Thursday, July 11, 2013

USTA Collegiate Team Update

The USTA Men's Collegiate Team camp was this week in Flushing Meadows, with the following players participating:

Andre Dome (Cal Poly)
Jeremy Efferding (Texas A&M)
Marcos Giron (UCLA)
Jared Hiltzik (Illinois)
Evan King (Michigan)
Peter Kobelt (Ohio State)
Kyle McMorrow (Washington)
Michael Redlicki (Duke)

Mitchell Frank of Virginia was invited to the camp, but declined the invitation.

The players already on the team are Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, Dennis Novikov of UCLA and Jason Tahir of Duke. Tahir, a rising junior, recently earned his place on the team by accumulating the most points during the Pro Circuit events the past three weeks, making the semifinals in Amelia Island, the quarterfinals in Rochester and the final last week in Pittsburgh.

The camp in Flushing was to have been a four-player round robin with the two winners getting spots on the team, but a third spot opened, with Virginia's Alex Domijan's decision not to accept the place he earned by winning the ITA All-American in Tulsa last fall, complicating the situation. Rain then caused problems for the scheduled round robin tournament, so USTA National Collegiate Coach Dustin Taylor decided the best way to determine the final three team members was the way Tahir earned his place. The three players who earn the most points in the next four weeks of Futures and Challengers will be added to the team and receive help throughout the next 12 months. The points accumulation method will probably be used for team selection for those not qualifying automatically in the future.

In news from the women's team, Nebraska's Mary Weatherholt has been added as the seventh member of that team.  Julia Elbaba of Virginia, the ITA Rookie of the Year, and Krista Hardebeck of Stanford, ranked inside the WTA Top 500, were automatic qualifiers, but did not play the Sacramento Pro Circuit tournament with the rest of the team because they were recovering from illness and injury.


Brent said...

The fact that the USTA doesn't even have their own USTA guys playing in their own USTA Clay Court National Championship is a joke. Like Rubin, Papa, Corinteli, Kwiatkowski (will give him a pass, may still be injured, but I doubt he was entered anyway), and even Kozlov have something better to do. They appear to think this tournament is beneath them and it is not. I highly doubt that the Joplin Futures or a week of training will be a better use of their time. Sounds like the UVA guys may be in summer school so at least there is some logic there, but in general, I just don't get it. Props to Redlicki for playing.

Boba said...

Anyone know what's going on with Alex Domijan?? Wasn't he one of our top juniors a few years back who got up to 600 ATP ranking? Now he is in summer school instead of playing pro circuit in US?? I remember him beating up on Tomic in juniors. So many tall guys doing well on tour we need to get Domijan out there on tour. Hopefully he hasn't become too much of a student!

American Growth said...


The USTA PD has been promoting Clay Court tennis since Jose Higueras was hired. More clay court tournaments and practice for development and they do not play the biggest Clay Court National tournament? Even more bizarre the Boca headquarters is 10 minutes away from the tournament site. This should be a requirement.

To their credit, the younger players are playing Clay Courts.

Luca and Thai are at Virginia in summer school but that is a shame in itself they are not playing Clay Courts. I would hope Virginia would make them play. Where is Kozlov, Rubin, Papa?

The USTA PD does not have their players competing into Winter Nationals and never played the Spring Nationals in Mobile.

USTA PD promotes earning your way, competing against each other but they do not walk the walk. The USTA sets up 4 Super Nationals a year, the USTA PD players should be required to play in everyone. However, they only play in 1 of 4 (Easter Bowl 18s is an ITF tournament).

What is wrong with American tennis is the USTA PD.

HooSC said...

Jenkins and Novikov also participated in the camp at Flushing Meadows.

pretty much all the top UVa guys have gone to summer school and played a light tennis schedule prior to their senior fall. As a result, they all (or nearly all) end up graduating on time and hit the ground running. Jenkins did it last year. Last summer, Jenkins only played the Qualies in Lexington and DC. Devvarman did the same thing. He only played the DC event where he had a qualifying WC.

It's not just UVA guys. Farah didn't play any futures/challengers the summer before his senior season either. On the other hand, Isner played the summer before his Sr year, but he didn't graduate on time either. Johnson was "essentially" on the pro tour (as he should have been) after his junior season, so he was not going to graduate on time. Personal preference.

Goodchoices said...

Clay courts has been a lighter event for years partly because of other ITF tournaments and fact that Zoo is around corner and players don't want to invest time training on clay for one event, they'd rather be ready for the big hard court show. Check out the coaches that don't go as an indicator... Good for Alex D. for realizing education is still the best choice and his future is waiting for him off the court as well. Top 200 and beyond doesn't make much of a living and slugging around tournaments during building career years isn't that glam (AND COSTLY). Around junior year players hit that realization.

Richard - Norcal said...


The USTA spent months on a listening tour where they talked about EVERYONE playing tournaments, and yet the PD PLAYERS CAN'T PLAY IN a clay court tournament.

How about the fact that almost no one in this country outside of Florida has access to clay courts ( due to cost) and the PD players have clay courts.....

So, my daughter trains on hard all year, but plays the clay tournament...
And we have PD players who have access to clay, but can't play the clay tournament.
Truly mind boggling!

Igor said...

Will Patrick come to the clay tournaments?
Better yet, has anyone seen the head of PD at any tournament?

Mr clays said...

