Monday, January 9, 2017

Halftime Break

So it's pretty slow.  The 40s/55s season is just getting started.  Tri-level sectionals is a full month away.  Hell, it was COLD on Saturday and windy on Sunday.  Not exactly my favorite tennis weather either way.  As much as people can take a dim view of nationals on this blog, I have a feeling many of us will be watching another group of amateurs compete in the national finals tonight.

I'm a college football fan and this promises to be as good a game as last year.  At least for the state of Texas tennis, this Freeman versus...uh...well, whoever from Dallas is trying to dethrone him this year.

Yes, I do see a few similarities in the USTA tennis scene and college football.  A version of amateur athletics, lots of recruiting, a few rules violations, underperformers, overachievers, I could go on and on.  Throw in one Lane Kiffin per major market and you have plenty to keep Todd Reed fully employed. 

So, dynasty or new kids on the Power 5 block?  What's it gonna be?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Play Some Old Guy Tennis

 Image result for old guy tennis

Since there’s only one over 40 flight in 4.5, it looks like the top three teams from the flight will make the playoffs with the format being #2 versus #3 and the winner plays the top seed in the final.
There are some tough teams in 4.5 this year.  From playoffs past we see TBar/Fikes, Gleneagles/Juhn, Greenhill/Rossouw, Oak Creek/Sweeney, Brookhaven/Harllee, and JCC/Reiman.  That’s six recent playoff teams and only three can advance.  I also see a couple of dark horses who could make some noise.  It’s going to be a very interesting season to watch in 4.5 this year.  With a few of the weaker teams falling out and not fielding squads, it really puts a premium on availability and having some quality depth.  There won’t be many easy matches to play the bottom of your roster.

4.0 has two flights again with the first and second place team advancing from each flight.  Unless we change our mind, or we don’t like the weather, or whatever. 
Flight A has Brookhaven/Bartlett, Springpark/Walters, Greenhill/Ohl and Huffhines/Clark.  All of these teams could be playoff contenders.  In flight B I like Oak Creek/Ramasami, McKinney/Jacobson and Canyon Creek/Patterson.  Flight A looks to be a tad tougher but both flights will have quality teams sitting home for city playoffs.

In 55s, there are only six 9.0 teams: Brookhaven/Bartlett, Gleneagles/Juhn, Eldorado/Entrekin, TBar/Hackett, Oak Creek/Sweeney,  and John Paul II/Gradick.  A couple of these rosters don’t look full yet so we’ll keep an eye on this one.  At the 8.0 level there are several familiar names: Brookhaven/Bartlett, Greenhill/Kayser, Springpark/Blesi and Canyon Creek/Rainwater look to be the cream of the crop.  One of these teams will be on the outside looking in come playoff time.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Odds and Ends Grab Bag


Not  a whole lot going on at the moment but we can take a look in the grab bag and see what’s of interest. 

Fort Worth tri-level ended yesterday.  Normally not a big deal, although the national championship Sisk team did play out of FW last year.  Not the case this year, Sisk decided to stay in Dallas, but a couple of Dallas teams did decide to crash the party: Team Arcaria and Team Kanchi.  As some of you might remember, Arcaria took a team to tri-level nationals a few years ago and I believe finished third in an odd format they had that year.  So while his 2017 team is no killer, he does know something about how to win at tri-level. 

Not surprisingly, the two Dallas teams finished 1-2.  What was a surprise to some was that Team Arcaria beat Team Kanchi 2-1.  It couldn’t have been much closer with Team Arcaria having to win a third set tie breaker on the 4.0 line as well as a second set AND a third set tie breaker on the 3.5 line.  Clutch play by his guys and good competition all around.  Good luck at sectionals.  Hope you don’t get tired with only two 4.5s on the roster. 

The senior season is rapidly approaching.  Today is the last day to have your minimum roster filled out to reserve your slot for flight play.  4.5 currently has 12 teams and it looks like all may make.  4.0 currently has 17 teams but one has no one on it yet.  Shaping up to be a good over 40s season. 

The 55s crew has six teams at 9.0 and nine teams at 8.0 but one is currently unpopulated. 

Finally, 40s mixed has had a rumor circulating around it for a while now that the DTA may make it a one weekend tournament instead of a flight play format as in years past.  Anyone have any concrete information on this?  I don’t play mixed so I don’t care enough to ask them but it seems some inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Presentation ceremony for the fall trophy winners.

In the Red Flight of 4.5, Greenhill/Rossouw was the only undefeated team taking out Canyon Creek/McHugh and TBar/ McColpin.  In the Blue Flight, Brookhaven/ Harllee also went undefeated taking out SamGrand/Hanna and Lakes/Way.  The final was a pretty tight affair with Brookhaven taking home a 3-2 win.  Two of the lines went 9-7, which is about as close as it’s going to get playing pro sets.  I was a little curious how the Greenhill team (with 25 guys on the roster) ended up playing a 4.0 in the final though.

In the Red Flight of 4.0, McKinney/Kanchi went through the field with a 13-2 record, defeating Huffhines/Jayaram, Garland/Sisk and McKinney/Jacobson.  In the Blue Flight, there was a tie at 2-1 but Canyon Creek/Nolan edged out Brookhaven/Bartlett by one line, with Greenhill/Davalos and Oak Creek/Iyer close behind.  Every team in the Red Flight finished 8-7, 7-8 which should have given some indication that McKinney/Kanchi would take home the title, which it did with a relatively close 3-2 victory. 

The start of the old guy leagues is right around the corner.  Until then, the only thing that looks a little like Dallas tennis is the FW tri-level cities this weekend where several Dallas guys are playing.  Good luck beating up on our brothers to the west.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ratings, ratings go away, come again another day

If you play on television, you're a 7.0.  Past that you're just gonna have to wait.

As many of you are aware, the Monday after Thanksgiving is a very popular day for USTA year end ratings to come out.  While it isn’t always the case, it did seem that the USTA had initially targeted Monday (yesterday) as the target date.  I am know hearing and reading that the new target release date is this Thursday, although next week is a possibility.  Personally, I don’t care, but it does remind me of several years ago (2009?) when the USTA did its last massive reorganization bump.  For those of you who weren’t around or didn’t notice, in the 3.5/4.0/4.5 categories the bump up percentages ranged from about 38% to about 25% that year compared with a more normal range of high single digits to low double digits.   I neither seen nor heard any speculation at this point that another mass bump is coming but it does seem curious. 

As for the fall playoff predictions, ehh.

Since there was approximately zero interest in the last fall post about flight play finish and who would make the playoffs, I decided to save my energy and pass on predictions.  I’ll dutifully report the final results but past that no one seems to care.

Good luck to all the combatants this weekend.

And congrats to Murray on his world #1 ranking.