Wiersholm Chooses Virginia on NLI Signing Day; Master'U Team Announced; Great Day for Teens at Bradenton Futures
Today is the first day high school seniors can sign an NCAA Division I National Letter of Intent for 2014, and the Tennis Recruiting Network will be publishing many blue chip announcements in the next several days. My article about Henrik Wiersholm's commitment to the University of Virginia is among the three published today, along with Brooke Austin's commitment to Florida and Nikki Kallenberg's commitment to Harvard. This is an exciting time for junior tennis players, in large part thanks to the Tennis Recruiting Network. Junior players now have an opportunity for a national spotlight to shine on them during this time, when ten years ago there was no such option available to them.
State high school champions have always received much local press however, and this year's Mr. Tennis in Michigan is a Kalamazoo product, Davis Crocker. Crocker, who has committed to the University of Michigan and will begin there in January, played high school tennis for one of the Kalamazoo public high schools, Loy Norrix, all four years, went undefeated this year in collecting his third straight state title, and was a unanimous selection.
The USTA has announced the team of American college players who will be representing the United States at the Master'U BNP Paribas internatioal collegiate tournament November 28-December 1 in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Mitchell Frank of Virginia, Marcos Giron of UCLA and Peter Kobelt of Ohio State are joined by Robin Anderson of UCLA, Lauren Herring of Georgia and Sabrina Santamaria of Southern California. Cal women's head coach Amanda Augustus and Boise State men's head coach Greg Patton are again traveling with the team.
The US team is the defending champion, and they have won the competition three of the last four years. Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Russia are the other seven teams in the competition.
North Carolina's Jamie Loeb was invited, but declined due to school obligations and the amount of competitive tennis she has played recently.
The first round at the $10,000 Bradenton, Florida Futures was completed today, and 12 of the 16 players in the second round are teenagers. Sixteen-year-old qualifier Reilly Opelka picked up his first ATP point when Keith-Patrick Crowley(Miami) retired with Opelka leading 6-3, 3-1, and 16-year-old wild card Sumit Nagal earned his first ATP point with a 6-0, 7-6(5) win over Catalin Gard(Ole Miss). Noah Rubin, Stefan Kozlov, Connor Farren, Canadian qualifier Tommy Mylnikov, Alexandru Gozun(South Florida) and Martins Podzus of Latvia are the other teens who won today, joining Janis Podzus(twin of Martins), Andrey Rublev of Russia, Martin Redlicki and Naoki Nakagawa of Japan, who won Tuesday, in the second round. There will be a 18-and-under teen in the semifinals, with Nakagawa, Rubin, Mylnikov and Opelka in the same quarter of the draw. The Bradenton Herald had this article on soon-to-be-17-year-old Nakagawa, who is a Sony scholarship recipient at the IMG Bollettieri Academy, and his hard fought win over 15-year-old Michael Mmoh, also an student at Bollettieri's.