Back in June, Tennis.com's Peter Bodo watched 2009 NCAA champion Devin Britton play in the Wimbledon Junior Championships, and wrote this post, entitled "Rod Laver Don't Fish". In his Tennis World blog today, Bodo looks at the USTA and Britton's decision to train this fall in Spain, where he's been for a week or so now. (I believe Bodo has also written a story on Britton for an upcoming issue of Tennis magazine). Today's post, "Three-Headed Calf", is a reference to the freakish nature of Britton's serve and volley game, which Bodo discusses in some detail. He also writes about the entitlement culture in this country in particular, contrasting it with Spain's (not sure about that myself, having no familiarity with that culture) and how differently excellent players are treated here compared to elsewhere. That's not my observation--and why would it be that way, with Federer and Nadal, two Europeans, at the pinnacle of the men's sport? Granted the next U.S. male Grand Slam winner is considered important from an endorsement perspective, but the past decade has proven that fan bases no few borders. I do know that 13 months ago, Devin Britton was being fawned over by absolutely no one in the U.S. tennis infrastructure. And the "hype machine" in the U.S., which I agree was well-oiled in the Donald Young instance, is pretty tame compared to what goes on in other countries where tennis is much higher in the sports pecking order.
But aside from these minor quibbles, it's an interesting read, and I'd love to hear your views on the entitlement premise. As coaches and parents, is that an obstacle?
Speaking of advance publicity, US Open girls champion Heather Watson has received a boatload of it recently, prior to her opening round match Wednesday in the $50,000 challenger in Barnstaple, England. A wild card, Watson has drawn No. 2 seed Melanie South, also of Great Britain, and Watson will be playing doubles with Laura Robson. Watson has apparently not yet officially signed with a management company, although she declared her intention to turn pro a couple of weeks ago. It looks like IMG is likely to represent her, according to this story in the Guernsey Press. For more on Watson and her family, see this story in the Daily Mail.
Qualifying for the All-American tournaments ends on Wednesday, when eight women and 16 men will advance into the draws at Riviera and Tulsa respectively. One match away from qualifying are freshmen Lauren Embree of Florida, pre-qualifying lucky loser Allie Will, also of Florida, and pre-qualifying freshmen Danielle Lao of Southern Cal and Aeriel Ellis of Texas. For complete results of both singles and doubles qualifying, see the ITA tournament home page.
In Tulsa, several freshman are also one match from the main draw, including Vanderbilt's Ryan Lipman, Duke's Henrique Cunha, Oklahoma's pre-qualifying freshman Costin Paval and Ole Miss's Adrian Skogeng Forberg. Two other Rebels have reached the final round of qualifying. For more see olemisssports.com.
For singles and doubles qualifying draws see the ITA tournament page.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009