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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Geoff Grant Discusses the Pitfalls of the ITF World Tennis Tour; Costa Rica J-1 Acceptances

In just over a week, the first tournaments of the ITF World Tennis Tour will begin, and the apprehension accompanying it can be felt all over the community of competitive tennis. In Florida, I spoke to dozens of people about the changes that are coming as a result of the ITF's decision to narrow the pathway to the higher levels of pro tennis, and I will be featuring some of those conversations in an article I am planning for next month at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  Geoff Grant, a member of the USTA's Junior Competition Committee and father of four competitive tennis players, including University of Florida recruit Will Grant, has been studying what the impact of the changes might be. I spoke to Grant before I left for Florida, so that I could ask questions with some knowledge of the possible downsides, not just for pro players, but for junior and college tennis in the United States.

Grant was a guest on Tennis Channel/Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim's Beyond the Baseline podcast recently to discuss the implications of this drastic change, and in his opinion, they are not positive for tennis in general and college and USTA junior tennis in particular.

The link to the podcast is here.  For more on how the ITF World Tennis Tour will change tennis in the US, see this article from Parenting Aces.

The acceptances for the ITF's World Tennis Tour Juniors Costa Rica J1 Coffee Bowl (it will take me some time to get accustomed to referring to the junior tournaments this way) are out, with 14 US boys and 19 US girls receiving entry into the main draw.  The tournament, held from January 14-19 this year, always features a substantial number of Americans due to its location and its reputation for a pro tournament atmosphere. With the tournament the same time as the Grade 1 (I mean J1) warmup in Traralgon Australia, playing both Costa Rica and the Australian Open Junior Championships will not be possible this year.

The US boys entered are: Eliot Spizzirri, Tyler Zink, Ronan Jachuck, Will Grant, Andres Martin, Alex Lee, Andrew Dale, Adam Neff, Dali Blanch, Alex Bernard, Hunter Heck, Keshav Chopra, Martin Damm and Alex Kiefer.

The US girls entered are: Alexa Noel, Gabby Price, Savannah Broadus, Skyler Grishuk, Hina Inoue, Kailey Evans, Charlotte Owensby, Elvina Kalieva, Nikki Redelijk, Jenna DeFalco, Sanyukta Gawande, Tara Malik, Madison Sief, Charlotte Chavatipon. Ellie Coleman, Sofia Rojas, Julia Andreach, Elaine Chervinsky and Hibah Shaikh.