Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by HIGH-TECH TENNIS, Jun 26, 2012.
Agree with perspective 2, but not with #1.
Every match is important.
When playing easy win (during tournament), good time to work/strengthen weak shots/strategy.
Sometimes it's not so easy to defeat kid that is playing with no pressure.
When coming into tournament not ready, early rounds are good for working into match shape.
All major tournaments are 1 week in length, (even in college and pros) have to get use to playing match play everyday.
Not a fan of Hannity, but lets remember that his show is just "entertainment".
His #833 ranking might be right on target, you never know. He is a 2 star. The next lower person from that section is ranked over 650 spots higher than him nationally and is a 4 star.
Some sections have high level tournaments the same time as the National tournaments. This can skew the numbers because a player might have a high sectional ranking and not be nearly as good at the player playing the National tournaments.
The player met the requirements for entry into the tournament so he has every right to play. I am not knocking the player, just the system.
The only good thing I think about making the draws 128 is that the seeds and the lucky 32 don't get a bye the first round.
What I saw in some tournaments is seeds do not have to play till later rounds. That might be a good compromise.
The 32 hot shots's family don't have to waste the money, time during the first 2-3 rounds,....just let the others battle first.
.....sorry, double posted
I was for making it a 256 draw instead of the 192. I still don't understand why the Supers are going to take a week to play when they knock them down to a 128. Our 128 draws are done in 4 days and that is with full sets in doubles.
Also remember that this year the national rankings are skewed because the USTA changed the point values for all national tournament wins as of January 1 - on a rolling calendar a player who got a majority of his/her points in the latter half of 2011 will have a distinct advantage in points and ranking over the kid that got his/her points in 2012 - for some kids it is a difference of 50 points a match!
Kids are being picked for the national tournaments on how well they did in that age group last year while kids who are doing well now are being passed over.
What does "our" refer to in this sentence?
The real question to me is: In the current large (192) draws, how many matches are competitive in the early rounds?
I decided to define "competitive" as the loser winning at least 7 games. I made one exception for a match that was 6-0, 7-6, and another exception for a 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 match in a later round (see seed results later in this post); those is a tense situation for the winner, so it seems like a competitive experience to me even though only six games were won by the loser. So, the worst a match could be was 6-4, 6-3, or 7-5, 6-2, and still be considered competitive.
I applied this criteria to first round matches in the Boys' 18s at the National Clay Courts, which are still going on as we discuss this. The pattern in the top half of the draw was pretty consistent: Slightly less than half of the first round matches were competitive (18 non-competitive, 14 competitive). On the surface, that means to me that there is no burning need to get rid of the first round and make it a 128 draw, much less to make it a 64 or 32 draw.
However, there is another perspective. None of the 32 seeds were involved in these matches. The unseeded players can have competitive matches with each other at L2 and L3 nationals; they don't need to be allowed into L1 nationals in order to have development and growth opportunities. So, the second important question is: At what point do the 32 seeds start having competitive matches?
By seed group, the round at which the first "competitive" match occurred was:
1-8 seeds: R32, R32, R64, R32(loss), R64(loss), R128, R16(loss), R32 (then R16 loss)
9-16 seeds: R128(loss), R64, R128(then R64 loss), R128(then R32 upset loss), R32, R128(then R32 loss), R128(loss), R64
17 seeds: R64(loss), R64(loss), R128, R16(upset higher seed), R128(loss), R128(loss), R32(upset higher seed), R128, R128, R128(loss), R32(upset higher seed and again in R16), R64(then R32 loss), R64(loss), R128, R64(loss)
It appears that one section was missing a 17 seed due to withdrawal.
It does not appear to me that seeds have to wait very long to get good matches. I also don't think that anyone is missing school in July. So, that leaves only the hotel costs as justifications for smaller draws at L1 nationals held in summer.
