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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Loeb, Chirico Win Three-setters in Wimbledon Junior Debuts, US Boys Go 0-3; Wall Street Journal On Why Tennis Pros' Kids Don't Choose Sport

All the US men exited Wimbledon before the third round, and a similar pattern is taking place in the boys championships, with all three American boys who played today losing their first round matches.

As in the senior tournament, the US girls are doing better. Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams advanced to the fourth round with win today, and Jamie Loeb and Louisa Chirico, both playing at the All England Club for the first time, picked up wins in the the girls championships.

Loeb defeated Victoriya Lushkova of Ukraine 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round, overcoming a rough stretch in the middle of the match where she lost five straight games. Leading 4-2 in the second set, Loeb failed in her two chances to take a 5-3 lead, and was broken at love in her following service game to lose the set.  Lushkova held to open the third set, and Loeb saved a break point to make it 1-1, then broke in the following game.  The 18-year-old from New York found herself in the same situation in the third set as she was in the second, with a 4-2 lead, but this time she held for 5-3 and then broke Lushkova at love to take the match.  Loeb will play No. 10 seed Camila Giangreco Campis of Paraguay in the second round.

Chirico, the No. 15 seed, won her first match on grass, defeating Helen Ploskina of Ukraine 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.  Chirico was up 5-1 serving for the match when she was broken, but she broke right back to secure the victory.  She will not play again until Tuesday, with her opponent the winner of the Petra Uberalova and Maia Lumsden match.  Uberalova was in the Roehampton doubles final on Friday, so she was not scheduled to play on Saturday. No. 5 seed Taylor Townsend, Johnnise Renaud and qualifier Dasha Ivanova will play their first round matches on Monday.

Noah Rubin lost a tough match to Luke Bambridge of Great Britain, falling 3-6, 6-4, 9-7.  Rubin was down 3-1 in the third, got the break back for 3-3, but had more trouble than Bambridge holding serve down the stretch and was finally broken to give Bambridge an 8-7 lead.  With Bambridge serving at 40-0 in the final game, Rubin saved two match points, but not the third, and Bambridge got the only win among the four British boys in action on Saturday.  Spencer Papa lost to Hyeon Chung of Korea 6-3, 6-2 and Luca Corinteli fell to No. 10 seed Johan Tatlot of France by the same score.  Stefan Kozlov is now the only US boys still alive, and he will play his first round match on Monday against British wild card Joshua Sapwell.

Eight boys seeds were in action today, with two losing: No. 16 seed Wayne Montgomery of South Africa lost to  Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-3, 6-3 and No. 12 seed Maxime Hamou of France lost to Stefano Napolitano of Italy by the same score.  The only girls seed to fall in Saturday's first round action was No. 7 Katy Dunne of Great Britain, who lost to Ioana Ducu of Romania 6-2, 6-2.

The doubles draws have been released and Taylor Townsend will not be defending her title.  The other four US girls are in the draw, all playing with non-US partners.  Renaud is partnering qualifier Kyoka Okamura of Japan, Loeb is playing with University of Georgia freshman Ayaka Okuno of Japan, Ivanova is paired with Katherine Ip of Hong Kong and Chirico is playing with Alejandra Cisneros of Mexico. Chirico and Cisneros are the No. 6 seeds.  Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic are the top seeds.

The ITF junior doubles seedings rarely make any sense, but they do this year, with US Open and French Open boys champions Kyle Edmund of Great Britain and Frederico Silva of Portugal at the top of the draw.  Defending doubles champion Nick Kyrgios of Australia is not seeded with his partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, whose ITF ranking is too low to get them a seed.  

Martin Redlicki, who fell in the final round of qualifying, did get into the doubles draw, and his is playing with Serbia's Laslo Djere.  Papa and Kozlov are playing together, and Rubin is again with Clement Geens of Belgium after reaching the semifinals of Roehampton together.  They are seeded No. 6.  Corinteli is playing with Mexico's Lucas Gomez.

The draws can be found at the Wimbledon website.

Simon Cambers' article for the ITF junior website is here.

If you didn't see the link to this Wall Street Journal article in one of the comments yesterday, take a moment to read it.  Tom Perotta explores the dearth of second generation tennis players in the professional ranks. Why don't top tennis professionals encourage their children to aspire to follow in their footsteps?  Lindsay Davenport and Tracy Austin give their thoughts, with Davenport saying, "Junior tennis, it's rough. People cheat, you get yelled at by other parents. I saw a dad walk on court and smack my opponent with an open hand, right in front of me. The sport beats up a lot of players."

