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