USTA Tennis

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Junior Martin Weissgerber. He is an active member of the USTA tennis team. Photo by Ethan Roubenoff.

[metaslider id=”9005″]“Colleges look more often at a player’s USTA ranking than their high school tennis record, so many players who want to play college tennis focus on tournaments,” USTA player and junior Theo Tamayo said.

According to the official USTA website, the USTA is “the national governing body for the sport of tennis and the recognized leader in promoting and developing the sport’s growth on every level in the United States, from local communities to the crown jewel of the professional game, the US Open.”

USTA provides access to the highest level leagues possible for many high school tennis players, with numerous tournaments per month both in and out of the state, according to USTA player junior Martin Weissgerber. While most of the players on the varsity tennis team have played or are currently playing in USTA tournaments, Weissgerber said that many players focus their attention more on USTA rather than on varsity.

Sophomore Eliot Rozovsky trains at the Manchester Athletic Club Tennis Academy in Manchester-by-the-Sea, four days a week from 12 to 7 p.m.. To accommodate for this huge time investment, Rozovsky only takes three classes at the high school. He takes math, science and English and is home-schooled for the rest of his subjects.

“All together, it’s a lot of work because if you are serious about the sport, there are a lot of really good players out there and there is always someone who plays more than you,” Rozovsky said.

While USTA takes up a huge portion of Rozovsky’s life, it only comprises a small portion for Weissgerber.

“Playing USTA is fun for me because I can practice playing matches, and I can revisit my favorite clubs to play at,” Weissgerber said. “I especially love playing on the clay at Lakeville, and there are tournaments there at least twice a month. You get to know a lot of good players on the circuit, and you get the opportunity to make useful connections.”

For both players, USTA has its benefits. For Rozovsky, it may even turn out to be a pathway into college. Rozovsky said he has aspirations to play tennis at a high level in college and has been receiving looks from numerous schools. According to him, these aspirations would be impossible if it was not for USTA.

According to Weissgerber, it is understandable why players like Rozovsky invest so much time and energy into training and USTA tournaments.

“If you’re at a high enough level, you may not want to play high school tennis because of the relatively small time commitment compared to USTA,” Weissgerber said.

However, because of the strength of the Bay State Conference League, players like Rozovsky still choose to play on the high school’s boys varsity tennis team. And because of these USTA players, the team is able to maintain its high level of play.

According to Tamayo, USTA can have mixed effects on a school’s varsity tennis team.

“USTA tennis can both help and hurt a school’s team depending on the situation; it raises the levels of the players, but also may cause a player to focus only on USTA and quit the team,” he said.

Eoin Walsh can be contacted at [email protected]