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Danny Thomas’ impressive professional debut

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By Jason Barron

Danny Thomas is young tennis player from Pinkerton, Ohio who holds great potential in tennis. He can do everything on a tennis court that you would want to see in a young prospect. He has a solid two handed backhand and a powerful forehand and serve to complete his well rounded game. He is also young enough to where he hasn’t developed bad habits or tendencies that can sometimes plague the greatest of players.

Most people his age are graduating high school and going onto college or otherwise. Danny Thomas chose a different path. He chose a path full of promise, full of challenges, but also full of opportunities.

He chose to turn pro, and bypass college. A decision that will alter the course of his life. He may succeed, he may fail, time will tell. With the tools at he has in his arsenal and with the high level competition he will be facing on the Pro and Challenger circuits he will able to improve his game. In high school he was beating everyone because he was one of the best graduating seniors in the country achieving a number 4 ranking nationally.

On the pro circuit he will face much stiffer competition, but this should only expedite his development, and not hinder it. He signed with the sports agency, Lagardere Sports. He graduated from high school in 2017 and was regarded as a five star recruit. While he was playing on the ITF Junior Circuit, he reached the top 20, and was the youngest American to achieve this high of a ranking. At the junior tournament at the US Open he was able to advance to the Quarterfinal of the competition. In 2018, he will hope to compete in the actual US Open.

In 2017 he won the Dr. Allen B. Stowe Sportsmanship ward at the USTA Boys Nationals Tournament. In that tournament Danny Thomas and Vasil Kirkov won the 2017 USTA Boys’ 18 Doubles Championship. With that victory they qualified to compete at the US Open. This shows that Danny Thomas is not only a top singles player, but can also excel in doubles tennis as well. Receiving the sportsmanship award also shows that he is a competitor who is respectful of both his opponent and the sport of tennis.

Danny Thomas also competed in his first Challenger Series in Charlottesville, West Virginia. Danny Thomas and Denis Kudla were able to win the doubles crown at the USTA Pro Circuit event. That is a great first tournament result, and I am sure it will not be his last title that he wins.

It is clear that Danny Thomas has a bright future in the game and with continued results like the ones he’s been achieving, it may not be long before Danny Thomas is competing against the best in the sport. It will be interesting to see as his game develops if he wants to play more doubles or singles tennis. I believe he can win titles in both settings.  Remember the name Danny Thomas because he deserves your attention.


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Baptiste, Montgomery & Scott headline USTA Nationals

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Opening Ceremony Set for Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Barnes Tennis Center

SAN DIEGO – (August 2, 2019) – Tournament officials have announced the seeded players for the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s and 18s National Championships scheduled for August 3-11, 2019 at the Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 W. Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107.

The top singles seed in the Girls’ 18s division is Hailey Baptiste of Washington, D.C.  Other top Girls’ 18s seeds include second-seeded Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif., third-seeded Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C., and fourth-seeded Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J.

The 17-year-old Baptiste has spent most of the year playing on the USTA Pro Circuit. She is currently ranked No. 283 in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings. Earlier this week, she upset 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the first round of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., before falling to Kristina Mladenovic of France in the second round.

Volynets has also spent much of 2019 competing in USTA Pro Circuit events. The 17-year-old is ranked No. 387 in the WTA singles rankings.  Navarro, 18, was a Girls’ singles finalist at this year’s French Open. She is currently ranked No. 4 in the ITF junior rankings. Noel, 16, reached the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles final last month and is No. 7 in the latest ITF junior rankings.  

In the Girls’ 16s division, Valencia Xu of Livingston, N.J., is the top singles seed. The 16-year-old Xu, who competes in International Tennis Federation and USTA junior events, captured the singles title at the USTA International Grass Court Championship in Haverford, Pa., this past June.

“We have very strong draws in both divisions for this year’s National Championships,” said Tournament Director Lornie Kuhle. “There are many talented players coming from across the country to compete in this event. I invite fans to come and watch the future of American women’s tennis. It’s going to be a great week of high-level junior tennis.”

For the complete list of seeded players, click here.
For complete draws for the Girls’ 16s and 18s divisions, click here.

Over 400 of the top junior tennis players in the country, aged 16 and 18 and under, will compete for the title of National Champion, as well as a wild card entry into the Women’s Singles main draw of the 2019 US Open (for the 18s Champion) and a wild card into the 2019 US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion).  The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a wild card into the US Open Women’s Doubles main draw.

