Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Jeff Szekely's Statement on Clay Court Resignation


Many of you have asked me for information about the resignation of Boys 18s & 16s National Clay Court Tournament Director Jeff Szekely. I received his permission to pass along this statement:

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who either called or sent an e-mail and expressed their concern, kind thoughts and appreciation. I did not expect such an outpouring, in either the volume of responses or the words of affection. It surely humbled me.

In reply to your e-mail request, Colette, as to why I am retiring from the USTA Clays, the following is a copy of an e-mail that I sent last week to friends associated with junior and collegiate tennis:

In a message dated 1/11/07 6:37:18 AM, jeff@ustaclay.com writes:


Dear Friends, fellow Tournament Directors and lovers of junior and
collegiate tennis,

After careful consideration and much reflection, I have tendered my
resignation to the USTA as the tournament director of the USTA National
Boys' 18 & 16 Clay Court Championships as of January 3, 2007.

It was a joyous 10 years, and Shelley and I met some terrific people
(starting with the recipients of this e-mail).

It was great fun, hard work and much more rewarding than Shelley and I ever expected.

At this time in my life, I would like to spend more time with Shelley in
Naples, Fl and New England where we will have homes and scale down my financial consulting practice in Maryland. There are also some health issues that I need to address.

I would especially like to thank the Wreges (Julie, Doug, Dallas and
Shannon), Rollie Shea, Dede Allen, Manuela and Jeff Davies for their many years of help with the Clays. I could never have done it without their support.

I wish everyone a great time on and off the court.

Take care-Jeff

Jeffrey W. Szekely
Tournament Director
USTA National Boys' 18 & 16 Clay Courts
1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 560
Rockville, MD 20852
Telephone: 301-309-2022
Facsimile: 301-309-2271
jeff@ustaclay.com
www.ustaclay.com


I always believed I was a "PLAYERS" Tournament Director meaning the PLAYERS came first even before parents, junior coaches, college coaches and the media . The four areas that I wanted to address in being a tournament director for the players were: (1) combining the Boys' 18 & 16 into one event, (2) the ATP wild cards ( for B-16 and B-18) to a $1,000,000 ATP Legg Mason event (which would bring the best players) (3) and the best players would then bring in the top college coaches, last year in excess of 140 college coaches came to see the best players (4) and have a certified umpire on each court, to level the playing field. I believed all the above would really benefit the players in their junior career.

Finally, the decision as to who will be the new Tournament Director and where it will be held will be totally up to the USTA and the Youth Competition and Training Comm. (YCTC). I know it will not be held at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.

In conclusion, it was a very difficult decision for me and my family, but one that was necessary for me to make at this time.

I am sure the new home of the Clays and the new tournament director will be terrific.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

How does someone apply for the tournament director position for the claycourts?

Stringman said...

I sure wish the tournament stays somewhere in the northeast. It too hot in the south for this tournament. Good luck, Jeff.

Anonymous said...

thanks, Mr. Szekely awesome tournament. I played there 4 years-sweet 16 dinner was cool

Anonymous said...

great tournament, jeff wish u the best fun to play at woodmont

Anonymous said...

i will miss playing in rockville, thanks Jeff

Anonymous said...

Mr. Szekely respected all the players.Does anyone know when a decision will be made about the clays

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff ,

We have fun memories at clays ! We wish you goodluck and good health !

We hope clays stays at rockville !

Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything loved the sweet 16 dinner.I have played at the clays 3 years, this would have been my 4th.

Anonymous said...

cool tournament-thanks Jeff. Hope it moves to Florida.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Szekely was awesome its not gonna be the same anymore without him.. seriously the tournament needs to stay in the same area. & they need to keep the wildcards into legg mason

Anonymous said...

KEEP CLAYS IN ROCKVILLE

Anonymous said...

noooooooooo
why????
i hate this.
keep clays in rockville where they belong.

Anonymous said...

there aren't enough clay courts in the north east. clays need to move to the south, florida would be great. thank you Mr. Szekely

Anonymous said...

come back jeff
we need you

Anonymous said...

alot of college coaches showed up at clays. maybe b cus the players showed up for the wildcards to leggmason

Anonymous said...

good looking college girls at the front desk was cool-keep clays in Rockville. sweet 16 dinner also great.

Anonymous said...

When will a decision be made on the Clays?

Anonymous said...

Need to keep clays in Rockville. The WILDCARDS really helped the draw. Cici restaurant was the bomb.
Thank U mr. S

Anonymous said...

I had a good tourney at Clays and spoke to a lot of college coaches after I lost. We need Rockville and the wildcards.

Anonymous said...

yeahh. its pretty obvious-- everyone wants clays to stay in rockville. it sucks that jeff is gone because he was great but we can still keep the clays FUN.
yeah you're right there arent as many clay courts in the north east as there are in florida but there are still a lot..esp. in the rockville area (norbeck cc, columbia cc, etc....)
keep the tournament in rockville
keep the wildcards
keep the CLAYS ALIVE

Anonymous said...

the clays BELONG in Rockville.

Anonymous said...

we love the clays in ROCKVILLE. pleaseeeee keeep them there!


p.s. we love colette too!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Szekely was the BEST
gonna miss him


keep clays in rockville.

Anonymous said...

that is sooo true
the clays better be staying in rockville.

Anonymous said...

loved jeff szekely
loved the clays in rockville
great tourney

keep clays in rockville
(& the legg mason wildcards)

Colette Lewis said...

Please direct your questions about the timeline for the clays decision to Lew Brewer, the USTA's head of Junior Competition. He can be reached at lbrewer "at" usta.com. You might also try Bette Salmon who is listed as the chair of schedule and sanctions of the Youth Competition and Training committee. Her email is bsalmon1 "at" comcast.net.

They are probably not reading your comments here at zootennis, so to have your thoughts considered, contact them directly.

Also, I am not going to publish any further clay comments on posts other than last Wednesday's. I am not able to move comments to where they belong, and it is confusing for people who may not be interested in the issue to have clay court comments scattered across all subsequent posts.

Anonymous said...

thank you Mr.Szekely I lost in the semis in Rockville and you spoke with me right after.I still remember what you said.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Szekely

Great Tournament!
Great Tournament Director!

Anonymous said...

move tournament to florida or southern section

Anonymous said...

yeah even that rockville was great -time for a move south

Anonymous said...

Thank You

we will all miss you Mr. Szekely.

Anonymous said...

time to move on
Move clays to Florida

Anonymous said...

Florida is the place to go!!!

Anonymous said...

only 2 problems with Rockville
traffic and cost of hotels
otherwise terrific

Anonymous said...

ROCKVILLE and the clays were made for eachother

Anonymous said...

nooo man anything but florida.
there are wayyyyy too many tourneys down there already

Rockville was a nice change
lets keep them there

Anonymous said...

amen!

i completely agree about what an awful idea it would be to move the clays to florida-like you said wayyy too many tourneys down there already