Monthly Archives: October 2013

Jessica Golovin Loses in a Tight Match at The Evert American ITF

Jessica and Jada at Practice

Jessica and Jada at Practice

JMTA’er Jessica Golovin lost a tight match yesterday at the Evert American ITF in Boca Raton, Florida to fellow American Sophie Chang 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.  Jessica fought hard and came back from down one set to love, but couldn’t complete the comeback as she was outlasted in a tough 3rd set.  “Sophie played a great match and deserves to move on” said Jessica, “I hope I get to face her again.” Jessica’s JMTA coach Bruce Haddad said, “First off, my congratulations to Sophie. This was a tough loss for Jessica.  She played a very tough match and I am very proud of her for fighting tooth and nail all the way.  She’ll get past this one and come back next tournament both mentally and physically stronger because of it.”

The week is not over for Jessica, as she and her partner, Jada Robinson of the U.S., are the #7 seeds in the doubles draw and have advanced to the quarterfinals and will play later on Thursday.

Check back for Jessica’s results, and for a preview of Jaime Loeb’s draw in next week’s USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.

Noah Rubin Competes in Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger

Noah Rubin practicing with Coach Lawrence Kleger.

Noah practicing with Coach Lawrence Kleger at JMTA.

JMTA’er Noah Rubin received a Wild Card into The Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger, a tournament featuring top Americans like Rajeev Ram, Donald Young, and Tim Smyczek.  Noah’s first round match was yesterday against one of the hottest players on the Challenger circuit, Canadian Peter Polansky.  Polansky, #165 in the world ATP rankings, is playing the best tennis of his career, and is coming off of a win in his last Challenger in Tiburon, CA.  Noah got off to a slow start, but settled in to make Polansky work for a very hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory.  Considering Noah is ranked 600 spots below Peter in ATP rankings, it was a very respectable showing for the 17-year old.  Noah’s coach, JMTA Academy Director Lawrence Kleger said that “Noah was understandably disappointed in the loss, but all who saw the match said that he played very well.  He is playing top ATP pros very tough and I know that it will not be long before he has that ‘breakthrough win’ on the Challenger level.”

In other JMTA tennis news, Jessica Golovin will be in 2nd round action later on Wednesday in the Evert American ITF when she takes on Sophie Chang.  Former JMTA star and current UNC Freshman, Jamie Loeb, will be playing at the National Tennis Center next week in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.  Be sure to check back in tomorrow for Jessica’s results, and next week for updates on Jamie.

Jessica Golovin Back in Action in the Evert American ITF

JMTA’er Jessica Golovin won her first round match today in the Evert American ITF against American qualifier Karina Rovira 6-0, 6-1.  Jessica enters the tournament as the #10 seed and she and her JMTA coach Bruce Haddad have high expectations.  “I have a lot of confidence in myself,” said Jessica, “this is a tournament that I can do well in.  My goal is to win it!”  Bruce, on the other hand, is a little more reserved.  “I told Jessica to take the tournament one point at a time, ignore the fact that she is seeded, and go out there assuming each match is going to be a battle;  that being said, she is in great shape and playing well and I expect her results to represent that.”  Jessica’s second round match is scheduled for Wednesday when she takes on fellow American Sophie Chang who, like Jessica, lost only one game in her opening match.

Rozenstein and Lebedev Fall Short in 3rd Round of Aces Tennis U18 ITF

JMTA’ers Julian Rozenstein and Sasha Lebedev run at this week’s Aces Tennis U18 ITF event ended yesterday with losses to seeded players.  Sasha lost to the #2 seed, Denis Shapolova, 6-1, 6-3.  Julian, playing the #9 seed, Piers Farhang, lost 6-3, 6-2. Still a good tournament overall for both Sasha and Julian as they had good wins against seeded player in the 2nd round.  Even better news, Julian and his Canadian doubles partner, Chris Fletcher, have reached the finals of the doubles with an incredibly tight 6-4, 1-6, 10-7 win over the 2nd seeded team of Dane Dunlap and Justin Ghavami.  Julian’s coach, Assistant Academy Director Felix Alvarado, said “Doubles is very important to Julian, me, and John McEnroe, especially since it counts towards your singles ranking.  We stress the importance of coming to net, crisp volleys, and overall smart doubles play here at JMTA.  Being one of the greatest doubles players of all-time, Mac wouldn’t have it any other way.  Like me, John is very proud of Julian’s results in doubles thus far.”  Julian and Chris will play the doubles final tomorrow against the winner of the other semi-final match-up, Manji / Philp [6] vs. De Quant / Pavel [8].

