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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Land Rover Napa Classic Begins Friday

©Colette Lewis 2010--
Napa Valley, Calif.--

I've arrived in Napa Valley for the tournament, as have most of the players from the six teams: USC, Florida, Cal-Berkeley, Kentucky, Texas and Illinois, as well as the 8 USTA juniors who will be competing. Also here are the USTA head of coaching Jose Higueras, head of men's tennis Jay Berger, who returned from Davis Cup in Bogota, Colombia earlier this week and Erica Perkins and Ricardo Acuna, who have been conducting a camp with seven of the juniors this week at the Regional Training Center at Eagle-Fustar Academy (Jack Sock is not arriving until this evening).

The setting is indeed beautiful and peaceful--it's a perfect antidote to the chaos and buzz of New York.

The draw is here (you may need to have excel to download and open it) and the order of play for Friday is here.

The AT&T reception here isn't great, but there is working wi-fi, so I hope to tweet some results Friday. Also, Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com will be here webcasting, so log on to his site to listen to his play-by-play of the matches, it's free.


avid follower said...

I was listening to Ken's broadcast, he does a great job, of this event when he brought on Jay Berger giving him an opportunity to promote the USTA players/program. He asked him about Sock winning Zoo and US Open. Berger's comment was only "yea, he has a long way to go". That's it, not compliment no promotion, nothing. When asked about Ryan Harrison, he basically said that the USTA had been doing some supplimental with him for about a year. No props or encouragement for the top young Americans. Then he started talking about how he won a 5 setter in Davis Cup and kept talking.
You would think that he would try to promote and get people excited. Maybe it's because the USTA Developemental Program has not really "developed" ANYONE and does not want to promote these guys.
Take a look at the top 3 US Jrs. Harrison, Sock and Kudla. NONE have been developed by the USTA. Maybe it's time Berger get's off his high horse and gives credit where it is due.
Nobody is saying these guys will make it, but if you want to create some excitement you say "great win for Sock. He's working hard and it's paying off. We look forward to his progress" Not, "he has a long way to go".
No wonder the top players stay away.

A. Meek said...

Berger was awesome, Eliot Berry (I think) described his serve as looking like he was getting a folding chair out of a trunk of a car. He maximized his talent because he refused to lose. So he's not feeding the hype machine, big deal, it's probably good for them in the long run.

American Tennis said...

you are damned if you do/damned if you don't.......

Berger is right by saying Sock "has a long way to go." Sock is 600 in the World. In what way has Sock made it as a player? Sure he won the US Open Jrs but there were tons of top international juniors not playing. Ryan Harrison is WAY ahead of Sock and even Ryan has a long way to go. While Sock was winning his lone Future title, Nadal was winning a Grand Slam at 18 years old. Federer and Djokovic was already well into the top 100 by 18years old. If we want to be the best, we need to compare ourselves to the best. We ALL have a long way to go.

The USTA has been slammed because there is no mcenroe/connors, sampras/agassi/courier dominance anymore.

The important thing to understand---The USTA has only been in "primary coaching" for 3 years now, so of course they have not developed anyone. Before that they were supplemental. Wait several years and see how they do because development takes time.

People are getting excited about American tennis again. More people are playing and more people are watching.

FYI--your negative comments aren't helping the promotion of American tennis either. Join the positive side as American tennis is improving and its going to be really exciting over the next couple years.

Marty Fish's effort this past weekend at Davis Cup is certainly motivating enough. That will help Querrey and Isner as well.

In Napa said...

The USTA juniors went 6-2 against the college players today. Not sure if I'm really excited for the juniors or shaking my head at the college guys.

Very impressive for the youngsters Halebian, Kreuger and McDonald for picking up wins.

I expect the older juniors to do well against most of the college guys but not the 15 & 16 year olds.

love-tennis said...

I wonder though.

Maybe it is more that these "experts" spend more time talking about their own past and great wins in general. Even if Sock had won the real U.S. Open, maybe he'd not give him credit and would say he was a "one shot wonder". I can think of 2 of the people I know pretty well that have been on the tour who often constantly tout their own victories in conversation. So much so that I am embarrassed for them, despite their being great players.

When you go through the recruiting process, it is also amazing how many of the coaches spend 3/4 of the letter/email expounding their own virtues and past wins, and 1/4 on the recruit's potential. What are they thinking? If anything, it is a turnoff.

Maybe he is just another tennis egotist?

Be proud in your heart, not your mouth.