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Monday, June 20, 2011

Hardebeck, Duval, Keys and Giron Reach Third Round at Roehampton; McHale Wins at Wimbledon; Tiley Upbeat on Australian Tennis; US Tennis in Nosedive?

Another wet day in London today, but the second round of singles at Roehampton did manage to finish, with three American girls and one American boy advancing to the round of 16. The first round of doubles is in various stages of completion at the moment.

Krista Hardebeck, who defeated top seed Daria Gavrilova of Russia yesterday, beat British wild card Katy Dunne 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 today and will face No. 16 seed Ellen Allgurin of Sweden in the third round. Madison Keys, who beat No. 7 seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia 6-3, 6-4, will play unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. Hardebeck and Keys would play each other in the quarterfinals if both win on Tuesday. Vicky Duval, the No. 12 seed, is in the bottom half of the draw, and after her 7-5, 6-0 win today over unseeded Donna Vekic of Croatia, she will face No. 8 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. Marcos Giron is the sole US boy remaining in the singles draw; he defeated No. 16 seed Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will play unseeded Mate Delic of Croatia in the third round.

For complete results, see the LTA website.


Wimbledon began today, of course, and it was great to see Christina McHale put the memory of her first round match at Roland Garros out of her mind in a 2-6, 6-1, 8-6 win over No. 28 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. McHale had seen a 5-0 lead evaporate against Italy's Sara Errani, and eventually lost that first round match 9-7 in the third. Serving for the match today against Makarova, who had double faulted on game point to give McHale the 7-6 lead, McHale went down 0-40 on her serve. But she located her biggest serves at just the right time and took the final five points of the match to advance to the second round of a Grand Slam for just the second time (first time was the 2009 US Open). For more on McHale's win see this article at usatoday.com.

Craig Tiley, the Australian Open tournament director and head of player development in Australia, is quizzed about the prospects for men's tennis in this article by The Age. After Lleyton Hewitt's fall from the Top 100, Australia has no men in the ATP Top 100, and only four in the Top 200. Once criticized for not reaching out to the country's former champions, Tiley now can say "I don't think there's a former player that's not making a contribution to Australian tennis."

I don't think the USTA can make that claim, but that doesn't come up in either of these two articles about the decline of US tennis. The first, from Reuters, is just the standard negative template that ignores the 12 US women in the main draw at Wimbledon, and refuses to give Bethanie Mattek-Sands any credit for working her way up to where she is now seeded in a Grand Slam. I wouldn't even bother to link to this except to contrast it with this one, from ESPN W, which starts out with the usual tired cliches, but actually gets around to raising some serious issues and possible causes for the recent decline in US tennis fortunes.

Mark Miles, the former CEO of the ATP, admits the single-minded pursuit of a professional tennis career is not particularly appealing to the majority of upper middle class parents who can afford to fund it.

Miles, who played collegiately at Wabash, and whose son is a college player, asks: "Would I have been willing to have a child drop out of life at age 12 and be committed to tennis? No. You don't have kids dropping out of life just to play Little League baseball. The best competition is organized within the school system. It is not true in tennis," Miles said.
The article also provides the first comments I've read from USTA Executive Director Gordon Smith about what the USTA is trying to do to combat the advantage that team sports have in this country. QuickStart is of course, promoted extensively, but he also says:
"We have to create competition at the 8-to-12-year-old level that is inexpensive and local with no travel. We have got to make it a game you can play while staying home and [being] in high school."

17 comments:

the insider said...

It is very interesting that Craig Tiley was offered the US job and turned it down. Wonder what'd be different?

Tennisforlife said...

Ryan Harrison,Donald Young and Alex Bogomolov - the fresh young faces of the new USTA. All facing fines after one day at Wimbledon. At least the US is on top in something. Is this the image of American tennis the USTA iand Patrick McEnroe are promoting. It's just plain embarassing on so many levels.

Two words said...

Re the state of US tennis, I am afraid there are two words for it -Patrick MacEnroe, whose strategy to push young players who have already turned pro, but played from age 4-19 on hard courts, onto green clay. He tells us that the future of US tennis is through the college system - how many colleges play on clay - 0!, but when they come out to play professional Futures, 15 of the 31 events are on green clay. How many ATP events are on green clay? 0!
What about adding more Futures to the calendar, and giving players options. Europe normally has 4-7 events on each week, the US has one event on 31 weeks of the year.
Where is all the US Open money going to - certainly not player development.

yahoo.com said...