Austin, whose children do play, says, "Tennis is too hard. It's so much more time-consuming than baseball, lacrosse, all these other sports. You cannot take a week off. The drive has to be so strong, the fire. Nobody was going to stop me."

The isolated nature of the sport, the desire for their children to find their own path and earn their own spotlight, the nomadic lifestyle, all are reasons top pros give for not encouraging such a career path for their children.  But many have children who play.  Chris Evert's sons did, so did Pat Cash's son, Bjorn Borg's son and Brad Gilbert's son, just to name a few.  The fact that they didn't go on to be Top 100 in the world just re-emphasizes what those of us close to the sport, including members of that elite club, know--it's incredibly difficult to do.


development said...

Wayne Bryan would cringe at this article.

Tennis is a physical sport but why does everyone have to put so much stress and importance on it at an early age. Where is the "fun" in the sport?

The usta is putting so much pressure on treating/training their juniors like men - hence most get injured and do not improve.

The average age of ATP Top 100 is over 27 years old. Why rush the development, Why only play tennis growing up? Training should be fun, practice should be competitive - not mostly drills and 2 crosscourt/1 down-the-line drills, like the usta favorite drill.

Jamie hampton said it best - the usta should guide players in the right direction, they do not produce them.

Boca Parent said...

After tanking his Wimbledon singles qualifying match and leaving his doubles partner and defending doubles quartefinalist, James Cerratani stranded (didn't even tell him he was leaving) the usta gave Jack Sock got another main draw singles wildcard this week at a Challenger.

Does tanking earn main draw wildcards? The usta thinks so. Why can't Jack play qualifying? How many wildcards is too many for one player in a year? 10? 15? 20?

Want to know why the American Men are struggling? Look at the leadership! Look at those making the decisions! They preach - earn your way, but they do not walk the walk.

USTA needs to provide a positive environment of competition and training, not make training miserable and then give out endless wildcards. Of course these juniors and pros lost their hunger, that is the environment the usta player development has created.

White Plains said...

Great article on junior injury prevention


I hope the usta player development reads this as well as junior coaches around the country.

frustrated said...

Shocking performance by both the men and the boys at Wimbledon - Millions of dollars spent on PD, million dollar salaries for PMac etc - where is the accountability. PMac tweets " we're in it for the long haul" - for heavens sake how long is that? Where are the Jon Wertheim, Tom Perotta, Chris Clarey stories on this scandal - too cosy with the USTA perhaps!

The Jack Sock situation is now an embarrassing joke for both him and the USTA - i feel sorry for him - great potential being ruined by the powers that be. He should take a leaf out of Denis Kudla's book!

Frank from Atl. said...

Lame comment about Sock. He is 102 in the world. We have no idea why he left Wimbledon, could be injured. Bottom line is the guy is only age 20 and almost in the top 100...THATS WHY he gets wild cards. He happens to have a little something we call tennis TALENT! USTA player development is a mess but that has zero to do with giving wildcards to a 20 year old on the cusp of top 100.

Fed up said...

What is mind boggling is how many juniors, parents, and coaches hate the leadership of the USTA, but we can't vote them out.

Richard - Ct said...

Cheating is one of the reasons that pros don't involve their own kids in the sport.

So sad, such a simple answer such as more refs.
But, instead of the USTA spending $$$$$$
on the 99.9 % of the juniors that play tennis in this country, they spend it on less than one percent, about 20 players, who have zero results.
What a complete waste.

daft said...

people keep bringing up the hampton comment. i'm pretty sure she means that the federation can show the way but it comes down to what the players are willing to do, how hard they work, and how much drive they have. i would be willing to bet that this is the context it was meant it. especially when you consider she is coached by usta.

sock needed a WC probably because he didnt enter. he is one of the singles seeds. its not like he is getting into a tournament his ranking doesnt justify.

calm down.

russ said...

