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Sunday, September 28, 2008

U.S. Sweeps Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Titles

The United States made world junior team competition history today, when the 16-and-under boys and girls captured the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup titles in Mexico. The 14-and-under teams won their competition last month in the Czech Republic, giving the older players an opportunity to do what no other country had ever done--win all four in the same year.

Although faced with less than ideal weather, the hard courts and the altitude in San Luis Potosi may have helped the American teams. Arriving a week early to get acclimated, the U.S. brought strong teams, and the girls were given the No. 1 seed and the boys were pegged at No. 3.

Throughout the week, both teams dominated, not once losing a match or facing a must-win doubles contest. That continued today, with the boys defeating No. 5 seed Argentina 2-0 and the girls beating No. 4 seeded Great Britain 2-0.

Evan King started with a three-set win over Andrea Collarini at No. 2 singles, and Denis Kudla gave the U.S. boys their first Junior Davis Cup win since 1999 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Agustin Velotti at No. 1. The doubles was not played.

The girls second match, after Christina McHale had routinely accounted for Heather Watson 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, contained all the drama. Kristie Ahn saved a match point with Tara Moore serving at 5-3 in the third, and went on to win four straight games to earn the U.S. its first-ever Junior Fed Cup title.

Eleanor Preston talked to Ahn, and to captains David Roditi and Roger Smith and to the third players on the U.S. teams, Sloane Stephens and Raymond Sarmiento, at the ITF Junior website. The celebration photos by Susan Mullane are also filled with the excitement of the moment.

It is also an appropriate time to recognize those on the North American qualifying teams that were not selected for the finals--Jordan Cox and Brooke Bolender and Beatrice Capra. As Roditi told Preston, "They know that it’s a big deal to be here representing their country because they are part of a very good class from the USA. We could have picked three other guys, five other guys to come and play and they know that they were selected from a very deep group of US players."

The same holds true for the girls, who only beat out Canada for the lone North American qualifying spot when Bolender and Capra fought back to take an extremely close doubles match, sealing the win.


Anonymous said...

That is so awesome! Congrats to all these players and to Colette for her awesome blogging! Colette you are one of a kind!

Anonymous said...

GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am almost 100% sure that Kristie Ahn is now training full time at the High performance center in Boca. Just wanted to let people know.

Anonymous said...


I am 100% wrong that you are wrong because I just spoke with her today and she said that she is not training full time in Boca.

Anonymous said...

the people at the usta at this time are

boys: evan king, ray sarmiento, nathan pasha, spencer newman, alex halebian, tyler gardiner, and justin butch

girls: julia boserup, lauren herring, grace min, breanna addison, chanelle van nyguen, christina mchale.

i am not sure that ahn is down in boca raton

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for saying that and providing false information. Thank you for correcting me. I'm very surprised that grace min is training in boca. I always thought that she trained with melanie oudin'a coach.

Plotinus said...

I seem to recall people claiming that USTA coaches, esp. David Roditi, were guilty of favoritism in making selections.

Well, it turns out the coaches picked excellent teams that did the US of A proud. A rare (unprecedented?) sweep!

Congratulations!!! Props to the coaches and players!

Anonymous said...

the usta seems to be very high on van nyugen and halebian. Does anyone know why? ie racket head speed, hands, athletism etc

Anonymous said...

people said roditi had favoritism, and he does. i think most everyone agrees than evan king and denis kudla should go, but nobody really thought that sarmiento should go as he was at least 6th on the list behind: harrison, kudla, king, cox, vanoverbeek.

also, none of sarmientos matches counted as the usa swept the singles everytime with kudla and king never dropping a match.

and for people who say they needed sarmiento for doubles, give me a break. its is obvious that king can play with cox very WELL, AND kudla can play with cox very WELL. and king and kudla play well together. so there was for sure favoritism in that choice.

it seems odd that raymond sarmiento has been on basically every usta trip that roditi was on. favoritism.

on a side note, i always wondered why the team was selected before kalamazoo, even though the davis cup was not until late september.

Anonymous said...

To Tennis

I agree w/ your analysis 100% that Rodditi/and or the USTA has shown favoritism for sarmiento. The bottom line: Sarminento is the ONLY 92 who has been on every single USTA team trip since the 12s. Correct me if I am wrong Harrison has not been on them all as a matter of his own choice and it would be fair if he was, but Sarmiento time and time again should never have been a consistent choice over Kudla, King or VanOverbeek, as has been the case with him. The only explanation is favoritism, the can be no other explaination. It clearly is not his killer forehand or booming serve. And yes, the results would have been the same if Cox or Vanoverbeek were chosen and BOTH are very good doubles players.

