Tennis Stars Battle At Mark Knowles Celebrity Invitational

Robert ‘Bobby’ Reynolds is 28 years old and was born in Massachusetts, USA. He has been ranked as high as 63 and has wins over Marat Safin and Igor Kunitsyn. Bobby played at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee for three seasons from 2000-03 under coach and former ATP doubles star Ken Flach, before turning pro after his junior year. He finished No. 1 in national singles rankings in 2003. Bobby led Vanderbilt to the NCAA final in 2003 and capped one of the biggest turnarounds in recent NCAA history before losing to Illinois 4-3 in the final. Doubles Champion at Indianapolis with Andy Roddick in 2006.

Amer Delic is 28 years old and was born in Tulzla, Bosnia. He has been ranked as high as 60, and has wins over Benneteau, Acasuso, Davydenko, and Simon. In 2003, he completed his junior season at University of Illinois by leading his team to its first NCAA team title with a 32-0 mark, then he became first player from Illinois to capture NCAA singles crown. In the NCAA final, Amer defeated Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch to become first Big Ten player to win singles crown since Michigan’s Mike Leach in 1982. He finished his third straight All-American season ranked No. 2 in singles and No. 11 in doubles, and has had a career singles mark of 92-33 in three seasons.

Alex Kuznetsov is 23 years old, and was born in Kiev, Ukraine. His highest singles ranking was #158. His father, Yuri, is a tennis coach, and his grandfather was a Ukrainian handball champion. Alex started playing tennis at age 6. In 2004, as a junior, Alex was a Singles & Doubles finalist at the French Open. That same year he made it to the Quarterfinals at Wimbledon & the US Open.

Jesse Levine  is 23 years old and was born in Canada, but moved to America at age 13 and now plays under the US flag. Doubles finalist with Ryan Sweeting in Houston in 2009. Jesse played as a No. 1 player at University of Florida for one season, compiling a 21-0 record, before turning pro in the summer of 2007.  Jesse reached a career-high of  No. 14 in world junior rankings in 2005 and his best junior result was his title at Wimbledon in 2005. In July 2007, he spent 10 weeks training in Dubai with Roger Federer.

Filip Krajinovic is 18 years old and was born in Serbia. Filip turned pro last year and has already had an amazing climb up the rankings and is hailed as the next great player out of Serbia, following hopefully in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic. Filip started playing tennis at age 5 and moved to Bradenton, FL to the IMG/Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy at age 13. As a Junior he reached the Semifinals of 2 majors: Wimbledon & the US Open.  

Ryan Sweeting is 23 years old and was born in Nassau, Bahamas. Ryan has lived and trained in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from aged 12. He is a former World No. 2 junior, winner of 2005 US Open junior title, and in 2006. Ryan has served as practice partner on US Davis Cup teams in 2006 and 2007, and is coached by Dustin Taylor. Doubles finalist with Jesse Levine in Houston in 2009.

This year the Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational will be held from December 2nd to the 5th, and the public always have the opportunity to attend the Pro Exhibition for exciting tennis action with visiting pros. The Exhibition will be held on Saturday, December 4th at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, National Tennis Centre at 3pm.

Sponsors include: Atlantis Resort & Casino, MDC-Partners; Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Private Bank & Trust;  Pictet Bank & Trust Ltd; Serenity Point, Abaco; The Balmoral; The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism; American Airlines;  Everkey Global Fund; Mark Holowesko;,  Odyssey Aviation; The Bahamas Weekly  and The Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture.

Tickets are now on sale at the National Tennis Centre, Atlantis Tennis Centre, Village Squash Club, H.G.Christie Ltd. and Lyford Cay School or telephone 242-359-2542.

