I'm heading to Memphis for live coverage of the Girls 18s Clay Courts beginning Monday. This will be my fifth year covering the event, but the first time I've done it and Wimbledon in the same year. I haven't had enough time at home--I've found 10 days is the Goldilocks gap between tournaments--yet after seeing the field for the Girls 18s clays, I can't help but be excited about the tournament.
I can't ever remember covering a junior event where all four semifinalists are back the following year, but Gabby Andrews, Denise Starr, Danielle Collins and Stephanie Vlad are all entered again this year. Add to that quartet competitors like Jamie Loeb, who won the Grass Courts and a 10K in Buffalo, Spring National champion & Easter Bowl finalist Brooke Austin, Ashley Dai, Katerina Stewart, Caroline Doyle and hometown favorite Catherine Harrison and you have the makings of an outstanding tournament. I don't know if the US Open Junior wild card is responsible for the strength of the field, but it certainly hasn't hurt. Louisa Chirico, who won the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Sumter, isn't seeded, nor are Brooke Broda, the 16s Easter Bowl champion, and Jessica Ho, the 16s ISC champion, so there could be some excellent matches from the start. The complete list of competitors can be found at the TennisLink site.
Here is the list of all the wild cards for the USTA Clay Court Championships around the country:
Brian Baker and Jack Sock have received wild cards into the ATP BB&T Atlanta Open next week, with Nathan Pasha of Georgia and Kevin King of Georgia Tech receiving qualifying wild cards.
And the $100,000 Odlum Brown Vanopen Challenger in Vancouver has granted a main draw wild card to Wimbledon boys champion Filip Peliwo, who is from that city, although currently training in Montreal. Peliwo lost in the first round of this week's $15,000 Futures in Canada, to a qualifier, which, even accounting for the long trip back from London, was something of a surprise.
At the Intersectionals in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Midwest section beat the Southern section 6-2 to claim its second title in three years. The Midwest got singles wins from Paul Oosterbaan, Thomas Fawcett, Brooke Broda, Alexandria Chatt and Keisha Clousing and a doubles win from Chatt and Alexandria Najarian.
The Shreveport Times published this article on the final of the mixed team event for the 16s division. For all results, see the TennisLink site.