Will USTA ever be the same?

texrunner

New User
Got an email yesterday that the Texas Section is resuming junior tournaments beginning in July and I assume the rest of the sections are starting back as well, but with the increased popularity of UTR tournaments, which for the most part guarantee level based competition and in a lot of cases require very little if any travel, how many people will actually decide to play usta? My daughter is a rising hs senior and her first foray back to competition might be a utr and an Ita since both are close to where we live. One of the utr tournamants is the same weekend as the usta and in the interest of mitigating any virus-related risk I’m inclined to have her play the utr...already the competition is shaping up to be very good.
Just curious what others here think.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
Can't believe US boys HCs 16s will be in Mobile and US girls HC 16s will be in Rome instead of Kzoo and San Diego this year. Wont be fun for West Coast 16Gs to fly into ATL and have to drive 90 min to Rome which doesnt have many hotels-maybe more since tennis center at Berry was built, but Lake Nona would have probably been better for B&G 16s. All the places but Kzoo will be hot and humid but at least in Orlando there are a lot of hotels and the beach is only a couple hours away to combine tennis with a family trip. Rome is like Mayberry but I think there is a cave to tour... College coaches cant attend this year last I heard so maybe a lot of 16s will just blow it off and look for UTR events.

In Atlanta with no junior events last weekend, 104 juniors, collegians and pros played in the men's open draw of the Atlanta City open. Juniors look for local men's events. They may be cheaper than juniors, offer prize money, and attract some collegians too.
 

NoChance

Rookie
That is, if the tournaments aren't cancelled. Don't bet against it. I still feel a whole lot safer playing tennis at two private courts, and a gated-community facility, all in a very low area of cases. Trying to ramp up USTA tournaments is an entirely different matter altogether.

I really do think that the USTA is between a rock and a hard place. My sympathy level is low; I never thought I would say that, but I believe it now.
 

CJ Tennis

Rookie
I have no sympathy either. They overpay executives and the tournaments have gotten progressively worse, more cheating, plastic medals replacing trophies. USTA player development just got gutted again, leaving Martin Blackman with a skeleton crew.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
The USTA needs to be totally restructured. They hide their finances, over pay executives, bloated payrolls, poorly distributes funds for programs. The list goes on. If there's a well organized revolt, I can see the UTR taking over.
You could apply your statement verbatim to Tennis Australia as well. These Associations have a lot to answer for.

I certainly hope to see a mad rush to UTR here in Australia asap. A lot of junior competitors and their parents have wasted a lot of their money over the past decade playing in Tournaments they should not have been playing in. A properly functioning UTR Tournament Structure would have been much more player friendly and would have saved a lot of people here a lot of time and a lot of money. It would have also meant much healthier participation numbers here. But a lot of junior players have been lost to other sports, mainly team based ones like Soccer and Basketball. It will take years if not decades for the sport to recover from the damage that was done, if it ever does.

The UTR system is flexible enough to deal with things like this pandemic and keep the sport alive in a healthy and well functioning manner without the need for hundreds of players to congregate at the one time in the same place.
 

andfor

Legend
You could apply your statement verbatim to Tennis Australia as well. These Associations have a lot to answer for.

I certainly hope to see a mad rush to UTR here in Australia asap. A lot of junior competitors and their parents have wasted a lot of their money over the past decade playing in Tournaments they should not have been playing in. A properly functioning UTR Tournament Structure would have been much more player friendly and would have saved a lot of people here a lot of time and a lot of money. It would have also meant much healthier participation numbers here. But a lot of junior players have been lost to other sports, mainly team based ones like Soccer and Basketball. It will take years if not decades for the sport to recover from the damage that was done, if it ever does.

The UTR system is flexible enough to deal with things like this pandemic and keep the sport alive in a healthy and well functioning manner without the need for hundreds of players to congregate at the one time in the same place.
Something has to change. The French appears to have a strong system juniors through adults using level based play.
 

LOBALOT

Professional
I can't think of a worse run organization than the USTA. Our district is completely incompetent. Our section is worse. From a junior player perspective, they have already made a mess of managing their way through this pandemic and I am 100% sure they will make a bigger mess coming out of it. They already have some districts running tournaments and others not. Thus local kids play, other families are faced with a risk assessment as far as travel, hotel stays, etc. to play in the same events.

I don't want to get into too many specifics but could write a book of our experiences. We only have a few years left fortunately and have already migrated to other options for play. I was late in getting an IPIN for my son and should have done that at least 2 years ago.

From an adult perspective I captain several teams a year (sometimes 5) for the past 10 years and really feel like nothing more than a pawn in a giant pyramid scheme for the enrichment of the USTA. The politics stirred up by our local district office and league administrator is horrendous. I really was hopeful they would just cancel the whole season so I didn't have to deal with the headaches. My friends like the job I do for them so I put up with the headache but I think this year will be it.

I am enjoying social play more and more and after all that is what tennis is about. I can't wait until my dealings with the USTA are behind me.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
The USTA needs to be totally restructured. They hide their finances, over pay executives, bloated payrolls, poorly distributes funds for programs. The list goes on. If there's a well organized revolt, I can see the UTR taking over.
That essentially "worked" while the money was rolling in - but it's going to be tough to consistently maintain their finances. If they're committed they can make it work - they have a lot of room to cut.
 
The USTA needs to be totally restructured. They hide their finances, over pay executives, bloated payrolls, poorly distributes funds for programs. The list goes on. If there's a well organized revolt, I can see the UTR taking over.
Not familiar w/UTR but in NC USTA is losing popularity, at a certain age players drop out, not b/c they can't play but out of frustration and disgust, paying a bunch of glorified clerks to do a job they don't do very well.
 

