeared in my mailbox this afternoon.

Main Draw:
Gonzales Austin
Chase Buchanan
Bjorn Fratangelo
Dennis Novikov
Junior Ore
Jack Sock
Raymond Sarmiento
Bob van Overbeek

Julia Boserup
Gail Brodsky
Jacqueline Cako
Alexandra Cercone
Lauren Davis
Ester Goldfeld
Grace Min
Asia Muhammad

Qualifying Draw:
Marcos Giron
Alexios Halebian
Mitchell Krueger
Nathan Pasha
Shane Vinsant

Courtney Dolehide
Victoria Duval
Ellen Tsay
Chanelle Van Nguyen
Sachia Vickery

I was pleasantly surprised to see Jack Sock get a main draw wild card; three years ago when Ryan Thacher lost 7-6 in the third to Brennan Boyajian in the Kalamazoo 16s final, he was only offered a qualifying wild card. That Julia Boserup, Gail Brodsky and Asia Muhammad are playing the juniors again is a little surprising, but for Boserup especially, it is a chance to play some matches.

For the complete release, click here.

I've been invited to contribute to the New York Times Straight Sets blog during the US Open, and my first entry, about Chase Buchanan and Christina McHale, was posted today.


FINALLY..... said...

For the first time in many years, the usta jr boys wildcards are correct and make sense. Great to read that Jack Sock still received a wc. Dennis Novikov is a big question mark but somehow he has a high itf ranking for his age.

Well done usta.

doubtful said...

i dont know about that statement finally. novikov krueger vinsant and halebian? those are all a little shaky. wouldnt it make more sense to put some good 92s in there spot who actually have a chance of winning.

The Dude said...

So it looks like Christina McHale is choosing only the pro otion as she is wild carded into the women;s draw. I think she's only 17, so wouldn't it be better for her to have both options?

Colette Lewis said...

@the dude:
I spoke with Christina yesterday and she is planning on playing the Junior Open (she doesn't need a wild card). She is keeping her college options open.

Lets move foward said...

I think it should be the other way. The USTA has gave a lot of WC to the 92 already. Ore has played a lot of ITF events around the world and if he is not in the main draw, the USTA should make him get into the top group by himself. The same with Pasha, they are a little old to be receiving WC. And they have received a lot for several years already. If they have not had the best results in the tournaments they had play, do not give them the reward of a WC. And, they did not made that great in Kzoo. So why expend the WC to 92 players that have not fulfill their expectations. They should be given the WC to the top 93 players to give them a bust to get into the MD in 2010.

put the best players out there said...

Main draw wild cards for Novikov and Frantangelo are way off base. Qualy WC's would have been more realistic and still a privilege for them. Those"older" 17 and 18 year olds who were written off can only hope they get through the qualifying and draw one of these two in the first round main for an easy advance. Sock I can see, but these two, no.

put the best players out there said...

to Lets Move Forward-

Backwards thinking. None of the 93's BELONG in the main draw because they have very little chance of winning there. Remember Devin Britton? He was passed over last year for a WC even into the qualifying. He got one at the last minute when someone moved into the main draw and took it all the way to the final. He was written off by the USTA because he had not had the best results in the previous year--but was there ever any doubt that he had a better shot at success than Sean Berman, Nathan Pasha and others who were given WC's? Even with his slump? He had the tools to succeed in a JR Grand Slam--which 1993 seriously has such tools? Time for the USTA to start actually watching and evaluating players like the college coaches do. They really strike me as being better at assessing potential to suceed at the college or pro level than the USTA. Probably because too many mistakes in judgement will cost them their jobs--unlike the USTA where there is no accountability.
Tell me: who would win these match-ups 99% of the time: Hovanisyan vs Novikov?; Kandath vs Frantangelo?: Bangoura vs Krueger? Sundling vs Vinsant? Shouldn't the better players be in the US Open?

usatennis said...

i completely agree with "put the best players out there." i dont know if i would put the 91s you mentioned in there because they only have 3 months left of itf eligibility and most of them are going to college this fall but definitely the better 92s who entered but didnt get wild cards such as justin shane, dan kosakowski, chris mengel, blake davis, fred saba. all 5 of them are better than many of the wild cards listed and would have a better shot at winning matches for the usa.

justthefacts said...

Was suprised that the men's qualie WC went to Domijan over Sandgren who played/won the backdraw at the zoo and has had overall good results this year. Guess Domijan is who the usta sees more potential in, perhaps because Sandgren lost to a 15 year old at the French Open?

justthefacts said...


if Chritiana McHale is keeping her options open any idea why her sister is no longer in the Princeton line-up?

Lets move foward said...