Lebedev and Rozenstein Top Seeded Players in 2nd Round of the Ace Tennis U18 ITF

JMTA is well represented this week in Ontario, Canada as Sasha Lebedev and Julian Rozenstein both eliminated seeded players in the 2nd round of the Ace Tennis U18 ITF.  Sasha took on the #14 seed, Canadian Maxim Borcuti while Julian played the #8 seed, Canadian Elijah Ogilvy.  Sasha, coming off of a shortened match due to his opponent’s retirement in the 1st round, beat Maxim 6-4, 6-2 to move on to the 3rd round, where he will face the #2 seed, Canadian Denis Shapovalov.  Julian beat Elijah 6-4, 7-6 (4) to move on, and he will take on the #9 seed, Brit Piers Farhang in his 3rd round match.  Assistant Academy Director of JMTA and Julian’s coach, Felix Alvarado, is seeing the hard work they put in together paying off.  “Julian is a great player and competitor,” said Felix. “He doesn’t get scared when he sees a number next to a player’s name.  He views a match against a seeded player as a challenge and steps up to that challenge.”  Be sure to check the blog tomorrow for Sasha and Julian’s results from their 3rd round matches.

Lebedev and Rozenstein Advance to the 2nd Round in Canadian ITF Event

Sasha Lebedev Hitting a Backhand.Photo Credit: TennisAdvisors

Sasha Lebedev Hitting a Backhand.
Photo Credit: TennisAdvisors

JMTA’ers Sasha Lebedev and Julian Rozenstein played their first round matches yesterday in singles and doubles at the Ace Tennis U18 ITF World Ranking Event in Ontario, Canada.  Both advanced to the 2nd round of the singles rather easily.  Julian bested Ivan Mitric of Canada 6-0, 6-2, while Sasha’s opponent, Victor Krustev of Canada, retired down 4-3 in the opening set.   In doubles, Julian and his partner, Chris Fletcher of Canada, won their 1st round match 6-2, 6-3.  Sasha’s match, on the other hand, wasn’t as straightforward.  After losing the first set 7-5, Sasha and his partner, Elijah Ogilvy of Canada, fought back to win the 2nd set in a tiebreak and even up the match at one set all.  Instead of a full 3rd set, the pair played a 10 point super tiebreaker to determine the winner.  Unfortunately, Sasha and Elijah lost the super tiebreaker and the match.  Still, Sasha remains a contender in the singles draw and we are excited to see how he and Julian play the rest of this week.  Julian’s coach, JMTA Assistant Academy Director Felix Alvarado, called Julian’s win “well fought” and “deserved” and said, “Julian has been working hard to improve his game and advance to the next level.  The progress we’ve made and the effort he has put in is beginning to show.”

In their second round matches, a tougher test awaits for each, as Sasha is matched up against the #14 seed, Maxim Borcuti of Canada, while Julian faces the #8 seed, Elijah Ogilvy, also of Canada. Be sure to check back for their 2nd round results tomorrow.

Young JMTA’ers Evan Lee and Teddy Truwit Shine in Little Mo Nationals

Teddy Truwit hoisting a trophy.Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

Teddy Truwit hoisting a trophy.
Photo: Contributed Photo

The 2013 Little Mo Nationals took place this past weekend in San Antonio, TX. The national Little Mo championships, named after the first female winner of the Grand Slam, Maureen Connolly, are comprised of separate competitions each year for boys and girls in 8, 9, 10, and 11 year old divisions. Players start out at sectional events, and if they qualify, move on to regional competitions.  The top four players in each age division from each regional advance to the Little Mo Nationals.  Each draw at the Nationals is made up of the top 16 qualifiers in the US in each age division.

