Tiafoe Makes History as Youngest Orange Bowl Boys Champion; Flink Claims Girls Title
Crowds packed the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Florida
for the boys Metropolia Orange Bowl final Sunday, knowing they would
see history made. When Francis Tiafoe fired an ace to defeat fellow
15-year-old American Stefan Kozlov 7-6(3), 0-6, 6-3, he became the
youngest winner in the history of the boys 18s competition. In the
girls final, top seed Varvara Flink of Russia defeated No. 2 seed
Ivana Jorovic of Serbia 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Majchrzak, Ostapenko Take Eddie Herr ITF Titles; Four Americans Win Championships
Top seeds and surprise winners collected trophies last week at the
Eddie Herr International Championships, with four Americans claiming
titles at the prestigious event held at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in
The month of November features a collegiate major as well as the last
chance for those outside the top 100 to make a push for direct entry
into the Australian Open. It also ushers in the brief offseason for
the professional tours, allowing youngsters to collect valuable
ranking points at Futures and Challenger events around the world, an
opportunity many of those cited below did not waste.
Black, Kozlov Among Favorites at Eddie Herr International ITF
Since 2012, when the tournament moved to the Har-Tru courts at the IMG
Bollettieri Academy, an American has yet to reach the finals of the
Eddie Herr International. Fifteen-year-olds Stefan Kozlov and Tornado
Alicia Black, both former Eddie Herr champions, lead the US field
attempting to end that streak this year.
Loeb and Thompson Claim USTA/ITA Indoor Titles
The freshman's title was no surprise, while the senior's run to the
championship caught everyone off guard at the USTA/ITA Indoor
Intercollegiate Championships earlier this month. Eighteen-year-old
All-American champion Jamie Loeb of North Carolina dethroned defending
champion Robin Anderson of UCLA 6-3 6-2 in the final, but the Bruins
got their title when Clay Thompson defeated Jared Hiltzik of Illinois
6-4, 7-5 in the men's championship match.
Fall Signing Week '13: Catanzariti Heads South to College Station
Blue Chip A.J. Catanzariti made his official visit to Texas A&M
during one of the biggest football games of the year - with the Aggies
and 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel hosting the national champion
Alabama Crimson Tide. But by that time, the 18-year-old from
Pittsburgh had already decided Texas A&M was the right choice for
his path to professional tennis.
Fall Signing Week '13: Wahoos Welcome Wiersholm
On his official visit to the University of Virginia last month, Henrik
Wiersholm met not only the dean of the McIntire School of Commerce but
head basketball coach Tony Bennett and star guard Joe Harris. That
combination typifies what the 16-year-old from Kirkland, Wash. is
looking for in the college experience, as he has committed to play for
the Cavaliers while preparing for a professional tennis career.
Both college and junior tennis feature important tournaments during
the month, while the many post-US Open tournaments present aspiring
professionals with an opportunity to boost their ATP and WTA rankings.
Throw in a memorable Davis Cup debut and the result is a multitude of
October aces, 17 in all.
Countdown: Hannah King Returns to Athens
Hannah King was born in Athens, Georgia, yet playing tennis for the
Bulldogs was by no means a certainty for the Alpharetta, Ga. resident.
Two major shoulder surgeries kept her from competing most of the past
two years, with continual pain testing her resolve. Only her
unwavering determination to pursue the sport despite the many setbacks
has led the 17-year-old high school senior back to Athens. She committed
to Coach Jeff Wallace and the Georgia program just a few days ago.
Black and Tiafoe Claim ITF Pan American Titles in Tulsa
The field for the International Tennis Federation's Grade B1 Pan
American Closed can draw competitors from as far north as Canada and
as far south as Argentina. But this year, all four titles belonged to
Americans, with Tornado Alicia Black beating compatriot Kaitlyn
McCarthy 6-0, 6-0 for the girls singles championship, and Francis
Tiafoe downing Californian Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-0 to capture one of his
two titles last weekend at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at the
University of Tulsa.
Virginia's Frank Takes Second All-American Championship in Tulsa
For all the upsets and unexpected results at the St Francis Health
System ITA Men's All American Championships in Tulsa last week, the
winner was hardly a surprise. Mitchell Frank of the University of
Virginia collected his second ITA All-American singles championship,
running his winning streak at the event to 12, after recording a 6-3,
6-0 victory over Oklahoma's Guillermo Alcorta.
The month began with the last junior slam of the season and ended with
several teens claiming their first professional titles, while current
and former college stars continued to climb the ATP rankings in both
singles and doubles.
Media Tips for Young Tennis Players
Many junior tennis players pattern their games and on-court attitudes
after professional players, but juniors rarely see their favorite
players interact with the media. Although it may not have the same
importance as developing a reliable kick serve or a slice backhand,
learning to handle media requests and inquiries is part of the
education of a developing player. The USTA recognizes that, annually
conducting media training sessions.
Martin Redlicki to Join Brother Michael at Duke
Despite heights suitable for basketball, tennis is the sport of choice
for 6-foot-8 Michael Redlicki and his younger brother Martin, who is
6-foot-5. But basketball terminology probably best describes Martin's
decision to join Michael, currently a sophomore at Duke, in the fall
of 2014, with the choice resembling a layup rather than a slam dunk.
Former Cavaliers Huey and Inglot Reach ATP Doubles Heights
While teammates at the University of Virginia, Dom Inglot and Treat
Huey never played doubles together. But several years later, their
friendship led them to join forces on the ATP tour, where they are
currently ranked 14th in world.
Croatia's Coric and Konjuh Sweep US Open Junior Singles Titles
Competitors from 37 countries began a quest for the US Open boys and
girls singles titles, yet when the final point of the tournament was
played last Sunday, one country, Croatia, had captured them both.
No. 2 seed Ana Konjuh and No. 4 seed Borna Coric both staged comebacks
to defeat unseeded opponents in the finals, with Konjuh squeezing past
wild card Tornado Alicia Black of the United States 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6)
and Coric downing Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Even without highlighting most of the eight USTA National Champions,
who were covered thoroughly last month by the Tennis Recruiting
Network, there is barely room for the large number of outstanding
performances by college and junior players. The bar was so high
winning one ITF Pro Circuit event in August wasn't sufficient to earn
a mention, as the stars of tomorrow begin to raise their rankings and
Bencic, Zverev Lead US Open Junior Fields
The summer of 2013 has belonged to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic, who
aims for her third consecutive junior slam title at the US Open Junior
Championships next week. Bencic will be tested by a deep and
accomplished field that features every member of the ITF junior Top
10. On the boys' side, the draw is missing four of the current ITF Top
10, including No. 1 Nick Kyrgios of Australia.
Altamirano Makes History in Kalamazoo 18s
When seventeen-year-old Collin Altamirano returns to defend the USTA
Boys 18s Nationals he won Sunday afternoon at Kalamazoo College's Stowe
Stadium, he won't be an underdog. After defeating No. 14 seed Jared
Donaldson 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in a best-of-five match, Altamirano is now in
the record books as the only unseeded player ever to win a singles
title in the 71-year history of the Kalamazoo National Championships.
Tommy Paul Takes Second National 16s Title
Tommy Paul arrived in Kalamazoo as the 16s Clay Court champion in
singles and doubles, and when the wet week was over, Paul left the
USTA National Championships with a third gold ball, winning the 16s
singles championship with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over his friend and
roommate Jake DeVine.
Aces from April, May and June continued to shine in July, whether on
European clay, Wimbledon grass or US hard courts. Several current and former
college players used the summer to earn ATP or WTA points, while the
World University Games provided lifelong memories for members of the
University of Southern California's men's and women's teams.
Top Seeds Brymer, Kumar Take Aim at Kalamazoo Championships
Gage Brymer and Sameer Kumar are looking to add Kalamazoo
championships to the Asics Easter Bowl titles they won this spring as
the USTA Boys 16 and 18 Nationals begin this weekend in Kalamazoo.
Ouellet-Pizer Claims First Gold Ball at Clays
The July weather in Memphis is predictable - hot and humid - but the
results of the Girls 18s Clay Courts last week at the Racquet Club of
Memphis definitely were not. A week of upsets ended with 15-year-old
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer defeating unseeded Terri Fleming 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1
to claim her first gold ball in USTA competition.
What Coaches Look For at a Tournament
Now that the July 1 contact date for rising seniors is past, the
college recruiting season is peaking. While attending the USTA Girls
18s Clay Courts this week in Memphis, Tennessee, I spoke to several
college coaches to find out what they are looking for when they attend
a major National tournament, particularly on a surface that very few
collegians compete on as student-athletes.
Day, McNally Take 16s National Open Titles; Shaffer Claims 18s Championship
Thirteen-year-old Kayla Day came a long way from her Santa Barbara
California home last week to compete in the 16s National Open in
Kalamazoo, but her first trip to Michigan proved a successful one as
she claimed the title in her first national tournament in that
division. John McNally and Kennedy Shaffer took the boys 16s and girls
18s titles, respectively, on a warm and sunny day at the legendary
Stowe Stadium courts at Kalamazoo College.
The month began with two new junior slam winners, while some of their
young competition in Paris raised winners' trophies at professional
events around the world. Not to be outdone, both NCAA men's singles
finalists and three other college stars won Futures titles to start
the summer on a positive note.
Top-Ranked Juniors Kyrgios and Bencic Aim to Conquer Wimbledon Junior Championships
Last year the Wimbledon Junior Championships belonged to Canada, with
Eugenie Bouchard and Filip Peliwo claiming the country's first two
junior slam singles titles. Bouchard and Peliwo have now moved on to
professional careers, but another 128 competitors are eager to raise
their profiles in the tennis world with similar performances at the
All England Club.
Ohio State's Home Winning Streak at Ten Years and Counting
Few would argue that a streak of any significance owes something to
luck. But as the Ohio State men's tennis team looks to extend their
stretch of home victories past the current number of 172, what stands
out is how few close calls the Buckeyes have had in that 10-year span.
An Interview with USTA's Collegiate Team National Coach Dustin Taylor
The United States Tennis Association's Collegiate Team has been a part
of the USTA's commitment to college tennis since 1996, but beginning
this spring, it's taking a new direction. USTA Player Development
National Coach Dustin Taylor was selected to take over responsibility
for the program, and he began formulating his strategies for assisting
college players in February. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com talked with
Taylor about his new position and his goals.
