Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Review: American Teens (WTA)

A follow up on the 10 American Teens to Watch in 2015 (WTA).  How did the girls do as they tried to transition to the pro tour?

Louisa Chirico (Pic credit: @TennisAtlantic)

Louisa Chirico

Age: 19 (16 May 1996)
Height: 5-9
Plays: Right Handed (Double Handed Backhand)

2015 Year End WTA Ranking: 120
2014 Year End WTA Ranking: 189
Career High WTA Ranking: 109 (11/16/2015)

2015 Highlights: The highest ranked American teen on the list, Chirico had a steady rise in 2015.  The 19 year old qualified for her first WTA tour event in Acapulco, Mexico and won her first WTA tour match in Washington, defeating Heather Watson and  Alize Cornet to reach the quarterfinals.  Chirico's title at the $50K Dothan and a runner up finish at the $50K Indian Harbour Beach secured her the USTA French Open wildcard where she made her grand slam debut.  The New Yorker also reached the $100K and $125K finals in Midland and Limoges, respectively.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Review: American Teenagers (ATP)

This is a follow up to the 10 American Teenagers to Watch in 2015 (ATP).  So how did they do?  Continue reading to find out.
Jared Donaldson © LangTennis

Jared Donaldson 

Age: 19 (09 Oct 1996)
Height: 6-3
Plays: Right Handed (Double Handed Backhand)
2015 Year End ATP Ranking: 135
2014 Year End ATP Ranking: 260
Career High ATP Ranking: 133 (11/02/15)

2015 Highlights: The year of firsts for the lanky Rhode Island teenager.  Donaldson continued his momentum from 2014 and rose 125 spots to finish inside the ATP 150 for the first time.  He captured his first challenger title at the $50K Maui, won his first ATP tour level match at the Memphis Open, won his first masters match in Cincinnati and beating American veteran Tim Smyczek for the first time after losing three straight matches the year before.  Jared went 4-7 at the ATP tour level and 29-15 at the challenger level in 2015.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Inaugural Cary Challenger in NC!

Another super late post.  Wanted to get this out of the way before my hiatus!

Finally, there was a challenger event close to me!  The $50K tournament held the week after the US Open in Cary (North Carolina), along with the later debutantes ($50K Columbus and $50K Las Vegas), was not part of the USTA Pro Circuit; thus, no commentating provided by the popular Mike Cation.  Per the tournament director (I think), they were approached by the USTA (United States Tennis Association) late in May.  With only a few months of preparation, I was impressed by the organization.  Besides the main attraction, there were several sideshows such as the fast serve contests, silent auctions (raised $1200 for charity), and food tents.  The whole community seemed to be involved.  Numerous kids volunteered to be ball carriers (they rotated ball kids every changeover during the weekend, partly to protect them from the scorching heat).

Center Court

Monday, September 28, 2015

Better Late Than Never: Pictures from Tuesday (Winston-Salem Open)

Fifth post from the ATP Winsotn-Salem coverage.  I know, should have done it long ago.  But with the US Open ascendancy, I was distracted.

Trying to recall.  Majority of  my day was spent watching second round matches between Frances Tiafoe and Thomaz Bellucci and Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Teymuraz Gabashvili.

 The 17 year old American was up a break in the final set (if my memory is good), but couldn't hold on to his advantage.  He ended up losing 7-6(2) in the third set to the Brazilian No.6 seed. 

Large crowd supporting Tiafoe

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ATP Winston-Salem: Monday Pictures

This is the 4th installment of the ATP Winston-Salem Open coverage.  For previous posts, click here.

I didn't get to watch much on Monday because of the rain delays so I'm going to keep this post short and just post pictures.

Donald Young and his practice partner on PC1.

Donald Young

Donald Young's hitting partner

Spotted Sekou Bangoura, still can't figure out what's sticking out of his hair.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Winston-Salem Open Sunday Recap: Jared Donaldson vs Sam Groth

The 2015 Winston-Salem Open first round match between 18 year old American wildcard, Jared Donaldson, and World No.54 Sam Groth of Australia was a roller coaster ride.  The encounter lasted almost three hours with the big serving Aussie triumphing in three tiebreaks.

Evening match on Stadium Court

Some of my readers are aware that I have been following Donaldson's career for a long time since he was a 16 year old playing juniors in South America.  I have watched him countless times on the streams, but this was my first time witnessing his match in person.  Even though it was not the outcome I had hoped for, it was an entertaining battle filled with some great shot-making and theatrical moments.

Monday, August 24, 2015

ATP Winston-Salem Open: Saturday Part II

This is Part II of the Winston-Salem Open Saturday coverage.  ICYMI Part I.

Saw the beginning of Mischa Zverev and Sanam Singh match but didn't stay long because Court 5 had no place to sit (standing room only).  Per the qualifying draw, Mischa retired trailing 6-4 3-1.

Sanam Singh and Mischa Zverev getting ready for their match

Sanam Singh