Earlier this week, prior to making the trip to Kalamazoo, I decided to mosey down to Decatur, Ill. (a bit west of Champaign, home to the University of Illinois) where the third in a series of four "downstate" USTA Futures tournaments was getting underway. There, I had the occasion to interview a dozen Americans, all current or former college players, all of whom had played the USTA Boys National Championships at The Zoo.
All of them were gracious enough to give me a few minutes of their time and talk about their memories of playing the 16s and 18s over the past several years. They had various levels of success, from only winning a match or two to winning the whole thing and gaining coveted wild cards to the US Open juniors (as 16s singles winner) or even the senior event (as 18s doubles winner).
Hope you enjoy the video, and thanks so much to all the players who participated! (Full list below.)
A.J. Catanzariti - Texas A&M Aggies
Nick Chappell - Texas Christian University (former)
Dominic Cotrone - University of South Florida Bulls
Tom Fawcett - Stanford University
Marcos Giron - UCLA Bruins (former)
Aron Hiltzik - University of Illinois Illini
Jared Hiltzik - University of Illinois Illini
Jonathan Ho - Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Evan King - University of Michigan Wolverines (former)
Quentin Monaghan - Notre Dame University Fighting Irish
Nathan Pasha - University of Georgia Bulldogs (former)
Ronnie Schneider - University of North Carolina Tarheels