May usually has its share of college aces, with the NCAAs always
producing impressive performances. But the month's accomplishments
extend to former collegians as well, with so many success stories I
had to confine the list to those who had won at least two pro titles
Gibbs Defends NCAA Singles Title, Rola Thwarts Jenkins' Bid for Triple Crown
NCAA titles in 2012 didn't satisfy Stanford's Nicole Gibbs and Ohio
State's Blaz Rola, who returned to the Division I Individual
Championships at the University of Illinois hungry for more. Gibbs
defeated Nebraska's Mary Weatherholt to earn a second straight singles
title to go with her 2012 doubles championship and the 2013 team
title, while Rola downed Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins to add a singles
title to the doubles championship he won last year.
Virginia Men Claim First, Stanford Women Collect Seventeenth NCAA Team Championship
For the Virginia men, it was a long delayed first title; for the
Stanford women, it was title 17, but the only numbers that mattered
Tuesday in the finals of NCAA Division I Team Championships at the
Khan Outdoor Tennis Center at the University of Illinois was 4-3, the
score of Virginia's win over UCLA and Stanford's win over Texas A&M.
Sanford, Oosterbaan Capture National Open Titles
Unseasonably cold temperatures didn't stop Midwesterners Anna Sanford
and Paul Oosterbaan from capturing the singles titles at the USTA 18s
National Open at the Canepa Tennis Center in East Grand Rapids,
Michigan. Sanford defeated Alexis Nelson 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, while
Oosterbaan edged Tom Fawcett 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4).
Ramp It Up - New Academy Opens in Southern California
The Home Depot Center in Carson, California, site of the USTA Training
Center-West, has a new source of activity this spring with the
opening of the RAMP Tennis Academy.
April's aces are centered on the two major Southern California junior
events, with the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships and
the Easter Bowl responsible for nine of the juniors featured here. Yet
juniors from around the world also made their mark on the ITF
professional circuit, with four of them picking up their first titles
at that level.
Hance and Daniel Take 14s Easter Bowl Titles; Bellis and Kumar Earn 16s Championships
Connor Hance and Jaeda Daniel both came from behind to collect USTA
Spring Nationals Easter Bowl 14s gold balls, while 16s champions CiCi
Bellis and Sameer Kumar posted straightforward wins in the finals, as
the historic tournament's 46th year came to a close earlier this month
in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Brymer and Hibi Earn Impressive Doubles at Easter Bowl ITF
Irvine, California can call itself the city of Easter Bowl champions
after residents Mayo Hibi and Gage Brymer claimed titles at the
International Tennis Federation Grade B1 tournament at the Sunrise
Country Club in Rancho Mirage.
Hibi, Kozlov Claim ITF Grade 1 Titles at International Spring Championships
Mayo Hibi and Stefan Kozlov survived tough opening round matches at
the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif.
last week, using those wins as springboards for their first Grade 1
The first month of spring was packed with head-turning performances,
from the clay courts of South America to the hard courts of Mobile,
Miami and beyond.
Countdown: Oosterbaan Heads South to Georgia
Looking up isn't something 6-foot-8 blue chip Paul Oosterbaan does
often, at least literally. But when the 17-year-old verbally committed
to the University of Georgia, he had two even taller national
champions serving as inspirations: 6-foot-9 John Isner, who led
Georgia to the NCAA team title in 2007, and his 6-foot-10 father J.P.,
a member of the University of Michigan's 1989 NCAA National
Championship basketball team.
McCarthy Sweeps Titles, Orkin Claims First Gold Ball at USTA 18s National Spring Championships
A year after the Midwest section swept the boys and girls 18s National
Spring Championships' singles titles, the Southern section did the
same, with Elliott Orkin of Marietta, Georgia and Kaitlyn McCarthy of
Cary, North Carolina taking home what is likely the last gold balls
awarded by the tournament, in its ninth year at the Mobile Tennis
Liang Wins Talbert Award, Looks Ahead to Harvard
Spencer Liang was recently named one of the four national winners of
the 2012 USTA Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, an honor that
signifies how she's matured during her junior career. Next year, the
blue chip senior will take her talents to Cambridge, Mass., and
compete for the Harvard Crimson.
Mobile Ready for Ninth USTA 18s National Spring Championships
When the Easter Bowl 18s went from a USTA tournament to an
International Tennis Federation Grade 1 back in 2005, a new event was
necessary to provide a fourth gold ball opportunity for that age
group. The Mobile Tennis Center filled that gap, and has been hosting
the 128-draw National Spring Championships for boys and girls ever
since, with the ninth edition scheduled to begin Sunday and run
through Saturday March 16th.
February may be a short month, but it was long on excitement, with
blockbuster finishes to the three ITA National Team Indoor
Championships. In addition to the college stars stepping up, young
players from the United States, Europe and South America had an impact
on the professional scene, including the ATP and WTA tours.
Weatherholt Leads Nebraska to New Heights
Kansas City's Mary Weatherholt was not quite five years old when
Lindsay Davenport's Olympic gold medal in Atlanta inspired her to take
up the sport. Despite setbacks along the way, the Nebraska Cornhusker
senior has nurtured that initial love of the game, leading her team to
new heights while establishing herself as one of the nation's top
North Carolina Claims First National Team Title at ITA Women's Indoor Championships
The University of North Carolina Tar Heels arrived in Charlottesville,
Virginia last week for the ITA Women's Team Indoor ranked eighth in
the country. They left the Boar's Head Sports Club with wins over No.
4 Southern California, No. 3 Duke, and No. 2 UCLA in successive
matches, claiming the program's first national team championship and
the No. 1 ranking with a heart-pounding 4-3 victory over the defending
From the USTA Winter National champions to the outstanding
performances of young women like Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens at
the Australian Open, January provided many new players to watch in
2013. The thirteen aces below may not have been quite as visible, yet
their accomplishments are worth acknowledging too.
Top Seeds Langmo, Kirkov, Mateas Take Tennis Plaza Cup Titles
The weather was outstanding and so were the top seeds at the USTA
Regional Level 3 tournament in Coral Gables, Florida, with six of the
eight No. 1 seeds winning titles in the three-day, 32-draw events held
at five sites in the Miami area.
Miami Women Earn Trip to ITA Team Indoor
University of Miami's head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews knows her team
landed on the right side of a thin line Saturday, winning a tense and
unpredictable dual match with Arizona State 4-3 to earn a trip to the
ITA Team Indoor in Charlottesville, Virginia next month.
Eight Intriguing Questions for 2013
Another year... and another edition of "Intriguing Questions" from
columnist Colette Lewis. Today, Colette poses eight questions about
junior and college tennis.
Doyle Commits to Cardinal
Sixteen-year-old Caroline Doyle was born and raised in San Francisco,
so it's no surprise Stanford University was at the top of her list
when she began considering college tennis programs. She had visited
the Palo Alto campus many times while attending her cousin's
volleyball games, struck each time by its pastoral beauty.
The end of the 2012 junior tennis season and the beginning of 2013's
mean a crowded December calendar when the rest of the tennis world is
mostly dormant. Last month began with the ITF Grade 1 Eddie Herr
championships in Florida and ended in Mexico City, where the first
Grade A champions of 2013 got an early start to the year.
Americans Mmoh and Desiatnikov Capture Junior Orange Bowl Titles; Lumsden, Oliel Post Historic Wins
Seven days of beautiful South Florida weather at the 51st Junior
Orange Bowl provided a perfect backdrop for three new champions and
one champion collecting a second title. Michael Mmoh of the United
States, the 2010 12s champion, added the 14s title to his resume,
while Abigail Desiatnikov of the US, Maia Lumsden of Great Britain and
Yshai Oliel of Israel received their first winner's bowl of oranges
last Sunday in Coral Gables, Florida.
Magnus Norman Seeks to Boost Swedish Tennis at Good to Great Academy
When Magnus Norman retired from the ATP tour in 2004, he didn't pick
up a tennis racquet for three years. When he began to miss tennis,
Norman began coaching Sweden's Robin Soderling, who went from 37 to 5
in the ATP rankings while working with Norman. With his girl friend
expecting twins, Norman wanted to travel less, so he decided to
concentrate on developing a private high performance academy.
Konjuh, Djere Cap Two Tough Weeks with Orange Bowl Titles; Rublev, Liang Take 16s
Croatia's Ana Konjuh and Serbia's Laslo Djere finished the ITF 2012
Junior Circuit with two weeks worth of outstanding tennis, following
their success at the Eddie Herr International with Grade A Orange Bowl
titles last week on the Har-Tru courts of the Frank Veltri Tennis
Center in Plantation, Florida.
Konjuh, Garin Win ITF Eddie Herr Titles; Douglas, Norris Give US Girls Championships in 12s and 16s
At the end of a week of flawless tennis weather at the Eddie Herr
International Tennis Championships at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in
Bradenton, Fla., eight players from seven countries took home not just
the winners' trophies, but the knowledge that they can compete with and
beat the world's best.
The WTA and ATP may be in the midst of their brief off-seasons, but
November still provided performances worth noting on the junior,
collegiate and pro circuits, including the 14 young players below.
Smaller Fields for 12s and 14s at 2012 Eddie Herr
For those starting out in international junior tennis, Florida's Eddie
Herr tournament is often their first look at the United States. This
year, with IMG taking over management of the tournament, the 12s and
14s main draws are smaller, going from 128 in the 12s and 112 in the
14s to 64, with the qualifying draws also limited to 64 players.
Townsend, Rubin Aim for Eddie Herr ITF Titles
As in 2011, when the surface used for the 18s ITF Grade 1
tournament went from hard courts to clay courts, the 2012 version of
the Eddie Herr International at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy has
some changes in store.
Jenkins and Anderson Impress with USTA/ITA Indoor Titles
Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia and Robin Anderson of UCLA were hardly
prohibitive favorites at the start of the USTA/ITA Indoor
Intercollegiate Championships, held earlier this month at the USTA
Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY. But both
competitors brought their "A" games to New York - both won titles
without losing a set.
Juniors Shine at First USTA Collegiate Invitational for Women
Last year, the Napa Valley Classic featured eight USTA junior boys and
players from six men's college teams competing in a round robin
competition. Grant Chen, then Director of Tennis at UCLA, loved the
idea, and he wanted to organize a similar event for women. His efforts
came to fruition last weekend in Oregon, where college and junior players
participated in the USTA Collegiate Invitational, presented by Adidas.
The winners of last month's first collegiate majors and an important
ITF Junior event always appear on the list of October's top
performances, but teenage success on the many Pro Circuit events
across the globe also grabs the spotlight, as the fight for year-end
rankings adds urgency to every tournament result.
