September 5th, 2016

Juniors React to ‘Shot Clock’ Experiment at US Open, Discuss Crazy Tennis Parents

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Sebastian Korda

Sebastian Korda

The US Open Juniors event began over the weekend, and the 2016 edition includes as added twist — the USTA experimenting with a ‘shot clock’ for players to measure time taken between points to possibly speed play in the future at both the junior and pro levels.

Most junior players compete at a quick pace regardless, and officials seemed lax to enforce the penalties, even when too much time was taken between points. The process seems more so to collect data for analysis following the event.

“I think I only looked at [the clock] one time,” Brandon Holt, who defeated Ergi Kirkin of Turkey 6-4, 6-2, told “And it said like, 17 seconds. I think we were playing really fast points, never got even close. I think at the end, the guy didn’t even turn it on.”

Holt is the son of former women’s No. 1 Tracy Austin and resides in California. Another former pro offspring competing is Florida’s Sebastian Korda, son of former Australian Open champion and famous scissor-kicking Petr Korda, who trains in Bradenton.

Holt, friends with Korda, elaborated on he and other juniors being of famous lineage and their parents’ input into their junior careers.

“We don’t sit down and talk about each other’s parents,” Holt said. “But a lot of people bring it up. Kind of joking, ‘You guys are guaranteed to better than us at this, because your parents are professional athletes.’ But we don’t really talk about that.”

Having parents that have ‘been there and done that,’ though, has definitely been an advantage.

“There’s a ton of crazy tennis parents, that don’t know the process,” Holt said. “Knowing you can trust your mom, on the whole entire process, because what she says is going to be pretty accurate, even if I don’t always listen.”

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