USTA Spring Nationals Start Sunday; ISC Acceptances; Stephens, McHale Win at Indian Wells; Duval, Sock, Harrison Featured on CNN
I'm getting ready to head to Mobile for the USTA 18s Spring Nationals, which begin on Sunday, so I'm going to make this post as brief as possible.
I don't have the complete list of wild cards for Mobile, but one big name not previously on the list of competitors who is now there is Gabrielle Andrews, the 14-year-old Californian who won the Winter Nationals, and will undoubtedly be the top seed at this National Championship. Eric Johnson, the boys 18s Winter National champion, received direct entry into Mobile. For the complete list of competitors, see the TennisLink site.
The list of acceptances for the International Spring Championships in Carson, California has been published. Grace Min, who is in the quarterfinals at the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Clearwater this week, has entered, as has Madison Keys. Bjorn Fratangelo, who is No. 14 in the ITF Junior rankings, leads the boys acceptances. For the complete acceptance lists, see the ITF website. The 16s acceptance lists can be found on the tournament's page at usta.com.
Today in Indian Wells, both Sloane Stephens, who turns 18 in ten days, and Christina McHale, who will be 19 in May, won their opening round matches at the BNP Paribas Open, joining fellow wild card CoCo Vandeweghe in the second round. McHale beat Akul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-1; Stephens took out qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-4. Next up for Stephens is top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. McHale plays No. 11 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, Vandeweghe faces No. 6 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
US qualifiers Tim Smyczek, Donald Young and Ryan Sweeting also won their first round matches today. For complete results, see the tournament website.
CNN put up two videos today about US juniors, although Vickie Duval is discussed only in terms of her Haitian background. But aside from that, the story details her father's life-threatening injuries in the Haitian earthquake last year, and what the Kitchen family did to help them. It was a great story then and it remains so, although Duval's father has been unable to resume his medical practice due to the injuries he suffered. The video can be found here.
CNN also filmed a short feature at the recent Delray International Tennis Championships, where they spoke to Mardy Fish and Jack Sock, along with USTA Head of Men's Tennis Jay Berger, who is referred to as a former USTA National Coach, which I guess isn't wrong, but doesn't exactly emphasize his current influence in that organization. Ryan Harrison and John Isner are also discussed in the segment, which is entitled "America's Next Tennis Ace."