Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Years so it is that time of year again.... 40s starts...

We have 40s starting.  Mixed starts this weekend but I am not going to talk about it much.  Mixed is unnatural.  It is akin to a mule; mule is the unnatural offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.  Mixed has some jackass looking at some mare and deciding he wants to get some of that on a tennis court.  I really don't understand the love affair with mixed.  The women always complain that the man hits it at her.  The woman lobs every shot and it gets equally aggravating to the man.  With that mini-rant, I pick Alan's 7.0 and 8.0 teams to win.  From a VERY short cursory look, both teams may be able to book their trips to sectionals and might consider getting a refundable ticket to nationals.

In the real league, also known as men's 18+, I care a whole lot more, but this time of year, there are a lot of 40+ geezer and no under 40 whippersnappers who do care.  This league is actually a better league.  There are far fewer  bad players and teams.  On the other hand, there are not many self rated ringers.  I am unsure if I have ever seen a self rated ringer at 40s.  Please comment if you know one.

Flight A has Sweeney as the favorite.  It is a very similar roster to his very good team from last year that was very close to going to nationals.  I do think adding Gene Davis strengthens him considerably.  I still don't think he is any match for DeGruyff in Austin but Sweeney should know the DeGruyff can't play line 2 singles.  Also, Sweeney is friends with the Voldermort (Tom Riddle or he who shall not be named) so it is not out of the realm for him to get on his roster too.   Voldemort would get smacked around by DeGruyff too.  He has Rich and Correia that are mighty tough at line 1 doubles.

Brookhaven Goswami or T-Bar Fikes is my pick for second.  I don't think Tridib's 5.0s are as strong as Sweeney and he has some marginal 4.5s on that roster.  T-Bar has Bartzen and that is always a good start.  After that they have many good 4.5s but little depth.  I suspect they will add a few players.

With that said, it is Sweeney's to lose.

Flight B has Brookhaven/Harllee as the prohibitive favorite.  Bruno Braga is probably better than any of the 5.0s on any roster.  Maybe Voldermort will come out from behind his keyboard and play on a team at 1 singles and prove me wrong.  Mezzour is their other 5.0 and he is also very good.  I am pretty sure, Braga would lock down line 1 singles and Mezzour with a very strong 4.5 can make their line 1 doubles team also very strong.  Their are definitely options on this roster.

Second place will be a fight between JCC, Gleneagles, Oak Creek and Rossouw.  I actually have no idea.  They are all good teams but need a little more.  Oak Creek has the most depth and added recent blog sensation Patrick Teterud but he didn't win the 4.0 draw so not sure if that is the answer.  (Sorry 4.0s, I didn't go to the Cotton Bowl to watch you so I have no idea how good you are but some of those Open Players I did go to see did look pretty good).  Rossouw has depth but his 5.0s are himself and his BFF, Brandon Myers.  Nice players but I would be shocked if they had any success against playoff 5.0s.  Gleneagles has Culley for a 5.0 and Aponte.  Culley is very good but no match for DeGruyff or Braga.  I'm not terribly familiar with Aponte but his results looked solid at 4.5 but without a large bumpup, I doubt he gets moved up most years.  JCC has what looks like a few players but no depth.  Williams, Reiman and Foster are quality players but a lot of the others are 4.0 40s bump ups that got blistered last year. 

The city champs should come down to Sweeney versus Harllee.  I think Sweeney wins 3-2 and has a decent chance to go to nationals.  I really want to see Voldermort to play and take on Braga.  Yeah, I'm calling you out.  I might even take the bag off my head if you beat him.  I said might.  :)

 Flight appears to go to Fretz/Clark.  He looks to have taken last year's High Point 2014 leftovers and added some upgrades.  Tony Le and Ryan Delapaz really struggled in 2014 and if they can get their form back, that is a very strong doubles line.  Doug Voss struggled in 2014 but got his form back to win the 4.0 Cotton Bowl.  I would assume his main squeeze Tim Newman (another 2014 struggler) will join.  Most of the rest I really don't know or they just aren't top talent. Of course, if you don't know them, they are oftentimes better than those you do know.  From what I see, I don't see much in the line of singles that wows me but then again, I don't most on the roster.

Runnerup will be between Greenhill/Kayser and, McKinney/Peterson-Frick.  Neither appears to have much in the line of singles.  I like Kayser because last year his team made it to sectionals Sunday and looks mostly intact.  He can challenge Clark.  Peterson-Frick has little depth but things can change.

