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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Davis Receives Wild Card into Australian Open Juniors; Qualifying Begins at AO; Courier on Young and Harrison

Lauren Davis has received a wild card into the Australian Open Junior Championships later this month in Melbourne, and with her recent defeats of the top three players entered, Daria Gavrilova, Monica Puig and Irina Khromacheva, Davis is now the favorite in the girls draw. According to Australian Open Junior Championship tournament director Francis Soyer, the remaining wild cards will not be announced until late Sunday, although the Australian 16 and under champions automatically receive wild cards. This year those tournaments were won by Andrew and Samantha Harris, siblings whose mother Anne Minter won the Australian girls title three consecutive years 1979-1981.

Davis is, of course, playing in the main draw after winning the USTA's reciprocal wild card last month in Atlanta. The men's and women's draws will be revealed Friday.

Qualifying is underway for the men in Australia, and is there is a live stream available on the tournament's website. There are three juniors in the draw, that is players who could still play in the boys championships should they wish, and two of them, Sean Berman and Luke Saville, have entered the juniors. The third, Tiago Fernandes of Brazil, was given a qualifying wild card on the basis of this 2010 Australian boys title. Fernandes beat Berman in the final.

The U.S. has 10 men competing in the qualifying: Rajeev Ram, Alex Bogomolov, Ryan Sweeting, Alex Kuznetsov, Tim Smyczek, Donald Young, Bobby Reynolds, Michael Yani, Kevin Kim and Ryler DeHeart. Draws are here.

The women's qualifying draw will be out later this evening.

Jim Courier was asked about Donald Young and Ryan Harrison today in a conference call about the Davis Cup (new US captain Courier had mentioned both Harrison and Young in his opening comments about visiting potential DC players while they trained during last month's off season). Here is Courier's response:

I was very heartened to see that Donald made the commitment to go out to Carson and spend some time training out there with Mardy and with Sam and with Rodney, who is the strength and conditioning coach for the Player Development Program. That's one of the areas where Donald really needs to lift, is in the fitness area. He has so much upside potential. He really is a terrific striker of the ball. He's leaving a lot on the table because he hasn't been in great shape. He also just hasn't made that jump from a ball-striker to a tennis player.

I'm hopeful that he'll keep the level of commitment that he showed by being out there on his own for a couple of weeks. If he can keep that up and keep the training and keep pushing forward and take his knocks, he's without a doubt a top-50 player. It would be a real waste if he didn't reach that at a minimum. He has a lot higher potential than that. But you can't get there without the work.

I don't care how gifted you are, you talk to the guys in the top 10 and ask them what they do. None of them sit around. They're all grinding and getting the most out of their games. Donald has to continue on in the vein that he was going in early December. So I'm hopeful that he can still reach his potential, because it would be a real shame.

Ryan Harrison, on the other side of that coin, has a huge work ethic already and is firmly committed to exploring all the angles to try to find his best tennis. He's still young. He's still raw. But he's going to get there. What 'there' is we don't know. We don't know what the top in potential is there because there are a lot of factors, not just the physical ones, but the mental ones, how do you deal with pressure once you get to a certain level. You can only find out once a player gets there.

He's a great raw talent. He's a great worker. He wants it very, very badly. So that's really positive.

For the complete transcript of the conference call, see ASAP Sports.


Yoda said...

When is the USTA finally going to cry UNCLE and throw in the towel on Donald Young. After all the freebies the USTA has thrown his way, you would think he would have amounted to something by now. As Jim Courier stated, Yound is lazy and isn't willing to work to get to where he needs to go. Probabaly because he's always been handed everything and hasn't had to work for anything.

Deeper than Ball Striking said...

Young is a great player and a terrific person. He didnt ask personally to be handed everything...you look at these guys who are outside top 50 ITF as juniors and look at where they are now I mean its ridiculous...there top 50 40 even 20 in the world. The reason is not with Young Harrison Sweeting etc but with American tennis as a whole not appreciating to learn the game. Why are the Russians so good? Why are the Serbians so good because they have to play! Thats how the make it out. You take the Williams sisters when they were in Compton they were playing to get out of the projects its deeper than the game its becuase they really want it and thats what Courier is saying. Young has been spoonfed because the USTA chose to...everyone isnt going to be Lebron James and be score 20 points in his first rookie season fresh out of highschool. Those are gems. These guys need to learn how to compete not how to strike a ball. Talent can only take you so far. Needs and Wants are completely different...

Texastennismom said...

Good to see Courier very realistic and sensible about the younger players. No hype of either one.
You can't blame the USTA for everything re Young - strong sense of entitlement from him expressed many times and the parents don't seem to have been helpful at all either. A bit of Courier's realism would go a long way with the Young camp as well as with the USTA.

Play your Section said...

The USTA needs to create a structure to where the kids can develop through a system. The Regional Training Centers need to be put in place so every junior can stay at home in his/her section/region to compete towards the National level.

The USTA needs to change their endorsement criterias so you can ONLY play Nationals if you qualify through your section!

Once this is achieved then the level of tennis will improve and we will see more players in the Top 100in the World. The top players will start playing in their section again, the level will rise and American tennis will be dominant again.

Our players need to learn how to win. Winning is a habit. If our top juniors keep playing Futures at a young age or chasing ITF points then this will majorly hinder their progress. We have seen this time-n-time again.

It's really not complicated. Start playing your section, play Nationally and you will see American Champions appear again!!!

Sad Story said...

If you do not know the Donald Young situation then you shouldn't assume what happened.

The only people in charge of Donald and calling ALL the shots were his PARENTS.

They are the ones who crippled his development by playing him too high of a level and not working on his game. The parents made it about them and NOT about what is best for Donald. They proved that bad coaching can destroy a true talent.

duh said...

play your section

many junior players "know ho to win" and that is the problem because what wins in juniors does not win on the main tour. the skills needed on the tour will often cause much struggling in juniors.

Sc man said...

Colette Have you heard anything about why Mallory Cecil and devin britton have stopped playing tournaments?

Colette Lewis said...

@Sc man:
I believe Britton is playing the upcoming Challenger in Hawaii. I don't know about Cecil.

JD said...

Cecil has had some injury, I don't know what, but it's serious. She is back at Duke taking classes and is with the women's team often. I don't know if she practices with them or if she is a volunteer coach, but I hope she comes back and is healthy. Such a shame an injury derailed her career when it was starting to be on the rise.

getoffthesoapbox said...

TexasTennisMom.. How well do you know any of these people you keep commenting on? What is your tennis background? For people to comment negatively on a girl who turns pro and loses her 1st grand slam match to a top 5 player is ridiculous. Everybody on here says every child should go to college. Thats a joke. College isnt for everyone. When opportunity knocks you try and take it. Thats what Lauren Davis is doing. I am sick and tired of people saying you have to go to college to mature and get better. You can do the exact same thing while playing the tour and gaining experience on the job. You also avoid the pitfalls of too much partying and social life. Everyone has to have a wellrounde d social life so don't go off on that. That too can be had on the tour while gaining experience the right way. We all keep talking about how the Europeans are developing so how many of them go to college? Enough of that bologne already.