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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

USTA Spring Team Championships Recap; Sock into BNP Paribas Fourth Round; Mayotte Joins Harvard; 13 US Juniors Reach Grade A Second Round; North Carolina Women, Oklahoma Men Stay No. 1

My recap of a damp USTA Spring Team Championships in Mobile is available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Although this new format is undeniably popular with the players and coaches, I find myself missing the 18 Spring Nationals, where the gradual whittling down of the field as the tournament progresses provides me time to actually watch late round matches closely. Guaranteed matches are an attraction if you are spending the money to travel (although weather must permit them), but as a spectator, I find compass draws less compelling than the standard USTA main/consolation draw format.

Third round ATP matches are still going on at the BNP Paribas Open, but Jack Sock has made his way into the last 16 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 15 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. The 22-year-old Sock, who is playing his first tournament this year after hip surgery, had won only one ATP match after dropping the first set prior to this week, but after comeback wins over Yen-Hsun Lu, Gilles Muller and Bautista Agut this week, he now has three.  Sock, who has dedicated this tournament to his brother Eric, now healthy after a week in intensive care this winter due to an infection, plays the winner of the Roger Federer and Andreas Seppi match later tonight. For more on Sock's win, see this article from the ATP.  Steve Johnson lost to No. 9 seed Tomas Berdych this afternoon, and Donald Young fell to No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal this evening, by identical 6-4, 6-2 scores.

The volunteer assistant position at Harvard now belongs to Tim Mayotte, who takes it over from Eric Butorac, currently the president of the ATP Players Council and still active in doubles.  This Harvard Magazine article examines Mayotte's playing career and coaching experience and reveals that he is a candidate for the USTA Player Development General Manager's position.

A baker's dozen of US juniors remain alive after the first round of the Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil.  Seeds Emil Reinberg(13), Ulises Blanch(7), William Blumberg(6) and unseeded Anudeep Kodali, Catalin Mateas and Liam Caruana were the American boys advancing.  Kodali defeated No. 9 seed Sora Fukuda of Japan 7-6(4), 6-2 and Mateas ousted No. 14 seed Felipe Cunha Silva of Portugal 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Mateas' younger sister Maria moved through to the second round, as did qualifier Abigail Desiatnikov, Meghan Kelley and seeds Usue Arconada(3), Francesca Di Lorenzo(10), Alexandra Sanford(11) and Kayla Day(14).

There was a big upset in the boys first round, with No. 2 seed Franco Capalbo of Argentina, who has won three South American clay court titles already this year, losing to Yosuke Watanuki of Japan 6-3, 6-3.

The latest Division I team rankings were released today by the ITA, with the North Carolina women and Oklahoma men continuing to hold the top spot.

The men's Top 10:
1. Oklahoma
2. Illinois
3. Baylor
4. Southern Cal
5. Georgia
6. Duke
7. Texas A&M
8. Texas
9. Virginia
10. North Carolina

The women's Top 10:
1. North Carolina
2. Florida
3. Cal
4. Georgia
6. Baylor
7. Southern Cal
8. Virginia
9. Alabama
10. Stanford


Tim Mayotte's Letter about the USTA PD, and now he is going to be head of it? Per the Harvard article. said...