Flight B appears to not have anybody very good.  Canyon Creek was devastated by the mass bump but may still win this flight.  Greenhill/Ohl is pretty good but not great.  Springpark is who I pick.  There isn't much to say about this flight as it is a whole lot of ho-hum.

In the end, Fretz wins this and will be going to sectionals.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cotton Bowl Is Coming

For any of you who have never gone out to watch any of the Open draw, there is some high level tennis going on.  In years past the Open draws have been well represented by members of the UT, SMU, TCU, Baylor and LSU tennis teams, most sporting their school uniforms or colors so they are easy to spot.  At the same time, the Brookhaven pros have done well too.  It’s always fun to watch these huge hitting college kids play a few of the cagey veterans.  UT has been doing well in recent years, but this year a TCU player is the #1 seed on the men’s singles side and, coupled with an OSU player who is seeded #2 in singles, form the #1 seed in doubles.  I recommend going out and watching some early matchups if you have the time.  You’ll even see some of Dallas’ 4.5/5.0 teams giving it a go in Open doubles.  Always interesting to see how they hold up.

My 4.5 boys are showing up for the CB with a nice size singles draw.  I'll be curious to see how the seeds make out.  In the ‘I wonder how these matchups were drawn out the hat’ category, I would only note that Durten and Reiman as the #3 seeds play Kelly and Adcock in the first round. 

And don’t turn up your nose at mixed until you check out some of these girls in Open or 4.5 mixed.  I wouldn’t want to have to play them.

All in all, the CB is well run and well attended.  For you tennis junkies who have a little free time during the holidays I recommend a stop by early when you can get an up close and personal look at some of these players in the barn before they move them indoors where visibility is limited.

Monday, December 15, 2014

40s Rosters are now past due...

The rosters were due and if you didn't have 8 by last Friday, the DTA said you would be cut and no refunds.  Well, we are past Friday and there are a number of rosters without 8 players.

In 4.5, the best rosters are Rossouw and Sweeney followed by Brookhaven.  Sweeney has Travis Rich at 5.0 and Rossouw has himself and Brandon Myers.  Sweeney can still add another and I suspect Rich and 5.0 TBD will be better.  No knock on Marc and Brandon but they are not at the level of Rich.  Add Gene Davis to the roster who is a 5.0 with a 4.5 rating and you have to like this team.  It is early and rosters can change.

In 4.0, Fretz/Clark is probably the best roster.  They look to have a lot of bumpdowns.  Canyon Creek appears to have taken a step back.  The McKinney/Peterson-Frick team has the same guys who haven't been able to get it done the last few years.

In 3.5. I don't know anything.  All I notice is there aren't many teams.

One thing of note, Austin got to play with mid-season ratings.  Therefore, they don't have to deal with the large number of bump ups.  This puts Austin at a decided advantage.  I was told by a friend of a friend of a friend... that the reason we went to year end ratings is because Austin said there would be no more mid-season leagues without showing good cause...  Hmmm...  In the end, this is probably for naught as Austin should be loaded at 40s and this is playing for second place.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Old Guy Roster Sign Up Is NOW

Year end ratings are done so that means it’s time to start thinking about getting the old guys out to play.  I believe you have until December 15 to have a minimum roster so get busy.

Here's hoping everyone has a nice holiday season before we all get started again.

Nothing says intimidation more at 4.5 playoffs than rolling onto the court with your cashmere Burberry overcoat, white patent leather dress shoes, and a wooden racquet.  Yeah, I can still beat you like this.  Note the guy on the left only has one racquet.  He’s not worried at all.

The 4.0s have the general idea.  If you want to be able to play up, first you have to be able to dress the part.

And in the spirit of more coverage of 3.5, these fine fellows were happy to pose for a picture in between sets.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Year End Ratings are Out

The Year End Ratings are out.  From an initial look,it appears there has been a pretty good effort to move people up.  It doesn't look quite like 2009 but it does appear to have a general move in that direction.  Actually, 4.5 may have as many teams as 4.0 next year.  The lower levels have been decimated.  5.0 may eventually go to 5 lines at this rate.

Looks like he that shall not be named, remains at 4.5.  CoreDawg5.0 gets to change his e-mail to CoreDawg4.5.  Kiron is back to 5.0 along with Rossouw and Brandon Myers making their 5.0 debut.  Looks like AlanA is a 4.0.  That should help his mixed results... as if it needs any help.    Clint Sumrow is back to 4.5.  4.5 should be the most fun level to watch again.

I have to feel for those 40s captains.  Today is the first day you find out who is available and I bet more than a few are at levels they didn't expect.  The DTA has to go back to mid-season ratings on that league.  This is asking too much for someone to field a team in a little over a week.  I know the DTA reads this blog so please explain this; there is no rational rationale.

