Archive for February, 2014

Oslo

February 17, 2014

Here you will find the draw and the order of play.

http://www.tennis.no

Sasha does not play until Tuesday.

København – Thursday

February 13, 2014

Thom told me today, why dont you write the blog for a change? And i said, i was just thinking that earlier. Being around each other all the time makes way for telepathy, i guess. 😉 so, here I am! Listen up

I played unbelievably today but did not come out victorious. Very tough. I feel like i did after the panama ITF, where I reached the final but fell just short, despite playing well. Today though was probably the best tennis I’ve played in the whole Europe trip, with the match against Pavel Motl in the semis of Prague coming in second. I feel like Wawrinka in Australian open 2013, where he lost 12-10 in the fifth set vs Djokovic, where he gave it his all but still came up short. I feel like Roddick in wimbledon final 2009 vs Federer, or Verdasco in Australian open 2009 semis vs Nadal. All of these players played amazingly but still lost, and thats tough to come back from. But it does lend you a view of where your tennis is capable of going. Roddick and Verdasco never seemed to recover from these matches in their respective careers, but Wawrinka did- he built on that loss and ended up exacting revenge on Djoko in 5 sets this year in Australia. (And winning the final too, haha)
–>And i asked thom, where the quality of tennis being played today belonged with respect to ITF rankings, and he said top 100. 😉

There was a great energy today. Adrenaline was pumping big time. I woke up during the night last night (because of the adrenaline), which is very rare for me- i am a very sound sleeper. Yesterday evening i felt the need to go on the court and just play. I was just getting tired of waiting so much that i wanted to go on the court.

I have had patches in other matches that were better than the tennis i played today, but today was the best cohesive match Ive ever played from start to finish. Clean, aggressive tennis from start to end. Serve, fh, bh, return, everything. Which is very good from a developmental standpoint. Compared to the shit I put out last week in Switzerland, where I committed approximately 50UFE in the first set alone, the tennis today was infinitely better. Galaxies apart.

So, I’m not terribly upset, as some people might be after losing 7-6 in the third. I was not crying or anything. The performance today was extremely good, I just ended up losing is all. At this time, points and rankings, although they do matter in what tournaments we will play, don’t matter as much as me going out and playing well. So today was still a win in our eyes 😉
–> I’m optimistic to what the future holds.

Off to Oslo next! Grade 4. Playing like I did today, i have a good chance of doing very well and hopefully winning, regardless if I am seeded or not. And then Lithuania- our final expedition of this odyssey. Lithuanias a 2. Same thing there- show up playing like this and you can hope for some damage done. 😉

Lets get it! Vamos

~Sasha

USTA Player Development Honor Roll for the second consecutive month!!

February 12, 2014

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

January 2014 Honor Roll

February 11, 2014 05:00 PM
 
 
© Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

The monthly USTA Player Development Player and Coach Honor Roll recognizes the top performing young Americans and their coaches each month.

Here’s a look at some of the most outstanding performances turned in by American tennis players ages 20 and younger in January:

Collin Altamirano (Dec. 7, 1995), Yuba City, Calif. – Altamirano served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team for its first-round tie vs. Andy Murray and Great Britain in San Diego. He is coached by Joseph Gilbert.

Usue Arconada (Oct. 28, 1998), College Park, Md. – Arconada advanced to the girls’ singles final at the Ecuador Grade 1 ITF junior tournament in Guayaquil, Ecuador, a week after winning the doubles title at the Copa Barranquilla junior event in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is coached by Frank Salazar.

CiCi Bellis (April 8, 1999), Atherton, Calif. – Bellis won the singles title at the 50th Coffee Bowl junior tournament in San Jose, Costa Rica, bumping her world junior ranking up to a career-high No. 47. She works with USTA National Coach Leo Azevedo.

Lauren Davis (Oct. 9, 1993), Gates Mills, Ohio – Before Davis was nominated to represent the United States in the Fed Cup First Round vs. Italy, she reached the quarterfinals of the WTA event in Auckland, New Zealand. She works with USTA National Coach Juan Todero.

