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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bodo on Sampras and the USTA; Drucker on Malivai Washington; Capra Downs Watson at Dow Corning

Tennis.com's Peter Bodo has a long and interesting post on the possibility of Pete Sampras signing on with the USTA, and when Bodo says he doesn't think it will happen, it probably won't. After all, he has written books with both Sampras and Patrick McEnroe (not yet released), so he has a pretty good idea of the personalities and politics involved. I urge all of you who have commented on yesterday's post to read Bobo's blog and to comment there as well. (I've already corrected what I felt was an unfair characterization by one of the commenters there about juniors). Bodo writes:

An endless stream of coaches and former players have volubly offered their services, but it's almost always been on their terms. When someone like Jimmy Connors, or Pete, steps forward to say he thinks he can help, certain alarms go off in the heads of the men and women in the developmental trenches. Very few, if any, of these potential fixers has anything more than some vague ideas of what needs to be done, and it's almost always based on a fairly narrow body of personal experience.

When I said yesterday that I was skeptical that Sampras could "make a champion," it for the above reasons, which Bodo has articulated very clearly.

I've always been a little envious of all the discussions about player development that surface in Australia and Great Britain, so I think it's great to have one surface here in the United States. I would just ask that you try to be constructive in your comments, and formulate your thoughts as if you were actually talking face to face to someone in the USTA.

Joel Drucker caught up with Malivai Washington for this espn.com feature, and unlike Sampras, he seems to have found many ways to fill the post-playing years. The 1996 Wimbledon finalist, who attended the University of Michigan before turning pro, is now completing his degree at the University of North Florida. How he viewed his educational opportunities then and how he views them now isn't exactly surprising, but it certainly should be required reading for all college players.

And finally, in the marquee match for junior tennis aficionados today in Midland, qualifier Beatrice Capra defeated wild card Heather Watson 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Josh Rey was kind enough to call me to give me the score. His story on Wednesday's Dow Corning Tennis Classic action, which will include an account of their match, should be available Thursday at usta.com.


Hoos Tennis said...

Colette, with the National Indoors starting Friday, just wanted to mention that UVa has an active tennis message board, www.thesabre.com/message_board/tennis/ Fans of all schools are welcome to stop by and talk college tennis. It will be an additional place to find first hand reports of this weekend's action

college tennis fan said...

Looks like the draw changed. Is it now accurate that UVa is scheduled to play #4 UCLA? also, has weather affected any teams traveling to Charlottesville?

Frank Posot said...

So Peter Bodo thinks that we should not rock the USTA junior boat, even though it has produced no champions ever. And he thinks guys like Lansdorp, who have developed champs, should bow down to Pat McEnroe who has never had a role in developing a champ as a coach or an administrator. And a great like Sampras should fall in line and do what Pat Mac would tell him to do. Could someone please tell me the champs Pat Mac has coached? Or discovered. Or developed in any way?

Those are the silliest ideas I have ever heard.

Ini Ghidirmic, AIS Productions said...

The USTA and the NCAA are the problem. The current business model is flawed. There are no incentives for kids to get into tennis and stick with tennis through thick and thin. Whereas foreign juniors are bred to play, think and act like professionals, our juniors are provide with cheap t-shirts and plastic trophies for their troubles. This antiquated concept of amateurism has to go!