Us Tennis Parents
Things about Junior Tennis

About

Us Tennis Parent’s Blog is the voice for tennis parents and junior tennis players in the US. Things that are not right, that could be improved or changed may find attention within this board.  Our main goal is to answer the question “why is it so difficult to develop tennis champions representing the US internationally” and inspire change. Change needed to help our top American junior players to give them a better chance to succeed.

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One Response to “About”

  1. This is an open letter to the USTA Junior Competition Committee regarding the drastic cutbacks in national junior tournaments they are implementing for 2011.

    I have done a more detailed analysis on how difficult it will be for a 14’s player to advance to 16’s and qualify for national play.

    I have looked at the July 2010 National Open in Lakewood CA ( a L2 tournament ) and ordered all competitors by national ranking. Under the new system 28 players will be accepted using the national 16’s ranking list. The 28’th player is Derek Klein with a national ranking of 172. That is the new cut off for national play on the west coast. If no players from the next lower age group applied the cutoff would be at position 32 who is Jonathan Poon with a ranking of 196. Under the old system, and in this draw, the last player accepted was William Chiu with a national ranking of 485.

    Just to add some color to how difficult a problem this will become the first alternate for the 16’s division of the National Championship at Kalamazoo was Jason Proctor. Jason has a national ranking of 211. It will be significantly more difficult to get into a L2 or L3 on the west coast than it is to get into the national championship at Kalamazoo.

    Today, to reach a national ranking of 172 a player will need to acquire 918 points. Under the new system, with your best 6 scores, this number will be approximately 714. A player will need to average 102 points in six tournaments including doubles.

    You cannot receive 100 points in a sectional level 5 event. The champion receives 88 points so you will need to average higher in the sectional level 4 events to compensate. To receive 100 points in a sectional level 4 event a player must reach the quarter finals.
    My son competes in the SoCal section so let me give you an idea of how difficult it will be to reach the quarter finals. The top 4 seeds in a SoCal sectional event will all be top 25 players in the nation; the next 4 seeds will be top 80. The total draw will be 256 with at least 10 players in the top 100. A player will need to win 6 rounds, beating 4 seeds. At least one of the seeds will be top 25 in the nation.

    Looking at the boys 14 players in SoCal there is no one who can play at this level. The top 5 players some have wins at the national level in 16’s but no one has a win over a player ranked above 175.

    When you look at the changes being made it is obvious this will be a problem. With the drastic reduction in national play the points from sectional play will become increasingly important and will dictate those players who can play nationally. With 17 sections now each will contribute a more proportional number of national players. With the points available SoCal will have around 12 or 15 national players. Currently, SoCal has 16 players in the top 100. Under the new system that number will decrease. The number of players aging up and quickly becoming national players will be zero.

    At a more personal level my son is current ranked 95th in the nation in boys 14’s and will age up to 16’s next July. He was top 50 in 12’s when he aged up to 14’s. I would expect a player entering his second year in an age division, who is already the top 100, would have an opportunity to continue to play at the national level as he advances through the age groups. At this point I don’t see how he has any chance of playing nationally after next July when he advances to 16’s. Even the very top boys will not be able to make this transition.

    It seems like there are three possibilities resulting from this analysis
    1. I am wrong. I missed something in the analysis and players will be able to age up and play.
    2. I am right. The competition committee fully understands how this will work and thinks it is a good idea.
    3. The committee does not understand the impacts of the changes and did not perform a complete analysis before moving forward.


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