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Well, I hear them discussing it all the time on ESPN 2 during Wimbledon, but so far no one has addressed the reason. The reason is due to the Girl's Age Eligibility Rule introduced several years ago by the USTA and ITF each looking out for their own private interests at the players' expense. The USTA did not want their slow and controlling developing method of bringing American Juniors through to be disturbed. They want our Juniors playing the countless Junior tournaments in their local section until they are 18 years old (and such a variety to choose from! NOVICE, SATELLITE, OPEN, NATIONAL OPEN with the entry fees pouring $$$ into the USTA). They would like for the Junior instead of playing pro tennis to play the Juniors! Then they want you to go to college and if you do not play enough of their tournaments, you will not even be eligible to get a tennis scholarship. After and during college they will give you some wild cards to justify all of this ridiculous path to "pro tennis" when you are put on the dole courtesy of the USTA. Well actually you will be put on the dole, whether you like it or not if you would like to play pro tennis and given your steady drip of wild cards throughout your career and expense money as well, as if this will give you the fighting spirit you need to succeed in pro tennis. As we can see this system is really producing some top level pro players from the USTA!--NOT!!!! Inflated rankings due to wild cards and players with no real substance is all we have now. Foreign players, on the other hand, do not wake up dreaming of the American College Scholarship. They try hard to make it in pro tennis and if by the age of 18 - 22 do not reach a goal of say top 200 - 300 WTA or ATP Tour, they opt out of pro tennis for the American College Tennis Scholarship plan. We could learn a lot from foreign players. When we focus on the lowly USTA junior tournaments to develop our tennis careers, aren't we just missing the POINT. A player needs to compete at a higher world level to feel fulfilled in tennis. Not spend all your money needlessly on useless, low quality, USTA or ITF WORLD junior events for that matter. IF the player does not achieve a high enough ranking in pro tennis to make a living (top 250 to start), the American College Tennis Scholarship should be available as the consolation prize, not the PRIZE!! The USTA and ITF put this Age Eligibility Rule in place, I THINK THEY SHOULD TAKE IT AWAY and allow juniors (Americans and Europeans--EVERYONE) all over the world to break free of the restrictive holds of this dumb rule.
Age Eligibility Rule
Also, the ITF would like to keep you playing those WORLD JUNIORS, whereas before, many many years ago, a girl at the age of 13 could play an unlimited amount of pro tournaments on her own and be as ambitious as she would like to be. Now she is "allowed to play" at age 14, but only a limited schedule that restricts a player all the way until they are 18 from playing enough tournaments to get enough points to have a decent ranking at a young age on the WTA tour. They have to wait until they are 18 to get a full schedule. Only the IMG promoted juniors get a bit of a jump start with strategic wild carding into Major Tour events. That's it, plain and simple.
So this is really what has happened to all of the young stars--they are not allowed to play!!! Instead of being 16 and a star, the stars are now called young at 21! Are you kidding me? Girls only have until age 30 to make some money on the tour and much of the opportunity to make money in the $10,000's at a young age is taken away. These USTA and ITF decisions really make a girl have to hussle to make a decent living when their real starting date is delayed by as many as 5 years. Why not just open it back up for every girl who has a dream?