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Old 08-23-2006, 03:40 AM   #61
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

Here are the results of all the young Americans who played in qualifying today:

Jesse Levine def. Simone Bolelli 5-7, 7-6, 7-6
Nikita Kryvonos def. Sam Warburg 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Frank Dancevic def. Tim Smyczek 6-1, 6-4
Zack Fleishman def. Marcus Fugate 6-3, 6-0
Lukasz Kubot def. Brendan Evans 6-1, 6-2
Michael Llodra def. Robert Yim 7-6, 6-3
Jesse Witten def. Scott Oudsema 7-5, 7-5

Not the best day for the youngsters as a whole. Of course, most of our best young players have been given wild cards into the main draw.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:58 AM   #62
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I'm not sure about them being the "best." I think many of the young Americans in qualifying are better players, but simply haven't acheived as much or aren't as loved by the USTA.

Good stuff from Jesse and Nikita.

The most shocking thing is Brendan's miserable performance.
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:06 AM   #63
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Terrible draws for some of the Americans. Expecially poor Alex K. I would say that Ryan Sweeting got a poor draw, but I feel that Guille is one of the most beatable players right now.
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:26 PM   #64
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Denis Gremelmayr def. Nikita Kryvonos 6-4, 6-3.
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:57 PM   #65
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Harel Levy def. Jesse Levine 7-6, 6-3.
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:05 PM   #66
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

Nikita

Jesse
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:57 PM   #67
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

One junior player I've had my eye on for a while now is Kellen Damico. He's the lone American male playing the French now.

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports..._is_bette.html
Quote:
Stop The Presses: U.S. Male Wins at French Open!

PARIS -- At 12:48 p.m. on Day 8 of the French Open, it finally happened. A U.S. male won a singles match here.

Though there was no call from the White House, Kellen Damico, 18, of Parker, Colo., will have to be content with just moving on to the second round of the French Open juniors.

He defeated Roy Bruggeling of the Netherlands in straight sets. I guess that ought to silence the clay court critics, huh?

Damico is Better, I Swear It

PARIS -- It's been nearly a year since I wrote about 18-year-old Kellen Damico's bad junior temper and, after watching him fight his way into the quarterfinals of the French Open juniors today, I'll admit he's getting better.

There were a few tossed rackets and the usual pained grimaces. And there was that one bad episode in the first set, when he went far to his left to retrieve a ball, missed the shot and leaned on the railing out on Court 16 and said to himself, but loud enough for everyone in the five rows of bleachers to hear: "I don't have any idea what I'm doing here." Except that he added one other word.

"I have the occasional slip," he said later, chuckling. "Everyone thinks I'm the psychotic bad boy. Then, again, I am a pretty outgoing person. But I think I'm channeling things a lot better. I'm still the same person, just growing up a little bit."

I don't want to dwell too much on his temper, though it's no small matter. It's more important to talk about his tennis, which is worlds better than a year ago. He's competing better. That's the first thing you notice. He used to lose a point and lose his mind. But in this 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over No. 6 Brydan Klein of Australia he did a good of holding his composure.

He's got almost all the Andy Roddick mannerism, which he undoubtedly picked up before he was kicked out of John Roddick's San Antonio Academy for his objectionable behavior. Same forehand as Andy. The same backhand Andy used to have before he changed under Jimmy Connors. He doesn't have the Roddick service motion, but he wiggles his left hand before he serves, just as Roddick does to get his rubber message bracelet from riding up onto his wrist.

There's good reason to keep an eye on Damico, who is the only U.S. male to win singles matches here this year, and the only Yank junior left in the draw. He next plays fourth-seeded Fernando Romboli of Brazil. However he does here, he'll be back at Wimbledon, where he won the junior doubles last year. Then, in the fall, off to the University of Texas.

Why Texas? "I've been a Longhorn since birth," he said. "My grandfather swam for Texas and is in the Hall of Fame there. Pride, passion, tradition. . .that's why I'm going there."

He'll find time to play some Futures events as well as playing for UT and he expects to spend a fair amount of time in the university weight room. "I want to get bigger, stronger, faster," he said.