Countdown: King, van Overbeek Mobilize Community
Michigan's Evan King and Florida's Bob van Overbeek thought that
proposed format changes to NCAA Division I tennis - including
super-tiebreaks in singles competition - were jokes. Once they
confirmed the proposed changes were real, the two started a Facebook
group. That group mobilized the community and led to a Twitter event,
online petition, and mainstream media coverage. The NCAA has since
rescinded the changes.
Pan American Championships Go To Rubin, Abanda
Canadian success has been one of the top stories in junior tennis this
year, with that theme continuing last week at the ITF B1 Pan American
Closed in Tulsa, where three of the four singles finalists were from
the Land of the Maple Leaf. Francoise Abanda defeated compatriot Carol
Zhao in a marathon girls final 76(5), 4-6, 7-5, while 2011 Pan
American finalist Noah Rubin of the US prevented a Canadian sweep by
downing Hugo Di Feo 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Virginia's Domijan Collects Second ITA All-American Title
After winning the 2010 IT All-American championship as a freshman,
the University of Virginia's Alex Domijan was unable to defend his
title last year due to injury. Teammate Mitchell Frank kept the trophy
in Charlottesville with his title last year, and there it will stay,
after Domijan defeated unseeded Ohio State Buckeye Peter Kobelt 7-5,
6-1 in the championship match.
September was a busy month, with considerable success dotting the
calendar for US junior girls. It began with two US Open junior
championships and ended with the United States capturing the Junior
Fed Cup in Barcelona. In addition, no fewer than six girls aged
18-and-under from around the world captured titles on the ITF Women's
Circuit, while former college stars also picked up championship
Host Illinois Provides Unique Atmosphere at Olympia Fields Invitational
Golf has always been king at the Olympia Fields Country Club in the
southern suburbs of Chicago, the home of the 2003 US Open. But with
the introduction of the Olympia Fields Invitational six years ago,
college tennis is now a new member of the royal box.
Crawford, Peliwo Win US Open Junior Titles
Canada's Filip Peliwo had played in more junior slam finals than
American Samantha Crawford had entered, yet when a challenging weather
week in New York drew to a close, both had claimed US Open Junior
Burdette Begins Pro Career After Stellar Summer
All-American Mallory Burdette wasn't convinced she wanted the life of
a professional tennis player until this summer, when the 21-year-old
from Jackson, Georgia played four professional tournaments in a period
of four weeks in July and August. Shortly after her third-round loss
in the U.S. Open to Maria Sharapova, Burdette decided to forego her senior
season at Stanford and turn pro.
With one exception, the USTA National champions, all of whom received
an article devoted to their victories last month on Tennis Recruiting
Network, aren't included in this month's Aces. But here's one last hat
tip to Vicky Duval, Kimberly Yee, Henrik Wiersholm, Sofia Kenin,
Taylor Fritz, Abigail Desiatnikov, and Roscoe Bellamy for their
championship runs as we look back on the other outstanding
performances in August.
Four Juniors Seek Second Slam Title at US Open
When the US Open Junior Championships kick off Sunday, two boys and
two girls will be seeking their second junior slam singles title and
with it, a boost toward the coveted year-end title of ITF World Junior
The Case for a Junior Davis Cup Team
Tennis has undergone many changes in the years since Michael Chang,
Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Pete Sampras were playing junior tennis
in the mid-80s. Few will shed a nostalgic tear for the short shorts
and mullets in fashion back then, but one institution of that era is
still spoken of in revered tones - the USTA Junior Davis Cup team.
Novikov Earns First Gold Balls, Wild Cards in 18s
Dennis Novikov has been a top junior since the 14s age group, but a
USTA gold ball had proved elusive until last weekend's USTA Boys 18
National Championship in Kalamazoo, when he collected two. Those two
had added luster, courtesy of the main draw US Open wild cards he
received for claiming the singles title over Alexios Halebian 7-6(3),
2-6, 6-3, 6-4, as well the doubles title a day earlier.
Wiersholm Sweeps 16s Titles in Kalamazoo Debut
When a tournament has 70 years of history, chances are any
accomplishment has a precedent. But to find a player younger than
15-year-old Henrik Wiersholm who swept both singles and doubles titles
at the USTA Boys 16 Nationals at Kalamazoo, you would have to go back
to 1971, when 14-year-old Billy Martin, the current men's head coach
at UCLA, won both championships.
Krueger, Stewart Headline Kalamazoo's 70th Year
Seventy years of competition produces a long list of champions, with
Kalamazoo's honor roll including such grand slam winners as Rod Laver,
Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors and Michael Chang. Two Mitches hope to join
them this year, with 18s top seed Krueger and 16s top seed Stewart
heading their divisions when the 70th edition of the USTA National
Boys 18 and 16 Championships begins today at Kalamazoo College and
Western Michigan University.
July saw the crowning of the eight National Clay Court champions, but
they don't appear among last month's 14 aces due to the extensive
coverage of the Clays last week on the Tennis Recruiting Network.
Instead, the focus is on Canadian and European juniors, as well as
current and former college players having great results last month.
Collins Claims Girls 18s Clay Court Championship
With her focus on senior activities and graduating with her class at
Northeast High in St. Petersburg, Fla. in June, Danielle Collins
didn't play a tournament for five months. When Collins did return to
the Girls' 18 Clays, she showed few signs of rust, claiming her third
singles gold ball in the 18s division with a 6-1, 6-4 win over
fourth-seeded Jamie Loeb in the final.
Brian Baker's Comeback Captivates US Juniors
Ten years ago, Brian Baker was playing the Wimbledon Juniors with
hopes and dreams for a professional tennis career. But a series of
health issues dashed those dreams. Just over a year ago, at age 26,
Baker finally felt ready to take another shot at professional tennis.
After some early successes, Baker went through qualifying at Wimbledon
without dropping a set, then won three more matches to bring his ATP
ranking to 76.
Bouchard and Peliwo Claim Canada's First Junior Slam Championships at Wimbledon
When the Wimbledon Junior Championships began, Canada was still
seeking its first singles title in junior grand slam history. When the
cool and damp week of continual rain delays was over, Canada had two,
with Eugenie Bouchard defeating Elina Svitolina for the girls title,
and Filip Peliwo downing defending champion Luke Saville to claim the
boys title at the All England Club.
The transition from clay to grass marks the beginning of summer in the
tennis world, with many of the May aces handling that change without
losing their momentum. Led by the tennis story of the year, June gave
us accomplishments from recent and former collegians, as well as
teenagers who are climbing up the professional and junior rankings.
Wimbledon Juniors: Saville Aims for Second Wimbledon Boys Title, Townsend Top Seed in Girls Draw
The world's top two juniors have contrasting histories as they
approach the Wimbledon Junior Championships, which begin Saturday at
the All England Club. Eighteen-year-old Australian Luke Saville is the
defending champion, winning the first of his two junior slams there
last year, while 16-year-old American Taylor Townsend has never played
a match on the world's most famous grass courts.
An Interview with Lisa Stone, The Tennis Mom Behind the Parenting Aces Blog
A banker, a stockbroker, a fitness instructor and tech-savvy
entrepreneur, Lisa Stone has had a variety of experiences in her
working life. Yet tennis has been a constant companion since her
childhood in Louisiana, with her latest venture, the blog Parenting
Aces, created in response to the challenges she and her husband faced
in navigating the junior tennis world with their son Morgan.
The Target is Always the Top: An Interview with Florida Women's Coach Roland Thornqvist
Colette Lewis had an opportunity to talk with Florida Head Coach
Roland Thornqvist in Athens, Ga. last month, just a few days after his
team's 4-0 victory over UCLA in the final. In this question and answer
segment, he reveals what he looks for in a recruit, how a bad year by
Florida standards led to two NCAA team titles, and the one thing that
college tennis needs.
May revolves around college tennis for me, and five of last month's 14
aces emerged from Athens, Ga., the site of the NCAA Division I
championships. But from Thailand to Hilton Head, from Brazil to
Sweden, there were juniors making waves in the minor leagues of
professional tennis, taking on challenges and succeeding despite their
relative lack of experience.
Johnson, Gibbs Claim NCAA Titles at Historic NCAA Division I Championships
After the drama of the team tournament, the individual portion of the
2012 NCAA Division I championships wasn't expected to approach those
impressive heights. But the singles and doubles tournaments somehow
found a way to equal it with one unprecedented accomplishment after
another in the steamy, midsummer-like conditions at the Dan Magill
Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
USC Men Claim Fourth Straight NCAA Team Title, while Florida Women Go Back-to-Back
Winning one NCAA team title is difficult. Only 21 programs have
managed to do it in over six decades of competition in Division I
collegiate tennis. But the USC men and Florida women are making a
habit of it, with Trojans collecting their fourth in row with a 4-2
win over Virginia and the Gators going back-to-back with a 4-0 victory
over UCLA Tuesday in Athens, Ga.
Bolender Leads Michigan over Texas A&M for Sweet 16 Berth
On a cloudy afternoon in Ann Arbor, sophomore Brooke Bolender put the
15th-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet 16 for the third
consecutive year. The home crowd erupted on every point in the final
set, as Bolender defeated Nazari Urbina of Texas A&M 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
at No. 2 singles for a 4-3 victory.
Todd Martin Embraces Teaching Role
Two-time Grand Slam finalist Todd Martin retired from the ATP tour in
2004, but he never left the game. Among other things, Martin has
served as a coach to both Mardy Fish and Novak Djokovic, and he has
competed on the two major senior tours. In the coming months, Martin
plans to organize his own junior academy at a club in Florida. Colette
Lewis recently had the chance to chat with Martin.
The epicenter of April's aces is always Southern California, where the
two major ITF and USTA junior events produce ten champions. But a pair
of 12-year-olds picked up Spring National championships in Florida, a
17-year-old won two Pro Circuit events in Turkey, and a remarkable
comeback story unfolded in Savannah, Ga., one that will lead directly
to Roland Garros later this month.
Higuchi and Blumberg Claim Easter Bowl 14s Titles; Broda and DiGiulio are 16s Champions
The 45th Easter Bowl USTA National Spring Championships had its share
of surprises. Only one No. 1 seed, Emma Higuchi in girls 14s, making
it through to the finals. Champions Higuchi, William Blumberg, Joe
DiGiulio and Brooke Broda overcame all the week's obstacles, leaving
Rancho Mirage with six gold balls in tow.
