Archive for September, 2009


amrit and bettles battle to middlebury doubles title


This past weekend the men’s team traveled to Middlebury for the Middlebury Invitational, marking the start of the 2009-2010 season. This tournament was a great chance for the young players to get some experience as well as prepare the Cats for the ITA Regional Championship this coming weekend at Williams. We had a solid showing for our first matches of the season, with the highlight being Amrit and new partner, first-year Matt Bettles, winning the A flight doubles title. Along the way to winning the championship, Rupa and Bettles beat two Middlebury teams and the #1 team from Trinity. By beating the team of McCook and Feldman from Trinity, Amrit was able to avenge his loss to Feldman in the quarterfinals of the singles. It was also a gratifying win for Bettles since he lost in a super-breaker to McCook in his first collegiate match.


Max Berger had the best singles showing, making the semifinals of the B flight, losing a tough battle on Sunday to Derick Angle from Middlebury. Max teamed with Mike Reiss to get a solid win over a good Bowdoin team of Davis and Won, 9-7, before losing to McCook and Feldman in the next round.


In the C flight, both Ryan Mannelly and Jeff Beaton had good first round wins before losing to Middlebury opponents in the quarters. They then paired up to play doubles, beating Post and Albano from Colby, 8-4. Again it would be Middlebury that would get in the way, as they fell to Lunghino and Farah 8-3 in the quarterfinals. Bettles wasn’t the only freshman to get his first college match under his belt, Kyle DeSisto from Cohasset, MA, played in the B flight doubles with sophomore Sawyer Lawson. Unfortunately, the two couldn’t get into the win column, but the experience is what was important for the weekend. All in all, the Cats had a good showing and it should be good preparation when we head to Williams for the ITA New England Championships on September 25-27. We had several parents cheering us on at Middlebury, which is always appreciated. We hope to see more of you throughout the fall and into the spring. Remember, Parents Weekend is October 2-4 here at Bates and it would be great to see many of you up on campus that weekend.


Meet the bobcats-jacqui holmes


As the new season begins, we want you to have a chance to meet some of the new faces of the Cats. First up is Jacqui Holmes:

1. Where are you from and what high school did you go to?

I live in Harvard, MA and go to The Bromfield School.

2. What is the biggest difference so far between high school and college?

The biggest difference so far between high school and college is all of the free time. I know it will start to get a lot busier, but for now time to nap during the day is wonderful!

3. Why did you choose Bates?

To be honest Bates was never at the top of my list, because I was always convinced that I wouldn’t go to the same school as my Dad. It wasn’t until applications were actually due that I decided to give it a second look and the more I learned the more I liked about the school. When I came for my visit in the spring I felt so comfortable and happy on campus. Everyone on the team was so so friendly and excited about Bates. That’s exactly what I was looking for!

4. Even though it’s only one week in, what is your favorite class?

So far my favorite class is probably Perspectives on Education. I’m thinking about becoming a teacher so I am excited to start going into the Lewiston schools to work with and help the kids. It’s also neat to be on the other side of things, learning different teaching styles and philosophies about education.

5. What do you miss the most about home?

I think the thing I miss most about home is my mom’s famous tuna casserole. (I know it sounds disgusting, but it is SO delicious)

6. What is your favorite movie?

10 Things I Hate About You.

7. Federer or Nadal?

Federer, of course!

8. Where would you want to visit if you could go anywhere?

I would probably go to Africa. I really want to learn about the difference in the 
lifestyle and culture specifically in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. I know that in many respects they are struggling and I would love to have the opportunity to travel there and learn about different ways to help them out.

9. If you weren’t playing tennis, what sport would you want to play?

If I weren’t playing tennis I would probably be running or playing squash. (I’m horrible at squash, but it’s so much fun!)

10. What is your favorite holiday?

My favorite holiday is definitely thanksgiving. It’s really nice to see all of my 
extended family together in one place and I absolutely LOVE pie.


Learning from the pros

As another season is about to begin for the Cats, it’s easy to get excited as well as inspired by watching the US Open. There have been some great matches and stories this year, especially on the American side.  Several members of both the men’s and women’s team spent time at the Open during the first week.  Alums from last year’s team included Caryn, Stein, and Sherman. They joined many of the returning players, Fenno, Ryan, Max, Reiss, Jeff, Woods, Meg, Erika, and Maria. I’m sure there were many other Bates Alums around the grounds while we were there watching some of the same great tennis we were.


You can’t help but get excited about getting back to Bates and back on the courts at the Wallach Center after seeing the pros at their best. The Cats started practice yesterday with some new faces that you will get to know throughout the fall, as well as all the familiar faces from last year. It’s an exciting time for Bates tennis, the men’s team hopes to build off of the National Championship Amrit and Stein captured last May. A young women’s team looks to continue to grow and mature. The downside of Caryn graduating is we lose our #1 player, but the positive is we only lost one player out of the starting line-up. With a team full of sophomores who got a great deal of playing time last year, several senior leaders, and another strong group of freshman, this will be a year we move forward.


