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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Eddie Herr Slideshow; Junior Orange Bowl Draws

The semifinalists in singles and finalists in doubles from the Eddie Herr are featured in this slideshow. With all the finals played at the same time, it's difficult for me to cover them adequately, but I hope this provides some recognition for the top performers at one of the most important junior tournaments of the year. Videos will be processed next month, when I am home and have more time and bandwidth. The album can be accessed from mobile devices via this link.

The Junior Orange Bowl draws have been released, with play beginning Wednesday at four sites: Boys 12s at Salvadore Park, Girls 12s at Tropical Park, Boys 14s at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne and Girls 14s at the University of Miami.  Usually the girls 14s are at Crandon Park, but with the 192 draw for the Boys 14s this year, more courts are needed, for them, especially with the unavailability of the Biltmore courts, which are under renovation. I believe all divisions except the boys 12s, which are played on Har-Tru, will play the final two days at the University of Miami. The tournament ends on December 22nd this year, one day earlier than usual.

The top four seeds in each age division:

Girls 12s (all pictured above as Eddie Herr semifinalists):
1. Noa Krznaric, Croatia
2. Elvina Kalieva, USA
3. Kylie Bilchev, Great Britain
4. Cori Gauff, USA

Boys 12s
1. Xioafei Wang, China
2. Hugo Hashimoto, USA
3. Hamad Medjedovic, Serbia
4. Saud Alhogbani, USA

Girls 14s
1. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia
2. Alexa Noel, USA
3. Luniusca Delgado, Venezuela
4. Katie Volynets, USA

Boys 14s
1. Thiago Tirante, Argentina
2. Govind Nanda, USA
3. Chun Hsin Tseng, Taiwan
4. Timofey Skatov, Russia

Seeding in the 12s and 14s is always difficult, with limited cross play among countries and no global ranking system. And with only 16 seeds in a 128-draw, there aren't many seeds available period.

That said, the committee didn't seed USTA 12s champion Nikki Yanez, who reached quarterfinals at the Eddie Herr, nor did ITF No. 134 and Grade A Osaka Mayors Cup finalist Yuki Naito of Japan receive a Girls 14s seed. Naito played 18s at the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl and she is in the same quarter as Noel, as is Kacie Harvey, another strong ITF player who is not seeded.

It's hard to imagine just what Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan would have to do to get a No. 1 seed after winning Les Petits As and the Eddie Herr this year, but at least he is among the top four seeds.

Complete draws and times for Wednesday's matches are at the TennisLink site.


JuniorTennisFan said...

The seeding at Orange Bowl is inequitable, particularly in Boys 12s. It rewards players with seeds who continue to play in 12s until basically the bitter end of the age group, while other top 12 year old(s)who have stopped playing 12s months ago at the top of the age group and are winning National events in 14s, and who have done very well at past Orange Bowls (eg. last year's consolation winner as an 11 year old) are not seeded at all. We all know who this player is. It is unfair for this player who is not seeded to play the #1 kid from another country in the first round, who curiously was also not seeded. That is not fair to either player to have a first round match like this, when other seeded players are having first round matches that are like 0&0. The seeding committee should stop just applying a rote application of the National Seeding List to determine the seeding at Orange Bowl and use other criteria that make far more sense.

JuniorTennisFan said...

And yes, we all know that to win the tournament, as a seeded or unseeded player, you must be able to beat all of the players in the draw - at least in theory. That is not the point. Seeding is always important and valuable -- otherwise we would not bother to do it.

Doesn't matter said...

Once you get a player in the college and/or the pros, you will realize how insignificant Orange Bowl or any other event is for a 12 year old in the overall scheme of things. It's just a blip on a very large map, plus the top 12s tend to disappear, just watch the next few years. Draws are seldom perfect in the higher level tournaments but you just have to deal with the draw because yes, the strongest do survive, and yes, they do need to win every match to win the tournament.