Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Regular Season Homestretch...

The season is about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the way through so your team needs to make a statement now or be prepared to watch other teams at playoffs.  

5.0  I was wrong as TBar takes down Perkison 2-1.  I see Loren Collins didn't play so that probably cost him.  I was pretty sure Johann Jooste wold win any line he played considering he is one of Baylor University's historical best players.  He beat Timmy Allin, another 5.5, by a mere 2&2.  TBar and Lakes are still undefeated  Lakes have both Village and TBar to go.  I guess I will take TBar but still think Village has the best team.  This is one tough league.

Flight A:  JCC and Fretz are both undefeated.  They play on June 7 so a lot will be determined there.  Corey's crew still has the Greenhill makeup that could be tough but I think Greenhill with 2 losses is just giving everyone playing time.

Flight B:  Lakes and Oak Creek are both undefeated.  Oak Creek is usually pretty good but their usual geriatric lineup oftentimes makes winning difficult.  They have added a few younger guys and it is paying off.  They play TBar this week and should be a tough match.  I like Oak Creek to win 3-2.  Lakes still have both TBar and Oak Creek in the next few weeks.

Flight C: Village is the last undefeated team and they have beaten 2nd place Brookhaven already.  They have the lighter part of the schedule remaining so they should win this flight.  I picked BH then Village but looks like I mixed them up.

Flight A:  Two cpatains of which names I have never heard lead this flight and are undefeated.  Oasis and Oak Creek are undefeated.  They play each other on 6/6 for what appears to be winner take all.

Flight B:  Everyone's favorite whipping boy High Point leads this with an eye popping 6-0 & 30-0 on lines leads this with second place Greenhill at 5-1 with losing 7 lines.  (5 of those lines were to High Point).  This one appears to be done.

Flight C:  3 teams with 1 loss.  Oak Creek has another captain's name I have never seen with  loss and a win over McKinney and Brookhaven.  Brookhaven and McKinney hook up this weekend in a likley win or go home.  I take Oak Creek and this weeks winner for 1st and 2nd.

Flight D: Garland is the only undefeated team but they still have 1 loss Oak Creek remaining.  I think everything gets decided on 6/6 as lines will be very close.

I got a ton of views and responses on the mixed posts.  I may go to exclusively mixed with all the attention you gave it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Somewhere towards the end of my failed mixed doubles experiment we were in a very tight match with another 4.5/3.5 team.  After our male opponent took a pretty hard shot at my partner when she was at the net, my partner walked back to me for a mid-match conference and said “you need to take her head off.”  Huh? I responded rather eloquently.  “Take her head off.  He nearly took off mine.”  I considered this advice for a minute and replied, “Then shouldn’t I try and take HIS head off instead.”  No, I was sternly advised, that’s not the way it’s done.

As you may have figure out by now, I wasn’t one to drill ground strokes at female 3.5 opponents when they were at the net.  Somehow it just didn’t seem sporting, or very nice.  But I did run into guys a couple of times that did just that and seemed to have no problem with it.  What was I supposed to do at that point?  In baseball it was pretty clear.  You bean my guy and we’re gonna come back and hit your next batter.  We didn’t actually wait for their pitcher to bat, you just hit the next guy at bat and everyone got on with the game.  Of course when I played high school baseball the next batter wasn’t a junior high girl that was getting dusted with high heat.

Where’s the middle ground?  Is it the old ‘he started it’ defense?  Yeah I bruised your partner but you bruised mine first?  And why did these women show little to no concern when their partner was doing it but were indignant when it happened to them? 

‘Sorry but your partner has been killing my girl at the net’ was met with ‘you could have hurt me hitting it that hard’.  Probably not difficult to see why all this remains a mystery to me.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I hope this isn’t too self indulgent but here we go.  I played 8.0 mixed a few years ago.  While not a dominant 4.5, I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle – don’t get bumped up, don’t get bumped down.  For my first match I was paired with a short 3.5 woman against two pretty good 4.0s.  We were beaten soundly.  The first set I couldn’t serve and volley like I’m used to doing because every time I approached the net my partner got lobbed.  I stayed back to get in groundstroke rallies, surely I can win those exchanges.  And I did, until someone ripped one at my partner.   And that was when I actually go to hit a ball, which wasn’t often.  In the second set I decided I needed to make more of my meager opportunities.  My partner was playing to her ability, I needed to do more.  Hit a few winners, forced a few errors, but as the need to win the point every time I touched the ball increased, well, I ended up making more errors trying to hit shots I wasn’t as comfortable with.

