#1 Junior Taylor Townsend "Benched" by the USTA

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Tcbtennis, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    My beef with this whole situation is that they punished her by trying to take away her home junior slam when she is the number player in the WORLD. I don't care that her recent results are below the USTA expectations. She earned that #1 ranking by winning the AO junior slam singles and doubles. It's hers until someone takes it away. So if a just turned 16 year old Lindsey Davenport or Martina Navratilova or Petra Kvitova, all who were known or are known for there perceived lack of fitness, played for the USTA PD they would have been kept out of the junior slam.

    Girls' bodies are still developing at this age and I doubt that she isn't fit in the cardiovascular sense of being fit. You shouldn't force diets on teenage girls who are not obese. The developing brain of an impressionable teenage girl is sensitive. I know because I have one. You say, "Darling, you need to get into better shape" and they hear, "Hey fatty, you seriously need to lose that butt." And the fact that it's public, on the internet, the subject of tweets will only add to the humiliation. Continue to emphasize her fitness training but don't keep her out of competition. How does that help her?
     
    #51
  2. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    or maybe they know she's not playing very well and wanted to prevent another upset, losing confidence issue......so USTA asked her to work on fitness and play lower profile tournaments??.....who knows. I could speculate all day, is she pre-diabetic?..that's why they are concerned about her health.
    Of course, above is a joke..... I just don't know the story from either side. Just wish her well. I always root for all these deserving young players.
     
    #52
  3. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    She is a kid who is maybe slightly overweight.

    It is mean and punitive to try to disallow the #1 junior in the world from playing her home slam.

    It's just mean and then for Patrick McEnroe to comment on her weight (coded as "fitness") is just bizarre and meanspirited.

    It's not like she is 250 pounds and might risk her health by playing. She is probably 20-30 pounds higher in weight than her ideal (like a lot of other female players).

    I'm sorry, I don't buy it.

    The excuse that they didn't want her to play because of her fitness is bizarre and hard to believe considering she looks pretty much the same as she did when she won the Australian open earlier this year.

    I've never heard any other instance of the USTA making a similar request of a top junior.

    Not giving her a wildcard into the women's event is somewhat understandable, but not supporting her to play the junior tournament (where she has more right to be than any other junior as the world's #1) just doesn't make any sense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
    #53
  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    Uh the did not prohibit her from anything. She is currently playing in the US open juniors. Hello anybody in there? They are just not paying for her. Any private organization can give money to somebody with whatever stipulations they want. Again if you don't want to follow their rules, then don't take their money and pay yourself.
     
    #54
  5. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Uh, goober. Don't live up to your name.

    They have been paying for her tournaments, travel, training, and coaching for 2 years now.

    To suddenly decide to not support her playing this tournament is not par for the course or normal.

    As for their rules, I am sure this is not a rule.

    I've never heard of the USTA telling any other #1 player not to play the US Open. I have not heard anything similar.

    It sounds like arbitrary punishment meted out unfairly to their best player.
     
    #55
  6. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    Read the article - it refers to her need to slim down.. Coaching 101 says you don't discuss weight with a teenage girl - this something they could have taken up discreetly with her parents - not in the Wall Street Journal - private organization or not if the girls end up with even the slightest traces of an eating disorder the USTA and PMac will have a lawsuit on their hands!
     
    #56
  7. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    And in fact talking about the need to slim down i.e. body image is even worse!
     
    #57
  8. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    We have known TT and her family for YEARS-since she competed at around 10 in the G12 National Open in Sea Island, GA (which she would not have been able to enter now with restriction of 32-draw...and which she returned to the following year and won).

    THIS WHOLE SITUATION HURTS MY HEART BECAUSE I FEEL IS IS WRONG ON EVERY LEVEL. I cannot imagine how she must feel - having her weight discussed like this... TT has never been small---and she's the #1 junior girl in the world. SURELY they could have handled this in a more appropriate way - just feel sooo bad for her. :(
     
    #58
  9. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    On a spectrum with Goober on one end and Soianka on the other, I'm a lot closer to the Goober end.