FOCOL 2010 Junior Tennis Tournament

The annual FOCOL tournament was held OCTOBER  22 – OCTOBER  25, 2010 results are as follows:

Age Category Finals Score
Girls Under  12 Lily Evert defeated Iesha Shepherd Bye
Girls Under 14 Iesha Shepherd defeated Dominique Mortier 6-2, 6-2
Girls Under 16 Erin Strachan defeatedDanielle Thompson 6-4, 6-1
Boys Under 10 Cole Majra defeatedDenali  nottage 6-2,6-1
Boys Under 12 Oneil Mortimer defeatedDanny  Wallace 3-6, 6-0, 6-0
Boys Under 14 Micheal  Wallace defeatedOneal  Mortimer 6-1, 6-0
Boys Under 16 Kevin Major defeated Rasheed  Carey 6-1,  6-3
Boys Under 18 Kevin Major defeated  Treajh  Ferguson Bye
Girls  18 Gabriella Bowe defeated  Danielle  Thompson Bye

The  Focol tournament took placed this past weekend at the Lucayan Bath & Raquet Club.

The Grand Bahama Tennis Association hosted about 35 junior tennis players from Nassau, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama to several days of healthy tennis rivalry.  This year’s players displayed a high level of competiveness and good sportsmanship as they vied for the first place trophies in the various age categories.

President of the Grand Bahama Tennis Association, Mrs. Charmine Wallace, dubbed this year’s tournament a huge success and extended sincere appreciation to   Focol, the players and their parents for contributing to such a successful tournament.

Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Tournament Draws In WTA Glamour Girls

Nassau, Bahamas – Not content to let their male counterparts enjoy all the fun in the sun in The Bahamas, this year’s Mark Knowles Celebrity Invitational charity event from December 2nd to 5th has drawn 3 repeat female participants; Anna Lena Groenefeld, Sabine Lisicki and Olga Savchuk and a new face, U.S. Federation Cup team heroine, Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands is one of the brightest tennis stars on the WTA Tour and at the perfect age of just 26, she is the future of American tennis. Mattek-Sands has been playing some of the best tennis of her career having reached an all time high singles ranking of #37 by the start of her 2009 season. Despite battling some injuries throughout 2009, she is currently one of the top players not only for the USA, but around the world in both singles and doubles. In 2009, Bethanie and her partner, Petrovic beat the Williams Sisters in a 3hr 18min battle in the 3rd Round of Roland Garros. Mattek-Sands and Petrova were one of only two teams to beat the Williams Sisters in all of 2009. These captivating performances allowed her to climb to a career high #17.

Bethanie was born March 23, 1985 in Rochester, Minnesota  to Tim and Heidi Mattek who currently reside in Boca, Florida. Mattek-Sands began playing tennis at age 5 and trained at the world famous Evert Academy and played her first pro event at just 14yrs old (1999.)  Mattek-Sands’ outgoing, fun and carefree personality has won her fans worldwide both on and off the court. She is also known for an adventurous sense of fashion with her on court attire and the unique personality she has brought to the game of tennis. Bethanie recently married former college athlete and Phoenix businessman, Justin Sands, in a private beach ceremony in November 2008. She currently trains and resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

Throughout her career, Mattek has accumulated eight (8) Sony Ericcson WTA Tour Doubles Titles; five (5) ITF Women’s Circuit Singles Titles; and three (3) ITF Women’s Circuit Doubles Titles.

Mattek-Sands became the first American to win consecutive live matches — fourth singles and then doubles — to close out a Fed Cup tie since the best-of-five format was adopted in 1995.

Anna-Lena Groenefeld  has a current Singles ranking #63 and Doubles ranking #14. She had an outstanding junior career:  In 2002 she was the Singles Champion of both the Belgium and Frankfurt International Championships and a finalist at the Orange Bowl. In July 2003, she won the Apple and Eve Newsday Long Island Classic, held in Woodbury, New York, defeating Bethanie Mattek in the final. She is an accomplished doubles player winning the French Open title and reaching the finals at Wimbledon. As a result of her tennis successes in 2003, Groenefeld had achieved the Junior World ranking of #1 in singles and doubles. She received the German Tennis Award in 2008 as “Professional Female Player of the Year”. She was the winner of the 2009 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles crown alongside Mark Knowles

In March 2010 she injured her left foot which kept her out of competition until July 2010.

Has singles wins over Daniela Hantuchova, Alize Cornet and with doubles partner, Patty Snyder, has won several ladies doubles titles.

