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Taylor Townsend is 16 years old and the number one ranked female junior tennis player in the world. Townsend won the junior Australian Open singles and the junior Wimbledon doubles and she is currently dominating at the junior U.S. Open.But according to a report by Tom Perotta of the Wall Street Journal, the United States Tennis Association would rather she not be playing at the U.S. Open at all.
Why? Because the USTA says she needs to “slim down and get into better shape.”
The USTA refused to pay the young tennis star’s way to the U.S. Open so Townsend’s mother put up the money.
From the WSJ’s Tom Perotta:
“Our concern is her long-term health, number one, and her long-term development as a player,” said Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of the USTA’s player development program. “We have one goal in mind: For her to be playing in [Arthur Ashe Stadium] in the main draw and competing for major titles when it’s time. That’s how we make every decision, based on that.”
But why should the fact that Townsend isn’t super slim affect whether or not she can play in a tournament?
Former number one tennis player Mats Wilander told Perotta being a great tennis player is not about looking thin:
“You have to be fit underneath, I don’t think you necessarily have to look ripped. Smart players can get away with being a little tired.”
As for her future, McEnroe says his development team has still not cleared Townsend for play.
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