Monday, June 2, 2014

USTA Texas Section Executive Director, Ken McAllister to Retire

On May 14, 2014, the Texas Section issued a press release announcing the retirement of Ken McAllister as Executive Director after 24 years of service.

The announcement struck me a bit unusual, as I just learned this today doing a Google search.  This was after reading, what I thought, was an unusual interesting column of his titled “Kenny Mc’s Corner” which you can find on page 34 of the June 2014 issue of Inside Tennis.

Typically, the magazine makes its way from my mailbox to a stack of other magazines that tend to migrate their way to the head.  I tend to flip through them quickly and thoughtlessly, perusing the magazine to see if there are any hot pics of Ivanovic, Kirilenko, or Sharapova that might strike my attention.  I also like reading some of the submissions for “court of Appeals” which clarifies some of the quirky rules you might come across in match play.  In the Texas Section, you will see highlights of local league winners, and on the last pages, columns from the Section Directors.
 
For June, Kenny’s column was titled, “What I Have Learned”.  In this month’s column, he discusses the competitive nature of recreational tennis and quotes “…..recreational tennis ends when you start keeping score.  While 99 percent of all our tennis play has a high sportsmanship quality about it, the other 1 percent can be downright explosive.’

 He later states, “Finally and in our special case called NTRP, winning takes precedence over fairness when players deliberately lose to keep ratings down.  Sadly this 1 percent takes up about 25 percent of staff and volunteer time through appeals, discipline and grievance, and rule changes.  As it should be, it is our responsibility to minimize the negatives to keep tennis fair and fun for the other 99 percent.”

After being away from the blog a few months, I still see the same recurring chatter – the ongoing discussions and accusations of who’s tanking and who sucks.  We saw the rise, fall and resurrection of the unmentionable (personally I am tired of seeing his name).  We have seen recent rule changes, complaints, grievances, appeals, and everything in-between.   There have been an unusual amount of DQs recently.  Some explainable and some un-explainable.  Then I read Kenny’s column, thinking we really have gotten on his nerve, to learning this is probably his last column, and feels compelled out of all of his insights from 24 years of serving Texas Tennis, to go out talking about this.

It isn’t like Kenny is a stranger to success.  He is an accomplished player himself, who has held 35 Texas rankings, and won the 1988 PTR National 45 Singles Championship, named Texas pro of the year twice and the USPTA National Pro of the Year back in 1981.

So this leaves me asking, why does he go out of his way to make a point to discuss NTRP ratings and tanking as his last words of wisdoms gleaned from 24 years of service?  Have things in Texas really gotten that out of control?

It’s not like Texas comes home with a National trophy across NTRP levels each and every year like some Sections do (i.e. Caribbean).  Is this more of a National problem than it is a Sectional problem?

I also found his comments interesting –given a few years back, he seemed to have defended a captain who allegedly was able to appeal 8 players on his roster who were bumped up and received Benchmark ratings, when the rest of the whole metro-plex was unable to access Tennis-Link at all because the system was bogged down.  While I didn’t have direct communication with Ken, I do recall seeing emails that were forwarded to me where he completely discounted the whole altercation on a computer malfunction.  Not someone who seemed to be concerned about fairness at all.

Anyhow, thought it would be an interesting topic to debate or comment on since things have been slow this summer with the rest of league play.   Regardless, we wish Ken the best on his retirement.  The bigger questions now is who will replace him?  Will things be better off or worse? ... Sorry Marc – you already accepted the Dallas ED position.  Wish you would have waited now?


PS  - A special thanks to Murray Langston who has picked up the slack and kept the blog alive the past few months.

CF

133 comments:

  1. Two years ago I had the opportunity to go to a national event and asked a number of players from other sections about this issue in their section. The only people who didn't have some complaint about it were from Puerto Rico. Evidently anything goes there.

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  2. From what I understand Ken was instrumental in getting Kelley moved back down to 4.5. He knew w out him Texas has no national representation. When you have ft worth wanna be's trying to police the system and eradicate the proven winners he tired of the whole situation and retired. That is exactly what happened. Thanks Ken and enjoy your next adventure!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure that was exactly what happened.

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  3. I talked to Todd Reed a few years ago at a sectionals event just to get an idea of what kind of guy he was. One of the things he volunteered was how frustrating it was to get a constant stream of emails saying some guy is too good but with no substance to show he self rated wrong or anything else. He said they can't do anything with those complaints and they just move on. Must be a beat down of a job these guys have listening to all the bitching.