The logical order is that the USTA looks in the future potential of the player until the player is 16. Then the focus should change to the capacity of the player to win and to get results in a constant way. And the only way to see the capacity to get results is through the tournaments. There is a correlation with the ATP ranking of the players and their ITF results (not the ranking) when the player was 17. Because of this, at the 92 group, the USTA should be looking to the results and how they have improve form the last year and how they are compared to the top players of their age group form the USTA and the world. I am not against the WC to the 92, because I really think that Sarmiente deserved one, because of his consistency in this year (Easter Bowl, Grass Court, Kalamazoo). But what about Ore. He lost in Orange Bowl to Vinsant, he had a prety shacky Kzoo, and he has not have any win over any of the top world junior. And for Pasha, he has not done good in any tournament this year. He did bad in Easter Bowl loosing to McCall, in the Grass to Webb, in the clay courts with Sock, in the Team Champ with Kosawoski and in Kzoo with Bangoura and Campell. Soo? I do not understand. Yhe USTA should give them to players who are rising up and that in the future can have results. They have to give a chance to the new players. If a player has not accomplished his potential, do not congratulate them. They should made them know that they have to cash up and time is running out. This would make them understand that they really need to improve a lot in their results.


Isn't junior ore 3 out of the main draw? He is the first american out. He has definitely earned a wc. You can point out bad losses to ALL these guys everyone is naming. No one is dominating. You can do the same with the ones in the main draw as well. The 1991s should have earned their way into the tournament by now.

Diane said...

Congratulations, Colette--nice gig!

getreal said...

Collette did Brad Gilbert say the USTA got it wrong with the Open WCs qualies and should have been given one to Jordan Cox? is he aware of his recent results at the Zoo, or more telling track record in the pros? if anyone was overlooked it was Tennys Sandgren...

Austin said...

Good job Colette, New York Times is most respected newspaper in the country. Not too shabby.

Colette Lewis said...


I did not hear Gilbert's comments on the wild cards, but I suspect his association with Bollettieri's may be behind them.

I agree that Sandgren was a more notable omission from qualifying wild cards.

As to Lauren McHale, I'm not sure why she's no longer on Princeton's roster.

Quasimodo said...

to "put the best players out there": your observation of the COLLEGE COACHES ability to evaulate upside and potential rings very true to me. they have the benefit of watching with a completely open mind with no rooting interest for or against. they obviously care about results, but they care equally, or more, about the upside potential of the player and what they can do with that player. all of that being said, i do believe the usta deserves the benefit of the doubt with both their wc selections and their development initiatives. all indications are that mr. mcenroe and his team are taking a very professional, objective approach and are not afraid to search the world for best practices and apply them here.

tennis said...


Tennys Sandgren lost to an 18 year old at the french open, Richard Becker, not a 15 year old as, justthefacts would have you believe. check your facts. Im JUST giving you THE FACTS.

been-there said...

I heard that Mchale's sister had a problem with a home school class not transferring and thus was not eligible for Princeton.

10is said...

Well Sandgren lost to a 15 year old at Wimbledon

The Dude said...

Lauren McHale took a couple of courses this summer so she will probably be added to the rooster after there are done.

justthefacts said...

to tennis

you are right, the 15 year old was Filip Horansku at Wikmbledpn, not the French Jrs.

tennis said...

it may be bad to lose to most 15 year old for a 91 like sandgren, but horansky is a GREAT tennis player, the best 93 in the world by a long shot in my opinion. way better than boluda, and has fernandes by a ways. Wouldnt be surprised if he goes a really long way.

so please dont judge sandgrens loss as a bad one simply because he lost to someone who is a couple years younger.

USTA said...

Since junior made main draw on his own, it looks as if we will get one more qualy wildcard.

ALSO, INstead of halebian and kreuger and the new wildcard spot open, why not give the last 3 to Kandath Bangoura and Saba.

Nobody is even talking about saba, yet he has had a Great year. He has done very well in all the hard court tournaments he has played this year. I know he is 18, but it is his last year, and if he plays well, he could really do something at the open. Either way he would have a WAY better chance to qualy than the 94s in qualies

update said...

Kandath is already in qualifying for the us open juniors.

watcher said...

To USTA: Where did you see that Ore made the main draw? He is still listed in the qualies, with the MD wildcrad reserved for him if he doesn't get in on his own. If he gets in the MD by ranking, the MD WC likely would go to Kandath, as the next highest ranked US player.

Unknown said...

The USTA needs a whole new shake-up when coming to giving out the wild cards. The 91s would prove nothing by giving them a wild card into the jr's., they should already be top 200 on the WTA tour or off to college. The main draw should be 92s and 93s and the qualies should be 94 and 95. Also these wild cards should be earned, not given out to friends and family. Currently IMG is controlling the wild card distribution and it's wrong. The wild cards should be given to deserving athletes. Like track & field and swimming let them have playoffs for the wild cards, then we will know that the wild cards are earned and not given through connection. If IMG continue to rule our system then after the Williams sisters there will be no Americans in the draws. Think about that for awhile!