Friday, May 12, 2017

First look at how 4.0 is shaping up

We are now four matches into the season so there is enough match history to have a bit of a picture to work from.  Also I just changed jobs and my new employer has actually wanted me to work.  Hopefully that changes soon.

4.0 flight A - at the head of the pack and undefeated is Oak Creek/Iyer.  They have been in or close to the playoffs fairly frequently the last few seasons.  Tied at 3-1 are Garland/Kanchi, TBar/Snow and Royal Oaks/Templeton.  Normally I'd pick Garland to win this flight but they also have the QT wildcard from winning the fall so that muddies the water a little.  Should be Oak Creek and Garland at the end.

4.0 flight B - much to still be decided here.  High Point/Somabut is the only undefeated team in this flight but there are four teams still tied at 3-1; Canyon Creek/Patterson, Springpark/Walters, Huffhines/Ratcliffe and McKinney/Clifton.  High Point will be there when the season is done.  Who will be with them?  Inside edge to Huffhines because they have already beaten Canyon Creek, but Huffhines plays Springpark this Saturday and the winner is in the driver's seat for second in this flight.

4.0 flight C - this flight is completely back loaded for the second half of the season with four teams still undefeated.  In order of current line lead we have Greenhill/Ohl, Hackberry/Myers, Brookhaven/Bartlett and Garland/Russell.  The gauntlet begins this weekend though with the first elimination match being Hackberry versus Garland. Neither of these teams has excelled at singles and have been riding their doubles thus far.  Greenhill and Brookhaven look a little stronger on paper but all these teams are close enough that it will depend highly on who is available for the key matches.

4.0 flight D - while flights B and C are the toughest top to bottom, this is the weakest.  We currently have Eldorado/Browning as the only undefeated team followed at one loss each by Chandlers Landing/McLemore and Lakes/Reifsnyder. 

Not the strongest year for 4.0 in Dallas in general and several teams have a fair shot of advancing to sectionals.  Early favorite is still Garland/Kanchi but it isn't anywhere close to the team he had last year.

Friday, March 31, 2017

40s playoffs have finally arrived

4.5+ over 40 - this will be an all Sunday affair.  Brookhaven/Bartlett plays Lifetime/Arcaria at 9:00am and the winner plays Oak Creek/Sweeney at noon.  And did I mention there is now a 100% chance of rain on Sunday?  Good thing there aren't a lot of matches.  Never more than in these "plus" leagues is availability more important.  Sure, in your 4.0 league you have some players better than others but in this flight the difference in a top end 5.0 and a good 4.5 is huge.  Of course the first problem is actually having a top end 5.0.  There are a couple out there and if they are or aren't available they can make all the difference.  Sweeney proved he had the deepest team only losing one match while the other two playoff contenders lost three apiece.  Depth is now less of an issue.  How good are your top six - not eight through twelve - becomes much more important.

4.0 over 40 - this is the most wide open city playoff at this level I've ever seen.  40s has been around for a few years now and while there have been some good 4.0 teams each year, this is the most balanced year for the playoff contenders that I've seen.  That may be because Dallas just doesn't have a dominant team this year, or possibly several teams or good (we won't really know until sectionals), but it should be a wide open event.  These guys are playing a round robin over Friday and Saturday, with the seeds listed as: 1) Oak Creek/Ramasami, 2) Springpark/Walters, 3) Canyon Creek/Patterson and 4) Huffhines/Clark.

Just to reacap: 9.0 55s was won by Oak Creek/Sweeney going away and 8.0 55s was won by Greenhill/Kayser in a three team playoff. 

Good luck to everyone this weekend.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seniors, still?

A bit of a yawner this time of year.  Nothing really going on except for 4.5 over 40s finishing up their flight play matches. 

Oak Creek/Sweeney cruises 4-1 over TBar/Fikes with Fikes and Pascal pulling out a third set tie breaker to keep from being swept.

Lifetime/Arcaria sweeps Greenhill/Rossouw with Rossouw defaulting two lines.  He has 21 people on the roster and he defaulted two lines?  Rossouw's playoff chances are all but done at this point.

In a Brookhaven intra-club challenge, Bartlett's team took down Harllee's team 3-2.  That was a big win for Bartlett, moving his guys into third and dropped Harllee into fourth and in danger of missing the playoffs. 

High Point/Martin lost to JCC/Reiman 3-2 and likely took itself out of the playoff hunt as well. 
Reiman even pulls out a third set tie breaker himself at line three doubles to secure the victory.