Go back 20 yrs and tell me how many Top 30 ranked juniors in the world have played clay courts. Umm less than five. Clay courts is the second weakest national in the 18s to Winter Nats. Did Roddick play clays? Jack Sock play clays last year? Did Dennis Kudla play clays, Junior Ore, Capra, Keys, the list goes on. All those players were with private coaches so why aren't you bagging on them? Corenteli trains in Maryland somewhere. Ty i dont think is part of the Usta program so slam his private coach.

I don't think Rubin is with USTA. I think he is with John Mac. Why aren't you blasting him. So is Jamie Loeb.

How many of the above guys will be playing Kalamazoo? All of them. All the pressure will be on them at KZoon which is the biggest stage.

The beauty about your jabs is that next year if these guys want to play zoo they will have to go through their sections which will help the sections.

Maybe without those guys playing it will give your sons a better chance at winning a gold ball. First please tell me how many of the Top 10 ranked nationally ranked players are playing in the draw?

Brent said...

Mr. Clays, fair point that my original post may have overly bagged on the USTA folks, as opposed to also targeting other highly ranked juniors with private coaches. I agree that the event has lost luster recently. Your reference to Sock and Roddick not playing though actually helps prove my point. There isn't a Sock or Roddick in this class. And, this continues a trend, generally true over the last 20 years you note, where kids are constantly playing 1-2 rounds at events over their head (foreign locale ITFs, Futures, etc.) in lieu of all playing each other for gold balls. Side effect is they rarely play as a favorite and all the pressure that comes with it. You are right that this class is not unique to past classes in taking that approach - I just don't agree with it. Yes, they will all be at KZoo, unless somebody pulls a Christian Harrison, and that's great. I'm just saying their could be 4 KZoo level, high quality fields every year if they just all played them. My two cents.

tennis4fun said...

College coaches put Winter Nats way ahead of Clay because we just don't play on clay here. Some told me they just don't care about the results of clay cause it is always a one off type thing. So I believe WN ranks ahead of Clay and would invest time and money to play there before Clays if I had to choose and goal is college. There are a lot of reasons not to play Clays and some to play it. Many play for the points or chance of doing better here than the other harder L1s, or the experience of doing a tournament on clay, ya know, for fun. Now there's a concept in junior tennis.

Super Nationals????? said...

There should be a way to make all 4 Super Nationals strong. If not, why not only have 2 Super Nationals.

The ATP makes it mandatory for their players to signin and play the Grand Slams and Master Series events, if they do not, no matter the reason, they earn 0 points and that tournament counts on their record.

Why can't the USTA do the same? They have control of the schedule, time to think outside the box, and do what is best for the development of juniors, not just their own players.

The best players should be playing the best tournaments. Why does the US Open wildcard carrot have to be there for the best juniors to play Kalamazoo? If that was not there, the best players would not play.

Why can't the USTA put a 30,000 dollar grant money to all the winners of the Super Nationals? And 15, 000 to the finalist? Better money spent then ALL the money into their own players.

The USTA can make it a priority if they felt this was important to development.

russ said...

Supernationals??? Maybe they can't do this because it's too much like prize money. I think the limit for juniors is now ten thousand. Not sure, maybe someone else knows.

A side note on the USTA collegiate team wannabes competing in Binghamton: not a good showing, not one makes it out of the second round of qualies. The wins they did get in the first round were basically gimmees.

Mr clays said...


Nicole Gibbs a wannabe? Just won Yakima....huh!? What about the guys the last few weeks in the 10,000s ....? I think due to Jamere's results earned him a WC. Novikov won 1st round at open last year is that a wannabe?

Plus this is a 50k and they all just trained in NY. The big server of OSU almost took out Mitch. Most of these guys are playing a 50k for first time. Cut them a break.

Take a seat Russ.....

russ said...

Pay attention. I said Binghamton and Binghamton means just Binghamton, which is a men's tournament, btw. I said wannabe's that excludes jarmere and novikov who have already made the team. The guys that played the qualies are trying to earn a place on the USTA collegiate team. Only two made it out of the first round and both those matches were against gimme opponents. And even though Peter went three with Krueger, which was good, collectively it was not a good showing, unless your standards are much lower than mine.

SuperNationals??? said...


Maybe they cannot give 30,000 dollars in grant money but that is about the same prize money as the US Open first round. Take that wildcard away from Kalamazoo and you have another Winter Nationals or Clay Courts.

Lets be fair to the other SuperNatiionals to have the same award for the winner and finalist.

I assure you that the top players will play Clay Courts, Winter Nationals if that was the case.

Like I said before, it is possible to make all the top players play the top junior tournaments. ONLY if the USTA makes it a priority.

USTA screams clay court tennis and does not make their older top players play. Shows inconsistent message.

Make ALL SuperNationals equal.

russ said...

It has come to my attention that I have screwed up by referring to the players attempting to earn their place on the team as wannabes. I have learned that it is a derisive term. I'm sorry if that was the perception. I simply was using the term as shorthand for "want to be." No disrespect intended.

so it goes said...

No apology needed Russ, some of those guys are picked the same way as PD players get WCs, by being a chosen one at USTA even if they haven't earned it. They don't represent the best in college tennis, just the ones USTA favors. The game USTA plays continues well out of juniors.

Colette Lewis said...

@so it goes
The USTA camp participants were invited based on the final ITA rankings of eligible US players