©Colette Lewis 2011--
We arrived at the IMG Bollettieri Academy this afternoon to beautiful weather and several notable changes to the grounds. Three courts, Nos. 8, 9 and 10, which, for those of you who have been to the complex, are the first courts on your right as you walk from the indoor facility, have been resurfaced. As you can see in the photo below, they are not the US Open blue of the other courts onsite, but are now purple, the same color as those of the Sony Ericsson Tournament in Key Biscayne.
There is also a new cement walkway and a new food vendor, but the biggest change for those who come to watch on Court 15, one of the prime show courts, is the new addition to the large gym/fitness center, which has resulted in the removal of the wooden deck/riser and the two sets of bleachers on either side.
I went over to check out the nine clay courts, where I assume most of the 18s will be played and was happy to see that at least eight of them will be easy to photograph, although seating is limited in the area. One player who will not be part of the first Eddie Herr Grade 1 on clay courts is Bollettieri student Vicky Duval. A quarterfinalist at the Eddie Herr last year, Duval, who turns 16 at the end of the month, told me she had a slight meniscus tear that didn't need surgery but would keep her from competing in this week's tournament and also the Orange Bowl.
As for the tennis going on this afternoon, the 14s and 16s divisions were playing their first round of qualifying, while the 12s qualifying had already been completed.
Last year, 12s finalist Michael Mmoh was a qualifier, so don't assume the eight boys and eight girls who qualify will go out in Saturday's first round.
The girls 12s qualifiers (from USA unless otherwise noted) are: Kristina Evloeva, Kianah Motosono, Miranda Ramirez, Amanda Meyer, Anastacia Parkin, Kamilla Kokeladze of Russia, Jenna Dean and Maria Krupenina of Russia.
The boys 12s qualifiers (all USA) are: Anuj Watane, Sebastian Korda (Australian Open champion Petr Korda's son), Daniel Moreno, Ivan Yatsuk, Adam Neff, Cole Bradley, Alejandro Quiros and Santiago Uribe.
The 12s draws were just released, with Nicole Conard, Anna Bright, Abigail Desiatnikov and Maria Ross the US girls receiving No. 1 seeds (there are 16 No. 1 seeds in the 128 draw).
American boys receiving No. 1 seeds are: Alex del Corral, Alexandre Rotsaert, Patrick Kypson and Noah Makarome.
For complete draws, see the Tennis Information site.
The 18s qualifying will begin Saturday and will include Maxx Lipman, who is just returning to the court after injuries kept him out for ten months. Lipman received a wild card into qualifying, as did Sean Karl and Ridley Seguso.
The order of play and a link to the 18s draws can be found at eddieherr.com.