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Monday, June 9, 2014

Logan Smith, Monica Robinson Win USTA National Open Hard Court Titles; Peter Smith and Sons; Pro Circuit Update; Bradley Drops Men's Tennis

Logan Smith (courtesy photo)

Seventeen-year-old Logan Smith and 19-year-old Monica Robinson won gold balls over the weekend in San Diego, taking the singles titles at the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships. Smith, who was in Europe playing ITF Junior events though the Grade A in Italy, returned home to Southern California for a few weeks, but he is heading back across the Atlantic to compete at the Roehampton Grade 1 and Wimbledon Junior championships.

Smith, who was unseeded in the tournament (his ITF junior ranking is 54) defeated No. 2 seed Deiton Baughman 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Baughman, 18, was the fourth seeded player Smith defeated in his seven wins.

Monica Robinson (courtesy photo)
Robinson, who just completed her freshman year at Notre Dame, was a No. 5 seed in the smaller women's draw.  She defeated unseeded 17-year-old Alexandra Valenstein, also from Southern California, 6-3, 6-0 in the final.

Both draws lost their No. 1 seeds, Brian Battistone and Trang Huynh, to last-minute withdrawals.

For complete results from the tournament, see the TennisLink site.

The Orange County Register recently published this article on the University of Southern California men's head coach Peter Smith(no relation to Logan) and his three tennis-playing sons. Learning the game from one of the best coaches in the country is certainly a great advantage for them, but there are always challenges when a parent coaches his or her child, challenges that are amplified when he or she has had so much success coaching others.  Right now Garrett Patton plays for his father Greg at Boise State and Eric Diaz for his father Manny at Georgia and I'm sure there are others, with Tanner Smith to join that fraternity next year.

In the only Pro Circuit event in the United States last week, unseeded Elise Mertens of Belgium won the $25,000 tournament in El Paso, beating No. 5 seed Ashley Weinhold 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.  Weinhold had barely gotten by Baylor junior Ema Burgic of Bosnia 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(6) in one semifinal, while the 18-year-old Mertens beat top seed Connie Hsu of Taiwan 6-2, 6-0 in the other semifinal.  Weinhold did get a title however, as she and Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) took the doubles championship. The unseeded team beat top seeds Hsu and Danielle Lao(USC) 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 in the final.

Bradley University announced on Friday that it was discontinuing its men's tennis program in favor of reestablishing men's indoor track. Bradley was the alma mater of former Kalamazoo Nationals referee and USTA president and chairman David Markin, for whom the tennis courts and a recreation building on the Peoria, Illinois campus are named. Markin died last year.


Joe said...

Based on Bradley's past steller performance, I'm surprised the AD hadn't already dropped the Men's Program, especially since their conference winning record was a disappointing 0.175. I'm sure BJ King will be very happy another Men's Program gets canceled to accommodate for the Women's sports. Title IV needs to go away.

get real said...

Anyone know what is going on with Ryan Harrison. Ranking keeps dropping. Anyone seen him play recently. Is his temper/behavior still holding him back?

Martyn Collins said...

Joe - if title 9 needs to go away, what is your plan? As for Ryan Harrison, he has "zero" weapons and is a defensive player by default.

get real said...

Lot of top defensive players. While found his court behavior consistently poor, never doubted his talent to be consistent top 50 player. Was 11th player in Open Era to win match before 16th b-day, and 1st since Nadal in 2002 Surprised at how much struggling.

tennisforlife said...

Think Harrison had/has plenty of talent. It's a real pity he hasn't figured out for himself that bad attitude leads to lack of focus (McEnroe excepted). A lot of the top players - notably Federer - had attitude issues early on but realized that it's a handicap at the top level. Difference between being 50 and 150 is measured in inches for these guys. Ryan is beating himself.

get real said...

Agree with tennisforlife. Seems his camp tends to excuse his behavior as part of energy needed to win when it does the opposite, makes him look ridiculous and a bad sport when he losses. Hopefully he will grow up.

Richard said...

USTA putting ZERO $ into providing refs for tournaments leads to bad behavior on the court - cursing, cheating, racquet throwing.
If a player happens to be a USTA Player Development player, then they are "passionate".
How does this end up for the US?
Some of our players have terrible sportsmanship and it is embarrassing that they are USTA doesn't care about this, but the bad behavior leads to poor playing.

Parent Education said...


Do NOT blame USTA for lack of refs for bad sportsmanship and bad line calls.

Parents should be first on your list; Second should be the coaches of these players.

You are complaining that bad sportsmanship leads to poor playing to Patrick McEnroe? haha Ever heard about his brother, John?

Unless you want a full line crew, cheating happens even when refs are present, even when refs are in the chair.

jeff - florida said...

To Parent Education,

"Don't blame the USTA for lack of refs"

The USTA puts zero dollars into tournaments, and the TD can't pay for enough refs. The TD would lose $.

So, don't blame the USTA for not funding junior tournaments because they are funding their own pocket with salaries that range from $300,000 to a million ( and that is just one of a few jobs for PMac).
Ok, so I blame the weather then. Happy?

Parent Education said...


Blaming the USTA for players bad behavior/bad play has zero validity.

Blaming the USTA for not funding tournaments, high entry fees, TD's losing money, bad junior tournament scheduling, etc ARE valid reasons to criticize the USTA.

The First you have better argument blaming the weather; The Second you can join the majority because the USTA is a Mess.

PS-The Winter Nationals & Clay Courts never had the best players competing. It was always very watered down. I find it amazing how they have the ability to drive even more players away.