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Top U.S. Tennis Juniors to Attend High-Level Camp at U.S. Davis Cup in Birmingham

Posted on March 3, 2009

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 3, 2009 -- The USTA announced today that seven of the country's top 13 and 14-year-old tennis players will participate in a USTA Player Development Camp in Birmingham Ala., March 3-8. The camp will be run in conjunction with the Davis Cup first round tie between the U.S. and Switzerland. The camp participants include Justin Butsch of Miami, Drew Dawson of Irvine, Calif., Daniel Kerznerman of Brooklyn, N.Y., Thai Kwiatkowski of Charlotte, N.C., Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif., Jack Murray of Birmingham, Mich., and Noah Rubin of Merrick, N.Y., and the camp will be conducted by USTA National Coaches David DiLucia and Andres Pedroso. 

The campers will take part in drills and seminars designed to help the improve in all facets of the game, with particular focus on practice approach and work ethic, match preparation, and the mental rigors of tennis. Coaches and players will also discuss what it means to represent the U.S. in events such as Davis Cup. The campers will have the opportunity to attend the Davis Cup matches, and watch the U.S. team, which features the two top-ranked Americans in Andy Roddick and James Blake, as well as the world's No. 1 ranked doubles team in Bob and Mike Bryan. The same lineup has participated in 11 of the last 12 U.S. Davis Cup ties.   

"This Davis Cup tie provides a unique setting for our player development camp," said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development, and U.S. Davis Cup Captain. "Not only will the players improve their games by working with USTA National Coaches, but they will be afforded the rare chance to observe the best American professionals as they prepare for such an important event in Davis Cup. Having the opportunity to watch and emulate guys like Andy, James and the Bryans will be a positive learning experience, and hopefully will help them become the best players that they can be."

Butsch, a 14-year-old from Miami, was a finalist at the 2007 USTA Boys' 12s Clay Court Championships, and won the doubles title at the same event. Last week, he won a USTA Boys' 14s National Open in Lutz, Fla., his first career national title. Butsch resides full-time at the USTA Training Facility in Boca Raton, Fla., and is currently No. 24 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings. 

Dawson, a 13-year-old from Irvine, Calif., reached the final of the USTA Boys' 14s California Bowl in Calabasas in December, and reached the semifinals in both singles and doubles at a USTA Boys' 14s National Open in his hometown in November. In 2007, he reached the quarterfinals of the USTA Boys' 12s National Championships. Dawson is currently No. 20 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings. 

Kerznerman, a 13-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., achieved his best result in a national event last April, reaching the final of the USTA Boys' 12s Spring National Championships. In December, Kerznerman reached the quarterfinals of boys' 12s at the Junior Orange Bowl. He also has two titles in USTA Boys' 14s Eastern Section Closed Championships. Kerznerman is currently No. 34 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings.

Kwiatkowski, a 14-year-old from Charlotte, N.C., had a strong 2008, reaching the semifinal of the Boys' 14s Kentucky Derby, a USTA international event, and also making semifinal appearances in two USTA Boys' 14s National Opens. Additionally, Kwiatkowski reached the boys' 14s semifinals at the USTA Cincinnati Open as well as the USTA Summer Smash in Delray Beach, Fla. Kwiatkowski is currently No. 18 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings. 

McDonald, a 13-year-old from Piedmont, Calif., is coming off a semifinals appearance at the USTA Boys' 14s Winter National Championships in Tucson, Ariz., his best-ever showing at a USTA National Championship. In October, he reached the boys' 14s semifinals at the Wilson Jr. Championships in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and last June he reached the boys' 14s semifinals at the USTA NORCAL Sectional Championships. McDonald is currently No. 10 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings.  

Murray, a 13-year-old from Birmingham, Mich., burst onto the national scene in 2008. After reaching the singles semifinals and winning the doubles title at the USTA Boys' 12s Spring National Championships in April, he swept the singles and doubles titles at the USTA Boys' 12s National Clay Court Championships in July. In October, Murray won the USTA Boys' 14s Cincinnati Open, and he capped off the year by winning the doubles title at the USTA Boys' 14s Winter National Championships. Murray is currently No. 21 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings. 

Rubin, a 13-year-old from Merrick, N.Y., had a strong finish to his 2008 season. In August, he reached the boys' 14s final of the USTA Labor Day Championships, and in November, he reached the semifinals of a USTA Boys' 14s National Open in Syracuse. In December he achieved his best career result, reaching the boys' 12s semifinals of the Jr. Orange Bowl. Rubin is currently No. 45 in the USTA Boys' 14s National Standings.    

The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential. The Player Development program is based in Florida and operates USTA Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., and in Carson, Calif.  Last year, the USTA announced its first two Certified Regional Training Centers, in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., as part of its expanded efforts to develop future American tennis champions. The USTA expects to name approximately ten more Regional Training Centers over the next five years.

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