Media Tips for Juniors; Makarova, Kozlov Out of ITF B1 Pan American; Wichita Falls ITF; IMG Bollettieri's New Students
I talk to a lot of young tennis players while I'm out covering tournaments, and while most of them are articulate and forthcoming, there are times when their lack of experience shows. A few years ago I put together a few pointers for players who may be unfamiliar with the conventions of traditional interviews, and I recently updated it for the Tennis Recruiting Network.
I just checked the acceptance lists for the ITF B1 Pan American Closed, which I'll be covering next week in Tulsa, and saw that both Christina Makarova and Stefan Kozlov have withdrawn. Makarova and Kozlov would have been the No. 1 seeds. Katrine Steffensen, who also would have been a top seed, has also withdrawn.
The ITF Grade 4 in Wichita Falls, Texas is into the round of 16, with the top two girls seeds, 16s Clay Court champion CiCi Bellis, who is No. 1, and 18s Clay Court champion Chloe Ouellet-Pizer, who is No. 2, picking up their first wins today after byes in the opening round.
The boys top seed is already gone however, as Alan Nunez Aguilera of Mexico was defeated by Jacob Hansen in the second round. Last week Nunez Aguilera was winning the Laguna Niguel Futures doubles title, and Hansen was losing in the first round of the ITF Grade 5 in Waco, but Hansen won today match 6-3, 6-4.
Unless you ask a player where they train, it is often difficult to locate that information, although the USTA has been providing the names of coaches when they publish their monthly honor roll. Last week I received an email from IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, which included the names of some of their new students. This is a great help to me, so if any other academy would like to forward me such a list, please send it to clewis[at]zootennis.com.
On the IMG Bollettieri Academy list are several prominent US juniors: Raquel Pedraza, Stephen Madonia, Hady Habib, Nicole Johnston. The complete release can be found here.
This is a short post, as I prepare to travel to Tulsa on Wednesday for the ITA All-American and Pan American Closed, but check back early tomorrow afternoon for a chance to test your knowledge of college tennis with a Twenty Questions quiz I've prepared.