Sponsored by IMG Academy

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mestach Enters Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, but Top Six Junior Boys Don't; Thiem to Defend Eddie Herr Title

Australian Open girls champion An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium is listed on the acceptance lists for both the Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl, and if she plays, it will be her first tournament competition--juniors or professional--since May. According to her website, Mestach injured her wrist in May and had surgery in July, with plans to resume tournament play in November. Despite all that time away, Mestach still holds the No. 2 ITF junior ranking and is less than 100 points behind No. 1 Irina Khromacheva of Russia, who is not entered in either tournament. With a modest number of points to defend, Mestach stands a chance of recapturing the top spot in the junior rankings and the World Junior champion title, but that's a lot to ask for someone just returning to the court after a six month injury layoff.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, the ranked No. 5, is also listed in both the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl acceptances, with Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands, at No. 10, the only other Top 10 player accepted. US girls receiving direct acceptances to both the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl are: Vicky Duval, Gabby Andrews, Taylor Townsend, Allie Kiick, Christina Makarova, Stephanie Nauta, Kyle McPhillips, Samantha Crawford, Chalena Scholl and Kelsey Laurente, who is actually one spot out of the main at the Orange Bowl right now, but is likely to get in. Jamie Loeb will be in the 18s main draw at the Eddie Herr based on a 16s exemption.

There will also be eight wild cards distributed, all of which I assume will go to Americans.

The boys fields at the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl are also missing many of the top players, with defending champion Dominic Thiem of Austria, who is No. 9, the highest-ranked boy at the Eddie Herr. Filip Horansky of Slovakia, ranked No. 7, is entered at the Orange Bowl, but not the Eddie Herr. None of this year's four boys slam winners have entered, with No. 1 Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, No. 4 Bjorn Fratangelo of the US, No. 2 Luke Saville of Australia and No. 3 Oliver Golding all absent.

US boys in the acceptances are Mitchell Krueger, Alexios Halebian, Connor Farren and William Kwok, a disappointingly low number, although the wild card selections will of course bolster that number.

A reminder that both the Eddie Herr 18s and the Orange Bowl 16s and 18s will be played on clay this year.

The acceptances for the Eddie Herr in the 12s, 14s, and 16s are available at eddieherr.com.

The acceptances for the 16s age division at the Orange Bowl are available at the usta.com tournament page.


clay? said...

Do you possibly think that the absence of all the top players has something to do with - let's play these most important junior tournaments of the year on green clay!! I am bewildered by these decisions, as is most of the tennis fraternity.

Colette Lewis said...

I don't think it has anything to do with the surface. The US girls participation rate is very high.

OB on clay said...

Don't kid yourself. Planting a high level tournament on clay in the middle of the season makes no sense. Higueras promoted the OB on clay to show that the USTA is promoting clay play development. Once again, the OB is not a developmental tournament. Even the American players getting there would be switching from hard surface of the ITF American Fall season which is downgraded as it is. The USTA Junior department insists in not listening to anyone except their own voices. Nothing will change until the senior leadership makes changes. One other small detail. Check it out - the Veltri Center is in the middle of nowhere. It is embarrasing that international players are asked to play a Grand Slam event at an isolated public center. At least Crandon Park was Miami with all of its charisma and a bit of seaminess.

December should be exciting said...

Mestach withdrew from Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl as of Nov. 10, according to the ITF websites.

I hope her wrist is fine; a surgery at this age for an injury is quite worrisome.

Also--I can't believe Hardebeck is on the qualifying list for both these tournaments! I know both her junior and WTA ranking don't cut it but she's having a pretty subpar season...not competing in juniors and losing lots of her points by not defending a round of US Open qualies. :(