Wild Cards Named for USTA Clay Court Nationals Beginning Sunday; ITF Junior Update; Joffe Hired at A&M; Brandi Feature
The USTA National Clay Court Championships begin on Sunday, and here is the list of the players who have received wild cards:
Echeverria Alam, Nadia
Di Giulio, Joseph
Del Corral, Alexander
At the Grade 1 ITF junior tournament in Germany last week, No. 4 seed Robin Kern of Germany beat unseeded compatriot Constantin Christ to win the boys singles, while top seed Victoria Kan of Russia beat No. 2 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia in the girls final. There were no American boys in the draw, but three American girls did play--Tristen Dewar, Rasheeda McAdoo and Allie Kiick. Kiick reached the quarterfinals before losing to Kan.
Francoise Abanda of Canada captured her second ITF singles title, this one a Grade 2 in Morocco, having won a Grade 5 in Canada in April. The unseeded 14-year-old beat No. 2 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium in the final. Fifteen-year-old Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, the No. 2 seed, won the boys title over top seed Karim Hossam of Egypt.
Americans swept the singles titles at the Grade 4 in Aruba. Jordan Daigle beat Tristan Meraut of France 6-3, 6-3 in a final featuring two unseeded players, while top seed Blair Shankle took the girls title with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over No. 2 seed Luicelena Perez of Venezuela. Shankle and Alexandra Morozova of the US won the doubles title over Devan McCluskey of the US and Belgian Anke Poncelet of Belgium.
In college tennis news, Howard Joffe, who has coached at USC, Miami of Ohio and for the last two years at the University of Maryland, has been named the new women's head coach at Texas A&M, replacing Bobby Kleinecke, whose contract was not renewed after 26 years. The complete announcement detailing Joffe's hiring can be found at aggieathletics.com.
Former University of Florida women's head coach Andy Brandi, who was a contributor to zootennis before joining the USTA as a national coach, is the subject of this profile in the Fort Myers News-Press. Brandi's son Chris, who is mentioned in the article, has continued in the family business of coaching and is now serving as the assistant director of tennis and men's assistant at Baylor. Brandi is also still playing tennis, and over the weekend he led Puerto Rico's Davis Cup team to a 4-1 win over Haiti to avoid relegation. In the opening match, he defeated Gonzales Austin, the 2009 Kalamazoo 16s champion, who will attend Vanderbilt this fall. Complete results can be found at daviscup.com.