Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. It's been a crazy past two months. On September 8th, I got married to my college sweetheart, Heather, who was a gymnast at the University of Illinois. It was an amazing time filled with love, laughter, and happiness from absolutely everyone and was definitely the best day of my life!
Since the wedding, I have been practicing long and hard as these next couple of tournaments are always my favorites to compete in. I will be playing in the Houston futures and Charlottesville, Knoxville, and Champaign challengers which begin on October 26th and go through November 12th.
This year has had its ups and downs but I am looking to end the year strong. At the beginning of this year, the ATP and ITF announced that they would be a restructuring the way tennis rankings work. To make a long story short, they are basically trying add value to true tennis professionals and put more money in their hands. This change will reduce the number of professional tennis players to around 750 ranked players in the world.
The sport of tennis from a publicity standpoint needs to continue to grow and having 2,000 ranked players where some are making under $1,000 a year before expenses is not going to cut it.
You may ask, how can guys continue to play by losing so much money? Well, the other big reason why these rules are going into place is to prevent match fixing. Players are able to make a lot of money by throwing matches and falling susceptible to bettors. I have heard stories of people in Europe getting offered $10,000 to throw a game. When the winnings from that match are $200, I don’t blame the ATP for recognizing this and wanted a change. By dramatically reducing the number of ITF tournaments and increasing the opportunities at the challengers and ATP level, there will hopefully be a better financial and enjoyable system in place.
I think these changes will be very positive on tennis. Guys and girls who have been trying to make it on the futures tour for 5 years will not be able to do this anymore. They will either have to make it at the highest level or move on to something else. In addition, hopefully by creating a more stable financial structure will prevent players from match fixing.
As for myself, these changes will be very positive. I have continued to show that I can compete at the highest level. My current ATP ranking is 458. Come the start of 2019, my projected ranking with the new system in place is 330. My goal is to have a great last couple of tournaments and be able to compete in the Australian Open Qualifying.