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Monday, October 29, 2012

Styslinger, Quigley Qualify in Charlottesville 75K; Eddie Herr Acceptances; Lori McNeil Joins Zina Garrison Academy; Dual USTA Nationals?

Today's third and final round of qualifying is complete at the $75,000 Challenger in Charlottesville, Va., with four players advancing to the main draw today, two of them unseeded.

Virginia freshman Mac Styslinger, with an ATP ranking of 1905 (1 ATP point) continued his outstanding play this fall, defeating Jeff Dadamo 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(2). I watched the final set, via the USTA Pro Circuit free streaming, and it was every bit as close as the score indicates. Styslinger saved at least one break point serving at 4-4, then Dadamo saved a match point in the next game, after a double fault at 30-30. Styslinger had control of the point and a wide open court for his forehand, but he sent it just long. Dadamo held, but Styslinger didn't let his missed opportunity bother him, winning a quick service game to go up 6-5.  His first serve seemed especially effective on the big points, while Dadamo was more erratic, and that proved to be the case in the tiebreaker. Styslinger hit a couple of impressive winners, but Dadamo made several forehand errors of the unforced variety to take most of the tension out of the ending. Styslinger will play former Old Dominion All-American Izak van der Merwe of South Africa in the first round, and he has already earned 5 ATP points for qualifying this week.

2012 NCAA finalist Eric Quigley of Kentucky made the main draw with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Great Britain's Ed Corrie, a former Texas Longhorn and will play No. 6 seed Bobby Reynolds. Taro Daniel of Japan defeated Devin Britton and Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa downed Darien King of Barbados to set up first round matches with Daniel Kosakowski and No. 3 seed Michael Russell respectively.

The four main draw matches saw four college contemporaries advance to the second round, all in straight sets. Steve Johnson defeated Alex Bogdanovic of Great Britain, Bradley Klahn took out wild card Michael McClune, Rhyne Williams defeated No. 5 seed Ryan Sweeting and wild card Austin Krajicek beat Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan, a former ITF World Junior Champion.  Johnson and Williams will meet in the second round, a rematch of the 2010 USTA/ITA Indoor final (won by Williams) and the 2011 NCAA singles championship (won by Johnson).

The acceptances for the Eddie Herr 12s, 14s, and 16s divisions were posted today, and as expected with the reduced draw sizes in the 12s and 14s, there are long alternate lists. The competitors' list is available through a link on the IMG tournament page. The ITF 18s entries just closed last week, so that acceptance list is not yet available. For more on the changes this year at the Eddie Herr, see my article about it from late last month. 

A press release was circulated today announcing that Lori McNeil, who was a USTA Player Development coach from 2004-2012, has joined the Zina Garrison Academy in Houston as the Director of Tennis.

At the Parenting Aces blog, Lisa Stone and Ross Greenstein of Scholarship for Athletes discuss having two 128 draws at the Nationals. As I wrote in a comment there, I think there may be logistical problems if there is more than one age group involved, and I really prefer the grand slam qualifying model, which would be a 128 draw with 16 qualifiers advancing to the main draw. However, this would not satisfy those who want all national participants to come through their sections and only through their sections. (Imagine the US Open with quotas per country and you have an idea why I am not a fan of this system). But whether you believe there's merit in the idea or not, do devote some time to thinking about how you would like the national tournaments to fill their draws, so you will be prepared for the Town Hall Listening meetings the USTA has promised.