Wednesday, August 30, 2017


It's hard to imagine, but 10 years ago today, August 31, 2007, the Dallas Tennis Blog was formed.  Founded by Carey Bazan, aka "Lucky Thunder", an idea was put into action and became life.  His inspiration came from the Houston tennis blog, but has long survived, seeing that the last post in Houston was back in August 2014.  Thanks to Murray, we still have a heart beat. 

Not much has changed over the decade.  Houston was still the talk of beating out Dallas in Sectionals, and a man name Bender was winning National titles.  While some of the players have changed, the topics have remained the same.  Complaints of tanking, playing out of level, year end ratings, Tri-level, Combo, etc. was just as alive back then as it is now.  (No- I didn't forget mixed.  It just wasn't much of a topic until we entered a narcissistic society.)

To celebrate, I thought it would be appropriate to recognize the contributors, and then provide you with some of my favorite blog posts over the past 10 years.  You can click on the Blog Archives to revisit if you so wish.

Recognition to past contributors:

Cary Bazan aka Lucky Thunder  Carey Bazan aka Lucky Thunder (Founding Father)

     Corey Noel (CoreDawg aka Nancy)

     Marc Klamecki

              Mark Roussouw


      Captain Fantastic

Murray Langston    Murray Langston


10)  Monday, July 20, 2009  3.5 City Wrap Up  - It was the beginning of using pictures in the blog post and was aimed at me, spawning me to begin anonymously blogging as Captain Fantastic.

9)  Monday, December 1, 2008  Year End Ratings About To Drop - Coming at the top with number of comments - 357.  Yes the blog was alive and well back then.  Complaints about getting Benchmark rankings.

8)  Sunday, May 23, 2010  Working the System   - Roussouw submits his Jerry McGuire essay.  Unfortunately, Klamecki switched to Subscribe, and when he switched back, all comments were lost.  I would have loved to have read those.

7)  Wednesday, February 19, 2014  THE LORD OF THE RATINGS – THE RETURN OF THE KELLY CASTING CALL FOR DTA PRODUCTIONS  -  Not because this was about Kelly, but because it was the birth of Murray Langston and him graciously taking over the blog.

6)  Unfortunately, it was another post with suppressed comments, but miraculously, when year end ratings come out, the system is overloaded and locks up, and Bob Somabut gets 10 of his players that were bumped up and benchmarked, appealed back down a level.  And Kelly thinks he is special.

Since I can't find the link, I regress with one of my drunken Christmas poems:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - Twas the Night before Christmas

5)  Saturday, October 8, 2011 - Good Readings for the Fall - I truly think this is good advice, and if more adhered to my suggestions, there would be less complaining about the tanking.

4) Monday, October 14, 2013 - Dallas 3.5s Bring home 1st 40 and Over National Title

Just because

3)  Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - Team Arcaria Finishes 2nd at Tri-Level Nationals - A personal knock on me and had me reveal my identity.  Looking back, outside of the jealous tone, it is kind of funny, especially having my face superimposed in all of those historic pictures.  I hold no grudges and see Klamecki each year at the Bent Tree Indoor Classic.

2)  Sunday, July 18, 2010 - Star Wars 7 - Decimation of the Sith (aka GTC) - What can I say.  It was an epic time, and an epic post.


1)  Sunday, August 5, 2012 - Hitler Plays USTA league tennis in Dallas - Not sure who produced this, but did create the rave in Dallas.

I am sure there are several other posts that could have been listed, especially some of Murray's recent writings, or the show-down between Gerber and Bazan.  However, I haven't had the time to stay up-to-date on things or go back and read them all.  These were just some that stuck in my mind.   I hope you enjoy!

Thanks Carey --- to 10 more years?!!


Friday, August 18, 2017

The Bell Curve... Dallas Rules the tails of the curve! Houston rules middle of the curve. :(

Sectionals is over and it was a definitely story of Dallas, Houston and the Little Dwarf cities.  As or commenters noticed, Dallas won 40% of the sectionals events.  In itself, that is a remarkable number.  On the flip side, a comment was made Houston won 60%.  That left exactly 0% for the est of the state.  San, Antonio, Austin, West Dallas (aka Ft. Worth) and all the irrelevant cities were shutout.

