Monday, October 3, 2011

Qualifying Underway at All-American Championships; Tennis on Wall Street; Fratangelo's Basement; Willman Honored as USOC Coach of Year

The pre-qualifying is complete at both the men's and women's All-American Championships, with the men's qualifying starting today in Tulsa and the women's qualifying beginning on Tuesday in Pacific Palisades. The women's draw is half the size of the men's in both qualifying and main draw, but in either situation, it's extremely difficult for a player to get through both the prequalifying and qualifying and into the main draw. Baylor's Lars Behlen, Texas A&M's Jeremy Efferding and TCU's Nick Chappell are among the freshmen who made it through pre-qualifying. USC's Zoe Scandalis is the only freshman who got through pre-qualifying and into the 64-player qualifying draw. In the pre-qualifying for women's doubles (there is only qualifying for men's doubles), Duke freshmen Trice Capra and Ester Goldfeld advanced to the qualifying round. Go to the ITA website for the tournament pages for the women's and men's draws.

Last week Bloomberg ran this story on the importance of tennis to the investment research firm of ISI in New York. Founder Ed Hyman, one of the country's top economists, is the source of the tennis culture at the company, but it's interesting to see how many former college players have ended up in the financial sector. Jason Pinsky, who is not with ISI but with a firm that uses their research says:

“It’s the mental capacity and the discipline that really distinguishes a tennis player, and those characteristics will lead to success in the business world, too.”

I recently did a profile of Bjorn Fratangelo, and so did ChannelOneNews, the teen news network. While I spoke to him at the US Open, they took a camera into Fratangelo's Pittsburgh home, particularly his basement, where he learned to hit balls at a Batman symbol on the wall. ChannelOne also has some home movies of Fratangelo when he wasn't really big enough to swing the racquet, but managed to connect with the ball anyway. You can see the entire piece via their YouTube channel.

Kirkland Washington's Dan Willman, one of the founders of the Athletic DNA clothing compnay, was honored last month in New York as the 2010 USOC Development Coach of the Year. For more about Willman, associate Michael Calkins, their development program and the philosophy behind their company, see this article on the ADNA website.

Finally, there were three American juniors who captured titles at the ITF Grade 5 in the Dominican Republic over the weekend. Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Crystal defeated No. 5 seed Mohd Assri Merzuki of Malaysia 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 for the boys singles title. Top seed Johnnise Renaud defeated No. 5 seed Ljubov Vazhenina 6-2, 6-2 for the girls singles title, and Alexandra Morozova won the doubles title with Yolimar Ogando of Puerto Rico.