Another question: Did any unseeded players have good runs and/or wins over seeds that might elevate their college recruiting status? These would be players who would be excluded entirely from a 32 draw.
The answer: check out the draw and look at players 19, 32, 75, 87, 91, 145, 153, 165, 206, 212, and 244. That's eleven guys who had a really memorable tournament as unseeded players and would not even be there in a 32 draw.
I believe "our " refers to those tournaments in his/her section.
Great analysis Clark.
For the "uncompetitive matches", did you consider the ranks in the respective players ? i.e, maybe a lower ranked player beat a higher ranked player 6-0, 6-0, so while the match would be considered "not competitive", maybe it was "not competitive" in a way the ranks, and admission to the tournament, didn't foresee?
That is it. Thanks Chalk
That is very true.
Great observation. The problem is the JCC has their own agenda and they try to come up with excuses of why they want to do something without thoroughly thinking it through.
One of the USTA's counterpoints to your excellent analysis is that the Clay Courts are not drawing the best American juniors. Thus the seeds in many cases are not the best juniors out there. Hence the matches tend to be more competitive. In the example you cite, only 2 of the top 8 boys 18's are playing the tournamnent. And 4 of the top 12. No matter where you stand on this issue the tournament is, in reality, not a National Championship if 8 of the top 12 do not play. By making the tournament smaller they are trying to attract the top players.
Supernational hardcourts boy's 14s in San Antonio. Waiting list player. I have been there twice and all spots haven't been filled after exhausting the wait lists. A 128 draw is probably sufficient in this case.
If the top US players are playing ITFs and Futures events, it is not a priority to play the clays. Give a main draw wildcard into a US 250 level ATP/WTA tournament later in the year and interest will grow among the US elite. Making 64 players miss an opportunity to play because of 3-6 top players passing on the event possibly because the draws are too big is not smart for overall US junior development.
Filling the draws in the lower age groups seems to be a problem. I remember onsite alternates getting into San Antonio years ago. I thought San Antonio was great. The problem comes in the 18s where everybody wants in.
The 256 player draw in the boys 18's Clay Court Nationals did not come close to filling.
You could even have an arrangement with several tournament directors: Winner gets a main draw wild card into a Challenger (more realistic chance at a first round win than an ATP 250), finalist gets a main draw wild card into a Futures, and so do the semifinalists, or something like that. That way, players know they do not have to be the one guy to win the whole tourney in order to get something special out of it.
I don't think making the draws smaller is going to help Clays attract the top players at all. Top players who do not play on clay all the time don't want to waste their time. Even the USTA PD Boca's top players like Spencer Papa and Michael Redlicki are not playing Clays this week.
There is a very easy solution for the 3 Supers that are not drawing the higher talent. Give the winners a Futures, Challenger, or even an ATP main draw wildcard. Now if that wouldn't be enough incentive to play then I don't know what would. Do they honestly think Jack Sock would have signed up for Kzoo last year for any other reason than to get the US Open Wildcard? Do they think Alexios Halebian is signed up this year for any other reason?
I like your thinking. I didn't see your post until after I had sent mine. Sorry about that.
The tiered system would work great. You could also give the consolation champion a wilcard into a futures event and you wouldn't see so many of these guys defaulting in the back draw.
After coaching for 32 years i assume you would have figured out that the 18's clays are a 192 draw not 256 and there are always 64 1st rounds byes. In fact there were around 70 kids on the waiting list
I pretty much agree with this. (although for the really great ones, it probably doesn't matter what their birthdate is)
Many feel the SuperNats draws should be greatly reduced (& starting 2014, all but two of them WILL be greatly reduced). They'll be whacking them down from 4 a year to 2 a year. One in mid/late July & the other 2 weeks later in early August. So the lowly 5 star born in Sept is definitely at an advantage over the lowly 5 star born 9 months later. (note - I say lowly because because starting in 2014 four of the six L1s will exclude ALL 5 stars & most blue chips.... since they'll have 16 draws, so the only L1s a 5 star can play are the two tourneys less than 3 weeks apart)
Personally, I think July & early August is TOO damn crowded as it is. I think they should move the Clay from July to March or April (& call it the Easter Bowl or whatever) & keep it at 198 (or 256) for 16s & 18s..... (128 for 14s & 64 or 96 for 12s).