Get those appeals fingers ready.

Year End Dallas Ratings

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thanksgiving Cheer

It’s time for Thanksgiving, that time of year;
We meet with friends and begin holiday cheer

As tennis goes, it is time for our break;
To see what year end rankings have at stake

Who gets benchmarked, and who appeals?
And then the plotting for next year rosters reveal

Did the fall match tankings really pay off?
Or will Todd Reed have final say, and just jerk us all off?

If the Fall gives us hints of what is about to appear;
The  Spring line ups that which players start to revere

Will Sisk and Le still be playing on one team?
Who’ll be on the roster to keep those two clean?

If tri-level gives me any indication;
Will Kingsley get bumped down  and start giving dictation?

Whatever collaboration that have up their mind;
My nod goes to them to leave all others  behind.

With Ryan and Shawn back down to 4.0;
And Clarks’s roster of players, they make it a go

If these 3 captains really pull it together;
Freeman in Houston will be calling Pete Delkus bout the weather

But that’s just 4.0, we have 4 other levels;
What else is in store and what else will be settled?

Starting as 3.0 is as low as I go;
And Bender is back to win, place, and show.

With Bender gone, 3.5 is fair game;
A chance for the country clubbers to make their own claim?  

Will it be CC ?  They’ve been there before;
But McKinney and Stonebridge will be knocking on their door

As for 4.5, its been Russo making the press;
Taking the fall with ease and less stress

A Red and Blue team he gave us this Fall;
Just needing a White team to make Pats of us all

But Reiman and Nancy still haven’t lost sight;
And are surely to be Spring’s Nemesis to fight

As for 5.0, the real clubs start to appear;
The Village and T-Bar are the ones to fear

 Shit, T-Bar don’t even botha with 3.5 or 4.0;
Cuzz they know at 5.0 they have win, place or show.

Yeah, I know, I used the same rhyme twice;
Just getting drunk on wine and old pumpkin spice

So enough of my drinking and poetry in flight;
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night.


Monday, November 24, 2014

And The Winners Are - Anyone That Got To Play

I didn’t make it out for any of the playoffs this weekend.  Ran out of time and after I found out about half the people I know weren’t playing after all I just lost interest.  But it does leave me in a less informed position about what really happened.  I followed some of the back and forth on the blog and several people did a very nice job of summarizing the key issues.   I didn’t see anything that might have been a DTA explanation of their decision making process and am curious whether any of the playoff captains got an explanation while they were on site.
In 5.0 I don’t know who the winner was because all matches were evidently cancelled.
Of the results that are posted, in 4.5 it only shows that two matches were played.  Rossouw Red beat JCC and JCC beat Rossouw Blue.  Congrats to Marc for a very dominant fall season and a convincing 4-1 win over JCC.  You go through flight play and the playoffs with an undefeated season and a 40-5 line record and I don’t think there’s any arguing with this winner.  Just can’t see the second place teams changing the outcome any here.

For 4.0, it looked like Corey’s boys ran roughshod over the fall playoffs.  And they were the second place team in their flight until a last week GTC loss when GTC emptied their bench.  With a 9-1 record heading into the last match, Corey’s squad closed it out with a 3-2 win that was closer to being a sweep than being a loss.  Congrats to Corey for what he claims is his first city championship.  In this case, I think the second place teams could have made an impact.  I suppose I would think that since I picked GTC to win it all.

In 3.5, Canyon Creek/Gable won.  I don’t really know if the second place teams would have impacted this level or not.  This level only ended up with two teams and one match.

So congrats to the winners.  I’m not really sure what to say about the rest of the weekend.  Last year there were weather issues as well.  A winter storm blew in on Friday.  A few matches were played Friday night but it was all resolved by completing the ladies playoffs on the scheduled weekend and then moving the men’s playoffs back three weeks.  All matches were played, winners were crowned, everyone got their turn on the court.  Not really sure why that wouldn’t have worked this year but maybe one of our contributors will have more insight into this.
Any more insights from someone that was there?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Playoff Predictions


4.5 Playoffs – flight 1
Greenhill Red/Rossouw: 8-0 and 36-4; JCC/Reiman: 6-1 and 29-6; Brookhaven/Harlee: 6-1 and 25-10

4.5 Playoffs – flight 2
Greenhill Blue/Rossouw: 7-0 and 26-9; Lakes/Way: 7-1 and 31-9; Village/Warren: 6-2 and 23-12

Would it be too much to ask for a Rossouw versus Rossouw final?  His Red team was pretty impressive with the way they handled their flight play business.  There are two problems with predicting fall playoff matchups – (1) the deep rosters and (2) it’s the fall so I’d guess the playing time will be spread a little more evenly, leaving teams more vulnerable than they might be otherwise.  All that being said, I’ll give the nod to the Red squad but at least half these teams have the ability to win it all.

