Davis Receives Wild Card into Australian Open Juniors; Qualifying Begins at AO; Courier on Young and Harrison
Lauren Davis has received a wild card into the Australian Open Junior Championships later this month in Melbourne, and with her recent defeats of the top three players entered, Daria Gavrilova, Monica Puig and Irina Khromacheva, Davis is now the favorite in the girls draw. According to Australian Open Junior Championship tournament director Francis Soyer, the remaining wild cards will not be announced until late Sunday, although the Australian 16 and under champions automatically receive wild cards. This year those tournaments were won by Andrew and Samantha Harris, siblings whose mother Anne Minter won the Australian girls title three consecutive years 1979-1981.
Davis is, of course, playing in the main draw after winning the USTA's reciprocal wild card last month in Atlanta. The men's and women's draws will be revealed Friday.
Qualifying is underway for the men in Australia, and is there is a live stream available on the tournament's website. There are three juniors in the draw, that is players who could still play in the boys championships should they wish, and two of them, Sean Berman and Luke Saville, have entered the juniors. The third, Tiago Fernandes of Brazil, was given a qualifying wild card on the basis of this 2010 Australian boys title. Fernandes beat Berman in the final.
The U.S. has 10 men competing in the qualifying: Rajeev Ram, Alex Bogomolov, Ryan Sweeting, Alex Kuznetsov, Tim Smyczek, Donald Young, Bobby Reynolds, Michael Yani, Kevin Kim and Ryler DeHeart. Draws are here.
The women's qualifying draw will be out later this evening.
Jim Courier was asked about Donald Young and Ryan Harrison today in a conference call about the Davis Cup (new US captain Courier had mentioned both Harrison and Young in his opening comments about visiting potential DC players while they trained during last month's off season). Here is Courier's response:
I was very heartened to see that Donald made the commitment to go out to Carson and spend some time training out there with Mardy and with Sam and with Rodney, who is the strength and conditioning coach for the Player Development Program. That's one of the areas where Donald really needs to lift, is in the fitness area. He has so much upside potential. He really is a terrific striker of the ball. He's leaving a lot on the table because he hasn't been in great shape. He also just hasn't made that jump from a ball-striker to a tennis player.
I'm hopeful that he'll keep the level of commitment that he showed by being out there on his own for a couple of weeks. If he can keep that up and keep the training and keep pushing forward and take his knocks, he's without a doubt a top-50 player. It would be a real waste if he didn't reach that at a minimum. He has a lot higher potential than that. But you can't get there without the work.
I don't care how gifted you are, you talk to the guys in the top 10 and ask them what they do. None of them sit around. They're all grinding and getting the most out of their games. Donald has to continue on in the vein that he was going in early December. So I'm hopeful that he can still reach his potential, because it would be a real shame.
Ryan Harrison, on the other side of that coin, has a huge work ethic already and is firmly committed to exploring all the angles to try to find his best tennis. He's still young. He's still raw. But he's going to get there. What 'there' is we don't know. We don't know what the top in potential is there because there are a lot of factors, not just the physical ones, but the mental ones, how do you deal with pressure once you get to a certain level. You can only find out once a player gets there.
He's a great raw talent. He's a great worker. He wants it very, very badly. So that's really positive.
For the complete transcript of the conference call, see ASAP Sports.