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It's absolutely mind-boggling to see the good things that have happened locally in junior girls tennis during the "Age of Shelby."

Yes, Shelby Rogers has made that much difference. Never before has the area had so many highly ranked national and Southern girls. And the boys aren't that far behind the girls' pace.

There are so many local young girls who dream of living the life of Shelby, traveling the globe as Charleston's ambassador on the world stage of women's tennis.

Exotic places and glamorous settings are the dream or fantasy world.

But there's also hard work. And Rogers has paid the price with sweat, and now injuries that have put her career in what her fans hope is a temporary holding pattern.

She has played only two matches in 2018, and now after sitting out nearly two months with a pronator injury to her right arm that occurred during January's Australian Open, Rogers is out for at least six more weeks with a left knee injury that happened at the recent Indian Wells, Calif., tournament.

By the time Rogers returns to the WTA Tour, she easily could be outside the top 100.

And then, hopefully, it's a rerun of Rogers' first trip from outside the world's top 100 to inside the top 50.

This time, the perspiration will be greater. The job will be more difficult.

But this time, Rogers knows she can get there. It's not just a dream. She can do it again.

Now, Rogers is on the sideline for the current Miami Open, and then the Volvo Car Open that begins with qualifying next weekend.

Rogers made her reason for pulling out of the VCO clear on Friday. "It's my knee," she said.

How long will she be out: "As of now six weeks."

She gave no other details, which means the closest thing on her radar might be the late-May French Open.

Due to the two apparently serious injuries, published reports had been unclear about Rogers' reason for pulling out of the VCO.

Rogers is ranked No. 81 in the world. The 165 WTA Tour rankings points she earned in last year's Miami and Charleston tournaments are scheduled to fall off the computer at the conclusion of the April 2-8 VCO, leaving her with a projected point total that would be listed outside the top 100.

She was ranked 59th in the world when the year started.

Hopefully, Shelby's world as Charleston's touring tennis professional will right itself, and a year from now she will be basking in the light of being one of the most feared players on the WTA Tour. She's only 25 years old. So there's time.


As for the local juniors, perhaps the most obvious evidence of the impact that the "Age of Shelby" has had on local tennis is in 14-and-under girls competition. Of course, that's not to overlook the fact that the Charleston area had the nation's No. 1 junior boy for 2017 in Bishop England senior Jared Pratt and the South's No. 1 junior girl in Ashley Hall sophomore Emma Navarro.

As I listed earlier this year, the area had four girls ranked in the top 10 in the South for 2017 in girls 14 in Meggie Navarro (2), Allie Gretkowski (4), Sophie Williams (6) and Whitley Pate (8). Also, Carri Hayes was 14th.

Not even one of these five girls was ranked in the top 10 in the state rankings, due to a lack of playing a state schedule. Yet, the recently released final girls 14 state rankings for 2017 included four other local girls: Alice Otis (2), Logan Voeks (3), Saige Severance (5) and Elle Bredemann (7).

Four other local girls are ranked in the second 10 in the state 14s: Sydney Severance (11), Gigi Hinson (13), Kelsey Sinclaire (19) and Francis Drake (20).

That's a total of at least 13 really outstanding local girls 14 players.

I wish I could go into such detail on every age group, because there are so many outstanding junior boys and girls in local tennis.

For instance, the area has three of the No. 1-ranked boys in the state in Mitchell Deames (14s), Stanley Waters (16s) and Kerim Hyatt (18s), and two No. 1 girls in Shianna Guo (16s) and Callie Billman (18s).

The recognition for the most top-10 local players in any age group goes to boys 18, which had six players recognized. In addition to UT-Chattanooga-bound 2016 Lowcountry player of the year Kerim Hyatt of Hanahan, top 10 players include: Huntley Allen (2), Wake Forest-bound Brant Fenno (3) of Porter-Gaud, Eddie Ross (5), Chad Nash (6) and Jack Sequerth (9).

Boys 12 had five state top 10 locals: Carter Pate (2), Sawyer Severance (4), Henry Hyden (6), Zade Hyatt (7) and Joshua Giannelli (10).

Boys 16 had four top 10 state players: Waters, Luke Prendergast (5), Zach Dacuba (8) and Osbaldo Duarte (10). Boys 14 produced Deames and Zachary Blais (9).

In girls 12, Natasha Kavarana (6), Margaret Allen (7), Dylan Voeks (8) and Perrin Rogers (9) made the state top 10, while in girls 16 Guo led a local group of top 10ers that included Emily Elliott (6), Emma Smith (7) and Jill Morse (8).

Lauren Quinn (3) and Alex Hildell (9) followed Billman in girls 18.


-- Emma Navarro is in Indian Wells, Calif., this weekend to begin play in the Easter Bowl national championships. She is playing in girls 18 this year after winning the Easter Bowl's girls 16 title a year ago. She also is playing doubles with Chloe Beck of Watkinsville, Ga.

-- Navarro now has WTA Tour world rankings of No. 1,153 in singles and No. 842 in doubles. After the Easter Bowl, the 16-year-old will be getting ready for a main draw berth in the $80,000 U.S. Women's Pro Circuit tournament slated for April 30-May 6 at LTP Tennis in Mount Pleasant. She also will be playing in the July 15-22 Girls 18 Clay Court Nationals at LTP Tennis.

-- Former local junior Ellie Halbauer is back training in Orlando, Fla., after playing four $15,000 women's pro circuit tournaments in a row in Tunisia. The 20-year-old was so exhausted from the ordeal that she retired during the singles quarterfinals of the last tournament. "I was a little injured from overuse, but I'm OK now," Halbauer said Friday. After taking one singles title and one doubles title in Tunisia, and one doubles runner-up there, Halbauer is hoping for a wild card into next weekend's qualifying tournament for the Volvo Car Open.

Reach James Beck at See his latest columns on the Australian Open at