Anna-Lena is coached by Dirk Dier. Her mother is Marie-Louise (teacher); and her father is Hans (surgeon). She was introduced to tennis at age 5 by father and brother. Anna-Lena graduated from Nordhorn High School in June 2001, and her favorite tournament is Roland Garros. Her other sports interests include handball, and basketba

Sabine Lisicki has a Current Singles ranking #178 . She finished 2009 ranked #23 then injuries plagued her through 2010 starting in Indian Wells and Miami and she did not get back into tournament play until August 2010. Sabine is a member of the German Fed Cup Team, 2008-09.

Coached by father, Dr Richard Lisicki; she also works with Darren Cahill / Adidas. Sabine was Introduced to tennis at age 7 by her father at a club after school.  Her favorite shot is the serve; and she likes all surfaces (because they all bring something different to the game). She speaks German, English, Polish, and her favorite book is Lance Armstrong’s autobiography. Sabine likes listening to pop and R&B music, reading and athletics.  She is self-described as happy, a hard worker and someone who laughs a lot.

Olga Savchuk  has a Current Singles Ranking #149 Doubles #62 . She was born in Donetsk, Ukraine on September 20th, 1987 and now is a resident of Nassau, Bahamas.  She plays right-handed and is an up and coming force on the WTA tour.  She is a winner of 3 Doubles titles and member of the Ukrainian Federation Cup Team. 

Olga is coached by Tomasz Iwanski. Father, Nikolay and mother, Elena. She began playing at age 7 and she speaks Russian, Ukrainian, English. Olga likes spending time with family and friends, resting on the beach, reading, dancing.  Her favorite tennis players are Federer, Graf, Sampras; and she also admires Michael Phelps.

The Professional Tennis Exhibition will be held at the National Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 4th December. Admission: Adults $10 and Children Free. Students in school sports shirts Free.

The annual hit with the Pros will take place with junior players selected by Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association at the Exhibition on 4th December at the National Tennis Centre ending with an autograph session with the pros.

The major sponsors to date include: Atlantis Resort & Casino, MDC-Partners, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Private Bank & Trust;   Pictet Bank & Trust Ltd; Serenity Point, Abaco; The Balmoral; The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation; American Airlines; Everkey Global Fund,  Odyssey Aviation, Mark Holowesko, The Bahamas Weekly, and The Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture.

The proceeds of the event will go to aid local children’s’ charities. To date over $500,000 has been distributed to various charities.

Tickets are now on sale at the National Tennis Centre, Atlantis Tennis Centre, Village Squash Club, H.G.Christie Ltd. and Lyford Cay School or telephone 242-359-2542.

Xavier Malisse To Participate At 2010 Mark Knowles Tennis Invitational

Nassau, Bahamas – Mark Knowles is pleased to announce that Xavier Malisse of Belgium will be among the pros participating in the 10th annual Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational charity event to be held from December 2nd to 5th.

Xavier is one of the most charismatic and talented players on the ATP circuit. He is the best male player to come out of Belgium which is known for its excellent female players Justin Henin and Kim Clijsters.

Xavier was born in Kortrijk, Belgium July 19, 1980. At age 13, he was as good a soccer player as tennis and made the choice to play tennis. He has had an outstanding junior career and made the transition to the pros at the age of 17. He entered the Nick Bollettieri Academy in summer of 1997 and still trains there part of the season. This is the same Academy that Mark Knowles attended from the age of 10 years.

His Highest Singles Ranking was #19 and his Highest Doubles Ranking # 28. He has won Three Singles Titles and Four Doubles Titles with a Grand Slam Highlight of being crowned the 2004 French Open Doubles Champion.

Xavier has been ranked in the Top 50 for 5 years in a row.  He has wins over World No. 3 Novak, Djokovic in 2010, and during his career has beaten World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake, Fernando Gonzalez, Tomas Berdych, John Isner & Nikolay Davydenko.

The Professional Tennis Exhibition will be held at the National Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 4th December. Admission: Adults $10 and Children Free. Students in school sports shirts Free.

The annual hit with the Pros will take place with junior players selected by Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association at the Exhibition on 4th December at the National Tennis Centre ending with an autograph session with the pros.