This year, JMTA students Teddy Truwit and Evan Lee both reached the semifinals of the boys 10 event.  Teddy and Evan qualified for the nationals by reaching the semifinals of the Little Mo Eastern Regional in August.  This past weekend, after Teddy won his first two matches at the Nationals, dropping a total of just four games, he faced the #2 seed, Ethan Silva.  Teddy won the first set 6-2 and was even at 5-5 in the 2nd before losing two straight games, and then the 3rd set, to fall just short of the upset, losing  2-6, 7-5, 6-3.  Evan, like Teddy, won his first two matches in straight sets, before dropping his tight semifinal match, 7-6, 6-3, to the #4 seed and eventual winner of the tournament, Phillip Deaton.  Evan and Teddy then played the 3rd place match, which Evan won, 6-2, 6-1. After the tournament, Teddy was awarded the Little Mo Sportsmanship Award. A great weekend in Texas for two of JMTA’s youngest tournament players!

JMTA Announces 2013-14 Seminar Series Topics and Speakers

Lawrence Kleger, Director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, recently announced the 2013-14 JMTA Seminar Series. Over the course of the JMTA season, Lawrence and other JMTA, Sportime, and USTA representatives will be hosting a series of seminars designed to give parents and students insight into what it takes to succeed in today’s competitive junior tennis environment.  This 8 part seminar series begins Sunday, October 27th when Lawrence takes the podium in an “Ask the Director” session.  Other topics that will be covered and the speakers include: The College Process, with former Brown University head coach and current Sportime Roslyn General Manager, Jay Harris; USTA Eastern Section Tournament Schedule and 2014 National Junior Competition Changes, with Julie Bliss of USTA Eastern section; A Coaches Perspective: What it Means to be a Coach?, hosted by JMTA Assistant Academy Director, Nate Emge;  The Parent’s Role, with JMTA Assistant Academy Director,  Felix Alvarado; Mental Toughness, with JMTA Assistant Academy Director,  Bruce Haddad; Off-Court Training, with former world top ten singles and doubles player and JMTA Associate Academy Director, Peter Fleming; and What it Takes to be a Champion, with none other than Johnny Mac himself.

More Recent JMTA Student Accomplishments

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Sabrina Xiong hits a backhand as Johnny Mac looks on.
Photo Cred: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

On the heels of the excellent recent results posted by JMTA’ers Jamie Loeb (who became the first freshman since 2004 to win the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Singles Championships in Los Angeles), Noah Rubin (who competed in three professional tournaments in California since the end of the U.S. Open, reaching the quarterfinals and semifinals of two separate Futures events, and faced up against Tim Smyczek, the #91 player in the world, at a higher level Challenger event, where he lost in a hard fought 7-6, 6-0 match), and Jessica Golovin (who made the 3rd round in her latest ITF Event in Tulsa, OK beating the #2 seed along the way), closer to home, JMTA students continued to shine. 15 year old Sabrina Xiong of Queens, NY is coming off of two straight USTA Eastern Sectional Girls 18s Tournament Championships.  In her first of two championships, though unseeded, Sabrina didn’t drop a set on her way to beating the top seed to win the tournament, winning 48 of 67 total games played (72%). In the second of her two championship runs, Sabrina made it past the 3 and 5 seeds without dropping a set once again.  It wasn’t until the finals that she lost her first set.  “Sabrina is really stepping up and I’m very proud of her,” said Bruce Haddad, Assistant Director of JMTA and Sabrina’s Coach, “playing against girls as old as 18, and being relatively petite like Sabrina is, shows how confident she is in her game and herself.”

