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Friday, February 24, 2017

Is college really helpful for pro hopefuls?

That's the current ITA/USTA's stance. Martin Blackman just confirmed it in his interview with Colette.

But is it, really.

Then why do so many young talents forego college and just turn pro. Many top players also quit early; Falconi, Loeb and Brady just played two years. Will, Burdette, Gibbs, Zhao played 3 years. McCray from Oklahoma State also turned pro early.
And there's Rubin on the men's side, who didn't quite play one whole season.

There are cautionary tales; some top junior players struggled or was 'misused' at college; Hardebeck(Stanford), Collins(Florida), Scholl(Duke), Austin(Florida), Kuhlman(Florida), Porter(Florida), Xepoleas(USC)..to name a few.

And it's a norm that college tennis is more 'conservative'. Because winning is so important.  Can't lose, so 'play safe'!  There's also the difference of level. More 'pushers', because many can't generate pace on their own, and even if they can, can't sustain it.

Furthermore, now there's a difference of RULE; no ad. Jared Donaldson explicitly mentioned this.

Many young talents who verballed just turn pro. Sam Crawford(USC, did not verbal), Mayo Hibi(UCLA), Allie Kiick(Florida), Sophie Chang(UVA), Louisa Chirico(heard she considered Stanford), Hanna Chang(Pepperdine), Raveena Kingsley(LSU), Cici Bellis(Stanford), Kayla Day(USC, didn't verbal).
Alex Sanford(UNC) is considering pro. Caro Dolehide(UCLA), who knows. And what of other elite players from the class of 2017, Sofia Kenin, Usue Arconada, Kylie McKenzie, Sofia Sewing..and there's Claire Liu from the class of 2018(UCLA or Stanford).

Why do you think they just turn pro. Could it be that college tennis actually hinder their development? Wouldn't college experience 'dull' their aggressive instinct, forcing them to play more conservatively?


If that really is so, what are we to make of ITA/USTA's assertion that college experience helps elites to prepare for pro. It's a recent slogan of theirs. Is no ad really beneficial for their development?
And, if youngsters are still turning pro, are they making that decision 'despite' USTA's advice(if we are to believe Martin Blackman).

What about recent freshmen's astonishing success at WAATC; Julia Elbaba, Jamie Loeb, Francesca DiLorenzo, Ena Shibahara. DiLorenzo wasn't even the very best, nor was she the biggest hitter during juniors. For example she was routined by Kylie McKenzie at the National. So, which is true; is college level not very high in the first place, or did she improve much during her short stay at OSU. And will these kind of 'weird' phenomenon influence current junior's decision regarding pro/college.

Personally, am sceptical as hell. That's why I said it's hogwash(especially concerning recent players foregoing college). The reality seems quite different from their assertion. College and pro is indeed different, and no ad makes doubly so.

If all or most of those players I've mentioned turn pro, USTA's assertion will merit zero credibility. Because it will only mean that they don't think college tennis will help their game, even hinder it. It all will have been mere hogwash lol. A blatant lie. So let's see how it goes, eh?

P.S. On a related topic, I'll probably have a look at USC's recruiting(or the failure of it).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to point out how harmful the college game is to doubles. Seriously only one set now!? That's going to stunt a lot of player development. I look at the case of Miyu Kato. She had verballed to OK State before deciding to turn pro. She recently just reached the SF of the Australian Open. Had she gone to NCAA, there's no way she'd be at the level as she is now.

fan said...

Thank you, did not know about Kato. It's truly sad about doubles, isn't it..