Read the article on injuries and sports specialization and although I agree with the idea that multiple sports are optimal from the ages of twelve to fourteen, I think in order to compete at a high level in tennis you need to specialize and you need to go beyond the parameters of what the doctor suggests. Not to spend more than twice as much time playing organized sports as you spend in gym and unorganized play, as the doctor recommends, is an impossibility. Unless he means that playing tennis with a partner but no coach is unorganized free play. And to wait until late adolescence (16 to 19) to specialize would be a death knell to your pro tennis hopes.

Igor said...

It would be interesting to do a study of what the USTA training development is doing to their juniors that they are constantly injured.

get real said...

Let’s take the article to the next step. Why do competitive tennis at a high level at all. The sacrifices are too huge and the chance of making it into the top 50 too tough. No other sport requires young kids to train/play/travel 12 months, miss so much school or drop out of school, be so much out of the mainstream at such a young age without any support system except your family. And bottom line., so few make a real living. At the same time, even the ATP schedule is grueling unless you have the resources to fly your family around while you play. I really don’t see much of an upside unless there is so much talent like a Tomic.

Need new usta system said...

The solution is a better junior system in the United States to where our top juniors have to continuing play against each other. Our Top players should be playing Sectional tournaments, then National tournaments, then if they win those, international tournaments. They are not required to - usually only play Easter Bowl b/c its an ITF tournament & Kalamazoo b/c of us open wildcard. Why not clay courts or Winter Nationals? Why not sectional tournaments?

Today we have players in Wimbledon juniors, who are fully paid by the usta, that have not won a recent Super National at home. If you are not thost of these players are just happy to be there, not expected or trying to win the event.

National 18s rankings:
Rubin - #2
Kozlov - #12 (15 yrs old)
Cornitelli - #13
Papa - #23

Corntielli and Papa didn't even win a singles match this trip, possibly not a singles set. Our kids need to earn their way, not have the usta fully pay for their ITF tournaments. Be the best at home, then leave the country.

The system is wrong, the usta decisions are wrong.

Local Coach said...

US junior boys are in a sad state of affairs. This is the same bunch of boys the USTA has been working with since they were 14. Their results continue to be dismal at best. Time to go back to the drawing board.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the top performers from previous years (i.e., Krueger, Fratangelo, Kudla, etc) never lived at the USTA Training grounds in Boca, but relied on their local coaches for their training.

Virginia parent said...

Is there a timetable for the current leadership of the usta player development or does the Board of Directors continue to let 8 more years go by of wrong direction and wasted money?

The USTA should coach the young pros and be supplemental to the juniors. Move all juniors out of Boca.

This is exactly what is currently happening and has happened with Kudla, Johnson, Frantangelo, Kreuger, Williams, Sock, Harrison. These players only got supplemental help as juniors and usta now has a full time coach or trainer on them as pros.

The USTA training juniors full time does not work. It never has nor ever will. How much more money and time are we going to waste?

The USTA coaching staff also should be made up of mostly Americans. It is full of Argentina and Spain coaches. An absolute disgrace.

An easy fix to bring back American Tennis. This current leadership is driving quickly down the wrong side of the road and no one is there to stop them.

russ said...

Charles Bricker wrote this on 3/24/12. Time to re-read: http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/6463

An excerpt:

I can’t tell you what the USTA development program spent in 2011 until it files its Form 990 income tax report, but it’s expected to be about the same as for 2010 — a grand total of $15.7 million.
Let me repeat that figure — $15.7 million.
Where has $15.7 million gone?
* $809,000 to Patrick McEnroe, effectively the general manager, plus $238,000 in other compensation.
* $387,000 to prime coach Jose Higueras, plus $83,000 in other compensation.
* $273,000 to talent assessment expert Martin Blackman, plus $91,000 in other compensation.
* There are nine employes in the development program earning at least $152,000 annually, and that was 2010. The total salaries of those top coaches, plus a slew of lesser coaches and support staff came to $7.7 million. That’s for one year.


Overheard this gem at recent junior tournament: The problem with tennis in the United States is the United States Tennis Association.

Craig said...

Who was the guy that said Jack Sock didn't deserve a wild card at Winnetka? Funny. 2013 Winnetka Challenger Singles Champion: Jack Sock.

Boca Parent said...


I was the one who said Jack Sock should not receive a wildcard into Winnetka Challenger. I still stand by my statement based on principle. My statement had nothing to do with Jack's tennis level or tennis merit.

Please re-read my post.

