Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Silverman, Ng Win USTA National Indoor Open Titles in New York; USTA Holds Brainstorming Session in Atlanta

Every year the results of this tournament seem to get lost in the holiday shuffle, but this year I made a point of tracking the annual USTA gold ball event--the National Open Indoor championships in New York.

As is frequently the case, current college players from the New York metropolitan area were well represented in the final rounds, and two emerged as champions.  Elon senior Cameron Silverman, the top seed and No. 34 in the ITA preseason singles rankings, won the men's title, beating unseeded Quinton Vega 6-4, 6-3 in the final.  Dartmouth freshman Taylor Ng, who was unseeded, won the women's title, beating Louisville recruit and No. 6 seed Ariana Rodriguez 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2 in the final.

In the women's doubles, University of Virginia's Julia Elbaba and Rachel Pierson won the gold balls, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Kelly Williford and Rima Asatrian 6-2, 7-5 in the final.

The men's doubles title went to the unseeded team of Juan Parker and Michael Williams, who beat another unseeded team, Shawn Hadavi and Taiyo Hamanaka 6-4, 7-5 in the final.

The mixed doubles title was also decided by two unseeded pairs. Rodriguez and Asika Isoh beat Ng and Maximilian Schmidt 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3.

For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.

Last month the USTA invited several top coaches from around the country to Atlanta to talk about player development, and from the remarks I heard from several of the coaches who attended, it was a productive meeting that gave hope for more cooperation between the federation and private coaches going forward.

Lisa Stone at Parenting Aces has a detailed account of who was in attendance and what the discussions entailed in this post: "USTA is Trying".  Her post has also drawn many interesting comments, so take a look at those as well.


Comment said...

A great percentage of the participants in the Atlanta meeting either work for the USTA or have a strong dotted line relationship with the USTA. These folks are not likely to promote radical changes in the system or any of the associated processes. It is obvious that the people replying to Lisa Stone's post are the ones being affected deeply by the system. These are the people that the USTA needs to gather in one room and listen to. These are the people that spoke in the summer of 2012 meetings when Patrick McEnroe was in attendance. These people are still being ignored.

Here we are a year and a half later and the USTA is still having meetings "to find out what are the problems" . In the meantime, the Junior Competition Committee shoved through changes without regard or endorsement from the affected constituents. At this point still there is no concrete proposal to fix "the problems" or improve American tennis in general.

The current USTA President is coming to his mid term without putting on the table specific solutions. The blame can be spread between the Board, the administrative leadership, etc. The result is the same. No operating plan leading to permanent solutions. A new President and a new Board will soon come in with a new agenda and a new round of meetings will be called to figure out "the problems". In the mean time the "us and them" mindset will continue and tennis will continue to be a more unreacheable dream for more children in this country.

USA Tennis said...

Comment you are totally right with your assessment.

Wayne Bryan was correct with how the USTA uses their resources like wasting over 10 thousand dollars on a Australian Open wildcard tournament as that money could be used for lowering entry fees or off-setting travel expenses for juniors. The USTA does not even have a set guideline on how the players are picked for the wildcard tournament.

More money should be on growing the game and NOT the USTA telling everyone how the game should be taught and played especially since they have never developed anyone.

USTA PD has no leadership and with that, they have no respect.