    Benefits given by one party to another are voluntary (gifts) or contractual.

    The cessation of a voluntary gift is not punishment unless a recipient has unjustifiably developed a sense of entitlement to the gift, and in any case voluntary gifts are not enforceable.

    Contractual benefits are defined by the contract. I haven't seen the contract. All those saying lawsuits would be in order please post up the contractual terms that you think have been violated.

    As for a civil rights claim...that helps me understand a lot about this Board
     
    #59
  10. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Are all the other kids going on the USTA's dime?
     
    #60
  11. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Well said.

    It's just meanness and not the way anyone should treat a teenage girl.
     
    #61
  12. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    in my book - humiliating a teenage girl about her weight either in a public or private forum is abusive IMHO and therefore actionable...
     
    #62
  13. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    "Our concern is her long-term health, number one, and her long-term development as a player. We have one goal in mind: For her to be playing in [Arthur Ashe Stadium] in the main draw and competing for major titles when it's time. That's how we make every decision, based on that." -- Patrick McEnroe

    So who brought up weight? Cite.
     
    #63
  14. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    In school they call it bullying!
     
    #64
  15. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Civil rights?

    Slander or libel? Truth is a defense to those claims

    What tort or statutory violation would you claim?
     
    #65
  16. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    Quote - the USTA wasn't happy to see Townsend in New York. Her coaches declined to pay her travel expenses to attend the Open and told her this summer that they wouldn't finance any tournament appearances until she makes sufficient progress in one area: slimming down and getting into better shape.

    I think most people would equate slimming down to losing weight
     
    #66
  17. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Yep.

    It really makes me sad to think that these folks are the ones who have so much control to make or break people's dreams.

    I seriously am starting to wonder if there was not some merit to why the Young family didn't the USTA to take control of Donald's training and career.

    I always thought his parents were 100% wrong to not accept the USTA training, but now I'm starting to wonder if P. Mac is just an a$$hole doing all kinds of rotten things we never hear about.
     
    #67
  18. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    And for this the USTA should be sued?

    (Assuming the governing contract allows this action)
     
    #68
  19. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    Bullying and abuse bear no relation to slander or libel - The reporter got the information from someone at the USTA - you don't think this is humiliating for her?

    I would certainly not let any of my kids near these clowns!
     
    #69
  20. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    I must say I'm baffles by your position - if your child attending a private school on a scholarship( ie a gift) was told by one of her teachers that she couldn't play on the tennis team because she was too fat even though she was the best player you would think that's ok?
     
    #70
  21. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    By your not answering the question I think I have my answer
     
    #71
  22. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    this^^^^^^

    I hope her parents move her training elsewhere.

    The only problem is the USTA controls many of the wildcards and it does not look like they are above being punitive jack*****.

    This reminds me of the way P. McEnroe ambushed a teenage Venus Williams at the 1997 open suddenly playing Irina Spirlea's interview when Venus came into the studio to talk to them about being in the final.
     
    #72
  23. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    that about sums it up
     
    #73
  24. ronin88

    ronin88 New User

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    new facts and analysis

    the USTA limited her court time directly after her double victory in the AO.
    she plays less tennis in a week than the bots at the academies play in 2 days.
    she has had under 10 private lessons under USTA supervision since February.

    It seems to me that results that many consider subpar 'only' making the 1/4's and semis of grand slams are a direct result of limited tournament play and dedicated practice.

    Also, since when did playing tennis not improve fitness ?

    If I were to write a formula to destroy a young woman's confidence and game it would go something like this :
    1) deny dedicated, expert practice time.
    2) stop personal, private instruction
    3) give vague, insulting goals i.e. 'slim down', 'get fit', you can't play in tournaments until we decide you have done so.
    4) prohibit competition
    5) withdraw monetary support that had previously been provided and is being provided to her colleagues at the Boca academy

    This is exactly what the USTA development team has done and they should be vilified for doing so in a public forum.
    Saying these things to a young lady who is still growing is outrageous and unforgiveable.

