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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Signing Day Announcements; USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Tournament Set for December

Today is the first day that college recruits are allowed to sign a National Letter of Intent for the 2011-2012 season (those who start in January do not sign NLI's), and the Tennis Recruiting Network started the day with three announcements. I wrote the article detailing Caroline Price's selection of North Carolina; sandwiched around that were two announcements by Midwest blue chips. Robert Stineman of Illinois will attend Stanford, and Indiana's Nick Chappell's choice is TCU, where former USTA National Coach David Roditi is in his first season.

The Mid-Atlantic section obtained these comments from Mitchell Frank, who announced last month that he was committing to Virginia. Frank, who is from Annandale, Va., is the No. 2 recruit in the country, according to the Tennis Recruiting rankings; Jack Sock is No. 1.

Most schools will not release their announcements until next week, but a few did post on their websites. Chase Curry's decision to attend Texas Tech is revealed on the Red Raiders website, and Baylor's two commitments, including No. 15-ranked ITF junior Mate Zsiga of Hungary, are announced here. For the second straight year, UCLA got two of the top Southern California boys. The announcement on Marcos Giron and Dennis Mkrtchian's signings is here.

The USTA will again be holding an Australian Open wild card tournament at the Racquet Club of South, December 17-19. The fields are not complete and are subject to change, but so far six men and four women have been invited for the 8-player fields. The men are: Jordan Cox, Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla, Tim Smyczek, Jack Sock and Donald Young. The women are: Jamie Hampton, Christina McHale, Alison Riske and CoCo Vandeweghe. I expect that the final two men's spots will go to college players, with performances at the next two weeks' challengers in Knoxville and Champaign possibly figuring into the selection. All four of the women are playing in Phoenix this week, and with a win or good finish, Riske and McHale could earn automatic entry into Australia (Vandeweghe lost in the first round today to Julia Cohen). I imagine Cohen, Irina Falconi, Madison Brengle and Sloane Stephens will also be considered.

The full release can be found at usta.com.


Tennis Observer said...

Jordan Cox, Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla, Jack Sock and ... Donald Young.


wi tennis said...

Easy to pick on Young, but he's a year younger (21) and 40 spots higher (128) than Smyczek. Donald Young is an easy target, but be fair in your criticism. He is the closest of any young American to direct entry.

Avidfollower said...

This is a tournament targeted towards the "young up and coming Americans". Not those that are older and may be ranked higher. Trying to give them exposure and opportunity.
Young is still relatively young and his ranking has been pretty steady between 90 and 125. He's local to Atl as well.
Harrison has won this last year.
A couple top college players could round this out nicely.

ireadbutrarelywrite said...

I think USTA should invite Novikov as well for the Australian Open WC Tournie. He has been playing well latly and had a very close match with Kudla a week ago. Opinions?

Avidfollower said...

The pro results of the players already announced for the Australian WC are a little concerning when you look into them.
Young, 21, has one win against a top 100 player all year. Basically playing Challangers with a win.
Smyczek, 22, has 3 wins over top 100 and made it to 2 Challanger finals but results are mixed.
Ryan Harrison,18, had the good US Open and then a Challanger Finals at Tiberon
Cox, Kula and Sock, all 18, are playing Futures. There does not seem to be much consistancy to their results.
Cox has had a nice run recently but that was with a w/o from Sock's injury,
Kudla recently won a future but loses first and second round most.
Sock has not gone further than the qtrs since his win last year.
The last 4 are really young, but am I the only one who thinks that results with consistancy have to start coming in the next year?

WC Tounament said...


I agree with you regarding inconsistant results for all of them but........what else do you expect from younger players ranked outside the Top 100? These players are not good enough to be in the main draw of the Australian Open. So they are rewarded with a wildcard tournament with other non-deserving guys to earn a spot into a main draw Grand Slam. Certainly alot easier than playing the qualifying itself.

And ireadbutrarelywrite, are you crazy asking to invite Novikov to that tournament? He had a close match with kudla but still lost. He lost 1st round at ITF-Tulsa. So many other juniors you can invite ahead of him.

ireadbutrarelywrite said...

WC Tournamnet... who would you invite "ahead" of Novikov?? sure he might have lost 1st round in tulsa had a bad day or w/e, but what other U.S Junior did better then Novikov at the U.S Open besides Kulda and Sock who have already been invited....?? explain your reasoning and who you would invite instead and why? Cause from my opinion it seems that he would be the next on that list.

Einstein said...

WC Tournament I was just reading your response to ireadbutrarelywrite, and I kinda agree with him over you as I just looked over Novikov's record and it seems like to me in the international level he has better results then any other juniors besides those already invited to the WC Tournie. All these other Americans aka(Frantangelo,Vinsant,Webb,Giron, so on) have only picked up points in North American "CLOSED" Tournies were foreigners cant play, but they all end up doing poorly when up against others from other country's mostly. Your response?