Kellen has a lot of people pulling for him here and back home. He'll have a lot more if he can not only take care of his game, but his mouth as well.
Bricker also recently did an interview with Rhyne Williams :

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/c...2652917.column
"I hadn't seen young Rhyne Williams since he won the Orange Bowl 14s at the University of Miami two years ago, but aside from having shot up to 6 feet 1, he looked about the same when we visited at the French Open on Saturday, the day before the start of the junior tournament.

Cheerful face, hair about an inch short of a buzz cut and the visor of his baseball cap skewed about 10 degrees off to the right. [. . .]

What caught my eye about him at the Orange Bowl 14s was the wide variety of shots he could hit. But, unlike Young, Williams has size and a big serve. Still, let's not get too excited. Let's just say he's a prospect.
Photos of Kellen
1. 2006 USO
2. & 3. 2007 French Open
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2006uso.jpg (73.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 2007rg.jpg (96.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 2007rg2.jpg (108.1 KB, 4 views)
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 06-06-2007, 06:11 PM   #68
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

Quote:
Originally Posted by tangerine_dream View Post
One junior player I've had my eye on for a while now is Kellen Damico. He's the lone American male playing the French now.

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports..._is_bette.html


Bricker also recently did an interview with Rhyne Williams :

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/c...2652917.column
"I hadn't seen young Rhyne Williams since he won the Orange Bowl 14s at the University of Miami two years ago, but aside from having shot up to 6 feet 1, he looked about the same when we visited at the French Open on Saturday, the day before the start of the junior tournament.

Cheerful face, hair about an inch short of a buzz cut and the visor of his baseball cap skewed about 10 degrees off to the right. [. . .]

What caught my eye about him at the Orange Bowl 14s was the wide variety of shots he could hit. But, unlike Young, Williams has size and a big serve. Still, let's not get too excited. Let's just say he's a prospect.
There's one mistake in that article: Mateusz Kecki won his first round match as well.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:36 PM   #69
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

SHB, you really know your juniors. Do you run a blog or website, btw?
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 06-06-2007, 07:26 PM   #70
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Nah, I just follow it closely. But I recommend Colette Lewis' ZooTennis blog if you don't already read it (at least if you're interested in American juniors).
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:32 PM   #71
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^^ I agree, I've been reading Colette's blog for a while now to acquaint myself with junior and college players. I'm especially interested in seeing how John Roddick's boys are doing. He has a new website up but there's not much info about his players up yet.

What I would love more than anything is for somebody to upload videos of the junior players matches somewhere, either on YouTube or some Juniorplayer website. It's one thing to read about them but if we could actually see them in action I think it would be a tremendous tool in promoting the juniors from the grassroots up.
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 06-06-2007, 09:05 PM   #72
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I agree, that would be great. There was an Easter Bowl recap show that showed extended highlights of all of the finals, so I got to see a little of Rhyne Williams. He was impressive. He has a fantastic forehand. I think he's going to do some major damage in juniors before all is said and done.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:06 PM   #73
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It looks like the future of American tennis may be in the hands of a five year old boy currently living and training in France. His favorite players are Federer, Monfils, and Blake.

This article disturbs me.

Quote:
Could this 5-year-old be the future of tennis?
By Douglas Robson, Special for USA TODAY

THIVERVAL-GRIGNON, France — It's a hot June afternoon, and Jan Silva is doing things on a tennis court few his age ever have.

At one point, he laces a one-handed, topspin cross-court shot against his hitting partner, who lunges in vain. Jan curls his arm to punctuate the winner with — what else? — a fist pump.

"He's really playing to win," beams his father, Scott Silva. "There's ice cream on the line."

Jan, or "Jani" as his parents call him, is 5.

He also is the central player in an experiment that goes well beyond what most families would risk to build their child into a sports champion. Last August, the Silvas sold their house and two cars in Rancho Cordova, Calif., near Sacramento, and moved to France with their two other children so Jan could live and train full time — with all the family's expenses paid — at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy near Paris.

"Sold our home with everything in it," says Scott, a 38-year-old social worker who played basketball at Southern Oregon University. "We're getting Jani ready for something much bigger."

In doing so, the Silvas embarked on a potentially perilous path that families of tennis prodigies have taken with a few spectacular successes (such as Andre Agassi), some brief successes who flamed out (such as Jennifer Capriati before her comeback at age 20) and many more who never came close to being the champions their families envisioned.

