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Oracle/ITA Announce $100,000 U.S. Tennis Grants

Oracle/ITA Announce $100,000 U.S. Tennis Grants
The BNP Paribas Open has been an exciting tournament in unusual ways. First the tournament produced "one of the toughest sections of a draw of all time" according to Andy Murray, (now dubbed the Quarter of Death), and then on Tuesday, Oracle teamed up with the ITA again and made an exciting announcement.

Oracle has created two U.S. tennis grants that will be awarded by the ITA at the BNP Paribas each year. 

The ITA will present the two, $100,000 grants to former collegiate players trying to make it on the pro tour. One female and one male player will be selected based on their sportsmanship and who show promise in transitioning from the collegiate level to the professional level.

Making the transition from college to the professional ranks is a real challenge," Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said. "we hope these awards will provide young players with support to develop their games and improve their mental and physical fitness.
This is a game-changer. Right now, the stigma is that if you go to college, you will not be successful on the professional tour. ITA and Oracle are shifting the way college tennis is viewed, and these grants will cause some players that wouldn't have considered to play at the collegiate level to go to college first.

These grants will also be extremely helpful to players whose families have given everything for a shot at the tennis dream. While $100,000 seems like it would go a long way, if you remember Noah Rubin's cost breakdown of what it takes just to break even, the numbers are astonishing. The USTA estimated in 2010 that the average cost for trying to make it on the pro tour was an immense $143,000 -- just for one year. Not taking into account the equipment and clothing costs and assuming these are sponsored. 

The investment made to get a player to the pro level is staggering and Oracle's grants will help offset expenses and give players a real chance to make it on the tour while encouraging them to play at the collegiate level first. The Oracle U.S. Tennis Awards will be chosen by a council of six, including former world No. 1 Chris Evert and ITA CEO Dr. Timothy Russell.
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