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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fardanesh, Scott Win Asics Easter Bowl 12s Titles; Lee, Hrastar Take 14s Championships; Higuchi Eliminates Defending Champion Liu in ITF Second Round

©Colette Lewis 2016--
Indian Wells, California--

The heat continued on Wednesday, with temperatures approaching 100 degrees at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the site of the first four singles championships of the Asics Easter Bowl.

Katrina Scott and Max Fardanesh captured the 12s titles in straight sets, as did 14s winner Ava Hrastar, with boys 14s champion Alex Lee the only competitor to need three sets to collect his gold medal.

No. 11 seed Fardanesh defeated top seed Sam Landau 6-4, 6-2, although not without a few speed bumps along the way. The Albany, California resident said the pregame announcer, the serve speed gun and the chair umpire took some getting used to.

"I was really nervous in the first three games," said Fardanesh, who turns 13 next month. "And then I got used to it. It was really cool to see how fast the serve was. The fastest one I saw was 96."

After Fardanesh shook off his nerves he began to overpower Landau, using pace and a willingness to finish at the net to his advantage over the smaller left-hander from Los Angeles.

"My coach really likes serving and volleying, incorporating net play," said Fardanesh, who is coached by Skip Redondo. "My favorite player is Federer, who comes to the net a lot."

Like Federer, Fardanesh has a one-handed backhand, but he has only been using that shot for a year, at the suggestion of his coach.

"It's going good," said Fardanesh, who now has an Easter Bowl title as validation for that decision.

Scott's 6-3, 7-6(5) win over top seed Nikki Yanez was a longer and more draining affair, with Scott getting off to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, but Yanez fighting back.

In the second set, Scott served for the match at 5-4, but four match points came and went, with Yanez getting the break.  Yanez was broken in the next game, but Scott didn't come close to a match point in her second chance to serve it out.  The tiebreaker was a tense affair, with Yanez hitting high balls to keep Scott deep in the court.  Scott did manage a forehand winner to get to match point, her fifth, and she moved in and hit a backhand swinging volley to secure the title.

Scott, who will be 12 in June, said that although she hadn't played Floridian Yanez before, she was expecting the high looping balls and was determined not to let it disrupt how she wanted to play.

"I just wanted to play my game, not do what she did, and be me," said Scott, who lives in Woodland Hills, California. "Last year I lost first round, and I never thought I was going to make it to the final and even win it. It feels really, really good that I won and I feel amazing right now."

In the girls 14s final, No. 12 seed Ava Hrastar needed just over an hour to defeat No. 13 seed Skyler Grishuk 6-2, 6-1.  Hrastar said she was able to play her best tennis of the week in the championship match.

"I think I played really well. I was more consistent than in the other matches in the tournament," said the 14-year-old, who lost her only set of the tournament in the semifinals. "I stayed aggressive and kept my composure, which helped a lot."

Hrastar, who trains with Brian de Villiers and Grant Stafford at Pro Tennis  International in Duluth, Georgia, said she developed a strategy to take control of the match.

"She likes the forehand angles so I was trying to hit flatter so she couldn't generate the spin to go back cross," Hrastar said of the left-hander from Aliso Viejo, California, who is the daughter of two-time Olympic ice dancing gold medalist Oksana Grishuk. "I knew her serve was going to be curving, so I made sure to stand over a couple of steps so I'd be ready for that."

Hrastar never wavered, staying on offense and closing out the win with confidence.

"I think she played well, I just stepped in the court more and put balls away that I hadn't been doing in the past matches," said Hrastar. "I was really nervous at the beginning but I got more comfortable as I started playing and figured out her game style."

The boys 14s final was nearly three hours in length, with No. 12 seed Lee taking the title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 5 seed Andrew Dale.

Lee was up 4-2 in the first set, but dropped four straight games to lose it to the left-hander from Leesburg, Virginia.  In the second set, Lee built a 5-1 lead, lost both his breaks, but broke for the set before Dale could get back on serve.

In the third set, with Dale serving at 2-3, he took a bad fall, landing awkwardly on his left side and hand. Play was stopped at 30-40 and the trainer came out, but Dale resumed play, only to drop serve. He kept shaking out his hand in the subsequent games, and the pace on his shots decreased, but he did manage one more hold of serve before Lee served out the title, hitting a volley winner on match point.

"It definitely affected him the first two games or so," said Lee, who is from Illinois but trains with Lance Luciani in Bradenton, Florida. "I don't think the injury affected him mentally. He still fought. But physically, he just didn't play as well."

Lee said staying aggressive paid off as the match wore on, although he too began to feel the strain after two sets in the midday heat.

"The first two sets, it didn't really matter," said Lee, 14. "The third set, it began to have its affect."

