Wait, there’s a problem?
USAToday noted that, of the 7 men in the top 100 (yes, just 7), 4 of them competed in college.
Seems strange…yes, that we have only 7 men in the top 100, but also that college is not more of a proving ground for men’s tennis.
Wait, also interesting is 4 foreign players who attended US colleges reached the second round of Wimbledon.
- No. 20 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa, an All-American at the University of Illinois
- Blaz Rola of Slovenia, won the 2013 NCAA singles championship playing for Ohio State
- Benjamin Becker of Germany, won the NCAA singles title for Baylor in 2004
- Tim Puetz of Germany, an All-American at Auburn
Yes, college is a great training ground for our US men.
The problem is, it is also a great training ground for foreign men.
Take a look through the roster of most college men’s tennis teams and you’ll see most teams are about half filled with foreign players.
Is there really this large a glut of US tennis players?
No, there isn’t. One of the major challenges US college tennis hopefuls have is many of the foreign players they must compete against for a college team have been playing on the European tennis circuit for years.
Basically, they go out on the European circuit and see if they can make it. Those that can’t, then come to the US to play for a college team where they can hone their skills and gain experience.
So, basically, we help train foreign players while ignoring our US hopefuls.
When the major tennis tournaments come around, we often hear on TV how men’s tennis has fallen behind. Well, I believe one of the reasons is the fact that we overlook our own players at the college level and bring in foreign players.