ITF Easter Bowl Titles are Early Birthday Gifts for McDonald and Townsend
Mackenzie McDonald and Taylor Townsend were both born on April 16th,
one year apart. Last weekend, one day apart, they claimed ITF Easter
Bowl titles at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage,
Krueger and Kiick Claim International Spring Championships in Carson
Top seed Mitchell Krueger and seventh seed Allie Kiick punctuated an
impressive week of tennis with superb performances in the finals at
the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif.
last week. Krueger downed 14-year-old Stefan Kozlov 6-3, 6-4, while
Kiick defeated longtime rival Chalena Scholl 6-0, 6-2 in the Easter
morning championship matches at the Home Depot Center.
Spring Signing Week '12: Chi Goes West to Join Bears
It's not often a Floridian cites weather as a reason for relocating,
but blue chip senior Lynn Chi offers that as one of many reasons she
will be signing a National Letter of Intent to attend the University
of California-Berkeley this fall.
Although hard courts are never out of season and hosted the majority
of last month's top performances, red clay was not far behind. The ITF
junior South American circuit produced four March aces, including two
Americans who had breakout results on the unfamiliar surface, while a
former Roland Garros champion collected her first professional win on
clay courts in Tunisia.
Austin, Schneider Give Indiana Sweep of Spring National Singles Titles
When Brooke Austin and Ronnie Schneider play their next practice set
in Indianapolis, expect the fiercely competitive pair to bring even
more intensity to their workout. After each captured a gold ball at
last week's USTA 18s Spring National Championships, that next set
could determine the overall champion among the 256 boys and girls who
competed in Mobile, Ala.
No. 1 Schneider Commits to North Carolina for 2013
Ronnie Schneider, the top recruit in the class of 2013, had 24
colleges on his list when he started working through the process
during his sophomore year. After winning the 16s title in Kalamazoo
last August, that list was whittled down to 10, and last month there
was just one school remaining - North Carolina, which has received
Schneider's verbal commitment.
Cavalier Freshman Frank Makes Quick Ascent to Top of Rankings
Less than a semester into his college career, University of Virginia
freshman Mitchell Frank had already put his name in the exclusive
company of James Blake, MaliVai Washington and Sargis Sargsian, the
only other collegians to have won both the ITA All-American and
USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Frank's titles
propelled him to the top of the Campbell/ITA national rankings, even
though he is now playing No. 3 for the star-studded Cavaliers.
With no major junior tournaments during the month, the spotlight falls
on the ITA Team Indoor championships, former collegians picking up
titles around the world, and teenagers claiming professional titles
from Mildura to Monterrey to Moscow.
USC Edges Ohio State to Claim First ITA Men's Team Indoor Championship in 24 Years
Despite their position as three-time defending NCAA champions, the USC
Trojans were not overwhelming favorites for the ITA Men's Team Indoor
Championships, held last week at the Boar's Head Sports Club in
Charlottesville, Va. But thanks to freshman Yannick Hanfmann, top seed
USC battled to a 4-3 win over No. 3 Ohio State in the final,
delivering the storied program its first Team Indoor title since 1988.
UCLA Downs Duke for First ITA Women's Team Indoor Title
In her 16 years heading the UCLA women's tennis program, Stella
Sampras Webster's teams had reached the NCAA finals three times,
winning the title in 2008. But the Bruins had not had the same success
at the ITA Team Indoor Championships. That all changed Monday, when
the contributions of its four outstanding freshmen culminated in a 4-0
UCLA victory over top seed Duke for the Bruins first Team Indoor
January was a banner month for outstanding performances, especially by
young Americans. The eight gold ball winners from the Winter Nationals
kicked off the month, which ended with title sweeps for a pair of
American teens at two of the most prestigious junior events in the
Michigan Survives Yale to Advance to ITA Team Indoor
Although only a sophomore, Michigan's Brooke Bolender had already felt
the sting of losing the last match in an important dual contest. So
when she faced a tiebreaker against Yale's Blair Seideman Sunday at
No. 2 singles, with a place in the ITA Team Indoor Championships on
the line, Bolender was prepared. Michigan won the ITA Kickoff Weekend
in Ann Arbor to advance.
Unseeded Wiersholm, Daniel Take Tennis Plaza Cup Titles
While many of the USTA Level 3 Regional Tournament Segments in other
parts of the country were plagued by rain last weekend, the Tennis
Plaza Cup in Coral Gables had nothing but warm temperatures and sunny
skies for its eight divisions, held at four different sites.
World No. 1s Take Aim at Australian Open Junior Titles
The Australian Open Junior Championships, which begin Sunday, don't
regularly attract all the world's best juniors, with the long and
expensive trip Down Under a primary reason many opt for other
competitive options this time of year. But in 2012, ITF World Junior
No. 1s Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Luke Saville of Australia will
be competing in Melbourne, hoping to secure their places at the top
with an Australian Open title.
Eight Intriguing Questions for 2012
Every January, columnist Colette Lewis of Zootennis takes time to
reflect on the state of junior and college tennis. She distills some
of her thoughts into a column that we are fortunate enough to run here
The final set of aces for 2011 centers on the major international
junior events in Florida, where 14 different players collected
prestigious titles. The other two aces won smaller tournaments that
earned them a big prize, a place in the main draw at this year's
Stewart and Liu Claim Junior Orange Bowl Titles; Hong and Dubrivny Add to Championship Resumes
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Junior Orange Bowl is
often the first international experience for the hundreds of 12- and
14-year-old competitors who flock to Miami in mid-December. Of this
year's champions, however, only one - girls 12s winner Claire Liu of the
United States - was new on the global junior tennis scene.
Coach of Top Pros and Young Teens: An Interview with USTA National Coach Mike Sell
USTA Lead National Coach Mike Sell may have started playing tennis at
the relatively late age of nine, but in the thirty years since, he has
experienced just about everything the sport has to offer. A four-time
All-American for the Georgia Bulldogs, Sell went on to play five years
on the ATP tour before embarking on a career in coaching. Colette
Lewis sat down with Sell at the Junior Orange Bowl to discuss all
Thiem and Kontaveit Take Grade A Orange Bowl Titles; Chung and Routliffe Win 16s Championships
The global nature of tennis was on full display at last week's Orange
Bowl, with Austria, Estonia, Korea and Canada claiming the four
singles titles, each one the country's first championship in that age
Thiem Makes History, Three Young Americans Take Titles at Eddie Herr International
Familiar faces and newcomers were among the eight champions crowned at
the Eddie Herr International last week, as over 2200 players descended
on the IMG/Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton Florida to test their
games against the world's best junior players.
The month began with the second of two collegiate fall majors, which
produced half of last month's standouts, and closed with the first of
the three big junior events that end the ITF year. In between, several
juniors picked up their first titles on the professional circuit,
always an achievement worth noting.
New Twist for 18s Tournament at Eddie Herr International
Once again over 1000 junior tennis players will descend on the
IMG/Bollettieri Academy for the Eddie Herr International tournament,
but the 128 competitors in the Grade 1 ITF event will head for a
different part of the sprawling campus in Bradenton, Fla. The desire
for consistency with the A Orange Bowl has put the Eddie Herr 18s
tournament on clay for the first time.
Virginia's Frank, SMU's Lesniak Capture USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
The men's and women's USTA/ITA National Indoors shared the same dates
and venue, but the tournaments had strikingly different conclusions.
Both the men's singles and doubles titles went to October's ITA
All-American champions, with Virginia and Ohio State taking the titles.
On the women's side, SMU and USC earned their first-ever championships in
singles and doubles, respectively.
Fall Signing Week '11: Top Recruit Hardebeck Chooses Stanford
Blue chip recruit Krista Hardebeck has faced several tough choices in
her life. A devoted piano student, she wasn't able to continue her
quest for mastery of that instrument when she began to find success on
the tennis court. Choosing between UCLA and Stanford also proved
difficult, but in the end, what she calls her "lifelong dream" to play
for Stanford won out, and she plans to sign a national letter of intent
to compete for the Cardinal.
Gold medal performances in Mexico lead off October's aces, followed
by noteworthy achievements from coast to coast in the United States,
including several in Tulsa. Toss in a few titles by teens in Europe,
Africa and Japan and you've got an autumn cornucopia of winners.
Countdown: World Traveler Krueger Looks Close to Home for College
Blue chip recruit Mitchell Krueger has seen the world the past two
years, traveling to Malaysia, Australia and throughout Europe to
compete against top competition on the ITF junior circuit. Yet in
selecting a college, the 17-year-old from Aledo, Texas has narrowed
his choices to three schools close to home: Oklahoma, Texas A&M and
Krueger and Townsend Take Titles in Tulsa
Winning the ITF Grade B1 Pan American tournament is an important step
in securing entry to the junior slams for the following year. During
last week's tournament 17-year-old Mitchell Krueger and 15-year-old
Taylor Townsend set themselves up for trips to Melbourne, Paris,
London and New York in 2012, with impressive performances throughout
the week, culminating in straight-set wins over fellow Americans.
Virginia Freshman Takes ITA Men's All-American Title for Second Straight Year
In 2010, University of Virginia freshman Alex Domijan used his ITA
wild card to sweep through the field to capture the fall season's
first collegiate major at the Men's All-American. Last Sunday at the
Michael Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa,
freshman Mitchell Frank matched his teammate, winning the title with a
6-1, 7-5 victory over University of Georgia senior Wil Spencer.
The top performers of September are heavy on the doubles end of the
sport with a 16-year-old winning her first title on the professional
circuit and a 38-year-old earning her 10th grand slam championship
trophy. The British boys also had an outsize impact during the month,
winning a grand slam championship, a Futures title and the Junior
Andrews Wins All-Cal Final at Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic
Rain on the final day couldn't dampen the prospects of the University
of California-Berkeley competitors at the 11th annual Land Rover Napa
Valley Tennis Classic. When the eight participants in the Wild Card
Shootout had been decided, three Bears had moved into the
quarterfinals, and in the final, it was senior Nick Andrews defeating
sophomore teammate Ben McLachlan 10-7 to claim the title and the Pro
Circuit wild card that goes to the tournament's champion.
Bjorn Fratangelo Contemplates His Tennis Future
Until recently, college tennis was certainly the primary option for
top-ranked Bjorn Fratangelo. Although he had achieved great success
as a junior, he had experienced few breakthroughs on the international
or professional stage. Then Fratangelo, unseeded, became the first
American boy to win the French Open junior championship since McEnroe
in 1977. He followed up that performance with several strong Futures
performances, lifting his ATP ranking into the 700s.
Min, Golding Oust Top Seeds in US Open Junior Championships
Frustrating, waterlogged, exhausting - the word association adjectives
for the 2011 US Open Junior Championships aren't particularly positive
ones. But champions Grace Min of the United States and Oliver Golding
of Great Britain conquered the multiple rain delays and compressed
match schedule to capture their first Grand Slam singles titles - Min
with a 7-5, 7-6(3) win over top seed Caroline Garcia and Golding with
a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 decision over top seed Jiri Vesely.
