Thursday, August 30, 2012

Roddick Retires; My US Open Junior Preview; Junior Qualifying Begins Friday

Andy Roddick, with Kelly Jones and Mardy Fish at 2004 Davis Cup tie with Belarus

The big news in tennis today didn't happen on the courts at Flushing Meadows but in Interview Room 1, where Andy Roddick announced his retirement at the end of this year's US Open. Roddick has been American men's tennis for a decade now, and he leaves big shoes for someone to fill. Many talented writers will provide their perspective on Roddick's career and impact after this announcement. Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim was the first, and I think his piece on Roddick strikes just the right note of honesty and appreciation. It's hard to imagine the American tennis landscape without Andy Roddick, but he's the best judge of the right time to walk into the sunset.

I head for New York on Friday, and beginning Sunday, I'll be covering the US Open Junior Championships for the ninth consecutive year. My preview of the tournament was posted today at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Tomorrow night, I'll try to catch a little of Andy Roddick's match with Australian teenager Bernard Tomic, which could, of course, be Roddick's final match.

Whether I'll be able to see any of Dennis Novikov's second round match with Julien Benneteau of France depends on the airlines and the matches before his, but it's unlikely I'll be able to see any of Steve Johnson, Mallory Burdette or Bradley Klahn as they try to advance over Ernests Gulbis, Maria Sharapova and Richard Gasquet, respectively. All three, as well as Novikov, are on televised courts.

In today's action, Jack Sock avenged his recent loss to Flavio Cipolla in the first round of the Los Angeles ATP event, beating the Italian 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to a third round meeting with No. 11 seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Sloane Stephens overcame a rough patch at the end of the first set to defeat qualifier Tatjana Malek of Germany 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, and she will face No. 12 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the third round.

Sock and Melanie Oudin began defending their mixed doubles title tonight, and they saved four match points in their 4-6, 6-3, 15-13 win over No. 5 seeds Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.

For complete draws, see the tournament website.

The qualifying for the US Open juniors begins on 10 a.m. Friday on the practice courts outside the East gate. 

There are 23 Americans, 11 boys and 12 girls, in the two draws of 32.  The boys are Trey Strobel, Connor Farren(2), Luca Corinteli, Dan Kerznerman, Austin Siegel(6), Jordan Daigle(16) and wild cards George Goldhoff, Mitch Stewart, Michael Mmoh, William Blumberg and Francis Tiafoe. Martin Redlicki and Jared Donaldson, two of the previously announced qualifying wild cards, are not in the draw, but they may have received main draw wild cards, with only six of those eight having been announced initially.

The girls are Denise Starr(16), Kelsey Laurente(7), Katrine Steffensen(8), Tornado Black(11), Johnnise Renaud, Rima Asatrian, June Lee and wild cards Nicole Frenkel, Katerina Stewart, Emma Higuchi, Rasheeda McAdoo and Louisa Chirico. McAdoo was apparently given the wild card initially given to Black before she moved directly into the qualifying draw.

The draws can be found at the ITF junior website.  The order of play is part of the US Open schedule, and I expect there will be live scoring as well.


Austin said...

American men are underdogs today in all but two matches, so let's hope for some upsets!

I actually think Roddick has a good shot at making the quarters here, or at least fourth round if he runs into Delpo.

Tough day yesterday as Roddick made his announcement. Rumors have been swirling about this for a few months. What I was surprised by was how surprised the analysts seemed to be. I will also say I do not expect this to stick. That is a complete hunch, but a healthy Roddick could still be on the fringe of the Top 10-15. Let's give it six months and see if he is still committed to this decision. I know I will miss him if he is truly done. Hopefully he has a Connors-like run these next 7-10 days, although I do have to say I did not like his attitude toward doing well based on what he said in the press conference.

work-hard-tennis said...

Roddick is burned out. So interesting that the college ones (e.g. Isner) are sort of getting started at the same relative age that some of the others start to think about quitting.

One has the college degree, the other (hopefully) has lots of money packed away....choices, choices, choices....

Austin said...

If he doesn't have millions upon millions put away I don't feel sorry for him at all. Pretty sure his bank accounts are doing just fine though.

I do wonder about James Blake though. Went from average, to huge, taking private jets, etc., then back to nothing fairly quickly. Hope he saved properly. Great match by him yesterday as well. Ripping the forehand and backhand.

work-hard-tennis said...

Actually it seems like Blake too just is depressed and burnt out. Neither one of them really smiles much more (save last night when Blake won). Makes me sad for him.

They need a sports psychologist for these older players to combat all these up and coming whipper-snappers, ha ha ha.

Johnny said...

Blake is 2 years away from a degree at Harvard, maybe hes done some classes since, I'm not sure. Regardless, I'm sure he was smart enough to understand how to properly handle his finances, he's probably set up to do better than any of us