Olivia Hauger (Sept. 26, 1997), Tulsa, Okla. – Hauger not only advanced to the girls’ singles quarterfinals at the Australian Open in Melbourne, pacing all American girls in the junior event, but she upended top-seeded Varvara Flink of Russia in the second round. She ascended into the Top 100 of the world junior rankings. She is coached by Trent Tucker.

Jessica Ho (Jan. 5, 1997), Wexford, Pa. – Ho partnered with Russia’s Anna Blinkova to win the doubles title at the Copa Gatorade ITF junior tournament in Caracas, Venezuela. She trains at the Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy.

Dasha Ivanova (Oct. 11, 1996), Beaverton, Ore. – Ivanova advanced to the singles semifinals and the doubles final at the Copa Barranquilla junior event in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is coached by Lawrence Carpio.

Allie Kiick (June 30, 1995), Plantation, Fla. – Kiick strung together a couple of solid results at $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit events, reaching the final at Daytona Beach, Fla., and advancing to the semifinals at Vero Beach, Fla. She is coached by Harold Solomon.

Raveena Kinglsey (July 23, 1998), Parkton, Md. – Kingsley swept through India in January, winning two ITF junior singles titles in consecutive weeks at the India ITF Juniors 2 in New Delhi and the ONGC ITF Juniors in Kolkata. She is coached by Oliver Akli.

Madison Keys (Feb. 17, 1995), Rock Island, Ill. – Keys, a part of the U.S. Fed Cup team for its first-round tie vs. Italy this month, began 2014 by reaching the semifinals of the WTA event in Sydney, Australia. She works with USTA National Coach Juan Todero.

Stefan Kozlov (Feb. 1, 1998), Pembroke Pines, Fla. – Before his 16th birthday, Kozlov reached his first Grand Slam junior singles final by advancing to the boys’ title match at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Kozlov fell to No. 1 Alexander Zverev of Germany but ascended to No. 2 in the world junior rankings. He works with USTA National Coach Nicolas Todero.

Sameer Kumar (July 10, 1997), Carmel, Ind. – Kumar captured three out of four possible junior titles during his ITF Junior Circuit swing through India, sweeping the singles and doubles championships at the ONGC ITF Juniors event in Kolkata and pairing up with Anudeep Kodali to win the doubles title at the India ITF Juniors 2 tournament in New Delhi. He is coached by Bryan Smith.

Elyse Lavender (Oct. 14, 1998), Mars Hill, N.C. – Lavender made the semifinals of the Wilson Tennis Canterbury ITF junior event in New Zealand. She is coached by her father, Jim.

Alexander Lebedev (March 29, 1997), Island Park, N.Y. – Lebedev won the Safina Cup junior tournament in Prague, Czech Republic. He is coached by Thom Billadeau.

Michael Mmoh (Jan. 10, 1998), Temple Hills, Md. – Mmoh advanced to the quarterfinals of the AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International tournament in Australia, then made it to the second round of the Australian Open boys’ singles championship the next week. He and Kozlov also reached the Australian Open boys’ doubles quarterfinals. He is coached by Glenn Weiner.

Noah Rubin (Feb. 21, 1996), Rockville Centre, N.Y. – Before Rubin served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team for its first-round tie vs. Great Britain in San Diego, he qualified and reached the singles semifinals at the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 Futures in Sunrise, Fla. He is coached by Lawrence Kleger.

Alex Rybakov (Jan. 27, 1997), Coral Springs, Fla. – Rybakov advanced to the singles semifinals at the Ecuador Grade 1 ITF junior event in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and teamed with Henrik Wiersholm to win the doubles title at the Copa Baranquilla ITF junior event in Colombia. He works with USTA National Coach Eric Nunez.

Logan Smith (Oct. 29, 1996), Carlsbad, Calif. – Smith reached the singles final at the Copa Baranquilla ITF junior event in Colombia.

Francis Tiafoe (Jan. 20, 1998), College Park, Md. – Tiafoe, a month after becoming the youngest Orange Bowl boys’ 18s singles champion, qualified and reached the quarterfinals of the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 event in Palm Coast, Fla. He is coached by Misha Kouznetsov.

Henrik Wiersholm (March 27, 1997), Kirkland, Wash. – Wiersholm reached the singles semifinals and paired with Alex Rybakov to win the doubles title at the Copa Baranquilla ITF junior event in Colombia. He is coached by Dan Willman.

