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Monday, July 29, 2019

Kalamazoo Seeds; USTA 18s and 16s Nationals Wild Cards; US Open Junior Acceptances; Dennis Van der Meer Dies

Kalamazoo seeds are set and should be up on the ustaboys.com website later tonight or tomorrow. The top 32 seeds in each age division, all of whom have first round byes, are below. Australian Open boys finalist Emilio Nava, who was injured during the Roehampton ITF Grade 1 in late June, would have been among the top seeds, but he withdrew this weekend.

Boys 18s
1. Brandon Nakashima
2. Martin Damm
3. Toby Kodat
4. Cannon Kingsley
5. Govind Nanda
6. Zachary Svajda
7. Leighton Allen
8. Logan Zapp
9. Stefan Dostanic
10. Eliot Spizzirri
11. Tyler Zink
12. Dali Blanch
13. Will Grant
14. Jacob Bullard
15. Andres Martin
16. Andrew Dale
17. Wesley Barnett
18. Evin McDonald
19. Ryan Fishback
20. Ishaan Ravichander
21. Welsh Hotard
22. Luke Vandecasteele
23. Benjamin Koch
24. Ronald Hohmann
25. Ronan Jachuck
26. Alex Lee
27. Siem Woldeab
28. Omni Kumar
29. Garrett Johns
30. Neel Rajesh
31. Blaise Bicknell
32. Mark Mandlik

Boys 16s
1. Alexander Bernard
2. Luke Casper
3. Samir Banerjee
4. Aidan Mayo
5. Thomas Paulsell
6. William Cooksey
7. Ben Shelton
8. Jack Anthrop
9. Victor Lilov
10. Benjamin Kittay
11. Louis Cloud
12. Gabrielius Guzauskas
13. Alexander Chang
14. Nathan Mao
15. Braden Shick
16. Daniel Schmelka
17. Gavin Young
18. Adit Sinha
19. Alex Finkelstein
20. Luke Neal
21. Lucas Brown
22. Colton Smith
23. James Delgado
24. Frank Thompson
25. Ekansh Kumar
26. Nicholas Heng
27. Azuma Visaya
28. Tristan Sarap
29. John Kim
30. Nate Bonetto
31. Evan Wen
32. Hugo Hashimoto

The wild cards for Kalamazoo are as follows:
18s:
Nathan Han
Garrett Johns
Omni kumar
Alex Lee
Adam Neff
Pierce Rollins
Samuel Rubell
Zachary Svajda

16s:
Tauheed Browning
Andrew Chang
Boyeni Keenan
Connor Krug
Sam Landau
Victor Lilov
Ethan Schiffman

The wild cards for the USTA Girls 18s and 16s Nationals in San Diego have been announced. Hurricane Tyra Black was not on the initial 18s acceptance list due to an administrative error, but that was corrected and she did not need a wild card.

18s:
Hailey Baptiste
Safiya Carrington
Andrea Cerdan
Maxi Duncan
Victoria Hu
Vanessa Ong
Alycia Parks
Gabby Price

16s:
Anna Babayan
Daniella Benabraham
Katie Codd
Gracie Epps
Tara Malik
Tyra Richardson
Nika Vesely
Sophie Williams

I missed the US Open Junior Championships acceptances when they came out last week, but, at least for now, it's an impressive field for both the boys and girls.

Although Australian Open boys champion Lorenzo Musetti of Italy did not enter, he and Nava are the only Top 10 boys missing. Wimbledon champion and No. 1 Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan and French Open champion and No. 2 Holger Rune of Denmark lead the boys entries. Eight US boys received direct entry: Martin Damm, Toby Kodat, Brandon Nakashima, Zane Khan, Eliot Spizzirri, Cannon Kingsley, Tyler Zink and Govind Nanda. Nanda is one of three boys who received entry based on their ATP Top 750 rankings, with Kyrian Jacquet of France and Olimjon Nabiev of Uzbekistan the others. The ITF junior ranking cutoff for boys is currently 52. Dali Blanch and Will Grant are currently in qualifying; Leighton Allen, who won the Clay Courts, and Ron Hohmann, who won the Easter Bowl, have already earned wild cards, as will the Kalamazoo 16s champion.

The girls field is also missing just two of the top 10, with France's Clara Burel still out with an injury and Wimbledon champion Daria Snigur of Ukraine sticking with her decision, announced after she won the title earlier this month in London, that she was not playing any more junior events. The other two slam champions are in the draw: No. 1 and Australian Open champion Clara Tauson of Denmark and No. 2 and French Open champion Leylah Fernandez of Canada.  Nine US girls received direct entry: Emma Navarro, Alexa Noel, Hurricane Tyra Black, Abigail Forbes, Savannah Broadus, Elli Mandlik, Chloe Beck, Robin Montgomery and Katie Volynets.  Volynets, who hasn't played a junior event this year, is one of two girls who received entry based on their Top 400 WTA rankings. The other is Daria Lopatetska of Ukraine, who reached the semifinals in New York last year and has been out since May with an injury that required surgery. She also has not played a junior event this year. The girls cutoff is 50, with Katrina Scott, Skyler Grishuk, Charlotte Chavatipon and Natasha Subhash the Americans in qualifying. Subhash received qualifying entry based on her Top 500 WTA ranking.

Gabby Price has already earned a main draw wild card with her title at the Clay Courts.

I will be in New York again this year to cover the Junior Championships beginning on Sunday, September 1.

Over the weekend, the news broke that one of the pioneers of tennis teaching and coaching, Dennis Van der Meer, had died at the age of 86. Van der Meer was instrumental in standardizing and professionalizing tennis instruction and a vast majority of tennis coaches have profited from his knowledge of game, whether they are aware of it or not. The founder of the Professional Tennis Registry, Van der Meer and his wife Pat operated a well-know academy on Hilton Head Island for decades. For more on his impact on the Hilton Head tennis community, see this article from the local newspaper. For more on his impact on the sport, see this article from Tennis.com.

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