SEEDS, DRAW ANNOUNCED FOR SUPER NATIONALS
Thirty-two players in each division receive tournament seedings. In the 18?s division, the top seed was awarded to Brian Baker of Nashville Tennessee. Baker, 17, finished as the runner-up in the 2001 18s Super Nationals and is currently ranked 13th in the world in the ITF Junior rankings.
Prakash Amritraj of Encino, CA received the second seed. Amritraj played for the 2002 NCAA men's tennis team champion University of Southern California. As a freshman, he won the championship-clinching match against defending champion and top seed Georgia, as well as the clinching matches against Illinois and Tennessee. His heroics earned him the honor of the NCAA tournament MVP.
Third seed Rajeev Ram of Carmel, IN is a past champion at the Kalamazoo Super Nationals. He won the Boys 16s singles championship in 2000 and the 16s doubles championship in 2000 and 18s doubles championship in 2001 (both with Jonathon Stokke). Earlier this season, he won the inaugural boys Target Cup in Key Biscayne, FL. His victories included a 6-3, 6-0 win over Baker in the semifinals.
Other players to watch include 14th seed Denis Zivkovic. Zivkovic won the feed-in consolation flight at the 2002 Boys 18 Super National Clay Court Championship in July and is the youngest player in the 18s draw at age 14. Last year's Boys 16 champion, James Wan, is seeded 15th this year in the 18s.
Two Kalamazoo area players qualified for the 18s draw. Eric Hodgman of Kalamazoo opens on Friday against Jarmaine Jenkins of College Park, GA and Scott Oudsema of Portage faces Frankie Green of Philadelphia PA in his opening round match on Friday. Times for all first round matches will be posted on Thursday.
For a complete list of the Boys 18s seeds, click here.
In the 16s division, Yevgeny Supeko of Ojai, CA, received the number one seed. Supeko finished third at the Easter Bowl this spring in the Boys 16s division.
Vahid Mirzadeh of Wellington, FL, is the second seed. He also had a strong showing this April at the Easter Bowl, winning the feed-in consolation finals in the 16 singles division.
The third seed, Robert Cameron of Lenoir City, TN, is coming into Kalamazoo with a big tournament victory this summer. In July he captured the Boys 16s singles Super National Clay Court championships in Rockville Maryland.
The 16s division also contains some intrigue for Kalamazoo area tennis fans, as Kalamazoo?s Nick Rinks begins play Saturday against Alexander Zuck of Toms River, NJ.
For the complete list of 16s seeds, click here.