The major sponsors to date include: Atlantis Resort & Casino, MDC-Partners, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Private Bank & Trust;   Pictet Bank & Trust Ltd; Serenity Point, Abaco; The Balmoral; The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation; American Airlines; Everkey Global Fund,  Odyssey Aviation, Mark Holowesko, The Bahamas Weekly, and The Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture.

The proceeds of the event will go to aid local children’s’ charities. To date over $500,000 has been distributed to various charities.

Tickets are now on sale at the National Tennis Centre, Atlantis Tennis Centre, Village Squash Club, H.G.Christie Ltd. and Lyford Cay School or telephone 242-359-2542.

Source: The Bahamas Weekly

2010 Nike Junior Tennis International Masters To Be Held in The Bahamas at Columbus Isle San Salvador December 8-15

The Nike Junior Tour is comprised of more than 60,000 of the world’s best under-12 and under-14 youth tennis players in the world. Each year, following a series of regional qualifying events and national championships, Nike brings the top regional champions together in a unique location to experience an international tennis tournament.

The Nike Junior Tour International Masters has become the pinnacle experience for young tennis players to compete on a global stage with the very best of their peers from around the world. Nike is especially proud the tour can point to former NJT champions like Rafael Nadal who have gone on to become extremely successful professionals.

This year the tournament will be bigger than ever before with 30 countries expected to vie for top honours. With the dates now December 8 to 15 the Masters will be played later than usual. The reason for this is that it will fall in the week separating the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl tournaments.

For the fifth time in its 14-year history, the NJT International Masters will be hosted at a Club Med venue and this year it will be staged at Club Med Columbus Isle on the Island of San Salvador in The Bahamas. All the players will be able to experience a piece of history because it was on these very beaches that Christopher Columbus landed on on his journey to discover America in 1492.

For the past two years the tournament has been played on hard courts but this year it will revert to clay.

The 30  countries expected to line up are France, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Slovakia, Belgium, Israel, United Kingdom, Russia, Serbia, UAE, Belarus, Morocco, China, Brazil, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Bosnia, Sweden, Slovenia, Ukraine and Turkey.

The Nike Junior Tour has now been a breeding ground for young tennis players since 1997 when the concept was introduced by Chris Vermeeren and the first event played at Hilversum in Holland. Since then the NJT International Masters has travelled all over the world and has been hosted in Germany, Spain, South Africa, the Bahamas, France, Italy, the USA and the Dominican Republic.

Players such as current world No 1 Rafael Nadal, Sweden’s Robin Soderling, Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina, Czech Thomas Berdych, Israel’s Shahar Peer, and Czech Lucie Safarova have all cut their tennis teeth at the Nike Junior Tour.

The 29th Kwan Yin Tennis Invitational Tournament Results

The 29th Annual Kwan Yin Invitational Tennis Tournament the largest and oldest local Annual Tennis event in Grand Bahama was held over this 2010 Emancipation Day Holiday weekend at the Kwan Yin Tennis Court in Freeport, from Saturday, July 31st to Monday, August 2nd 2010.

In the open draw the Champion in the Men’s Singles division Ashwood Hall defeated Rodney ‘Hot Rod” Carey 6-4. The Ladies Singles Champion is Jessie Bastian who defeated Terah Smith 6-4. Jackson Bartlett and Terah Smith defeated David Thompson and Jessie Bastian in Mixed Doubles 6-4. The Men’s open Doubles was won by Rodney “Hot Rod” Carey and Dr. Almira who defeated David Thompson and Ashwood Hall 7-5.

In the Special Draw the Men’s Singles Champion is Demetrius Taylor who beat last year’s Champion Larry Hall 7-6 and in the Men’s Doubles Special Draw was won by Vince “Gun Slinger” Pennerman and Bishop Ben Ferguson who defeated Glen Smith and Drexel Porter 6-4.  

The organizers of the 2010 Championships wish to thank Mr. Jethro Miller, Attorney-at-Law for acting as patron of the tournament and all tennis players, fans, supporters and families who came out and joined in the fun, games and fellowship in Celebration of Freedom this August Monday Emancipation Holiday Weekend 2010 in record numbers ensuring this was the best attended local tennis event ever.