Agree with Miles because the risk/reward ratio of pulling a kid out of the mainstream at 12 and focusing on tennis, traveling non-stop starting at 14/15, is too great vs the reward vs other sports that are developed in high school. It goes against any logic about the value of education whici is key in the 21th century, which is why many middle class famalies dont pursue tennis at a high level even if their child has talent.

Jack Tennis player said...

Way to much generalizing. Pulling a kid from the main stream? So what? If the parents raise them right they are better off. Most kids become sheep looking to fit in, then land dead end jobs. So a tennis kid goes for his dream, travels. learns how to be self sufficient, networks, does online schooling which is high quality these days. If it does not work out in tennis he still has boat loads of other opportunities.

prim said...

Tennisforlife..Get a life. You want to be embarrassed move to some country where everyone is prim and proper so you feel better.

Turned Out Ok said...

I absolutely agree with Jack Tennis. As someone who was "pulled from the mainstream" at 15 and traveled around the world playing tournaments, I learned so many life lessons that I would not have learned if I was back home stuck in a public high school. Sure, I didn't become the pro I had dreamed about becoming but I got a scholarship to a great college and got an education that I might not have gotten if I hadn't made the decision to focus more on tennis.

My point is that if you make the decision to focus more on tennis, maybe go to an academy and do the online school route, education is not lost it actually may be an opportunity to get a better education than you might have gotten before.

John said...

Prim - uhhhh pretty big gap between the behavior and respect shown on the court described here vs. "prim and proper"......don't kid yourself.

american said...

turned out ok very well said thanks


Prim their behavior is simply embarrasing, destructive, and disrespectful. Nobody needs to change countries for noting the obvious

college said...

To Jack Tennis

Disagree completely about on-line schooling being high quality. An AP calculus course or AP biology at a top high school vs. the on line version is like apples and oranges. The rigor and level of an online education probably cant prepare a kid for academic success at a top 20 academic college and when you get to college its all about grades to get into a business school or law school, no-one cares about athletic success. Skipping corners on a high school education limits the options a kid has unless the kids is exceptionally bright, the type that can score over 2150 on the SATs the first time without tutors. Like Miles pointed out that’s where other sports have an advantage over because the kid can develop within a normal school which cutting corners on their high school education and that opens many more options if the sports does not work out.

Prim said...

American..Embarrassing,destructive and disrespectful to who. Its implied in the post that its embarrassing to have the Americans to be leading in fines. Get over it. They are who they are.

John..If you think the press doesnt greatly exaggerate situations you live in a dream world and are kidding yourself.

John said...

Prim - some pretty strong rationalizations on your part. Take a look in the mirrow after taking some deep breaths.....

wimby said...

Why does no one speak about Harrison's opponent slamming a ball out of the court, hitting a lady in the face and breaking her glasses at 5 all Ad out in the 3rd set? Everyone could not believe that Dodig only got a warning. Americans are not the only ones acting out and getting fines. You Americans want your players to do good but then you can't wait to criticize.

Deep Breath said...

Wimby..Couldnt have said it better myself..John is the epitome of what America has become..self righteous no it all after the fact type people. Never put themselves on the line but quick to criticize those who do. By the way its mirror not mirrow John. Just a little spelling tip for the future. I wonder if the people are embarrassed to be Croatian after DODIG slammed the ball that hit the lady in the face and broke her glasses. They probably have a little better sense than that.

John said...

Deep Breath - "self righteous no it all"

Seem like we share spelling issues.

So as I said before to the other poster, maybe you should just relax, stop rationalizing and generalizing........and think before typing.

Cornball said...

John..you are clearly bitter about your lack of athletic ability. You sound like someone who grew up playing at the ymca to make sure you got a participation ribbon and were told what a good sport you were so you could feel better. Quit telling people to take a deep breath when youre saying such cornball stuff

John said...

Cornball - funny stuff.......you gotta start writing for Letterman if your work on this tennis blog doesn't pan out....