Keep the hard courts just as it is with the draws i mention above. AND keep the darn WinterNationals as they are (with the draws mentioned above).
Let the chosen ones have their 3-4 times a year "Draws of 16s tea parties" (masters or sweet sixteen or whatever). But also leave us the Spring, Summer & Winter SuperNat tournaments so the riff raff can attend a SuperNat during non-school time (all of us get Xmas week off & most of us get a Spring Break.....spread out throughout the year & so the 5 stars & high level 4 stars can try to show their stuff (and at different times of year). & who knows a few of them may show they belong at those exclusive tea parties?
Excellent post & thanks for the research.
Sure looks like alot of seeds are getting pushed around or beaten outright in the second & third rounds. This data would suggest a draw of less than 128 would be excluding some kids who are able to make some noise (maybe our next Chang, Solomon or Gilbert?)
But FWIW, there ARE over 50 kids on the (current) alternate list for the San Antonio Tourney in two weeks. & I agree that 128 is probably ok for 14s.
But if 10 guys pull out & don't show up.....& only 8 alternates had the means to travel to the site & get plugged in (leaving two vacancies).....one shouldn't come to the conclusion that we should whack down the draw because there are two vacancies.
& I'm sure that's how the occasional low ranked kid (that the good Dr. likes to cherry pick) possibly gets into a SuperNat. He's either a local kid or a little brother of a big dog & the TD plugs them in because he has a warm body & the TD picks up an extra $150. (who cares.....the TD gets some extra scratch & the scruffy little brother gets a learning experience?)
In the 14's and 12's, I believe :
1) there is a higher likelihood of the kids dropping out
2) Fewer players think its wort it, or are able to go to the event, or be in a position to drop everything to go to the event on a moments notice, on the hope of a spot opening up
So, I think for these events the draws will fill up, but the waiting lists will be smaller, and there will commonly be situations where a local player whose ready t go senaks in with a low rank
Current situation right now- Girls 16's National Hardcourts in Va Beach. In the finals is a NON-SEEDED player ranked 14 in her section( 98 nationally). Would she even get in the tournament under the future system?
* edit- Clay Courts- not hardcourts!
Readers, you can easily make your own judgment about whether it is worthwhile to showcase at Clays. Here is the list of colleges with coaches present at this year's boys 18/16 Clay Courts.
Brigham Young University
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland State University
East Carolina University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida State University
Fresno Pacific University
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Illinois State University
Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne
Mississippi State University
Ohio Dominican University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
St. Francis University
St. Bonaventure University
Texas Christian University
U.S Military Academy at West Point
U.S Naval Academy
University of Alabama
University of Arkansas
University of Central Florida
University of Connecticut
University of Chicago
University of Louisiana
University of Louisville
University of Maryland
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of Oregon
University of San Diego
University of South Carolina
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Texas
University of Texas San Antonio
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin
The College of William and Mary
Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University
Pretty sure Michael Redlicki was already playing a Futures this week.
Are you talking about the 18's clay courts?
Our experience was many coaches from the eastern half of the country were there. (Our friends daughter was recruited by Harvard at the clay courts.)
Though coaches do care about "results" during the tournament, the kids they are recruiting have been on their radar already.
