Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kreuger & Vinsant Fall in French Doubles Final; Michigan High School Tennis; Easter Bowl TV Show Air Dates

I understand it's raining in Paris right now, so the Roland Garros boys final between Bjorn Fratangelo of the US and Dominic Thiem of Austria, scheduled for 11 a.m. in Paris, 5 a.m. Eastern Sunday, may not go as scheduled. Fratangelo spoke with usta.com after the semifinals on Friday, but before he knew who he was going to play, in this video.

Mitchell Krueger and Shane Vinsant, winners of both the ISC-Carson Grade 1 and the Easter Bowl this spring, transitioned nicely to the red clay, reaching the doubles final of the Grade A Italian Open, and following that up with a run to the finals at Roland Garros. Today they were up 7-5, 3-0 (two service breaks) on the No. 4 seeded team of Roberto Carballes Baena and Andres Artunedo Martinavarr of Spain, but lost five straight games to find themselves down a break. The Spanish team couldn't serve out the set and it went to a tiebreaker, which they won, 7-6(5). In the match tiebreaker that decided the championship, the Americans trailed from the third point and couldn't catch up, with the momentum staying with the Spaniards through their 10-5 victory. This AP article has a few comments from the Americans, as well as the results of the Longines 12-and-under competition.

Krueger and Vinsant were also featured in this video at usta.com.

Second seeds Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Maryna Zanevska of Ukraine won the girls doubles with 6-4, 7-5 victory over unseeded Victoria Kan of Russia and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands. For more on both doubles, see the ITF junior website.

I spent a few hours at the Michigan High School Girls Tennis Division III championships this afternoon at Kalamazoo College, and enjoyed watching the No. 1 singles final between Molly Wickman of East Grand Rapids, a senior and the No. 1 seed, and Alexandria Najarian of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, a freshman and the No. 2 seed. Najarian played very aggressively, approached the net often, and hit more overheads than I think I've ever seen in girl hit in one match. She definitely took the match away from Wickman, who defends well but doesn't have the same pop on her shots. I asked her where she got her unusual game style.

"I've always been like that," Najarian said. "When I was little, I didn't really care what happened, I just tried to hit the ball as hard as I could. And then it kind of developed into an all-around game."

Najarian, who won the match 6-3, 6-1, credited Wickman with making her hit more shots than she usually needed to when trying to finish a point.

"She's a great player, she scrapes back so many balls. Some points I thought were done and I had to end it with what would be three or four winners against other players. It was exciting."

Najarian, who clinched the state championship for her team over archrival Detroit Country Day, says she plans to play high school tennis again next year, even though Michigan limits the number of USTA events a player can compete in while remaining eligible for high school tennis.

"It's nothing like any other tennis tournament. It's like family, they're like my sisters now," Najarian said of her teammates. "I love this, it's so great."

The Easter Bowl independently produces an hour-long television show for syndication and the first airings for the 2011 show are scheduled for Sunday, with additional airings throughout the month.

PRIME TICKET: (Serving all of California, Hawaii and Southern Nevada; Pacific time).
June 5: 11:30 a.m.
June 11: 1 p.m.
June 15: 3:30 p.m.
June 16: 5 p.m.
June 17: 2 p.m.
June 18: 1 p.m.
July 5: 2 p.m.
July 16: 5:30 p.m.
July 30: 2 p.m.

Fox Sports Midwest (Central time):
June 7: 2 p.m.
June 13: 2 p.m.

MSG (New York; Eastern time)
June 8: 5 p.m.
June 16 5 p.m.


AR Hacked Off said...

really a HS Leagues limits the number of USTA Tournaments one can play? So do they not want the best playing?

HS Tennis said...

@ Jason: They don't really care. They would like to have the best players play, but aren't willing to be too flexibile. In many schools, Tennis is not a 'major' sport so they don't really understand it. This issue is a very, very common problem. In Illinois, you can ONLY play if you (and really) your school applies for an exemption. In some instances, the IHSA (Illinois High School Assoc.) has gotten a little bit better with that. They now have a pre-approved list that if your school puts the exemption request for one of these, it's likely to be approved: http://www.ihsa.org/activity/tng/2010-11/approved%20tournaments.htm
The problem is trying to keep this list current and the fact that technically, the finals of Hardcourts conflicts with the IHSA 'season start' and would be a violation even though first matches don't start in IL until the end of Aug. Also notice from the exemption list, you probably could not play the USTA Regionals in Sept which is probably the perfect level for many HS tennis players that are trying the Junior circuit. It might be many years before the Regionals are added and not all HS coaches will allow their players to play it. (HS coaches that don't understand the game and the junior circuit and are very heavy handed on requirements to play and practice only with the team.) HS tennis is a very difficult balance when it comes to Junior players. Many junior players that are enrolled in HS will sit out some of the years of HS tennis because of the above. And often, the years they do is because they really would like to have the experience or they are 'repaying' the school for being accomodating for letting them miss/make up days for USTA tournaments throughout the year.