4.0 Playoffs – flight 1
Huffines/Ratcliffe: 8-0 and 29-11; Garland1/Sisk: 7-1 and 29-11; Huffines/McIntosh: 7-1 and 28-12; Eldorado/Browning: 7-2 and 27-18

4.0 Playoffs – flight 2
McKinney/Parrish: 8-1 and 32-13; Fretz/Noel: 7-1 and 30-11; McKinney/Peterson: 6-2 and 29-11; Fretz/Jayaram: 6-2 and 29-11

GTC/Sisk dropped their last match after the playoff spot was sewn up.  Without that loss they would have been the #1 overall seed.  If Big John doesn’t decide to play his scrubs, I like them to win this flight.  I’ll even take them to win it all.  I’d say Huffines to finish second but that’s too easy. 

Oh, Corey.  This team is a tease.  You’ve got a nice top 6 or 7 but if one or two guys aren’t available you drop off pretty quickly.  McKinney/Peterson has the other problem.  A long, deep roster of #2 and #3 lines that have been oh so close before but not quite gotten over the hump.  McKinney/Parrish came out of a tough flight but getting beat so easily by CC scares me a little.  I’ll take Corey’s group and hope all his guys show up.

3.5 Playoffs - I have no predictions on the 3.5s because I don’t know any of these players.  As always, your guess is as good as mine.


Monday, November 10, 2014

And The Results Are Now In

The results are finally posted and the fall playoffs are now shaping up.  Here’s what it looks like at this point.  Fall playoff predictions will be coming after a little analysis.  Should be some good matchups.  Initial thoughts - I like Rossouw at 4.5, mostly because there are better odds picking the guy who has two teams in the playoffs.  At 4.0 I like Sisk and Noel, even though they were in the same flight.  At 3.5 I like Gardner, because he's the only one I've heard of.  Just like all local elections, name recognition can take you a long way with uninformed voters.  I also reserve the right to change my votes after I've had a chance to look this all over.

4.5 Playoffs – flight 1
Greenhill Red/Rossouw: 8-0 and 36-4
JCC/Reiman: 6-1 and 29-6
Brookhaven/Harlee: 6-1 and 25-10

4.5 Playoffs – flight 2
Greenhill Blue/Rossouw: 7-0 and 26-9
Lakes/Way: 7-1 and 31-9
Village/Warren: 6-2 and 23-12

4.0 Playoffs – flight 1
Huffines/Ratcliffe: 8-0 and 29-11
Garland1/Sisk: 7-1 and 29-11
Huffines/McIntosh: 7-1 and 28-12
Fretz/Jayaram: 6-2 and 29-11 (last on sets lost)

4.0 Playoffs – flight 2
McKinney/Parrish: 8-1 and 32-13
Fretz/Noel: 7-1 and 30-11
Eldorado/Browning: 7-2 and 27-18
McKinney/Peterson: 6-2 and 29-11

3.5 Playoffs
Canyon Creek/Gable: 7-0 and 23-12
High Point/Gardner: 7-1 and 30-10     
McKinney/Jones: 6-1 and 26-9
LB Houston/Tinner: 6-2 and 26-14     


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

‘Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vivi’ – V for Vendetta

A little dramatic if I do say so myself.  And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t actually on the fifth of November that all this started, but close enough.  It all started when someone tried to change the rules retroactively.  Some of you may recall the introduction of Murray Langston to the blog with his inaugural post of Lord of The Ratings – The Return of The Kelly.  That first post wasn’t inspired by a relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named, nor did it have anything to do with necessarily taking a side.  The issue was the memorable attempted coup of the NTRP system.  Regardless of whether the intentions were right or wrong, or whether the merits were right or wrong for that matter, it was just a reaction to an attempt to retroactively change the rules.

The DTA, USTA Texas and USTA National are making new rules every day and most of them are fine.  The biggest issue I see is when they try to address a unique issue with a rule that they didn’t fully understand.  And they don’t realize what the full effects will be.  Take last year’s move up/split up rule.  Worked for the one situation they were trying to address but had an adverse impact on a lot more situations that weren’t accounted for.  They had to immediately change it the very next season.  No one is immune to the issue. 

