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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anderson, Kelleher Win USTA National Men's and Women's Opens

This is not breaking news. The tournament is held every year, right after Christmas, and every year I forget to check the draws. Usually sometime in January, I read a story that refers to one of the winners; that didn't happen this year until today, when I ran across this Bleacher Report Q and A with Clemson's current No. 1 player, Derek DiFazio of Brooklyn. It's definitely worth reading if you're interested in the non-country club path to Division I college tennis. DiFazio, who says he grew up as a "hustler" and always will be, won the mixed doubles title at the National Open, with 2008 ITF World Junior Champion Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, who is alluded to, but not mentioned by name in the Q and A. (By the way, she is a six-time junior slam finalist; she's won four such titles). The connection between the two is former Clemson coach Chuck Kriese, who has been working with Lertcheewakarn for over a year.

Lertcheewakarn was the second seed in the Women's Open in New York. She reached the semifinals, where she was beaten by 16-year-old Robin Anderson, the No. 3 seed, who just a couple of weeks before had reached the quarterfinals at the Dunlop Orange Bowl. Anderson went on to win the title, defeating 30-year-old Anna Beilen-Zarska, the 12th seed, 6-4, 6-0 in the final.

In the men's draw, unseeded Sean Kelleher won two championships, defeating another unseeded player, St. John's freshman Michael Lampa, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the singles final. Kelleher, who played at William and Mary between 2002 and 2005, is now the head coach of the men's and women's programs at Division III Franklin and Marshall in Lancaster, Pa. He and Franklin and Marshall assistant coach Ben Zink collected the gold ball for doubles. For more on their win, see the Franklin and Marshall website.

Lertcheewakarn collected her second title in the women's doubles. She and 14-year-old Tina Jiang, the top seeds, defeated the unseeded pairing of Nikola Hubnerova and Nicolle Stracar 6-1, 6-4.

For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.


juniortennismom said...

Man in the moon-

I think you are romantacizing the idea of "home grown talent" to produce a grand slam champion. Do you realize that 99% of parents of kids with talent can not afford to develop them into professional tennis players? It takes an unsustainable amount of $$$ to develop a junior. I know for a fact because I am there right now. Without the help of the USTA - it is simply out of reach. Period. I would like to know especially in today's economy, where you think the money comes from for private coaches, fitness, travel, apparel, tournament entry fees, etc. to develop a home grown junior? Is it only the wealthy that can go this route?

Marcia Frost said...

I too forgot this tournament, which I covered for many years. It is a great mix of juniors, college players and professionals and I would love to see more college coaches encourage play in it each year.

Quote That Was Relevant 30 Years Ago said...

Man in the moon - Just Win Baby? The same guy that said that has what is one of the least successful and worst run franchise in all of pro sports over the last 8-10 years.

Man in the Moon said...

Quote That Was Relevant 30 Years Ago

Is that the best you got?!!!

Considering I am one of the most prolific writers on this blog -- with tons of comments- day in and day out - and that is what you come up with.

To be specific about Al Davis -- he is now 80 years old -- his sons run the team-- they have sold some ownership rights to a Private Equity Firm and he really is out of the football business - which now his children are responsible for running day to day operations.

What he forgot about winning -- on a world class stage --- I would bet -- you nor I would hold a candle to his accomplishments.

and yes, they are terrible now -- but you can't take away what he accomplished.

I still say after 1,000's of words that I have written on this site --


Quote .... said...

Just doing what you do - being obnoxious and picking apart little things...You are a legend in your own mind ... And yes, how terrible they are now and have been under Davis' leadership for the better part of the last 2 decades does take away his legacy of decades ago. He is and has been literally a joke in the media and all football circles (see Lane Kiffin press conference)... Now go back to the room you are renting in someone's basement.

Man in the Moon said...


I hear loud and clear what you are saying and

my comments were concerning the USTA and not the parents --

You are now totally changing the subject of what was previously discussed.

And no I was not romanticizing about home grown.

If you are asking my opinion of a junior playing making it to the Pros in this day and age -- I certainly have a few thoughts on that position

but as of yet, I have not given an opinion of parents -- taking the approach to have their children become ATP / WTA Pros.

Many years ago I had two sons who played National level tennis.

To make a long story very short --

I funded their tennis out of my own pocket -- at that time the USTA gave very marginal help anyway.

So, I paid a great deal of $$$ for all the items you mentioned.

The big difference between you and me.

I never expected that they would become pros, and they played throughout the juniors -- one a very highly ranked junior-- the other played basketball, and lacrosse along with tennis.

Never expected them to be pros, perhaps a scholarship -- go figure-- no athletic scholarships to the Ivies.

The outcome -- one played in the Ivy League and the other went to the Ivy League.

So, my point -- the chances today of a player making a living on the Pro Circuit is almost --NIL --

And if yo are betting on that -- GOOD LUCK --


and on that note,

I wish you the best of luck

my advise to you -- if he can get a scholarship to a good school via tennis -- GRAB IT


tennis observer said...

Man in the Moon

You keep saying that the usta has not produced any players. You are right. BUT as Eric Amend said before, they were not in the position to do so. They were supplemental!! Now they are primary with the players they have at the Boca facility, but still supplemental with all the other players. So why the negativity saying that a pro player cannot surface under the wings of the usta? Of course it can be done and I am sure it will be done.

