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Friday, May 7, 2010

Krajinovic Reaches ATP Semi; John McEnroe's New Academy; Klahn in the Collegiate Spotlight; NCAA Lineups

Eighteen-year-old Filip Krajinovic collected his first ATP-level win this week, saving a match point in a 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-1 victory over Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy in the opening round of the Serbia Open. That would have been a satisfying tournament for the Bolliettieri-trained Serbian, but much more success was in store for him this week. Yesterday he downed No. 52 Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, the ATP newcomer of the year in 2009, in a third set tiebreaker, and today he took the first set from top seed and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic 6-4. Djokovic was complaining of ill-health all week, and he retired after losing that first set, putting Krajinovic in the semifinals, where he'll meet No. 3 seed Sam Querrey. No. 2 seed John Isner will play No. 4 seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the other semifinal. For more on the quarterfinals, see the ATP website.

The New York Times' Harvey Araton dug a little deeper into the new John McEnroe Tennis Academy taking shape on Randalls Island in New York. Despite the new East Coast National Training Center at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, and brother Patrick McEnroe's influential role in getting that off the ground, John McEnroe is not involved in that initiative. Whether it was a control issue, or money, both of which were hinted at in the story, or something else entirely, John's venture is not associated with the USTA. John doesn't want a Bollettieri-type environment, but is instead hoping for a return to the atmosphere that prevailed during his formative years, according to this quote from the article:

"I don’t think you have to give up everything, play six hours a day, to be successful,” McEnroe said. “When I was 12, 13, I was playing soccer and basketball and whatever I did to keep myself sane — some people may argue that point — and from not walking away from the game because I had outlets.”

The USTA collegiate spotlight interview this week is with Stanford sophomore Bradley Klahn. Klahn talks about why he chose Stanford, the rowdy USC fans, and his personal and team goals for the NCAAs.

And for those of you who would like to see the approved lineups for the NCAAs, they are available on this page. The challenges have been heard and these are the final lineups. In a comment a few hours ago, "Athens" had this to say about some of the challenges that were upheld:

Official team lineups are out. Most teams are playing as expected. SC has Kecki at 5. TN has Brewer there too. Both have been injured. It'll be interesting to see if either actually plays. SC has moved Lucassen to 6.

UCLA had their lineup appealed. They tried to stick Abid at 3 & Inbar at 5. No matter how injured his wrist is, Abid had to play higher. They were moved to slots 2 & 4 respectively. Meister stays at 1 and Seguso is 5.

One other funny change is Ohio St. They played Uzawa at 4 for nearly every big match with a little #5 sprinkled in. The Buckeyes moved him for the NCAAs (& Big 10), basically admitting that Uzawa has been playing out of position all season.
Ohio St. also had a lineup appeal & had to reverse Novak to #4 & Allare to #5.


Athens said...

In recent years it seems like UCLA has all this talent but can't quite get it together for one reason or another.

About the UCLA lineup, something ironic is that, at the beginning of the season, no one would have challenged Inbar at #5. In fact, someone would have probably challenged putting Seguso at #5 and they definitely would have challenged Meister at #1.

If Seguso can get it going again and Abid could gut out a match or two, they've got the chance against anyone.

Overall, my guess is TN over SC in the finals.

I just think UVa has such a tough draw. They always seem to have something happen in the NCAAs, whether it's cramps or running into hot teams like SC in College Station and UGA in previous years.

UVA has to play two tough teams in the middle of the day (Round of 16 and Quarters). If they were to even make it to the semis, I'm not sure they would have enough left against SC. I'll hold that view until they prove otherwise.

Though it is as wide open a tournament as it's been in a while.

Can't wait for it to start.

Austin said...

my thoughts from the lineups for NCAA's:

Florida: everyone on the roster has done great at the position they are going to play...except for Joey Burkhart, who is 6-10 at #2. Why not switch him and Benneteau? He cant have much confidence right now against top teams.

Georgia: who are they going to beat at #1? Schnugg & Garrapiz are a combined 9-15. Couple that with Vitulli having to play #5 and Reynolds stepping into the lineup, the Dogs just better hope they make Athens. FSU could take them out 2nd round.

Kentucky: Brad Cox is 11-15 at #3 and Graeme Dyce is 4-11 at #6. How your #6 guy has such a bad record and youre ranked #11 in the country baffles me.

Louisville: Victor Maksimcuk has played one match at #2, yet he has moved ahead of Simon Childs in the lineup for the tourney.

Michigan: has a mediocre record at almost every spot in the lineup, with Chris Cha boasting a 4-17 record at #6, cant believe they actually won matches this season.

Ohio State: 62-4 at #1,2,4 & 5 for the guys playing those spots in the tourney, with each player losing once, thats sick.

Pepperdine: Alex Lompart has not played a single match at #5 this season, yet is playing there in the tournament. He actually played the majority of his matches at #3, not even 4.

USC: Lucassen has played #2-5 this season quite a bit, yet he is going to play 6 even though he's only played there once.

Stanford: Hirshman is 14-1 at #6, yet Kandath is playing there instead and Hirshman is on the bench, go figure. Personally I would rather have a guy who is 18-3 on the year with experience than a guy who is 9-5, but I doubt any coach would challenge that call.

Texas: they are not very strong at #1-3 based on their records, a combined 39-22, this may be their downfall.

Texas Tech: their #1-4 have played every match this season in those exact spots.

UCLA: neither Abid, Inbar nor Seguso have played any matches this season at the spots they are playing in the tournament, baffling.

Xavier: 29-42 at #1-3, but 24-2 at #4-6.

Hmmm...? said...

why in the world hasnt anyone even mentioned baylor. of all the teams in the top 10 they get the least attention. there my pick

wi tennis said...

Don't forget that a coach can sub out a #6 and replace with anybody not playing. Whitlinger can put in Hirshman for Kandath if he feels like it. Sometimes, it's just a sike out for other teams.

Austin, I love the stats on Xavier!

It seems that most big teams are trying to stack. Gotta love the integrity at that level of tennis!

wi tennis said...

Djokovic retires. Krajinovic gets the win. Next, Krajinovic begins training at Djokovic's new academy????? Something fishy! Isner and Querrey on the dirt! I like it!

For Tennessee, Brewer playing above Fago is a stack. Brewer had the ranking from the fall, not team match results. As we all know team matches are way different than individual matches. They can also take out Brewer, move Fago up to 5 and put Sandgren at 6. However, I would be very nervous about giving any team a free point from stacking. Things are so close and one quick point is such momentum. Should be interesting.

Ohio St's lineup seems correct, now. Uzawa doesn't usually get it done in singles during team matches.

Austin said...


No one has mentioned Baylor, but I also haven't made my picks yet. Trust me, they are about to get some love from me.

Athens said...

Hmmm...? and Austin, the main reason Baylor gets little love is that their round of 16 is A&M, a team that has already beaten Baylor twice by scores of 6-1 & 4-1 in the Big 12 tourney.

Even if the third time's a charm vs the Aggies, they have to play Tennessee, likely this year's most talented team, in the quarters.

Maybe a dramatic change is in store at the NCAAs and they will suddenly turn it on. But, I'll believe it when I see it.

Wolverine said...

Ohio State's individual records are inflated because their coach often pulls them off the court after the team match has been decided (especially if they're losing). They don't have the horses or the experience outdoors to get it done in Athens--they'd be VERY lucky to make the final 4.

UVA over USC
UTenn over UTexas

UVA over UTenn (they have to get it done eventually, right?)