Opinion: U.S. Women Bomb, Prepare for Complete Exit at Indian Wells; Where is Improvement?
by Jeremy Davis | March 12th, 2011, 10:23 am

It’s not the post-Williams era yet, but U.S. tennis fans are getting a look at how the women’s landscape will look with Serena and Venus gone.

American women went 0-3 on Friday at Indian Wells. Two rookie Americans are left in the draw after receiving a flurry of U.S. wildcards, but matched against veteran opponents, means that by the end of Saturday all U.S. women will be out of the event.

Losing on Friday were (WC) Coco Vandeweghe to No. 6 seed Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-1, Bethanie Mattek-Sands to No. 10 Shahar Peer in three sets, and Melanie Oudin to No. 23 Yanina Wickmayer in straights.

Mattek-Sands has a lot of grit for having few weapons. She will never be a Top 10 player, but she is making the most of her game. Vandeweghe still seems to be on the upswing despite some nuttiness in her traveling entourage. Oudin however needs to fire that coach that was banging her mom and go in a completely new direction.

On Saturday the exodus will likely be completed when American Sloane Stephens takes on world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, and Christina McHale plays two-time Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Instead of putting money into player development maybe the U.S.T.A. could try and get some Eastern Europeans to change their nationalities aka Kazakhstan’s Davis Cup team?

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4 Comments for Opinion: U.S. Women Bomb, Prepare for Complete Exit at Indian Wells; Where is Improvement?

Kimberly Says:

Another classy article by Jeremy Davis.

dee Says:

Or maybe they should head to Compton, where Serena and Venus grew up?

thetennisguy Says:

“instead of putting money into player development maybe the U.S.T.A. could try and get some Eastern Europeans … ”

Sure, why not? It’s what our national college program does!

The USTA player development is “arrested development”. USTA keeps raising fees … in our town … high school courts are locked (their afraid of vandalism) but the soccer fields are filled with kids playing. We have 4 public courts in a town of over 50,000 people. Wake Up! American you can’t get the best athletes to play if you don’t get kids to play tennis at public facilities day in and day out. Look back to the 70′s and see how the very best players came from modest means and public tennis courts. It’s that simple.

M Says:

I’m with you, Kimberly. And also with thetennisguy, to a point.

What I’m really wondering is why someone can’t just pop over to Spain and scout their system. The players there receive a lot of government support, all the way down to the municipal level, and they always have plenty of depth, and upcoming players. Practically every tournament, and at least once a year, we see a new Spanish name in the main draw we don’t recognize, and each year that name stays in; they never drop out again. Pablo Andujar, anyone? Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo?
Obviously they have a system that works. Why can’t the best “tennis heads” from the US quietly study it? This isn’t hard.

That said, Sloane Stephens went 6-3, 6-2 with the Woz, and she hasn’t been playing as long at this level as the other ladies Jeremy critized. The Woz also had some complimentary things to say about her playing (you can read about them in the article about their match on the main tour page).

Keep going, Sloane! We believe in you!

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