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Harrison Richmond Plays Europe

February 13, 2008 03:00 PM

Harrison Richmond has left for Europe to compete in two of the most prestigious 14-and-under tournaments in the world. The 13-year-old was recently selected by theHarrison Richmond USTA along with three other boys and four girls for the two-week trip to Europe which includes Teen Tennis in Bolton, England from Jan. 20-25, and Les Petits As Junior Championships in Tarbes, France from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
Richmond qualified for this honor by attending the Chris Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Florida and competing against other kids his age. The USTA invited eight top players across the nation to attend the Evert Academy, which has the reputation for being the home of countless national and international junior champions and some of the world’s finest pros. This modern facility has dormitories and campus amenities which include 23 courts with 9 hardcourts and 14 Har-tru composition.
His coach Jimmy Mendieta from the Wachesaw Tennis Club said “it was a great opportunity for him just to be selected.” Richmond, who is from Pawleys Island, not only trains at the local club but he is homeschooled there as well. Mendieta works with him about six hours a day from 9 to 12 and again from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. In between, the young Richmond is studying assignments online and taking tests.
The competition at Evert Academy was critical as eight players competed for four positions in a round-robin tournament to make the European trip. Richmond was selected when he was awarded a wildcard spot to travel with the team. “I knew three of the guys from other tournaments,” Richmond said. “I am very excited about going to Europe.”
The other players selected to represent the United States are: Reo Asami from Irvine, Calif.; Robert Livi from Miramar, Fla.; and Alexios Halebian from Glendale, Calif. The four girls selected are: Breaunna Addison from Boca Raton, Fla.; Kyle McPhillips from Willoughby, Ohio; Grace Min from Lawrenceville, Ga.; and Chanelle Van Nguyen from Coconut Grove, Fla. These players will be accompanied and chaperoned by USTA National Coaches Kent Kinnear and Jai DiLoule.
Americans have won the boy’s singles title at Les Petits As six times (second only to France with seven boy’s titles), including Michael Chang (1986) and more recently Donald Young (2003) and Chase Buchanan (2005). Other notable boys’ champions include Rafael Nadal (2000), Richard Gasquet (1999) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (1994).

By Neal Peterson of the Myrtle Beach Herald