Wednesday, July 27, 2011

US Teams Announced for ITF 14-and-Under World Junior Tennis Competition; ITF Junior Update; Kosakowski, Johnson Fall in LA

The USTA announced the names of the players representing the United States in the ITF World Junior Tennis competition for players 14 and under August 1 though August 6. Mike Sell will coach the boys team of Stefan Kozlov, Eduardo Nava and Henrik Wiersholm, while Troy Hahn will coach the girls team of Julia O'Loughlin, Cristina Rovira and Katerina Stewart. I suspect the boys team will be one of the top seeds, with perhaps Romania, but with only O'Loughlin playing internationally in the winter Tennis Europe tournaments, I doubt the girls will be. The US girls have won the past four championships, an unprecedented streak. The US boys last won in 2008.

The complete release can be found at usta.com. The fact sheet and names of the other countries participating can be found at the ITF junior website.

Last week the European Championships were held, which are the equivalent of our US National Championships, although arguably, given the recent shift of tennis power overseas, more prestigious. The winners were:

Nastja Kolar(6), Slovenia def. Sofiya Kovalets(8), Ukraine 6-1, 6-2
Roberto Carballes Baena(1), Spain def. Dimitar Kuzmanov, Bulgaria, 7-5 7-6(2)


Jade Suvrijn(15), France def. Sara Sorribes Tormo, Spain 6-1, 6-4
Enzo Couacaud(3), France, def. Elias Ymer, Sweden 6-2, 6-1

Ana Konjuh(2), Croatia def. Belinda Bencic(4), Switzerland 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Bogdan Borza(2) Romania, def. Nicolae Frunza(3), Romania 6-4, 6-2

For complete draws, see the Tennis Europe website.

Last week in Jamaica, Richard Del Nunzio and Blair Shankle of the US claimed singles titles at the ITF Grade 4. It is Shankle's second title this month. Del Nunzio defeated fellow American Austin Siegel 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3. Both Shankle and Del Nunzio were the top seeds. Siegel won the doubles title with Walner Espinoza of Panama, their second doubles title in the past two tournaments.

At the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles last night, NCAA champion Steve Johnson lost to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round, and today Dan Kosakowski was beaten by Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the ATP event. The Los Angeles Times spoke to both about their futures on the professional tour, with Kosakowski explaining why he was leaving UCLA after one year, and Johnson discussing his return to USC for his final semester of eligibility, although playing professional events as an amateur the rest of this year.


Barry M. said...

I would give Johnson about a 20% chance of making top 100 and a 5% chance for Kosakowski. Neither guys hits the backhand well enough to be firm top 100. Dont see anything special in Kosakowski and think he is making the wrong decision by going pro. Do either guys even have sponsors or is daddy footing the bill??

Brent said...

Prediction on 18s seeds for Kzoo...

1. Jack Sock
2. Mitchell Frank
3. Bjorn Fratangelo
4. Marcus Giron
5. Shane Vinsant
6. Mitchell Krueger
7. Mac Styslinger
8. Alexios Halebian
9. Dennis Novikov
10. Connor Farren
11. Emmett Egger
12. Junior Ore
13. Nick Chappell
14. Jackson Withrow
15. Brett Clark
16. Gordon Watson
17. Brett McCourt
18. Alexander Tsodikov
19. Christopher Haworth
20. Robert Stineman
21. Austin Smith
22. Michael Redlicki
23. Spencer Newman
24. Dane Webb
25. Harrison Adams
26. Thai Kwiatkowski
27. Mitchell Polnet
28. Hunter Reese
29. Andrew Adams
30. Hunter Callahan
31. Danny Riggs
32. Anthony Delcore

I based this on the seeds going in the following priority (ATP top 1000, ITF top 100, then USTA rank). Then you have a series of wildcards (i.e. college guys or guys who have been playing mainly pro with some success but not top 1000) that you have to decide how to sprinkle in there. Seeds #12-14 and #23-27 in the above prediction are placed and would all be unseeded, I believe, based on a strict interpreation of the formula. Should be interesting.

Colette Lewis said...

Connor Farren and Thai Kwiatkowski are playing the 16s

USA Tennis said...

Brent why did you put Halebian, Novikov so far back? Both of them have better results then Vinsant,Kreuger, and Styslinger... I also feel Nick Chappell shouldn't be so high as he hasn't been doing anything latly. What are your thoughts Colette?

Brent said...

USA, fair questions....I had Novikov there because I didn't think they would use many judgement calls through the first two tiers of top 1000 ATP and top 100 ITF. That is where Novikov would have fallen by that formula.

I was predicting Chappell to be hire based on getting credit for past success at Kzoo (which shouldn't be relevant). I think where he ended up makes more sense given that, to your point, I think he has been playing mainly Futures this year and hasn't done much even in Qualifying. I think the seeds ended up coming out pretty fair.

News said...

USA girls are seeded #2 in the World Junior Tennis Competition.