Originally Posted by monomer
Thanks to the OP for a very interesting thread. The points above sum up my views.
My kids (16 & 12) play USTA and love tennis. With hard work my 16-yo could play DIII tennis and would have an outside chance at DII. She is a "regular" kid though - we do not spend all of our time and money on tennis.
There aren't enough hours in the day for her to develop a successful all-court, offensive game. There are too many skills to master and the learning curve is too long. Being an aggressive grinder is the realistic option for her to see success. The time, effort and expense required to play D1 tennis does not make sense for most juniors.
The big picture is that tennis is a game of managing expectations. Aside from a handful of people in the world you are always at some level below the better players. You have to try to enjoy it wherever you fit.
One of the main differences between D1 men and D3 is doubles. In D1 the 3 doubs matches count for 1 point. In D3 3 points. Because of this doubs much more important in D3. D3 is desperate for good attacking players who have doubles skills.