Kudla Wins Casablanca Cup; First Youth Olympic Games in Aug.; Winter Nationals Review on TRN; Gilbert Sees Top 100 for Harrison
Denis Kudla won his first Grade A tournament at the Casablanca Cup, a result that has vaulted him to No. 3 in the ITF junior rankings. Kudla, the No. 2 seed, defeated unseeded Juan Sebastian Gomez of Colombia 7-6(6), 6-2, taking the title without losing a set. The girls winner was No. 3 seed Sachie Ishizu of Japan, who downed Monica Puig 6-2, 6-0. For more on the finals, see the ITF junior website.
This week's major junior tournament is the Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica, a Grade 1 event. They have an outstanding website with up-to-date results. Qualifier Tristan Dewar of the U.S. has already provided the day's big upset, defeating No. 2 seed Polina Leykina of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
I was reading through the revisions for 2010 in the ITF junior regulations over the weekend (more about that later), and ran across repeated references to the Youth Olympic Games. I hadn't heard the term before and once I googled it, I found out that this year is its first. According to the FAQs on the site, it is organized by the IOC, and is based on the adult Olympic concept. This year it will be staged in Singapore August 14-26. The tennis competition looks to be a 32 draw for 17 and 18 year olds, based on ITF rankings, and it has the same points/bonus status as a junior slam. Whether any U.S. players will compete is an open question, as Singapore is basically as distant as Australia, and the dates conflict with the end of the USTA National Championships.
The Tennis Recruiting Network has posted the first of its two-part review of the Winter Nationals, with the 12s and 14s finals covered by Ali Jones.
And in a blog post today, Brad Gilbert, never one to shy away from a bold prediction, says that he expects Ryan Harrison to "easily" be in the Top 100 by the end of this year.