Kalamazoo Draws Posted; US Boys Upset by Korea at ITF World Tennis Competition in Czech Republic; Strode Feature
I thought there would be more comments on the Kalamazoo seeds, although I did get an anonymous one remarking on the lack of depth and quality in the field this year. Brent highlighted a couple of must-see first round 18s matches on Friday:
Mkrtchian vs Bader (lines 63, 64)
Ho vs Narayana (149, 150)
Fowler vs Polnet (181, 182)
Papac vs Seaborn (201, 202)
To those four I would add Smith vs. Johnson (103, 104) and Alford vs. Zhu (123, 124). The winner of the Fowler - Polnet match gets No. 31 seed Clay Thompson.
I think the 2nd eighth, with Mitchell Frank at the top, is the toughest one, although with Spencer Newman withdrawing today, it's a little less so.
For complete draws, see the ustaboys.com website, and feel free to make your picks for the winner on this post.
Some of the other age groups have posted their seeds for the nationals, others have not. The girls 16s, girls 14s and girls 12s are posted, with Kyle McPhillips, Gabrielle Smith and Sofia Kenin the top seeds respectively.
The girls 18s seeds are not yet out, but I haven't had an opportunity to comment on who is and who isn't playing in San Diego. Sloane Stephens (who suffered a tough loss to CoCo Vandeweghe today in the WTA Mercury Insurance Open final round of qualifying), Beatrice Capra, Nicole Gibbs and Shelby Rogers are girls with Top 500 WTA rankings who have entered. Kristie Ahn, defending champion Christina McHale and Vandeweghe are among those age-eligible to compete who did not enter.
In the first day of play at the ITF World Junior Tennis 14-and-under competition in the Czech Republic, both No. 2 seeds were upset. The girls No. 2 seed Russia was beaten by Australia 2-1, and the boys No. 2 seed USA lost to Korea 2-1. Noah Rubin won his singles match for the U.S., but Stefan Kozlov, in a rematch of the 2008 Eddie Herr 12s final, was again beaten by Hyeon Chung, and Rubin and Jordan Belga lost the doubles match that decided the tie. With the format a round robin, the U.S. is not eliminated, but their chances to move into the knockout round are greatly diminished by the loss.
The U.S. girls, the top seeds, breezed past Austria 3-0, with Brooke Austin and Gabrielle Andrews winning easily in singles. Andrews and Taylor Townsend won the doubles for the sweep.
For the complete results, see the ITF junior website.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch took note of Blake Strode's win at the US Open National Playoffs last month, and filed this feature story on the former Arkansas All-American, who has until February to decide whether he will enter Harvard Law.