Saturday, December 10, 2005

Oops! Cilic Still Has Opportunity to Finish Number One

Oops! Cilic Still Has Opportunity to Finish Number One ~~~
©Colette Lewis 2005
Miami FL --

As it turns out, Donald Young may not have locked up the ITF's World Junior Championship. Thinking I was watching just a late round doubles match--the boys 18s semifinals featuring Croatia's Marin Cilic and Nikola Mektic against Italy's Daniel Lopez and Thomas Fabbiano--I wasn't aware that it was actually a significant result. Shortly after Cilic and Mektic won, I heard that due to a miscalculation by the ITF, Cilic was not mathematically eliminated from the race when he lost in the round of 16.

It had been supposed that when the bonus points for winning a third Grade A were not available to him, Cilic could not catch Young. But when Young lost in the quarterfinals and in the first round of doubles, he didn't defend all of his points from 2004, making Cilic's doubles result suddenly of great importance. I do not have enough information, especially about points dropping off on a rolling calender, to make the calculations myself, so I've relied on the ITF's computers and announcements.

This is the ever-so-brief ITF website story revising the prevous pronouncement of Young as Champion. That previous post is no longer available. I haven't been able to find out who discovered that the math was off, and I know the Yucatan Cup, which begins on Monday, had been holding wild cards in case Cilic and Young wanted to play, but the race may hinge on the state of Cilic's sore back.

When I learned about this reversal of fortune for Cilic, I spoke to Andre Tonejc, the Croatian Federation coach traveling with the team on this Florida leg. He told me he was aware of the situation, but Cilic's back, which gave him trouble Thursday during his second round match, is still bothering him. The Croatian team is scheduled to return to Europe on Monday, but Tonejc is not ruling out a trip to the Yucatan, depending how Cilic feels after playing in the doubles final on Sunday.

I will continue to monitor the ITF website for anything further on the year-end race.