 

Into the Quarters of Singles and Semis of Doubles in Copenhagen

February 12, 2014

Sasha won his singles match 6-4, 6-1 against a young talented qualifier.  He played extremely well in significant parts of the match, but I was reasonably happy with the level.  He and Jean played well in doubles after the first few games and pretty much dominated the other team.  Too bad this partnership can’t continue but this is the last tournament that they will play together for now.

Tomorrow, Sasha plays Christian Sigsgaard in both singles and doubles.  He and Benji Hannestad compete for best active junior in Denmark.  It will be a tough match, but he is up for it and I’m looking forward to it.  Johannes Ingildsen partners with Christian in the doubles.  Again–tough, but not impossible.  Singles is at 9am and doubles is NB noon.

 

Sasha won his singles match 6-4, 6-1 doubles later along with more info

February 12, 2014

What’s next?

February 11, 2014

Hi Everyone,

The Copenhagen tournament is playing the six day format so we had the day off today after a win in singles and doubles.  I set up a practice at B93 with Sasha, Jean Thiroin (Sasha’s Doubles Partner and his coach) and a good young Danish player Gustav Brorson (Gus) a good 15 year old along with my friend Jan.  We had three hours of court time which allowed us to work on both singles and doubles.  Then we went to lunch at 42 Raw (http://42raw.dk) and Joe & The Juice (http://www.joejuice.com/site/#!home).  Sasha and I shopped for dinner and had a nice evening at Jan’s.  It’s funny Aga and Jacob (their baby) are at my house in Palm Springs now.  We will join them on 3 March.  I’m tired of hearing about the weather second hand!!

Sasha plays singles at 9am tomorrow and doubles not before 1:30pm so we are on the same schedule as Monday.  I’ll post the good news as soon as its available.

There was some good news today.  Sasha cleared the alternate list into the Grade 2 ITF in Lithuania.  That will be our last tournament in Europe for this trip.  He will at least be seeded in qualifying if he doesn’t clear into the main draw.

We will be in Oslo, Norway next week.  I found an apartment for us to rent.  So we should be able to have a good routine there.  Now for those who are superstitious.  Our hotel in Prague was called the Hotel Opera and of course Sasha won that tournament.  Guess what the apartment building is called?  Hopefully it will influence the outcome in Oslo.

Early night here, since we will be up at 6am, at the club by 7am for stretching and then an extended warmup.

Gnight!

Won singles. Playing doubles now

February 10, 2014

Sasha won his match 6-2, 6-2 this morning. Played well. On the dubs court now. No play tomorrow so we will practice at B93 for a few hours.  Will play again Wednesday. 

Copenhage

February 9, 2014

Hi Everyone,

We’ve had some excellent practice in Copenhagen and the Sasha has a good draw–here is a pointer to the draw and order of play.

http://www.kb-boldklub.dk/tennis/nyheder/copenhagen-winter-cup-2014/

As most of you know, we have based ourselves at my friend Jan Jensen’s place in Copenhagen for this European tour.  We were able to practice on courts very similar to the courts at the club where this tournament is being played.  That always helps preparation.

Sasha plays first match on tomorrow so all our friends in the States will wake up to the result which I hope will be positive.  

Bye for now.

On our way back to Copenhagen

February 6, 2014

Yup, that means Sasha lost his match yesterday.  Did not play well and so we reluctantly are leaving sunny–yes I said sunny Switzerland.  We will practice in Copenhagen Friday, Saturday and Sunday then begin play in Copenhagen on Monday.  Sasha should be seeded 8 or better there.  

A win in Switzerland

February 5, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Sasha won his match yesterday.

Lebedev – Martinez 46 63 63 http://resultina.com/match/1146793
Alexander LEBEDEV – Mirko MARTINEZ 4-6 6-3 6-3
Round of 32, ITF Juniors Boys Oberentfelden, Switzerland
This was a tough match.  The guy was a wild card.  He is only 15, has been training in Spain.  He is quite good and Sasha started off not playing his best.  But he did find himself and ended strong.  Good momentum for the next round.  Doubles was not a good match and they lost 3-6, 4-6.  
He is on a six match winning streak now.  Plays today not before 11:30a.  The internet is very sketchy here, so I will update you when I can.