Friday, January 29, 2010

Well Travelled - Sean Berman Now Becomes an Aussie

Today Sean Berman plays his Semi final of the Australian Junior Champs at Melbourne Park.Now if you have been following Bermans Path his Nationality Status would be very confusing, Sean was born in South Africa just before the Berman’s moved to New Zealand. When Sean was 12, the family then relocated to Los Angeles to further Sean’s tennis education. That remained their home until a few months ago, when they settled in Melbourne.Berman played for New Zealand in some 12 and under test matches(against Australia) both in New Zealand and Australia.In fact Berman this time last year was back in New Zealand playing Itf juniors where he had mixed success winning Christchurch but being bundled out in the Auckland event by local Jamie ECCLETON in the round of 16. Berman speaks on his recent move “I spent some time in America, playing and travelling and training. But now I’m here in Australia and playing for Australia,” Sean said in a post-match interview.

Asked how he thinks the move to Australia will improve his game, he replied, “Tennis Australia has some unbelievably good tennis coaches with extremely good knowledge. I think what they’ve got to offer me will be very beneficial to my game, and I think it can really work out.”

Sean has been representing Australia at the Australian Open 2010 in both the main draw qualifying rounds and the junior boys’ singles competition.

Monitoring the Zoo Tennis Web Site some of the comments left there have been stinging,mainly not of Berman but the USTA for taking him under their wing and by reports neglecting their own junior players. Below are a couple and you can read the rest here at this link

Waste of Time... said...
it is amazing how much attention is on sean berman only because he won a few matches at the weakest junior grand slam. That is not success. There are so many junior players that are not there. Australia can have sean berman.

He will have a decent itf ranking now because of this tournament but the itf rankings are a joke anyway. They have no reflection anymore of which juniors will make it in the pros.

Get real --can you name some other "other equally deserving Americans" that did not get help because sean berman did?

To…Will he be South African next?

Berman was not an American when he came to the USTA for help, he was shopping for the best deal and at the time his results were not that glittering. Shame on the USTA for taking the bait when there were equally or more talented US juniors who were not getting their support. As for his potential, whether his style of game translates from the juniors to the pros is a huge question mark and only time will tell. So lets not read too much into his recent success and that is not taking anything away from his run at the Aussie open. If anything Donald Young highlighted that it’s a huge leap to the pros.

The point here is USTA high performance clearly has egg on its face and well deserved. Its not "glad we spent our US dollars developing..." but what Berman begs is the question why did the USTA support a foreign junior money when there were other equally deserving Americans. What the USTA needs is TRANSPARENCY in how its allocates its high performance dollars much like some other federations, not have all decisions decided behind closed doors.

I wonder did anyone mention to Berman nothing much has changed in Australia for the past 21 years. And that readers is another story in itself.And one more thing Tennis Australia you will certainly have some interested people watching how you handle the support given to Berman. Below is a You Tube piece featuring Berman and guess who ! Rafa Nadal.

STOP PRESS Semi Final Australian Open Junior Boys Sean Berman(Aus) def Marton Fucsovics HUN (6) 7/6 6/3

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