USTA juniors shine at Napa Classic

September 25, 2011 01:42 PM
By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
 
ST. HELENA, Calif., (Sept. 24, 2011) –
USTA national coach Andy Brandi knows a few things about the college game and on-court coaching.
 
Brandi, who served as the women’s coach at the University of Florida from 1984-2001 leading the Gators to three national titles, is going opposite the collegiates this weekend coaching eight talented juniors at the 11th annual Land Rover Napa Valley Classic at the Meadowood Resort.
 
His charges are enjoying all the on-court wisdom Brandi is imparting on them, which is something the USTA juniors are not used to as on-court coaching is allowed only in ITA college matches.
 
"It helps me a lot," said 16-year-old USTA junior Connor Farren from Hillsborough, Calif., of the on-court coaching he was receiving from Brandi. "He was telling me what to do on the changeovers, whether to come to the net or stay back."
 
After splitting sets with UCLA freshman Dennis Mkrtchian, Farren said he started blasting away from the baseline and took control of the match leading 5-2 in the third set when Brandi had another word with him on the changeover. "He told me at 5-2 that he was going to the bathroom and that I better be done with the match by the time he gets back."
 
Farren listened and broke Mkrtchian giving up just one point in the game to take the match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
 
"I did tell him that and he listened," Brandi said.
 
It was one win in a great start by the USTA juniors on the day as they opened up with a 4-0 record. They lost three of the next four matches however to finish the day 5-3, the same record they had Friday.
 
Like the juniors, four college teams posted the same record on Saturday as they did on Friday with Cal and UCLA each going 3-1 and Notre Dame and Tulsa both finishing 2-2.
 
"The juniors have really showed just a fearless attitude," said Brandi. "They’ve done a very good job competing as a result and I think they’ve surprised some people. We ended the day 5-3 but there was one match where we should have come up with a W just like yesterday, we should have won one more match.
 
"They’ve done a good job of letting the college guys know that we are every bit as good as they are."
 
Another junior player who has benefited from the on-court coaching has been 16-year-old Nikko Madregallejo, who won his second consecutive match against the collegiates, beating Grant Ive of Tulsa, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
 
"It’s been good," Madregallejo said. "I think differently than my coach, who has a totally different perspective. He changes the focus. I was really happy to have (Andy) on the court with me."
 
In his match on Friday, Madregallejo’s opponent Casey Watt of Notre Dame took a medical timeout in the third set after cramping. "I was thinking move him around and make him hit a lot of balls but (Brandi) said don’t change anything, just keep playing the way you’re playing and you’ll be fine," Madregallejo said.
 
Added Brandi on Saturday: "They have really followed the instruction of both what Stanford (fellow USTA coach Stanford Boster) and I have been telling them. I think it’s been very beneficial to them because it’s been a learning tool for them because in the future when they don’t have the luxury of having somebody on the court they can basically remember some of the adjustments they’ve made while they were here."
 
One of the top performers for the college guys on Saturday was Nick Andrews, a Cal senior who is from Folsom, Calif., in the Bay Area. He beat Ed Jones of Tennessee, 6-0, 6-1 on Saturday to go 2-0 in the round-robin competition.
 
"Nick is a senior now who has become fitter and stronger and we are expecting a good year from him," said Cal coach Peter Wright.
 
Added Andrews: "I like this format. It’s fun and different. Once you get into the tiebreaker round they go pretty fast so it’s exciting."
 
EVENT FORMAT: Each school is represented by four players to compete alongside the eight juniors, and the 32-man field is split into eight pools featuring three collegians and a junior. Following three matches in pool play, the eight pool winners will compete in a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined. 
 
The juniors were selected by USTA Player Development based on ATP rankings (if applicable), national rankings and results, and a selection of younger players for developmental purposes. 
 
Saturday’s singles results
Nick Andrews (Cal) def. Ed Jones (Tennessee), 6-0, 6-1
JC Aragone (USTA) def. Blake Bazarnik (Vanderbilt), 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-3
Ahmed Ismail (Cal) def. Casey Watt (Notre Dame), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Nikko Madregallejo (USTA) def. Grant Ive (Tulsa), 6-2, 1-6, 6-3
Ashley Watling (Tulsa) def. def. Ben McLachlan (Cal), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Luca Corinteli (USTA) def. Gonzalez Austin (Vanderbilt), 6-3, 6-4
Clifford Marsland (Tulsa) def. Brandon Fickey (Tennessee), 7-6 (2), 6-4
Alexios Halebian (USTA) def. Alex DiValerio (Vanderbilt), 6-3, 7-5
Christopher Konigsfeldt (Cal) def. Hunter Reese (Tennessee), walkover
Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. Michael Redlicki (USTA), 6-3, 7-5
Connor Farren (USTA) def. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Greg Andrews (Notre Dame) def. Japie De Klerk (Tulsa), 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1
Adrien Puget (UCLA) def. Niall Fitzgerald (Notre Dame), 6-1, 6-4
Sam Keeton (Notre Dame) def. Jarryd Chaplin (Tennessee), 6-4, 6-4
Warren Hardie (UCLA) def. Spencer Papa (USTA), 6-4, 6-2
Charlie Jones (Vanderbilt) def. Mitchell Kreuger (USTA), 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
 
Saturday’s Doubles Results
Nick Andrews-Christopher Konigsfeldt (Cal) def. Blake Bazarnik-Alex DiValerio (Vanderbilt), 8-3
Sam Keeton- Casey Watt (Notre Dame) def. Dennis Mkrtchian-Adrien Puget (UCLA), 8-6
Clay Thompson-Warren Hardie (UCLA) def. Jarryd Chaplin-Brandon Fickey (Tennessee), 8-4
 
TWO-DAY TEAM TALLY
USTA Juniors: 10-6
Cal: 6-2
UCLA: 6-2
Tulsa: 4-4
Notre Dame: 4-4
Tennessee: 1-7
Vanderbilt: 1-7
 
DAY 3: Sunday’s Schedule
8 a.m.  
     
Ismail (Cal) vs. Madregallejo (USTA)
Watt (ND) vs. Ive (Tulsa)
N. Andrews (Cal) vs. Bazarnik (Vandy)
E. Jones (Tenn) vs. Aragone (USTA)
De Klerk (Tulsa) vs. DiValerio (Vandy)
G. Andrews (ND) vs. Halebian (USTA)
   
9:15 a.m.
Watling (Tulsa) vs. Corinteli (USTA)
B. McLachlan (Cal) vs. Austin (Vandy)
Marsland (Tulsa) vs. Farren (USTA)
Mkrtchian (UCLA) vs. Fickey (Tenn)
   
10:30 a.m.
Thompson (UCLA) vs. Keeton (ND)
Chaplin (Tenn) vs. Redlicki (USTA)
C. Jones (Vandy) vs. Fitzgerald (ND)
Puget (UCLA) vs. Krueger (USTA)
Konigsfeldt (Cal) vs. Papa (USTA)
Hardie (UCLA) vs. Reese (Tenn)

 
 

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