Team USA

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Image courtesy of USTA

 

Several weeks ago, I got a call from USTA’s media department informing me of – and inviting me to – an upcoming (July 29, 2014) webinar on its new initiative, Team USA. I was unable to tune into the webinar live, but I did take the time to listen to the recorded version and wanted to share it with all of you.

The webinar was hosted by USTA General Manager of Player Development, Patrick McEnroe, and USTA Director of Coaching, Jose Higueras. According to the invitation I More >

When Is It OK To Fist Pump?

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High-performance coach Jorge Capestany shares his thoughts on when it’s okay for juniors to fist pump during a match:

 

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Patrick McEnroe Leaves USTA PD

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I was sitting in Arthur Ashe stadium yesterday afternoon when I saw the tweet from the NY Times: Patrick McEnroe Out As USTA Player Development Head. A little while later, I received an email from USTA’s communications department alerting all media on site of the press conference to explain in more detail exactly what was going on. Of course, I was there amid some very powerful media representatives, including the author of the original NY Times piece as well as folks from ESPN, Inside Tennis, More >

Palmer Clare: US Open Ball Kid

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Being a ball kid at the US Open is an honor. It requires an application, tryouts, and on-site practices. Palmer Clare, a high school senior living in North Bellmore, NY, made this year’s cut.

I met Palmer during my first week at the Open. It turns out that his mom teaches with my side-kick Melanie Rubin, and the two women are close friends. It also turns out that he lives very near where I was staying in Merrick, so I had the pleasure of driving him home one night after we had both had a full More >

Taylor Dent’s Many Hats

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At last year’s US Open, I had the chance to meet and speak with former tour player Taylor Dent (click here to hear that interview). Shortly after the Open, Taylor emailed me to let me know he was embarking on a new journey: coaching aspiring junior player, Jared Donaldson (click here to hear my interview with Jared’s mom).

Fast forward one year. Jared decided to turn pro. He received a wildcard into the singles main draw of the 2014 US Open where he faced Gael Monfils in his first round match. More >

Rebecca Donaldson Discusses Her Son’s Tennis Pathway

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Jared Donaldson is a 17-year-old tennis player who has followed his own pathway to professional tennis. Yes, it included some USTA tournaments along the way, like the very prestigious Kalamazoo, but, mostly, Jared has played the ITF circuit around the world. At an age when most junior players are thinking about which college they might like to attend, Jared is focusing solely on how to keep competing with the “Big Boys” on the pro tour. Just a few days ago, he was playing his first main draw More >

Walker Duncan’s Junior Slam Debut

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Last Thursday, Walker Duncan got the phone call that he was being awarded a last-minute wildcard spot in the main draw of the Junior US Open (which was starting 3 days later!). This high-school senior from Atlanta had never played in a Junior Slam – what an opportunity! He and his parents quickly scrambled to make travel arrangements to get to New York so Walker would have a chance to get settled in and practice on the courts of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center before his first More >

Getting USA Juniors Back On Track

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By Tom Walker

Parallel tracks of development in competitive youth tennis must be reestablished. The USTA must not be the gate keepers in this process. Players must be unfettered to advance and decline based on individual merit and performance.

Great harm has come to the programming of youth tennis players over the past year. In the zeal to change the junior tennis system, key pathways of development and progression were altered or destroyed. Tennis stars are produced from a diverse More >

Noah Rubin at Home in Merrick

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This morning, I caught Noah Rubin at home in Merrick, NY – Long Island – eating breakfast and catching up on his favorite shows on the DVR. It’s been quite a week for this young man!

He played his very first US Open main draw singles match. He played his very first US Open main draw doubles match (with his very close buddy, Stefan Kozlov). And pretty much everyone he’s ever met in his entire life was there to cheer him on.

We all wish Noah well as he embarks on the next step of his journey: More >

Live from the US Open

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Be sure to take a listen to today’s radio show with Wayne Bryan, Steve Johnson, and Melanie Rubin as they discuss their sons’ preparation for the 2014 US Open. They share some great advice and insights on developing young tennis players to the highest level.

Click here to listen and learn!

 

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