Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vickery and Chirico Meet in Arizona $25K Quarterfinal; USTA's RTC Announcement; Economic Impact of Mobile's Tennis Center

With my focus on college tennis the past couple of weeks, I didn't have a chance to mention the two Pro Circuit events in the United States this week, with the women in Surprise, Arizona for another $25,000 event, and the men in Brownsville, Texas for a $15,000 Futures.

The quarterfinals for both are set for Friday, with 17-year-old Sachia Vickery and 16-year-old Louisa Chirico playing each other for a spot in the semifinals.  Chirico, who qualified by winning three matches, including a 7-5, 6-2 decision over Ching-Wen Shu of Taiwan, currently 7th in the ITF Junior rankings, in the final round. Chirico also reached the quarterfinals of the $25,000 tournament two weeks ago in Rancho Mirage. Her two wins in the main draw have both been in three sets: over Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria, ranked 277, in the first round and over No. 3 seed and former WTA Top 50 player Jill Craybas today.

Vickery, who qualified and reached the second round at the Midland $100,000 tournament, received a wild card this week and defeated No. 8 seed Yi-Fan Xu of China in the first round. In today's second round, Vickery overcame fellow 17-year-old and future UCLA Bruin Jennifer Brady 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Vickery and Chirico will meet for the first time on Friday. No. 7 seed Madison Brengle, who won last week in Rancho Santa Fe, is the only other American in the quarterfinals. Vickery and Samantha Crawford have reached the doubles semifinals.

In Brownsville, where I gather from this article in the Brownsville Herald it has been very windy all week, Bjorn Fratangelo and Eric Quigley are the two American men in the quarterfinals. The unseeded Fratangelo will play 2011 ITF World Junior Champion Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, the No. 2 seed, and Quigley, also unseeded, meets No. 3 seed and former North Carolina State standout James Magee of Ireland.

A couple of weeks ago the USTA announced three renewals and two new members in its Regional Training Center program. The renewals are T Bar M in Dallas, Eagle Fustar in Santa Clara, Calif. and Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas. The new additions are the Five Seasons Sports Club in Northbrook, Ill. and The Smiths in Indianapolis. The Smiths are Jeff and his son Bryan, who coach Rajeev Ram, Brooke Austin, Ronnie Schneider, Samir Kumar and many other top national players.

The USTA release can be found here.

In a few weeks, I plan on covering the USTA 18s Spring National Championships at the Copeland -Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama which is one of the outstanding facilities in the country.  Scott and Lorraine Novak serve as tournament directors for the seemingly constant tournaments there, and they do a fantastic job of it. They also do a fantastic job of demonstrating how valuable the tennis center is to the city in terms of revenue, and the 2012 estimate, provided by a professor at the University of South Alabama, puts the number at over $54 million.

This article in the Mobile Press-Register provides an overview, along with information on the resurfacing plans and the introduction of clay courts to the 60-court facility.  A link to the complete study can be found in the article.