USTA Playoffs for Boys 14s European Trip Underway in Boca Raton; United States Defends Its Master'U BNP Paribas Championship in France
Before we headed south to Coral Gables, where the Junior Orange Bowl 12s and 14s begins with qualifying on Friday, we stopped by the USTA National Training Center at Evert Academy in Boca Raton.
Since 2007, the USTA has held a competition to determine two of the four 14-and-under boys who will travel to the Teen Tennis and Les Petits As next month. There are two round robin groups of four, with the top two in each advancing to the semifinals. Both finalists will be named to the team, with two other selections captain's picks also going.
The boys competing this year are:
Alex Del Corral
Play continues on Tuesday, with the semifinals on Wednesday. I will pass along the results later this week. The girls do not have a similar competition.
I was amazed at how many high level players were training this afternoon in Boca, playing practice matches or hitting with coaches. Here is a partial list of those I saw just in the few hours I was there:
Mallory Burdette (pictured, during a practice match with Glatch)
Burdette, Glatch, Keys, Buchanan, Williams and Sandgren are all playing in the Australian Open Wild Card Playoff, which begins Friday. The complete list of competitors and the schedule can be found at the tournament website.
The United States team of Lauren Embree of Florida, Zoe Scandalis of USC, Jacqueline Cako of Arizona State, Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, Evan King of Michigan and Raymond Sarmiento of USC won the Master'U BNP Paribas Championship international collegiate team championship yesterday in France, defending the title they won last year. Greg Patton of Boise State, who also coached the team last year, and Amanda Augustus of Cal were the coaches for this year's team.
Unlike their 4-3 win over France last year, there was no dramatic finish necessary for the US team this year, as they swept the singles from Germany to clinch the win before the doubles began. The United States has now won three championships at this competition in the past four years.
For Patton and Augustus' entertaining blogs from the trip, see usta.com.