Another big idea in Texas is weighted lines.  You may remember the survey that came out from USTA on the issue.  USTA Texas thinks weighting lines will somehow provide a speed bump that will slow down the traditional power teams in Texas.  They’ve already implemented this in Houston’s fall play going on right now.  Maybe I don’t get it, but if I have the best team I probably have the best singles player – and maybe the best doubles team too – how would this slow me down?  Looks to me like this will just make it easier for the best teams to dominate.

I’ve also been curious about the level of disclosure we get.  There seems to be a fear of giving people too much of a straight answer.  With tri-level having recently finished in Dallas, here’s a question.  Do you know whether tri-level results counted in your rating?  They’re pretty clear that low tri didn’t count, but do you really know whether high tri did or not?  I don’t care if it counts or not but why is this is a secret?

It would seem pretty straight forward – change the rules when you need to; do it publicly; don’t make them retroactive.   

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekly Update and Nationals Wrap

Not a lot to report in 4.5 this week but the calendar is getting closer to some interesting matchups.  There’s just not a lot to report in 4.5 at all this fall because thus far the flights have pretty much gone to form.
Flight A has Rossouw and Way in the driver’s seat.  Both are undefeated, everyone else has at least two losses, and except for playing each other at season end the both have easy finishing schedules.
Flight B also has Rossouw on top and Harlee in second as soon as he finishes his match with Stonebridge.  The Rossouw/Harlee match was a 3-2 final with Rossouw’s bunch winning two of two third set tie breakers, so a tight finish between these two.
Flight C is a bit more interesting with every team having already taken at least one loss.  Reiman leads the pack with one loss but has two loss Bogle to finish.  Warren’s crew has clawed their way back into a likely second place finish.  They have two losses but they are done.  Bogle owns the head-to-head tie breaker over Warren so it will all come down to the Reiman match for a playoff birth.

In 4.0, things are starting to shake out a bit. 
Flight A is a three horse race between Parrish, McHugh and Browning.  Parrish has three matches left with two solid teams down the stretch.  Eldorado has the most favorable finishing schedule of the three.  I still think McHugh has the best team and if the fall played out third sets instead of having tie breakers they’d be in the lead.  As it is, they finish with two good teams and could be on the outside looking in if they aren’t careful.
Flight B has Sisk with a resurgence of sorts.  Powered by some of his 4.5 bump downs they are undefeated.  Bartlett and Noel are both tied at one loss and they square off next weekend.  The winner should be in the playoffs.
Flight C should be done.  Ratcliffe has no losses with only one match left.  Peterson has one loss with two left but everyone else already has three losses.  These two are in unless Peterson forgets to show up the next two weeks.
Flight D, well, what to say.  Jayaram and McIntosh are in the lead with one loss each but they play each other next week so one of them will be log jammed in the two loss category soon.  Meyers, Reifsnyder and Jenison are still in the hunt with two losses.  I’m not sure any of these teams make the playoffs in another flight.

18s Nationals Wrap Up – and the winners were? 

5.5/Open had the team from Austin winning it all over Northern California.  I’ve never seen so many 7s on a roster as some of these Open teams had.  Austin went 12-3 for the weekend against some pretty stiff competition.

In my favorite result, 5.0 had Southern beating Southern in the final with Northern and Intermountain both making the semis.  I’ve heard the ALTA league in Atlanta has some unbelievable high end talent but, needless to say, the boys in the Southern section seems to know how to play high end tennis.

In 4.5, Pacific Northwest took a tight win over Southern, with the boys from Amarillo and Caribbean both in the semis.  For those of you who wondered how Logan Powell would fair at nationals, he did quite well.  He went 6-0 in singles and all four sets on Sunday were 6-1.

At 4.0, Mr. Freeman was oh so close to that elusive national title, dropping a close final to Southern California.  It’s an impressive effort for any team to make it that far and they did it short handed in singles.  Florida and Middle States were both in the semis.

At the recently completed 3.5 event, it was Northern California over Caribbean, with Pacific Northwest and Southern California in the semis.  At 3.0 it was Texas over Northern California, with Pacific Northwest and Eastern in the semis.  And at 2.5, yes they have this, it was Pacific Northwest over Northern California, with Florida and Eastern in the semis.

From 5.0 to 2.5, with 4 points for a win, 3 for a second and 2 for a semi, the BIGGEST CHEATER AWARD goes to - PACIFIC NORTHWEST with a total of 12 points.

Southern and Northern California tied for second with 10 points.  Texas just missed the medal stand with 9 points.  Southern California had 6 points and Caribbean had 5 points.  Tied at 4 points each were Florida and Eastern.  Honorable mention with 2 points each were Northern, Intermountain and Middle States.