While three of the four finalists had never met prior to today, that wasn't the case for No. 3 seed Claire Liu and Emma Higuchi, who met just last week in the third round of the Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson. Higuchi, who had beaten Liu in Carson in 2015, lost their rematch last week after holding a 6-3, 4-2 lead.

Today Higuchi, an 18-year-old from Los Angeles, got her revenge, taking out the defending champion and Carson finalist 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Higuchi, who had also lost to Liu in the qualifying at the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe in February, said it was the first time she had beaten the 15-year-old Liu from a set down.

"I started off a little slow," said Higuchi. "I was swinging, but I was missing a lot, too much. So I said, keep swinging, but bring the targets in a little bit."

Higuchi, serving up 4-3 in the third, had to save a break point to keep her lead. Liu then went up 30-0 serving, but Higuchi won the last four points of the match, with Liu missing a backhand on match point.

Higuchi, who will start at Stanford this fall, is motivated to do well in her final Easter Bowl.

"It's my last year at the Easter Bowl, I can't even believe it," said the 2012 14s champion. "It's such a big thing for me, and I just want to stay here longer. Hopefully, I will."

Liu was joined on the sidelines by No. 5 seed Morgan Coppoc, who lost to Ann Li 6-4, 6-1.  Top seed Maria Mateas beat qualifier Nicole Conard 6-2, 6-3 and Hanna Chang took out Carson semifinalist Meible Chi 6-4, 6-3.

Two boys seeds fell on Wednesday, with No. 8 seed Brandon Holt going out to Kyrylo Tsygura 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and No. 16 seed Alafia Ayeni falling to Sangeet Sridhar 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2.

Third round action for the ITF tournament will take place Thursday, and the semifinals of the 16s will also be played Thursday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Tennis Link site has all the 12s, 14s and 16s results.

The full results from the ITF order of play are at the ITF Junior site.

Links to the four live streaming courts are at Easterbowl.com.

Main draw results are below:

Boys' 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Christian Alshon (2) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Bradley Frye (14) (Overland Park, KS) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
Lukas Greif (11) (Evansville, IN) def. Brandon Nakashima (8) (San Diego, CA) 6-1, 6-1
Robert Maciag (4) (Sterling, VA) def. Matthew Rodriguez (Highland Beach, FL) 3-0 Ret (ill)
Trey Hilderbrand (5) (San Antonio, TX) def. Benjamin Gollin (Solana Beach, CA) 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-0
Adam Neff (Bradenton, FL) def. Ajai Shekhera (9) (Campbell, CA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Kevin Zhu (3) (Pearland, TX) def. Jenson Brooksby (15) (Carmichael, CA) 7-5, 7-5
Jaycer Lyeons (6) (San Antonio, TX) def. Axel Nefve (Hinsdale, IL) 6-4, 6-2
Carson Haskins (1) (Ballwin, MO) def. Tyler Zink (Bradenton, FL) 6-3, 6-1

Boys' 16 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)
Kevin Zhu (3) (Pearland, TX) def. Adam Neff (Bradenton, FL) 6-4, 7-5
Carson Haskins (1) (Ballwin, MO) def. Jaycer Lyeons (6) (San Antonio, TX) 6-4, 6-3
Lukas Greif (11) (Evansville, IN) def. Christian Alshon (2) (Boca Raton, FL) 7-5, 6-0
Trey Hilderbrand (5) (San Antonio, TX) def. Robert Maciag (4) (Sterling, VA) 6-4, 6-4

Girls' 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Anika Yarlagadda (16) (West Bloomfield, MI) def. Meg Kowalski (5) (La Grange, IL) 6-0, 6-1
Hailey Baptiste (Takoma Park, MD) def. Amber O'Dell (2) (New Milford, NJ) 6-1, 6-2
Katie Volynets (14) (Walnut Creek, CA) def. Sedona Gallagher (1) (Henderson, NV) 6-4, 6-2
Angelica Blake (7) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Luba Vasilyuk (Frisco, TX) 6-2, 6-3
Chloe Beck (15) (Watkinsville, GA) def. Kacie Harvey (3) (Braintree, MA) 6-0, 6-2
Rachel Eason (6) (Union City, CA) def. Alexa Noel (12) (Summit, NJ) 6-1, 7-6
Abigail Forbes (8) (Raleigh, NC) def. Dasha Kourkina (11) (Brooklyn, NY) 6-1, 6-0
Andrea Cerdan (Bloomfield, NJ) def. Gabriella Price (Montebello, NY) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

Girls' 16 Singles (Quarterfinals)
Angelica Blake (7) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Katie Volynets (14) (Walnut Creek, CA) 6-1, 6-4
Rachel Eason (6) (Union City, CA) def. Chloe Beck (15) (Watkinsville, GA) 7-5, 6-1
Abigail Forbes (8) (Raleigh, NC) def. Andrea Cerdan (Bloomfield, NJ) 6-0, 6-1
Hailey Baptiste (Takoma Park, MD) def. Anika Yarlagadda (16) (West Bloomfield, MI) 6-4, 6-3

