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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Robson Receives Australian Qualifying Wild Card; More Tomic; Jerricka Boone Q & A; Copper Bowl Winners

Great Britain's Laura Robson received notice that she had been awarded a wild card into next week's qualifying at the Australian Open and celebrated that good news with her first win over a Top 30 player, defeating No. 26 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 6-1, 7-6(6) in the finals of the Hopman Cup, a mixed event that is technically an exhibition.

Playing with Andy Murray in the best-of-three-match competition (women's singles, men's singles and mixed doubles), Robson had been competitive all week, but had gone 0-3 against Sabine Lisicki, Elena Dementieva and Yaroslava Shvedova. Murray had won all of his matches, however, and they had won all three of the doubles matches they needed to advance to the final against Spain. Ironically, despite Robson's first singles win, they lost to Spain 2-1 in the final, as Murray lost to Tommy Robredo and he and Robson dropped the deciding mixed doubles match.

Robson talks about her form and the likelihood of her qualifying (she fell just short at the US Open last September, where she was also the recipient of a qualifying wild card, losing a third set tiebreaker to Eva Hrdinova of the Czech Republic) in this article from the Telegraph. She also reaffirms her intention to compete in the junior draw; she reached the girls final in Melbourne last year, losing to Ksenia Pervak of Russia. For more on Laura Robson's prospects for 2010, see Nick McCarvel's piece for the "Players to Watch" series at onthebaseline.com.

Robson and Bernard Tomic are running neck-and-neck in the media's favorite teen sweepstakes, although it must be said that there has been nothing but glowing press for Robson, while Tomic's trials and tribulations are attracting more critical assessments. Linda Pearce, a veteran of the Tomic media skirmishes, wrote this must-read article in which she talks with Tomic about his goals and with Tomic's new trainer, Yutaka Nakamura, about what physical challenges the still-growing 17-year-old faces in the next few years.

A considerably less publicized teenager, Jerricka Boone of Chicago, was the subject of a recent question and answer session with the Sun-Times' Taylor Bell. Boone, who won the Illinois state high school title as a freshman last fall, defeating blue chip upperclassmen Hanna Mar and Melissa Kopinski prior to the final, says she wants to turn pro before age 18, and wasn't influenced by the Williams sisters, because she prefers playing tennis to watching it.

The Copper Bowl wrapped up this week, with the winners as follows:
Boys 18s: Eric Johnson(2)
Girls 18s: Sarah Lee(1)
Boys 16s: Nicholas Montoya(10)
Girls 16s: Maya Jansen(3)
Boys 14s: Augustus Ge(3)
Girls 14s: Dasha Ivanova(1)
Boys 12s: Liam Caruana(5)
Girls 12s: Parris Todd(2)

For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.


Kim from Tampa said...

Cute Q and A but Jerrika Boone is naive. Go pro? Perhaps she needs to move to FL. or Cali and realize how epic the amount of girl's talent is in her age group and younger. There are 11-14 year olds who would make her head spin out there.

getreal said...

Article on Tomic indeed begs question on how far he can really go. WIth all the resources being poured into developing his game and all the pampering it is more than surprising his results are not stronger at the pro level. Tennis Australia is certainly going the distance by hiring Yutaka but it does seem a bit much.

The Dude said...

Tomic game is a lot like the top American juniors, he makes a lot of balls but is not agressive enough with his size. They are great junior players but don't have enough weapons to make it in the big show.