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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beck, Coppejans Win French Junior Titles; Fratangelo Turns Pro

Before the rain sent the men's final into Monday, the junior singles championships finished, with No. 6 seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium and No. 2 seed Annika Beck of Germany taking the titles.


The 18-year-old Coppejans, who had never been past the third round at a junior slam, beat No. 5 seed Filip Peliwo of Canada 6-1, 6-4 for the title. Coppejans is only the second Belgian boy to ever win a junior slam, and it's been quite a drought. The first Belgian boy to win a junior slam singles title is Jacky Brichant in 1947, in the first year the French junior championships were played.


It's been only ten years since a German girl won the Roland Garros title, with Anna-Lena Groenefeld taking the championship back in 2003.  The 18-year-old Beck, who came back to defeat unseeded Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in today's final, has said repeatedly that this is her last junior tournament. With her WTA ranking of 165, she will be concentrating on qualifying for WTA events, including Wimbledon.

For more on today's final, see the ITF junior website, and this Canadian Press article, which details Peliwo's angry reaction to his loss.

The tournament website has very brief articles on the junior finals, and the lack of junior coverage continues to be a problem at the French, especially when contrasted with the other slams. There is nothing at all about the junior doubles finals in Saturday's coverage. Unseeded Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios of Australia won the boys championship with a 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 win over No. 7 seeded Adam Pavlasek and Vaclav Safranek of the Czech Republic. For more on that win, see the Tennis Australia website.

In the girls doubles final, also decided in a match tiebreaker, No. 2 seeds Daria Gavrilova and Irina Khromacheva of Russia won the title, beating Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay and Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, the No. 6 seeds, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8. It was Khromacheva's third junior slam doubles title; she won Roland Garros and the US Open last year. For more on that final, see the ITF junior website.

Given the lack of coverage from the tournament, it's been great that Tennishorts.com is also providing photos and recaps of the juniors from the French.

Speaking of French Open champions, last year's boys winner, Bjorn Fratangelo, has decided to forgo college and has signed with CAA, the same agency that represents Jack Sock.  The Pittsburgh area Valley News Dispatch spoke with Fratangelo about his decision in this article.

21 comments:

Coach from Florida said...

I sure hope I am wrong but another American junior boy turning pro when he has accomplished very little in professional tennis? Nothing in the Challenger or Tour level.

Bjorn is a nice kid and I will be cheering for him but a very questionable decision.

Austin said...

Don't know who is advising him. If you don't DOMINATE juniors, you have no business going pro. He played great at the French last year, but where is the domination otherwise? Should have gone to college. Once you dominate there then you are ready to move to the pros.

Russ said...

If he gets enough financial support from the agency and the endorsements to cover all his expenses, if he sees a quick path into the hundreds, if he believes he can devote more time to tennis than in school, then what would college offer? His ranking tells me he's at the higher levels of collegiate tennis right now, so why wait? Seasoning, experience? He can get that on the tour. Training and coaching? He probably has the money and support for that now. Not accomplished enough? Possibly, but the French juniors is big and being in college wouldn't help his results on the tour, if that's what you're looking for. Sometimes you just have to go for it. There's no guarantees either way.

Richard said...

Turning Pro in this country is harder than any other. The Futures calendar, for the development of young pros in this country is a joke. The USA has aprox 30 Futures per year, Europe has aprox 7 per week, C and S America have more than the USA, as do just about every other glogal region. Why does the USTA not put a lot more Futures on the calendar, give the young developing players some options re location and surface - not to mention the costs associated with travel.
Why don't we have any developing talent in this country - Player Development? I wonder.

the truth said...

Just name one player we have developed in the last 2-3 years (Sock Harrison generation) that has a complete game AND is athletic enough (and possibly tall enough) to make it count on the tour. Harrison, Sock, both athletes that have decent size and a big serve. Backhand and all-court game not there to push into the higher ranks of the game like the Murray's, Djokovic's, and even a guy like Tomic has done at an early age. Ok we have Kudla who has an all court game, but how many free points is he getting on his serve? Look at the facts, the more players we develop on tour that have a huge serve and forehand and NOTHING else wont get us anywhere in todays game. Players in the top ten dont have weaknesses anymore! When Roddick came up, you could find weaknesses on guys. We need more physical specimens in the game that are willing to develop all aspects of their game. Brian Baker takes 7 years off and comes back and is an immediate threat to the top 50. He hugs the baseline and isnt playing flashy tennis. Its the way are juniors are developed and which players they are watching to emulate. Roddick is cool and American, but not the gamestyle id show my kid if I want him playing pro tennis. Thanks guys.