Boys' 14 Singles (Final Round)
Alex Lee (12) (Oak Brook, IL) def. Andrew Dale (5) (Leesburg, VA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Girls' 14 Singles (Final Round)
Ava Hrastar (12) (Duluth, GA) def. Skyler Grishuk (13) (Aliso Viejo, CA) 6-2, 6-1

Boys' 12 Singles (Final Round)
Max Fardanesh (11) (Albany, CA) def. Samuel Landau (1) (Los Angeles, CA) 6-4, 6-2

Girls' 12 Singles (Final Round)
Katrina Scott (2) (Woodland Hills, CA) def. Nikki Yanez (1) (Sarasota, FL) 6-3, 7-6(5)

Boys' ITF Singles (Round of 32)
Andres ANDRADE (ECU) [14] def. Jacob BRUMM (USA) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4
Nathan PONWITH (USA) [3] def. Gui GOMES (USA) 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2
Sam RIFFICE (USA) [5] def. Ben GOLDBERG (USA) 7-5 6-0
Vasil KIRKOV (USA) [6] def. Nathan PERRONE (USA) 6-1 7-5
Liam CARUANA (ITA) [10] def. Govind NANDA (USA) 6-3 6-2
Zeke CLARK (USA) [7] def. Timothy SAH (USA) 5-7 6-4 6-4
Keegan SMITH (USA) def. Sebastian MERMERSKY (BUL) 6-1 6-0
Gianni ROSS (USA) def. Alexander KEYSER (USA) 2-6 6-3 6-1
John MCNALLY (USA) [4] def. Bryce PEREIRA (USA) 6-1 6-4
J.J. WOLF (USA) [2] def. Paul BARRETTO (USA) 6-0 6-1
Jake VAN EMBURGH (USA) def. Brian CERNOCH (USA) 6-4 7-6(5)
Sangeet SRIDHAR (USA) def. Olukayode AYENI (USA) [167]-6(2) 4-6 6-2
Alexandre ROTSAERT (USA) [11] def. Noah SCHACHTER (USA) 5-7 6-0 6-3
Trent BRYDE (USA) [13] def. Alexander BROWN (USA) 7-5 6-0
Kyrylo TSYGURA (USA) def. Brandon HOLT (USA) [8] 3-6 6-4 6-3
Keenan MAYO (USA) def. Danny THOMAS (USA) 6-4 7-6(4)

Boys’ ITF Doubles (Round of 16)
Aleksandar KOVACEVIC (USA) / Sebastian MERMERSKY def. Jason KERST (USA) / Alexander KEYSER (USA), walkover
Oliver CRAWFORD (USA) [3] / Brandon HOLT (USA) def. Jason LEGALL (USA) / Kyrylo TSYGURA (USA) 6-3, 6-3,
Austen HUANG (USA) / Jason LUI (USA) def. Ulises BLANCH (USA) [2] / Liam CARUANA (ITA), walkover
Caleb CHAKRAVARTHI (USA) / Gui GOMES (USA) def. Ben GOLDBERG (USA) / Connor RAPP (USA) 7-6(7) 6-3, 7-6(7)
Gianni ROSS (USA) / Alexandre ROTSAERT (USA) [8] def. Zummy BAUER (USA) / Morgan DILL (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Nathan PONWITH (USA) / Jake VAN EMBURGH (USA) [6] def. Alex KUPERSTEIN (USA) / Ryan SEGGERMAN (USA) 7-5, 7-6 (5)
Dominic BARRETTO (USA) / Paul BARRETTO (USA) def. Cotter WILSON (USA) / Chase WOOD (USA) 4-6 6-3 [10-8]
Brandon LAM (USA) / Cody LIN (USA) def, Alec ANGRADI (USA) / Nikolai PARODI (USA) 6-2 7-5

