18s Spring Nationals Leads Off with McPhillips vs. Crawford; Young Defeats Murray at Indian Wells, Stephens Falls to Wozniacki
©Colette Lewis 2011--
The 60 courts at the Cox-Copeland Tennis Center were busy today, with many of the nation's top 18-and-under players practicing in advance of Sunday's first round.
The weather was perfect, with cloudless skies and very little wind, and it was warm enough to allow tournament registration to be held outdoors. As the 250 players turned in their medical waivers, provided their contact information and received their much-admired Nike long-sleeved Dri-Fit shirts, those who had never played in the USTA 18s Spring Nationals got tips from those who were veterans.
At the player meeting, Tournament Director Scott Novak provided the usual information about format, behavior, practice courts, with only the very strict language "facility" rules likely to be news to the juniors in the 18s age division. The draws were handed out at the end of the player meeting, and it didn't take me long to find the girls match I'll be focusing on first thing tomorrow. Line No. 1, Kyle McPhillips, the top seed, against 2010 Eddie Herr 16s champion Samantha Crawford. I may not watch every point, as I also want to see some of the 39 other girls matches scheduled at 8:30, but intend to keep close tabs on it.
The boys draw doesn't feature a match quite that compelling, but the boys 16s Eddie Herr champion Roy Lederman, who is unseeded, will play Harrison Adams, a 17 seed, in what should be an entertaining match.
There will be at least one round of doubles on Sunday, with the last singles matches scheduled for noon, and with the forecast promising little chance of rain, weather delays seem unlikely.
For the complete draws, see the TennisLink site.
The big news today from the BNP Paribas Open was qualifier Donald Young's 7-6(4), 6-3 win over No. 5 seed Andy Murray. For more on that victory, which was Young's first over a Top 10 player, see this article from tennis.com. Former NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman, also a qualifier, defeated No. 19 seed Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 6-0. Wild card Sloane Stephens fell to top seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2. Christina McHale, the last U.S. woman remaining in singles, is just starting her match with Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Speaking of tennis.com, Steve Tignor is in Indian Wells and he posted this interesting piece on Milos Raonic, Ryan Harrison and the difficulty of predicting who will develop into what and why. Is there a key to success? As Tignor says, "But, as so often happens when you try to apply any kind of rational analysis to such a multi-faceted activity as tennis, you end up having your theory proven wrong about 10 minutes after you’ve thought it up."