Kwan Yin 2010 Tennis Photos

 

From the Freeport News:

The 29th Annual Kwan Yin Invitational Tennis Tourna-ment the largest and oldest local Annual Tennis event in Grand Bahama was held over this 2010 Emancipation Day Holiday weekend at the Kwan Yin Tennis Court in Freeport, from Saturday, July 31 to Monday, August 2, 2010.

In the open draw the Champion in the Men’s Singles division Ashwood Hall defeated Rodney ‘Hot Rod” Carey 6-4.

The Ladies Singles Champion is Jessie Bastian who defeated Terah Smith 6-4.

Jackson Bartlett and Terah Smith defeated David Thompson and Jessie Bastian in Mixed Doubles 6-4.

The Men’s open Doubles was won by Rodney “Hot Rod” Carey and Dr. Almira who defeated David Thompson and Ashwood Hall 7-5.

In the Special Draw the Men’s Singles Champion is Demetrius Taylor who beat last year’s Champion Larry Hall 7-6 and the Men’s Doubles Special Draw was won by Vince “Gun Slinger” Pennerman and Bishop Ben Ferguson who defeated Glen Smith and Drexel Porter 6-4.

The organizers of the 2010 Championships wish to thank Jethro Miller, Attorney-at-Law for acting as patron of the tournament and all tennis players, fans, supporters and families who came out and joined in the fun, games and fellowship in celebration of freedom this August Monday Emanci-pation Holiday Weekend 2010 in record numbers ensuring this was the best attended local tennis event ever.

BLTA Engages in some CYA

Writes Kelsie Johnson, Sports Reporter for the Nassau Guardian in “Turnquest sticks behind decision to exclude players”:

The executive members in the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) will not re-think their position on the selection of players for the upcoming Fed Cup Tournament. In fact, president Stephen Turnquest believes that he and the board members did what was right, when they made their decision in January.

The Fed Cup team, which is preparing for competition April 19 at the National Tennis Club in Guayaquil, Ecuador, includes Kerrie Cartwright, Simone Pratt and Gabrielle Moxey. The team is being coached by Paula Whitfield. The board members decided to exclude two of the country’s top players, Larikah Russell and Nikkita Fountain, after they failed to compete in the December Invitational – a criteria for team selection.

President Turnquest believes that the process was a clear, just and fair one, and that the selection guidelines were followed. He said: “I can’t comment on what is written in the story. The only thing that I can comment on, or say to the situation is (that) the selection process has been in place for many years. We have an end-of-year tournament and the top players are invited to participate. In Larikah’s case, in 2008 she did not participate, but she was still selected to go in 2009. In 2008, she had a death in her family which happened several weeks before the trials, but they still allowed her to play (in the Fed Cup).

“Last year, she didn’t show. She sent her report in as well and gave reasons why she could not attend. The executive as a body, a unit, decided that well she did not show up so the selection was made without her. In Nikkita’s case, she called to say that she was coming. She was in the draw to participate, she did not show. She called and said that she was stuck in Miami, no problem. Then the day came, she did not show and said that she was going to be a little late. Afterwards, the tournament director got a letter stating that she (Nikkita) did not show up because she was ill. Two months later, we got a doctor’s certificate saying that she was ill in December.

“Now, there is no question about if they are the top players in the country. That is not the issue. The issue is this – if you do not follow the guidelines of the association then this will be the end result. The guidelines aren’t made by Stephen Turnquest. This was made by the board and the directors. All the boys showed up (to the December Invitational), no problem, and the selection for the Davis Cup team was made – no problem at all.”

In an earlier interview with The Nassau Guardian, both Russell and Fountain demanded answers from the BLTA as to why they were not selected. The two confirmed that they gave reasons as to why they were unable to compete. If these reasons were accepted then, said Russell and Fountain, “why aren’t their names included for the 2010 team.”

However, Turnquest had a few questions of his own for Russell and Fountain. Turnquest asked would it be right to include them (Russell and Fountain) just because they are regarded as the two top players?

