Sponsored by IMG Academy

Thursday, January 7, 2010

December Aces; Mina and Berta Need Wild Cards for Australian Jrs.?; Les Petits As Acceptances

There's surprising news on the Australian junior championships front. Several of the wild cards were announced Tuesday and they include the top two boys in the ITF world junior rankings: Daniel Berta of Sweden and Gianni Mina of France. You might recall that I was surprised not to see Mina's name in the initial acceptances because he had said at the Orange Bowl that he was planning on playing it. Berta withdrew from the Orange Bowl with an injury, so I thought perhaps that was the reason he wasn't on the initial acceptance list. Berta's wild card is for qualifying(!), while Mina's is for the main draw. There's obviously a story here, and I'll let you know if I hear back from the ITF or TennisAustralia about just what it was that led to these wild cards.

Monika Wejnert, an Australian 17-year-old who hasn't played a junior event since last year's Australian Open, also received a wild card, although her WTA ranking of 324 would have automatically gotten her in the junior draw had she entered.* Other girls with impressive WTA rankings in the field are Isabella Holland of Australia (328), Christina McHale of the U.S. (232) and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic (222). There are no boys entered who have a ranking inside 800 on the ATP tour.

*WTA ranking of 350 and above or ATP ranking of 550 and above earns direct entry into ITF junior main draws.

For the complete list, see the ITF junior website, which has a link to download the Tennis Australia document.

My monthly aces column is up at the Tennis Recruiting Network. If you want a five-minute tour of the major Florida junior tournaments last month, it's your best bet.

The acceptances for Les Petits As, which begins on January 25th, are up, and the U.S. girls traveling to Tarbes for the tournament include Brooke Austin, Taylor Townsend, Gabrielle Andrews and Alexandra Stiteler. Interesting that all the girls are 1996 birth years, while of the boys: Tommy Paul, Stefan Kozlov, Spencer Furman and Noah Rubin, only Rubin is a 1996; the other three are younger. There are a couple of errors in the acceptance list for the boys, with Furman's first name given as Myles (or maybe that is right?) and Kozlov's first and last name reversed. I think this link will take you to the boys list; the girls can be found by changing the dropdown in the upper left hand corner.


Tom C said...

Hi Colette,
There is an American, Dennis Uspensky, in qualifying... Do you know anything about him? Thanks and be well.

Colette Lewis said...

@Tom C:
No, I saw the name too, but I'm not familiar with him.

tennisforlife said...

Does anyone know why Sean Berman keeps getting Main Draw wildcards in all these major tournaments. Kalamazoo and now the Australian Open. Has he done anything special as a'93 to warrant this. Sock would hit him off the court based on results.

Markus said...

Christina McHale is listed as withdrawn on January 5th.

observer said...

I certainly looks like the USTA is using the Petit As and Teen Tennis trip as a development tool but it is disappointing that they did not select Christian Garay for the trip. Christian has not had a spectacular year but neither have the others selected. Christian is close in the rankings and played Quinzi at the Jr OB to a 5,5 loss where the Italian player had to pull all of his tricks to win, including poor sportsmanship, questionable line calling and repeated off court coaching. All present saw it including the USTA coaches. Christian showed a lot of game and a lot of heart and that is what it takes at those tournaments. It looks like the selected boys team may have trouble posting some good scores.

Linda P. said...

Quinzi is not on here to defend himself. Sounds like sour grapes to me. The entire post is nothing but excuses for Garay, sounding like from a parent.

Amtex said...

Whoa, low blow. I was at the Orange Bowl, Gianluigi Quinzi did nothing of the sort! Thats very wrong to post.