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  4. I would imagine he got tired of the complaining from those who kept coming in second behind YOU KNOW WHO. The straw that finally broke the camels back was the ridiculous rule implemented strictly for Kelly to keep dynasty teams from dominating like Springparks mixed team. The attitude that lets "everybody get a medal" mentality was the last hurrah. This gives the country clubbers and whiners a chance, effectively taking the best players out of contention. Maybe the NBA shoud adopt that rule and break up the Miami Heat!!

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    1. I can't say the new nationals rule was definitely about HIM but it was definitely developed based on complaints about mixed teams. Some dumba## then thought it would be a good idea to just apply it to everything. End result? Alan Gerber (4.0) gets DQ'D from a 4.5 team. How could that have ever been the point?

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    2. The Heat have only won 2 championships with the big 3. Wouldn't call that a dynasty yet.

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    3. Its not bad when you can't bring in self rates

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    4. If you don't think it was about HIM you need to call and talk to the usta section. It was absolutely about him. 8 sectionals and 5 national appearances since 07 and making playoffs every year had a lot to do with it. He beat an Austin team 6-0,6-0 in 2012 and that was prob the tipping point. Will be VERY interesting to see if this rule is canned in 2015. I was told after he left there was not much support for it.
      Austin tennis insider

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  5. The good news is there is probably less than 5% of the league that might really be tanking on occasion. The better news is there is less than 1% of the tankers that will really make a difference, even at sectionals.

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  6. Some of us might agree if Texas was winning. We win very little considering the size of our section. Houston and Dallas are the biggest underachieving cheaters. Both have a reputation of being out of control but how much have we won?

    As has been mentioned, nobody seems to police P.R. For an island with about half the population of Dallas/Fort Worth and a much larger poverty level, they can pump out championships.

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  7. Pickett is applying for the position, he'll get the system fixed.

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    Replies
    1. Heard it is Rossouw's to lose.

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    2. Heard Freeman has his hat in the ring.

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    3. The names they are considering are Freeman, Bender and Red Benzon. They thought if anybody had a grasp on this NTRP skulduggery that it was these guys.

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    4. They definitely understand it.

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  8. Match of the Week has to be Greenhill and Canyon Creek.

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    Replies
    1. No match, we will take care of CC.

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    2. CC just seems snakebit. They have the best or near best roster a lot of the time and something happens. They lose a match they should win or can't get their best players out on a bad week.

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    3. That is hilarious. CC has been snake bit and have the best roster. That is your problem CC you have no sense of reality. Your roster is slightly above average. You beat bad teams but can never beat any of the good teams.

      You need a reality check.

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  9. Interesting thread. Maybe Inside Tennis can replace Kenny Mc's Corner with a Captain Fantastic's Corner.

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  10. Nice to see Clark and Zackary continue the tank job this past weekend to make sure they never get bumped up. Way to play ladies!

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    Replies
    1. They are not solid enough to compete at 4.5 anyway so does it matter?

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    2. Yeah, they are both just good 4.0s. Pushers but nothing special. If you can't beat those guys, it isn't like you are a threat to win sectionals.

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  11. and an honorable mention to Flora and Corcoran

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    1. Only an honorable mention? They lost 1-1 to two guys who have played 5 matches this year, were 0-5 and had won a total of 19 games. That's the worst I've seen all year at any level.

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    2. That deserves tank job of the year. Congratulations boys, you must be proud. So you think you can dominate at 3.5?

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    3. Another match or two like that and Flora would actually be a 3.5 again

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  12. Kenny Mc has done his best. Met home a few times and a real nice guy. I agree that it shouldn't be his swan song letter but he doesn't deserve mch grief.

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    Replies
    1. Met him and much... Sorry

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    2. Isn't Kenny Mc the kid from Southpark that dies every episode?

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  13. After 24 years this guys has seen it all. Its too bad that while he says we need to make it a more positive experience he didn't choose to focus on the positive

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    Replies
    1. Maybe there wasn't much positive.

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    2. I've met him too. He is a big Austin homer. As long as Austin players are tanking and winning, he is fine. Dallas or Houston and he gets his panties in a knot.