JMTA’s Alexander (Sasha) Lebedev Falls Short in QF at the Grade 5 ITF National Bank U18 Event


Julian Rozenstein with Coach and Asst. Academy Director Felix Alvarado
Photo Cred: Dan Fromm

JMTA’s Sasha Lebedev lost yesterday to 6th seeded Kyryll Kryvchun 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. This loss comes after a big win against the 2 seed that lead Sasha to being the only qualifier to reach the quarterfinals.

As Sasha leaves Canada to return to JMTA, fellow JMTA student Julian Rozenstein leaves JMTA for Canada for an ITF beginning next week.  Check the blog next week for updates on Julian’s tournament results.

JMTA’s Alexander (Sasha) Lebedev Making a Run at U18 National Bank ITF in Canada

JMTA’s Sasha Lebedev is making an impressive run this week at the National Bank ITF Tennis U18 Tournament in Victoria, British Columbia. After winning two matches to qualify for the main draw, Sasha was pitted against Canadian Wild Card Jackson Koke.  Sasha dominated Koke, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the 2nd round.  He was one of only two qualifiers to win their 1st round match-up.

In the 2nd round, Sasha was matched against 2nd seeded Gerardo Penchyna Cardenas of Mexico.  Cardenas could not defend Sasha’s aggressive game and Sasha came away with 6-4, 6-3 upset victory.

Next up later today is Sasha’s quarterfinal match against 6th seeded Kyryll Kryvchun from Canada. “This is a breakthrough tournament for Sasha and the reward for a lot of hard work,” said Sasha’s coach and Academy Director Lawrence Kleger.  “He has a tough, but definitely winnable quarterfinal match today, so we will see how he does.  But I am certain that Sasha’s results will only get better going forward.”

Check back tomorrow for the results of Sasha’s quarter final match.  Click here to check out the ITF website’s tournament webpage.

USTA/Eastern Designated Closed Tournament Results

Below are the results of the USTA/Eastern Designated Closed tournaments held throughout New York and New Jersey.  These are all Level 5 National Events.

Eastern Sectionals

Boys 12 at Roslyn, NY

Spencer Brachman, Commack, NY- WINNER! Doubles SEMIFINALIST!

Kabir Rajpal, Syosset, NY- QUARTERFINALS; Doubles SEMIFINALIST!

Girls 12 at Glen Cove, NY

Merri Kelly Hannity, Oyster Bay, NY- SEMIFINALIST! Doubles FINALIST!

Boys 14 at Mendham, NJ

Daniel Pellerito, Syosset, NY- SEMIFINALS (3RD PLACE)

Sean Wei, Yorktown Heights, NY- CONSOLATION WINNER (5th PLACE)! 

Ronald Hohmann, Oyster Bay, NY- Doubles FINALIST!

Gardner Howe, New York, NY- Doubles SEMIFINALIST!

Girls 14 at Bogota, NJ

Michelle Sorokko, Little Neck, NY- SEMIFINALIST (3rd PLACE)!  Doubles SEMIFINALIST!

Victoria Sec, New York, NY- CONSOLATION WINNER (5TH PLACE)! 

Ashley Lessen, Old Westbury, NY/ Nathalie Rodilosso, Rye, NY- Doubles SEMIFINALISTS!

Boys 16 at Oceanside, NY

Lubo Cuba, Massapequa Park, NY- SEMIFINALIST (3rd PLACE)!  UnseededLubo beat the #3 and 4 Seeds; Doubles SEMIFINALIST!

Felipe Osses-Konig, Rego Park, NY- QUARTERFINALS; Beat #2 Seed

Boys 18 at Mendham, NJ


Julian Rozenstein, Morganville, NJ Doubles FINALIST! Beat #4 Seed in Singles

Richard Rangga, Clifton, NJ- QUARTERFINALS; Beat #2 Seed

Girls 18 at Flanders, NJ

Sabrina Xiong, Fresh Meadows, NY- WINNER!– Sabrina wins her 2nd straight Eastern Sectional Championship

Lauren Sapienza, Bardonia, NY- CONSOLATION FINALIST!