Exhibition Players Set
Participants for the 2008 Rx Optical/Greenleaf Trust & Greenleaf Hospitality Exhibition match at the Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo were confirmed Thursday afternoon. The always-anticipated exhibition features two tournament alumni, Scott Oudsema and John Isner.
“We are honored to have two tournament alumni returning to compete in the exhibition,” said Tournament Director Mark Riley. “Oudsema is a hometown player that will rekindle memories of his exciting 2004 tournament run. Isner is a former collegiate player and an up-and-coming superstar on the tour. It will be a nice homecoming for Oudsema and an exciting match for the fans.”
Kalamazoo-area residents and tournament attendees are very familiar with Scott Oudsema, the Portage native currently competing on the ATP Tour. In 2004, Oudsema battled all the way to the 18 Singles finals before falling in three sets to Scoville Jenknis (Ga.). Oudsema became the first Kalamazoo-area player to reach the Boys’ 18 final in the entire history of the Kalamazoo-based tournament.
Following the Boys’ Nationals in 2004, Oudsema went on to win five B18 Doubles Championships (with Brendan Evans), including the US Open, the Wimbledon Junior Championships, the 45th Italian Open, the Australian Open and Uncle Toby’s Australian Hardcourt. In 2006 he was a singles finalist at the USA F7 and was the singles champion at the Binghamton Challenger. Oudsema is 6’2”, 160 lbs., and is coached by Tom Walker.
Isner, a native of Greensboro, N.C., is currently ranked 83rd on the ATP Tour, and was ranked as high as 81st in April of 2008. Isner reached the quarterfinals in San Jose in February before losing in a third set tie-break. In 2007, Isner won the Lexington Challenger and the USA F14, and was a finalist in Washington, D.C. Isner played four years (2004-07) and earned All-American honors each season at the University of Georgia. He is the school’s all-time leader in singles and doubles wins. In May 2007, Isner reached the NCAA singles final before losing in a third set tie-break, but led the Bulldogs to a national team title. Isner stands 6’9” and weighs 236 lbs. He is coached by former Georgia standout Brandon Wagner.
The 2008 Rx Optical/Greenleaf Trust & Greenleaf Hospitality Exhibition is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Stowe Stadium on the campus of Kalamazoo College. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, and are available by contacting the tournament office at 269.337.7343. The tournament runs Aug. 1-10.
For the past 65 years, the excitement of the USTA Boys 18s & 16s National Championships overtakes Kalamazoo, Michigan. This tournament is the single most important event of the tennis year for the 400 outstanding juniors who arrive from all parts of the United States. Ten days of intense, tough, inspired tennis earn for each of the ultimate winners in singles and doubles the cherished title of United States National Champion. And as a testament to the incredible tennis played here, the 18s Champions in Singles and Doubles receive an automatic bid to the main draw of the U.S. Open Tournament.
During the past 65 years, most of the great names in mens\' tennis have headed the draws in Kalamazoo - names such as Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Aaron Krickstein, Michael Chang, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, James Blake, Andy Roddick, Bob and Mike Bryan and many more. This year\'s tournament will highlight a new generation of future stars.
Source: Steve Wideen