Saturday, August 25th-ITA All Star Outing/Arthur Ashe Kids' Day
The best in college tennis were honored Saturday iduring the ITA All-Star Outing. The event was held at the U.S. Open for the second year in a row, as USTA President Jane Brown Grimes and a host of USTA Executives and Board Members joined ITA President David Benjamin in celebrating the top-ranked college players and the winners of the Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award.
Held in conjunction with Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, the players were treated to a luncheon upstairs in the President's Suite and then presented with their awards. They then got to spend the day in luxury boxes, watching the Kids' Day show and mingling with the USTA and ITA Executives. It was a treat for the group, many of whom had never even been to the U.S. Open. After the day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the players, who were staying at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan,
were treated to dinner in Times Square. In addition, the winners of the Arthur Ashe Award attended a brunch on Sunday morning. Megan Moulton-Levy, pictured right with former New York City Mayor and USTA Board Member David Dinkins, became the first player to ever receive the award two years in a row. The William & Mary senior, who was also a member of the ITA All-Star Team, has enjoyed a relaxing tennis-free summer in preparation for a tough season to come.
I enjoyed the day along with the players, going back and forth between the two boxes and catching up a bit. NCAA Doubles Champions Jenna Long & Sara Anundsen (pictured right) were beaming all day. Not only were they having a good time at the ITA All Star Outing, but they were getting comfortable for their first experience as U.S. Open players -- the two have been granted a wildcard into the Women's Doubles draw. I also spoke a bit with Tom Dohlman (pictured below left with
Danny Bryan, Mislav Hizak & David Pollock). The MIT grad is heading to Med School rather than the tennis court next week. NCAA Doubles Winners Marco Born & Andreas Siljestrom, on the other hand, have been on the tennis court and in fact ended up playing doubles on opposite ends of the court this summer.
There were some players who did not make the Outing. Among them was John Isner, a member of the All-Star Team for both his singles and doubles accomplishments. John was busy preparing for his biggest appearance yet -- in Louie Armstrong Stadium first thing tomorrow against 26th-seeded Jarkko Nieminen.
At the same time as the ITA All-Star Outing it was another successful Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. This year's featured presentations and play chances with pros (like Donald Young, Mary Joe Fernandez & Daniela Hantuchova) on the outside courts and a great show in the Stadium hosted once again by Quddus & Daisy Fuentes. Musical acts Sean Kingston, Kat DeLuna, Lil Mama and The Jonas Brothers performed and there were doubles exhibitions with Andy Roddick,
Martina Hingis, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, musician Rob Thomas, wrestler John Cena and skateboarder Tony Hawk. Also on hand was actor Chris Rock and comedian Chris Kattan.
After a day of fun, it's back to business for all of us tomorrow. I'm hoping to catch NCAA champions Audra Cohen and John Isner, as well as juniors Alexa Glatch, Lauren Albanese and Donald Young. And maybe I'll even have time to check out a few former college players.
THE 2007 ITA COLLEGIATE ALL-STAR TEAM Somdev Devvarman,Virginia-NCAA Singles Champ, No. 1 Ranked NCAA I; Audra Cohen,Miami-NCAA Singles Champ, ITA Indoor Champ, No. 1 Ranked NCAA I; Ben Kohlloeffel,UCLA-ITA Indoor Champ; Megan Falcon,LSU-No. 2 Ranked NCAA I; John Isner,Georgia-NCAA Finalist, No. 2 Ranked NCAA I; Lindsey Nelson,Southern California-NCAA Finalist, No. 3 Ranked NCAA I; Marcos Born & Andreas Siljestrom,Middle Tennessee State-NCAA
I Doubles Champs, Team of the Year; Sara Anundsen/Jenna Long,North Carolina-NCAA I Doubles Champs, Team of the Year; John Isner/Luis Flores,Georgia-ITA Indoor Champs, No. 1 Ranked NCAA I; Treat Huey/Somdev Devvarman,Virginia-No. 2 Ranked NCAA I; Megan Moulton-Levy & Kararina Zoricic,William & Mary-ITA Indoor Champ, No. 2 Ranked NCAA I; Anna Cetnik & Anna Sydorska,TCU- No. 3 Ranked NCAA I; Lorenzo Cava,Lynn-No.
1 Ranked NCAA II; Iulia Stupak,Armstrong Atlantic State-No. 1 Ranked NCAA II; Matt Seeberger,UC-Santa Cruz-No. 1 Ranked NCAA III; Liz Bondi,DePauw-No. 1 Ranked NCAA III; Mislav Hizak,Embry-Riddle-No. 1 Ranked NAIA; Jelena Pandzik,Fresno Pacific-No. 1 Ranked NAIA; Gwen Corchers,Laredo-No. 1 Ranked NJCAA; and Kasia Siwosz,Cowley County-No. 1 Ranked NJCAA.
2007 ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Award Winners with the Honorable David Dinkins
Iuliia Stupak, Ana Cetnik, Anna Sydorska & Marco Born