Monday, February 25, 2013

Ponwith Wins ITF Grade 4 in El Salvador; Notes from Indian Wells, Mexico, Brazil, Arizona, Texas and Florida

Fourteen-year-old Nathan Ponwith won his first ITF junior titles in El Salvador lost week, taking the Grade 4 Copa Gatorade Internacional without dropping a set in singles. Ponwith, the No. 11 seed, defeated top seed Alan Nunez Aguilera of Mexico 7-5, 6-2 in the singles final, after defeating No. 2 seed Ugo Santomenna of France in the semifinals. He and Jack Van Slyke of Canada, seeded fifth, collected the doubles title by the impressive score of 6-4, 3-6, 18-16 over top seeds Nunez Aguilera and Stefan Gonzalez of Guatemala. Ponwith, who reached the semifinals of Teen Tennis, Les Petits As and the Junior Orange Bowl in 2012, is continuing his Central American tour at the Grade 4 in Guatemala this week.

The unseeded American team of Meghan Kelley and Claudia Wiktoren won the girls doubles title in El Salvador without the loss of a set, defeating unseeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Ialita Devarakonda of Italy 6-1, 6-1 in the final.

The USTA today announced the American juniors participating in the upcoming South American swing, which includes the Grade 2 Copa Milo this week in Chile, the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay next week, followed by the Grade 1 Banana Bowl and Grade A Copa Gerdau in Brazil in consecutive weeks. For the release, see this document.

Louisa Chirico is one of those mentioned as on the South American trip, but as she just finished a stretch of eight matches to reach the final of the $25,000 Surprise, Arizona Pro Circuit event, losing to Tara Moore of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1 in the final, I suspect she will be arriving later in the trip.  In fact, many of those named in the release are not in the draw in Chile this week.

Rounding up the results in Surprise and in the men's Futures in Brownsville, teens Samantha Crawford and Sachia Vickery won the doubles title, defeating Emily Harman of the US and Yi-Fan Xu of China 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 in a final between two unseeded teams.  The Brownsville Futures singles title went to veteran Rik De Voest of South Africa, the No. 4 seed, who defeated No. 3 seed James McGee of Ireland 7-6(6), 6-1. The doubles title went to Dennis Nevolo and Jean-Yves Aubone, who defeated Ruben Gonzales of the Philippines and Chris Letcher of Australia 6-3, 6-7(7), 10-6. The Brownsville Herald published this article on the doubles final.

There is no women's tournament in the US this week, while the men are in Harlingen, Texas for another $15,000 Futures. The qualifying is now complete and results and draws are here.

The pre-qualifying for the big WTA/ATP event in Indian Wells is underway, with Samantha Crawford, Sachia Vickery and Mayo Hibi among those vying for a qualifying wild card.  The draws for the event, which began today and runs through Saturday, are available here. (Updated draws here: http://www.bnpparibasopen.com/Events/Calendar-of-Events.aspx).

According to information on twitter, Taylor Townsend and Maria Sanchez have received main draw wild cards, although the tournament has not made a formal announcement of its wild cards.

In the WTA events, a few notable American results.  Former Penn star Connie Hsu qualified for the main draw in Florianopolis Brazil with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over WTA No. 178 Julia Gushko of Israel and was just underway in her main draw match with 16-year-old Brazilian wild card Beatriz Hadad Maia when rain washed out play for the day.

In Acapulco, Grace Min beat Shelby Rogers, Canada's Stephanie Dubois(6) and Austria's Yvonne Meusburger(4) in qualifying to reach the main draw. Reigning Wimbledon girls champion Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who won the Wimbledon girls doubles title with Min in 2011, also qualified today.

The ATP Delray Beach qualifying was completed today, with Tim Smyczek, Bobby Reynolds, Ernests Gulbis of Latvia and Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain reaching the main draw.


Brent said...

What is going on with Ryan Harrison? Another bad loss today - missed opportunities three weeks in a row. Finally got some decent draws and couldn't take advantage. Was hoping he was really go on a run in 2013.

tennisforlife said...

Was wondering the same thing - tough start to the year - hope he can turn it around.

Brent said...

Jack Sock is really beginning to turn things around. solid win today. hope he can keep it up!

What suggested a 2013 run? said...

What is so surprising? How are Harrison's results for this year much different from most of last year? (even disregarding his difficult Slam draws).

Yes, he played well at two grass court events, Eastbourne and Newport. At Eastbourne, he beat a top 50 player in Istomin and a solid player in Lu. Harrison also had a good result at Indian Wells where he beat Troicki.

