Exhibition Players Announced
Scoville Jenkins will return to the stadium where he made history when he faces Jan-Michael Gambill in the Rx Optical/Greenleaf Trust & Greenleaf Hospitality Exhibition at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium. The two pros are part of the USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships opening night activities beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. “We always like to honor former champions, and Scoville was a great champion,” tournament director Mark Riley said. “He’s part of the history of this tournament. “Jan-Michael has had a nice pro career and, although he seems to be at the end of his career, he was a top 15 player in his prime. He was a two-time boys’ 18s runner-up, and I like the idea that they’re coming back. They’ll also be part of a panel that talks to the players during their meeting.” Jenkins became the first African-American male player to win the 18s title after he defeated Portage native Scott Oudsema 7-5, 6-1, 6-3, before a crowd of nearly 4,000 people in 2004. That was the first year teens who had already turned pro were permitted to compete, and Jenkins was one of four who did. Gambill’s most memorable loss was the boys’ 18s final against Justin Gimelstob in 1995. With the court temperature more than 100 degrees, Gimelstob was leading 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 4-4 when Gambill dropped to the ground with severe cramps and ended up defaulting the match. Both players competed on the pro circuit with Gambill ranked as high as 14 (2001) and Jenkins as high as 187. Both are currently playing World Team Tennis, Gambill, 33, for the Boston Lobsters and Jenkins, 23, for the New York Buzz in Albany. During the exhibition, Gambill and Jenkins will team up to take on the boys’ 18s top-seeded doubles team, then face each other in an eight-game pro set.
Source: Steve Wideen