Avidfollower said...

I understand they are young, but don't you think that better results have to start coming? These are mostly future events. Cox and Kudla are pros and have been playing consistantly against this level player and should be used to it. Sock is still in high school and not playing against this competition as often. His best playing was at the Open. Maybe because he was working out daily against the likes of Warinka, Djokovic and Federer.
Harrison looks to have a good game. Still needs to get stronger IMO.
Young looks the same as he did a few years ago. Very small. Maybe directions to the weight room?

2011 should give us a better idea where these players will be in the future.

Avidfollower said...

You've seen all the young Americans play for years. Can you give us an evaluation of where they stand, especially compared to the other top young players in the world?
Is the potential in any or all to be say top 50 or 20?
What are you hearing from other "experts"?

We would appreciate your knowledgeable opinion.

WC Tournament said...


I would take Bjorn Frantangelo, Mitchell Frank, Daniel Kosokowski, and Clay Thompson over Novikov in the wildcard tournament.

Novikov has more wins against international players ONLY because plays mostly ITF tournaments. He isn't among the best with Americans and his domestic results prove that. Look at his results in the bigger USTA tournaments this year: Spring Champs, Easter Bowl, Clay Courts, Kalamazoo, and Tulsa. To me, if you are one of the better juniors in the country, you do well in some or most of these tournaments, if you play them.

FYI he just lost in the 2nd round qualifying of a 10K Future 6-2, 6-3.

WC Tournament said...


I responded to Einstein and forgot to put your name on top as well(sorry), so you can look at my response as that should explain some of my thoughts regarding Novikov and why I would choose many other American juniors before him for the Australian Open Wildcard Tournament.

My message is not against Novikov becasue he has certainly achieved alot, I'm just explaining why I would choose many other players ahead of him.

Colette Lewis said...

What I've learned in the years I've been following junior/college tennis is that it's very difficult to predict who will break through and who won't, whether on the professional or collegiate level. I'm certain that among the 15-22 year-olds I've followed from the U.S. the past half dozen years there are Top 50 and Top 20 players. (There already are, of course, with Querrey, Isner and Oudin among them). I just don't know who the next ones will be. So many things have to go right, and that goes for any tennis player, regardless of country.

Einstein said...

not sure if my last comment went through as I got an error on the next page but, what I said was I'm pretty sure Novikov did better then Frantangelo,Thompson,and Frank at Kalamazoo. Novikov also did better then Frantangelo and Frank and other americans at the US Open besides for Sock and Kudla.

getreal said...

to Collette

You said it succinctly and to the point. It is impossible to predict who will break through at both the collegiate level and then the pros or when they will break through. What is clear is that both are a leap from juniors. During the process some players through slumps and come back stronger and others pop through who no-one has ever heard of, and others just plateau. As for having Novikov not being asked for the Aussi Open WC tourament nothing in his record to date has indicated he could possibly compete at that level.Of the men given WC's the only two who really have had the resulsts to merit that invitation are Harrison and Young. the other choices are really quite silly ones when you look at thier track records at the pro level.

A. Meek said...

I know this board is geared to the kids side but I say let the players who have the best chance of winning a main draw match play for the chance, ( Reynolds, Kendrick) regardless of age

Avidfollower said...

A. Meek: giving it to the older players is not the goal. Here it is stated:
"Our philosophy is based on having our top emerging players improve through competition, and the wild card playoffs allow these players to earn the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the sport," said Patrick McEnroe
It's to give the young players a tast of what is available and help them grow. Not older players who have already been given opportunities and many of which will play in the Qualies at the AO.

Joe said...

Who would you all look at for the college spots in the tournament? Lots of decent American options these days. Domijan, Quigley, Johnson, Showbiz, Klahn, Williams etc. The USTA didn't even give a wildcard to Shabaz for Charlottesville, so I can't think they'd give him one, even though he's had the best pro results with that run in the challenger. Maybe Williams and Domijan as they won the college majors?

Avidfollower said...

Tough question as to who to chose from the college ranks Joe.
You can go a few different ways.
Younger with Domijan/Williams (19) who or older (23) with Shabaz.
Remember whomever it is, will have to agree to go to Australia. Possibly missing school for most of the month of Jan.

getreal said...

to avid follower - agree with philosophy of providing opportunities to younger upcoming players but it is very counterproductive to their development to put them in situations where they will just be beat up because their game simply can’t compete. WCs should be awarded based on results that indicate they can at least be competitive at the next level, with those who are doing well in the futures giving them WC opportunities at the Challenger level, and those who are consistently doing well at the challenger level offer them a chance for the WC playoff for the Aussie Open. Among all the younger names thrown about only Harrison or Young those kind of results. With no disrespect to Patrick McEnroe but what players has he developed?