Talking with Mallory Burdette on her Decision to Turn Pro; ESPN on the College Development Path; Lutjen Wins Southern Intercollegiates; USTA Selects Juniors for Napa Competition
As I mentioned last night, I spoke with Mallory Burdette about her decision to turn professional after her junior year at Stanford, and the resulting article was posted today on the Tennis Recruiting Network.
College tennis was a popular topic at the US Open with the success of Burdette, Novikov and Johnson during the first week and ESPN's Greg Garber spoke to several former college players about the experience as preparation for the pro tour. Once juniors make a decision to go to college or to turn pro, they rarely express any regrets about their individual choice years later (although I have heard that Duke's Phillip King, a two-time 18s champion in Kalamazoo, believes he missed his opportunity at pro tennis by deciding to stay at Duke). In this article, Liezel Huber, one of the world's top doubles players, expresses regret at not going to college, while partner Lisa Raymond, as well Burdette, Johnson and John Isner, discuss why they believe it was the right choice for them.
Although not directly related to college tennis, Tennis.com's Peter Bodo wrote about Johnson's third round loss to Gasquet, while zeroing in on what he finds appealing about the two-time NCAA champion's game. I'm usually suspicious of these snap judgments based on just a few looks at a player's game, but I think Bodo gets it right here.
In other college news, Notre Dame has been accepted as a member of the ACC in all sports but football, meaning the men's and women's tennis teams will now be a part of a more competitive tennis conference. The effective date of the move from the Big East isn't known, according to this Associated Press article appearing at ncaa.com.
University of Mississippi senior Jonas Lutjen won the Southern Intercollegiate tournament at the University of Georgia last weekend, defeating Georgia's Hernus Pieters 6-4, 6-0 in the final. The tournament is usually not at the very beginning of the fall season, but was moved up due to conflicts with home football games. For more on Lutjen's win, see the Ole Miss men's tennis site. For the complete draws, see the Georgia men's tennis site.
For the past two years I've been covering the (now) Audi Napa Valley Classic tournament, which for those two years has been under the auspices of USTA Player Development and features eight juniors and 24 Division I collegians in 8 round robin groups, with the winners going into a shootout for the chance to win a Futures wild card. I will not be going to Napa this year, and instead will be covering a similar event in Portland, Oregon in November with Division I women's teams and junior girls, but I will be following the tournament closely from home via updates from Steve Pratt, who will be there.
Stanford, Georgia, Harvard, Illinois, Texas and Cal will be sending players to Napa. Here is the list of juniors who will be competing:
Henry Craig, Murrieta , Calif.
Jack Murray, Beverly Hills , Mich.
Joseph Digiulio, Newport Beach , Calif.
Konrad Zieba, Glenview , Ill.
Robert Bellamy, Pacific Palisades , Calif.
Deiton Baughman, Carson , Calif.
Gage Brymer, Irvine , Calif.
TJ Pura, Brentwood , Calif.
The juniors will be coached by Nick Fustar of the USTA Regional Training Center Eagle Fustar Tennis Academy and Brian Wilson, of the RTC Northwest High Performance Tennis.