WTA Eyes Bollettieri Academy in Attempt to Reduce Grunting; Teaching to the Brain; Misc. Notes and Links
Where do you stand on the issue of decibels on the tennis court? Although there's no question that men can make a lot of noise on the court with their sounds of exertion, the higher register of the female voice seems to have laid this problem at the feet of the WTA. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who is not one of the players regularly accused of the transgression, said in Istanbul that she thinks the practice can be intentional, and disruptive. Her friend, Victoria Azarenka, who is exceptionally loud on the court, is adamant she will not change.
The WTA's CEO Stacey Allaster has conceded it is an issue the tour may need to address, and the first place her team will turn look to solve the problem is the IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
"The athletes of today have trained their entire lives and prepared to compete the way they do," Allaster is quoted as saying in this article from Great Britain's The Independent. "So [we need] some education with the juniors. We're working with the International Tennis Federation. Our team will go down to Bollettieri's and meet coaches and young players."
Earlier today I retweeted a link to Daniel Coyle's latest blog entry on the class he believes all schools should require but none do. The author of The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How, one of my favorite non-fiction books, Coyle also looks into the alternative to the now-famous "10,000 hours" requirement for mastery of a skill, in this post.
In other news:
Laura Robson, who is still only 17 years old, beat 19-year-old Heather Watson in the second round of the $75,000 ITF Women's event in Barnstaple, England 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. It was covered by the BBC and all the other major news outlets in Great Britain, as well as shown on television, providing those of us in the US with yet another reminder of the difference in the status of the sport in our respective countries.
Maciek Sykut, the former Florida State Seminole, won his first Challenger title last weekend, taking the doubles title at the $35,000 event in Quito Ecuador with last year's ITF World Junior Champion Juan Sebastian Gomez of Colombia. Sykut is now in the Top 200 in the ATP doubles rankings. For more on Sykut's win, see seminoles.com.
Columbia, which is the host school for the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate tournament next week, recruited sisters Adel and Renata Arshavakaia (Arshavakaya to the ITF) of Russia for this school year, and the twins, who trained and played in the US for most of the past four years, are featured in this article from the school's daily paper, the Spectator.
Next June, if you're curious how Danny Mack earned his wild card into the Futures event in Innisbrook, make a note now that he won the Tampa Bay High School championships Sunday to secure a place in the draw. For more on Mack's win, see this article from the Lakeland Ledger.
Phillip King, who won back-to-back titles in Kalamazoo in 1999 and 2000 over Mardy Fish and Robby Ginepri, and later went on to star at Duke, is still competing, although he's no longer playing the ITF men's circuit. According to this article, sent to me by a longtime reader, King won the SCAA Hong Kong Open in both singles and doubles, the latter with former Harvard All-American Jonathan Chu. King is the older brother of Vania, who is currently in Istanbul, as part of one of the four doubles teams competing in the year-end finals.