Saturday, June 5, 2010

May Aces; Stephens Captures French Girls Doubles Title; Robson Discovers Collarini's USTA Connection; Strode, Augustine Take SW Section USO Playoffs

My May aces have been posted over at the Tennis Recruiting Network, with NCAA champions and MOPs leading the way. But junior players are also well-represented, although most were performing in professional events.

One of them, Timea Babos of Hungary, is now a Grand Slam champion, as she and Sloane Stephens captured the girls doubles title at Roland Garros today. Babos and Stephens, the fifth seeds, defeated the unseeded Spanish pair of Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino ESP
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2, 6-3 and that was actually the closest any team came to challenging them. In their previous four wins, Stephens and Babos lost 4, 3, 3 and 1 games. With no-ad scoring, it's impressive when a team doesn't need a match tiebreaker; to give up less than four games in every set played is something else altogether. The boys champions, No. 7 seeds Duilio Beretta of Peru and Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador, survived two match tiebreakers, in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but in the final, they defeated unseeded Agustin Velotti and Facundo Arguello of Argentina 6-3, 6-2.

If you read this ITF junior website article on the double final, you'll learn what Sloane Stephens gave up for Lent, and which former Roland Garros men's champion is related to Quiroz. Greg Couch of Fanhouse also posted a story on the girls doubles finals.

Doug Robson, writing for Tennis.com, investigated how Roland Garros boys singles finalist Andrea Collarini came to represent the United States after years of playing for Argentina. The short answer is his coach, and in Robson's article it all fits together quite well. Australian Open boys finalist Sean Berman also is mentioned, and despite what I was told back in January by the USTA, it appears they are reluctant to release him to represent Australia because of the direct funding they had provided Berman when he trained in the U.S. Berman has played only two ITF junior events since the Australian, at Grade 2s on clay, losing in the round of 16 in both. He hasn't played an ITF event, pro or junior, since that last Grade 2 in April.

Half of the 32 sectional winners of the US Open National Playoffs have been determined, the most recent in the Southwest section, where Blake Strode and Brittany Augustine earned spots in the National tournament. The Midwest section's tournament began today, with Eric Quigley of the University of Kentucky a favorite on the men's side. Quigley played two matches today and did not lose a game. For more on the Southwest final, click here. Results and draws for the tournaments can be found at usopen.org.


getreal said...

Robson's article good insight. Sounds like Collarini needed more funding and the USTA was more than happy to oblige, mutual opportunism. Hard to get excited about an Argentina teenager who is using his dual citizenship to play for the USTA because of the funding benefits. Sort of sad comment about loyality to country and no comments about the USTA's willingness to oblige.

Tennis Observer said...

After all that Sean Berman did for the U.S., this is how they repay him?

Unknown said...

How ridiculous is the USTA strategy? They are spending millions on trying to find a needle in a haystack with this high performance nonsense. Their mandate is to GROW US TENNIS, not try to find a champion. Its so stupid. Just make the tournaments affordable and try to attract as many kids as possible into tennis. Support 100000 kids a little bit rather than 50 kids a ton. The best will rise and be picked up by the top academies. They will still be American champs, the USTA's ego is epic.

wi tennis said...

He is a U.S. Citizen! Sure there is politics with the USTA and tennis-wise, but who are you to judge what citizens are psuedo-Amerians and what citizens are fully-Americans?! Many people live abroad and are dual citizens, but consider themselves American. It is very ignorant of you to say that.

tennis said...

tennis observer, i really hope you are joking, sean berman did NOTHING for the US. We gave him everything he ever wanted and did nothing and the second he has the chance to go back home he does. All the time and money spent on sean berman instead of true americans was a waste.

i will say i am glad he is not playing for the US anymore. One of the many USTA's failures

Tennis Guru said...

Andrea is an American and deserves to play for the US. Just because he didn't live in the US doesn't mean he is not an American.

There are many examples of this: Marat Safin, S. Kuznetsova, Andy Murray trained in Spain for their core development, but Russia and Britian are not bashing their players.

Carsten Ball trained and lived in the US, but Australia isn't bashing him.

Gulbis and Ljubicic---same thing. I can keep going.

The sad part is the bloggers who write this do not know most of the story but complain and bitch like they know everything. They are looking to make themselves feel awesome by ripping others.

We have Nadal and Federer #1 and #2in the world, both great examples of values, sportsmanship, and class. And then I read hatred-posts, day-after-day on this site that all people want to do is tear people down.

Just keep in mind, the better players win, NOT the players who receive the most.

Brit in Texas said...

Without commenting on the Collarini case's ins and outs, the comparison to Murray etc isn't valid - eg Murray went to Spain for a relatively brief period as a teenager, and has lived in Britain for the majority of his life. There's no comparison to Collarini's current situation there - the parallel would be if Spain was claiming Murray, and indeed the three years or whatever he spent in Spain far outweight the American element in Collarini's development, but Spain does not claim Murray.

Tennis Guru said...

Brit in Texas

Great point you made and it makes sense. However, Murray's significant training, which he states as his vital development into the players he is today happened in Spain, not Britian, which was the direction of my point. Thankfully Spain doesn't claim any foreign players because they would claim ALOT of them!

I think its just bad timing that Collarini is doing well. The press is stating that a "US Junior" in the French Open Jr. Final. So it reads like the USTA went out, recruited him, paid him off and then he came to the USA and now the USA claim that they trained him. Absolutely not!! I would hope the intellicual tennis fans would figure differently.

The usta hired his coach, Diego, who has been coaching with Jose Higueras for the past 7 years, who also coached Robbie Ginepri recently for many years. Andrea wanted to stay with his coach, Diego and because he has a USA passport then he came to play to live in the USA.

Andrea is a great addition to an already solid group of young players the USA has.

S said...

Anyone who is born in the U.S. is an American citizen for life no matter where he/she chooses to live. "analyst" & anyone else who claims otherwise are simply ignorant about more than just tennis.

analyst said...

Chill out "WI" and "S". My opinion (not "hating"--just an opinion) has to do with the USTA's financial support of Collarini, not with him personally or even what flag he chooses to play under now or in the future. I have an issue with the USTA pledging full support for a player who is in his last year of the juniors, who has received years of funding from another country's federation because he has lived and trained in that country for 15 of his 18 years, and who has now decided to follow his coach to the US. If Collarini wants to follow his coach here, signs with IMG or some other agency and receives support from them, or receives support from his family, THEN plays under the US flag, I have no problem. I do have a problem with the USTA giving full support to a player with dual citizenship who has not lived here, been trained here, or developed here. Let him be the next American hope if he wants to take on that role and everyone wants to embrace him---but why must the USTA spend so massively and so freely on this one player when there are many players who have lived and trained on US soil all their lives who could benefit from such support. Safin, Murray, etc spent several years training in Spain but didn't spend essentially their whole lives there. Opportunistic is the perfect word for what is taking place and I don't expect an 18 year old to be so principled that he would eschew the USTA's offer and continue to play for the country that suppported and developed his tennis for so many years. Sean Berman did the same to the USTA. I do expect (more like wish) the USTA would not be so quick to throw around huge sums of money whenever and wherever it suits them, meanwhile thumbing their noses at a lot of their own players who are begging for a bit of financial support.

Curious said...


Which players are being snubbed by the usta, who have asked for help and never received anything and who are going to be good players?

Just curious