Do you agree Jack should get a wildcard based on: 1) jack tanked (no effort) in loss at Wimbledon Qualifying; 2) Jack withdrew from Wimbledon doubles, not telling his partner he was leaving, James Cerratani, defending quarterfinalist; 3) Should have entered event, while taking a spot away from another player; 4) Could have played qualifying in Winnetka; 5) 7th singles main draw wildcard of the year. 11th including doubles.

How many wildcards do you think is too many for a player in one year? You reward for tanking at a Grand Slam?

Jack will be Top 100 and is deserving of that ranking. I am happy for him but just because he won the event does not make that decision justified.

Brent said...

Boca, are you aware that Sock only needed a wild card because he was a late entrant into the event? He did not need a wild card to get due to his ranking. So, your point may stand but I think you chose the wrong tournament/example to make that point.

AJT said...


Seriously, what did Jack do to you , did he run over your cat ??

You try to sound like you are 'objectivly' against the concept of wildcards, but I don't know. You seem overly concerned with those WC's award to JS.

Maybe Jack was a little too optimistic in thinking that he would still be playing in Europe and forgot to register. But this was a 75K challenger, not the US open he was asking for a wild card into.

The simple fact is, JS is anything but an PD pet. If you want to rip on absurd wild cards, how about Stefan Kozlov into Newport ???

But you seem to have a particular obsession with JS.

So, I have to ask, how's the cat ?

BB said...

Federer asked for and is getting a wild card into GSTAAD and Hamburg that he did not originally enter. Should he have to qualify for that since he did not enter? It's the same reasoning you are giving for Sock. Are you kidding me? And Sock justified Winnetka again by winning and finals in dubs.

Brent said...

Even the Kozlov WC might not be that farfetched. He is currently up a break in the third in the first round. Representing well. Hope he can pull it out.

Boca parent said...


Stefan proved not to be an absurd wildcard into Newport. Losing 2.5 hour battle 6-4 in the 3rd, while serving 4-3 in set final. Great wildcard. This sends a positive vibe and energy to all the american juniors of what they can achieve. American has alot of promising juniors coming up. Stefan's opponent is #113 in the World this week.

My stink is not with Jack, it's with the usta who granted the wildcard to him.

If you took a student to Nationals and they purposely tanked, left doubles partner stranded, would you give he/she a wildcard into their next tournament? And if your player tanked already 3 times this year? I would not. I would make them play qualifying. Jack would probably still win the tournament, he is that good.

Jack is a great tennis player and will be America's top player in several years but do not reward bad behavior. What message is the usta sending to the rest of the country?

My 3 cats are great but how is yours, is it Penelope Pussycat, Lucifer or Garfield?

just saying said...

Jack Sock has earned direct entry to the US Open Main Draw, while Ryan Harrison will need a WC.

Brent said...

Does anyone have an update on the status of Jordan Cox?

AJT said...


Your logic escapes me.

So, Stefan was a good choice for a wild card becuase he did well, even though he lost in the first round (but he won a set).

But JS was not a good choice for a WC at Winnetka, even though he won the whole tournament, becuase, he is a USTA guy.

Make up you mind.

Fact is JS was never in USTA PD as a junior even though he gets some coaching now, Stefan is. SK is the USTA guys, not JS.

JS wildcard was most likely decided by the Winnetaka TD, not USTA.

The fact is your animosity towards Jack is obvious. Without any evidence you have said three times he purposely "tanked" at Wimbledon. What evidence do you have that he "tanked" ? Maybe he just he lost. (It happens in tennis, I have it on good authority that approximately 50% of the players will lose their first round match).

The connotations of the word tanking is that he was not trying an lost deliberately. Do you have nay evidence to back this up or do you like to just slander anonymously ? Where you there ? The fact is instead of playing some warm up events on grass he chose to keep playing on clay in in the Czeck republic and maybe was not ready for the grass.

Start dealing with the fact that Jack is now 80 in the ATP (#4 US) and can direct entry to most events and is not defending significant points until September. Won't need to play qualifiers for while so if you beef is really with USTA and not JS you are going to have to find a new bitch.

just saying said...

Jack will get even more wildcards in the coming weeks, since he will be ranked higher than guys who have direct acceptance in all the events except the two 1000s. The first tournament he can enter as a direct acceptance should be Winston Salem. It's 6 weeks from Monday July 8.