And in the battle for the basement, previously winless Greenhill/Ohl edged Gleneagles/Juhn 3-2 to pass them in the standings based on lines.  Ohl's guys sweep singles and in what is becoming a trend, another captain wins a big match and clinches the victory.

In other news, 55s has now wrapped up as well. 

9.0 finished as follows: Oak Creek/Sweeney, Brookhaven/Bartlett, Gleneagles/Juhn, TBar/Hackett, John Paul II/Gradick and Eldorado/Entrekin. 
8.0 finished as follows: Greenhill/Kayser, Springpark/Blesi, Brookhaven/Bartlett, Lifetime/Heflin, Canyon Creek/Rainwater, TBar/Snow, Brookhaven/Tarangioli, Stonebridge/Cummings and High Point/Meyers.

So far it looks like Sweeney and Bartlett are having good senior seasons.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Quick seniors update

4.5+ over 40 - the tight race that was anticipated is holding true to form.  Six matches in with five remaining there is no team that is undefeated so far.  Oak Creek/Sweeney and Brookhaven/Harllee are the only one loss teams with OC holding a slight line lead even though BH beat them head to head.  In third with two losses is Lifetime Fitness/Arcaria and Greenhill/Rossouw.  The big question is what happened to JCC/Reiman?  4-3 at the halfway mark isn't a typical JCC season.

4.5 is at the halfway mark and 4.0 is already done.  Is that right?  Seems so.  Advancing out of the two 4.0 flights are, in order of strength of record, Oak Creek/Ramasami (6-1, 27-8), Springpark/Walters (6-1, 26-9), Canyon Creek/Patterson (6-1, 21-14), and Huffhines/Clark (5-2, 24-11).  Oak Creek had a dominant season until the last match of the season against CC.  Having already wrapped up first place in their flight they lost a tight 2-3 match.  Does that match have a different conclusion at city playoffs?  This a much more competitive field than in years past but I'm not yet sure if that's because Dallas is weaker or there are just more good teams.

9.0 over 55 has Oak Creek/Sweeney clear of the field at 7-0 and having already beaten second place and one loss Brookhaven/Bartlett.  Gleneagles/Juhn sits alone with two losses and could still work their way back into the mix.

8.0 over 55 has a very similar look with Greenhill/Kayser sitting alone and undefeated (with a mighty impressive 17-1 line record to date), Springpark/Blesi alone with one loss, and Lifetime/Heflin alone at two losses.  Greenhill and Springpark square off the last match of the season so it could come right down to the wire.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tri-level in the rear view mirror

Sorry I didn't get out a preview and I'm a little late on my post-view but I got called out of town on work for about nine days and was swamped.  Just got back so here we are.  I hate it when my day job gets in the way of tennis.

What to say?  Dallas had an unbeatable tri-level team but it didn't make the finals.  It actually does happen.  Everyone is beatable.  Admittedly, I really felt like Dallas would win and from looking at the results I still think Dallas could have won, but it didn't happen.  It's amateur tennis.  Anything can happen. 

For those of you not following along at home, NOHO took the final in a closer match than I would have anticipated.  They look to have been built on some good 4.5s, 4.0s that we've seen a lot of, and good but not great 3.5s.  Definitely not a lock at the 4.0 or 3.5 lines so good job by NOHO getting over the top in some close matches.  But that is probably the theme from this year's tri-level - closer matches than I would have expected. 

I actually got back into town Monday evening and could have posted something earlier but I was generally surprised by some of the match results on tennislink so I tried to make a few subtle inquiries of people who were there or might know something.  That was largely a confusing bust.  This person is a cheater, that person had dumb lineups, these people dumped, somebody is mad at someone else, we should have won, they weren't very good - exhausting.  The one thing that I did hear a few times that seems to explain a lot was that the level of play at tri-level this year was maybe higher than in years past across the board.  That seems to make some sense.

No team at this year's event went undefeated.  Four teams finished 3-1 in their flight.  No team went winless.  Knowing some of the players and how good they are, it just looks to me like it was a very competitive event this year. 

As for Dallas, they beat San Antonio 2-1 after splitting three setters at the 4.5 line (win) and 4.0 line (loss).  They swept Lubbock, then lost 1-2 to NOHO losing the 4.0 and 4.5 lines.  They finished with a sweep of Austin.  All in all, not a bad finish but if Dallas wins one more line in any match it advances to the final over NOHO.  Their 4.5 lines went 3-1, their 4.0 lines went 2-2, and their 3.5 lines went 4-0.  So for the event, Dallas only lost three lines and two of those were in three setters.  Pretty close.