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  14. Match of the week nominees in 4.0
    Flight A - Highpoint v Huffines - HP has a two match lead on the filed but a third loss could knock Huffines out of QT contention - HP is the cream of the crop in 4.0 and keeps going
    Flight B - Greenhill v Ohl - GH has been rolling but CC could right the ship after an early loss and put themselves back in contention for cities bid - CC edges out a narrow win and keeps their hopes alive
    Flight C - Brookhaven v SpringPark - SP is 3-3 but when they get their top 6 out they are a contender - SP only get out their top 3 and BH advances
    Flight D - Several top half teams playing each other but current 1 v 2 matchup with Brookhaven v Stonebriar - SB's weak bench finally starts to show

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    1. MOW is Greenhill v CC. Could go either way. Given a choice, it is GH. They have been rolling everybody. CC's mystery DQ may play a role. Never heard of Rodgers until the DQ. Was he DQ worthy?

      High Point is usually the cream at 4.0. Somabut never puts out a bad team. Although, I think this may be Greenhill's year. They have some players and great depth.

      BH has too many players. SP has to have their best show up and nine can lose.

      BH-A team takes SB to the woodshed and exposes them for the frauds they are. They would finish with a losing record in flight A or B.

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    2. What is the deal with the really bad flights? Did anybody with any knowledge look at that before they finalized it? Any player could tell you that Flight A & B were tough while the other two flights were pathetic.

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    3. Canyon Creek wins. They have a lot to play for. GH is on cruise control.

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    4. McHugh needs to get his strong singles depth to step up. Between McHugh, Huff, Davis and Grossman they need to really deliver this weekend.

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    5. Greenhill has good players scattered up and down their roster. Canyon Creek has a couple of top end talents but some of the guys they need to count on have been inconsistent. These country clubber don't always travel well so GH by a nose.

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    6. CC will come through. They win 3-2

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    7. No chance for CC, GH has too much.

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    8. Flight C - Who are Springpark's top 6? I thought they were better last year. Seems like they've lost several players (Walters, Femrite, Terrell)? Brookhaven isn't that tough on paper. I am surprised they are doing as well as they are at 4-2. Weak flight I guess?

      Flight D - Stonebriar is a surprise in my opinion. Lots of players, but not a ton of talent. I think we will see them lose some ground and float towards the middle of the pack.

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    9. Stonebriar might well be in last place if playing in Flight B. There record is just a reflection of how poor that flight is.

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    10. Rodgers is very, very good. Sorry to see him DQed. A good guy that is working his way back into Tennis.

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    11. CC d. GH 3 - 2 without Rodgers…..not sure if that puts Gleneagles in front of GH, but I suppose Fretz is back in front if they TCB over JCC

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    12. Fretz may have a tough close...they still have Greenhill and Gleneagles ahead. Can Smithheisler get in Cole's head....that could decide it.

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  15. Is Sisk even trying anymore?

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    1. He has an automatic bid to QT. Why try until then?

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    2. So Sisk is reduced to striving for QT? I think the DTA will stop that now.

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    3. He didn't make the rule. Why bitching at him?

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    4. How can this surprise anyone.

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    5. Bazan better hope Sisk is no longer trying or that will be Bazan's third loss and he'd likely miss the playoffs

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    6. Does Sisk take a QT slot?

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  16. What is the QT rule for fall. I thought you had to at least finish in the top half of the league to get it.

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    Replies
    1. Sisk is going to have to find someone who can actually win the rest of their matches or he'll be out of luck.

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  17. Somabut has a 4.0 self-rate - Vinh Tran. Seems like the same guy that was on his nationals team in 2009. He got bumped to 4.5 after Fall season in 2010, then didn't play league for 3 years. Now is back as a self-rate 4.0.

    Is that legit?

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    1. NO IT IS NOT. Under the old rules, maybe, but absolutely not ok now. As soon as a captain turns him in he will be an instant DQ.

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    2. Are we sure they aren't self rate appeals? Thomas Bauer on Greenhill used to be 5.0 and now this guy. Todd might let them down if it has been a few years.

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    3. More likely no one has filed an appeal on them yet

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    4. Appeal or grievance?

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    5. Vinny had a good year in 2010, logging wins over Todd Stein and Corry Walker, who are both 4.5, The hard part might be proving that he got a 4.5 year-end rating, since USTA doesn't seem to have those online anymore. But if it can be proven, he's a clear DQ.

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  18. Bauer is legal; it had been seven years since played league or tournaments. Do a little research before making allegations.

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    Replies
    1. That's the old rule. Now it doesn't matter how long you sit out.

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  19. Sisk will win his last match of the season unless the money is right!!

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  20. USTA REG 1.04F(1)f: Players with expired ratings will not be allowed to self-rate at a lower level than their last valid NTRP rating level.

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    Replies
    1. Vinh Tran on Somabut's team is a walking self rate grievance DQ. Who can actually file a grievance on him and send him back to 4.5? USTA Texas can look up his last rating, see he was 4.5 and send him packing.

