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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July Aces; Liu, Johnson Features; Dolehide Falls to Keys in Three Sets; Paul and Donaldson Move into Third Round at ATP Citi Open

I think I set a new record in the number of Aces in my monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network, with 19 players receiving recognition for their performances in July. The column, which I have been doing for more than a decade, has a new sponsor beginning this month, Monteverde Academy in the Orlando Florida area. I thank them for their support of this monthly feature, which gives me an opportunity provide an overview of the accomplishments by junior and college players during the previous month.

Wimbledon girls champion Claire Liu lost a tough first round match to Nicole Gibbs late Monday night at the Bank of the West Classic, failing to hold a 4-1 third set lead and falling to the two-time NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5). Liu is the subject of this ESPN feature about her Wimbledon win, and how USTA coach Chris Tontz helped her work her way out of a long slump.

The void created by the sudden death in May of Steve Johnson Sr. continues to make itself felt in the tennis community. Of course that loss is infinitely greater for his family, including his son, Steve Johnson, who is trying to cope with his father's death the best way he can.  This exploration of Johnson's attempts to come to terms with his father's death is both profoundly sad and inspiring, and Dan Steinberg deserves praise for his willingness to address a painful topic. The real credit however, goes to Johnson who has not shied away from talking about the grief and pain he is experiencing as he tries to come to terms with this unexpected reality.

Caroline Dolehide lost to No. 3 seed Madison Keys 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 at the WTA's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, ending her quest for the USTA's US Open wild card.  Amanda Anisimova and race leader Sonya Kenin both won their first round matches at the $60,000 Lexington tournament today, so they remain the primary contenders, although Kayla Day and Nicole Gibbs still have a mathematical chance to catch them by reaching the semifinals at Stanford.

Tommy Paul increased his chances of winning the men's US Open wild card on offer today, when he picked up his first ATP Top 20 win at the Citi Open in Washington DC. Paul defeated No. 7 seed Lucas Pouille of France 7-6(6), 6-3 in the second round today and will face No. 11 seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in Thursday's third round.  Jared Donaldson, also advanced to the third round, with a win over lucky loser Marc Polmans of Australia and will play No. 8 seed Jack Sock on Thursday. Tennys Sandgren picked up his first ATP main draw win yesterday and plays No. 10 seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia later tonight.

2 comments:

tennisfan said...

Dolehide has had solid results this summer. Do you know if she's still planning to go to UCLA? Or is she turning pro?

Just sayin' said...

Remember Colette's discussion with Amritraj questioning how Bellis would do in college at Stanford. Now 5-6 months later, Bellis is seeded at Stanford and winning WTA matches as a Top 50 player. I think the ZooTennis post is from March referencing a Tennis Recruiting interview. While they mentioned that Bellis would clearly do well in college, there was some question how she could handle the pressure of the team environment and would she actually be the clear best player.

The point being that no one really knows. Even the top USTA people had some doubts about Bellis and whether she should have gone to college recently. Now it's completely obvious that she made the right decision.