According to the world-wide web (an Al Gore creation), historian Frederick Merk says the concept of Manifest Destiny was born out of “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example”. Pretty heavy stuff for a tennis blog, but something of this nature played out in Fort Worth a few days ago with their city playoffs in full swing. Marc Rossouw brought his vision of the USTA to battle the Old World represented by Joel Pickett (without you know who). While I never envisioned a recap of Fort Worth city playoffs on this blog, or a recap of FW anything quite frankly, when most all of Dallas’ best 4.5s are playing in one place it probably deserves some attention.Unfortunately, it never came to pass. They did play, and Pickett won (sort of), but it was all made pretty anti-climactic by the fact that Rossouw’s troops had already lost. In the first match Pickett’s team swept Southlake/Peterson at 9:30am. Minutes later the 11:00am match takes the court and Rossouw’s team falls in a tight 3-2 loss to Walnut Creek with a three setter at #2 singles swinging the match. Pickett then took the court and swept Walnut Creek with only one close match. Bad luck for Walnut Creek having to play back-to-back matches. They had to change out their singles guys and bring in a few fresh legs. While they didn’t have the 50 man rosters of Pickett and Rossouw, they did have 17 guys but it doesn’t mean you want to go 17 deep.
By the time the big showdown came about, it was both teams’ last match and the table was set. With Pickett sitting at 2-0 and 10-0 and Rossouw sitting at 1-1 and 6-4, Rossouw needed a sweep to win cities. Interestingly, it seems Rossouw won the battle but lost the war. While the results show a 3-2 win by Pickett’s crew, it should have been the opposite. Pickett took two quick doubles lines, which locked up the cities team win, but Wright retired for Rossouw’s crew up 6-2, 5-3 providing Pickett with a decisive third line.
There’s still Dallas 18s. Currently Greenhill is in a dead heat with BH/Goswami. Both are tied at 6-1 (25-10) so the new head-to-head tie-breaker is currently in play with Marc’s GH squad having beaten BH on a DQ overturning one of BH’s wins in that match. Shouldn’t matter as GH has last place SpringPark as its last match. Half of the SP team are 4.0s so a sweep by GH would lock up their spot. Flight C has Brookhaven/Harlee and Village Warren both tied at 6-1 currently, but I think the team to watch is the JCC/Reiman squad in Flight A. They are very deep and very talented but they still need to get by second place Oak Creek. They’ll need to be deep as several of their guys played on Pickett’s FW squad in cities so they’ll be frozen out of playing in Dallas cities. Might be just enough to throw it Greenhill’s way.
On a side note, I was a little surprised a couple of weeks ago to hear that Canyon Creek’s 8.0 over 40s mixed team was swept at sectionals by Fort Worth, effectively keeping CC from advancing even though they beat the flight winner. Then when I was doing my FW homework I saw that many of the same FW guys won the 4.0 playoffs there. Don’t know any of them but they must know a little something about tennis.
This last week of 4.5 will be an exciting finish with all three flights pretty tight. MOW is first place JCC versus second place Oak Creek in flight A. Secretly I'm hoping there is a Pickett - Rossouw rematch at sectionals. It makes for easy blogging. Good luck to all.