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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Coric Hires New Coach; Rybakov Earns First ATP Point; Americans Top Seeds in Bolivia ITF Grade 3; ATP Top 100 Age Data

Croatia's Borna Coric, the youngest player in the ATP Top 100, split from his British coach Ryan Jones recently and just announced he will be working with Zeljko Krajan, the Croatian Davis Cup coach.

Krajan has coached Dinara Safina, Dominika Cibulkova, and, for a short time, Jelena Jankovic and Laura Robson. Coric's management agency Starwing posted an announcement on the hiring on its Facebook page, with Coric, who turns 18 next week, quoted as saying:

"I am happy to announce that as of immediately I will be working with Zeljko. He has a world of experience on the tour and I'm very much looking forward to spending time and learning from him. Really believe we can be a great team and hopefully achieve together big things."

Coric, the 2013 US Open boys champion, is the top seed at the €64,000+Hospitality ATP Challenger in France this week. He was the subject of this Reuters feature a few days ago, and in it he explains how he handled his emotions when playing Rafael Nadal at the Swiss Indoors last month.

At the $10,000 Futures in Birmingham, 17-year-old Alex Rybakov picked up his first ATP point, with the wild card defeating No. 6 seed Arthur Surreaux of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.  Rybakov had played 13 previous Futures, losing ten times in qualifying and three times in the first round of the main draw.  He also advanced in doubles with former Ole Miss star Catalin Gard of Romania. Rybakov may meet friend Reilly Opelka in the second round, if Opelka defeats Antoine Richard of Canada in the first round Wednesday.   In the only other singles match of the day, University of Miami freshman Piotr Lomacki of Poland also took out a seed, No. 8 Mikhail Fufygin of Russia, 7-5, 6-2. 

Qualifying is complete at the two $50,000 Pro Circuit tournaments, with three American men earning a place in the main draw in Knoxville, but no American women getting through in Captiva.  Tennys Sandgren, Eric Quigley and Sekou Bangoura, as well as Great Britain's Marcus Willis, advanced in Knoxville. In first round play today, Jared Donaldson defeated fellow wild card Daniel Nguyen 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 despite getting only 35 percent of his first serves in play.  In Florida, Jan Abaza and Katerina Stewart lost in the final round of qualifying. In first round action, Louisa Chirico beat Connie Hsu of Taiwan 7-5, 6-1. 

At the ITF Grade 3 in Bolivia, Americans Catalin Mateas and Olivia Hauger are the top seeds in the boys and girls draws.  In addition to Mateas and Hauger, several other Americans made the trip, with Brian Shi, Maria Mateas, Ally Miller-Krasilnikov(4), as well as qualifier Katie LaFrance, competing in the main draw.

I ran across this graphic breakdown of the current ATP Top 100 with research on when each of these players broke into the Top 100 and where they were ranked at age 20.  I noticed however, that Steve Johnson's age of breaking into the Top 100 is given as 25, which is not correct, since the 37th-ranked Johnson is only 24 right now.  So don't take the specifics too literally, although the theme--that every player's pace is unique--is probably still valid.


Shawn said...

"Rybakov had played 13 previous Futures, losing ten times in qualifying and three times in the first round of the main draw. "

Colette, I saw that he got a couple of wildcards into the main draw a few times, and even a wildcard into a challenger. He hasn't had the most successful record ( playing 13 futures until he won a point), so why would he get the wildcards? Wonder what I am missing.

Colette Lewis said...

That number is by no means unusual for a teenager and should not be construed as a criticism. The USTA often provides wild card to local promising juniors, particularly if the juniors train with them.

Scanlon said...

Regarding that “Top 100 vs Age” article, Raonic was mostly all serve at age 20 and needed time to develop a more complete game, but he was actually 20 (not 21) when he broke into the top 100. Nishikori was actually 18 (not 19) when he cracked the top 100, then got injured, so his ranking of 420 at age 20 is largely bogus. Isner was 22, not 24. Dimitrov was 19, not 20. Simon was 21, not 22.

Those are the only 5 players I checked and the author already has 5 unforced errors. Plus the error that Colette observed. This guy David Sammel has clearly glossed over the data to drive his agenda (i.e. sell his new book).