    Anyone who has seen her play can tell you she plays an aggressive, attacking, athletic game and she is 'fit' enough to be the second best placer from the US despite being systematically undermined by her home federation.
     
    #74
  25. goober

    goober Legend

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    The organization giving $$$ is a voluntary gift (because that is what it is basically) can be arbitrary all they want. They decide what is normal and they should or shouldn't do with their money NOT the recipient.

    I don't see this as any different than Nike dropping sponsorship of a player because they decided that a player got too fat and was not representing the brand well. What are going to say? "Well you sponsored me for 2 years and you never dropped anyone before for getting fat? So it is not fair" Uh welcome to the real world. You don't agree with what they are doing, go get someone else to sponsor you.
     
    #75
  26. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it is unforgiveable and outrageous.

    She needs to go train elsewhere. I am glad she is friendly with Richard Williams/Williams Sisters.

    Hopefully, they or someone else can help her find a better training situation.

    It would be great if she could train with someone like P. Mourtaglou.

    And if the USTA tries to screw her on wildcards, she needs to sue like others have done in the past.
     
    #76
  27. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    She's getting to the age where she will naturally start to fill out and gain a lot of weight. If she doesn't get things under control, she will gain a lot of weight in the next few years.

    That said, it is her business and if she is performing, I don't think the USTA should "bench" her even though I don't give her much hope of becoming a successful pro unless she gets her weight under control.
    Guys have eaten themselves out of the NFL and NBA. It would be a shame for it to happen to someone who seems to be a very nice girl.
     
    #77
  28. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Skinny or fat doesn't matter, she needs to commit to being in awesome physical condition if the USTA is going to spend big money on her. Being #1 in juniors is a big difference from success on the pro tour.

    Seems like a similar story as Donald Young. Born in Chicago. Lived and trained in Atlanta under Young's parents. But made a good decision to utilize USTA's training support offer. Young didn't do that.

    But you did get a letter/ultimatum of sorts in 2009 from USTA to get in shape. He didn't do that and you can see where that got him. She can learn from his mistakes.

    They are trying to send her a message that to be a professional in main draw of tour events, she has to raise her commitment level considerably.

    I see no issue here. She doesn't have to train with the USTA if she doesn't want to. She has the opportunity of a lifetime, let's hope it doesn't slip away because of laziness.
     
    #78
  29. goober

    goober Legend

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    Would it be ok- no. But they have EVERY right to do it. Obviously the easiest solution is to work with your daughter and the coach and get her into shape and get her ready to play rather than throw around your sense of entitlement that "I automatically get to play because I am the best player." I can absolutely tell you in other sports you will be benched if you show up out of shape and overweight even if you are the most talented player on the team. If you show up fat and out if shape at D1 football or basketball program, do you think you are going to be seeing field or court any time soon?

    I am more baffled by people's stance if I am best player on the team I automatically get to play. No playing on a team is a privilege
    not a right.
     
    #79
  30. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I think that is an inapposite analogy. But I've got some time on my hands today

    If a contractual scholarship is withdrawn for reasons consistent with the contract, I think only a fool would sue for restoration of the scholy

    If a voluntary scholy (gift) is withdrawn, I think only a fool would sue for the restoration of the scholy.

    Taking into account the following quotes (as noted in a post on page 1)

    "I've gotten a lot of great opportunities, great fitness, great coaching," she said. "I'm doing everything that they ask me to do and being professional about everything." Shelia Townsend, who moved to Florida with her daughter and works in the Palm Beach school system, agreed the USTA academy had been good for her daughter. "It has afforded her a lot of opportunities," she said."

    ........I think only a fool would initiate a lawsuit to try to get money for hurt feelings (if that is an actionable claim)

    Besides that.........if her feelings have been hurt...........any lawsuit and the attendant publicity would really send her spinning.