Anonymous said...

How many more times can we have the same discussion about the Roditi/Sarmiento topic? The same stuff gets said over and over. Are you guys just copy/paste from the all the other discussions?

Roditi captained a team that won the World Championship, something that hasn't been done in a very long time. Stop hating, set aside your egos, and congratulate him and the players.

But I'm sure we will be back here in a month talking about the same thing again. I'll be expecting it.

Anonymous said...

to same old thing..
yes… the US did win it and no-one is taking anything away from that but like it or not favoritism is shown to Sarmiento, who by the way did not play one singles match. The issue here is that Cox had better results and VanOverbeek who also had better results this year has never once been asked to a team event to represent the US. Also, Sock who is an excellent doubles player has never been asked to represent the US on a team event. All I am saying is that other top 92 players should be given the opportunity to represent their country, not just one player consistently. If that is not favoritism than what is. It's great that Sarmiento was given the experience but unfair to others who were probably more deserving.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe that you would say that sock is more deserving than sarmiento. Raymond has had much better results than him. Also don't forget that even though the matches that he played were dead rubbers he still won all of his doubles matches with king.

Anonymous said...

ive said congratulations to everyone who went on the trip, including sarmiento.

also, roditi has by far the best group of kids to choose among(my opinion, as the 92 boys are so deep), so its not like he coached the kids to a championship. however, i personally have met david and i think he is a great coach, so the kids are lucky to have such a good coach, but there is definately favoritism.

king and kudla, good choices, dominated so much roditi coulve selected any player in the country to go on this trip, and it wouldve been the same as sarmiento going as he didnt really have to do anything except watch the matches and give support.

great job roditi and the players who went on the trip, im just saying its odd that sarmiento has gone on about every trip he possibly could have gone on.

and for anybody who didnt know, sarmiento and roditi worked with each other for many years, so there is DEFINATELY favoritism, no matter what anybody thinks.

Anonymous said...

to tennisjunky, i agree with almost everything you have said. except the sock part. he hasnt really proved himself that much except in easter bowl 16's this year, where almost no 92's played. everything else i totally agree with. also, cox has represented the US but not in a while now.

sarmiento has been with the us on the following trips: les petit as, the nederlands trip, boys 14s davis cup, boys 16's davis cup qualies, boys 16's davis cup. the onyl ones he missed was the trip to the boys 12's davis cup. 5 out of 6 trips HE WAS invited to.

since the usta decided for some reason they had to choose the players before kalamazoo, they chose before the results at kalamazoo. im ok with that in a way, except it didnt show the best hard court results. by using there logic, the 92's selected shouldve been: harrison, king, kudla, vanoverbek, cox, THEN sarmiento as he did the worst in the tournament preceding the selection of the davis cup players(not including kudla as he did not play in claycourts, however he did get to the semis of a futures just before) so either way the usta chooses he shouldnt have been chosen inside the top 5 players. FAVORITISM

to 10is, so raymond and evan won all their doubles matches. what does that do?? nothing, just give them both another practice match. it added nothing except more time on court.

again congrats to roditi, sarmiento, king and kudla, but you cannot say there is no favoritism as there obviously is.

Anonymous said...

To all of you:

Thanks for the nice comments. I am very happy for the boys and the US players. Evan, Denis and Raymond did a great job representing all the other great players in the 1992 and 1993 class.
Here are some facts that are wrong:
1. The USTA did not choose to pick the team before Kalamazoo, the ITF made us because of flights. I waited as long as I could and my goal was to pick the team after Kalamazoo.
2. Sarmiento has not gone to all the trips. Even though he had the best International results in the 14's (won singles and doubles in England and Semifinal at Les Petit As), he wasn't picked for the 14's Davis' cup qualifying. Cox, Kudla and Bernstein were.
3. The reason Raymond was picked for this trip is because Ryan Harrison didn't want to go and because he had the best doubles results (mostly with Evan).
4. This event was a Team event and as a coach I had to think about Team Chemistry. Personalities play a huge part when the 3 players have to share a room for 13 days and nights in a very competitive, pressured environment. I think it worked out ok!
5. Denis and Evan did a great job to win all of their matches. They handled the situation great. Raymond did a great job of supporting them on the sideline and never made them feel "weird" because he didn't play singles. He was the ultimate team player!!!
It takes a certain personality and leadership to sit and watch your friends play every singles match. I knew Raymond would be a great teammate whether he played or not.

As I said before, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or complaints.


David Roditi