DonRocks Posted November 9, 2015 Share Posted November 9, 2015 There's something going on that the vast majority of people don't know about: Tennis in the United States is dying. Slowly, methodically, over the past generation, college programs have been eliminated, one-by-one, as funding priorities go towards other things - college tennis has been deemed an expendable casualty of the budget wars - college tennis has always been a proving ground and development center for tennis at the professional level, but that won't be the case for much longer if the current trend continues: 250 college tennis programs have been eliminated since 2000. Here's a story that summarizes it very nicely: "They Cut My Team - UMBC and the Alarming Decline of College Tennis" on tennisfiles.com Now, I'm the first to admit that people fighting to keep college tennis alive in the U.S. can be legitimately considered a "special-interest group." There's a big difference between children going hungry, or classrooms being funded, and the existence of college tennis programs. My point isn't to argue the case that the world is going to end if college tennis goes away; merely to point out that the problem exists, and is very real. You are now armed with information that you didn't have before - you can do whatever you wish with it, but remember, a generation from now, when an American hasn't won a Grand Slam in two decades, the problem started here - it actually started many years ago. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Serena Williams will be the last great American tennis player for the forseeable future, and she's a special case, since she and Venus were raised to be professional tennis players from a very early age. The only hope for American tennis is for a program to emerge like Nick Bollettieri's campus, where elite juniors can go and give up their lives for the sport. Without college tennis programs, most promising players' careers will end when they graduate from high school, and the truly elite juniors (and I'm talking 8, 10, or 12 years old), won't even go to high school, since they'll be living at whatever emerges as the next Bollettieri school. So it goes. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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