Their patron, Patrick Mouratoglou, figures the estimated $140,000 a year he says he is spending on the Silvas will pay off in recognition and prestige for his academy if Jan becomes a star.

Mouratoglou, 37, also runs a management company. The Silvas, who referred to one of Mouratoglou's employees as Jan's "agent," say they have not signed any contract and have not been pressured to do so. "They just want us to see how things work out," says Jan's mother, Mari Maattanen-Silva, a former top tennis player in Finland.

Maattanen-Silva, 32, acknowledges that what she and her husband are doing is unusual, but she rejects the notion they are forcing tennis on their son. "Everyone thinks we're crazy, but when they come and actually meet us they are like, 'This kid loves it,' " says Mari, a tennis instructor who now teaches at Mouratoglou's academy. "We don't have to push him."

There's no blueprint for raising a tennis champion, but the formula often involves a kid swinging a racket before being able to read or write. Many go to big academies, though rarely as early as Jan. Parents usually are heavily involved.

Agassi's father, for example, dangled tennis balls in his crib to sharpen his eye-hand coordination. By age 6, the future eight-time Grand Slam tournament champion was doing interviews and exhibitions. Tracy Austin had her image on the cover of Tennis Week magazine before her fifth birthday; she won the U.S. Open at 16.

The Silvas' decision to uproot themselves and hitch their future to a 4-foot, 60-pound boy who likes SpongeBob SquarePants might seem bold. The examples of overbearing and fanatical parents in tennis — and numerous celebrated flameouts by young players — might make it seem reckless.

Scott, who was a counselor in the Sacramento County Welfare Department, and Mari, who taught tennis at the Gold River Racquet Club near Sacramento where the family spent much of its time, are friendly and attentive to their three children. The others are Kadyn, 11, — also a talented player training at Mouratoglou — and Jasmin, 3.

The Silvas passionately believe that Jan, and perhaps Kadyn, will be champions.

"Best-case scenario," Scott says, "is they both win Grand Slam titles. With the athleticism that Jani and Kadyn have, they can do whatever they want to do in tennis."

And the worst-case scenario?

"Jani wins a bunch of Grand Slam titles and Kadyn plays professional tennis but isn't as successful as he'd like to be, and then does whatever he wants," Scott says.

California coach Robert Lansdorp, who helped develop top players Austin, Pete Sampras and Maria Sharapova, says predicting such success for someone so young is a stretch. "I couldn't tell Maria was going to win Wimbledon when she was 14-15," Lansdorp says of Sharapova, 20, who was 17 when she won the Wimbledon title in 2004. She went on to win the 2006 U.S. Open.

Except for Austin, who landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 13, Lansdorp says none of his students looked like potential champions before they were teenagers. And even then, some didn't.

"You don't find that out when a kid is 5 years old," he says.

'They almost have to do it'

The Silvas say Jan's talent was evident early. Barely 1, he often demanded to see a video of a favorite player, James Blake, and soon began hitting balls for hours against a door in the Silvas' home.

The Silvas say Jan's training options at the local club where Mari taught tennis were limited. They were invited to the famed IMG/Bollettieri Tennis Academy after sending a video of Jan to academy officials, but they eventually decided the 250-student academy in Bradenton, Fla., was too big to give Jan enough attention.

Scott says IMG was wary of attracting negative publicity by working with a boy who had not entered first grade. He also says it wasn't willing to help pay for housing, education and coaching, which typically run about $50,000 a year at the academy.

Some very talented kids land scholarships or discounts at the academy — Agassi did when he went to Bollettieri as a teen — but most do not.

Mark Gorski, the IMG agent who received the video of Jan, says IMG was not prepared to give financial help to such a young prospect.

The Silvas got a break when 2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis, who had trained at the Mouratoglou Academy as a teen, saw Jan play at a youth tournament in California 16 months ago. He contacted Mouratoglou, who flew the Silvas to France for a tryout and later invited them to return.

The Silvas are not wealthy; Scott says Kadyn's game (he was a top 10-and-under junior in Northern California by 8) has been hurt by a lack of money for coaching.