I didn’t go winless.  There are some bad teams out there.  But it was clear that my style of doubles didn’t work well in mixed.  It was also clear that I wasn’t used to carrying a partner that was a lot lower than me.   And the keep-away aspect of mixed drove me nuts.  I hesitate to say I wasn’t good enough, but I clearly wasn’t good enough at whatever mixed was.  And that was my final take away – whatever mixed was.  It wasn’t men’s tennis, it wasn’t women’s tennis.  It was closer to a whole different sport. 
Spoke to my captain after the match.  Yeah, he told me, it took a few seasons for me to get used to it myself.  Huh? A few seasons?  According to him, you have to be able to change your shot selection, your position on the court, and several hundred other things when you’re playing with a 3.5 woman instead of a 4.5 man.  I suppose the same could be said for 7.0 mixed when it’s a 4.0 man and a 3.5 woman.  So the short term advice I got was that I needed to play about 75% of the court and be ready to cover everything. 
After a couple of wins I thought I had figured something out.  The next match my partner thought she should be covering 75% of the court as well.  You could say we had great court coverage with both of us trying to play most of the court, but it didn’t really work out that well.  After nearly running into each other for a mid-court ball I suggested that it might be best for me to hit that ball next time.  She suggested that it was her forehand and (barely) was on her side of the court – and that she had come out to play just like I had.  Supposed I can’t fault her for that.
I don’t know what the answer is and, luckily, at this point I don’t care.  I STILL HATE MIXED.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


There goes another SpringPark 8.0 mixed team to the gleaming land of Nationals.

How do I get to mixed Nationals?  Someone told me to follow the yellow brick road.  There are a lot of teams who say they know the way, but almost none of them have actually been there.  Isn’t that always the case?  True, occasionally an Alzuro will stumble across the Emerald City but if you really want to get there you need a guide; you need someone who has been there on several occasions, someone who really knows the way, and someone who is planning on heading back.

There are a number of reliable guides around.  Bender was going to the Emerald City before it was emerald.  But since we’re talking about mixed at the moment, is it too late to get on the Springpark 8.0 team?  Any SpringPark 8.0 team?  Granted, there have been years that the Alan/Kelly tag team have taken off but it seems like when they want to go, they go.  If Krista is captaining any 9.0 over 40 teams, I’d get on one of those as well.  Of course you’d have to be a lot better than me to play on either.

In 40s this year, I’ll take SpringPark 8.0 to go all the way to the dance.  Vegas isn’t even making a line on this.  Not sure about the Springpark 7.0 team to make it though.  They have a chance but I’m not sold. 

In 18s this year, I’ll take SpringPark 8.0 to have as good a chance as anyone in Texas to head to the dance as well.  These massive 7.0 rosters scare me.  Springpark and High Point both have huge rosters and some baggage.  Not certain they can get everyone playing time and still win all the lines they need but there are a few pretty weak teams out there.  This is Tony's to lose.  In my most definitive pick for the season, I’ll take SpringPark to win 9.0.  There are only two teams and both play out of SpringPark.  Nothing like a sure thing.  Out of a sense of fairness Alan has Kelly, Davis and Pollard all playing with 4.0 women.

So, what do I know about mixed?  VERY LITTLE.  I know a 4.5 man has a better chance of dominating 8.0 than a 4.0 man has of dominating 7.0.  I also know if you stand out there and never get to hit a ball you have even less of a chance of dominating anything so your partner better be able to hold up.  I know a lot of guys who have told me it’s harder to win mixed than it is to win men’s.  I know a lot more who have told me it can ruin your doubles game.  And while I don't follow or like mixed, I do know some of the players and can do the research on them.

I know I tried it one season but my partner said she wanted someone better looking if she was going to have to play mixed.  She wanted a better player too but evidently she’d have settled for better looking.

And I know that when SpringPark gets serious about mixed your partner better be good looking because you ain’t gonna win.*

 *        The views of this blogger on the subject of mixed do not necessarily represent those of USTA Texas or the DTA, but hey – winning is still winning.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Still Waiting

As comprehensive as I can get; men’s 5.0 through 3.5 by flight.  Hard to get too excited until the playoffs start to come into view.

Much left to be decided in 5.0+ with Lakes, TBar and Perkison all still undefeated.

Flight A – Reiman, Moore and Corey are all undefeated.  This is Reiman’s flight to lose.  He has added some young talent to his always strong roster, maybe it’s his year.
Flight B – Herget-Loose and Way are both 3-0 and don’t face off until the last match of the year.  Tucker’s squad is undefeated but they have only posted one match so far.
Flight C – Warren is in the driver’s seat having already beaten Harllee’s squad.  The real question is how is Alzuro 1-1 while Corey and Sisk are both 0-3 (ok, it’s Corey’s B team but still).

Flight A – Oasis, High Point and Oak Creek are undefeated with Corey’s team firmly in fourth.  This flight is turning out to be worse than I thought.
Flight B – High Point and McKinney are still undefeated but this flight was done before it started.
Flight C – This is Bazan’s flight to lose.  Only undefeated team left

Flight D – Headed for an Oak Creek and GTC showdown.  Royal Oaks finally lost as expected.

Flight A – Oak Creek is the only undefeated team.  All 3.5 flights are a double round robin though.
Flight B – LBH is in the driver’s seat having already beaten Fretz.
Flight C – McKinney is the only undefeated team here.