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  21. CC got beat is 40s MXD sectionals today by Fort Worth. Somehow FW has passed Dallas too. We are not third or fourth best city in Texas.

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    Replies
    1. Yet the DTA thinks we are a bunch of cheaters. Tells me more about them than the rest of us.

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    2. I want to say I take back everything I said about Kelley and Springpark and mixed. I am a cc team player and we are getting our ass handed to us in sectionals. For SP to dominate every year and go to 2 national events last year is absolutely unbelievable. Only thing that beats them is the 3 national rule. Looks like they will own 2015 like they have since the mixed in Dallas began. Alan A. knows what it takes and I hope to play for them next year.
      Frustrated bridesmaid!

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  22. 7 national appearances for Kelly yet you say sectionals is tough???? Like him or not he is the best mixed player in Texas, period.

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    1. I beat him in a season in which he was otherwise 8-0, doesn't that make me the best mixed player in Texas?

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  23. People, to put the mixed sectionals into perspective : CC has 4 individual line wins in 3 full matches. Kelly had 5 last year and didn't drop a set. NAH.... He can't play mixed.

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  24. CC beat Kelly. What makes you think you would do better this year?

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  25. Who gives a crap about Kelly -- get your over your man crush on him. Bunch of homos on this blog.

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    Replies
    1. Don't you know? This is Mike Kelly masturbating thinking about himself.

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    2. Only think Kelly is rubbin on are his national trophies.

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    3. Bet they're sticky by now.

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  26. Maybe they played everybody? Winning sectionals and making everyone happy is a recipe for losing at playoffs.

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    Replies
    1. Great, hope everyone is happy! It's not who wins or loses but how much fun you have.

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    2. Speak for yourself. I think winning is more fun. I know some people think everyone should play but that just gets you beat.

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  27. No doubt, how Spring Park has dominated is incredible. Oh, and if anyone thinks Kelley was trying in that cities match I guess you are blind. Kelley went 1-3 in spring. Playing for SP he is 56-1. Hmmm, oh yeah, guess he had a bad day! Laughing

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  28. NOHO WINS!... Thanks Mike and Alan for not playing together this year!
    HOUSTON 8.0 player

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  29. Before everyone gets their panties in a wad as a casual observer I think we all should applaud anyone who can get to nationals , I think CC sees how difficult it is now and Kelley has been 7 times. Not a fan of his but one hell of a player. Congrats to all this weekend.

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  30. FYI The rule on a player that sits out for 3 years he has to self-rate at his previous rating and then appeal and probably be granted his appeal to lower rating. Vinh Tran has done this. Most team Captains know the rules.

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    Replies
    1. If that were the case, he'd show as a 4.0 A, not a 4.0 S.

      You should brush up on the rules and designations, my friend.

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    2. This guy cheated the system and he clearly didn't appeal although even his own teammates seem to know he should have. Turn him in.

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    3. I have no care in this but a self rate appeal comes in as an S rating.

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    4. Resarch his name at Tennis Link. You will see that he played on Somabut's High Point 4.5 team in Spring 2010, and did so with a 4.5 rating, his last USTA matches since that time. Since his last rating was 4.5, he must re-enter the system as a 4.5. Slam dunk DQ.

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    5. Then file a grievance. Let's see it. If it is such a slam dunk, he would be DQ'd. Go after him; go after Bauer; go after any self rate.

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    6. Maybe I will. Gosh!

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    7. Please do! I am sure he has it coming.

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  31. We finished tied for first. We lost on tiebreakers. We were close.

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    Replies
    1. Tied for first? Pretty sure you had sole possession of 3rd place.

      But hey, it's a good accomplishment to get to sectionals in any case.

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    2. Beat the team that won the flight but swept by FW. A little bit of a mystery there. But a good team neither way.

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    3. That team from FW was all over 60. How did they sweep CC?

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    4. Because you are talking about CC... What guy on that team is any good at his level?

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    5. CC came in 3rd in their flight of 5. Great getting there but in over their head. This was their one shot w SP having to sit out and still laid an egg. Oh well, what else is new.

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  32. On a positive note, both 9.0 and 7.0 are one match away from nationals.

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    1. Looks like both won.

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    2. That 9.0 team was impressive. Only lost one match all weekend in a 3d setter.

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  33. 4.0 MOWs delivered. CC took out GH 3-2 and StB took out BH 3-2. That leaves the BH/SB flight with 5 teams tied with two losses and only two matches left.