With one exception, the National Champions aren't included in this
edition of monthly aces, so check Tennis Recruiting Network's Hard
Court Championship week coverage for more on their triumphs last
month. The ten aces below will also look back on August 2011 as a
special time in their tennis careers.
Gavrilova Back to Defend US Open Girls Title; Vesely Hopes to Bookend Year with Second Junior Slam
While many eyes today are on names like Sock, McHale, and Falconi at
the Open, next week the juniors take the courts. Last year's finalists,
Gavrilova and Putintseva, return to challenge for the girls' title. For
the boys, all the big names internationally are in New York. Colette Lewis
of Zootennis previews the field.
Q&A with Georgia's Manny Diaz
When Manny Diaz took over as head coach at the University of Georgia,
his task was a daunting one. He followed the legendary Dan Magill, who
put Georgia tennis on the map with two NCAA titles over 34 years.
Diaz was able to uphold those traditions and then some - winning four
NCAA titles while compiling a 533-114 record. Colette Lewis talks
with Diaz about a wide range of topics.
Sock Repeats as National Champion
Jack Sock added USTA gold balls number 22 and 23 to his collection
last weekend, defending his 18s singles title with a 6-3, 6-0 victory
over Mitchell Frank while also capturing the doubles championship
during an aggravating 10 days of wet weather in Kalamazoo. Ronnie
Schneider won his first singles gold ball when he claimed the 16s
championship with a 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-2 win over Luca Corinteli, and he
too swept both titles - one indoors and one outdoors.
Sock Returns to Kalamazoo to Defend Title
With his eye on a return trip to the US Open main draw, 2010 USTA Boys
18s champion Jack Sock is back in Kalamazoo this year, both to defend
his title and begin his professional career.
July's notable performances began on the grass courts of Wimbledon and
ended on the hard courts in the heart of the United States, with
current and former college players making up more than half of the
month's aces. The eight USTA Clay Court champions deserve hearty
congratulations as well, but are not featured here due to the
extensive coverage of the National Clay Courts last week on this site.
Andrews Makes Herself at Home with 18s Title
Southern Californian Gabby Andrews is comfortable in Memphis, and not
just because she reached the semifinals of the USTA Girls 18s Clay
Court Championships in 2010 as a 13-year-old. Andrews calls Memphis,
where her father Mike grew up, her second home, and when the top seed
completed her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over unseeded Denise Starr in the
final, many family members were on hand at the Racquet Club of Memphis
to witness the victory.
Harrison Looks Toward College as First Step to Pro Career
Catherine Harrison knows what she wants from her college tennis
experience. The 17-year-old rising senior from suburban Memphis,
Tennessee is seeking a coach and a program that will prepare her for
a career in professional tennis. That's the easy part. The hard part is
deciding among her final three: Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia.
NCAA Champion Johnson Fulfills Dream as Practice Partner for USA Davis Cup Team
Most years, the Campbell/ITA's Players of the Year are recognized during
the second weekend in July. Cal's Jana Juricova, the NCAA champion
and women's player of the year, received her award at the ATP event in
Newport, Rhode Island. But the men's winner, USC's NCAA champion Steve
Johnson, couldn't make it. He was in Austin, Texas, serving as a
practice partner for the US Davis Cup team's quarterfinal tie with
Oosterbaan and Solovyev Capture Singles Titles at 16s National Open in Kalamazoo
Tournament director Tom Walker brought one of the Boys' and Girls' 16s
National Opens to Kalamazoo College's famous Stowe Stadium courts.
The boys got a preview of the venue where the USTA Boys' 16s and 18s
Nationals are played, and the girls got to compete there as well. Zootennis
blogger (and Kalamazoo local) Colette Lewis attended the event - and
she was nice enough to provide us with a wrap-up.
June is a month for both clay and grass, and hard courts are always in
season. Here are 13 aces who posted notable results last month on
those three surfaces.
Twelve Tips for a Better Tournament Experience
Colette Lewis has attended quite a few tennis tournaments over the
years. During that time, she has seen the good, the bad, and the
ugly. Here is a list of twelve tips that players and parents should
keep in mind to foster the best-possible tournament experience for
College Panel Provides Pointers to Potential Student-Athletes
In conjunction with the NCAA Division I championships at Stanford
University last month, USTA Player Development and USTA Northern
California held a College Day at the NCAAs. Parents, junior
players and coaches heard nearly two hours of advice, facts, insights
and answers to their questions on college recruiting.
Quigley, Tedjakusuma Win Midwest Sectional Event to Return to US Open National Qualifying Playoffs
Dream Big is the USTA's marketing slogan for its US Open National
Playoffs. Offering the prize of a US Open qualifying wild card, the
USTA established sectional tournaments throughout the country open to
all USTA members. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com took in the Midwest
event, where Eric Quigley and Romana Tedjakusuma advanced in their
pursuit of a coveted wild card.
The NCAA champions closed the month with some outstanding
performances, but the teenagers playing around the globe also stepped
up with some great play in May.
Top Seeds Johnson and Juricova Capture NCAA Titles
The top-ranked players in Division I college tennis when the NCAA
individual tournament began, Southern California's Steve Johnson and
Cal's Jana Juricova proved worthy of those numbers on Monday when they
claimed NCAA singles titles at the Taube Family Tennis Center at
Florida and Southern Cal Win Thrillers to Claim 2011 NCAA Titles
The 2011 Men's and Women's Division I NCAA Championships was a
riveting event from start to finish. In two excruciatingly exciting
4-3 matches, the second-seeded Southern California men claimed their
third consecutive team championship over top seed and undefeated
Virginia, while the University of Florida women, also seeded No. 2,
avenged last year's heartbreaking loss to top seed and undefeated
Stanford, ending the longest home winning streak in NCAA history.
Wilander's Words of Wisdom
Mats Wilander, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, has devoted
his life to tennis, and at age 46, says he still views himself as a
professional tennis player. He now runs a Winnebago-based traveling
clinic he conducts with former Naval Academy standout Cameron Lickle.
At last month's Easter Bowl, Wilander headlined the tournament's
annual seminar for coaches, parents and players. Here are some of his
The April aces always blossom like tulips in the spring, with the
major California and Florida junior events contributing most to the
bouquet. Several current and former collegians flowered last month
too, as well as a rising young professional.
Northwestern Women Come From Behind Against Michigan to Claim 13th Big Ten Tournament Title
In the damp and gloom, behind 3-0 to a Michigan team that had beaten
her squad 6-1 last week for the Big Ten regular season title on the
same Ann Arbor courts, Northwestern women's head coach Claire Pollard
had ample reason to expect her team's Big Ten tournament title winning
streak would end at 12. But somehow she and the four remaining
Wildcats on the courts kept the faith, ran the table, and emerged with
a 4-3 win and their 13th consecutive Big Ten tournament title.
Escobedo and Shishkina Win 14s, Brymer and Doyle Take 16s Titles at 44th Easter Bowl
The four singles champions in the 14s and 16s divisions at the 2011
Easter Bowl didn't come into the tournament as favorites; none of them
were seeded among the Top 4. Yet the quartet of Maria Shishkina,
Ernesto Escobedo, Caroline Doyle and Gage Brymer were able to overcome
the scorching temperatures and highly-ranked opponents to collect gold
balls at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Giron's Streak Continues, McPhillips Claims Second Straight Title at ITF Easter Bowl
Two impressive streaks were on the line when Marcos Giron and Kyle
McPhillips took the court last weekend for championship matches at the
ITF Grade B1 Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Giron had won 17
consecutive ITF junior matches, and McPhillips had won 17 straight
Easter Bowl matches. Those singles streaks will continue, as they
won the Easter Bowl titles.
Giron and Crawford Claim First ITF Grade 1 Titles at International Spring Championships
There wasn't much international about the late stages of the ITF Grade
1 International Spring Championships last week, with Americans
claiming all four singles and doubles titles at the Home Depot Center
in Carson, Calif. In the 18s, unseeded Marcos Giron and wild card
Samantha Crawford took home the singles crowns, while Yuki Chiang
Noah Rubin won in the 16s.
Spring Signing Week '11: Efferding Returns to Texas to Join Aggies
Jeremy Efferding left Texas for Florida several years ago, but the
blue chip recruit will be back in the Lone Star state for his college
tennis career, having chosen to join Texas A&M University this fall.
There's not an April fool among these dozen achievers, who started
spring with outstanding performances on clay and hard courts across
Countdown: Cypers Joins Amherst with Eye Toward Titles
Four-star recruit Jonathan Cypers has a variety of reasons for
selecting Division III Amherst for his higher education, with
location, academics, and friendship among them. But the first one the
18-year-old New Yorker mentions is the tennis dream of many college
players - a chance to win a national title.
Floridians Sweep Titles at USTA 18s National Spring Championships
Three weeks ago, Danielle Collins and Zack McCourt had suffered early
losses at the National Open in their home state of Florida, so the
thought of taking home gold balls at the USTA 18s National Spring
Champions less than a month later seemed nothing more than a fantasy.
But the gregarious and talkative teenagers won titles over the
weekend, showing just how quickly fortunes can change in the sport of
Texas A&M Avenges Painful Loss with 5-2 Victory over Notre Dame
Two years ago the Texas A&M Aggies left Notre Dame's Eck Tennis
Pavilion stung by a comeback that saw the Fighting Irish win the final
four points. Last Friday, 18th-ranked A&M took another 3-0
lead, but this time they refused to let 24th-ranked Notre Dame back
in, taking a 5-2 decision from the home team.
As promised, the month of February produced the bulk of its aces from
current and former collegians, although there were several outstanding
performances by junior girls, including a new bright light from
Capra Chooses Duke for Transition to Professional Career
Reaching the third round of the US Open is rarely considered a
problem for a teenager with a WTA ranking in the 300s. But Beatrice
Capra's success last year in New York presented her with an obvious
opportunity to reconsider her commitment to attending college. When
all was said and done, Capra signed a National Letter of Intent to
play for the Duke Blue Devils in 2011-12, where she aims to polish her
game while preparing for a career in pro tennis.
Dow Corning Tennis Classic's Outreach Programs Touch Thousands of Midland-area Students Each Year
Thousands of youngsters benefit each year from the Dow Corning Tennis
Classic's outreach programs. The Dow Corning has the obligatory Kids
Day early in the tournament, but the Pros To Schools, Schools To
Matches, and Think Smart, Dream Big programs make youth outreach a
Eight of January's aces are from Arizona, where, way back on January
1, the USTA Winter National championship matches were played. But
North America was joined by three other continents as sites of
noteworthy accomplishments, with South America, Europe and Australia
providing the backdrop for 2011's first outstanding performances.
