2084 – Orwell’s dark tale of a dystopian society where every thought and deed is known by the Thought Police and reflected in your rating
A harrowing tale sure to strike fear into sandbaggers, score managers and system manipulators alike. The audience for this production will be strictly limited to men’s league players who turn 18 in the calendar year of the production or older – everyone knows women, juniors and tournament guys don’t tank, right?
In this not too distant future, the tennis world has been divided into three superstates – Dallas, Houston and Austin. In Dallas, there exist three social classes – the Inner Party (country clubs), the Outer Party (friends of country club members) and the Proles (me and you). The Inner Party controls the USTA league playing population and league results in Dallas through the creation of four Ministries, with the most powerful being the Ministry of DTA which governs the day to day lives of the Proles, and the Ministry of Ratings which is used to maintain the order of the system. All of Dallas is run by Big Brother and his Thought Police, who review every score and decide if it is correct or should be adjusted to reflect Big Brother’s view of the truth.
Out of this dire world of control and constant historical revisions, rises our anti-hero, Winston Smith. By chance, Winston meets Julia who passes him a note reading “We could just play mixed”. Winston had seen Julia in the past but avoided her since women tend to be the more fanatical followers of the system and he had no interest in mixed. Cautiously at first, Julia and Winston begin a tennis relationship. While they must maintain the correct wins and losses in most USTA league play lest they be caught by the Ministry of Ratings, they soon realize that they can escape to the world of mixed which is unknown to and unmonitored by the Ministry of Ratings.
But no one escapes the Thought Police (regular blog readers know this because most anons can tell you what really happened in matches they never saw). Winston and Julia are ultimately caught, tortured and forced to change teams. Years later, a broken and bitter 55s player now, Winston sees a broadcast by Big Brother announcing Brookhaven’s decisive win at cities. Still bitter, a smile comes across Winston’s face and a song begins playing in Winston’s head – under the spreading Sectionals tree, I self-rate you and you self-rate me. For Winston knew that Big Brother’s celebration would be short lived - Houston would have teaching pros at 3.0, college players at 3.5, touring pros at 4.0, and the Spanish Davis Cup team at 4.5 - and Big Brother’s days at Sectionals would be no more.
Until then, enjoy the 8.0 mixed city playoffs this weekend. Good thing all of you seem to get along so well.