Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wild Cards For USTA National Championships Announced

The USTA National Championships begin a week from Friday here in Kalamazoo, with the tournaments at the other locations getting underway Saturday or Sunday. Here are the wild card recipients for those events:

Boys 18s:
Harry Fowler
Alexios Halebian
Hunter Harrington
Mousheg Hovhannisyan
Matthew Kandath
Evan King
Zachary Leslie
Alexander Petrone

Boys 16s:
Eric Brinzenskiy
Luca Corinteli
Joseph Di Giulio
Daniel Kerznerman
Nikko Madregallejo
Spencer Papa
Konrad Zieba
Shane Vinsant

Boys 14s:
Kevin Lee
Jonathan O’Neal
Francis Tiafoe
Ziqi Wang

Boys 12s:
Alafia Ayeni

Girls 18s:
Jan Abaza
Kelsey Laurente
Sarah Lee
Jamie Pawid
Jessica Pegula
Kayla Rizzolo
Shelby Rogers

Girls 16s:
Ekaterina Bure
Erin Gebes
Victoria Robertson
Jwany Sherif
Deborah Suarez

Girls 14s:
Jessie Lynn Paul
Ariana Rodriguez
Carolyn Xie

Girls 12s:
Kenya Jones
Gaby Pollner
Maya Smith


Brent said...

Cool to see Fowler, King, Hovhannisyan, and Kandath playing.

Surprised that Vinsant is playing 16s. A little like Sock last year. He'll have to be seeded #1, won't he?

Has anyone seen any quotes from Domijan with an explanation for why he's passing?

getreal said...

Not at all surprised Vinsant is playing 16s. much better chance to win it...18s a long shot at best. Cnsidering the tough field in Boys 18 would think anyone age eligible would play 16s. Much more glory in winning 16s Kalamazoo get name engraved on the trophy than a couple rounds if that in Boys 18s. Perhaps because Domijan lost in the first or second rd last year and was the number 1 seed would be my guess is why he's a no-show this year. None of these players should Pass up a chance to play the main draw of the open, there are never any guarantees so why not go for it when there is the opportunity

Brent said...

Boy, if I was the victim of a big upset like Domijan last year, that would only materially increase my chances of coming back, not reduce them. It isn't like he has won this thing twice and has nothing to play for. This is his legacy. Winning the Zoo would be far bigger than anything else on his resume to date - never know what happens from here forward...with some of these guys, this may be the pinnacle of their tennis career. Grab the memory, get your name among that list of champions forever...much bigger opportunity than chasing 2 ATP points in Binghamton for goodness sakes.

Athens said...

Seems like it would be a big confidence builder to have the bullseye on you and actually win a tournament. As others have mentioned, it would be totally different if someone had already won the Zoo. A number of players/coaches keep talking about how important it is to learn how to win, yet so many Americans play "up" which means they get used to losing every week.

The Dude said...

The hardest thing to do is to win a big event like the Zoo when you are seeded #1 and expected to win. Domijan chances of winning the Zoo are 1000 times bigger than earning a living as a pro. We've all seen many juniors shy away from competition because they can take the pressure. They can't stand losing when they are expected to win. Maybe that's a tell and why they don't have a champion's heart. IMO, guys who pass up the Zoo shouldn't be getting a wild card into the USO qualies.

Austin said...

Im not quite sure what Ryan Harrison has done to pass it up either. Hasnt won it before, hasnt been a junior grand slam champion, still outside the Top200 on tour.

The Dude said...

"because they CAN'T take the pressure," that is.

getreal said...


Ore and kudla are in the qualies for Legg Mason as well as the main draw of the Zoo. Thought players could not enter two tournamnets that overlapped the same week? Are there expections? Just curious...


All the great USA champions have played Kalamazoo. Harrison and Domijan have NOT had the results on the pro tour to skip Kalamazoo. If you are Top 150 and won a Challenger or two, like Querrey and Roddick at 17/18 yrs old then think about not playing. Who cares if they go compete hard and do not win the title. They would show more respect to themselves and to the game. These new generation of players needs to have a reality check.

Instead of playing Kalamazoo, Ryan Harrison just accepted his 13th main draw wildcard of the year into Vancouver Challenger. He will surpass Donald Young's record.

Michigan Tennis Fan said...