Development takes time as I am sure you know. The usta is in its 2nd or 3rd giving primary help. Lets wait to see how this unfolds because it appears they are on the correct path.

Man in the Moon said...

Colette and Quote That Was Relevant 30 Years Ago

first and foremost - thank you Colette

for allowing me and others to express our views on this site, since you first began this site so many years ago.

I truly enjoy everything that you do for tennis by providing relevant info, traveling to all the events, reporting on all the college / junior events, providing accurate / updated info and insight into the junior and college arena.

It certainly ties everything together.

And providing a forum to exchange ideas and thoughts which sometimes are diabolically and diametrically opposite.

and to my new friend -

"Quote that was relevant 30 years ago"

I think you would die (emphasis added) if you knew how and where I live!!!

juniortennismom said...

Man in the moon - I hear what your saying and trust me - I do not want this life. I too shell out a great deal of money(for me at least) for travel expenses, and everything else to give my kid the opportunity. If it is college in the end - great! I played college tennis and would love my child to have that experience. If it is a crack at the pros - great! Have at it! The USTA is making it possible!
My only point is - I do not have an extra 100K a year for ITF travel expenses on top of paying private coaches to develop my kid at home which you imply is the best way . Not many people do, and there lies the problem . Therefore, college is the most realistic route for most americans and the pros are a long, tough road up- survival of the fittest combined with some sort of financial backing. That is why, in my opinion, we do not have many americans in the top of ATP or WTA.

Man in the Moon said...


I am glad that you took the time to respond.

You have made it crystal clear, at least to me -- you have the story straight.

I am not against the USTA, and I truly hope that they are on the right track ---

I just guess it is my business background -- but I can't seem to buy into that an American Federation should be in the environment of producing individual champions.

Let's put it this way, it hasn't worked yet --

and all the other Federations in America --

don't even try to produce an individual champion.

I just don't see it working in America.

I hope I am wrong, I really do --

and I sincerely wish you and your child the best of luck.

TechGirl said...


Why don't you do a lengthy interview with Eric Amend? I think it would be extremely interesting and it would save him having to waste so much time in a back and forth, with what is probably the same person under different names, in the comments section. I'd dearly love to hear what he has to say about the junior game, college tennis, etc. Perhaps an interview or two with college coaches like Bryan Shelton (personal bias shining through lol), Ramsey Smith or Ty Tucker. I think you'd do a great job with all of them.

Colette Lewis said...

That's a really good idea. I'll see if I can schedule Eric for an interview on my trip to Calif. in April.

Great idea said...

Eric is one of a select few that shares his real name. (The only other one I can think of is Pat Harrison). I would bet that Eric does not use other names. Why would he?

An interview with some of the top college coaches, like Ramsey, Bryan, and Eric would be awesome.


Man in the Moon said...

I must concur, with the group about chatting with top college coaches- whoever the coaches might be.

I would very much be interested in their opinion concerning the direction of juniors, college players and going into the Pros.

Also, their opinion of the direction of the USTA- and how would they fix ( if possible) the state of American Tennis in the Pros.

one last question, the college coaches thoughts on foreign players in the college ranks.

I hope you don't think that I am too presumptuous in my requests.

I just think those are some of the questions that would be really interesting from a college coaches point of view.

thanks again for ALL (emphasis added) that you do with this site.

I am more than sure, -- this is way more than a full time job and you must love it!!

TechGirl said...

Great Idea,

Just read a bit closer please. I obviously wasn't referring to Eric as being one of those who use multiple names. I said that he has to waste time dealing with what is probably one person using multiple names.


I'm glad the idea appeals to you. If I could add another one to the list it'd be Robert Vant Hof. He's been a top junior, top college player (NCAA winner), played the pro tour, been a top women's coach and had a son who was a top div 1 player. That's such a wealth of information that would be wonderful to access. I mentioned Ramsey Smith before and think he'd be very interesting. There's his father's college and amateur/pro success, his own div 1 career, his sister's div 1 career and his mother and aunt's status as pioneering players.

steven s said...

How many tennis players out there are just as talented as lets say, those Harrison boys, but without the proper instruction. (For those who may not know, the father is a very well regarded tennis instructor). I feel that without this, to have a chance at PRO tennis, you need these three things:
1) Luck. Have your kid "discovered" by some well-meaning tennis nut with vision, that could guide the average tennis parent into the right tennis training situations, and decisions. An example that comes to mind, is what Fischer did for Sampras.
2) Be a crazy tennis parent, like a Richard Williams, or Mike Agassi. Just using them as examples. Have your kids hit thousands of balls per week, and ignore all other siblings (your spouse too) in your quest to do this. Make your childs PRO tennis aspirations the ONLY focus of your existence, and "roll the dice" to see if it pans out.
3) As "juniortennismom" said so accurately, have a unlimited bank account, to pay for all the coaches, travel, fitness, entry fee's etc.

I feel, if you are physically gifted..with all the tools to have a shot at PRO Tennis...unless you have one of the three things I mentioned above..you have no chance at being a PRO. That is the way things work in U.S Tennis. Without one of those three things, your child is heading for College Tennis at best..not bad thing either!!..

sam said...

Steven, first comment I've read on here in ages that makes any sense.