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Thursday, August 19, 2010

US Open Junior Wild Cards Announced; Matches Between Top Two Seeds Will Decide US Open Men's and Women's Wild Cards

This afternoon the USTA released the names of the juniors who have been granted wild cards to the U.S. Open Junior Championships. They are:

Andrea Collarini (18, Boca Raton, Fla.)
Mitchell Frank (17, Annandale, Va.)
Bjorn Fratangelo (17, Pittsburgh)
Evan King (18, Chicago)
Daniel Kosakowski (18, Downey, Calif.)
Mitchell Krueger (16, Aledo, Texas)
Michael Redlicki (16, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.)
Jack Sock (17, Lincoln, Neb.)

Victoria Duval (14, Norcross, Ga.)
Nicole Gibbs (17, Santa Monica, Calif.)
Madison Keys (15, Boca Raton, Fla.)
Kyle McPhillips (16, Willoughby, Ohio)
Jessica Pegula (16, Boca Raton, Fla.)
Caroline Price (17, Duluth, Ga.)
Ellen Tsay (16, Pleasanton, Calif.)
Sachia Vickery (15, Miramar, Fla.)

Monica Turewicz, Chanelle Van Nguyen, Junior Ore and Shane Vinsant are among the Americans who will need to qualify.

The junior open qualifying wild cards:
Gabrielle Andrews (13, Pomona, Calif.)
Brooke Austin (14, Indianapolis)
Anne-Liz Jeuking-Nkamgouo (14, Kansas City, Mo.)
Christina Makarova (14, San Diego)
Taylor Townsend (14, Stockbridge, Ga.)
Miharu Imanishi(Japan)

Alexios Halebian (16, Glendale, Calif.)
Mackenzie McDonald (15, Piedmont, Calif.)
Spencer Papa (14, Edmund, Okla.)
Daiki Kondo (Japan)
Two other boys qualifying wild cards will be named later.

It's a bit surprising that Halebian wasn't given a main draw wild card, and Kosakowski was, as in the past, the USTA had seemed to prefer younger players. But I suspect the boys' performances in Kalamazoo may have had something to do with the USTA's decision.

The ITF site does not currently show the US Open Junior wild card entries, but it is possible to project who will move up now that they've been named.

The USTA's US Open wild card tournament finals are set for Friday, with top seeds Tim Smyczek and Madison Brengle facing No. 2 seeds Ryan Harrison and Beatrice Capra.

In today's men's semifinal action, Smyczek beat No. 5 seed Alex Domijan 7-6(5), 6-3, and Harrison downed No. 3 seed Greg Ouellette 6-1, 6-4. The women's semis were also straight set decisions, with Brengle defeating No. 5 seed Nicole Gibbs 7-6(6), 6-0, and Capra beating No. 6 seed Krista Hardebeck 6-3, 7-5. The women's final will be first, at 10 am, followed by the men's final, which is best of five sets.


proofsinthepudding said...

With all the talk about needing to go to college for development i guess everyone is going to ignore the fact that the past 2 kalamazoo champions were in the wildcard playoff along with a few of the best college has to offer and the 2 guys who opted to get their experience on the pro tour early are the ones playing in the finals without dropping a set. Seems if we are going to worry about copying the rest of the world and train on clay then we better also follow the fact that they turn pro at an early age and get the experience where it counts. on the pro tour. College is simply not the training ground it was 20 years ago and anyone who has stayed in tennis during this time knows that. The comments about being able to write a readable sentence and illiteracy are stupid. How many kids that grow up in tennis whether they go to school or home school are not bright well adapted well educated kids? I can't think of 1. If this tournament proves anything its that the U.S.T.A. may need to rethink the college thing before its too late.

just saying said...

Colette, there is a decent tournament in Salisbury MD with plenty of college guys. Also, Brian Baker seems to be edging back into some competitive tennis.

getreal said...


confused. why was mitchell frank given a WC to the juniors when he would have qualifed on his own with an ITF ranking of 16? ALso why was Evan King given one and Van Overbeek not? that does not make sense.

avid follower said...

Nothing against Tim Smyczek, but I'm hoping Ryan Harrison can pull through today.
The current rankings of American men does not look good, especially when considering age.
Roddick - 28
Isner - 25
Querry - 23
Fish - 29 in Sept
Harrison just turned 18 in May and is one of the youngest players in the ATP 225. Looks to be one of the young American "hopes". The more exposure and experience the better.
A couple of young stars need to emerge for US tennis very soon and Ryan could be one.

Colette Lewis said...

There was a problem with Mitchell Frank's entry and it did not go through, so he needed a wild card to get in. I don't believe van Overbeek applied for a wild card to the juniors, as Florida is well into its fall semester by then.

getreal said...

proofsinthepudding said...

I disagree with your comment that these kids are prepared to compete in the world outside tennis if they only do the minimal on the education side staring at age 14 or 15 to travel the world to play tennis. And they certainly are not well educated or conversant on many topics. That just does not happen by osmosis unless you are Einstein. You tell me, if the tennis does not pan out, what are the options without a college degree outside of being a teaching pro. You can’t be college coach without a degree. As for the USTA supporting the college route for men that make sense considering the depth of the men’s game. I think you are underestimating the difficulty/probability of any of these kids actually making it. Do the math. You look at the young guys you did turn pro—none of them are even close to popping through except for Harrison but he was always a level or two above those guys anyway. You talk about the rest of the world where the kids go pro but these kids don’t have the college option to develop their games and you don’t mention the thousands who didn’t make it who are probably feeding tennis balls for minimum wage. For the first time the USTA is doing something intelligent. I am not against going pro at 17 if there results are there, but that’s a different story.

my .02 said...