5.0+--At 5.0, Lakes-Jannasch brought home the sectionals trophy.  I cannot say I am shocked as I think this is the best 5.0 Dallas team I can recall.  Jeff deserves a great amount of credit as this team is loaded top to bottom.  The only thing surprising me was they actually had 3 matches go to 2-1.  This team is good and I think they have a serious chance at gong deep at nationals.  This team is better than the one Oscar finished as runnerup a few years ago.  Jeff is a good guy and I wish them success.  This is the one nationals I will follow as this team has a chance to impress the nation and make Dallas proud!

4.5--Freeman and his Houston forces... well Vidi, Vici, Vini..  They came, they saw and they conquered.  I saw a little of this and the kid playing singles out of Houston was... out of level.  I will leave it at that.  Dallas made the semis but outmatched by a good San Antonio team.  The score says 3-2 but two matches were abandoned when San Antonio got three lines.  It is a good run for a relatively new captain in Jorge Aguilar.  If he keeps his core together and adds a couple of pieces, this team could be really special next year.  I will root for Texas as they do have Jean on the Houston team.

4.0--Wild Houston wins this one.  They beat Freeman's forces in the semi finals here.  I actually thought the Kanchi team would do damage but I guess you have to get to sectionals to actually win sectionals.  Garland/Russell gave Wild Houston everything they could handle but losing  close 3-2 while missing their best singles guy on Friday.  I have to wonder if things are different if this match is played on Saturday.  I will once again root for Texas...  I guess it isn't Freeman.

3.5--Deja Vu from 4.5.  Freeman and his Houston forces came and won again.  I could pretty much copy and paste the 4.5 commentary except Houston beat Dallas in a close semi-final match.  It looks like Dallas needed to sweep doubles as they were all very close but that is asking a lot.

3.0--What would a year look like if a Bender team did not win a sectionals title?  I am sure it happened in Far Far Away Land a Long Long Time Ago.  Bender wins again while playing in a single flight and dropping the first match to comeback and win.  Let this be a lesson to those captains that just tank after they lose... ahem, West Dallas captain.

In the end, it is always fun.  Dallas won the two extremes of the bell curve and Houston won the working man's part of the curve.  The rest of the state is just playing to go to Dallas and be fodder in the heat.  Regardless, I still think 40% of the events is impressive.

Combo starts and I guess Sisk and Kanchi have the best teams.  I am picking Sisk as I will not pick Kanchi again until he shows me his teams actually win even when they have the best roster.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

City PlayOffs... The Fellowship of the Crystal Tennis Ball

It is finally time for annual heat stroke inducing Dallas City Playoffs.  With all of the comments preoccupied with Mixed, I decided it is time to take a break and get to an important event.  Since I am short on time, let me get started.

5.0--  We have the division I am most optimistic about advancing to Nationals and winning.  This is one of those play-in tournament events. 

2 v 3 Match--We have Cooper Fitness/Vahdat-Noel versus the 5.0 ever present Perkison (formerly Village and now Springpark).  This looks to be a tight match.  Cooper has current Louisville player Parker Wynn and a lot of players I don't know.  I am guessing they are really good.  Cooper won the head to head 2-1 in the first week  Perkison has Loren Collins and longtime 5.0s with other players I don't know.  I will take Cooper in a 2-1 but I expect a dog fight. 

In the Winner to Sectionals match, it will be the Cooper/Springpark winner versus Lakes/Jannasch.  The Lakes have a tremendous team.  They only dropped one line all year.  Lakes has a lot of options and the beat Cooper 3-0 without dropping a set.  They beat Springpark 3-0 but former Baylor player Zoltan Papp did take 3 sets to beat Kyle Davidson.

In the end, I take the Lakes to win this and go on to win sectionals.  These are three really great teams.  I don't see a wildcard in their future but any of these teams would represent Dallas well.

