April Aces; Kiick and Lai Win Daytona ITF Titles; Controversy Surfaces in Wisconsin's Women's Tennis Program
My monthly column, recognizing some of the top performances of April, is now available at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Special thanks to Lloyd and Melissa Clayton of YourGameFace.com, who were in Delray Beach for the 12s Spring Championships and provided the photos of winners Alex Del Corral and Sofia Kenin.
The first of three Grade 4 ITF tournaments this month on the Florida clay was completed today in Daytona Beach, with Allie Kiick of the US and Kai-Wen Lai of Taiwan taking the titles. Lai won over unseeded Nick Wood of the US in a walkover; No. 2 seed Kiick beat top seed Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-4. Wood, a 16-year-old from Knoxville, missed a large portion of 2009 with a knee injury, so I hope this isn't anything more than an untimely illness. Kiick also won the doubles title, with Alexandra Morozova, again beating Brady, who teamed with Chalena Scholl. Kiick and Morozova, the No. 7 seeds, beat top seeds Brady and Scholl 6-3, 1-6, 10-6. Lai also came out on top in doubles, with William Kwok of the US. The top seeds beat unseeded Carter Lin of the US and Brayden Schnur of Canada 6-2, 7-5. For complete results, see the TennisLink site.
Next week's tournament is at the Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, newly named as the site of this year's Orange Bowl, and the US ITF junior clay circuit ends in Delray Beach the following week.
There's been some bad news in college tennis lately, with the Pepperdine self-imposed sanctions and the Boise State NCAA violations, and although the NCAA isn't involved in this, it's not the kind of news any program wants to make. The Badger Herald, an independent student newspaper, published this story on Wednesday about issues several members of the women's team have with head coach Brian Fleishman. Except for the associate athletic director, Justin Doherty, there is no one quoted in the article who is willing to speak on the record, and the 106 comments it has gotten include many other opinions from those both close to the program and well outside it.
The complete statement from Doherty can be found here.