_________2010 Herb Cup Doubles Invitational_________
After many weeks of advance planning and organization, the 6th Annual Herb Cup Doubles Invitational final got underway at the Berkeley Tennis Club in Berkeley on December 11th. The sky was blue, the atmosphere was lively and the camaraderie of the players was uplifting for parents and other spectators to see.
The top eight players in the 12, 14, 16 and 18s, from both boys' and girls' divisions were invited to participate. Four pairs were established within each division. In each of the eight divisions, doubles teams competed against each other in a unique round-robin format. Each team played the other three teams in their age division for exactly 45 minutes, recording how many games each team lost when the 45 minutes was over. After three rounds, the doubles team with the least amount of games lost was declared the winner. If there was a tie for first place a head-to-head would determine the winner.
The day began with check-in and the traditional Herb Cup sweatshirts given to each of the participants; this year’s color was Gold. Each player also received a bag tag with his or her name printed on it. The 12’s and 14’s divisions were the first to be on court. After 45 minutes, the foghorn was blown and all matches were stopped. After a 5-minute break, the 16’s and 18’s then rotated onto the courts, allowing the 12’s and 14’s to spectate.
"This year, I felt it would better to have the two younger divisions and the two older divisions alternate play with each other so that it would be more exciting for the younger divisions to watch the older ones play," said tournament director Tommy Tu. "I also felt that it would be better if the players have some time in between each round to talk over with his or her partner about strategies or catch up with friends. This would create an exciting atmosphere for everyone."
The goal of this event is to encourage junior players to compete in doubles events throughout the year achieving a top 8 ranking by October end. Players were selected from the doubles Final Ranking Lists from January 1, 2010 to the last tournament(s) that started in October of 2010.
USTA NorCal staff, Jen Pitzen and Tommy Tu, thank the Berkeley Tennis Club in Berkeley for the use of their courts, Ed de Sousa for all the wonderful photos of players, and volunteers, Thai Tu and Tommy Wong, for their help to make this year’s Herb Cup a successful event. We look forward to seeing new and old faces in 2011!
What a Diverse Group of Juniors!
The Sixth Annual Herb Cup Doubles Invitational featured players with family roots in China, France, Norway, Spain, India, Vietnam, Ireland, Serbia, Japan, England, and Russia, among other countries.
Congratulations to the eight winning doubles teams and to all the players, parents and other supporters for a fun-filled day of tennis. Below are the results, facts and photos.
Boys' 12 & Under
Champions: Jayson Fung & Conrad Rusell (9 games lost)
Runners-up: Myles Conlin & Sam Riffice (11 games lost)
Third Place: Jenson Brooksby & Mitchell Iwahiro (20 games lost)
Fourth Place: Dominic Barretto & Jerod Mah (21 games lost)
Girls' 12 & Under
Champions: Denise Arendain & Seriana Saltzenl (11 games lost head-to-head win)
Runners-up: Darya Possokhova & Katya Tabachnik (11 games lost)
Third Place: Rupa Danesh & Emily Zheng (13 games lost)
Fourth Place: Juliette Martin & Lise Swain (18 games lost)
Boys' 14 & Under
Champions: Edward Ang & Victor Pham (13 games lost)
Runners-up: Kial Kaiser & Cody Rakela (14 games lost)
Third Place: Adrian Chamdani & Vikram Chari (18 games lost)
Fourth Place: Andrew Gu & Winson Limhengco (19 games lost)
Girls' 14 & Under
Champions: Jenna Friedel & Stephanie Nguyen (10 games lost)
Runners-up: Grace Lin & Felicity Maltby (11 games lost)
Third Place: Cindy Liu & Natalie Spievack (16 games lost)
Fourth Place: Paige Cline & Daphne De Chatellus (19 games lost)
Boys' 16 & Under
Champions: Richard Pham & Marcus Vizcarra (9 games lost)
Runners-up: Ivan Kravtchenko & Daniel Morkovine (13 games lost)
Third Place: Garrick Dzoan & Sean Talmadge (19 games lost)
Fourth Place: Andrew Lo & Logan Staggs (24 games lost)
Girls' 16 & Under
Champions: Bridget Guenard & Christi Tain (10 games lost)
Runners-up: Kennedy Davis & Kassidy Jump (14 games lost)