NoChance

Rookie
You don't need the USTA to be able to go play tennis. If you are halfway industrious, you can find people to play or practice with. Once you get into a group of like tennis players, you are good to go. Even here, in the middle of nowhere, it works. When you compare the number of people who rely on USTA tournaments and leagues to those of us who just enjoy getting together at whatever venue, and enjoy the game and the fellowship, there is no comparison. If you are willing to make contacts, and interact with other players, you will do well. If you need to lean on the USTA to get a game, well, OK, but I feel sorry for you.
 

andfor

Legend
You don't need the USTA to be able to go play tennis. If you are halfway industrious, you can find people to play or practice with. Once you get into a group of like tennis players, you are good to go. Even here, in the middle of nowhere, it works. When you compare the number of people who rely on USTA tournaments and leagues to those of us who just enjoy getting together at whatever venue, and enjoy the game and the fellowship, there is no comparison. If you are willing to make contacts, and interact with other players, you will do well. If you need to lean on the USTA to get a game, well, OK, but I feel sorry for you.
Totally agree. However there are examples when they can be useful when trying to attain a ranking, state, section or national, and can be a catalyst (not always) for creating team based play. Organizing officials too (don't attack me). That said much of that is organized at the grassroots level by tennis pros, clubs, motivated tennis parents, tennis playing adults etc. The USTA needs to evolve or go the way of the dinosaur. Focusing adult play on ever expanding endless team play options and for the most part same ol same ol for junior play doesn't seem to be exciting the masses.

I can see where a competing organization who can creatively facilitate organized play without requiring USTA sanction (insert UTR) could be good for overall health and growth of the game for juniors and adults.
 

NoChance

Rookie
I agree....a competing entity with good organization, and attuned to the tennis-playing public, has a chance. The USTA has alienated most all the ITA officials, myself included. We'll see how that works out. A topic for discussion in a year or two.

A vastly overlooked, grass-roots program aimed at young people is high school tennis. Many, many posters here make fun of the level of play in high school tennis. And, they're right. In many areas, it's crazy.

However, in those areas, it is a young person's first exposure to tennis. If a high school has a coach who understands the basics of the game, and has good people/teacher skills, it can be a game-changer for that young adult.

I know. I've had seven of my former HS players go on to coach HS tennis themselves, and one who kept at it until she became a D1 women's coach.

Just today, I had a former player email me that he passed his USPTA certification test.

Even though HS tennis is an ugly duckling for many people who don't understand the logistics of tennis away from urban areas (as the USTA doesn't understand), in the right hands it can be a productive thing.

I'm just hoping for anything that will get people on the court. Between the tennis, the exercise, the friendships made....what other sport can combine that, and keep it available as a person grows older?
 
Golf is a long way in front of tennis in the areas you mention. And a decent Golfer can remain a Professional for a lot longer too!
Tiger Wood won the 2019 Masters, 14 years after he last won the same Masters in 2005. The great Jack Nicklaus won his last major (the masters) in 1986 at the age of 46. I don't think it is possible to win tennis grand slam after the age of 38
 

NoChance

Rookie
It is not about playing at a professional level. It is about playing and enjoying tennis later in life. Those who make it to the tour rarely play much when they are 50-60 years old. There are still plenty of "ordinary" 50-60-70 year olds still playing tennis.

I'm not particularly interested in the tour. I just want to go out and play some. So do my friends.
 
Ken Rosewall nearly did and he was nearly 40 years old ... US Open Final 39 Years, 10 months

AND he played in the Wimbledon Final a few months earlier.

Lost both to a handy player called Jimmy Connors !!!
LOL... I knew someone will bring up Ken Rosewall :)

"nearly" won the grand slam is not the same as actually winning the grand slam. It is like up 40-15 with two match points, and serving for the match.

It is like Greg Norman leading Bristish "the open" in 2009 by two strokes after 54 holes and failed to win. Norman could have won the open but didn't in 2009. It is not that easy.

Tom Watson "nearly" won golf the Open Championship in 2009 at the age of 59. He missed an 8 foot putt to win the championship. It is not that easy.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
LOL... I knew someone will bring up Ken Rosewall :)

"nearly" won the grand slam is not the same as actually winning the grand slam.
Get back to me when you make a Wimbledon and US Open Final in the same year in your late 30s.

Life is not always just about winning a silver cup.

Ken's wife Wilma recently passed on. They first met in 1948 and had been married for over 60 years. Surely that was Ken's greatest achievement!
 
Get back to me when you make a Wimbledon and US Open Final in the same year in your late 30s.

Life is not always just about winning a silver cup.

Ken's wife Wilma recently passed on. They first met in 1948 and had been married for over 60 years. Surely that was Ken's greatest achievement!
Have you ever heard of "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing" from Vince Lombardi?
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Have you ever heard of "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing" from Vince Lombardi?
Who is Vince Lombardi?

I'd probably be in the tiny minority of Australians who knows who he was! (Most people in the world have probably never heard of him though. He died in 1970.)

But most people would have heard of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who said

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well."
 
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andfor

Legend
Who is Vince Lombardi?

I'd probably be in the tiny minority of Australians who knows who he was! (Most people in the world have probably never heard of him though. He died in 1970.)

But most people would have heard of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who said

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well."
Yeah, the burnouts focus on the winning and what others think, the uncontrollables. Champions go about there day to day with a privileged mentality, they focus on what they can control, effort and attitude and motivate themselves each day to be a little better than the day before.
 

CJ Tennis

Rookie
UTR is definitely taking over more now. Our local college is hosting several UTR events this summer, the first an ITA-UTR event. The women's field already has a waiting list, the men's field filling too. A great mix of juniors and college players.
 
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