Michigan Women Survive USC Comeback to Reach Team Indoor Championships
Last Sunday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, the University
of Michigan women's team appeared to have a tidy win over the
University of Southern California in its grasp in the final match of
the ITA's Kickoff Weekend. The road to a berth in the 16-team Indoor
Championships got bumpy however, before Michigan escaped with a 5-2
Townsend and Clark Capture Plaza Cup 18s Championships
The route was different, but the destination was the same for
14-year-old Taylor Townsend and 16-year-old Brett Clark: the 18s
singles championship at the USTA Regional Plaza Cup in Coral Gables,
Fla. The unseeded Townsend outlasted Allie Kiick 6-2, 2-6, 10-5 in the
girls final, while the sixth-seeded Clark cruised to a 6-4 6-1 victory
over Ognjen Samardzic in the boys championship match.
USTA National Junior Team Edges Alabama Men
When the USTA National Junior Team's match with the University of
Alabama men came down to the last court Thursday, the competitive
fires were fully ignited. As the 14 other players surrounded the match
between 15-year-old Nikko Madregallejo and Alabama sophomore Ian
Chadwell, it suddenly became strikingly similar to every other
collegiate match that will be played over the next four months.
Eight Intriguing Questions for 2011
Another year... and another edition of "Intriguing Questions" from
columnist Colette Lewis. Today, Colette poses eight questions about
junior and college tennis.
As we close out 2010, here's a final look back at the 15 different
major international junior tournament champions from last month, and a
junior officially graduating to professional ranks in 2011.
U.S. Players Claim Three of Four Titles at Junior Orange Bowl
The weather was chilly in Coral Gables, Florida, the site of last
week's Junior Orange Bowl, but it didn't cool off the American girls.
Nicole Frenkel and Brooke Austin collected the 12s and 14s titles,
respectively, giving U.S girls all four titles in the December
competitions. Michael Mmoh won the boys' 12s for the U.S., while the
boys' 14s title went to Joshua Sapwell of Great Britain.
From Player to Coach to Administrator: An Interview with Erica Perkins of the USTA
Erica Perkins of the USTA has experienced college tennis from the
perspective of a player, a coach, and now as an administrator. Senior
manager of junior and collegiate competition in the USTA's Player
Development department, Perkins describes her responsibilities as
"anything that pertains to college tennis within the USTA."
Lauren Davis Rolls on at Dunlop Orange Bowl; Morgan, Kiick and Lokoli Collect Titles at Crandon Park
After three major ITF junior titles in three weeks, 17-year-old Lauren
Davis could finally put aside the competitor-speak and admit she was tired. But
even after squandering two match points in the second-set tiebreaker
against unseeded Grace Min, Davis didn't let discouragement or fatigue
derail her quest for an 18th straight junior win, emerging after three
hours and fifteen minutes with a 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-1 victory in the
Dunlop Orange Bowl girls 18s championship match.
Davis, Thiem Capture Eddie Herr 18s Titles; Crawford and Lederman Give U.S. Sweep of 16s
With over a thousand tennis matches played at the 2010 Eddie Herr,
there were bound to be plenty of surprises when the eight singles
champions were crowned. With the exception of the boys 12s, none of
the winners were a top seed, with three unseeded players earning
The year is drawing to a close, but week after week, month after
month, notable performances in the college and junior tennis world
continue. November's aces include college champions, gold medal
winners and juniors earning titles in North America, South America and
Eddie Herr Preview
As the holidays approach, the professional tennis world takes a short
collective breath before next year's fresh start and first major. But
junior tennis is still going strong, with three of the year's most
important events coinciding with the Christmas shopping season. The
first of those, the Eddie Herr, begins this weekend, with nearly 2,000
junior tennis players converging on the Bradenton academy of legendary
coach Nick Bollettieri to compete for titles.
Rhyne Williams and Maria Sanchez Claim Indoor Titles by Outlasting Defending Champions
The venue was new and so were the champions at the 2010 USTA/ITA
Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Maria Sanchez of the University
of Southern California and Rhyne Williams of the University of
Tennessee captured their first collegiate majors the hard way - by
defeating the defending champions in the final.
Fall Signing Week '10: Caroline Price to Wear Carolina Blue
Before Caroline Price made her decision to join the North Carolina Tar
Heels, she followed the advice of her father - she made several
unofficial visits during her junior year, then took official visits to
four schools this fall. I asked Caroline in email and phone
interviews about her recent decision to join the University of North
Carolina in fall of 2011.
From Tulsa to Turkey, Pacific Palisades to Puerto Rico and Venezuela
to Vietnam, October's 13 aces excelled at junior, college and
professional events throughout the world. The WTA and ATP tours may
be winding down for 2010, but there's plenty of tennis being played at
other levels this fall.
Countdown: Blue Chip Turewicz Selects Blue Devils
When Monica Turewicz took an unofficial visit to Duke University in
May, she felt an instant bond. Although it was the first of three such
visits she was planning to make, her experience in Durham set the bar.
"They were really welcoming," said Turewicz. "They're all so together
and the team spirit's really good." In just a couple of weeks,
Turewicz plans to sign an NLI with the Duke Blue Devils.
Keys and Peliwo Claim Pan American Closed Titles in Sunny Tulsa
Fifteen-year-old American Madison Keys and 16-year-old Canadian
Filip Peliwo took different routes to the championship of the ITF
Grade B1 Pan American Closed last week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but in the
finals, they both turned in dominating performances.
Domijan Dominates as Virginia Sweep D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships
It didn't take long for Virginia freshman Alex Domijan to shake up the
status quo in Division I men's college tennis. Given a wild card into
the D'Novo/ITA All-American championships as the country's top
freshman, Domijan drew No. 13 seed Javier Garrapiz of Georgia in the
first round of last week's tournament, played at the Michael D. Case
Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
September's aces include a few from this month, with several top
performances beginning in tournaments that started last month and
finished this past weekend. As summer slides into autumn, the final
junior slam and the Junior Davis and Fed Cups bracket a host of
accomplishments on the professional tour.
Juniors Impress, but Collegians Finish on Top at Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic
For nearly a decade, Cal-Berkeley's head coach Peter Wright had
invited three of the country's top teams to join his Bears at
Meadowood Resort to kick off the fall collegiate season. Yet this
year, Wright and Meadowood Director of Tennis Doug King were willing
to fix what wasn't broken in order to include USTA-selected junior
players in the field at the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic.
Sock Weighs Options After Winning U.S. Open Boys Championship
"What are your plans for deciding between college and professional
tennis?" From his first U.S. Open press conference after an opening
round main draw loss to Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, through the
final press conference following his boys' singles championship 12
days later, Jack Sock has been asked over and over again about his
tennis future. Colette Lewis sat down with Sock in New York...
Notes and Observations From the 2010 U.S. Open Junior Championships
With 18-year-olds Ryan Harrison and Beatrice Capra posting big upsets,
the stage was set for other young Americans to hold the spotlight in
the U.S. Open juniors. They didn't disappoint, with Jack Sock
defeating Denis Kudla in the first all-American boys final since Andy
Roddick beat Robby Ginepri in 2000, and Sloane Stephens capturing her
third consecutive junior Grand Slam doubles title. Check out a dozen
observations from New York.
Flashback: Colette Lewis on the Grips Program
It was recently announced that Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com won
second place in the annual US Tennis Writers writing contest for her
look at the Grips Program. That story - published in Racquet Sports
Industry Magazine in February 2009 - also ran right here at
TennisRecruiting.net. Today we republish that story in its entirety...
Previewing the U.S. Open Junior Championships
Leading up to this year's U.S. Open there has been plenty of
discussion about the "wide-open" nature of the women's draw. But in
the world of junior tennis, that description can be applied to nearly
every slam. This year's U.S. Open junior championships will feature
all 10 of the top-ranked boys in the ITF juniors - and seven of the
girls in the Top 10.
Because their National Championship runs were covered so extensively
last month here at the Tennis Recruiting Network, the eight USTA Hard
Court winners will not be featured in this monthly review of top
performances. Instead, I'll focus on other newsmakers who excelled in
Europe, Asia and on the courts of the Billie Jean King National Tennis
Center in New York.
Atlanta's Pasha Commits to Georgia Bulldogs
It wasn't the program's storied history of tennis excellence, or a
conversation with former Bulldog John Isner, currently in the ATP Top
20, that led to blue chip Nathan Pasha's verbal commitment to the
University of Georgia. Instead, it was the opportunity to be close to
his family while working toward a professional tennis career that had
the rising senior from Atlanta deciding to head to nearby Athens.
Sock and Redlicki Crowned National Champions in Kalamazoo
Any USTA gold ball is special, whether it's the second or the 20th.
But a gold ball won at Kalamazoo has something extra attached - a
place on the long list of National Champions and a trip to New York to
play at the U.S. Open. Jack Sock, the 18s champion, and Michael
Redlicki, who triumphed in the 16s, survived a week of heat, humidity
and rain disruptions to finish atop the 192-player fields gathered for
the tournament's 68th year.
Recruiting Profile: Katie Goepel
During her preteen years, five star recruit Katie Goepel found
contentment hitting tennis balls against the garage door of the family
home. Those countless hours have helped give the 17-year-old from
Chatham, New Jersey plenty of options. A straight-A student, Goepel
received a dozen or so calls from college coaches on July 1, and she
is now reviewing her list of possible schools.
Jordan Cox, Shane Vinsant Top Seeds for USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo
Jordan Cox won the 2008 16s singles title in Kalamazoo, demonstrating
his ability to cope with the pressure and pomp surrounding a final at
the pinnacle of boys junior tennis in the United States. Can he do
the same in the 18s this year as the top seed? And in the 16s, top
seed Shane Vinsant has the highest ITF junior ranking in the field at
73 - closely followed by No. 2 seed Mitchell Krueger at 79. Colette
Lewis breaks down the field of the USTA Boys 18 and 16 Nationals.
The USTA National Clay Court champions usually dominate July's roster
of aces, but with the extensive coverage the Tennis Recruiting Network
put together last week, the focus instead will be on the juniors and
collegians past and present who collected other titles during the
Price Captures Girls' 18s Clays in Memphis
Living just minutes from each other in suburban Atlanta, 17-year-olds
Caroline Price and Whitney Kay had met many times throughout their
junior tennis careers. When they met in the final of the USTA Girls'
18 Clay Court Championships in Memphis, it was Price that
emerged victorious - capturing the title with a 6-3, 6-3 win.
