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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Loeb, Kerznerman Win ITF Grass Court Titles; Marand Reaches Final in Bethany Beach 10K; Study Questions Conclusions of Ten Thousand Hour Theory

Jamie Loeb's ITF junior circuit winning streak continued today when she defeated Usue Arconada to claim the girls singles title at the ITF Grade 4 International Grass Court Championships in Philadelphia, Pa.

The unseeded Loeb, who won the Delray Beach Florida Grade 4 on clay last month, defeated the 13-year-old Arconada, who now trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, 6-3, 6-3 to extend her winning streak to 11 matches. As in Delray, Loeb did not lose a set en route to the title.

Another player with New York roots also put together a clay/grass double with a victory today in Philadelphia. No. 5 seed Dan Kerznerman's 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over doubles partner Henrik Wiersholm, the No. 4 seed, was Kerznerman's second ITF Grade 4 title in the past two months. He won the ITF Grade 4 in Plantation Florida early last month.

The complete results are available at the TennisLink site.

With the completion of the Grass Courts, there are no other ITF tournaments in the United States this summer until the Grade 2 International Hard Courts, which are moving from New Jersey to College Park, Maryland. That tournament, which will include hospitality for the first time in several years, is scheduled for August 20-25.

At the $10,000 Bethany Beach Pro Circuit tournament for women, former University of North Carolina All-American Sanaz Marand has reached both the singles and doubles final.  The unseeded Marand, who graduated from UNC in 2010, defeated top seed Alexis King in the semifinals today 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and will play another unseeded player, qualifier Vojislava Lukic of Serbia in Sunday's championship match. The 25-year-old Lukic, once ranked as high as 203 back in 2007, has basically been off the tour from 2009-2011.  Marand is playing doubles with Jacqueline Cako of Arizona State, and they are the No. 3 seeds.

For the draws, see the Pro Circuit results page at usta.com.

Thanks to Parenting Aces for tweeting the link to this study, What makes champions? A review of the relative contribution of genes and training to sporting success posted on the International Tennis Performance Institute's Facebook page, which casts a critical eye on the 10,000 hours theory of accomplishment. That theory, proposed by  K. Anders Ericsson, a professor of Florida State, links the acquisition of skill to that particular number of hours of practice. The authors of this study believe genetics are more important than Ericsson gives them credit for and go on to explain why they believe Ericsson is incorrect. It's just another of the many nature vs. nurture discussions that have filled academic journals for as long as there have been such outlets, but it is interesting reading.


JD said...

Lukic did play a little bit at Barry College, a D2 school but didn't play the whole year, maybe 9 matches. Probably eligibility issues.

International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) said...

Thanks for the mention ZooTennis! The International Tennis Performance Association's website is www.itpa-tennis.org. Check it out if you are a parent, tennis coach or fitness trainer! The iTPA's goal is to raise the level of quality in tennis training by offering certification and tennis-specific education.

Clark Coleman said...

Is there any contradiction between the ITPA-cited study and the "10,000 hours" study? The ITPA-citied study says that our genes determine our maximum potential, and environmental factors such as training determine whether we fulfill our potential. Sounds like a no-brainer. The 10,000 hours study would only contradict it if the claim made were: Anyone can become an elite athlete by putting in 10,000 hours of training, even the kid whose genes say he will be likely to be short and fat but who wants to be an NBA player. Does the Ericson study really claim such? I suspect there is no big disagreement here.