This entire US Open is making me question the respect the USTA gives its young talent. First, you’ll remember the ridiculous headline on USOpen.Org referring to Christina McHale as “McFail” after an early exit from the tournament. I was willing to chalk that gaffe up to a freelance writer and not blame the entire USTA.
Now, I’m not so sure.
The news that US and World #1 Taylor Townsend was derided by some fitness fascists in Player Development is absolutely disgusting. The USTA wanted to bench Townsend from the Open. Or at least make it harder for her to get there. The Wall Street Journal broke the news, and if you’re reading this blog, you already know the story.
I don’t want to watch an endless procession of cookie-cutter Sugarpovas out there. We celebrate diversity of body types in other sports, whether its wiry wide receivers, bulky linebackers, titanic power sluggers, or 5’9 point guards. But it seems that the ratings-driven White Plains Trash want to shape tennis in its own misogynistic image.
If you think that sounds harsh, remember that there hasn’t been any talk like this about the guys. On the mens side with its higher TV ratings, the USTA hums ‘the Home of the Brave’: Seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day.
Reimbursing Townsend and her mom for plane tickets, a hotel room and cab fare isn’t going to cut it, boys. It really is time to fire Patrick McEnroe and his posh posse at Player Development. Even if he didn’t personally make the decision to bar her, the buck stops with him. His back-pedaling has been embarrassing and his unapologetic ongoing conflict-of-interest as a television commentator already compromised him before this latest incident.
I promise you this: Townsend will win at least one more grand slam than PMac’s none. The man made one grand slam semifinals singles appearance. I pray to God that Townsend and Gabby Andrews destroy their opponents in the doubles final today and Serena Williams vanquishes Vika. If Serena wants to give back to the game, she ought to take over Player Development in the near future.
As for you, Taylor, you are one of the sweetest, soft-spoken and talented players I have ever met. I’m sorry the USTA treated you like they did.
I attempted to cancel my USTA membership effective immediately today, but they wouldn’t let me. Someone is supposed to call me back. Control freaks.
Like a predatory insect, the USTA eats its own young.
–S. Fogleman, USTA Member #2010241838