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Friday, January 7, 2011

December Aces; Orange Bowl Videos; Plantation Futures Underway; China's Fed Cup Juniors

I think, on January 7, 2011, I can finally get out from under the blizzard of work that accompanies the three big junior tournaments in Florida. I use the word blizzard because there is about ten inches of lake effect snow outside my window right now and 21 degrees, but it's actually not windy, so blizzard is a misnomer. In both cases--work, weather--I just mean there's a lot to deal with, and if digital photos aren't snowflakes, thousands of them can cause the same inertia.

Enough of the tortured analogies, my December Aces for the Tennis Recruiting Network are 94% junior champions from the Florida tournaments. To read about those 15 champions (Lauren Davis is the only player who won two titles), and the 16th ace, see today's post at TR.Net. The last of the videos from the Orange Bowls are now up on YouTube.

Borna Coric
Domenica Gonzalez
Oh Chanyeong
Yulia Bryzgalova
Jannick Lupescu
Grace Min
Lucas Pouille
Catherine Harrison

Florida had a couple of weeks off from tennis (Dec. 24-January 6, if you want specifics), but the Pro Circuit is back with the joint men's (10K) and women's (25K) event next week in Plantation. The men's qualifying, which is a 128-draw with no byes, began today, with a surprise player at the top of the draw. Former Kentucky Wildcat Jesse Witten, ranked No. 225, must have decided not to make the trek to Australia for qualifying, and was given a wild card into Plantation qualifying. If he makes it through the four rounds to get into the main draw, he will also probably be the top seed in the main draw, as Jesse Levine, at 288, is atop the entry list. There are too many college and junior players in the qualifying to mention. The women's qualifying is a 64 draw, which should be out Saturday. Refer to the usta.com Pro Circuit page for more information.

There were more announcements today regarding Fed Cup teams, this time for the Asia/Oceania Group I and II, and Americas Group I zonal competitions that actually start at the end of this month. Guiliana Olmos, the USC recruit, will be playing for Mexico, and there are a host of other familiar junior names on the list. It was particularly interesting to me that China was unable to recruit any of their four WTA Top 100 players. Instead the team will consist of Jing-Jing Lu (247), Yi-Miao Zhou (252) and juniors Ran Tian and Hao Chen Tang. Tian and Tang played on China's Junior Fed Cup team, which reached the final in 2010, beating the U.S. in the semifinals.