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Day 1 Pain Blog: US Open National Playoff Qualifying-Florida Tennis

May 29, 2010 07:00 PM
 

Blisters? What blisters? No one wants to shake that hand
after the match

 

From left: USTA Florida President Donn Davis, USONPQ-F
Tournament Director Rick Workman, and the author

 

The homemade t-shirts: "I got my butt kicked at the [USONPQ-F
logo] but I did get this great t-shirt!"

USTA Florida's Rick Vach blogs from the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla., the site of the inaugural US Open National Playoff Qualifying-Florida tournament:

Before the painful results of Day 1 at the USONPQ-F, a little housekeeping and an e-mail we got from Rose regarding an earlier blog about the IMG Bollettieri Academy:

"I read your blog with interest. The Agassi reference doesn't make any sense -- without noting he was there twenty-five years ago ... and that Mr. Bolletieri has said repeatedly he is taking a very positive attitude towards what Agassi wrote. He hasn't denied anything Agassi wrote. I presume they both know Bolletieri's wouldn't be Bolletieri's if it had not in fact changed in those two and a half decades -- hopefully much for the better.  Your note seems to imply Agassi's book is wrong without acknowledging that he was writing about long ago, and a long ago that Mr. Bolletieri hasn't contested."

Thanks for the e-mail Rose -- didn't mean to imply any mis-truths or denials, just wanted to note that many players and coaches and even some people in the tennis industry today have a picture of the academy (which they've never visited) as a bare-bones tennis factory (like back in Agassi's day), and I wanted to just share how ultra-modern and lush the facilities and the beautiful grounds are. Sorry for any confusion.

Today was Saturday and the kick-off of the event, with first-round matches going on at 9 and 10 a.m. in temperatures that eventually rose into the low 90s. The hardcourts themselves heated-up to "medium" on the frying pan heat scale, medium feeling like 110 degrees. A number of players were treated for cramping, and one brave soul threw up during his match due to the heat (and soldiered on!).

This will be a short blog as after two long matches on hardcourt, my back is toast and I can't even sit up, I have to type this lying down -- and, no joke, my fingers are cramping as I type. Ibuprofin, please start working. In the first match I edged my opponent in two tight sets, but the heat was brutal, and to perhaps drive home his fitness point, he wore black from head to toe. And scampered and retrieved seemingly every ball -- super-quick. Upon shaking hands at the net he said, "I wish it would have gone a third set," and I thought, "Yeah...no." I would have been the one throwing up, and he was content to sit back and have long rallies and run all day. It's nice to be young. And fit. I would settle for one of those.

The second match was a rollercoaster as my opponent hit a huge ball, so much so that I ended up retrieving and slicing groundstrokes most of the match, which turned out to be an advantage, combined with a 20 mph wind that turned them into knuckleballs. Had to bring out the old-man-senior-tour-slicey game. After sustaining a warning for racquet-throwing and a point penalty for colorful language, he retired in the second-set tiebreak after badly turning his ankle. Unlucky for him, lucky for me, and he noted it was the first time he EVER turned his ankle. I've rolled my ankle more times than he's had years on this planet. He is a very good player, and if he won that second-set tiebreak we would have went three sets in that heat, where I was already hallucinating and had trouble keeping score. So onto the third round Sunday morning where Ian Laster of Waxhaw, NC, who won his second-round match 6-0, 6-0, will kindly put me out of my misery, like an injured farm animal.

Check below for a couple interesting upsets of touted junior players, and the battle of current-or-former No. 1s, won by Jan Abaza of Deerfield Beach over Josie Kuhlman of Ponte Vedra Beach 6-1, 6-2 (fair to note that Jan has a year or two on Josie, both in their early teens):
 
US Open Men's National Playoffs/Sectional Qualifying (Round of 64)

