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Old 09-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #47
Mitch Bridge
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 145

1. Some of the postings I have read have acted as if the USTA didnít ask for or listen to parents, coaches and players before they came up with this proposal. That is 100% untrue! There have been taskforces, committees, town hall meetings & open forums, etc. for over 10 years regarding the tournament structure.

2. I think everyone realizes that the tournament system is not efficient and it is not producing the number and quality of top players that all of us would like to see. When 90% of the USTAís operating revenue comes from the US Open and top Americans sell tickets & sponsorships, this is important!

3. The USTA, whether you like them or not, is the governing body of our sport. Everything they do is to promote the sport and to grow the sport. Nobody on the staff or on USTA committees is trying to force decisions, they are simply trying to make the system better!

Comment on #1. I have traveled extensively with tournament kids locally, sectionally and nationally for 20 years. I have taught over 100 nationally ranked kids and been to 20+ tournaments a year. I have raised two sons that have played extensively all over the US, and I heard of these changes only after they were finalized. It had to be very secretive for me to not have heard ANYTHING about these changes talking endlessly to parents, coaches, officials and players in the states that we competed in: California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Utah, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, South Dakota, Alabama, DC, and others I am sure.

#2. Tournament systems aren't here to produce top champions at a national level. The tournament system that was in place did a much better job at giving young juniors a system to compete in that put the US kids back on track with the top tennis countries by eliminating the start system. This doubled the amount of matches kids played by chasing points, which is how the pros and ITF systems are set up. The US needs top players, but in the men's game we don't attract top athletes, so we won't have top players until we can steal some talent from football and basketball. More Americans will watch with more American men stars, but the Open is gaining in success year over year, so we still watch the stars even if they are European. Tennis is the 5th largest viewing sport in US and 4th globally, so we are in the right game!

#3. It appears that board members are trying to put their STAMP on significant changes in the tournament system that they are not incredibly familiar with. There can be a grandiose mentality of helping a problem-in this case "save US tennis-by creating even bigger problems by not being in touch with your subject matter on a daily basis.
Southern California Tennis Academy
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