First Pro Circuit Tournaments of 2010 Underway in Plantation; New Pac-10 Tennis Website; More Robson; Mestach, Olivo Win Coffee Bowl Titles
Qualifying for first Pro Circuit event of the year in Plantation, Fla. began Friday with a 128 draw for the men's $10,000 tournament. Yesterday's dismal weather in South Florida delayed the men's second round of qualifying and the women's first round until today. The women's event is a $25,000 total purse, with a 64 draw. Sloane Stephens, who was injured most of the fall and didn't play after the U.S. Open juniors, is back competing and she didn't lose a game in her first round qualifying match. Because she finished the year in the ITF junior Top 10, Stephens receives ITF wild cards into three main draws of $25,000 events this year, but she undoubtedly decided that she needed the matches in this tournament. It's also great to see Spencer Newman back playing tournaments for the first time since his knee injury at the Easter Bowl back in April. He's also had a good start, winning his first two matches in qualifying.
Results were not so good for two players who graduated out of the junior rankings this month. Chase Buchanan lost his second round match to 16-year-old Ciprian Porumb of Romania, who is ranked outside the ITF Top 200 junior rankings, and Devin Britton lost his first round match to Eric Hechtman, a former University of Miami player, who today beat 16s Orange Bowl champion Alexios Halebian. Shane Vinsant posted a good win over Dennis Novikov to reach the third round of qualifying. Notable results in the women's first round include USC recruit Kaitlyn Christian's win over former Trojan Amanda Fink and Allie Will of Florida defeating No. 4 seed and WTA No. 318 Julia Glushko of Israel.
For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.
The daily dose of Laura Robson news is served up by Neil Harman at the Times, who spoke with Robson's mother Kathy and coach Martijn Bok. Kathy is quoted as projecting that her daughter will add another half inch to her 5-foot-10-and-a-half-inch frame. I share her hope that everybody gives Laura "space to get better and be kind to her."
There's a new website devoted to Pac-10 men's tennis that will update the activity of the seven teams in the conference during the dual season, all on one page. It has links to team pages and a forum, so check it often during what should be another very competitive race for the conference title.
The Grade 1 Coffee Bowl was completed last night, with No. 2 seed Renzo Olivo of Argentina and An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium winning the titles. This week's Grade 1 is in Venezuela, the Copa Gatorade, and only a few U.S. players are competing there. Lauren Davis, Jessica Wacnik, Nikita Meka, Leyla Erkan, Tristen Dewar and Julia Elbaba are listed as main draw entrants. There are no U.S. boys in the main draw. See the ITF junior site for entry lists.