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    1. Flight D is the absolutely most pathetic flight in the history of Dallas tennis. Did anybody at the DTA look and think, geez, that is a bunch of bad teams. There is not a team that would finish in the top 5 in Flight A or B.

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    2. They wanted a bunch of competitive matches.

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    3. 10:08 if that is how you think things are done then can you tell the nba commissioner to change the Eastern Conference Atlantic division? Toronto won the division and was the 3rd seed in the Eastern conference playoffs. Dallas Mavericks were the 8th seed in the West and had a better record than Toronto. YOU ARE CLUELESS!!!

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  34. So much for beating Kelly being an automatic invitation to nationals. Evidently its harder than it looks. Now that someone else has had their shot can we get past that issue.

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  35. True statement, what Kelly has done to dominate the last 7 years is simply remarkable. He know has taken a team that started out losing their first match 0-3 and put them in 2nd place already. Absolutely incredible. To those who think he is average in mixed are pretty ignorant.

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    1. While him and SP are regrouping for 2015 and not really taking it serious has to be really disconcerting knowing that was everyone's chance to advance to nationals. It is no wonder when he plays serious his teams always advance. I looked up just for grins how any mixed team he has played on where they finished in cities. NOT ONE year did he come in second, including a league w FW last year. That my friends is pure dominance. facts are the guy is pure clutch. Let the hate and bashing begin!!!

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    2. You are absolutely correct...no one is better in Texas at beating up on 3.5 and 4.0 women better than Mike Kelly.

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    3. And 4.5 men as well, and 5,0 men too

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  36. Again as previously stated Vinh Tran has been appealed to 4.0 level per my conversation with Todd Reed at U.S.T.A.. So check the new rules !!!

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    1. If he was clean you wouldn't keep posting it because it wouldn't matter. Someone needs to turn this guy in now. He's obviously dirty.

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  37. VINH is a teammate of mine and a good, solid player. But in no way out of level. He is a solid 3.5 like Flora and Corcoran.

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  38. Let's Ask Tony Le, he seems to know and play by the rules. If he says Tran is clean then he is clean.

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  39. Vinh Tran Won the Plano Open 4.0 so he must be legit or he would not have been allowed to enter. Flight A Captain already tried to get a DQ but was told he appealed and was granted so please shut the hell up and leave this guy alone

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    1. He must be legit because some high school kid filling out the draws didn't kick him out of the tourney? Since he self rated incorrectly no one at a tennis center is going to know the difference.

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    2. Good to know someone on this blog knows what is going on. No one running that tourney had a clue.

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  40. The Plano open 4.0? I played in that and it was a bunch of 3.5 high school players

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  41. Unless you are Vinh Tran you didn't WIN it so shut up!!!!!! Who are you anyway

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  42. Arcaria at #1 singles, DeLaPaz beaten by a 4.0 and Shyh-Chin Le DESTROYED at line 3 doubles. Looks like the tank train is back at full steam for Tony Le's boys! Well done.

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    Replies
    1. WOW, hadn't seen that. DeLaPaz has played three 4.5 matches and been beaten three times by 4.0 computer rated players, including Paul Welch who looks closer to a 3.5. If DeLaPaz keeps this up he may end up a 3.5 at mid-year. He's already a 4.0 on these results.

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    2. Lost to Welch? The dude is like 70 and not good. DeLaPaz should be ashamed. I guess some guys have no shame.

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  43. de la Paz is a boxer, chin Le won the us open LPGA golf tourney... Those aren't tennis players

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  44. Isn't anyone else astonished by Rene Alzuro making it to Nationals?

    Alzuro? Nationals?

    Nationals. We talkin' bout Nationals!

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    Replies
    1. Too astonished to comment. Talk about out if left field.

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    2. Someone must have given him a map and a decoder ring. No way he finds nationals on his own.

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    3. And despite all the odds, he actually played himself a few times to get there.

      Wow.

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    4. Once and he lost

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    5. Keith Clark made it to nationals...Rene is a paper captain, all the key players came with Clark.

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  45. Let's throw Reiman's name in along with Sisk, Rossouw, and Le. JCC had a DQ in the fall and now another this season. What a joke and now Kern is playing over there. No surprise though, after all, he is from Canyon Creek.

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    Replies
    1. Kern went 4&4 with a middle of the road 4.0. No score management there.

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  46. I've learned semi-recently, despite having had respect for Kern as a player, that he's like many of the others, and will gladly tank or manage the score of a match.

    Unfortunate, but 100% true. Lame.

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