4.5-- Greenhill/Rossouw-- We start withe the ever present City Playoff participant and QT winner Greenhill/Rossouw.  Normally, I don't think too hghly of QT winners but this team is pretty good and like all Rossouw teams...  very deep.  This is a deep, experienced and talented team.  He has several marginal 4.5 playoff players but he does have some top in 4.5s as well.  Marc's top players are very formidable.  I think this QT champ is in the mix.

Brookhaven/Bartlett--This is a name I don't generally associate with 4.5 City Playoffs but it is another large deep roster.  I don't think they have the top end players of some of the other rosters.  They will do well but I think they are probably safe from the August Sectionals heat.

Brookhaven/Harlee-- This is a name I do typically associate with 4.5 City Playoffs.  Like the other BH team, it has really good players but he appears to be lacking those  next level ringers that could be playing in 5.0 and competing.  They will be in the mix but I am not sold.

JCC/Reiman-- This is another frequent attendee at this event.  Thye have top talent like Clint Sumrow and they will be a tough out.  I expect them to have a good chance to win this event.

Sprinkpark/Aguilar-- These are the new kids on the block and the surprising number 1 seed.  They are clearly a very good team.  I am curious to see how they stand up in the post season.

In the end, I will take JCC and Springpark with JCC wnning a close 3-2.  Springpark will be hoping for a wildcard but 4.5 is so iffy about wildcards.

I will be back tomorrow to ponder 4.0!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

QT Time... It is the Weekend for the Worst fo the Best...

It is that time of year when we have a mini tournament for the teams that didn't win and give a mulligan.  I'm not entirely opposed to this participation event because the DTA has a pretty long track record of putting the best teams in the same flight. 


We have a four team playoff.

Life Time Fitness/Arcaria: This is a good team that probably had no playoff aspirations in March but Arcaria had some players and added some.  Beavers, Takashi and Jean Nguyen are all very good 4.5s.  He has some new names and they look pretty solid too.  This is a good team.

Greenhill/Rossouw-Myers:  I knew Marc and Brandon were BFFs but I had know idea they merged and even took each other's last name.  In all seriousness, this roster suffers from a serious void of depth.  It is concerning in the heat to have only 28 players on the roster.  He does have some really good players with Cash, Bell, Lafavre and others.  He just needs to be sure and play his best players and not spread the playing time.  Marc has always been good to his players and got his extras playing time so that is a little concern.

Gleneagles/Juhn:  This is a team that is surprising to see in the post season.  When I look at the roster, I see a pretty good and not great 4.0 team.  I am pretty sure they can keep the next weekend open.

Oak Creek/Sangren:  This is a strange team.  They definitely would be a force in 55s.  They have some younger guys that I do not know but it is a god team.  I think they will need to overachieve to see city playoffs.

In the end, it should be between Lifetime and Greenhill.  If this were 18th century warfare, Greenhill would overwhelm with numbers.  Since 8 can play and you only need three lines, I will take Lifetime Fitness in a close 3-2.

We have two three team flights.  We even have some new party crashers that really aren't familiar with playoffs in Royal Oaks, Lakes and Canyon Creek.  Congratulations to the new kids on the block.

Flight A
Brookhaven/Bartlett:  Bartlett has a bunch of guys that have a lot of QT experience.  This looks like the same guys at the club I have been seeing at Brookhaven for a long time and really don't get to 4.5 so they are a solid group.

Lakes/Reifsnyder:  This is one of the new guns.  I'd like to say I see some potential ringers but I do not.  they look pretty average top to bottom.  I don't see enough to take down Brookhaven Brad and the Bartletts.

Royal Oaks/Templeton:  Everything I just said about Lakes is rinse, wash and repeat.  They are basically the same guys with different names.

Winner of Flight A:  This should be a walk for Brookhaven.  The only caveat is the same as others...  you must play your best.  This is not the time for equitable tennis time.

Flight B:  This is easily the more difficult flight.  All three teams in this flight are capable of winning flight A.  Put Greenhill/Canyon Creek/Brookhaven in a flight and it could go any direction.

Canyon Creek/Patterson:  This team has quite a few players that have been around for quite awhile.  If they play their cards right, they can get three lines against anyone in the flight.

Greenhill/Ohl: This is pretty much the same as Canyon Creek.  They will need to play their lines right.

