|Top seeds in the 18s being introduced at Kalamazoo's opening ceremonies|
I've been conducting my usual post-match interviews this week in Kalamazoo's famous Fischer Tower, and in addition to asking about the matches, I've taken the opportunity to ask those players who are still amateurs their thoughts on the format change announced last week by the NCAA.
The question was a simple one. Will no-ad scoring have an impact your decision to turn pro or go to college?
Collin Altamirano: (verbally committed to Virginia)
"It will. It's a big impact, because the guys on tour, at grand slams, play three out of five. When they're trying to shorten college tennis, it kind of makes it a different game in a way. I don't know if it benefits you or makes you worse, but it's just so different. I'm curious. I might try it, see how it is and go from there."
My results are always the basis for me signing pro or going to college, obviously. If I feel like, in this upcoming year, if I have a really bad year, it's going to make the decision that much tougher. But now with the no-ad scoring--my goal is to win slams, that's what I want to do--but depending on if I end up going to school for a year or four years, playing no-ad scoring?
Federer isn't playing no-ad scoring, Djokovic isn't playing no-ad scoring, Nadal, if those are my competitors, I'm not really getting the same training. Because at the end of the day, we're all training out here, even when we're playing our matches, we're all looking to get better. That's not what those guys are doing, so why should I be doing that, when that's the level I want to play at.
Noah Rubin: (rising freshman, Wake Forest)
It's not how I feel about it, it's just that pros is ad. It's very simple. We go to school to get the best tennis we can, to prepare for professional tennis, which is what a lot of these guys are doing and the fact that they're changing the rules just so it could be quicker for TV and stuff like this is a little absurd. And they wonder why American tennis is where it is.
It's because they do all these shortcuts, trying to find what is the best way, and they've never had the right mentality. They're just hindering the game. If I had any (staying in school for a) second year thoughts in my head, they're gone. If you want more kids at my level and a level above, you can't change these rules. The coaches of these players are going to look and say, no, this is not going to be good practice, it's not the same.
No offense to whoever is on the committee, but if they went through this whole tournament and asked people who are going and even not going to college, everyone would want ads.
I don't really think that would affect the decision on college tennis for me, but I could see how it would influence others, because you want to be playing matches like it's a pro match. If you're going to college, and a lot of people going to college want to transition into the pros, and you're doing all these crazy different rules, it's not really realistic.
I think it's a joke to be honest. I'm not going to say anything bad, but why are you shortening the matches? You play college to play as many matches as you can, good, long, tough matches against good players. You're going to go from playing no-ad in singles to a Futures playing regular scoring? People are saying it's for TV time or whatever? It's a joke. You want to play the same format as you're playing in a real professional match. I think it's a terrible decision. The committee did a bad job there. But for whatever reason, they did that and college players have to do it. You can't really complain, because both players are doing that.
But as for me, I didn't really think about it, but yeah, for me, I might as well just go an play regular tennis. For doubles, okay, I understand, doubles maybe, because all ITFs do that, but singles? It's a joke.
I've heard a lot of people say it would impact them a lot, but I don't think it would impact me that much. At the end of the day, you're still working on your game, still playing matches, it's just one small tweak that you can get used to once you're in college, and get used to once you're in the pros again. So I don't think it's that much of a deal. I do disagree with it, and I've heard a lot of players say it's a huge deal.