Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Florida with my baguette
To put the Olympics into context, the US team lost 2 of their top 2 players before events got underway. I'm not saying Serena or Jen would have won, but had they been fit, chances are one of them may have medalled.
As for the future, well, let's look at the current crop. Taking Lindsay out and leaving Jen, Venus and Serena, these guys are products not of a training system at national level, but of insistent fathers who pushed their kids in the absence of weekly lessons down the tennis club. In all honesty, can we say they came through a tennis system put forward by the USTA? No. Probably not. I know Jen had a USTA coach back in the early 90s but they got on the bandwagon long after she'd made her breakthrough.
Question for the Americans, what is your national programme like? Is it likely to produce future stars? Has it in the past? If not, is it possible that you got lucky with some strong-willed parents and reaped the benefits there? I'm not familiar with the system so that's why I'm asking.
Just a happy thought though, back in the mid to late 90s, Jen was elsewhere, Lindsay was yet to win big, Monica was out (and not yet a US citizen I think, not sure) and Venus and Serena were still to hit the tour. A few years later, you dominated the Slams winning 11 consecutive titles from the middle of 2000, unless my maths and memory are wrong. Anything can happen.
Also, do you think the potential talent is pushed aside by poor TV coverage or is there enough broadcasted to keep casual observers interested?
I've never been to Cuba