Third Place: Chloe Forlini & Lily Forlini (18 games lost)
Fourth Place: Hadley Berg & Mary Closs (19 games lost)
Boys' 18 & Under
Champions: Chris Kipouras & Andrew Malozsak (11 games lost)
Runners-up: Andew Carlisle & Baramee Wongbanchai (13 games lost)
Third Place: Jon Wang & Matt Wang (17 games lost)
Fourth Place: Brian Sun & Max Vogt (18 games lost)
Girls' 18 & Under
Champions: Laura Posylkin & Crystal Yen (12 games lost)
Runners-up#1: Jamie Pawid & Julie Leong (13 games lost head-to-head 5-5)
Runners-up#2: Christiana Ferrari & Tiffany Pham (13 games lost head-to-head 5-5)
Fourth Place: Marina Nikolic & Mariska Chamdani (18 games lost)
By the Numbers
Tournaments are not just about wins and losses:
0 – Retirements or withdrawals – no one retired and withdrew during the event
2 – Volunteers – Thai Tu and Tommy Wong helped make the event successful
8 – Siblings participating – twin sisters, Lily and Chloe Forlini, brothers Richard and Victor Pham, brothers Matt and Jon Wang and brother and sister Adrian and Mariska Chamdani.
8 – Pacific Cup representatives – Chris Kipouras (B18s), Richard Pham (B16s), Kial Kaiser (B14s), Sam Riffice (B12s), Crystal Yen (G18s), Marina Nikolic (G16s), Paige Cline (G14s) and Darya Possokhova (G12s).
9 – Fewest games lost – Conrad Russell & Jayson Fung (B12s) and Richard Pham & Marcus Vizcarra (B16s) both lost only 9 games total in their division
11 – Left-handed players in the event
13 – Alternates – players wanted to be considered as alternates if one of the top eight was unable to play
18 – Missing balls after the event
29 – Apples consumed
Winter Nationals participants – more than half of the Herb Cup players will be heading over to Arizona at the end of December for the Winter Nationals
47 – Bananas consumed
48 – Matches played
66 – Herb Cup hooded sweatshirts given out – one for each player with two parents buying them as well
128 – Bottles of Gatorade given out – each player received two
144 – Balls were used
419 – Games played
Questions & Answers about the Herb Cup
Why put on this tournament?
By having a fun, season-ending doubles event, it inspires our NorCal juniors to participate in doubles throughout the year. This is the sixth year that we’ve offered the Herb Cup, and it’s a big part of why we have seen a big increase in doubles participation. The kids and their parents always look forward to the Herb Cup, and they get very excited when they get invited to participate.
Who is Peter Herb?
Peter Herb is the former executive director of USTA Northern California—originally the Northern California Tennis Association. He dedicated his adult life to expanding the sport of tennis. He started in the mid-1960s and worked as Executive Director for over 40 years. He was extremely creative and was responsible for many innovations in both junior and adult tennis. He introduced the concept of having different levels of play for juniors and then extended that to adult tennis. He started the NCTA as a one-man show, and when he left, there was a staff of over 30. He was a quiet, calm leader.
Why is doubles important?
Doubles improves the major components of the singles game, namely the serve, return, volley, and forward movement which is something that is seldom worked on in singles. You will also develop softer hands and quicker reflexes around the net making you a well-rounded player. Playing doubles forces you to pick your shots as they are open. Instead of just hitting the ball to the other side of the court you must hit a cross court, ally, or lob thus making you work on placing your shots and see them when they're open.
What’s up with this unusual format of timed matches for the Herb Cup?
USTA NorCal wanted to run the entire event in just a day. In today’s lifestyle, this works best. Rather than having kids spend eight hours playing two or three matches, with hours of waiting, the kids get to play three matches within five hours, with 45-minute break in between matches to talk over strategies and hang out with friends while other divisions play. Every new round is a new opponent. The foghorn to signal the end of each period and all matches will have to stop once it’s blown. It’s important to innovate and try new formats.
At close of the 6th Annual Herb Cup Doubles Invitational, it was a full day of play, fun and friendship.