| By Steven Kaplan

While I admire and agree in many ways with Ricky Becker's idealistic viewpoint that the integrity of the tournament ranking system is the priority, in his blog, "Some Major Junior Tournament Rule Changes in 2011 for National Tournament," I ultimately disagree with his conclusions.

Ricky believes that the rule to reduce the opportunities for entry to Supernationals is a "great change." Increasing the minimum number of matches played by the introduction of a compass draw is "lame." Reducing the number of national tournaments is "another good rule."

The mission of the USTA is "TO PROMOTE AND DEVELOP THE GROWTH OF TENNIS IN THE UNITED STATES." By creating rules that increase playing opportunities, the USTA satisfies its mission. While the rule changes which reduce playing opportunities do also inhibit "point chasers," they fail to grow the game.

The integrity of the USTA consistently adhering to its stated objectives should be its goal.

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.