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Interview with USTA National Collegiate Coach Stephen Amritraj
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Stephen Amritraj joined the USTA as a National Coach in January of this year and was recently named its National Collegiate coach, succeeding Dustin Taylor, now the men's assistant at the University of Virginia.

USTA National Collegiate Coach Stephen Amritraj
© ZooTennis.com
Amritraj played at Duke from 2002-2006, and after a brief stint on the tour, began coaching ATP professionals in Southern California, where he grew up. In 2013, Amritraj served as a volunteer assistant at Duke before returning to the Los Angeles area to begin his USTA career at the Player Development Center in Carson.

Under Taylor, the USTA Collegiate Team was formalized as a year-round program dedicated to assisting American college players with grants and prioritized coaching as they transition to professional careers. Amritraj has already made several changes to the program, which we discussed last month.

 

Questions and Answers

Colette Lewis (CL): When and how does an American college player earn his or her place on the team?

Stephen Amritraj (SA):

We moved it a year earlier, so that way the Collegiate National Team will now include incoming freshmen to rising seniors for both men and women. As far as titles and achievements, it's the same: NCAA winner, All-American winner, Indoor winner, ITA Player of the Year, ITA Rookie of the Year.

But the one change I did want to make to promote the opportunity to play more ATP and WTA events was that any [American college player] who at any point was ranked inside 600 on the ATP computer or 400 on the WTA computer will automatically be a part of the Collegiate National Team.

For example, [Wake Forest freshman] Noah Rubin has qualified to be a part of the 2015 Collegiate National Team based on the fact that he's inside the ATP 600.

 

CL: So that means, unlike previously, there's no limit to the number of players on the team?

SA: Yes. It used to be six, but honestly, I hope that it's 50 people, as many as we possibly can get who are reaching these requirements, which I feel are pretty good benchmarks for kids that age.

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