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Saturday, March 12, 2011

18s Spring Nationals Leads Off with McPhillips vs. Crawford; Young Defeats Murray at Indian Wells, Stephens Falls to Wozniacki

©Colette Lewis 2011--
Mobile, AL--

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."


LetsgoUSA said...

Comment on: Steve Tignor's piece on Milos Raonic, Ryan Harrison
It's so tough to try and predict. Who even heard of Raonic before this year? He was losing in early rounds of Challangers last year. Had to mature and improve. He may continue to improve and be a great or fade away.

Harrison made a made a big impact not long after turning 18 and has had mixed results since. He is very young, talented and has a great amount of drive.

Then you see Donald Young who had all the promise as a jr and had done much of nothing. Who saw him beating Murray? Where will he go from here? One great win or a springboard?

Bottom line is Tignor was right, it's impossible to predict the future who has the bigger upside. It sure is fun trying though.

Exciting Times - Go USA said...

After seeing Sweeting beat Monaco; Young beat Murray; and McCale beat Kuznetsova; Smyczek almost beating Kolbsieber...exciting times are ahead. Development takes time and our Young American Pros are starting to break through at the highest level.

Teenagers are no longer breaking through - not from Spain, France - or anywhere.

Spain has the most male players in the Top 100 in the World. They have 0 teenagers in the Top 100 and the average age is 27.7 in the Top 100 of Spanish players. In fact, the youngest player they have in the top 100 is 23.

I see great things coming from USA tennis. Not only from Sweeting, Young, Harrison, Smyzeck, Isner, Querrey, but from our college guys as well: Alex Domijian, Rhyne Williams, Steve Johnson, Bradley Klahn, etc.

Jack Sock and Denis Kudla are working their way up the pro rankings.

Development takes time as we are in a completely different era of tennis. Exciting times are ahead for USA tennis!!!

Jon from PBG said...

Maybe, maybe not. It is impossible to predict. Boat loads of foreign talent is coming that we have never heard of so we don't even know all the competition yet.

Maybe some day one of these guys/gals will develop into a #1-2 player....or maybe once Roddick and the Williams sisters are done we won't see another top American player for decades.

We have no idea.

Wi Tennis said...

All you Young bashers need to write in and give him his deserved props! What other 21/22 year old American has a win over the #5 player in the world?! Easy to criticize! More difficult to eat a little crow!

tony said...

Let me be clear first by saying I am a huge D. Young supporter. I was ecstatic to see him take down Murray yesterday. Unfortunately it is just one win ( definitely a huge one), and he needs to continue to produce consistent results. I think most D. Young "bashers" on here were more concerned with his lack of hard work than anything. He even said it himself, since the beginning of the year he's been working real hard and hitting down at Carson with Fish and Querrey. He's finally reaping the benefits of that hard work. Hopefully he can continue to work hard and get into the top 20. I think EVERYONE would love to see that.

Tennis Guru said...


I totally agree. I was one who said some stuff on Donald in the past. We all beleive in Donald but thought his mother was doing a terrible job making Donald's tennis about her and NOT what is best for him.

He is finally working hard and the results are showing. I am a huge Donald fan and only want the best for him. I admire his dad for letting him grow, just wish his mother do the same. At 21, it's time to let you son grow some wings and fly on his own.

I beleive Donald will haev a great year. Harrison and Young will be in the Top 100 by the end of the year and truly begin the climb the rankings.

It's going to be a great year for American tennis and 2012 will be an even better one!! Exciting times are ahead!!!

Junior Tennis Coach said...

I'm afraid that our optimism that Donald Young had made a breakthrough with his win over Andy Murray was once again premature.

First of all, I believe that his win over Murray was more of a reflection of the bad slump that Murray's been in over the past few weeks, rather than some elevated play from Young. I've never seen Murray miss so many balls.

To prove the point, earlier today in the very next round Young got creamed by Tommy Robredo 6-0, 6-4and he looked as bad as ever. He had a lot of unexplained unforced errors and he really moped around. I didn't see much of a game plan.

It's not going to help his image any that that he was caught on camera having a tantrum tearing his towel away from the ball kid which was caught on TV and commentators pointed it out.

I saw no sign that he had turned the corner.

DY and Ryan observer said...

Agree with JTC totally. DY reverted to his old ways of moping and acting childishly. He still does not get it that he is a pro and he is running a business where it is required that he behave business like. Nainkin and the other coaches have done a good job but what has been ingrained in DY by his parents/coaches will not ever go away.

Conversely, the Harrison/Raonic match was a joy to watch. Two young, promising players battling it out with class and focus. DY lacks both. It is great that the same USTA coaching brass that watched DY, got to watch Ryan's match and they should be proud. But at the end of the day who deserves the most credit for keeping the ship going in the right direction is Pat Harrison.