Check out the Little Mo Nationals held this past weekend at the Austin Tennis Academy. There are several stories and things I like from this tournament. I did not go to the tournament and I am sure there are many different and great stories to tell but these are three things I found interesting talking with my friends who did go to the tournament.
The first deal is with my friend Doug Pielet and his daughter as they attended the tournament and she fought hard in her matches. She played in the 10’s and was the #1 seed. She fought like a champion but lost in the semis and then won the 3rd and 4th playoff spot.
Now the interesting thing to me was–she played her matches with the “yellow ball” and did quite well. Next comes the kicker–in the semi’s she had a doozy of a match and went three sets and well over 3 hours in the hot Texas Fall weather. No tiebreakers for the third here amigo! When she was done with that match she got back out on the court for the 3rd and 4th playoff match and won that one. 2 out of 3 sets and with yellow balls!!! That is awesome baby!!!
Congrats to all of those little girls and all of the other players down there for the Little Mo Nationals. They are none worse for the battles and if you listened to the USTA– oh, well they would have been suffering from abuse by having to play those terrible third sets all the way out. And then Miss Pielet came back 1 hour later and fought like mad to take the third spot. This is great stuff! I can tell you in my opinion she grew from that tough semi-final match three set match and the long third set! It is where she will learn and it is where she will get better.
The second situation I wanted to tell everyone about was an exchange between two veteran pro’s. One pro was acting as one of the hosts for the tournament and another was visiting with his players from another state. The old visiting pro mentioned to the old host pro he was saddened by the fact he had heard the USTA had pressured the Austin group to exclusively use the ROG balls in their training. The host pro scoffed and said he now believed the ROG stuff was working great. Apparently these two old bulls were once friends but I am not so sure they are any longer. The guest pro is a crusty old midwesterner and known for speaking his mind and boy did he! Because the next thing that came out of his mouth to the host pro was, “That is bullshit!”
Well, apparently a lot of USTA money is involved in the deal with the host club and when you go to doing your arithmetic any colored ball is going to look good! Ha! If the walls in Texas had ears… I would have loved to have been there for that exchange. This is nothing new as the USTA is using a lot of money to buy out places all across the country and forcing the change in every nook and cranny it can find.
Finally, the third thing I want to note is everyone needs to take a look at the great stuff the USPTA is doing with the Courtside USA website! It is getting better and I hope it continues. If it does we will be able to use the site more and more and one day you are going to see it become an truly effective alternative to the USTA’s Tennislink site. When that happens let’s plan on hosting a 1000 Little Mo tournaments for the Foundation if they will have us!0
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