Saturday, January 21, 2012

USTA's Huge Thumb on the Scale

Quick question.  Does it make sense that the USTA plays favorites among its players?  I know it is common practice among national tennis federations to give help to promising young players, to bring them to national or regional training centers, to pay for their coaching, to help them with travel expenses, etc.  But should they?

At the margin it must suck to see your opponent getting resources that you aren't from an organization to which you both pay annual dues.  Can you be sure that a favored player isn't also getting a sweet draw or more favorable match times?  Obviously the "sweet draw" part is true if getting a wildcard into the event in the first place can be considered sweet.

I'm sure lots of people have given this a lot of thought and come to the conclusion that national tennis federations putting their thumbs on the scale for certain players benefits the organization.

Clearly it benefits some players, parents, coaches and administrators.  But is it good for the membership generally?  I doubt it.

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