Re: Devin Britton
I'm really happy for him. He played hard, and even though he has been inconsistent for most of the year, he has actually played very well over the past couple of months. He hasn't lost since April 10, which is a 13 match winning streak. That's especially impressive since most of those wins came during the NCAA team and singles championships where the competition was obviously the highest. I think it is important that he was only playing #2, and his record would have been slightly worse than the 28-9 it stands at now had he played #1. However, I think it's important to note that very few college coaches of top teams would put a freshman at #1. Jonas Berg, Mississippi's #1 player, has certainly had a successful enough career and season to deserve that spot. However, Britton has obviously done about as well as he could have given the team's situation.
I think what he needs to consider is the level of competition next year (I'm assuming that he is considering staying for only one more year at most). Based on the April 28 singles rankings, which I acknowledge are not particularly reliable, 6 of the top 10 college players this year will be graduating. Devin will still have some quality players to compete against, but it won't be on a regular basis, especially compared to the pro circuit. That said, the college environment is much more supportive and less stressful than the tour. His maturity level will certainly factor into how successful he is if he turns pro, although he has shown a lot of mental strength during the past couple of weeks. However, the physical nature of his game could help him adapt to the pro tour quickly. Like Isner, he is going to be able to dictate play much better than some other recent college players who focus more on counter-punching and aggressive baseline play like Devvarman, Sweeting, and Levine.
In my opinion, I think he should go pro, although I don't think it would make a significant difference if he decided to stay for one more year. If he stays past his sophomore I can't imagine that he would face quality opponents frequently enough for it to be worth his while. To be honest, however, he has all summer long to play both junior and pro tournaments to see how well he'd do. If he doesn't show good results in Challenger and especially futures tournaments than by all means I think he should stay in college. If I were him that would be the main factor in my decision, although both he and his mother have mentioned that money is getting tight for the family. Traveling around the country all summer would certainly be expensive. The signing bonus and endorsements would obviously alleviate that issue. I think she also mentioned (after the USO juniors) that if it were up to him he would have already turned pro. This result may be enough to sway any dissenters. The Mississippi coach also mentioned that it might be a good idea to take another year to "hone his craft," although he is obviously a little biased.
This would definitely be a tough decision, but regardless of whether he decides to turn pro now or next year this result certainly bodes well for his future. I'm looking forward to following his results this summer.
Last edited by Chip_s_m; 05-26-2009 at 06:59 AM.