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Friday, December 28, 2018

My Conversation with USTA's Kent Kinnear, New Head of Men's Tennis; US Men Start 2019 Season in Brisbane; Rain Disrupts Winter Nationals in Tucson

Kent Kinnear at 2017's Team USA Coaches Awards Ceremony
While I was at the Orange Bowl early this month, I was fortunate to be able to talk with Kent Kinnear, who was named to lead men's tennis at the USTA back in October. Although Kinnear is obviously extremely busy with his new job, he was in Plantation for a few hours and we found time to discuss his first few weeks in his new position. With his experience as a National Coach and, most recently, as Director of Player ID and Development, at the USTA, Kinnear will have fewer adjustments than an outside hire would, but he will certainly be dealing with unfamiliar issues and dynamics now that his realm includes professional tennis.  I spoke with him about how his past experience could help, what he would like to change, and where he feels he needs to expand his knowledge. I was particularly interested to hear him note two areas of the USTA's player development culture that he would like to improve in this article for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

US women went 1-7 in today's first round of qualifying at the WTA's premier event in Brisbane, with Christina McHale's 6-3, 6-0 win over top qualifying seed Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia the sole American victory. The US men are guaranteed to do at least as well, even though there are only four of them in the ATP 250 16-player qualifying in Brisbane, with top seed Bradley Klahn facing Chris Eubanks. Reilly Opelka[4] and Bjorn Fratangelo[8] are the other two US men in the Brisbane qualifying.

There are no Americans in the qualifying at the WTA's Shenzhen event this week, nor at the ATP's 250s in Doha Qatar and Pune India. At the WTA International in Auckland New Zealand,  Americans Sabrina Santamaria, Claire Liu[2], Jamie Loeb, Abigail Spears, Asia Muhammad and Danielle Lao[8] are among 32 players hoping to win three matches to advance to the main draw.

Rain disrupted the first day of play Thursday at the USTA 12s and 14s Winter Nationals in Tucson, with many of the second round of matches scheduled for today still in progress. The rain has apparently moved on, but it has left cold temperatures in its wake, with highs expected to be only in the low 50s for the next several days.  A notable result posted today shows Girls 14s top seed Stephanie Yakoff withdrawing with an injury after winning her first round match. Boys 14s top seed Evan Wen and Girls 12s top seed Amber Yin have advanced to Saturday's third round.

1 comments:

5.0 Player said...

Not the best communicator. In fact, this sounds like the negative stereotype of a bureaucrat who uses words that mean virtually nothing specific.

Kent Kinnear, New Head of USTA Men's Tennis: "...But I think if we can focus and raise the standards and the physicality of the practices and do some of these things from a culture standpoint, along with the professional development piece, that's going to help the players and everybody. Those are two areas that I know we can get better and it's going to help us reach some of those metrics and goals as far as results."