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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Capra and Gibbs Invited to Join Fed Cup; USTA Girls Sweep Alabama Wednesday, Beat Georgia Thursday

My article today for the Tennis Recruiting Network is one that was brought back a lot of memories for me. One of the first professional pieces I ever wrote was for tennis.com, when tenniswire.org's Liza Horan was the editor there, and it was about Scoville Jenkins and Scott Oudsema serving as hitting partners for the U.S. Davis Cup semifinal tie with Belarus back in September of 2004.

I learned in Tulsa that Beatrice Capra and Nicole Gibbs would be serving as future fed cuppers, as the junior girls are known, for next week's Fed Cup final between the U.S. and Italy, and it was obvious how excited they both were to be part of the team. Although when I interviewed them the team hadn't yet been announced, they were both adamant that Melanie Oudin, less than a year older than Capra and less than two years older than Gibbs, belonged on the team. Although Oudin did not play well in Asia after her U.S. Open breakthrough and was sick and unable to play in Luxembourg recently, she was named to the team, along with Alexa Glatch, the hero of the semifinal against the Czech Republic, Liezel Huber and Serena Williams. Captain Mary Joe Fernandez was asked about Oudin's expected contribution to the team in a conference call yesterday, and she said:

And you know I always tell my team members there’s two things you can control, very few in tennis but a couple you can, and one of them is what kind of shape you’re in. That’s in your control to be as fit as possible. But the other thing is attitude. And no matter how tough it is or whether she’s down, you would never know. And a lot of the times at the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon, when she beat Jankovic ((inaudible)) 16, she lost the first set and you would never know you know. She plays each point like it’s the first point of the match or the last point and plugs away. So those are just characteristics that are extremely positive at any level, but particularly in a team event.

Capra and Gibbs, who are tough competitors in their own right, will get the opportunity to see the strides Oudin has made just a year removed from junior tennis, and with Serena Williams on the team, will get an up-close view of her fierce competitiveness.

For the complete transcript of the Fernandez call, which does not mention Capra and Gibbs, but does have much more on Oudin, Glatch and Huber, see globalvillagetennisnews.com.

The USTA girls National team shut out the University of Alabama team Wednesday night and nearly did the same to the University of Georgia women tonight.

Alabama could not field a full team, forfeiting one doubles match and at No. 6 singles (for an account of the match, with scores, click here). Georgia, a semifinalist at the NCAAs last spring, have only six players on their roster and only four players were available for this evening's match. Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist won 8-2 at No. 1 doubles over Lauren Herring and Grace Min, but Breaunna Addison and Lauren Davis took a 9-8(4) decision over Cameron Ellis and Naoko Ueshima. Kyle McPhillips defeated Ueshima 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles, Chanelle Van Nguyen got by Gilchrist 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, Monica Turewicz came back to down Ellis 1-6, 6-3 6-1 at No. 3 and Davis beat the nation's second ranked college player Gullickson 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(4) at No. 1.

On Saturday, the third and final dual match will be against Georgia Tech, who does have seven players on its roster, but Amanada McDowell did not play singles at the All-American, nor did she play in the regional last week, and Irina Falconi is competing in the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Puerto Rico (she lost to Alison Riske today however, so she may be back in time to play). So far the USTA girls are 9-0 in singles; it will be interesting to see if the Yellow Jackets can halt that streak.

20 comments:

Wright Thinking said...

I just got home from Athens. UGA suffered from lack of concentration. Lots of unforced errors. Gullickson served twice for the match twice but mistakes cost her. Without Falconi Saturday we have no shot at a win in singles.

One member of team USA was not very sportsmanlike during her match. Bouncing her racket; hitting balls in disgust after the point. She was a guest and playing on a national team. Disapointing.

Go Lauren! said...

Extremely impressive win for Lauren Davis. She needs to start playing more ITF's...stat!

GymDawg said...

These junior teams are playing and training far, far, far more than their college counterparts. So its no surprise at all when they do really well against them. Sadly, the
quality of a player's game drops pretty dramatically once they've been in the system for a year.

On another note, I'll concur with Wright Thinking's complaint about the team USA member. Really, really poor attitude and upset a lot of folk who were in attendance (not to mention the girl she was playing).

tb12 said...

I talked to Amanda McDowell. She is not playing on Saturday and her back is getting better "slowly but surely"

Who was the USTA player with the conduct issues?

Wright Thinking said...

If they had played in Atlanta last night she would have been on the court nearest the Dome.

get real said...

is this suppossed to be a big deal or is it meant for practice. if it was a big deal and actually counted towards something. i would find it hard to believe davis would get 4 games from gullickson.

GeorgiaFan said...

It was Davis also who was acting up throughout the match

John said...

Get Real -- I think the college players take it as a big deal and am not surprised that Davis is competitive at that level.

Colette Lewis said...

Because I wasn't there, I can't confirm or deny the behavior cited, but I've since talked with others who did not feel it was out of the ordinary for a highly competitive match in a collegiate setting.

markus said...

The fact is that juniors are doing extremely well against top teams in the country and congrats to them. I do think college players do take it seriously, some matches were very competitive going 3 sets; and losses to much younger players (not to mention size...) must hurt - it does not matter if the results count for anything or not.

get real said...

i am sorry that i impled that a win in a practice match doesn't add up as much as a win that counts for something. but come on who are you kidding. i am sure the college girls are going to have their game face on when there is more meaning behind it.

John said...

Get Real - I'm not saying it is the NCAA Finals, but the peer pressure and importance to a top college player of beating the younger player is a pretty big deal. Trust me, they WANT to win.

get real said...

John,
trust me if there is nothing to lose or gain, who really cares at the end of the day. that is why it is called preseason or practice matches. there is a hugh difference!!!!! if it wasn't for this site would we have known about this???

John said...

Get real - nothing to gain or lose.....you don't sound like much of a competitor yourself, or you would certainly understand.

abc said...

There is such a thing called pride.

get real said...

john,
have a open mind and realize tht this was a practice match. maybe the college girls are working on their match play by sacraficing today for tomorrow. that is what great competetors do. that is why it is PRACTICE

John said...

Get Real - instead of supposing or saying "maybe this or that"....why don't you ask a few of the players. I'd say i do have an open mind, but that you don't in that these players might actually care.

Jerry said...

Hey get real,
did you ever play a PRACTICE match like that, and did it matter who was on the other side of the net?

I suspect these matches would be a lot more FOR REAL if colleges were winning, but since they did not do that well, the matches are PRACTICE.

Either way, it is a worthy event, and congrats to all.

get real said...

people like you wonder why americans are not top in the world. winning is not the only thing. have you seen any of these usta players? they have not improved their games from the 12s except grind more. sharapova when she was young would enter a tourney and was told to work on one specific thing and not look at the end result. i had an australian coach and french coach i was told not to get caught up in american thinking. i use to get mad at the knocks i would hear about americans. but 15 yrs after the fact completely understand. my point if you can understand this is big deal,. lets see what happens to some of the girls who won or lost when it comes to rankings or trophys and even better money, not in some blog. talk to serena see what she would say. you guys sound like typical american junior tennis parents.

Jerry said...

get real,
you are an bitter idiot.