    I think TT and her parents are handling this just fine..........and in a more mature, realistic and professional manner than those who are talking lawsuit are suggesting they handle it
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
    #80
  31. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    I am sure you are right, perfectly legal, I am sure within the terms of the contact, but just shows a tremendous lack of class, and just typifies their arrogant, bullying tone deaf attitude.
     
    #81
  32. goober

    goober Legend

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    Can you give me some examples of somebody who successfully sued the USTA for not giving them a wildcard?
     
    #82
  33. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Never said anyone "successfully" sued. I said others have sued in the past.

    At the very least it became public knowledge that some were alleging the USTA was giving wildcards out in a biased way.

    Similarly, Zina Garrison's lawsuit brought such information to the public eye about the way the USTA is managed.
     
    #83
  34. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    You dont see the difference between Nike and USTA ?
     
    #84
  35. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Agree or not, her #1 junior world ranking happened on the USTA watch. TT had nothing to gain by playing this event.

    I'm curious how the story evolved. Who contacted who first. The media played the audience here.
     
    #85
  36. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    What is the difference?
     
    #86
  37. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    That's a curious statement. I don't understand what you are trying to say.
     
    #87
  38. Bowtiesarecool

    Bowtiesarecool Rookie

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    If you all really wanted to do something about it, why don't you flood Diane Sawyer's mailbox with the link to the story. I don't agree with what the USTA did, but Townsend is not an employee of the USTA. They DONATE resources to help cover her expenses. The only way the public could affect the issue is to attempt to "embarass" the USTA into changing their policy.
     
    #88
  39. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I believe USTA has TT's best interest at heart and they helped her to secure her #1 junior world ranking. Apparently they advised her not to play the tournament but she decided to anyway - clearly her choice. I'd be curious to hear how the article was born as I don't think USTA picked up the phone and called the journal.
     
    #89
  40. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    So, agree.
    How you can put this in writing ( newspaper/online) is very damaging to a teenage girl.
    Hate to say it, but teenage girls have more food issues than ever.
    I wonder if Pmac has a daughter?
     
    #90
  41. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Irresponsible journalism.
     
    #91
  42. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    How does missing the tournament benefit her?

    How can this feel like anything but punishment?

    Why shouldn't the #1 player in the world play the US Open?

    It's not like she is injured and is trying to play with an injury or something.

    As an aside: It doesn't seem like the USTA has her best interest at heart. In fact, I don't believe this story at all. It sounds like she is being punished by them for some reason or another. Your guess is as good as mine. But the weight story makes no sense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
    #92
  43. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Chalk,

    Yes, there is journalism that is not well done, no research, no quotes, folks are dead and can't defend themselves.......

    But, Pmac didn't say "No comment", he actually gave a quote about a young girl needing to slim down..........

    Couldn't that have been done in private?
    It had to be in a newspaper right before she played?

    Just an observation,
    but Pmac seems to have a weird relationship with the Youngs and now this girl......
     
    #93
  44. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Tongue in cheek.
     
    #94
  45. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    The WSJ story should not have been written. The paper played both sides against the middle and people on this forum are reacting exactly how they had hoped. I guess now we'll see where TT's allegiance lies.
     
    #95
  46. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    If what you write is accurate you seem to have some inside information. If that is what they did to her right after her win after the junior AO it makes the lack of fitness story less credible. 
     
    #96
  47. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    It was(is) a legitimate story. Shooting the messenger now ?
     
    #97
  48. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Aloha,
    I've come to the conclusion that you'll disagree with me no matter what I say and that's OK. More often than not, I'm in the neighborhood of the bullseye ;) And in this case, I'm just not sold on the accuracy of the story, but it will work itself out - always does. I just want it to work out for TT.
     
    #98
  49. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    Patrick McEnroe has become such a liability to the USTA - they should cut their losses and cut him loose.
     
    #99
  50. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Here's what Lindsay Davenport had to say about it:

    I hope this story gets a lot of attention and the USTA will start having to answer for their reprehensible decisions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012

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