ITF Grade 1 ISC Draws: New Trier Wins National High School Title; Gottfried, Stockton Look Back on Junior Days; No USTA French Open WC Tournament
The qualifying for the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships is complete and the draws and order of play for Monday have been posted at the tournament page. The qualifiers for the 18s are:
Victoria Rodriguez Mexico
Sarah Gong USA
Mayo Hibi Japan
Maria Shishkina USA
Desirae Krawczyk USA
Alyssa Smith USA
Ashley Dai USA
Rebecca Weissmann USA
Lucas Gomez Mexico
Grant Solomon USA
TJ Pura USA
Henry Craig USA
Tyler Pham USA
Ernesto Escobedo USA
Jack Murray USA
Terrell Celestine USA
I will begin my live coverage of the event on Tuesday, but Ken Thomas will broadcast for the first three days at radiotennis.com.
The National Boys High School Championship was completed Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky, with the New Trier (Illinois) team defending their title with a 5-4 win over the Baron Collier (Florida) team. Jared Hiltzik beat Brett Clark at No. 1 singles 6-3, 7-6(6) in a battle of blue chip seniors. The Naples News has always done a fantastic job of covering Baron Collier's boys tennis team, and this article about their second place finish is a reminder, if one is needed, that losing hurts. The complete draws can be found at the USTA Kentucky website.
I ran across this story about Brian Gottfried today, and thought it would be of interest to many junior players. Gottfried, one of the country's best juniors who went on to star at Trinity and on the ATP Tour, was widely admired as one of the nicest guys in tennis. But in a recent visit to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he was a boarding student after years at the Bollettieri Academy, Gottfried revealed that he wasn't a perfect teenager. He was expelled from Baylor, the private school he was attending, for drinking, leaving his college tennis scholarship in jeopardy. In Chattanooga for the dedication of the new Zan Guerry tennis facility at Baylor, Gottfried did not have to delve into his own past, but obviously felt that by doing so he could help others who may have made similar mistakes. The Chattanoogan article certainly serves as a starting point to talk about an issue that isn't any less important in 2012 than it was in 1969.
A kind reader brought my attention to a recent posting on usta.com that explains how this year's French Open wild cards will be determined. One men's and one women's wild card are available to the USTA via a reciprocal agreement with the French Open, and in past years there have been wild card tournaments held to decide the winner. This year, instead of an invitational tournament, the wild cards will be decided based on points amassed at three(women) or two(men) Pro Circuit clay court events this month. For more details, see the USTA Pro Circuit home page.
This week at the $50,000 Pro Circuit event in Osprey, Florida, unseeded Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands beat unseeded Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-1 for the singles title. Unseeded Americans Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy won the doubles title, defeating unseeded Alexandra Panova of Russia and Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 2-6, 6-4, 10-7.
This week the Pro Circuit is in Jackson, Miss. for a $25,000 women's event and in Tallahassee, Florida for a $50,000 men's challenger. The qualifying is still underway in Jackson, but is complete in Tallahassee, with former college stars Blake Strode (Arkansas) and John Peers (Baylor) reaching the main draw. Dan Kosakowski(UCLA) and Catalin Gard (Ole Miss) received entry as lucky losers.