2006 Eddie Herr International
by Colette Lewis
, 7 December 2006
The Eddie Herr International is always a smorgasbord of tennis, and this year, with over 1750 players from 90 countries, it was an all-you-can-watch feast for tennis fans.
The appetizer course always features the 12-year-olds, who start a couple of days before the rest of the age divisions, then kick off championship weekend with their finals on Friday.
Mitchell Krueger of Aledo, Texas saved his best tennis for the final, when he defeated Liam Broady of Great Britain 6-0, 6-1. Although impressive all week, winning every match but one in straight sets, the blond right-hander put it in a higher gear in the final.
"I was on," Krueger admitted. "I was playing really, really good."
Krueger's coach, Dave Licker of the T Bar M Tennis Academy in Dallas, knew that the crowd gathered for the finals would work in Krueger's favor.
"He really likes the crowd, he kind of eats that stuff up," Licker said. "He plays really well under pressure, he rises to the occasion."
It was the Battle of Britain in the girls 12s, with Laura Robson defeating her nemesis Jessica Ren 7-6 (5), 7-5. Robson had lost to Ren the last three times they'd played, but after the semifinal, she confidently predicted she'd prevail in the final. Using her newly revamped serve and forehand, courtesy of a few weeks at Nick Saviano's Academy, Robson found her way past Ren, whom she described as a "brick wall."
"Last time I played her, I was up, but she came back," said Robson. "That's how she wins matches. Sometimes you realize that you have to do something else to get the win."