Athens said...

Have to disagree with Russ, the only way to a quick route into the hundreds is to win Challengers. Fratangelo's results don't argue for that at the moment. He hasn't even won a futures. The top college guys who were "pro ready" to reach the hundreds all won a challenger their first year out: Isner, Anderson, Devvarman, Farah etc. Would expect Johnson to also win one this year. Obviously, money was he factor here. Too bad he didn't play tournaments all fall, play one spring college season (where he'll likely get more matches than on tour) & then decide.

It's also too bad for college fans & players, but we did get a bonus year with Johnson

investment said...

It doesn't make sense that any manufacturer would invest in a player that has not shown significant performance not only in the juniors but in circuits/challengers. The industry and the economy are not in good shape. Perhaps, the agents over reach and hope that some one would show interest while the player does not get a realistic view of the expectations. Conversely, Schmmiedlova, Beck, Coppejans and others that have shown some results, make more sense. If anything, the risk factor is more identifiable.

Austin said...

If he was going to turn pro he should have done it last year right after he won the French juniors.

writing on the wall said...

Our Sections are weaker and National tournaments are weaker which equates to weaker American players.

Americans need to develop heart, desire, arrogance and work ethic, like the top guys in the 80s and 90s then you can build a player.

Winning the Future level does not give you an idea on how successful you will be on the ATP Level. Win a bunch of matches at the Challenger level - in fact win Challenger level tournaments then talk about going pro. If the decision is tough - then go to school. The decision should be easy because you are that good.

Having more Futures in the States will help juniors develop a little bit but having more Challengers will help alot more. Getting rid of ITF tournaments and have our top juniors play all the Nationals will help develop more top 100 players.

Brian Baker's injuries, Donald Young's parents, wasted kuznetsov/jenkins/evans/oudsema/simmonds group, lack of desire and work ethic from ginepri, querrey, sock have all equated to lack of success in the states.

abc said...

I can guarantee you Americans don't need to develop arrogance.

Brent said...

Writing on the wall, I'd be interested in the data/support behind you tagging the 'lack of desire and work ethic' statement to Sock.

Kel said...

I can understand not wanting to play college tennis. Does anyone care about college tennis? And it doesn't produce world class players. Just over the hill foreign journeymen and women. A waste of time.

Tennis in America is dead! Look at the television ratings! Until a bunch of talented Americans(Sharapova doesn't count despite her American accent) come up and replace the Williams sisters, no one will care.

Brent said...

Hey Kel, John Isner says hello.

10ismenace said...

Kevin Anderson and James Blake also say hello Kel.

College Tennis said...

Our Davis Cup Team Says Hello: John Isner (Georgia) and Bob/Mike Bryan (Stanford). I believe they have earned ALL the points so far in Davis Cup.

Bill said...

Somdev Devvarman says hello....so Jessee Levine, and Ryan Sweeting, and Farah, and Brian Vahaley, and Bobby Reynolds....and thats just of this era...we arent even talking in the mid 100's...like izak vander mer we etc...Kel get your facts straight

Andy M. said...

you guys are making Kel's point. College tennis is good for producing top 100 pros and the occasional top 10 but unlikely that a Major winner will come from college tennis in this era.

Austin define "dominate juniors", he won a junior major. I'll bet there are many top pros that never did that.

He has a chance, he made his decision. He probably won't make it but he's going for it. Tennis is a meat grinder, almost no one makes it.

abc said...

@Andy M.

In case you haven't noticed, only Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are the only ones winning Grand Slams. If you're looking in terms of slams, then every man is on the same level as someone like Murray.

just saying said...

Outside of Querrey, Young and Harrison (maybe Kudla) basically every other American junior could benefit from at least one spring college season. If you can win multiple futures your first year out and be competitive at the challenger level then you've likely made the right choice.

Athens said...

Fratangelo has a great opportunity in this week's Futures. The draw has really opened up for him. Only two guys ranked below 500 left in the draw and the one guy on his side of the draw is #473. Maybe it's some good karma for him after all the comments on this site

GoCollege said...

Not so fast, Athens. Bjorn loses in the Quarters to #642 Phillip Simmonds (USA) 6-4, 6-2.