Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Notes From All Over

Time for a grab bag of items that have shown up in my inbox or twitterfeed in the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday's match between 18-year-olds Alexander Zverev of Germany and Borna Coric of Croatia was even better than anticipated with Coric taking 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5) victory. Steve Tignor, writing for tennis.com, took note in his account of the match.  Having watched both boys since they were 11 years old, I have a different perspective from someone who is just now taking notice.  I don't disagree with any of Tignor's observations, but do feel compelled to note that Coric's mental stability was not as exemplary in those early years. The moral? Some players never change, and some do.

Chris Oddo also watched the match closely, and wrote this piece for TennisNow.

Also at TennisNow, this interview with Frances Tiafoe, in which he says he is not the "leader" of the current crop of rising American boys. Although confident, he reiterated that point several times in interviews at Kalamazoo.

The USTA released its annual "What's New at the US Open" announcement, and the item that was most interesting to me involved the second Thursday, September 10. The two women's semifinals are on Ashe in the evening, so the day session will be free of charge, with no grounds pass required for entry.  Men's, women's and mixed doubles will be scheduled for the day, and if singles is your thing, the juniors round of 16 and the opening round of the American Collegiate Invitational are also on tap.  Just two years ago, fans could have seen Zverev, Coric,  Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and Ana Konjuh of Croatia in junior competition that day. It's a great opportunity to see the best college players as well, with both NCAA champions, Jamie Loeb and Ryan Shane, scheduled to play the American Collegiate Invitational. (The list of ACI participants is in this post, with Jared Hiltzik of Illinois and Julia Jones of Ole Miss receiving the two wild cards.)

Denis Kudla and his coach, former Illinois player Billy Heiser, are the subject of this article by Josh Meiseles on the ATP website.

Allie Kiick revealed the distressing news that she has a rare form of melanoma via twitter yesterday. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Stephanie Myles has an update on 15-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who did not receive a wild card, even into qualifying, at the recent Rogers Cup in Montreal.  Instead, he's sticking to juniors for the foreseeable future.  As the top seed in the Canadian National 18s championships, he lost to No. 2 seed Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-2 in today's final. Bianca Andreescu, the top seed in the girls draw, beat No. 2 seed Vanessa Wong 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in the final.

The NCAA Team Championships' Most Outstanding Player Astra Sharma of Vanderbilt is the subject of this feature by Stefano Berlincioni at Last Word on Sports.

A new website focusing on professional tennis stars off the court, outsidetheball.com, has produced its second webshow, and is currently featuring an interview with Great Britain's Heather Watson.

Own The Zone, a longtime sponsor of Zootennis.com, has announced a partnership with Mats Wilander and his company WOW for the EcoGrip. Wilander's endorsement of the biodegradable grip can be found in this release, and orders can be placed here.


Austin said...

Thats accurate, Tiafoe wouldnt have won Kalamazoo had Jared Donaldson entered. He was still eligible and clearly the best player under 19 right now. I will give Tiafoe the nod for the 17 & under ages though.

Dave said...

Agree Jared would have been favored to win KZoo had he played, although I don't think it would have been a lock (it never really is). Tiafoe would probably only be about a 2 to 1 underdog on a hardcourt against JD, plus JD would have had to get through the other 6 rounds. Definitely the favorite but by no means automatic.