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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lateralsports.com Makes Following NCAAs Easier; Curtis Curry, Luke Saville Features; Teens in Top 100


Although visitors still can access zootennis.com, blogger has been down for several hours, and I am unable to post or do any other administrative tasks. I don’t think comments have been possible since mid-morning today either.

So this google (google giveth and google taketh away) document will serve as the substitute post for today.

At 10 a.m. on Friday, the NCAA team championships will begin, and just last night I learned of a new website that should help all of us follow along. Lateralsports.com has a listing of each regional match, the time it starts and a link to the webcam (if available) or live stats. Lateralsports.com is not just for tennis, but for all college sports, and if you read the article about its launch in the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital blog, you’ll see that it’s considerably more ambitious than a link aggregator. But I was most impressed that I received an email directly from founder Joe Bleymaier, who explained the site and how it could be useful to me. The real test comes tomorrow of course, but I am looking forward to using the site and because I now have Joe’s email, making suggestions on how it might be improved. It is a free website; there is no cost to using it.

To go directly to the women’s tennis page, click here.
To go directly to the men’s tennis page, click here.

Because the men start off the Sweet Sixteen next Thursday, all of their regionals begin tomorrow. There are a few women’s matches, but most of them start on Saturday. Check my twitter feed @zootennis for updated results throughout the day. I am not attending any regionals in person so that I may follow the action around the country more effectively.

There is a lot of high school tennis news this time of year, but one article I thought might be of particular interest is from the Wichita Falls, Texas TimesRecordNews. Curtis Curry, the younger brother of Chase Curry, was playing in the UIL state championships in Austin, and although the freshman lost in the final, his father and brother were both there to watch his match, with a perspective they couldn’t possibly have had prior to Chase’s automobile accident last Thanksgiving. The article’s headline “Falling Short,” doesn’t do justice to the story that follows.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that a number of US players, mostly boys, were heading to Europe for the clay court season. Joining them will be three Australian boys, including Andrew Whittington, Luke Saville and Ben Wagland. Saville, the 17-year-old Australian Open finalist, spent a couple of days hitting with Lleyton Hewitt prior to both leaving for Europe, according to this article in The Advertiser. Australian juniors obviously face many of the same challenges that US players do with the relatively few clay courts in the country, but Saville has found some to train on in advance of the Italian Open.

"Australians aren't known as such clay courters but I've been training in Canberra the last few weeks and am enjoying clay more than ever."

Speaking of teenagers, there’s a new blog called Heavy Topspin that has a more statistical bent than most, and in an entry today, the owner investigates what it is likely to mean for Ryan Harrison’s future if he reaches the Top 100 as a teenager. Those who have done it are a select and accomplished lot, but I'm trying to determine why Roger Federer isn’t on that list. He also was in the Top 100 as a teenager, reaching the Top 100 in September of 1999 at age 18, perhaps prior to the time frame used in the study.