ITA Summer Circuit Fills Competition Gap for College and Junior Players
Last Saturday 128 players took to the Western Michigan University
courts with a variety of motives - to size up their games, stay sharp
over the summer months, prepare for the fall college season and test
their conditioning in two-a-day matches in the summer heat and
humidity. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com took in the ITA Summer
Circuit tournament - here she provides a wrap-up of both the
tournament and the program.
Egger Will Join Washington Huskies in 2011
Emmett Egger is comfortable on the road - playing tennis on several
continents while living and training in Florida and Texas. But when
it came time to consider his college options, the Issaquah, Washington
native kept the University of Washington high on his list. Last
month, Egger verbally committed to join Matt Anger's Huskies in the
fall of 2011.
June marks the transition from clay to grass, so it's no surprise
there were junior aces from both surfaces last month. College tennis
was also in the spotlight, with recent stars demonstrating its role as
a stepping stone between junior and professional tennis.
Adding to a Tennis Legacy: A Conversation with USC's Peter Smith
Peter Smith completed his eighth year as men's head coach at the
University of Southern California exactly the same way he finished his
seventh, leading the Trojans to the NCAA team title. Colette Lewis
sat down with the 2010 Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year to get his views
on some of the major issues in junior and college tennis.
Mamalat, Lipman Bring Home Grasscourt Titles
Whether it was home cooking, family experience or simply games
that work well on grass, unseeded Anna Mamalat and Maxx Lipman made
their advantages work for them last week at the ITF International
Grass Court Championships at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Herring Commits to Georgia for 2011
It was love at first sight for blue chip Lauren Herring when she
stepped on the campus of the University of Georgia last October. The
rising senior recently made a verbal commitment to the Bulldogs,
becoming Coach Wallace's first commitment for 2011.
Singles, doubles, red clay, green clay, hard courts, college, junior
and pro: May brought 13 aces from all kinds of places.
Gullickson and Klahn Lead U.S. Sweep of NCAA Singles and Doubles Titles
For the second consecutive year, Americans claimed the men's and
women's singles titles at the NCAA Division I individual
championships, with U.S. players also capturing both doubles titles
Monday to complete the sweep.
USC Wins Back-to-Back NCAA Titles with Win Over Tennessee
2009 in College Station, Texas... 2010 in Athens, Georgia... For the
second year in a row, the University of Southern California are NCAA
men's tennis champions after a 4-2 victory over Tennessee Tuesday
night at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Trojans took out the top
two seeds in two days at college tennis' version of the Final Four.
Stanford Women Earn 16th National Title with Thrilling 4-3 Victory over Florida
The Stanford Cardinal returned to the top of college tennis Tuesday,
claiming a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Florida Gators. After more
than four hours, the championship had come down to the No. 3 singles
match between freshman Mallory Burdette and Florida senior Marrit
Boonstra. Burdette broke Boonstra to serve for the third set at 6-5,
and then she sealed the 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 victory - starting a Cardinal
Scout, Sponsor, Mentor, Technician: Wilson's Adam Schaechterle
As a poetry major at Northwestern University, Wilson's Adam
Schaechterle is as surprised as anyone to find himself Tour and Junior
Manager of the Americas after less than four years in the Racquet
Sports division of the global sporting goods company. Colette Lewis
caught up with Schaechterle at the Easter Bowl.
Although the majority of April's aces are from the two important
California junior hard court tournaments, many other teenagers
excelled on the clay, indicating their readiness to contend at the
upcoming spring majors in Europe.
Fratangelo and Hardebeck Continue Winning Ways with Easter Bowl ITF Championships
Bjorn Fratangelo and Krista Hardebeck may be reigning Clay Court
champions, but they have shown their dominance extends to faster
surfaces too. Fratangelo followed up her USTA Spring National
Championships with a title last week at the ITF Easter Bowl.
Hardebeck joined him in the Easter Bowl winner's circle, less
than a week after capturing the International Spring
Southern California Wild Cards Kosakowski and Hardebeck Capture International Spring Championships
Krista Hardebeck and Daniel Kosakowski made the most of their wild
cards into the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships last
week at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., claiming their first
international junior titles without leaving their section.
Spring Signing Week '10: Davis Signs with Seminoles
Blue chip Blake Davis looks back on last year's USTA Boys 18 Clay
Court championships as an important moment in his college search.
Unseeded in Delray Beach, Davis went on to reach the quarterfinals in
the main draw and the consolation final, results that confirmed both
the health of his surgically-repaired knee and his position as one of
the nation's top recruits. This week, Davis will sign a NLI to continue
his career with the Florida State Seminoles.
Top Player to Top Coach: Georgia Tech's Bryan Shelton
Bryan Shelton's resume as a college and pro player is impressive. He
was an All-American at Georgia Tech, and he reached a career-high
ranking of 55 on the ATP tour. But since returning to his alma mater
to lead the women's program, his performance as a head coach has
eclipsed even the considerable accomplishments of his playing days.
No April Fools in this group of aces, who excelled not only in North
America, but in Europe, Asia and South America too. A special mention
goes to a pair of former college teammates who are winning Futures
doubles titles at a rate even the Bryan brothers would envy.
Texas Tech Wins Thriller over Oklahoma to Claim Blue Gray Championship
The championship match in the 2010 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic
came down to a pair of Big 12 foes: #16 Texas Tech and #17 Oklahoma.
The final moved indoors - and the hotly-contested match ended after
four hours with Tech's Raony Carvalho clinching the 4-3 victory at No.
1 singles. Colette Lewis was in Mobile, Ala., to cover the event.
Collins, Fratangelo Collect National Titles at Spring Championships
Mobile's azaleas hadn't yet bloomed, and for most of last week, the
USTA Spring 18 National Championships were played in weather more
reminiscent of November than March. But for champions Bjorn
Fratangelo and Danielle Collins, the chilly and breezy conditions
barely registered - a gold ball radiates a warmth all its own.
February's mid-winter aces always include those who excel on indoor
courts, collegiate and otherwise. However last month there was also
good news from the South American clay court circuit, where two young
Americans captured ITF junior titles on the surface known to present
the biggest challenges for them.
Taney's Comeback Leads No. 8 Michigan Women Past Fifth-ranked Baylor
College dual matches can't be scripted. Too much can happen over the
course of three doubles and six singles matches. But last week the
Michigan women earned two 4-3 victories over visitors from Texas by
following a similar storyline - win the doubles point, then add
victories at the 4, 5, and 6 singles spots.
Building a National Powerhouse
When Brian Boland arrived in Charlottesville in the fall of 2001,
Virginia had never won an ACC title or more than a round in the NCAA
team championships. Boland went to work, and the accomplishments are
piling up: three straight undefeated ACC seasons, two consecutive
undefeated regular seasons, two NCAA semifinal appearances, three NCAA
individual titles, and now three straight ITA Men's Team Indoor
titles. Here is Colette Lewis' conversation with Coach Boland.
Virginia Tops Tennessee For Third Consecutive ITA Men's Indoor Championship
The Virginia Cavaliers won their first ITA Team Indoor championship
two years ago in Seattle and their second last year in Chicago. On
Monday, they claimed their third straight title, defeating Tennessee
4-1 at the sweetest of locations, their home courts at the Boar's Head
Sports Club in Charlottesville.
The bulk of January's 14 aces come from Arizona, where the USTA Winter
Nationals concluded on the first day of 2010. But Australia, England,
Mexico, South America and Florida were sites of outstanding
performances from other young competitors throughout the month, and an
exciting idea from the USTA also made the grade.
North Carolina Earns Berth in ITA Team Indoor by Defeating Host Notre Dame
The North Carolina Women's Tennis Team travelled to South Bend,
Indiana to face Notre Dame on its home courts. On the line was a trip
to the ITA Team Indoor next week in Madison, Wisc., a trek every UNC
team has made for the past six years. That streak is now seven, with
the second-seeded Tar Heels posting a 5-2 win over top-seeded Irish.
Talking About Your Tennis: Media Training for Juniors
Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Melanie Oudin aren't professors, but
junior players at the USTA Training Center Headquarters learned
important lessons from the three American stars last fall at a media
relations session in Boca Raton, Fla.
Sanon and Rinaldi Earn Tennis Plaza Cup 18s Titles
Top seed Bianca Sanon and unseeded Michael Rinaldi approached the
Tennis Plaza Cup in unsettled states of mind, yet the two Floridians
managed to focus on the task at hand to emerge with championship
trophies over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
Nine Intriguing Questions for 2010
2010 marks the fifth new year for TennisRecruiting.net - and the fifth
edition of "Intriguing Questions" from columnist Colette Lewis. Lewis
asks nine questions that may bear answers in the first year of the new
December's aces always center on the three major international junior
tournaments in Florida, and this year, for the first time since I
began covering these events, 16 different players claimed titles. The
other two aces are U.S. teenagers who claimed Australian Open wild
card berths with victories last month in the USTA's playoff
Chiang Topples Favorites to Claim Junior Orange Bowl Title
Unseeded Californian Yuki Chiang made her final 14-and-under
tournament a memorable one, defeating the top three seeds en route to
the Junior Orange Bowl girls 14s title last week. She finished with a
flourish, downing No. 1 seed Brooke Austin 6-3, 6-3 in the
championship match held at the University of Miami's Neil Schiff
Mina, Dabrowski Win 18s Championships, Halebian and Addison Capture 16s Titles at Dunlop Orange Bowl
The summer-like heat and humidity in Miami last week proved no
obstacle to Dunlop Orange Bowl boys 18s top seed Gianni Mina of
France, who won the Grade A championship. Canadian Gabriela
Dabrowski, the girls 18s champion, was unseeded and ranked outside the
ITF Junior Top 40 coming into the tournament.
American Champions Abound at 2009 Eddie Herr
At the 2008 Eddie Herr, Americans took home half of the singles
titles, with four champions calling the United States home. Last week
they improved on last year's impressive showing, taking six of the
eight titles and sweeping both the 12s and 16s age divisions.
There's no off season for aces, with November providing notable
achievements from those competing at the ITA Indoor early in the month
to the Eddie Herr at the end. And we're all thankful for the
contributions of a truly exceptional ace retiring after more than 30
years of service to junior tennis.
Eddie Herr Preview: 16s and 18s
Yesterday, Colette Lewis previewed the younger age groups at the Eddie
Herr. Today she takes a look at the 16s and 18s divisions.