Girls' ITF Singles (Round of 32)
Maria MATEAS (USA) [1] def. Nicole CONARD (USA) 6-2 6-3
Alexandra SANFORD (USA) [8] def. Hannah ZHAO (USA) 6-2 6-1
Abigail DESIATNIKOV (USA) [14] def. Alexis MILUNOVICH (USA) 6-1 6-1
Ann LI (USA) def. Morgan COPPOC (USA) [5] 6-4 6-1
Ellie DOUGLAS (USA) [13] def. Raquel PEDRAZA (USA) 6-0 3-6 6-4
Ena SHIBAHARA (USA) def. Stephanie SCHRAGE (USA) 7-5 6-1
Nicole MOSSMER (USA) def. Sara CHOY (USA) 7-5 6-3
Hanna CHANG (USA) def. Meible CHI (USA) 6-4 6-3
Caty MCNALLY (USA) [9] def. Paris CORLEY (USA) 6-3 Ret.
Emma HIGUCHI (USA) def. Claire LIU (USA) [3] 2-6 6-3 6-3
Rachel LIM (USA) def. Amanda MEYER (USA) 6-4 7-6(0)
Sabina DADACIU (USA) def. Nadia GIZDOVA (USA) 6-3 6-2
Sofia SEWING (USA) def. Kariann PIERRE-LOUIS (USA) 6-4 7-5
Michaela GORDON (USA) [4] def. Salma EWING (USA) 6-4 7-6(4)
Marlee ZEIN (USA) def. Janice SHIN (USA) 3-6 6-3 6-2
Elysia BOLTON (USA) def. Kalani SOLI (USA) 7-6(7) 6-0

Girls' ITF Doubles (Round of 16)
Michaela GORDON (USA) / Ena SHIBAHARA (USA) def. Safiya CARRINGTON (USA) / Ashley LAHEY (USA) 6-1 5-7 [10-4]
Helen Abigail ALTICK (USA) [3] / Jade LEWIS (NZL) def. Emma DECOSTE (USA) / Clarissa HAND (USA) 6-0 6-2
Hurricane Tyra BLACK (USA) [2] / Caty MCNALLY (USA) def. Nicole ANDERSON (USA) / Melissa Plambeck (USA) 6-1 6-1
Carson BRANSTINE (USA) / Taylor JOHNSON (USA) [5] def. Paris CORLEY (USA) / Amanda MEYER (USA) walkover
Devon JACK (USA) / Kalani SOLI (USA) def. Ellie DOUGLAS (USA) / Nadia GIZDOVA (USA) 1-6, 7-6(0) [10-8]
Elysia BOLTON (USA) / Chiara LOMMER (USA) def. Nicole MOSSMER (USA) / Christie WAN (USA 7-6(8) 6-1
Ann LI (USA) / Natasha SUBHASH (USA) [7] def. Cameron CORSE (USA) / Zoe Rose SPENCER 6-2 6-7(4) [10-6]
Alexis MILUNOVICH (USA) / Anna Sinclair ROGERS (USA) def. Anna BRYLIN (USA) / Hannah ZHAO (USA) 7-5 6-2


fan said...

I think Altick/Lewis won. Really ITF keeps posting wrong results, for example still dunno who won, Emma/Sewing vs Ewing/Pitts. They first posted E/P won, then yesterday E/S -_-

Colette Lewis said...

You are correct. Altick and Lewis won. Referee just confirmed the error.

Em said...

I know we talked about this before, but these kids are seriously looking older than 12 and 14,respectively.I know 17 year old boys who look just as the 12 and 14 year olds here. Maybe pics are deceiving. Higuchi, who is 18, looks like she is 12! I don't think there can be that much scamming about age going on, kids are just, in general, maturing earlier and I wonder if it is this fake food we are fed by food companies. I wonder how many late bloomers quit tennis because they can't wait to grow taller and bigger at 17(at least the boys) and maybe that is why we are seeing more and more big and tall kids in tennis. Does anybody know if this earlier maturing is happening all around the world or mostly in US? And apart from a few slim kids, even kids in tennis are heavier, I know they are muscular,but when we were in Europe at tournaments, I hardly ever saw a heavy kid, mostly very skinny tennis players. I am thinking this is one of the reasons US is not producing top pros,kids just out power their opponents and never learn proper footwork and technique. I know I am generalizing, but it could be one of the reasons US has so little success at the highest levels of pro tennis. As for the footwork, I do know what I am talking about, it is rare to see US junior with great footwork.

What??? said...

Wow, ya, I can't even count all the generalizations in that post, just way too many.

Em said...

I did say I was generalizing, you read that right? You are right, I guess I was trying to find a PC way to ask " Are we raising fat and lazy kids, and it is affecting everything including US pro tennis?" I understand if this can't be posted on the website, as it is extremely not PC and hence might offend ton of people.

10ssMomma said...

I have a child the same age as the Boys 12 winner, Max, and have seen him for years at tournaments. Congrats to him; he is a very cool kid and deserving player.

I really hope he doesn't get picked up by USTA PD, and that he remains with his private coach [and family] who seem to be doing a good job with him. I've seen a handful of top players in the 14's age range get picked up by PD, and see hardly any improvement in terms of real skill and mental development. Take a look at the Boys 14 back draw, and see how many of the PD players quit the first round of the back draw, while there are players all over the nation just dying to play.