The Cats get right into competition, with the men traveling to Middlebury for the Middlebury Invitational on Sept 19-20. That same weekend the women will travel to MIT to compete in the ITA Regional Championships. If you are in the area of either tournament, we would love to have you come out and support us. And don’t forget, Alumni weekend is Sept. 25-27 and Parents Weekend is Oct. 2-4.


Bates Tennis Alum Sam Duvall making headlines at US Open

Many of us have been following the success of the young American tennis players at this year’s US Open, but one Bates tennis alum has been on the front row for most of it. Sam Duvall, a 2005 graduate, is the agent for John Isner and Melanie Oudin who both made the third round of the US Open. The New York Times featured a story about both players as well as Sam in the Sept. 6th issue.

For Isner and Oudin, Nothing Sells Like Wins

by Karen Crouse

The day after his United States Open upset of Andy Roddick, John Isner spent a couple of hours drafting players for his N.F.L. fantasy football team. He was looking for sleeper picks poised for success; in other words, the football version of himself.

Though not a rookie, Isner, 24, is in some ways like Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks, a highly regarded player who on Saturday saw a veteran player, David Tyree, removed from his path to fame and fortune in New York.

Isner pushed Roddick, the 2003 champion and the longtime American torch bearer, out of his way Saturday in a fifth-set tie breaker. He sealed his upset a few hours after 17-year-old Melanie Oudin outlasted Maria Sharapova, the 2006 women’s champion, in three sets.

Isner and Oudin, who will play fourth-round matches Monday, have the same agent, Sam Duvall. He joked that he had told Oudin, who will meet 13th-seeded Nadia Petrova, in the second match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium, that it is critical that she avoid a second consecutive three-hour match because Isner’s match against Fernando Verdasco on Louis Armstrong Stadium could begin as early as 3 p.m.

A former player at N.C.A.A. Division III Bates College, Duvall has a tennis stable has become the stuff of fantasy players’ dreams overnight.

His cellphone started vibrating as Oudin sat in her changeover chair, sobbing into her towel after coming from behind to beat Sharapova, and it has not stopped.

“I’ve been getting calls, yes,” Duvall said Sunday as he stood in the players’ lounge with his phone in his palm. “All the apparel manufacturers and racket manufacturers want the next best American.”

Isner and Oudin have different stories, but the same gee-whiz demeanor in front of the camera. Their guilelessness is a significant selling point in an age when so many people seem to be angling to be stars.

“They’re very real to people,” Duvall said. “That’s kind of the attraction.”

When Oudin speaks, she uses words like cool and awesome. She described the match against Sharapova as “a blast.” As she scanned Arthur Ashe Stadium after her victory, Oudin had the wide-eyed look of someone straight off the bus, beholding the Manhattan skyline.

Isner, raised in North Carolina and educated at Georgia, is so polite, Duvall said, he will apologize if he has to phone him on a Sunday, the day reserved by many in the South for faith and family and rehashing the previous day’s college football game.

The most animated Isner got in his postmatch news conference was when he described watching the first half of Georgia’s game at Oklahoma State while waiting for his match against Roddick to start. “I get really emotionally involved,” he said. “My coach had to sit me down and tell me to take it easy. I use up a lot of energy watching football.”

After he upset Roddick, Isner was met by an ATP official, and he asked the official who won the Georgia football game. To his dismay, the Bulldogs lost.

Isner, who led Georgia to the 2007 N.C.A.A. tennis championship, turned professional that year and advanced to the third round of the Open before losing to the eventual champion, Roger Federer.

He was a hot marketing commodity then, but fell off the radar with a so-so sophomore season on the tour.

“He came out really hot, and we capitalized right away,” Duvall said. “Then he had his struggles, and now he’s back.”

Isner is a curiosity because of his height. He is a shade over 6 feet 9 inches.

Oudin, one of the shorter players on the women’s tour at 5-6, draws attention because of her fight.

“She a little bulldog,” Isner said admiringly. “She’s feisty. That’s why she’s doing so well.”

She’s America’s newest sweetheart. On Sunday morning, Duvall accompanied Oudin to the MSNBC studios for an interview. The exposure she is receiving could not come at a better time; her contracts with Adidas and Wilson are expiring soon.

“My job is to capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves,” Duvall said, but with a discriminating eye.

“We aren’t thinking this is a fluke, so we’re in no rush to sign deals,” he said.

On cue, his phone started vibrating — a reminder, as if he needed it, that his clients are sleepers no more.

September 2009


Bates Tennis Blog