“You can’t unilaterally say that okay, I am the best and I can do this and do the next thing,” said Turnquest. “It doesn’t work like that. Too many times you have persons believing that it will work, but you take a stand and do what you believe. Stephen did not do it – it was done collectively by the board. The process was there to go and start the competition at the end of the year. This is not the first time this has happened. This was in place before I became president. There is no challenge to it and there were no problems with it in the previous years, none whatsoever.

“Now, they are saying I am not going to show up, they are going to name me. It is not about us trying to take them out with no reason or cause. It isn’t that at all. I was told that I should do what is honorable. Fine, I am going to do that. I am going to stay the cause, because you can’t say that this is the rule and you (will) follow this rule and (then) change it. No you can’t do that because it won’t be fair, as those other players went about and did the sacrifices as well, they came.”

Turnquest also pointed out that both Russell and Fountain are on subvention, and that the two tennis players are aware of what is required of them. The two have represented The Bahamas at the Fed Cup Tournament in the past. They were members of the team which was recently demoted to Americas Zone II, after losing all three ties in 2009. The losses came to Puerto Rico, 1-2, Canada, and to Colombia, 0-3.

Former BLTA President Disagrees with Present BLTA Clique

From an op-ed in the Bahamas Journal dated March 17th, 2010 “Former BLTA President Backs Russell and Fountain”:

Former Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association President and Fed Cup team captain Giorgio Baldacci has put his support behind a protest against the BLTA after the federation left top female players Nikkita Fountain and Grand Bahamian Larikah Russell off the National Team that will compete at the Fed Cup Championships.

Former Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association President and Fed Cup team captain Giorgio Baldacci has put his support behind a protest against the BLTA after the federation left top female players Nikkita Fountain and Grand Bahamian Larikah Russell off the National Team that will compete at the Fed Cup Championships.

Although not publicly The BLTA has listed the team of Kerrie Cartwright, Grand Bahamian Simone Pratt for the American Group Two tie that is scheduled to be played in April in Ecuador.

On Saturday during a press conference Baldacci described the situation as a “slap in the face” of the two players. 

Baldacci explained that that unlike this time, in the past the captain and not the board would name the team before beginning the two weeks training program before traveling to the competition.

In 2009 the team of Russell, Fountain and Cartwright, captained by Sean Cartwright, lost all three ties in the Americans Group One and was demoted to Group Two for 2010.

With Baldacci as the captain in 2002, the Bahamas turned in its best performance in the Fed Cup since it started playing in 1990. The team of Fountain, Russell and Shari Dillet, also of Grand Bahama, finished with a 2-1 record to remain in Group One after being promoted in 2001.

In 2003, however, the team of Fountain, Jessica Sweeting and Keva Palmer, dropped its two matches and were demoted to Group Two. Following 2003 The Bahamas did not play the next four years as some of the top players were unavailable.

The Bahamas returned to Fed Cup play in 2008 as Sean Cartwright captained the team of Fountain, Cartwright, Russell and Elanqua Griffin to a 3-0 record in Group Two and the Bahamas was promoted back to Group One.

Fountain, who has a 19-23 win-loss record, including 10-14 in singles has the second longest tenure in Fed Cup play with seven years experience behind Kim Cartwright who has nine. Russell is the best individual player with a 23-9 total wins, including a 12-5 record in singles and 11-4 in doubles.

They said what was so disturbing is the BLTA didn’t notify them that they were not on the team. They found out through the federation’s web site.

According to Fountain and Russell the BLTA has selected a team of three junior players who don’t have the experience that is needed to play at the highest level in team competition.

Reportedly BLTA president Steve Turnquest said the committee decided to keep Fountain and Russell off the team because neither of them participated in the December Christmas Invitational at the National Tennis Center, which served as one of the criteria for selection.

However, [F]ountain said she provided the federation with a doctor’s certificate, which was allowed provided for in the criteria preventing her from being penalized. While Russell says she was told she would not be penalized for missing the tournament, but they apparently have been penalized.

The Christmas Invitational was first advertised as the official trials for up coming national teams, but later promoted as only as a tournament where players could have gained points towards their rankings.