The Mouratoglou Academy takes care of the Silvas' every need, including housing in a small chalet just overlooking the facility's 16 courts, meals, coaching, court time and equipment. The Silvas say they would be crazy not to take the opportunity to fulfill what they say is Jan's burning desire to play tennis.

"What do you do when you have this kid that shows this unbelievable gift?" asks Scott, who says the family still rents a home in Northern California and visits regularly.

"They almost have to do it for the money part," says famed instructor Vic Braden, from whom the Silvas sought advice last year.

Jan seems to enjoy life at the academy, and doesn't appear to grasp the consequences or pressures of his being there. Each day, he trots down a small hill from the Silvas' three-bedroom, one-bath home to the academy's courts.

Jan, who has deep brown skin and shocks of blond hair, practices for an hour with Mari, attends three hours of school and returns for another two hours of tennis in the afternoon. That's followed by an hour or so of physical training such as soccer or coordination drills. At lunch in the academy's restaurant, he smiles often and pals around with older kids.

Asked about his favorite players, Jan says, "(Roger) Federer and James Blake."

Why?

"Because they are really good."

Why not Baghdatis?

"He never wins any of his tournaments." (Actually, Baghdatis has won a couple.)

During his afternoon practice, Jan — in academy-provided Nike shoes and clothes — scampers around the court against Mouratoglou. He nearly breaks down laughing when Mouratoglou makes him sprint from corner to corner. Not surprising for a child of kindergarten age, he also is prone to temper tantrums, racket tosses and sulking when he makes mistakes.

"Braden warned us that he will go through a lot of rackets," Mari says with pride and apology.

Gripping a racket nearly the length of his body, Jan's fluid strokes and timing belie his age and size. He serves overhand, approaches the net to volley and can put topspin on shots, including his natural one-handed backhand.

Braden calls Jan one of the best 5-year-old players he's seen.

"He likes competition," Mouratoglou says. "He always wants to win. He has charisma. You look at him, and you understand immediately that he's not like everyone. These are the characteristics of a future champion."

Mouratoglou admits pinning hopes on someone so young has left him open to criticism.

"I'm just saying that he's different, that he has unbelievable talent, that the parents are focused," he says. The Silvas "have a goal. I have the same goal. The kid has the same goal. We work in the same direction; it's just a matter of time."

Treating Jan 'like a pro'

The delicacies of trying to build a champion aside, Mari says she and her husband are "treating (Jan) like a pro." Jan has two coaches in the Sacramento area, another in Florida and Braden, who continues to consult with them as a mental coach.

Braden, who runs the Vic Braden Academy and is a licensed psychologist in California, says the Silvas must tread cautiously. "They have to be very careful with (Jan) because people fawn over him. I can list a lot of kids that were destined for great things and never made it."

Says Austin, now 44: "If you set your sights on No. 1 or top 10, there is not much margin for error. If you're (ranked) 300 in the world, is that a failure? The key is to know what you're getting into beforehand. Don't say you're going for No. 1. Don't just focus on that one kid. Don't make that kid feel like the breadwinner."

The Silvas say they won't be disappointed if Jan eventually decides tennis isn't for him. "I just want him to stay healthy and be a good person and hopefully become a good tennis player, because he's working so hard," Mari says.

"Jan has chosen tennis, and tennis in a huge way has chosen him," Scott writes in an e-mail after the Silvas were interviewed. "We are just doing our very best to make sure that he stays grounded."

Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...JanSilva_N.htm
Attached Images
File Type: jpg silvax-large.jpg (72.4 KB, 8 views)
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 08-17-2007, 07:41 AM   #74
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

I saw an interesting little guy on TV today. He's Nelson Vick. He just won the Wisconsin high-school tournament as a Freshman. He took 3rd place in the U16 doubles in Kalamazoo this year---won one match in the U16 singles, then lost to the 4th seed (and finalist, James Seal).

He was generating some very considerable power from defensive postions. He whole service motion needs to be re-invented, but other than that he was pretty impressive. He stayed agressive the whole match.

Also, he seems to be a head-case. He kept turning his baseball cap backwards on break points.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:09 PM   #75
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Default Re: Upcoming American Players

Here's a blog from Justin Gimelstob about Isner, Querrey, and Young, who he calls "three excellent prospects."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...merican.stars/
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