Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pouille Wins Second Straight Futures in Mexico; Copa Yucatan Grade 1 Starts Monday; Link to Notes on USTA's First Town Hall Meeting

Eighteen-year-old Lucas Pouille of France, who started the year playing the Australian Open Junior Championships, but then switched entirely to the ITF Men's Circuit, won his second straight title in Merida Mexico today. 

Pouille beat Wimbledon and US Open junior champion Filip Peliwo of Canada 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Neither was seeded, but between them they eliminated five of the eight seeds.

The previous week, Pouille had defeated doubles partner Mathias Bourgue of France, also 18 years old, in the final. This week they met in the quarterfinals, and again it was a straight-set win for Pouille, who had reached two Futures finals earlier this year.  In his Mexico run, Pouille did not lose in set in his ten victories.

It was Peliwo's first Futures final, with a semifinal appearance his previous best showing at that level.

Today in the Bradenton $10,000 Futures final, 15-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany lost in his first championship match at the Futures level 6-0, 6-1 to top seed Florian Reynet of France.

The ITF Grade 1 Copa Yucatan begins Monday in Mexico, with Sachia Vickery and Christina Makarova the top American girls and Mackenzie McDonald and Thai Kwiatkowski the top American boys on the acceptance list.  Qualifying should have been completed earlier today, but those draws have not yet been updated, nor have the main draws been released.  As I tweeted a couple of days ago, there were only 10 girls in qualifying, all from Mexico, while the boys draw of 64 was completely filled. For more information, see the tournament website.

The Parenting Aces blog is keeping close tabs on the USTA Junior Competition Town Hall Meetings, and after yesterday's at the Middle Atlantic section's annual meeting, someone who attended was kind enough to provide an account of the discussion.  I'm going to reserve judgment until I have more data to go on, but I will say my initial impression leaves me less optimistic than I was in October when these meetings were first announced. And to be honest, I wasn't all that optimistic back then.

For the account of the meeting, which had USTA's Lew Brewer and Scott Schultz as presenters, see this post at Parenting Aces.


art said...

A very interesting transcript. It seems that those who cannot qualify in the Mid Atlantic section are fighting for the right to go elsewhere and "buy points" and qualify through the back door. You would think that Mid Atlantic is the Florida or Southern Cal section the way they describe themselves as a strong section They are not. So here is the question: If you cannot qualify through the Mid Atlantic section should you really be allowed to go elsewhere and qualify?

Tennis5 said...

Highlights for me -

Notes from the 1st USTA Town Hall Meeting 11/17/12

Lew Brewer (LB):
the tournament structure is there: if it works for you use it, if not, don’t

[ Sounds like take it or leave it........]

the junior tennis competition committee was asked to look at changes that would increase player development, increase affordability, and decrease missed school (and missed work for parents)

[ Nobody asked him about why Winter Nationals is going bye-bye when it is during EVERYONE'S SCHOOL VACATION ACROSS THE ENTIRE US?]

in 2014 draw sizes for hard courts and clay courts will be reduced (assuming USTA approves committee’s recommendation to postpone this change for 2013)

[ Wait a minute........... the USTA didn't approve this change for 2013????????????????????]

Coach Chuck Kriese (CK): I agree with the reduction. The field at Kalamazoo has been diluted. Recently, there were 51 defaults in the backdraw. Lots of kids cramp the first day because they are not prepared to win, they are there just to have shown up. But maybe there can be a qualifying tournament.

[I like Chuck Kriese, but a lot of kids cramped the first day and threw up, ( kid on left hand side court in the flower pot), but he kept on playing. The first day was SUPER HOT this year......

51 defaults in the backdraw of the national of 192........
Has anyone ever looked at the backdraw of a sectional tournament since the new point system went into effect?
With ONE NATIONAL POINT PER WON MATCH, who stays anymore. No one...... ]

Q: If there were 51 kids pulling out of the backdraw, the majority was actually those kids who came expecting to win and wanted only to be part of main draw. It was not kids who were so excited just to get in.

Q: There are amazing kids who are between 128 and 192, or even alternates who get in and have phenomenal tournaments.

It is also much better for college coaches to have larger draws.

If a parent doesn’t want to travel, they always have that option.

LB: We could debate this issue all day and would still disagree.

[Wow, is that a response or a deflection?]

Q: Have you studied the impact of those kids between 128 and 192?

LB: Yes, we studied players who lost 1st round to see how they did in backdraw but I don’t have the results with me. There have been kids who have done very well, even a kid who made it to quarters of Kalamazoo.

[Yes, I wrote my term paper, but I don't have it with me....]

Q: much better for college coaches to have larger draw sizes.

If player is injured in summer out of luck unless they have Easter Bowl or winter nationals.

[Excellent point, why is this not addressed by LB?]

Q: at NCAA division 1 tournament, only 22 of 128 players were american.

[ That number of 22 is not right, it is higher. ]

CK: Very big and serious issue.

Only Americans in top 50 or 60 can easily play — otherwise competing against all international players.

$63 million in scholarships given to foreign players.

Q: So can’t the uSTA address this issue and help US kids play tennis for US colleges?

SS: this issue is incredibly upsetting and we have to do something.

Q: If we are not competing well internationally, how do we improve kids beyond top 50?

LB: Most kids better served by competing locally

[ Is this a listening tour or a done deal?]

Glad we are done with Junior Tennis said...

It's a done deal.. With them throwing Lew Brewer to discuss it...it's like throwing Susan Rice in front of the media....sorry folks...you got dooped! USTA Will Not Change Their Plans. Plan Accordingly...Good Luck Folks...