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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sock to Defend Kalamazoo Title; Rogers Not in Field at Girls 18s


The automatic selections have been made and posted for next month's USTA National Championships. One of the biggest questions was whether defending champion Jack Sock would enter Kalamazoo again in an attempt to secure the US Open main draw wild card, and he has. French Open champion Bjorn Fratangelo has also entered, as has International Spring/Easter Bowl champion Marcos Giron. Sock will be attempting to be the first repeat 18s champion since Donald Young won in both 2005 and 2006.

In the girls 18s, Lauren Davis has entered, as has Nicole Gibbs, and they join a strong field that includes Krista Hardebeck, Madison Keys, Vicky Duval, Kyle McPhillips and Gabby Andrews. The wild cards have not yet been announced--those will likely be decided later this week--but there are many notable girls who are in need of one. The following is the list of age-eligible players with WTA rankings who were among the selections and would need a wild card for entry into the tournament:

Sloane Stephens
Jessica Pegula
Shelby Rogers
Jan Abaza
Sachia Vickery
Ellen Tsay
Liz Jeukeng
Robin Anderson
Ester Goldfeld
Noel Scott
Chanelle Van Nguyen
Nicole Melichar
Denise Starr
Nicole Robinson
Zoe Scandalis
Allie Kiick
Elizaveta Nemchinov
Hayley Carter
Nadia Echeverria Alam
Sabrina Santamaria
Kayla Rizzolo

I wouldn't expect Sloane Stephens to enter, as she is near enough in the WTA rankings (currently 131) to be a virtual lock for a US Open wild card anyway, and is assured a qualifying spot regardless, but defending champion Shelby Rogers, who doesn't turn 19 until October, is at 433, meaning that she will need a wild card from the USTA just to get into the US Open qualifying draw. The USTA has always encouraged all age-eligible players to enter the 18s tournament, and I suspect looks more favorably at wild card requests from those who do compete, but even the 12 available wild cards won't cover all the players above*. And that list doesn't include high profile juniors like Monica Turewicz, Jennifer Brady, Julia Elbaba, Skylar Morton, Emina Bektas and Gabrielle DeSimone. I have no idea whether some have injuries keeping them out, but it does seem a particularly large group on the outside looking in.

*some could compete in the 16s, if so inclined

In the boys 18s, the list isn't quite as long. Those with ATP points not among the 180 players selected are:

Mitchell Frank
Spencer Newman
Janicije Sasha Karic
Dane Webb
Roberto Cid
Jason Tahir
Andrew Dzulynsky
Christian Harrison
Thai Kwiatkowski

Unlike the girls list, all of whom I'm familiar with, I don't know anything about Janicije Sasha Karic or Andrew Dzulynsky. Other high profile junior boys eligible who are in need of a wild card are: Jordan Daigle, Nick Chappell, Alex Petrone, Michael Rinaldi, Richard Del Nunzio, Dan McCall, Evan Song, Wyatt McCoy and Junior Ore.

Although the US teams for the ITF World Junior Tennis competition for 14-and-under players have not been announced yet, the boys team is almost certain to include Les Petits As winner Henrik Wiersholm and Stefan Kozlov, neither of whom is in the field in Kalamazoo or San Antonio.

The boys 16s and 18s TennisLink site has the lists of players selected and an alternate list posted. The girls 16s and 18s lists in available under the Competitors heading at the TennisLink site.

9 comments:

Brent said...

I may have missed it in the article but how many wild cards does the USTA have to give out for Kzoo? I am surprised by a number of the names on that list and wouldn't seem like the USTA has enough cards to give out if they all pursue it.

Brent said...

Is anyone else depressed that David Martin can just come out of singles hibernation and take out two of the best amateurs in the country (Rhyne Williams and Klahn) in a couple days span? Understand it is anecdotal but not a great confidence boost for the next wave.

Brent said...

Random question - does anyone know where to find old Grand Slam draws/results online?

Colette Lewis said...

@Brent:
The USTA changed the number of wild cards this year for 192-draw National Championship tournaments from 8 to 12. These 4 extra WCs come from the elimination of direct entry to third place finishers in National Opens.

SG said...

@ Brent - yeah, i noticed those results. Is experience just that more important these days? And the reason we're not seeing too many young guys at the highest level?

jj said...

Rhyme just one a futures last week and beat Robby Ginepri easily yesterday in Aptos main draw. ID say he is doing alright!

GoUSA said...

I would assume this would make Sock the favorite going into Zoo. Any thoughts of how the seeds will fall

jj said...

* correction" Rhyne"

Austin said...

stevegtennis.com has any and every draw you need for ATP Brent