published Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Top National Open seeds win

Lauren Carelli, from Chattanooga, plays against Tia Mukherjee, from  Michigan, during the USTA Open boys and girls tennis tournament Saturday at the Champions Club.
Lauren Carelli, from Chattanooga, plays against Tia Mukherjee, from Michigan, during the USTA Open boys and girls tennis tournament Saturday at the Champions Club.
Photo by Jake Daniels.

Chase Wood will be in action at the Champions Club this morning while across the Atlantic Ocean, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battle for the Wimbledon men’s singles title.

The No. 2 seed in the boys’ draw of the 12-and-under USTA National Open tennis tournament, Wood said he’s rooting for Djokovic to prevail because “I just don’t like Nadal.”

His favorite player, however, is Roger Federer.

“I just like his game,” said Wood, from Knoxville, who is ranked No. 25 in the country.

Meredith Roberts, the top seed in the girls’ tournament, also said Federer was her favorite player. She said she wasn’t cheering for either Maria Sharapova or Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s Wimbledon women’s final.

As American players become less and less a presence among the world’s elite, nationally 28th-ranked Roberts said it’s easy to cheer for players from other countries.

“I guess you like who you like,” she said after defeating Sophia Suri in the second round Saturday.

In the boys’ draw, Wood and top-seeded Trice Pickens cruised into today’s quarterfinals, losing a combined 11 games in two rounds of play Saturday. The No. 4 seed, Jeff Zucker, lost in the first round and No. 3 seed Mason Beiler lost in the second.

Wood defeated Luke Plaisted of Hixson 6-0, 6-1 in the second round. The only local player in the boys’ draw, Plaisted beat Sami Soufi 6-1, 6-3 in the first round. Plaisted also lost in the first round of doubles.

Two Chattanooga players were in the girls’ event, Drew Hawkins and Lauren Carelli, but both fell in the first round of the main draw and the consolation bracket, as well as in doubles.

Among the top four seeds in the girls’ tournament, only No. 4 Katherine Muzik lost Saturday, falling in a third-set tiebreaker to Julia Adams of Knoxville.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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