May Aces; Townsend Falls at French, Kiick, Rubin Through to Quarters; Why So Few Women Coaching Tennis?; Easter Bowl Feature Airs on Tennis Channel
The May edition of my monthly look back at outstanding performers is up today at the Tennis Recruiting Network, and featured there is an especially pertinent ace, Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia. Schmiedlova won two ITF Women's Circuit titles last month, a $10,000 and a $25,000, and today she got another big win in Paris, defeating girls top seed Taylor Townsend 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 in the third round.
Schmiedlova led 5-2 in the opening set before losing five straight games, but that apparently didn't discourage her. She had already beaten No. 13 seed Daria Gavrilova of Russia, the 2010 ITF Junior Champion, in the first round, and came back from a set down to beat Ilka Csoregi in the second round, so those results may have helped her against Townsend. Schmiedlova is now one of three unseeded players in the the top half of the draw, and she meets the only seeded one, No. 5 Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, in the quarterfinals Thursday. German qualifier Antonia Lottner and French wild card Clothilde De Bernardi will play in the other top half quarterfinal.
No. 16 seed Allie Kiick advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win over unseeded Petra Uberalova of Slovakia. Kiick served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but despite dropping four straight games, she held on to set up another match with Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, the No. 12 seed. Kontaveit, the 2011 Orange Bowl champion, beat Kiick last year in the first round at the US Open junior championships, but had lost to her in their previous meeting, on clay, in Austria last July. Chalena Scholl, who reached the quarterfinals yesterday, will play No. 2 seed Annika Beck of Germany.
The only boys quarterfinal match featuring two seeds is No. 1 Luke Saville of Australia against No. 11 Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic. They have already played four times, three of them in majors, with each winning twice. Saville got the biggest win in the semifinals of the Australian Open this, which Saville went on to win over Filip Peliwo of Canada. The fifth-seeded Peliwo is also still alive, and in the top half, where he will face unseeded Noah Rubin in the other quarterfinal. Rubin ousted No. 3 seed Liam Broady of Great Britain today 6-2, 6-3. Rubin, 16, is playing in only his second junior slam and a year ago had no ITF junior ranking--he is now ranked 17th. This New York Times entry in the Straight Sets blog has more on Rubin's victory. He and Peliwo have met once, with the Canadian winning in straight sets in the first round of the Yucatan Cup in Mexico.
Mitchell Krueger, the No. 8 seed, defeated unseeded wild card Quentin Halys of France 7-6(6), 6-4 in the third round today, and he will play unseeded Max De Vroome of the Netherlands, Indy's brother, in the quarterfinals. The other match in the bottom half has No. 6 seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium against unseeded Kyle Edmund of Great Britain. Edmund, a US Open boys semifinalist, defeated No. 2 seed Gianliugi Quinzi of Italy 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-4, a result that is the focus of the ITF Junior website's recap.
In the second round of doubles today, both Canadian-American girls teams advanced. Top seeds Townsend and Eugenie Bouchard and No. 4 seeds Francoise Abanda and Sachia Vickery will meet in the semifinals if both win on Thursday.
Complete draws can be found at the tournament website.
My colleague Bobby Chintapalli, writing for USA Today, explores the reasons so few women coach tennis, particularly in the WTA. Being regularly exposed to women coaching tennis in NCAA Division I, I knew they were probably not in the majority (exactly half of this year's women's Sweet 16 teams are coached by women, none of the men), but wasn't aware just how low the overall numbers are. Jeffrey Gerson, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, cites a study that says only 30% of women's tennis teams in 2012 are coached by women.
Kathy Rinaldi, who is quoted in the story, is one of the few women coaches on the USTA National staff, and I see very few women coaching privately on the high performance junior level, so I don't see any reason to think this will change soon. But if we're still at the stage where a woman wouldn't go to a dentist who is a woman, we've got a lot farther to go than I ever imagined.
The Easter Bowl television show, which is an annual hour-long feature filmed at the USTA spring national 14s and 16s and ITF B1 championships in Rancho Las Palmas, will air on the Tennis Channel this year for the first time. The first airing is Monday, June 11, at 11 a.m. EDT. For a complete list of the times, see this release.