| By Ricky Becker

Back In January, I defended the new USTA Tournament system for the most part because it prevented point chasing.  For my college consulting work, I have followed national tournament cut-offs (shameless plug: the unofficial tournament lists can be purchased at www.juniortennisconsulting.com).  Here are my observations:


1.  The 14's age group has had the biggest effect.

The change from a 192 draw to 128 and a change to a compass draw has changed supernational cut-offs dramatically.  The clays for the girls clays have gone from 930 and 1049 to 349. Girls hards and Boys Supers have pretty much had a similar rise. Easter Bowl has not changed much


2. SuperNationals for all the other age-groups have been similar to past years.

Some people thought Supers would be tougher to get into this year since there are less opportunities to get national points but this has not been the case.


3. National Opens have gotten MUCH tougher to get into.

All National Open categories have gotten much tougher to be accepted.  The Girls Cut-offs have typically dropped to 1/3 of previous levels.  Boys have traditionally had tougher cut-offs and they too are much tougher to get accepted into.  As was the case before, the May National Ope is easier to get into than February or July.


4. National Regionals are EASIER to get into.

Surprisingly, Regional tournaments have been easier to get into.  Especially the July National regionals that are just being completed.  Most tournaments have had empty spots in the draw.  The January Regional cut-offs are tougher than July, presumably because there are less national tournaments in January and the July Regional is squeezed in between a National Open and SuperNational Clay Courts.

Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at Glen Oaks Club.  Ricky also coaches high-performance juniors throughout the year and has been the Director of Tennis at three of Long Island’s biggest junior programs.  As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis team and ranked in the top-five nationally as a junior.  He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via juniortennisconsulting.com.