| By Steven Kaplan

I am told that some Eastern Tournament hosts have a reputation for "fixing" their draws. Players who regularly participate at these host clubs seem to have favorable draws more often than simple luck and chance would dictate. If these suspicions are true, then this is regrettably dishonest behavior. While many players, parents and coaches are sure that this nefarious practice exists, the evidence is circumstantial.

USTA regulation 11.B.(Making the Draw) states:
1. Public draw. The draw, computer or manual, shall be made in public at the time and place specified by the Tournament Committee.

Most draws are not made in public at a pre-specified time and place and even if they were, it is highly impractical for most to attend.

Fortunately, we live in a world that technology can facilitate information. Draw-making would be a transparent process, if tournament directors simply recorded the draw on video and downloaded the draw creation for public viewing. It might take tournament directors a few minutes, but the rumors that some players are given a home court draw advantage would stop.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.