Originally Posted by Misterbill
Colette Lewis (as posted above):
No one has asked me, but I would much rather the USTA go to the standard worldwide tennis format of qualifying tournaments immediately preceding any and all major national events. If the majority of selections are made by sectional endorsements/rankings and a national ranking list, I would be delighted to see a 128-draw with 16 qualifiers, just like the US Open, here in Kalamazoo for the boys 16 and 18 Nationals.
I could get on board with something like this. But I wonder if it would satisfy the three main areas of concern with the current changes, as stated by others?
1. Not enough family travel opportunities to National tournaments
2. Inconvenience and expense for college recruiters
3. Not enough variety of opponents
It sounds to me like all three concerns would be satisfied:
1. You can travel to the qualifying rounds. Someone could object that a family does not know whether their child will make it to the main draw, so they don't know how many nights to book at a hotel, but they don't know exactly how far in the current draw their child will get, in any tournament, so this is nothing new and works the same for any tournament format.
2. Some college recruiters are only after the very top players. They don't show up for round 1 at Kalamazoo today, and won't show up for the qualifying rounds in the future. Other recruiters know they cannot sign the top 20-30 players, so they will show up for the qualifying rounds but will probably save money by leaving before the main draw concludes, which they probably do today, as well.
3. Because players from all over the nation will descend on Kalamazoo and the Clay Courts for qualifying rounds, there will be a variety of opponents there, just like there is a variety of opponents in the early rounds of the current Clay Courts and Kalamazoo.