USTA considers switch to clay-court training facility

6/2/2006 - Tennis

U.S. Tennis Association president Franklin Johnson was asked Friday whether he's concerned about the country's performance at the French Open, with one U.S. man and two American women in the third round.

"I'm not unduly alarmed," Johnson said. In the next breath, though, he noted that the USTA is close to switching its Florida training center from Key Biscayne to a facility with more clay courts, Chris Evert's Academy in Boca Raton.

"It may be a little premature, because we haven't firmed it up yet, but we're contemplating a move of our center in Florida," Johnson said. "If we do a deal with the Evert Academy, most of their courts are clay, so at our training center most of the training would be on clay."

Another advantage of the Evert Academy is that it would allow the USTA to offer year-round housing for top prospects, Johnson said.