Here is the list for 2011 Girls 18 Clay Courts
Abilene Christian University
Alabama, University of
Alabama Birmingham, University of
Arkansas, University of
Ball State University
Carnegie Mellon University
Central Florida, University of
Chicago, University of
Cincinnati, University of
College of Charleston
Colorado at Boudler, University of
East Carolina University
Gardner Webb University
George Washington University
Illinois, University of
Indiana Universtiy Purdue University Fort Wayne
James Madison University
Louisiana at Lafayette, University of
Louisiana State University
Memphis, University of
Miami University (Ohio)
Minnesota, University of
Mississippi, University of
Missouri, University of
Nebraska, University of
Norfolk State University
North Carolina A & T State University
North Carolina State University
NOVA Southeastern University
Ohio State University
Oklahoma, University of
Oregon, University of
Penn State University
Richmond, University of
Santa Clara University
San Diego State University
Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of
United States Military Academy
U.S. Naval Academy
Virginia Tech University
Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis
Wisconsin, University of
Wichita State University
I agree with Sean Hannity on this issue. The USTA is a monopoly and you either join our organization or don't play.I belonged to the USTA only two times in my life. Once was because you HAD to join t be in this local club tennis league. ( like ay of us were ever going to be in the regionals , haha) The second time was because they had a cheap offer plus you received a hat and a duffle bag as well. They are bloated with upper management and have no conception of the " little people" that play day in and day out. No of all the time involved with the parents taking their children to practice, tournaments, doctor visits ( for injuries), up late doing homework with them, etc.. The USTA is out of touch with what makes a great tennis system work. They spend millions on useless programs with little or no results. I wish there was another tennis organization here in the USA. They ( the USTA) are too big and their tentacles reach into every state so you are powerless to do anything against them. Plus they would not recognize the other organization so those players would not be allowed into any of the USTA events.
What does "already" mean here? Redlicki made a decision to play a Futures that conflicts with the Clay Courts. That's the point. The very top players do not make the Clay Court tourney a priority.
Tennis is our business and obviously this topic is of great interest to us but doubt anything will change, though the overall conclusion seems to be that the USTA is out of touch. So what next?
Martin Redlicki played, not Michael. Michael played the Futures.
At least I agree with part of your post
Saying "At least I agree with part of your post" is defensive or argumentative? OK, whatever
As someone else here recently said, "Kettle meet pot".
You have posted opinion, some of which I agree with, some of which I don't. That's fine. I have posted facts....the lists of coaches who have attended recent Clays, with the intent of maybe helping some players decide whether it might be right for them.
I think I take a glass half full rather than glass half empty view of Clays. It can provide a wonderful opportunity and showcase.....depending on the player.
If a poll was taken, would the participants find the Clays to be a positive or a negative experience?
I vote "Positive".
(For those who vote "Negative", is it because college tennis is not played on clay courts?)
I suspect majority would vote positive.
It just occurred to me that if the reason that we have competitive early round matches at the Clay Courts is that a lot of top players don't care about that tournament, then the implication is that the Clay Courts are simply different from Kalamazoo; therefore, why go to a 32 draw at the Clay Courts? If top players are paying for extra nights at hotel rooms in Kalamazoo so they can double bagel opponents in the first couple of rounds, then go to a 32 draw in Kalamazoo and leave the Clay Courts draw at 192, right?
No, Kalamazoo is the equivalent to the US Open of junior tennis, key word is "open". (Kalamazoo allows pros to play that are still 18 and younger)
Don't fall for USTA propaganda that changes needed to be made because of the "cost" to play national tournaments.
I'm of modest means, but was able to fund 10 years of junior national tournaments for my kids.
When we met Tom Walker last March at the National Spring Chps in Mobile, he was very, very concerned about upcoming changes. When he asked, we quickly agreed to put together video ab...out that tournament, which will be ELIMINATED entirely off the face of the earth as of 2013.
We sent this clip (plus his CALL TO ACTION) to 3000 tennis enthusiasts.
We're in the trenches every single week with junior tennis players all over the south. We've probably talked about this issue with HUNDREDS of players, parents, coaches, directors. I can promise you that absolutely NO ONE supports the changes...
Separate names with a comma.