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.