The Girls’ 16s event will begin on Saturday, August 3 and conclude with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday August 10. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, August 4 and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, August 11. Both divisions will feature 256-player singles draws with the top 32 players receiving a first-round bye. There will also be 128-team doubles draws with the top 16 teams getting first-round byes.

The starting times for each day of the tournament are as follows:
Saturday, August 3 through Wednesday, August 7 – 8 a.m.
Thursday, August 8 – 8:30 a.m.
Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 – 9 a.m.
Sunday, August 11 – 10 a.m.  

(All times PDT)

The Opening Ceremony for the USTA National Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, August 3 at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Early-round tournament matches will also be played at San Diego State University’s Aztec Tennis Center, 5375 Remington Rd., San Diego, CA 92115 from Saturday, August 3 through Thursday, August 8 and at the Balboa Tennis Club, 2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego, CA 92104 from Saturday, August 3 through Tuesday, August 6.

Admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free each day of the tournament. For fans watching matches at SDSU and the Balboa Tennis Club, admission is free. There is a nominal charge for on-campus parking at SDSU. Parking regulations at the university will be strictly enforced. Parking is free at the Balboa Tennis Club.

Tennis Channel will broadcast the Girls’ 16s singles final from 1-3 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, August 10 and the Girls’ 18s singles final from 2-4 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday, August 11.

All tournament matches played on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center will be streamed live at beginning Saturday, August 3 through Friday, August 9.

To view the official tournament website, please click here.

About USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals
The USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 16 and 18 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

Seeded Player List:

1. Baptiste, Hailey
2. Volynets, Katie
3. Navarro, Emma
4. Noel, Alexa
5. Ma, Connie
6. Subhash, Natasha
7. Parks, Alycia
8. Black, Hurricane Tyra
9. Forbes, Abigail
10. Broadus, Savannah
11. Mandlik, Elli
12. Beck, Chloe
13. Montgomery, Robin
14. Scott, Katrina
15. chavatipon, charlotte
16. Owensby, Charlotte
17. Boch-Collins, Audrey

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Wimbledon Junior Champions fly under radar

Abigail Forbes

By Editorial Team

Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes defeated Bartone and Selekhmeteva in a three set battle to win the Wimbledon Junior Doubles Championships.

Forbes is currently attending UCLA as an incoming freshman in the Fall and Broadus is a Dallas native that was able to break through the Texas Tennis Association ladder. These two were not caught up in the junior hype over the last few years as Gauff, McNally, Baptiste and Navaro dominated major media outlets with their impressive singles play.

This year Forbes sported a top 25 ITF junior ranking, but 15 year old Robin Montgomery and the rapidly rising Sada Nahimana who won the Wimbledon warm up in Nottingham had most of the buzz going into this year’s Championships.

With the US Open just around the corner, Savannah and Abigail can test their skill on the hard courts again, but now with some spotlight attached to their names.

Last year Gauff and McNally (currently top 200 WTA ranked pros) were able to take the US Open title against Baptiste and Hewitt in straight sets. This year Savannah and Abigail are favorites in the draw. Most doubles champions move on to great pro careers as Marta Kostyuk and Bianca Andreescu were able to boost their careers with solid performances in WTA singles events following strong doubles performances.

Only time will tell if this doubles team is ready for the WTA Tour, but for now fans should support and lift them up as champions and the future of black tennis.

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African hopeful, Sada Nahimana, captures Nottingham Junior International Championship

ITF Juniors

By Editorial Team

Sada Nahimana was able to rally to win both singles and doubles titles on grass this week in Nottingham leading into the Roehamption Championships next week.

Sada of Burundi, Africa sliced through the singles draw with ease as the 4th seed. In what was projected to be a tough encounter with American Tyra Black actually resulted in a one set thumping 6-4, 2-1 after Tyra mysteriously withdrew from the match.

The title win here gives Sada a leg up going into the prestigious Roehamption event where Cori Gauff was able to win the title last year.

The professional ranks are definitely calling Sada as she prepares for the last two junior grand slams. After an early first round loss she is hoping that European grass courts continue to bring her luck through the hard court season and the US Open juniors.

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