Friday, August 20, 2010

Recap of Boys Nationals with Slideshow and Videos; Smyczek and Capra Win Wild Card Playoffs

Before we start looking ahead to the U.S. Open, which begins with qualifying on Tuesday, August 24, it's time to wrap up another year at the Boys Nationals.

My recap for the Tennis Recruiting Network can be found here and make sure you've read the articles this week about the other national championships.

Below are the slideshow and videos of the winners. For videos of finalists Shane Vinsant and Bob van Overbeek, see the tenniskalamazoo channel at YouTube.

Today in Boca Raton, Tim Smyczek and Beatrice Capra earned the eighth and final U.S. Open main draw wild cards. Top seed Smyczek beat No. 2 Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Capra, seeded second, beat top seed Madison Brengle 7-8(4), 6-4. It is the first appearance in the main draw of a grand slam for both Smyczek and Capra.

Josh Rey is covering the event for usta.com. His story on the finals is not up yet, but here is his report from the semifinals.


pippi said...

Smyczek Time, i'm familiar with Tim in that he comes to train in NorCal occasionally with my daughter Bella's coach, Steve DeVries. Tim's not only an incredible athlete with internal drive and heart, but he's a class act and a true gentleman --- he will hit with a 13 yr old girl with the same respect that he shows for any professional player, and that is few & far between. He is going places, no doubt. Yes, he decided to forego college tennis (although DeVries encouraged him to go that route first, being a former Cal Bears player himself) and it appears his gamble is paying off. Tim spent a good part of the beginning of this year rehab'ing from shoulder surgery, and it's amazing how fast he's back up & out there at such a high level. I believe Tim is already starting up a charity, more evidence of his good character. Tim is a great role model for young players --- if you saw him compete on center court at Indian Wells against Carlos Moya, you would have seen his focused integrity shine, and over the course of the match he really won the crowd over despite his close loss. Unlike the disappointing diva-attitude i witnessed from Harrison in his match there against Ljubicic, Tim embodies the kind of fighting spirit cloaked in manners & respect for his opponent that any parent would be proud of and any parent would approve of as a role model (and that's coming from a parent who believes in the college-first route). Tim's all-court game is impressive and I believe will continue to impress & grow. As a young American player, he's refreshing to watch as he pursues his dream without the support of Bollettieri's, a former pro-player dad for a coach, and the USTA. Nothing against Harrison, he's a superb player and will obviously go very far, but Tim's a lone eagle out there and it's an admirable journey to follow.

Openminded said...

Pippi. Lets not go overboard here. Smyczek seems to be a good role model and a class act but you're acting like hes a kid on the way up. He is 22 years old. Did he choose to be a lone eagle? I bet so. I'm quite certain he could have taken advantage of the opportunities that Academies provide and probably chose not to. Nothing wrong with that but you write like he has been slighted in some way by them or the U.S.T.A. Remember he was put into the wildcard tournament by the U.S.T.A. As for Harrisons attitude does anyone remember the way Agassi and Courier and a lot of those guys acted when they 1st got onto the tour. I do. They grow out of it. As long as he is not disrespectful to his opponent he is only hurting himself. I also watched that match with Ljubicic. At no point was he ever disrespectful to him in any way. To not fight and believe he could win would make me think less of him and his chances for the future. Any time a kid is coming up and thinks he can win at that level he is alway called cocky and arrogant and disrespectful. Why? Because he believes in himself. Isn't that what America is looking for? How else will you make it?

puzzled said...

Smyczek has come this far without any ATP WC's or coaching. Harrison, Young, Levine, and Sweeting have each had dozens of WC's to ATP events and the support from coaches. He was not a lone eagle by choice, and I doubt he wishs to remain a lone eagle.

Openminded said...

Puzzled, You would have a hard time convincing me that he would not be allowed to train at the U.S.T.A. facilities and have the advice of the U.S.T.A. coaches if he chose to do so. He has a coach in Steve Devries that is top notch. As for the wildcards, often times those are gotten by the players agents and not the U.S.T.A. All the players you mentioned probably have an agent that deals with the wildcard situation. If Tim has an agent and he hasn't gotten him help with wildcards then he needs to change agents. If he doesn't have an agent then don't blame the other players or the U.S.T.A. for something they didn't have a hand in. I know the U.S.T.A. has a limited no. of wildcards they have a say in but not as many as you would think except for the U.S.Open. Of the guys you mentioned Young and Sweeting were granted wildcards to the main draw and rightfully so according to their rankings. Levine and Harrison were not and were already in the qualies on their on. So nobody did either of them a favor in any way as far as the U.S. Open is concerned. Harrison has not even played a dozen A.T.P. events in his career so you may want to leave his name off that list just for misinformation sake. He also played qualies in a lot of the ones he did in which he was in on his on. I am certain the U.S.T.A. coaches would gladly help him if he asked. Maybe he doesn't want their help.

Tiny Tim said...

Tim Smyczek has had plenty of coaching from Steve DeVries, Scott McCain, and Kelly Jones throughout his junior and pro career. 3 coaches who are some of the best in the country. He is an example of a late bloomer because of his small stature growing up. He got little help from the usta in the juniors, as he his parents supported him and other coaches helping him out with little expense. He is an extremely well-raised young man and he keeps climbing the rankings and improving. He is starting to beat Top 100 players even though his results are still shaky week-to-week. I believe he will reach the Top 100 in the World within the next 12 months and stay there for a couple years. You only want to root for this kid.

