The USTA has a good idea: hold a national competition to select one male and one female to qualify for the US Open. The concept is exciting and has a kind of American Idol feel to it.
However the “reality” of this show is a bit harsher. Mad Max points out that charging $125.00 results in a windfall for the USTA which really does not need the money. There are also “processing fees” on top of the entry fee and you must be a USTA member, which is another $40.00 or so.
Yes there will be costs associated with holding of the tournaments but sponsors and promotional budgets should be able to cover those. The high entry fees unfortunately detract from what could be a big boost to street tennis. Not many public players will want to pony up these fees and travel costs to play in a regional tournament against former pros and ranked players.
I think they should have kept the competition to players who have never been ranked. Then we would really see who was “out there”. Now that might be an entertaining reality show!
Anyway it will be interesting to see how it all plays out…