by Randy Walker
So a fellow named Rich Neher runs a newsletter called “Tennis Club Business” that lands in my inbox every few weeks or so. A recent edition discussed critically the U.S. Tennis Association’s decision to host the USA vs. Colombia Davis Cup series in Reno, Nevada, which attracted my attention not only because of my fondness for Davis Cup, but because I was there! The Tennis Club Business content veers heavily toward a glass half empty approach to the USTA and this story – which you can read here https://www.tennisclubbusiness.com/feature-rn-0422?utm_campaign=23fd5cbf-c4f8-480c-988d-043d13b95d01&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail&cid=8a134d2b-bffb-49d1-b6e5-6a970f4e7c90 was no different. The article was a wee-bit off base and a wee-bit illogical, so I decided to respond to the article and have posted the letter below
I just read your article about Davis Cup in Reno and I feel compelled to respond. When I saw that the USA vs. Colombia Davis Cup tie was in Reno, I was so excited that I booked a plane ticket and went!
I had not been to a U.S. Davis Cup match in 10 years and had never been to the Reno-Lake Tahoe area. One of the great aspects of Davis Cup, I have always felt, is that it takes you to places that you otherwise might not visit! Of course, for background, I was the U.S. Davis Cup team press officer for the USTA from 1997 to 2005 and now run Vero Beach, Florida $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures event that benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation.
The top objective for the USTA in a Davis Cup match is… TO WIN! (You play to win the game! Hello!) A fast indoor court provides for a good environment to beat Colombia and advance, which is what they did by a 4-0 margin. You suggest for a site Miami, which would be presumably slower conditions outdoors which would give Colombia more of a chance. You said Colombians would come and wave their flags in Miami, but it is a USA HOME TIE. Team USA wants to play in front of a pro-American crowd, not a pro-Colombia crowd. You say “Tens of thousands” of Colombians would attend in Miami? When you say “TENS” of thousands, you mean at least 20,000 fans, which would be the minimum plural amount of 10,000 fans. There are not even 20,000 fans going daily to the stadium court at the Miami Open, featuring the world’s top men’s and women’s players, let alone a two-day match featuring not even one top 10 player and one …….