This is unethical on many different levels, as they hand out suspensions and code violations to all sorts of kids, but turn a blind eye to the PD kids. It's a pattern of behavior allowed by USTA that breeds attitudes of entitlement and goes against what sports is all about- hard work, ethics, sportsmanship. It's really unfortunate because there are great coaches all over the nation who are in the middle of developing fine players, and they get taken by the larger organization, enticed by perks, and many of them end up injured, unhappy, or quit due to the pressure.

Anyone care to share more thoughts on this?

Full of... said...

USTA doesn't pick kids at 14 years old. Those are my thoughts. Your rambling above has no basis and is false....

tennisforlife said...

Actually "Full of...said" 10ssMomma is completely correct and on point. The USTA DOES in fact "pick" 14 year olds. They picked four in January and took them on an all expenses paid month long trip to the UK and France to play in Europe's most important junior tournaments. One of the US kids actually won! All four of those kids played in the Easter Bowl 14's - three of them lost first first or second round and none of them played a single match the backdraw. PD can't control what happens with these players at National events but I expect they are very embarrassed. It reflects very poorly on the USTA and PD in general. I hope they make an example of this an enforce a higher set of standards for the kids they support going forward.

10ssMomma said...

Full of..., it's funny how you said "Those are my thoughts" in between two declarative statements.

Tennisforlife, thanks for the further clarifying that for "Full of...". The USTA is spending lots of money on a very select group of young players, and these players are not being held to the same standards that every other player is being held to. Last year, as my child played in a younger age-division match at a national level tournament, I witnessed an older PD player in the 14's quit a match because he was losing in the third set. This player also consistently had a habit of withdrawing from matches both in the main draw and back draw. A year from then, I see other PD kids continue that pattern of behavior at national tournaments WITH NO CONSEQUENCE from the USTA. How can they expect others to uphold a set of standards that they themselves do not enforce consistently and fairly?

On another note, PD selecting children to support who are as young as 14 is just plain silly. So many variables come into play as they get older. The USTA assuming that they can develop champions out of these children by taking them away from their families and private coaches who did all the groundwork is absurd.

Em said...

I don't have any facts about 14 year olds and USTA, but there is an article on Tiafoe published last May when he left his coach and went with USTA assigned coach. It states in the article that in 2015 he went from ranked 1145 to 292 in the world. This is impressive to me. Since then he has moved up in the ranking and in the last year he went up some 100 spots, now being 174. It could be argued that he made a much bigger jump before going with USTA, but it could also be argued that it is much harder moving from high 200s to high 100s in ATP ranking. So, all in all both ways could be argued, that USTA helped a lot, or that maybe he would have been even better and higher ranked if he hadn't gone with USTA. I am, certainly, not qualified to make an assumption either way.

Double Standard said...

The discussion is with junior development and not Frances Tiafoe when he is over 18 years old and a professional. The USTA PD does pick their favorite juniors in the 14s and supply them with coaches, travel and money. This is hard to turn down but the USTA should have zero say in their development or take any away from their personal coach until they are at least 16 years old. PD takes kids away from their home and away from their section. Also USTA PD do not believe in backdraws because there are no backdraws in pro tennis so why does their players have to play them. I completely disagree with that philosophy for so many reasons.

Full of said...

Each year for the last twenty years PD pays for a team to go to Europe. So you can't use that as some defense for your comments. The boy Stefan Luestain won the tournament. It has been my understanding that PD has no full time players in their Junior program. So could someone give me some names of players that receive full coaching at all the tournaments? My son was invited to a camp where the USTA paid for all the coaches to attend. Our coach told me that this has been the best it's ever been with the USTA and private coaches. Collete maybe you can give some insight into this as you are pretty connected....

If PD ruins kids can anyone explain....Tommy Paul, Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Sam Riffice, Vasil Kirkov, Patrick Kypson, etc.....why don't the people on this blog try and look to find the good instead of always trying to blast someone or something..? It gets pretty sad to read all of this crap....

Colette Lewis said...

I think the days when the USTA thought they should provide more than supplemental coaching are over. The Team USA concept has taken root and most of the coaches/parents I have spoken to have noted with appreciation the new direction. I don't object to the USTA holding playoffs for spots on their overseas teams and providing a coach for those opportunities, which can be important development experiences for young players. As a national federation, that is part of their job.
I also do not sense any consensus from USTA coaches that consolation matches are optional. I believe they encourage any players they have influence over to play those matches. But as I wrote last year after Kalamazoo, playing the back draw is a personal decision that must be respected. See that post here

Full of said...