Sorry, but so many of you are absolutely insufferable on this subject. Hate to break it to you, but most of these guys don't really care about Kalamazoo. This seems to be a tough concept to grasp, as many of you seem to be obsessed with putting down kids that don't see it as the pinnacle of a tennis career. But for many kids who have played all the junior grand slams, why should they care about Kalamazoo? You say it can define their legacy, but if their legacy is built on an American junior tournament, who will even remember they played tennis five years later? Other than avid followers of American junior tennis, nobody.

What, do you think they will be particularly motivated to add their names to those of past greats such as Phillip King and Rudolfo Rake? It has been a couple decades since a professionally relevant American won Kalamazoo 18s. Clearly they think success in this tournament is irrelevant to insuring future success. And they are right. Don't get me wrong, I love attending the tournament and would prefer seeing all these guys there, but it's simply not that important.


I think you should check your facts on Roddick and Querrey, as you are wrong. And if you would like to explain to me how these players are disrespecting themselves and the game by skipping Kalamazoo, I am listening.

As for the Vancouver WC, if you think it is so wrong to give one of the best few teenagers in the world a wild card to a challenger that he is the first alternate for, then I think you are attaching way too much importance to challenger wild cards. This goes for all the challenger wild cards that you so ridiculously included in that number. Who else is more deserving? Junior players around the world with far less impressive pedigrees are regularly given many challengers wild cards. It's not really that big of a deal, and challenger wild cards are nothing compared to those of ATP tournaments.

getreal said...

To Michigan tennis fan

I don't think Bob Vanoverbeek, Hovhannisyan, Harry Fowler, Evan King, Jordan Cox, Sekou Bangoura, Matt Kandath, Denis Kulda, either college players or pros who have played some or all the Jr slams find Kalamazoo irrelevant. I must say that is one of the most, if not the most ridiculous remark, that has been posted on this blog which is no small feat to accomplish. I do agree it's not about defining their legacy but there will always be something special about winning the Zoo B18s. It’s part of the inherent fabric of US junior tennis for the same reason that most of the top European players show up to play the European Championships. It's more about the last dance, a rite of passage. For many of these kids I would think there will both joy and saddness as their days as juniors are coming to an end. I would not though come down hard on Ryan Harrison for opting not to play it as he is at the next level.

sam said...

Michigan tennis fan, finally some common sense, thank you

Brent said...

Michigan Tennis Fan, appreciate your thoughts. A couple thoughts in response as I have been fairly loud on the subject and you are likely speaking to me among others....

- I just think kids will later regret always reaching for the next thing and not really having much to show for it at the end of the day. If Domijan or Harrison never make a living playing pro tennis, which just given the odds is beyond possible and more likely probable, all they will have left are the memories. Wouldn't it be cool to be your country's national champion, to see your name on that trophy with all the other greats, and yes, for every Philip King you throw at me, I will give you a Michael Chang. If the tradeoff for that opportunity is passing on one (maybe two) Challenger or Future events in an entire calendar year, that seems like a pretty riskless investment. Even if these kids want to swing for the fences with an all-or-nothing approach to their pro career (pass on juniors, pass on college), that still doesn't justify being unwilling to take one week off to play for your country's national championship

- our kids aren't used to playing with pressure. Yes, they might be very intrinsically motivated and put a lot of pressure on themselves. Yes, they might feel pressure from their coaches or parents. But, there is no way that Domijan will feel more pressure in the first round of the Binghamton Futures when a third set lead is slipping away than he would playing Hovhannisyan (a great player but someone he should beat) in the round of 32 at Kalamazoo.

I don't believe these kids are 'disrespecting the game' with their decisions. I just think they are making bad ones that they will later regret. Doesn't mean I'm not going to cheer for them like crazy in their pro careers though.

what's the point said...

Why allot a MD wild card, if the best juniors don't want it. Seems like it would be so much easier to win the Zoo than try to make it through qualifying at the Open, which I assume Domijan is going to try to do. I can certainly see UM tennis fan's point. But if the top juniors don't respect the Zoo, why not just give the annual MD wild card to the best American college player each year (or NCAA winner if it happens). That guy is more deserving anyway. Just look at the juniors draw this year. Hard to argue that any of those guys could play #1 at SC, Tennessee, UVa, etc. I say help out the US college guy more than the juniors.

getreal said...

to whats the point --- Agree offereing a US Open MD WC to Zoo winner is pointless with current group. Seems only junior consistenly playing at a level to merit one for "development" is Harrison. Rather than just hand it to the top college player how about a round robin among the top 8? Just a suggestion....Would be sad to see the ZOo lose the WC but it does not make sense...