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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stephens, Harrison Advance to Second Round of US Open Qualifying on Rainy First Day; More on John McEnroe's Academy

The unpleasant weather that has been hanging around the East Coast the past few days continued today, with the first day of qualifying for the U.S. Open falling behind schedule as a result.

As of 7:30 p.m., only 36 of the 64 matches scheduled for today have been completed. Among those through to the second round are wild card Sloane Stephens, who cruised past Anais Laurendon of France 6-4, 6-1. I listened to that match on radiotennis.com, and there were very few times that Ken Thomas, who was calling the action, could drum up much drama in the contest. Stephens will play No. 12 seed Zuzana Ondraskova of the Czech Republic, who beat National Playoff winner Alexandra Mueller 6-4, 6-1.

Ryan Harrison also lost only five games in his first round victory over Jonathan Dasnieres De Veigy of France, and his 6-1, 6-4 win puts him up against No. 10 seed Rui Machado of Portugal in the second round.

American veterans Bobby Reynolds and Robert Kendrick also won first round matches today, while wild cards Greg Ouellette, Andrea Collarini and Bob van Overbeek were eliminated. Ouellette lost to Ricardo Hocevar of Brazil 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-1, Collarini was beaten by Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-4 6-2, and van Overbeek lost to Nokola Mektic of Croatia 6-4, 6-0.

Chase Buchanan was up 6-3, 3-6, 5-2 on No. 11 seed Frederico Del Bonis of Argentina when tonight's rain delay stopped play. Buchanan was up 6-3, 3-0 (two breaks) in the second set, then lost six straight games. It was possible to hear his racquet breaking from the radiotennis.com court mics, but he recovered his composure to take that third set lead.

Rhyne Williams, who was initially announced as a wild card recipient, did not feel he was adequately prepared to compete coming off a family vacation, and Alex Domijan took his place. Kim Couts was given a wild card when Beatrice Capra no longer needed hers, but didn't know about it until last night, so she was unable to arrange her travel and an alternate took her place. For more details on that, see the comment in yesterday's post.

Aside from Mueller, the only other women's wild card that finished today was Alexa Glatch, who lost a 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3 decision to Olga Savchuk of Ukraine. Alison Riske also dropped a three-setter, losing to No. 12 seed Zuzana Kucova of Slovakia 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

The schedule for Wednesday isn't up yet, but it will undoubtedly be a very full one. For the results and draws from today, see usopen.org.

New York Magazine turns its attention to tennis this time of year, and its in-depth story for 2010 centers around John McEnroe's new academy on Randall's Island. I know I've given this venture a lot of attention, but I think if you read this lengthy feature you'll understand why I find it so interesting. Not only is McEnroe a very compelling personality, but he also has very firm ideas, based on his own development, about the need for balance in junior players' lives. Is this notion out-dated? That's a fair question, and although there may not be a definitive answer, McEnroe is willing to test his theory with his name on the line.


Texastennis said...

Collete, I'm inclined to agree with McEnroe. I was thinking that the only two under 25 players (never mind younger!) to have clearly come through and established themselves as top flight pros are Querrey and Isner - alas neither GS winners I think but I think they can hold consistently positions in the top 15-30 range. What do they have in common? No hype, not on anyone's radar screen as the next big hope, stayed home, went to school, no going away to hothouse academies. I think there's a lesson there (or several including why USTA should not repeat the Young pattern of focusing on one junior among all the teenagers as the great hope of
American tennis).

Nancy from Atlanta said...

Having a balanced life is irrelevant to a great tennis player....its nice, but not what makes the top 100 the top 100. Many top pros lived and breathed tennis, others did not. None of that is going to produce an American champ. Our best athletes are going into basketball, baseball, and football while the best Euros go into either soccer or tennis and the best Russians/Croations/Serbs into tennis. Mac's idea has no better chance of working than anyone's.

The Dude said...

I was at the Qualies on Tues as it is a tradition among the local die hards to spot the up & coming pros. I have been going to the U.S. open since '81. I was very impressed with Slone Stephens's game, natural service motion, smooth powerful forehand. She hits through the ball unlike most juniors I have seen over the years who hit spinny topspin grinding shots without power. Harrison won easily as his opponent was busy missing every other shot. IMO, Ryan needs to develop a much better forehand. It is primarily a defensive spinny shot which lacks heaviness and pace. I don't see any improvement in his game from last year at the qualies. He doesn't step in with his body on the forehand, more like an open stance arm shot. He has a nice all court game but no weapons, no power. I know he's a hard worker I hope the best for him as our family and his have known each other since the 12s.

avid follower said...

This is totally off this subject, but I was reading the Twitter post from Manny Diaz, UGA, regarding recruiting int'l players.
Men's tennis only gets 4.5 scholarships. What are the restrictions on how much of these can go to Int'l players if any? US tax dollars paying for Int'l players? I'm not saying that many are not better than some Americans that would vie for them, but it's about where OUR money is going and to whom.