So does anyone have anything to say about Collete's post? Do I think the USTA has made mistakes, absolutely yes! Do I think they have changed their ways and are trying to do their best, absolutely! Is my son going to be a professional, no. But as someone who has worked for another NGB the USTA as well as all NGBs are in a lose lose situation. I think what the USTA has done with all these boys is pretty remarkable. It is my understanding thatTommy Paul has been part of their program since he was 15 years old. He just beat some guys 50 in the world. TAYLOR fritz has been working with a USTA coach for A while and he is now 80 in the world. Can the people out on this blog please outline what you think success looks like for American tennis? If it is Grand Slam champions then thank god for Serena. No other country can compare on the women's side. If it is grand slams on the me s side then it is only four countries that have been successful. I think people who complain should have to give what they feel would be a good measure of success and some things to help make things better. To be honest, American tennis has done pretty bad even before PD was here.......and people can't say Agassi, Sampras, Chang, Courier......because there was a large gap in between those players and this next generation. So who is to blame for that gap?

People, People, said...

The endless banter about backdraw is so annoying - news flash - tennis is an individual sport. Top players train and play in a completely different mode than 99% of the tennis population. If playing backdraw is not in the best interest of that player - for ANY reason whatsoever - he/she doesn't have to play it to appease your little junior or be polite. Players at the highest levels are managing themselves to a standard most can't comprehend. They don't need more practice, they play more than you can imagine, but will never know. There are different worlds in tennis, and you know which one you are in, but don't know about the other. Accepting that, rather than dwelling on some imagined injustice, will result in less stress. Oh, and if USTA isn't working with you, then you don't anything about working with the USTA.

Tennis Dad said...

For what it's worth, I have two high performance, well known and successful junior players. My players have never been told not to play a back draw match and they have always played in the back draw. They have also never quit a match when they are losing unless they were legitimately injured, which to date has only happened twice in the past five years. I personally view every junior match as an opportunity to compete and improve, whether it's a main draw match or a back draw match, and just do not understand why anyone would forego that opportunity unless they are legitimately injured or truly sick. If you sign up for a tournament, you should complete it - end of story.

Same ol story said...

Talking to tennis parents is like trying to tell a teenager about life, they can hear but they are not usually listening. It is hard for parents to accept the true levels of tennis and where their player falls within those levels. Always has been always will.

Agree said...

Ya, people think their high performance player is the same as the players USTA is supporting. They are not. They just won't see their kid is a good or even really good junior, but not a great junior. If a player is told to dis the backdraw there is a reason for that player, and it is the player's and their coach's decision to make.

Private Coach said...

@agree. Sorry to inform you that the USTA is very fallible in many of their unwise decisions. For example, the USTA often makes big mistakes when it picks their favorites for high performance and special treatment; and they often overlook the best players. A perfect example is Ronnie Schneider who won the B16s gold ball at Kalamazoo and then was quoted in his interview after the match as saying that he probably won't get a wild card at the US Open Junior qualifier because, for some unexplained reason, the USTA doesn't treat him like a high performance player despite the fact that he usually trounces those HP players just like he did at Kalamazoo that year. So, sometimes the parents and private coaches are correct about their player and the USTA is wrong, like it has been on so many things that it would be impossible to list them here.

Good example said...

Why was that an unwise decision? A player that is good in that moment of time doesn't mean it they are guaranteed success going forward. That is what parents and many coaches don't see, they don't have the knowledge to see what it takes to go to the next level and carry success for the long haul. Seems they got it right.

Private Coach said...

@good example, you need to re-read the post again. The whole point is that he was not just a good player in that moment, Schneider had already trounced and outperformed most of those PD players that the USTA favored over him unfairly. And that was before the Kalamazoo tournament. He proved once again how the USTA had unfairly overlooked him by winning the entire Kalamazoo tournament and beating everyone again. Schneider is still a stronger player than most of those PD favorites today and is excelling in college and Futures tournaments and outperforming those same players.

So,it was the WRONG decision by the USTA to favor weaker players over Schneider with no explanation.

Through a multitude of bad decisions like this one, the USTA usually demonstrates that they have less knowledge than many private coaches and parents who happen to have strong tennis backgrounds such as Wayne Bryan, Guy Fritz, Kathy Fritz, Tracy Austin and countless others.

10ssMomma said...

Private Coach, Double Standard, and Tennis Dad, I couldn't agree more.
The USTA is unwise to select favorites at the age of 14, as there are so many variables that come into play later on. And plenty of high performing juniors, along with their parents, choose not to go the route of PD and instead, hire private coaches, trainers and other specialists. The USTA should be a supporting organization for sure. However, choosing players at the age of 14 and sometimes younger, and nurturing an ethos of entitlement by allowing them to "feel special" and not be held to the same standards as non-PD players is unacceptable.

Full of said...

