Re: Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective
The bottom line is that unless you're going to be a top 100 pro, college is a better option. The college first thing is correct for most kids out there. Phillip King can lament all he likes, but he probably wasn't going to be a top 100 pro anyway and that's just a matter of genetics. He is like a shorter, skinnier and less athletic Donald Young and he is better off having been an All-American and having a degree from Duke than he would have been floating around the challenger circuit for four years, which is probably what he would have done. I can't imagine any scenario in which he would have been a top 100 pro, at least not for a prolonged period.
Brian Vahaly is a great example...All-American at Virginia, got as high as 64 ATP and made about $100,000 a year during a 5-year playing career. Even if he had not gone to college and played four more years and had the same success, he would have been 26 years old and jobless when his tennis career ended. Instead he used his UVA degree and works in Washington D.C. in a great job with a private equity fund. That job wouldn't have happened with a "PhD in life" earned on the tour. He'd be slinging balls to bratty juniors and country club moms with implants and botox.
Sam Q is about the only guy I can think of that almost went to college but didn't, and it turned out to be a great choice. Most successful American pros were so good at 18 that going to college wasn't even an option. Conversely, there are a TON of failed pros that should have gone to college. Scoville Jenkins is a great example on the mens side. He's now an assistant coach at Kennesaw State, a school that I had never even heard of, when he could have been a 4-year All-American and either a head coach right now or in a great job outside of tennis.