U.S. Junior Tennis Coach said...

Avid Follower: Unfortunately, there are no restrictions. College coaches can give every scholarship to foreign players and they often do just that at schools such as Baylor which usually has a 100% foreign line up. That's what many, including myself, are complaining about on this board and elsewhere. It is pretty disgusting how the NCAA (a U.S. college organization, not an international one) has allowed the foreign athlete to dominate and take over U.S. college tennis and taken most of the scholarships away from the U.S. kids.

The NCAA and USTA has nothing but lame and nonsensical excuses for how they are letting this happen. The NCAA and USTA could change this easily; there are no legal prohibitions on giving preference based upon citizenship or residency, but the NCAA and USTA have often flat out lied by claiming that there are such legal restrictions as an excuse for letting this happen.

US Tennis Coach said...

To US Jr Tennis Coach,

1) do you really not understand that the USTA would like nothing more than to have all the scholarships go to US juniors?

2) You are factually incorrect as both the USTA and the ITA (who also would also like to have all the scholarships go to US juniors) have asked different law firms about the possibility of liability in law suits and have been told that they would lose.

3) All other sports that are world sports like track also have the exact same issues.

4)The US is far more represented in NCAA tennis than any other country.

5)Baylor had two of top 3 from the USA.

Your post is a PRIME example of how this great site is hurt. Collette does a fantastic job with wonderful information and insite. But the whiners, complainers and anonymous posters drastically hurt the quality of the blog. Collette could do something about this. However the NCAA and the USTA cannot change the laws of the USA.

puh-leez said...

Love the tax dollar argument. How much of our taxes are really going to college tennis??? If any, wouldn't there be about 1,000 other things our tax dollars go to that either directly or indirectly aid non-Americans? And this is the thing you're most upset about? If it is, you must lead a pretty charmed life.

avid follower said...

It's the point, not the actual dollars, unless you are the parents of some American who does not get the scholarship because it is given to a foreign player. I do not fall in that range.
We are talking hundreds of scholarships, not just a few. Look at every college in Div 1 not to mention every other division.
There are A LOT of other areas where we let Americans go without in this country while supporting those who never have paid taxes into the system, I'll agree with you on that. But way not address this issue as well.

Experienced Attorney said...

To US Tennis Coach:
Actually it is YOU who is the prime example of how this great site is hurt. I am a licensed attorney and I can tell you that YOU don’t know what you’re talking about. There is no legal prohibition against treating non-citizens and non-residents differently from citizens/residents because it has nothing to do with race or national origin which ARE protected by the constitution.

I also appreciated your fairy tale about how the USTA and ITA went to different law firms to try to get this law changed and were told they would lose. Tell me when this happened in the last 20 years. If the USTA and ITA tried to do this then why is there no public record or statement about this. Had they done this then the USTA and ITA would have publicized such and incident to defend itself against all the complaints they've gotten on this issue. It also cannot be true because I have the legal training to tell you that they would NOT lose such a case. Even if some law firm told them this then they got lousy advice and dropped the ball in not getting a better attorney because this would be horrendous legal advice akin to malpractice.

When Baylor won the NCAA’s it had zero U.S. players in its line-up. I don’t care about one year.

So what if there are more players from the US than any other countries in U.S. college tennis, the NCAA is a US college sports organization, NOT a WORLD sports organization, so I would hope so but it has been dominated by foreigners in terms of the top players. There are more foreign top players on scholarship than US players which is sad for a domestic US organization that is not obligated to serve every other nation in the world's college players.

Also, you just trashed anonymous posters but didn't you notice that you are also an anonymous poster?

Tennis Father said...

To Puh-leeze:

Just because you obviously don't have any children who need a college tennis scholarship doesn't mean you need to be so insensitive to those of us who do. Maybe YOU are the one who leads the charmed life.

John said...

Experienced Attorney - thanks for post........right on with many of the points.

Eric Amend said...

Just to add to what Experienced Lawyer said...

I loved playing with foreigners on my team and I loved coaching as well.

I feel very strongly that you should be able to recruit as many foreigners as you want BUT...
The rule needs to be that EVERY single team can only play 3 foreigners per match. Singles and doubles!!

P.S. Baylor beat a Ucla team in the finals that started 4 foreigners, so 2 out of 10 players on the court that day were Americans. An atrocity for college tennis!!

5.0 Player said...

To Eric Amend:

Glad to see that you are saying something that we can agree on.

Former College Tennis Fan said...

To Experienced Attorney:

Thanks for setting these cowards at the USTA and ITA straight on the actual law regarding the problem of foreign player domination of U.S. college tennis.

Now, if only they would listen and actually DO something for once instead of making lame and/or false excuses.

hooray said...

5.0 and Eric agree? Peace in the Middle East may be next....