Garland/Kanchi:  This is the team I expect to win city playoffs and do damage at sectionals.  The only surprise is they are in QT.  He has 23 on his roster and if Kanchi learned from his mistakes of the past and actually play his best, he wins this flight, QT, city playoffs and maybe sectionals.

As I read this, there is a recurring theme on these captains... if they will just play their best players.  I have always wondered why so many captains do not play their best and get bitten as a result. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

4.5 and 4.0 Turn the Corner For the Final Push to the Finish Line

4.5 Flight A - in a double round robin format, Brookhaven/Harllee has moved clear of the field sitting at 7-1.  Everyone else in this flight has at least four losses already.  McKinney/Rodriguez, Seay/Hall nad Gleneagles/Juhn are all tied in the four loss column.  McKinney still has to play Brookhaven, and Seay and Gleneagles have another match against each other.  Advantage to the winner of the Seay/Gleneagles match.

4.5 Flight B - continuing the trend in 4.5, Springpark/Aguilar has walked off with this flight as well sitting undefeated at 8-0.  They've had several 3-2 wins but they still keep winning.  They face second place Greenhill/Rossouw in the final match but already have this flight locked up.  Greenhill sits tied with Oak Creek/Martin at the three losses.  Oak Creek has the easier finish so they should edge Greenhill out for second.

4.5 Flight C - in a continuing good year for Bartlett, his Brookhaven team sits atop this flight at 7-1.  Oak Creek/Sangren and Springpark/Khaing are tied for second with three losses.  At first glance it looks like Brookhaven has this flight in hand since there are only two matches left.  Hold on a minute, those matches are against Oak Creek and Springpark.  This one is much more up in the air than it looks.  For Brookhaven, its two to make one.  One win down the stretch will seal the deal.  Oak Creek sits clear in second based on lines but they finish with Brookhaven and Las Colinas/Arnold, both of whom already beat Oak Creek. 

4.5 Flight D - back to the earlier theme, JCC/Reiman is undefeated and has a two match lead on second place Lakes/Way.  While JCC and Lakes still have to play, JCC need only beat last place Greenhill this weekend to lock up first before the final match.  Third place Lifetime/Arcaria still has a path to slip into second.  Lakes finishes with first place JCC and third place Lifetime, so two losses to close the season are not out of the question.  A Lifetime win over Lakes and SamGrand would then slide Lifetime into second.  Much will depend on how seriously JCC takes its final match against Lakes after they've already wrapped up the flight.  If JCC empties the bench, Lakes could catch a break.


4.0 Flight A - this flight looks like its neck and neck at first glance with three teams tied in the one loss column, but upon further inspection I'd say Oak Creek/Iyer has this flight locked up.  Garland/Kanchi has the schedule to slip into second but with the fall wild card they may choose not to.  Royal Oaks/Templeton and TBar/Snow match to close out the season could weigh heavily on the playoff race.

4.0 Flight B - Huffhines/Ratcliffe has this flight all but wrapped up with one match remaining and sitting as the only one loss team.  Canyon Creek/Patterson and High Point/Somabut sit tied for second with identical 6-2, 28-12 records but CC has the head to head tie breaker.  CC has a walkover final match so they should be hard to catch for second.

4.0 Flight C - this flight has our first 4.0 undefeated team with Garland/Russell sitting at 7-0 with only a straggler left.  Garland has been squeaking by with a lot of 3-2 wins so we'll have to see how that holds up.  Brookhaven/Bartlett and Greenhill/Ohl are tied in the one loss column but they finish the season playing each other so second place should be decided on the court this weekend.

4.0 Flight D - the final undefeated team in 4.0 is Eldorado/Browning.  They have slowly distanced themselves from the field, now sitting with a two match lead with only one left to play.  A full four teams sit tied in the two loss column so this flight is going to be a photo finish.  Lakes/Reifsnyder has a commanding line lead on the rest but they close against first place Eldorado so that could be the end for Lakes.  Oasis/Smith and LB Houston/Trentino still play each other so that's an elimination match.  And the last two loss team, Chandlers Landing/McLemore still has to play LBH.