Special from Wilson Racquet Sports
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Peter Wright and the California men's tennis team have had another strong year in 2010. The Golden Bears are hoping to hear they will host the first two rounds of the NCAA team tournament when the pairings are announced tonight on ESPNews (5-6pm EDT).
Elizabeth Letke of Wilson Racquet Sports talked with Coach Wright about college tennis and recruiting. Hear what he had to say...
Questions and Answers
Wilson: Other than seeking players who exemplify both tennis and academic excellence, what is the most important quality you look for while recruiting?
Peter Wright: I'm very interested to see if a guy is going to be a good teammate. Does he try hard all the time, or just when he feels like it? One thing that's important to our guys is that we define success as not only reaching our own goals, but helping those around us achieve theirs, too. That creates a responsibility to every member of the team.
Wilson: What advice do you have for players who are torn between going Pro and going to college?
Wright: There are several ways to see if you're ready for the pro tour. It used to be some guys would just 'turn pro' without ever having played against a top college player. Or, someone would tell them that if they went to college that they would never make it on the pro tour. Obviously, that's bad advice for most players.
Now, the USTA and ITA work together on Campus Match Play days that allow juniors to compete against college players on campuses all around the country. Something else we're doing this year is an event called the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic that features the top 8 US juniors competing against 24 of the top college players in the country. This will certainly provide valuable feedback for the juniors.
The bottom line is that you need to have concrete results before you venture out on the tour. If you don't have a Top 400 ATP ranking by the time you're 19, then college is the right place to continue your development.
Wilson: How do you determine who plays which position for every match? Is your lineup set for the whole season or is there mobility?