Private coach- I kind of laugh at your comments about this topic as three of the four parents you mentioned all have kids who get support from PD. Hind site is 20/20....there are always going to be instances when people are wrong when selecting. Go back and read what Collete wrote. The USTA does not select players at 14 anymore. Read her last post she talks about a play off for the summer team. The 14 and under trip to Europe is selected through a play off not based on the recommendations or selection by the USTA. Playiffs are how these kids are selected. If being selected by USTA is the curse of death then why are all of you people complaining about your kids or players not bring selected. Maybe not being selected has created motivation that has allowed these players to excel long term. Maybe not being entitled has been the best thing that could happen to push these players in the right direction. I don't see anywhere on this blog where people are giving the USTA credit for the work they have done with players like Tommy Paul, Reilly Opelka, Claire Liu, Kayla Day, etc. just make sure that you are telling both sides of the story when posting in a public forum . I don't disagree with some of the things the people on this blog are saying about PD and the USTA (my son has not been selected for certain things) but I get a little sick and tired when reading negativity after negativity and untruth after untruths. We need to all stick together and keep trying to promote the positive things that are happening in our sport. As parents and coaches I think it is time that we stop all of the complaining and take a little bit of the responsibility. I think it is important that people hear both sides of the argument and then are able to make their own decision

Francis said...

Tracy Austin... at the Canadian Open years ago she pontificated that Michelle Larcher de Brito was going to be the next big thing. Private coaches and ex-pros often exhibit poor judgment when it comes to assessing player potential. I'm not convinced that the USTA is significantly worse at this task.

Objective Observer said...

@Full of, you can laugh all you want, but the fact that those former players' kids get support from USTA PD is of zero relevance or consequence to Private Coach's statement or the subject matter. Why wouldn't they accept money from the USTA?; nobody would blame them.

You must have forgotten that Private Coach's original post was a response to Agree's lame post bowing down to the "omniscient USTA" where he wrote: "Ya, people think their high performance player is the same as the players USTA is supporting. They are not."

Private Coach's obvious point is that the USTA is far from infallible in their choices and often the USTA makes mistakes in not supporting players who are more deserving than the players that they do pick. Ronnie Schneider was a perfect example.

His other point is that often times parents know as much or more than certain USTA buraeacrats especially if those parents have strong tennis backgrounds like the parents that he mentioned.

Private Coach said...

@Francis. That is a wonderful fairy tale that you just made up to try to make your point. I highly doubt that Tracy Austin said this and challenge you to specify when she said this. More likely, if anything, she said that Larcher de Brito is becoming the next big thing because LDB was at one time the highest ranked player by far for her age on the WTA tour.

But I certainly agree with you that ex pros, parents and the USTA all often exhibit poor judgment when assessing player potential. But my point was a response to Agree who was stating that the USTA PD knows more than everyone because they are so brilliant and infallible.

10ssMomma said...

Is it ever ethical to bend established rules based on a player's current or perceived future performance? These children, PD or not, play in tournaments established by the USTA under the rules prescribed by the USTA. We are asking the USTA to play by the rules as well. I heard recently that there are certain sections who publicly post names of children who are suspended. If they are willing to call out children, they must be called out for promoting separate agendas for players.

Sampras said...

"The USTA does not select players at 14 anymore. Read her last post she talks about a play off for the summer team. The 14 and under trip to Europe is selected through a play off not based on the recommendations or selection by the USTA. Playiffs are how these kids are selected."

Hmmm most of the kids invited to these selection rounds are tied with USTA anyway. I could give names, but these are 14-15-16 year old kids and it is not wise to do so. No doubt, these kids are all good, they are some of the best at this time, in terms of results. But USTA is not known for showing up at tournaments around the country scouting for talent anyways. Just selecting kids based on their results at 14-16 years is not wise. There might be other kids around the country who might not be showing results right now due to various reasons, but who might be better, but some one needs to be at the tournaments to scout for these kids. USTA doesn't care. When the USTA PD coaches show up at the tournaments, they only watch the PD kids matches.

Sampras was known in socal circles as one of the good ones, but was not certainly the best one for a while. Agassi and Chang had much better results. That's because he was quietly working with great private coaches on his game, without worrying about the results.

In todays' date, a Sampras would be difficult to find, but who knows one may show up one of these days, without USTA's help.

They see said...

Is it obvious to anyone else, that the poster saying USTA is making mistakes is a parent(s) whose kid has not been selected into "the club?"

When you take your player all the way to the pros and look back, all this becomes crystal clear. Many kids aren't as good as their parents think they are, that's it. And this is key - but unless your player truly gets to a higher level than where they are now, you can never see the difference. There in lies the problem.

USTA doesn't have to be scouting more tournaments, there are connected coaches all over (whether club, college, private, academy) with eyes on players that spread the word in the tennis network. Tennis is a tiny world. Again, if a player is good enough to be recognized, they will. Great players are not getting missed, truly they are not.

College Coach said...

@They see, you must be a USTA plant or some sort of authority worshiper, or both.

Actually, they DON’T see so well. Great players are missed all the time, or they are treated unfairly despite their accomplishments because the USTA has been proven to historically play favorites.