Eddie Herr Preview: 12s and 14s
One of the pleasures of attending the Eddie Herr International
tournament year after year is the opportunity to watch the progress of
junior players from their pre-teen years through young adulthood. In
the first of a two-part preview of this year's tournament, I'll look
at some of the youngest competitors, most of whom are seeking the
thrill of their first major international championship.
Pac-10 Sweeps Titles at ITA Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
With their regional competitions held outdoors, the Pac-10 players who
won entry into the ITA Indoor had to adapt quickly once they arrived
at Yale University. They did just that, with teams from Stanford
earning an unprecedented sweep of the doubles title, and Steve Johnson
of the University of Southern California and Jana Juricova of
California-Berkeley capturing the singles titles at the Cullman-Heyman
Tennis Center in West Haven, Conn.
Fall Signing Week '09: Cercone Stays in Home State, Signs with Gators
Back when she was playing zonals and intersectionals for the Florida
section, Alexandra Cercone loved the team atmosphere at those junior
competitions. She treasured the bonds formed by the team t-shirts and
well-rehearsed cheers. And although college tennis may mean bigger
audiences for that team spirit, her decision to sign a National Letter
of Intent to join the University of Florida in 2010 will keep that
Florida pride in full view.
October's baker's dozen of aces range in age from 11 to 23, and posted
their wins in locations equally as diverse - Germany, Japan, Tulsa,
Okla., Bolivia and Curacao, to name just a few of the places where
these champions were crowned.
Capra and Gibbs Join U.S. Fed Cup Team's Title Quest
An invitation to join the United States Fed Cup team as hitting
partners is exciting enough, but Beatrice Capra and Nicole Gibbs have
additional reasons to savor the experience: it's the finals, it's in
Italy, and they are going together.
Bouchard and Bangoura Emerge as Pan-American Champions in Damp and Chilly Tulsa
The weather in Oklahoma felt more like December than October, but for
Eugenie Bouchard and Sekou Bangoura Jr. there were no gifts, nothing
to suggest a festive holiday. Instead, there were long days waiting
for an indoor court, grueling matches and frustrating moments. Yet
both handled every challenge last week, claiming their first ITF Grade
1 titles at the University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Smith Claims Two Titles for Volunteers at D'Novo ITA All-American Championships
The weather was damp and cool in Tulsa last weekend, but the dreary
conditions didn't faze Tennessee junior JP Smith, who became the first
player to sweep the singles and doubles titles at the All-American
Championships since Harvard's James Blake accomplished that feat in
Davis Gains Stature in New York
Top-ranked sophomore Lauren Davis decided to defend her USTA National
Girls 16s title in San Diego this year - in part to return to the
biggest stage in U.S. tennis - Flushing Meadows, New York. Having played
only three ITF junior events in her tennis career, Davis needed the US
Open Junior wild card given to the 16s champion, and once she secured
it, without dropping a set in her seven victories, she was ready for
her second chance in New York.
The year's final major supplied our junior aces, but current and
former collegians also claimed the spotlight, excelling in competition
from Gainesville and Waco to Manila and Johannesburg, and nearly
everywhere in between.
Capra Considers Options While Enjoying Junior Grand Slam Success
Blue chip senior Beatrice Capra loves to write, keeping a journal of
her experiences as she travels the tennis circuit. This summer, the
class of 2010's third-ranked player reached the final 16 in all three
junior slams, concluding with a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S.
Open. With that kind of success, writer's block isn't likely, and she
provided some of her impressions during a recent interview.
Notes and Observations on 2009 U.S. Open
The final junior slam of the year is now history, and with Great
Britain's Heather Watson and Australia's Bernard Tomic capturing the
girls and boys titles, that makes eight different players claiming the
championships this year. This year's US Open provided plenty of drama
and surprises - here are a dozen impressions.
US Open Junior Preview
India's Yuki Bhambri and France's Kristina Mladenovic will be the top
seeds in this year's U.S. Open Junior Championships, but they're
better off reflecting on their previous Junior Grand Slam titles than
on the past history of No. 1 seeds in the year's final major.
The aces of August include the eight USTA national junior champions,
three girls who couldn't play the nationals but captured a coveted
team title that same week, an award-winning coach and three
competitors who excelled on the ITF circuit.
Where Are They Now? Paul Goldstein
Few Kalamazoo competitors are remembered as fondly as Paul Goldstein,
who won three consecutive singles titles at the USTA Boys Nationals,
winning the 16s in 1992, and the 18s in 1993 and 1994. Add a doubles
title with Scott Humphries in 1994, and his sportsmanship award in
1992, and it's little wonder Goldstein was welcomed like an old friend
when he returned to Kalamazoo several weeks ago for the professional
exhibition that opens the event.
Buchanan and Austin Add Their Names to List of Kalamazoo Champions, Earn Invitations to US Open
Chase Buchanan marched along a very direct path to the 18s National
title at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium, Gonzales Austin took a
more winding road in capturing the 16s championship, but both reached
their ultimate destination: Flushing Meadow, New York and the US Open.
Alex Domijan and Jack Sock Top Seeds for USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo
For generations, Kalamazoo has welcomed the nation's top junior boys,
who converge on the courts of Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan
University not only for a chance to compete against the best in a
pressure-packed setting, but also for the festival of junior tennis
the tournament has become. This year, the tournament's 67th, top
seeds Alex Domijan and Jack Sock are expected to assume starring
The majority of July's aces come from the USTA Clay Court National
Championships, but beginning with the Wimbledon junior championships
and ending on the U.S. hard courts, there were other performances
during the month that put international juniors and U.S. collegians in
the spotlight too.
Unseeded Hardebeck Captures Clay Court Title in First Girls 18s National Championship
Fourteen-year-old Krista Hardebeck faced all sorts of challenges in
her first National Championships in the 18s division. From an
unfamiliar surface, to bad weather, to an early round third-set
tiebreaker, she survived them all, and with a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 17
seed Gabriella De Simone in the final, which was played indoors at the
Tunica National Tennis Club due to rain, Hardebeck made sure her first
USTA ball was a gold one.
The Man Behind the Texas College Tennis Blog
Last spring, tennis bloggers welcomed a new website and a new voice in
college tennis world. During its first year of existence, the Texas
College Tennis blog had neither a name nor face attached to it. But at
the NCAAs in College Station, I met its creator, and he agreed to
answer the many questions I had about his connection with college
tennis in Texas and his decision to start a blog dedicated to it.
Athletic DNA Launches Clothing Line with Juniors in Mind
When facing global sports apparel and shoe giants like Nike and
Adidas, how does a small startup hope to have an impact? For Athletic
DNA, a new Seattle-based company, the answer is simple: focus on
tennis, and start where the sport starts - in the juniors.
Will Heads Florida's Way
Blue chip recruit Allie Will had two decisions to make during her
senior year. The 18-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla. was debating both
where and when she would attend college, deciding late last year on
the University of Florida, and early last month that she would not
take a year off, but instead join the Gators this fall.
June is the month when red clay gives way to green grass as the tennis
surface du jour. Here's a baker's dozen aces who have excelled in
Paris, London, and even on hard courts in the U.S.
Sarmiento Keeping College Options Open
Raymond Sarmiento probably won't be answering his phone too often next
week, despite the many, many calls he'll undoubtedly receive from
college coaches interested in discussing his plans. The Fontana,
California native, who turns 17 next month, is in Europe the next
several weeks, competing in ITF Men's and Junior Circuit events.
International Grass Courts Veteran Sarmiento and Rookie Davis Claim Titles in Philadelphia
Last week in Philadelphia, Raymond Sarmiento made his third appearance
at the ITF Grade 3 International Grass Court Championships and swept
both the singles and doubles titles. On the girls' side,
fifteen-year-old qualifier Lauren Davis earned the title in only her
third ITF-sanctioned event.
Harvard Law or Decatur Futures?
When Blake Strode was growing up, he had two ambitious and unrelated
dream careers: pro tennis and law. Both are still vying for his time.
He finished his collegiate tennis career at Arkansas ranked #13 in
singles and reached the semifinals of last month's NCAA championships.
He graduated with a 3.97 grade point average and has been admitted to
Harvard Law School. Colette Lewis caught up with Strode at the NCAA
Championships and talked with him about his future.
The NCAA Division I Championships in College Station Texas produced
the majority of May's dozen aces, but several young pros and juniors
also excelled last month, on both the red and green versions of clay.
Freshmen Britton and Cecil Earn NCAA Singles Titles
Two American teenagers with less than five months of college tennis
experience stayed cool under pressure in the Texas heat and humidity
Monday, leaving the George Mitchell Tennis Center on the Texas A&M
campus with three NCAA championship trophies between them.
Duke Women and Southern Cal Men Claim NCAA Titles in College Station
It was the first for the Duke women, and either the fifth or the 17th
for the Southern Californian men, but regardless of the number, NCAA
championships are always the highlight of a collegiate career. Duke
claimed theirs with a 4-0 blanking of California-Berkeley Tuesday
evening, while USC downed Ohio State 4-1 in the afternoon contest at
the George Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M
Fuller Makes Early Commitment to Georgia
Kate Fuller wasn't in a hurry. The 17-year-old high school junior had
planned to take all five of her official recruiting visits this fall.
A recent unofficial visit to nearby Athens, Ga., caused the Suwanee
resident to reconsider that timetable however, and Fuller has verbally
committed to the University of Georgia for the fall of 2010.
Most of April's aces distinguished themselves in the California junior
events, but the always geographically diverse tennis schedule produced
notable performances in India, Morocco and Cary, North Carolina too.
Buckeyes Subdue Illini Again for Fourth Consecutive Big Ten Men's Title
For the sixth straight year the Big Ten Men's Conference Championship
came down to Ohio State and Illinois. The first of those two finals,
in 2004 and 2005, went to the Fighting Illini, but the past three had
belonged to the Buckeyes, and the country's third-ranked team was a
decided favorite in Sunday's contest, held at the University of
Michigan Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor.
King and McHale Win 2009 Easter Bowl ITF Titles
It was cool; it was hot; it was breezy; it was calm; it was dramatic;
it was routine. The 2009 Easter Bowl had a bit of everything last week
at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, California.
And when the last ball had been struck Sunday, there were both
veterans and rookies earning the coveted spring titles.
Frank and Stephens Claim International Spring Championships
Mitchell Frank and Sloane Stephens came into the International Spring
Championships seeded ninth, but after a week of outstanding tennis,
they emerged with their first ITF Grade 1 titles And as an added
bonus, the two 16-year-olds enhanced their positions in the ITF World
Junior rankings for the upcoming Junior Slams in Paris and London.