Quick shout out to the Dallas guys on the Fort Worth team.  They went 2-2 for the weekend.  Not bad for a bunch that won Fort Worth by a razor thin margin.

Monday, January 30, 2017

And the beat goes on

40 – 4.5 – at this point it looks like hockey, lots of matches but barely anyone eliminated.  A full seven teams are all sitting with one loss.  All I can really say at this point is that Greenhill/Ohl and TBar/Fikes are out of it.  Past that, everyone else still has a shot. 

40 – 4.0 – flight A – much like 4.5 above, many teams still technically in the running.  The leaders at this point all have one loss and still have a lot of big matches left to play.  Springpark/Walters, Huffhines/Clark and Greenhill/Ohl have the advantage at this point with Springpark in the lead on lines won.

40 – 4.0 – flight B – things are a little clearer here with Oak Creek/Ramasami and Chandlers Landing/McLemore sitting atop the heap in the undefeated column.  Canyon Creek/Patterson lurks close behind with only one loss.

55 – 8.0 – still a four horse race at the moment.  Greenhill/Kayser sits alone and undefeated, with one loss Springpark/Blesi, TBar/Snow and Lifetime/Heflin in the wings.  I didn’t make Lifetime to be a contender at this level but let’s see how it all shakes out.

55 – 9.0 – looks like Oak Creek/Sweeney is in the driver’s seat here.  They have a one match lead at the moment but still need to beat second place Gleneagles/Juhn in the first round of a double round robin to secure the lead at the halfway mark.

Tri-level is two weeks away so I’ll try to sit down this week and have a closer look now that the flights are out.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Halftime Break

So it's pretty slow.  The 40s/55s season is just getting started.  Tri-level sectionals is a full month away.  Hell, it was COLD on Saturday and windy on Sunday.  Not exactly my favorite tennis weather either way.  As much as people can take a dim view of nationals on this blog, I have a feeling many of us will be watching another group of amateurs compete in the national finals tonight.

I'm a college football fan and this promises to be as good a game as last year.  At least for the state of Texas tennis, this Freeman versus...uh...well, whoever from Dallas is trying to dethrone him this year.

Yes, I do see a few similarities in the USTA tennis scene and college football.  A version of amateur athletics, lots of recruiting, a few rules violations, underperformers, overachievers, I could go on and on.  Throw in one Lane Kiffin per major market and you have plenty to keep Todd Reed fully employed. 

So, dynasty or new kids on the Power 5 block?  What's it gonna be?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Play Some Old Guy Tennis

 Image result for old guy tennis

Since there’s only one over 40 flight in 4.5, it looks like the top three teams from the flight will make the playoffs with the format being #2 versus #3 and the winner plays the top seed in the final.
There are some tough teams in 4.5 this year.  From playoffs past we see TBar/Fikes, Gleneagles/Juhn, Greenhill/Rossouw, Oak Creek/Sweeney, Brookhaven/Harllee, and JCC/Reiman.  That’s six recent playoff teams and only three can advance.  I also see a couple of dark horses who could make some noise.  It’s going to be a very interesting season to watch in 4.5 this year.  With a few of the weaker teams falling out and not fielding squads, it really puts a premium on availability and having some quality depth.  There won’t be many easy matches to play the bottom of your roster.

4.0 has two flights again with the first and second place team advancing from each flight.  Unless we change our mind, or we don’t like the weather, or whatever. 
Flight A has Brookhaven/Bartlett, Springpark/Walters, Greenhill/Ohl and Huffhines/Clark.  All of these teams could be playoff contenders.  In flight B I like Oak Creek/Ramasami, McKinney/Jacobson and Canyon Creek/Patterson.  Flight A looks to be a tad tougher but both flights will have quality teams sitting home for city playoffs.

In 55s, there are only six 9.0 teams: Brookhaven/Bartlett, Gleneagles/Juhn, Eldorado/Entrekin, TBar/Hackett, Oak Creek/Sweeney,  and John Paul II/Gradick.  A couple of these rosters don’t look full yet so we’ll keep an eye on this one.  At the 8.0 level there are several familiar names: Brookhaven/Bartlett, Greenhill/Kayser, Springpark/Blesi and Canyon Creek/Rainwater look to be the cream of the crop.  One of these teams will be on the outside looking in come playoff time.