However, outside of those two opponents, Istomin (June) and Troicki (March), he didn't beat another guy who finished the year in the top 50.

At this level, anyone who makes it through the qualifying has a chance in the first round as in Delray. Wins breed confidence.

I would say that Harrison has been rather consistent. Every now and then he beats a top 50 guy. Every now and then he loses to someone above 100. He wins some and loses some against the 50-100 range. Take a look at his results and see if you think differently.

Hopefully, he can eventually take the next step up out of this range.

tennisforlife said...

You're probably right but seems like he should be making a move at this stage of his career - not replicating last years results!

there still is hope said...

Ryan had a great start to the year - from a qualifying standpoint - he won many matches - then he got 2 main draw wins from injured players - Agut & Isner. After that - it's been mostly unimpressive - he has not shown over the past 2 years he belongs in the Top 50 in the World.

So his recent results are not surprising. If he has an early exit from Indian Wells - his ranking will be in the 90s.

He needs to hire a better coach so he can improve or have his dad more involved. I do hope he turns it around because he is a great kid

easy road said...

Jack has had a decent 3 weeks- but tennis is a year-round sport. What is unimpressive is that he has been given the Golden Spoon with Wildcards - as he has NOT earned his entry into these tournaments - so already taking the easy route. The times he has played qualifying this year - he has lost in qualifying. He has some good wins - but by far better results in doubles than singles. For his sake - I hope the wildcard stop coming but with Indian Wells and Miami arriving - he is probably getting another free pass.

5.0 Player said...

The problem with Harrison is that he lost the power in his forehand and since the USTA and most tour coaches don't know much about stroke mechanics he will have a hard time getting it back. Now that he lost that weapon he is doing a lot of retrieving, pushing and relying on his foot speed and athletic ability. His only offensive weapon remaining at this stage is his serve. His situation is uncannily similar to what happened to Roddick. Roddick had a big forehand when he was #1 but lost it for the last 5+ years on the tour so he became a big server who otherwise pushed. Harrison's path is similar but at a much lower level. He will struggle indefinitely until he gets that forehand weapon back.

Sock is a completely different story. He has all the weaspons including a massive forehand and serve but his problems have been injuries and inconsistency. If he can stay healthy and keep his head together he could rise to the top 10 in my humble opinion.

Tennis Rackets Mania said...

Harrison lost again .. this was the 3rd one in row ... His Tennis Game is on question mark now .. i am agree with previous comment where forehand issues has been raised ...
But i have belief that he'll make a good comeback..

Still plenty of time said...

5.0 Player

I agree (mostly) with your comments. Isn't it funny when Ryan Harrison won alot of qualifying matches in Australia and his first round at Australian Open - all we heard is how Andy Roddick is mentoring him & they talk everyday and now that Ryan is losing a lot, there is no comments about Roddick, leaving only his coach to blame.

I agree, Harrison is losing some of his forehand power, maybe he still has it but Roddick is telling him something else about it. Coaching is always easy when their player is winning but sustaining it and dealing when player is losing is the challenging part.

All the slack Ryan is getting on here is quite unfair. He is still 22-23 years old which is 4 years younger than the average Top 100 player on Tour. His best years are still ahead. He is still in his humbling, immature years.

Colette Lewis said...

Harrison will be 21 in May

Still plenty of time said...

Thank you for the correction Colette.

Even more reason to allow Ryan more time to develop. He is still 20 years old. He has accomplished a lot already. We just wish he was always progressing and improving.

I still believe he needs to hire a developmental and experienced Tour coach (not a friend in Tres) to progress at the top ATP level, like a Darren Cahill, Brad Stine, Scott McCain or go to Palm Springs to work with Jose Higueras for free.

Stroke Coach said...

Still Plenty of Time- I agree with what you're saying except I would only put Cahill, McCain and maybe Higueras on your list. The others are overrated in my opinion, especially for the task of getting Harrison's forehand power back.

What suggested a 2013 run? said...

That was my original point. Not sure if it came across properly. I don't think we should be too worried about Ryan. No need to be placing unnecessary expectations or overly worrying about results. He's still developing and will continue to improve.

Slightly Harder Road said...

Easy Road it looks like your are getting wish, Sock only got a qualifier wild card, not a main draw WC, for Indian Wells, while Smycek and Johnson(ranked below Sock, but a home town boy)get the main draw WQ's.

Former Pro said...

What suggested- I would ordinarily agree with you but when a player's develpment is going in the wrong direction that does cause some concern. We're not talking just about results or someone taking their time to get together mentally, we're talking about a major weaspon that, rather than merely not improving at a satisfactory rate, it has actually gotten substantially worse.