Sponsored by IMG Academy

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kudla, Puig Make Casablanca Cup Finals; Domijan Still Undecided About College; Australian Junior Acceptances

Denis Kudla has advanced to the final of the Grade A Casablanca Cup in Mexico City with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over friend and fellow Junior Tennis Champions Center student Junior Ore, the No. 4 seed. Kudla, the No. 2 seed, has yet to lose a set this week, but he certainly won't be taking for granted his opponent in the final, the unseeded Juan Sebastian Gomez of Colombia. Gomez has beaten top seed Mitchell Frank (in the quarterfinals) and No. 3 seed Filip Horansky of the Slovak Republic (in today's semifinals)--both wins coming in straight sets.

Orange Bowl champion Gabriela Dabrowski, the No. 1 girls seed, was also beaten in the quarterfinals, losing to unseeded Doroteja Eric of Serbia. Eric was in turn defeated by Japan's Sachie Ishizu, the No. 3 seed in today's semifinals. Ishizu will face No. 7 seed Monica Puig, a Floridian who plays for Puerto Rico, in the final. Puig beat No. 6 seed Katarena Paliivets of Canada in today's semifinal 4-6, 6-0, 6-0.

Dabrowski and partner Marianne Jodoin, also of Canada, won the girls doubles title over the unseeded team of Eric and Anita Husaric of Bosnia 3-6, 6-1, 12-10.

The boys doubles title went to seventh seeds Xin Bao and Bowen Ouyang of China in a walkover. They were to play No. 5 seeds Diego Acosta and Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador.

For complete draws, see the tournament website.

Alex Domijan hasn't played a junior match since losing in the US Open junior championship's second round to eventual winner Bernard Tomic, so I wasn't sure what his plans were regarding professional vs. college tennis. In this story from the St. Petersburg Times, Domijan is quoted as saying: "I don't know if I want to go to college or go pro, I still have to decide. We'll see how the next six months go."

Domijan, along with Jack Sock and Jordan, is currently listed in the 128-player qualifying draw of the first Pro Circuit tournament of the year, in Plantation, Fla. For the complete entry list for the men click here; for the women, click here. Many of the 64 players in the 64-spot women's qualifying draw are juniors and current and former college players.

I am not accustomed to finding the acceptances for Junior Slams on the ITF website, but that may be the result of some of the recent changes implemented by the ITF for 2010. The Australian Open acceptances have been up for some time, and it does seem that the lists are being updated regularly.

On the boys side, I'm surprised not to see the name of Orange Bowl champion Gianni Mina of France, who said in Key Biscayne that he was going to play in Melbourne. As usual, there are few Americans making the trip, with Mitchell Frank and Nick Chappell the only two boys from the U.S. currently in the main draw. Madison Keys, Christina McHale and Ester Goldfeld are the three U.S. girls in the main draw as of January 2nd.

For the complete lists, see the ITF junior website.


get real said...

Maybe someone can explain to me how some ofthe players who go out of the countr can get some wins, and then come back to the states and dump first round? I was told that going to certain itfs was easy wins. That being the case, why not try and accomplish the lower grade itfs in the U.S.? I realize there are alot of point chasers out there, but imagine some of the kids who can only play in the States and are accomplishing some rounds and then go out of the States, they would also have the itf ranking.

Tennis Observer said...

What happened to Sean Berman? He wanted to play the Australian last year.

Tennis Player said...

Yes. Can someone please explain what happened to Sean Berman? He has disappeared off the face of the earth since Kalamazoo? Is he injured?

Also, if someone could fill me in on Mika DeCoster's plans and whereabouts I would appreciate it. I know he has had hand injuries but now I hear that he's only playing futures tournaments and no USTA junior tournaments.

tennisman said...

Sean Berman apparently has returned to New Zealand and is scheduled to play in the junior qualifying rounds at the Austrialian Open at the end of the month. Mika DeCoster did play in the 16 and Under Orange Bowl tournament, but lost in the second round of the qualifying draw and the first round of doubles.

itfref said...

Get real,

If players are winning at any ITF level, they are probably not "dumping" first round very often. Sure, that happens even to the best players, but I doubt it is occurring on a consistent basis. None of the ITFs are as easy as you make it seem, as the kids are older and generally very serious about their tennis. Very few "easy" ITFs in foreign countries are attended by Americans, as the cost is generally prohibitive, and the trip not really worth it given the fact that there are several level 5ITFs in the states. Also, as you go up in level, from 5-A, the competition gets increasingly difficult, and at the top levels (Grades A and 1), the tournaments are similar to some Futures tournaments. Playing those events has little to do with point chasing, as they are generally limited to the top 250 ranked junior players in the world. It is typically about the competition for these serious athletes. There are several low to high level ITFs in the states, so if kids cannot travel, or do not want to travel, they can get all their points here, and do quite well as they progress in the levels of difficulty and in the rankings.

Tennis Observer said...

Why would Sean Berman return to New Zealand when he was firmly committed to playing Davis Cup for the United States?

tennisman said...

I do not think a "firm commitment" at 13 or 14 years old means much at this stage. The game is rapidly changing, and all too often, leaves its young behind.

get real said...

there are a few plyers who are dumping first rd. when they come back to the States to play either itfs or nationals. I was told by a few coaches that to get points head to the Carribean for either juniors or pros to gain points and come back here to get an opportunity to get in to qualifying. I have checked this out and there are kids who are doing just that. I do feel it is a false hope. The U.S. obviously is hosting some high end tourneys. I have seen some americans who are chasing points doing this. I think i will listen to what some of the coaches are saying. One of the girls who is doing this is the headline in this article. Look where she has traveled to. There are others like her

Tennis Observer said...

But the USTA spent a lot of money on Berman. How will future U.S. Davis Cup teams make due?