George, Viju Boca Raton, FL  def.  Eriksen, Eric Bradenton, FL  6-2; 6-0
Schultz, Darin Punta Gorda, FL  def.  Lacherade, David Miami, FL  6-3; 6-7(5); 6-3
Cotrone, Dominic Bradenton, FL  def.  Khadre, Sammy Bradenton, FL  6-0; 6-0
Sajous, Olivier Plantation, FL  def.  Yu, Marcus Boca Raton, FL  6-0; 6-0
Bao, Tianyu Bradenton, FL  def.  Khanin, Daniel Bradenton, FL  7-6(2); 6-1
Kurtis, Scott New York, NY  def.  Song, Te Bradenton, FL  6-1; 6-2
Sanchez, German Bradenton, FL  def.  Treadwell, Christopher Canton, MI  6-0; 6-0
Cotrone, David Bradenton, FL  def.  Browne, Matthew Marco Island, FL  6-1; 7-5
Triola, Brian Punta Gorda, FL  def.  Montgomery, Stephen Key West, FL  6-4; 6-4
Laster, Ian Waxhaw, NC  def.  Nikiforov, Nikoliy Bradenton, FL    Def (ns)
Neumann, Ace Sarasota, FL  def.  Davis, Donn Punta Gorda, FL  6-0; 6-0
Zhang, Yaozhong Safety Harbor, FL  def.  De Tone, Christopher Clearwater, FL  6-0; 6-0
Styslinger, Mac Birmingham, AL  def.  EASTERWOOD, RICHARD Odessa, FL  6-0; 6-0
Muth, Brandon Tampa, FL  def.  Paliz, Ruben Land O Lakes, FL  6-4; 7-6(5)
Tahiri, Mehdi Inverness, FL  def.  Cook, David Bradenton, FL  6-2; 6-0
Klingemann, Christopher Bradenton, FL  def.  Sanford, EJ Bradenton, FL  6-0; 6-0
Tate, Eric Sarasota, FL  def.  Killean, Thomas Holiday, FL  6-0; 6-0
Crossman, Derek Wesley Chapel, FL  def.  Bodwin, Antoine Vero Beach, FL  6-1; 6-2
Lunghino, Spencer Ponte Vedra, FL  def.  Marler, Benn Tampa, FL  6-3; 6-2
Belov, Evgeniy Tampa, FL  def.  Morris, Dural Hortonville, WI  6-4; 7-6(4)
Falla Ramirez, Sebastian Naples, FL  def.  torres, gabriel Doral, FL  6-0; 6-0
Carpenter, Peter Bradenton, FL  def.  Snyder, Jarred New York, NY  6-0; 6-4
Sanchez, Ismael Boca Raton, FL  def.  Felman, Stephen Nokomis, FL  6-4; 6-3
Bose, Alex Sarasota, FL  def.  Da Silva, Kirk Miami Beach, FL    Def (ns)
Vach, Rick Jacksonville, FL  def.  Vicci, Heidrich Pembroke Pines, FL  6-4; 6-4
Singh, Basant Bradenton, FL  def.  Mather, Jack Oakville, ON  6-0; 6-4

US Open Men's National Playoffs/Sectional Qualifying (Round of 32)

Kroczek, Thomas Cortez, FL  def.  Kurtis, Scott New York, NY  6-4; 3-6; 6-1
Muth, Brandon Tampa, FL  def.  Osment, Joseph Naples, FL    Def (ns)
Schultz, Darin Punta Gorda, FL  def.  Singh, Basant Bradenton, FL  6-4; 6-2
Zhang, Yaozhong Safety Harbor, FL  def.  Goldberg, Zachary Newberry, FL  6-2; 6-3
Sajous, Olivier Plantation, FL  def.  Bao, Tianyu Bradenton, FL  6-4; 6-1
Sanchez, German Bradenton, FL  def.  Cotrone, David Bradenton, FL  6-4; 6-4
Laster, Ian Waxhaw, NC  def.  Triola, Brian Punta Gorda, FL  6-0; 6-0
Vach, Rick Jacksonville, FL  def.  Neumann, Ace Sarasota, FL  6-2; 6-6(4-1)  Ret (inj)
Klingemann, Christopher Bradenton, FL  def.  Tahiri, Mehdi Inverness, FL  6-1; 6-0
Tate, Eric Sarasota, FL  def.  Crossman, Derek Wesley Chapel, FL  5-4  Ret (inj)
Oljaca, Mark Bradenton, FL  def.  Lunghino, Spencer Ponte Vedra, FL  6-1; 6-4
Belov, Evgeniy Tampa, FL  def.  Falla Ramirez, Sebastian Naples, FL  5-7; 6-2; 6-0
Carpenter, Peter Bradenton, FL  def. Reunis, Rudy Port Saint Lucie, FL  6-0; 6-0
Bose, Alex Sarasota, FL  def.  Sanchez, Ismael Boca Raton, FL  6-1; 6-0
Styslinger, Mac Birmingham, AL  def.  George, Viju Boca Raton, FL  6-3; 6-4
Cotrone, Dominic Bradenton, FL  def.  Hart, Bergen Ocala, FL  6-0; 6-0

US Open Women's National Playoffs/Sectional Qualifying (Round of 32)

Zhao, Di Bradenton, FL  def.  Rostarchuk, Evgenia University Park, FL  6-1; 6-2
Xantos, Yasmine Bradenton, FL  def.  Steele-Cerone, Rachelle Lehigh Acres, FL  6-3; 4-6; 6-1
Kitchiner, Deja Citrus Springs, FL  def.  Draeger, Jeanette Naples, FL    Wd (ill)
Li, Sherry Parkland, FL  def.  Phimmasone, Naly Oviedo, FL  6-0; 6-1
Ramirez, Lizeth Sunrise, FL  def.  Militaru, Roxanne Sarasota, FL  6-2; 6-1
Vranov, Simone Windermere, FL  def.  May, Lauren Niceville, FL  6-2; 6-2
Cantrell, Linda Tampa, FL  def.  Paul, Erin Saint Clair Shores, MI  6-1; 6-0
Abaza, Jan Deerfield Beach, FL  def.  Kuhlman, Josie Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  6-1; 6-2
Cespedes, Maria Orlando, FL  def.  Ruschak, Alexandra Fort Pierce, FL  6-1; 6-0

Got comments/input as a player or observer or internet lurker? E-mail vach@florida.usta.com and we'll get your comments in the blog.

 

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