How can you write this post without even addressing the detailed and well documented Ronnie Schneider example that was just recounted on this same comment thread just a day or two ago.

If great players are never missed, then how do you explain what happened to Ronnie Schneider and many others which flatly proves that your statement is categorically false.

And, no I am not Schneider’s parent or relative and have never even met the kid.

Your statement that “Again, if a player is good enough to be recognized, they will. Great players are not getting missed, truly they are not.” is laughable and embarrassing. You sound like you’re trying out for a remedial poetry competition or something.

Sampras said...

@College Coach, agree.

@They see, do you know that Taylor Fritz was thought of as not having potential by the USTA just a few years ago. Look what happened now, he's passed all those favored by the USTA in those years.

I see this all the time. Due to various reasons (main being sponsorship, money and our culture of instant gratification), most American juniors are more focused on the results rather than developing the game. Can't blame them. It's the environment. What can they do? If you don't get results, no one notices you (especially USTA who holds the monopoly).

These are the kids that get approached by the USTA and some of them join the PD team. What do you think would have happened to Sampras had he focused on the results and joined a PD team at about 14? He was very good at 12-13 already, with his best shot being the 2-hander backhand, he might have still made it but would have gotten thrashed by Agassi from the baseline (Sampras was good from the baselines, but Agassi was better). He would not have developed the best serve tennis has ever seen and forget about the serve and volley game.

USTA, please do not play favorites. It doesn't help anyone, including the PD kids.

the logo Jerry West said...

Did NFL GMs "miss" Tim Tebow? Did NBA GMs "miss" Steve Wojciechowski? No. They just saw players that were great at a certain level but had skill sets that didn't translate to the next level or limitations that would be exposed by professionals.

A "miss" would be like Jay Berger having no idea who Steve Johnson was until he graduated USC and won a round at the US Open.

I don't think that people get this- the usta WANTS there to be good american players. They don't care who they are or where they come from. The more good players there are, regardless of who coaches them, the better they look. They aren't missing anyone. They aren't keeping anyone down. They are out there looking. You just might not see them or know who they are. Wake up.

Stop Ignoring and Defending the USTA for every mistake they've made said...

@the logo, you're the one who needs to "wake up" and also work on your reading comprehensions skills. Nobody is accusing the USTA of overlooking players on purpose and playing favorites on purpose. It has happened due to arrogance and/or negligence. They don't aim to screw people, but they just do it all the time through negligence or poor analytical skills.

Your post generally does not make a lot of sense in that your first paragraph uses purely "circular reasoning" as you’re using examples of players who became successful and you seem to be trying to say that they weren't missed because they became ultimately became successful.

Yes, the USTA does miss people all the time. And the NFL also misses people all the time. Have you ever heard of Tom Brady who became the top quarterback in the NFL? Well, you may not realize that the NFL teams picked 6 quarterbacks in the draft ahead of him (who were all failures) because they just assumed that Brady could not be successful in the NFL because he didn't have a fast 40 yard dash time in the NFL combines. There is a well-publicized ESPN documentary called "The Brady 6" which which documents this very important saga.

Thankfully, ONE team, the New England Patriots drafted Brady and gave him a chance as their last pick. If the Patriots had not given him a chance then Brady may not have ever gotten the chance to prove how great he was. So, he would have been MISSSED by the NFL and he WAS missed by 90% of the NFL.

Your Steve Johnson example similarly does not make a lot of sense because you're talking about a player who dominated college tennis for 4 years, so he was already an accomplished player at 22 years old so of course even the USTA had heard of him.

Like many of your allies on this blog who keep blindly defending the USTA against every poor decision they've ever made, you need to go back to the Ronnie Schneider example. We're mostly talking about kids from ages 12-17 that deserve to be supported by the USTA based on their record, but for some arbitrary reason were largely ignored despite what they accomplished. The USTA has had a long history of playing favorites and for some reason Schneider was not a favorite of theirs, but Schneider proved the USTA wrong just like Tom Brady proved the NFL wrong.

So, you need to wake up and read the evidence that has been established in the earlier comments that you and your USTA-Blind-Defender allies keep ignoring.

Public Service Reminder said...

Betty White's Birthday is on Jan. 17th...BYOS...Bring Your Own Snickers...

the logo Jerry West said...

Tebow and Wojo were players who were tremendously successful as amateurs but did not have the ability to make it as pros. They were evaluated and then ultimately passed on by the pros. Wojo underrated out of Duke. Tebow selected by Denver but washed out after a season and a half.

You are correct, Brady was a very big miss.

Until a player makes it as a professional, he or she was not a "miss" and nobody has been proven wrong.

Stop Ignoring and Defending the USTA for every mistake they've made said... said...

@logo, thanks for agreeing with me that "Brady was a very big miss" by the NFL.