Qualies are complete. Seeds were announced. Draws are posted. The 2014 National Hardcourt tournaments are now underway.
The one I’ve been watching most closely is Kalamazoo since that’s the one my son worked toward playing this year. Unfortunately, despite working very hard and improving dramatically over the past year, my son made neither the Southern quota for the main draw nor the National Standing List (NSL) cutoff for the qualifying draw. Kalamazoo won’t be one of the tournaments on his very long player history when this whole junior tennis thing is all said and done. We’re both disappointed.
That said, I will continue to follow this year’s tournament very closely – mostly via Colette Lewis and her ZooTennis website and Twitter – and will continue to suggest where I think the USTA Junior Competition & Sportsmanship Committee can do a better job moving forward.
I would like to point out that this year’s top seed in the B18s, Jared Donaldson (who was last year’s runner-up, losing to unseeded Collin Altamirano), needed a wildcard to get into the Main Draw. In fact, 10 of the 11 top seeds needed either a wildcard or had to get through qualies to make the Main Draw: seeds 1-7 plus 10 are all wildcards while Baughman (#9) and Smith (#11) qualified as did Opelka (#19). Woe to the poor boys who got denied a spot in the Main Draw and a chance to be seen by more college coaches because they unluckily drew Deiton, Logan, or Reilly in the qualies!
This Monday’s radio show will be devoted to Kalamazoo. My guests are two fellow Tennis Parents who are there with their sons. If you are at one of the other Hardcourts sites and would like to call in and share your experience so far, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can give you the details of how to do so.
For those of you with children playing Hardcourts over the next week, good luck and please let me know how it goes!