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Friday, November 13, 2009

Kimbell to Georgia and Other Signings; Eddie Herr Acceptances; USTA Offers Pancho Gonzalez Grants

The Tennis Recruiting Network wrapped up their coverage of blue chip signings today, with the announcement that Lilly Kimbell had signed with the University of Georgia. Josh Rey, who wrote some outstanding stories this year for usopen.org, gives a detailed look at Kimbell's junior tennis career, pointing out how it differs from that of other players, and at Kimbell's personality, ending the feature with Little Kimbellisms: quotes too good to leave out, even if they don't fit the narrative flow.

Other announcements from today include this release from the University of San Diego on blue chip Clarke Spinosa's signing, and four local newspaper stories on top-rated recruits: Stamford Conn.'s The Advocate's article on Dante Terenzio's signing with Louisville;. The Dothan Ala. Eagle's story on four star Emily Newton's commitment to Auburn, where she will be joined by five star Jacqueline Kasler, according to this Pensacola News Journal article; and Treasure Coast Palm's article on five star Andrew Butz's signing with the University of Florida. I will have more on another high profile commitment to the Gators tomorrow.

The Eddie Herr acceptances have been posted, and it looks as if they'll be only one junior slam singles winner in the field--US Open girls champion Heather Watson, who, of course, lives in Bradenton and trains at Bollettieri's. French Open finalist Daria Gavrilova of Russia, the Eddie Herr 14s champion, is entered in the 18s, as is US Open girls finalist Yana Buchina of Russia. Beatrice Capra and Madison Keys are the top ITF-ranked U.S. players entered, with the wild cards yet to be named. Sachia Vickery is entered in the 16s.

In the boys 18s, Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France is the highest ranked ITF player entered, at No. 9, and none of the junior slam winners or finalists are entered. The U.S. will again have a strong contingent with Denis Kudla, who today reached the semifinals of the Futures in Niceville, 2008 16s champion Raymond Sarmiento, Mitchell Frank, Harry Fowler, Junior Ore and Sekou Bangoura, Jr., all in the ITF top 60, in the field.

A spreadsheet of the acceptances, which at 36 pages gives an indication of just how huge the tournament is, can be found at eddieherr.com.

The USTA has announced a new grant in honor of Pancho Gonzalez, which will go to one male and one female high school student of Hispanic heritage who combines competitive tennis participation with academic achievements. For more on the qualifications for these two grants, see usta.com.