After almost two years inside the USTA Player Development, I strongly agree with Wayne’s outrage over the misuse of funds and the arrogance of that organization. When Jose Higueras [compensation package $470,000], Jay Berger [$250,000] and Patrick McEnroe $1,040,000], USTA coaches and former ATP players, were around (which was very rarely), I tried to put them on court with some of our 8, 9, and 10 year olds. Jose flatly said no.
Clearly out of discomfort, Jay shared a court with me and was unable to see even the most basic technical changes needed. Patrick would bark words parroted from Jose’s thinking, like “receive the ball.” That had no relevance in the context of what we were working on with the kids. None of the three asked what we were doing or how we were trying to do it.
I understand Wayne’s outrage that this group mandates and forces others to do what they know nothing about. It is my understanding that none of them have ever been to a 10 and under tournament. When I was hired to start and run the USTA at the Open site, I was told to develop “a pipeline of top young 8-12 year olds.” It became clear they did not know how to teach and train, and at that point, neither did I. My associate Lee Hurst was great, and as I learned from him, we veered from Jose’s “philosophy.”
When Jose visited, we were told to change to mirror Boca [another USTA site]. After months of arguing my need for a different approach, I found no option but to leave. The predictable has happened; they terminated that group and now only work with players 14 or over, who commit to home school. So, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars and thousands of hours served to only drop players, leaving them and parents in the lurch, alienate local pros and deepen the cycle. It was outrageous then to see Patrick on TV broadcasting when he could have been on court learning about junior development (isn’t a million a year enough?), or Jose ensconced in Palm Springs with the USTA paying to send players to his fancy ranch. It’s all such a waste.
I do think a comprehensive, in-depth, coaches training program should be developed so we can create more great coaches, like you guys. Coaching is one of the most complicated endeavours I have been a part of, requiring knowledge of technique, motivational skills, psychology, parent management, etc. We need more and more systematic training.

HOOK 'EM said...

I was at the Texas - Ohio State Men's dual match yesterday in Austin and I couldn't believe how disrespectful the Ohio State coaching staff, especially the assistant coaches, are to the officials and to their own players. After Ohio State lost the doubles point, they were herded to a back court where the head coach constantly berated them and essentially told them they were lesser than animals in a pig farm. I could hear the conversation walking outside the courts and couldn't believe it.

I have a hard time understanding how any American player would play for such a program. This makes me have a better understanding why some of the more elite programs only recruit foreign players, if this is the harassment inflicted by the coaching staff. If the conversation would have been taped (wonder if the Longhorn Network had a camera on the fracas) there would definitely be terminations in order.

How embarrassing.

Bulldog Fan said...

I witnessed the same thing about the Ohio State coaching staff when they played Georgia a couple of years ago. Can't the officials do something about the coach tirades, or are they too scared to stand up and kick them out of the match?

pig farm union said...

is it a point penalty to slander a pig farm animal? :) "say it ain't so, coach…say it ain't so…"

Shaun said...

Unfortunately, the abusive behavior by coaches ( yelling and poor word choice) is not limited to Ohio State, I have seen it at many school matches. The question is why doesn't the ITA step in if they are so concerned about mens tennis. It is a disgrace what is going on.

Grow some said...

Fortunately the people on this thread don't have a say in coaches.. Ty Tucker has a longggg track record of success and ex players who love him.. Get real people, acting like men(that is what they are in college) can't be cursed at and told the truth to get em motivated..guess it would be bettter to have a bus driver and a schedule maker than a coach who cares and gets into it... Now let's start with the stupid comments on how swearing and yelling isn't necessary to be a good coach..I'd you don't like that type coach go somewhere else period..

Porky said...

when I try to motivatemy pigs….I never lower ourselves to compare us to any tennis team from ohio…:)

Wahoo fan said...

As a biased Wahoo, I am not the biggest fan of OSU or Tucker and some of his antics. However, I do have tremendous respect for what he has accomplished with his program and, in particular, his player development skills. It's not as if he's in a recruiting hotbed, yet his teams seemingly always have multiple native Buckeyes contributing.

"Player Development" is a hot button issue that is contantly discussed on this site.

In my opinion, it sure seems like Player after player improves during his time in Columbus.

He is clearly one of the best coaches around and, as has already been mentioned, I've heard numerous ex players speak highly of him. Tucker's style may not be for everyone (a statement that applies to plenty of coaches), but his track record shows that plenty of guys thrive in his environment.

michael center said...

We played Ohio State for the second time this year and the 7th time in the last 10 years. Our matches are fair and respectful. Coach Tucker and his players have been nothing short of first class. I am confused by this statement and want to offer my support to Ohio State and look forward to our next match.

Coach Center