...is looking up lately, but I wonder if there's any sustainability.
We've actually had a good two years running as far as Juniors is concerned. Last year, Francis Casey Alcantara won the Australian Open boys' doubles championship (partnering with Hsieh of Chinese-Taipei) and was kicking around main draws of the Grand Slam tournaments. It wasn't all great for him - he lost in the first round of all Slams he was entered from last year, advancing only in this year's Wimbledon (then losing in the second round) - but he got enough attention to be called into the Davis Cup team. (Interestingly enough, he's not entered in this year's US Open.)
Now we've added a second juniors player in the international circuit, Jeson Patrombon. He's made it to the main draw this year for both the French Open (making it to the second round) and Wimbledon (losing in the first), and will be in MD for the US Open. He should have about one more year of kicking it on the Juniors tour, so hopefully we'll see more results from him.
Unfortunately, I don't know if they actually have adequate funding to sustain this. I suspect it's all privately funded, and it's a shame because these kids actually have great potential. I'm glad they're getting international exposure, and I'm happy they're able to compete at the Slams, but after that... it's easy to see them fizzle out and stick to Davis Cup ties, or leave tennis permanently.
I think best proof of that is how we only have three players actually playing the Men's Circuit, and they all happen to be American-born: Cecil Mamiit (#505), who actually used to play as an American and was in the Top 100 once upon a time; Treat Huey (#778), who I didn't realize qualified for the main draw in doubles for Wimbledon; and, Ruben Gonzales (#945). These three - along with Alcantara - are part of the Davis Cup team. (Which, to be fair, is currently in Group I of Asia/Oceania, though now we're facing relegation again.)
I guess I'm just hoping that our local talents will develop. I'm rooting for Patrombon to advance a little further in USO Juniors.