Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall 5.0 League update

This has been my first ever foray into 5.0 tennis and I must say it has been great fun! The level of competition and play is very high and is a great opportunity to improve your skills and for the top players to stay sharp and play great tennis!

7 of the 9 teams are in the running to win the fall with just between 2 and 4 remaining! That is incredible. You can throw a blanket over the top teams.

It is good to see some of the Branch 4.5 Nationals team competing hard and many with success (Huffman, Feldman, Akhtar, Durten, Saqueton, Viktorin, Kiron, Tuttle & James)

Village 4&1 won the spring and were just a few tie-breakers from going to nationals. I found out first hand how good these guys are this past weekend. Russo and Carona are a very tough combination and Carona’s 1st serve percentage is insanely high. Walker is an athletic and big singles player with all the strokes. The rest of their squad is obviously talented and deep.

Royal Oaks 4&1 are currently 2nd in the standings with numerous 4.5s playing up. They have depth and Collins and Gonzales seem to be their standouts.

Oak Creek 4&2 similarly have a solid team but a smaller roster headlined by Russ Patrick at singles. They went to the play-offs in the spring and can’t be underestimated.

Four Seasons 4&2 have had a good fall after a shaky spring and are lead by the wiley veteran: Alex Behar.

DFW 3&2 had a shaky first few weeks but behind Justin Huffman & Jason Kern have produced some good wins in recent weeks.

Lakes 2&2 have a thin squad but if I recall won the fall last year. Not to be ignored their 2 make-up matches could get them in the thick of things

And High Point/ Feldman are 2&3 and will need to run the table to get in serious contention but certainly have the players to do so.

Unfortunately Greenhill has been hit by injuries and inexperience but are using this as a valuable learning opportunity. A little bit of bad luck also hurt as 2 of the better players invited decided not to play at all in the fall.

Finally HP/ Nguyen….. unfortunately they never signed-up to win as a team but I think that has been covered adequately elsewhere on the this blog. Kemp and Brouer are acquitting themselves respectably and using the opportunity to improve their games. Kudos to them.

Maybe if 5.0 benefitted from more exposure and additional players, then some of the top 4.5s would be happy to play there? Maybe it needs to be expanded to 5 lines? There is not much wrong with the 5.0 league but maybe a few tweeks could improve participation and reduce motivators to stay or move back to 4.5