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Monday, April 19, 2010

Opelka, Stewart Win Spring 12s Championships; USTA Names Competitors for ITF Team Championship Qualifying

We're heading home after two enjoyable but intense weeks in California, but I wanted to post an update on the USTA 12s Championships in Delray Beach and link to the USTA announcement about the ITF junior teams that will compete later this month in North American qualifying.

Two Floridians took home the 12s championships, with unseeded Reilly Opelka of Palm Coast taking the boys title over No. 2 seed Ryan Dickerson 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 and Katerina Stewart of Miami defeating Cristina Rovira 6-0, 6-1 to win the girls championship in a battle of alphabetical seeds.

For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.

In the tweets I sent out when the USTA released the ITF junior team participants on Friday, I mentioned my surprise that Krista Hardebeck wasn't chosen for the 16-and-under team, and I still don't understand why she wasn't asked. Grace Min, Kyle McPhillips and Chanelle Van Nguyen are all outstanding players with big wins on their resumes, but there is no question that Hardebeck is playing better tennis at the moment. I do hope she gets consideration if the U.S. qualifies for Mexico in September.

For the USTA release, click here.

I hope to have some additional USTA news about a significant departure in Player Development for Tuesday's post.


Tyler said...

Krista Hardebeck not being selected should not be surprising coming from the USTA.

For Krista she is probably better off, as the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Tennis Guru said...

The deadline for making the decision for the ITF Team Qualifying is before the Easter Bowl and Spring Championships. That's an ITF rule not a usta rule.

Krista had an awesome run in both those tournaments but the teams had to be named well before that.

I would hope Krista be in serious consideration for future teams.

Colette Lewis said...

@Tennis Guru:
I hope you are correct regarding the timing. I was told during Carson that the teams had not yet been selected. I know one player did not know they were on the team until the Easter Bowl.

been-there said...

Didn't Hardebeck win the 18's Clay courts last year too?

Does she train at the Carson or Florida USTA training center?

Tyler said...

The USTA has just sent out the competitors list for many of the May National Tournaments. The first selection criteria is the top 32 national standing players in the age group below the age group of the tournament. Example, the top 32 girls 16s for the girls 18s tournaments are selected, or the top 32 boys 14s for the boys 16s tournament???? Does the USTA not realize that if a player just aged up and played their age group most of the time they are out of luck? Who is making these absurd decisions? There are many coaches who still believe in the importance of playing your age group for development and the USTA national criteria for selection destroys that if you were born in the wrong month. Yet again a bunch of alternates for tournaments when competition is key.

Colette Lewis said...

yes and no

been-there said...

So would she have been picked if she did?

Tennis Guru said...


Just brainstorming.......

Why can't a player play sectionally and regionally both in the same age group and the year above which could earn them enough points to get into the next age group when they age out?

The best thing about tennis is that if you are a good enough player then you won't have an issue earning enough points.

The other thing you can you do is plan ahead with better scheduling so this problem doesn't occur.

If you fail at both, then the player probably isn't good enough.

Tyler said...

Great point GURU; however there are many coaches that insist you play your age group and believe playing up creates nothing more than paper champions. What's the point of the USTA age groups? Why not call it 16s18s, and 14s16s, and 12s14s since that's what the divisions are? There really should be larger draws and/or a junior open division. I also don't believe it has to do with a player's ability. In juniors it's seen all the time, a player "playing up" has no pressure, does well in a division or two above, then returns to their division and fails because that's where the pressure is. Then, what’s evening more baffling and I’ve seen this happen as well, a player who is known for playing up finally reaches 18s and plays very badly against those now playing up against them. Of course I'm not referring to the upper echelon which may be your point. Some people also may not believe that "playing up" is better scheduling, and would prefer to error on the development side.

Tennis Guru said...


I understand your point and agree with you.

My opinion is that the usta has made the National tournaments so easy to get into that it has lost its "mystic". Why can't they make it a 64 draw nationally and have more players play sectionally and regionally. I believe this would raise the bar of the players and give them a higher goal to reach and make them better tennis players.

Back to your point, I'm not a fan on the 3rd year rule. That gives a lot of problems to aging out possibly mid year and have no points in the next age division. If they went birth-year, then the players would have a chance to play sectionally and regionally from september on to give them points for the next age group.

Once again, just brainstorming and thinking out loud