I had a chance at dinner to talk to some of the players from Section 2 about being at states and about high school tennis vs. USTA tennis. Here are some of their thoughts.
Rob Schmitz comes from a family with a long history at this event. Both older brother Ryan and younger sister Claire have been to states as Section 2 winner so this was Rob’s last chance to make his mark. Rob is also an active tournament player as are all of the players representing Section 2. The doubles players mostly play tournaments in our area but the three singles players all travel outside of our area to compete as well. Rob told me that playing high school tennis is just plain “more fun.” He likes that he can “share the experience with his team.” To put it simply, high school tennis is “pretty fun.”
Rohin Bose agreed and added “It’s still tennis. The team is the best part of it.” He also added “It’s a huge step up from sectionals to states.”
Eric Kopff told me “It’s cool playing in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium.”
One thing I learned that amazed me, as a tournament director, is how they do seeding for Boys States. First, they determine who is the top seed. Then they place the other two player from that region in opposite parts of the draw. Next they do the same for the second seed. As you can see, that means that only one player from a section can be seeded, even if the #2 player from that section is clearly better than all of the other players in the tournament. The Girls Tournament is seeded normally. It means that there can be some surprise matchups in the first round. It also means that it is possible to play the finals in the first round and indeed, it explains some of the first round match ups I have seen here.