To proofis..., I don't think anyone is really making the case that Harrison or Smyczek should have gone to college. But, they are more the exception to the rule. I would say that a player by age 18/19 that is not taking care of business at the futures level (winning titles) ought to at least try a spring season. If you dominate like Levine, you're ready to move on. The top college guys have generally been able to make the Challenger level quickly. But, if you're 18/19 and not able to enter Challengers on your own, you'd typically be better off playing a guaranteed number of matches in pressure situations vs hoping it will "come together " while losing week after week. You'dst become

Smyczek Time said...

Now that Tim Smyczek won the USTA Wild Card playoff beating Ryan Harrison 4, 4 and 4, I think it's time that we should learn more about him. His name comes up but no one (including the media) seems to talk about him much. I'm impressed that he's only 5 ft 9 but that he apparently has a powerful, all court game and that he serves and volleys.

It seems that he was somewhat overlooked by the USTA because he has gained most of his success on his own. I read that he qualified for the SAP Open by winning 5 pre-qualifying matches which got him into the qualifier and then he won the 3 qualifying matches to get himself into the main draw. Perhaps many underestimated him because he isn't tall and only average sized.

Some video of him that I saw from Wimbledon indicates that he's a very good athlete. Will people that have seen him play and know something about him please chyme in? It appears that he skipped college and gambled by turning pro early. I would love to hear from anyone who has seen him play and knows something about him.


5.0 Player

Texastennismom said...

Smyzcek is the highest rank of the wild card playoffs and he played up to his ranking. Good for him. He's earned his chance.
So is Harrison going to play the qualies now?

Jim Kline said...

getreal, I don't agree. I know lots of tennis kids who don't make it to the pros. They are very well rounded, traveling, engaged. They catch up academically very quickly to the traditionally schooled kids. They are great at networking, have tons of connections, and can run businesses, etc. They have learned how to think for themselves under pressure.

In fact I question the wisdom of any kid attending college unless their major is going to pay off. I know way too many kids with degrees working for low wages taking any job they can get. Do not underestimate the power of the network good tennis kids can make.

love-tennis said...

You gotta be kidding if you think that it is better to not have had college education for most kids. I know for some it might be ok, but for most, they are stuck feeding balls at a job they don't want to do. It is one thing to LOVE TENNIS and be doing the job you love. It is another thing to be 40 years old and have it be your only career choice.

** while your club manager writes all the letters/communication to the customers and patrons because your schooling ended at the high school level.

** and how proud are you when your clients/ladies/men's night guys ask what college you went to and you say "um, I ended my education at high school."

You gotta be kidding.

Collegeoverrated said...

Jim Kline, Finally someone who gets it. Lovetennis, you are way to narrow minded and insulting to people who choose an alternate route besides college. Is it good to go to college and get a degree? Of course. The problem with you people on this thread is that you think without a college degree kids are doomed to be failures. Thats ridiculous. These statements clearly come from people who choose that route for their kids. In the meantime you probably killed your childs dream and ability to think for themselves. How many of these kids that go to college do you keep up with to find out what jobs they ended up with and how happy they are with their lives. You people come here and talk about the kids that turn pro or dont go to college all the time as if they became teaching pros and failures in life because you never hear of them again. You have no idea what becomes of them whether they go to college or not. Obviously it can give them more options but it is not for everyone. Team sports like college tennis simply do not appeal to everyone just as fraternity and sorority parties and college drinking isnt for everyone so lighten up people with the college thing. Its WAY overrated. I played college tennis for 4 years and the degree i got hasn't helped me in my current job a single bit. I enjoyed it but I haven't made 1 dime because of that degree.

thecolornotthebird said...

Florida dropped the ball on this one. Vanoverbeek dominated some very good players at Kalamazoo on the way to the Final. He will be a serious contender at the US Open Junior if he plays it. If a program wants to be taken seriously when they talk "development" during recruiting, they need to make sure their player is at this event.

getreal said...

To Jim... I am not saying that a college degree is a panacea for success at all, quite the opposite is true, but the reality is a lot of jobs are not even an option without a degree. My own personal opinion is the college experience, depending on the individual, can be overrated. ie. if one parties for 4 years, takes easy courses, etc. you get diminishing returns on the true value of it and can reduce to no value at all. All I was saying is that to start traveling the world to play tournament after tournament at the age of 15, which is the direction of the ITF and top level junior tennis, clearly compromises education on a very fundamental level at way too early an age. Also missing so much school, or not attending school at a young age, doesn’t appear to be necessary to develop one’s game. As for going pro, I don’t think it’s a bad choice at all if the player is ready to compete at that level. And Jim I do disagree with you about how well educated some of these kids are in terms of Cultural Literacy, which is outlined in a books by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. Traveling the world does not equate to developing an understanding of it, culturally, politically, economically, environmentally, historically or intellectually. That also doesn’t necessarily come from college or attending school, but it does from reading and a fundamental intellectual curiosity and, while it's been awhile, my observations was that was lacking in many of these young kids development.

avid follower said...

What are th odds that an American wins the US Open Juniors and who do you think have the best chances?

According to the ITF site and WC that were given, here is who is supposed to play.

Any thoughts?

Dennis Kudla
Ramond Sarmiento
Nick Chappell
Andrea Collarini
Mitchell Frank
Bjorn Fratangelo
Evan King
Junior Ore
Shane Vincent
Dane Webb
Dennis Novikov
Daniel Kosakowski
Mitchell Krueger
Michael Redlicki
Austin Gonzales
Jack Sock
Sean Bernstein (first alt so should get into qualies)