Kozlov Takes Nike International Masters 12s Title; NCAA Rule Change May Impact Tennis; Osaka Grade A Semifinals Set; Radiotennis.com in Mansfield, TX
The Nike Junior Tour's International Masters competition in the Dominican Republic finished on Monday, with Florida's Stefan Kozlov taking the 12s title. The 11-year-old from Pembroke Pines, seeded fourth, finished atop the 25-player field by defeating No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia in the final 6-2, 6-1. Unseeded thirteen-year-old Alexandria Stiteler of Bradenton reached the semifinals of the 14s division, as did her fellow 2008 Junior Orange Bowl finalist Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands. De Vroome, the second seed, lost to unseeded Rebecca Peterson of Sweden, who defeated top seed Darva Lebesheva of Belarus 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4. In the boys 14s, Wisconsin's Elliot Sprecher upset top seed and 2008 Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl 12s champion Hyeon Chung of Korea, but lost in the quarterfinals. The USTA Northern section spoke with Sprecher about his experience in this article. Spain's Carlos Benito took the boys 14s title. In the girls 12s, No. 4 seed Carolyn Xie of California fell in the quarterfinals. Eighth seed Anastasiya Komardina of Russia won the title.
For complete results, see the Nike Junior Tour website.
Earlier this week, espn.com had this detailed article about a proposed change in NCAA rules that would no longer prohibit prospective student-athletes from playing on teams with "professionals." This is the regulation that keeps amateurs from playing World Team Tennis except as part of an all-amateur team, and that has made the club teams of Europe problematical for teenagers who may wish to play college tennis in the U.S. Although the example in the article is volleyball, it sounds very similar to what tennis experiences. I'm a little surprised there hasn't been any resistance to the change from tennis coaches, given that a proposal allowing $10,000 of winnings for amateurs was tabled, but the article says that only hockey is not on board.
The Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup is winding down in Japan, with top seed Kristina Mladenovic and No. 2 seed Timea Babos still in the running for the title. France's Mladenovic plays No. 9 seed Tamara Curovic of Serbia in one semifinal, while Hungary's Babos takes on No. 10 seed Sachie Ishizu of Japan. The boys draw has been much less predictable; top seed Daniel Berta of Sweden lost early and the highest seed remaining in the semifinals is No. 8 seed Hiroyasu Ehara of Japan, who plays unseeded Jea Moon Lee of Korea in one semifinal. Ninth seed Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan meets Australian Junior Davis Cup star and No. 11 seed Jason Kubler in the other semifinal. For more on the week's action, see the ITF junior website.
Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com is in Mansfield, Texas for the $15,000 Pro Circuit Men's event there. He will be webstreaming play by play from there Saturday and Sunday, at no charge. Free registration is all that's required to listen via your computer.