Texastennismom said...

Harrison has had a ton of wild cards into Challengers this year. He's definitely the current USTA "it" boy in combination with pushing from IMG and Bolletieri. That's a lot of advantages. Let's see if he can make use of them. He hasn't really so far this year which I'm sure is why he didn't get a wild card into the main draw.

forourplayersnotagainstthem said...

Texastennismom, You seem to have a beef with Harrison. He has in fact won matches with his wildcards. He didn't go 0 for 16 like Young did and he has wins just recently over a couple of guys in the top 100. In the top 230 in the world just past his 18th birthday it would be hard to say hes not making progress and hasnt made use of the wildcards. People need to give honest opinions on here about situations rather than personal jealous comments because your kid didn't get the treatment you wanted or they aren't as good as you think they are.

getreal said...

to texastennismom

Harrison may not have had the results so far of Roddick etc a similar age (correct me if I am won but Roddick won his first ATP event by 18) but still Harrison definitely has shown the most promise over the current crop of rising junior by a huge margin, so why shouldn’t the USTA give him every opportunity and WC. Actually I was surprised he did not get a WC into the main draw of the open. If you compare him to Donald Young, Harrison won his first ATP match at 15, and not sure how old Donald Young was when he did....

Texastennismom said...

I have no stake in it. I'm the mother of a 14 year old girl player who's doing great but has no desire to play even in college because she thinks college is an academic choice. Good for her and it leaves us as happy observers of the scene. Too much hype about Harrison - one early win isn't much to hang predictions on. I don't think it helps him any more than it helped Young and I hope someone has the sense to see that. Hyped expectations that have no basis in reality are very damaging. If Young's parents had realized after a handful of wild cards that he wasn't ready for that level and moved back to where he was actually at, it would have been much better for him. Likewise for Harrison and any of these young prospects. It's more helpful to their development if their associates get real about where they are rather than projecting fantasies about where they might be going. IMHO.

getreal said...


Could be the hype with Harrison has more to do with there is no other US rising junior close to his results so there is no other rising juniors to deflect all the attention he is getting, which has more to do with the lack of depth in US junior tennis on the male side, which seems to have more to do with lack of our top athletes picking tennis.

avid follower said...

Maybe its because Harrison is the top player born in 1992 based on ATP points this week.

219 Ryan Harrison (USA) 214 points
222 Filip Krajinovic (Serb) 213 points
228 Bernard Tomic (Aus) 207 points
405 Javier Marti (ESP) 87 points
448 Facundo Arguello (ARG) 74 Points
453 David Souto(-Vargas) (Ven) 73 points
538 Jordan Cox (USA) 46 points
580 Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (ARG) 38 points

That's got to say something as to where he is compared to his contemporaries. Right now, he has earned what he has gotten. I'd rather have youngsters get opportunities over players that are in their mid 20s who have had chances and only a few years left. American tennis has to come from the younger guys soon.
I agree with the earlier post that people need start basing their comments on facts.

Takecareofours said...

With the wildcards given out the way they were the U.S.T.A. is clearly touting the college angle. If that is the route you want to go fine, but to screw our top up and coming junior in Harrison and not put him in the main draw was absurd. With all the comments about wildcards hes received, to not give him one in our countries premier showcase event was a blatant slap in the face and is penalizing him for not going to school and turning pro. Hes proved he belongs whether he wins a match in the qualies or not. You people need to make up your mind(especially the U.S.T.A.) are we looking for the next top American and trying to help them or not. College guys are getting wildcards all over the place this summer even in the A.T.P. events. Meanwhile the top ranked teenage junior in the professional tennis right now can't even get a wildcard from his home country in its premier event. Enough about the special treatment. Hes made the commitment and made steady progress and the U.S.T.A. thumbed their nose up to him on this main draw wildcard big time. The wildcard tournament only confirmed the importance of experience on the tour and how he compares to the college guys. Would love to see him qualify and show them how much it really mattered that they screwed him.

Everyone wants Easy Road said...

"Screw or top up and coming junior in Harrison"


This must be a two-sided sword because Ryan has received plenty of help this entire year and he IS playing in the US Open.

The real reason he wasn't given a main draw wildcard: James Blake(111), Donald Young(100), and Ryan Sweeting(112)are all in the Top 112in the World. ALL JUSTIFIED!!

Ryan has had PLENTLY of opportunities this year. Ryan Harrison has received 13 WC's including Indian Wells, Miami, other ATP Tour events, and international Challengers.

Ryan lost to Tim Symczek, ranked 184, in the Finals in the Wildcard tournament. Another great chance for the main draw of the US Open.

Ryan could have played Kalamazoo this year, another great chance for main draw US Open.

The top American college guys have been getting wildcards into Futures and Challengers all Summer. This isn't a "Slap in the face" because he didn't go to school. No main draw US Open wildcards were given to college guys except the NCAA winner, Bradley Klahn.

If Ryan qualifies, it only means that he has EARNED IT and not given to him.

getreal said...

My take is that Harrison didn't get the WC into the main draw because he did not play the Zoo. It seems that the USTA is sending the message that if you can play the zoo to get the open WC then play it. An open WC is precious gift and the USTA probably wants the field competing for it to represent the best in US tennis. If the ZOO does not represent in the future I would not be surprised if the USTA eliminates the WC.