Friday, July 13, 2007

Last night in 4.5

First of all, I do have to eat some humble pie. I totally underestimated the Black Sheep team and have been underestimating them all year. I knew their singles were tough, but really thought they would be outclassed in the doubles, but they stepped up to the plate....big time.

As expected, Lukas Jendek made quick work of Ryan Cooper. Jendek has been very solid all year. Luckily for the Black Sheep, he has been spared the same fate that befell his teammate Fukunaga. That one-two punch could have been deadly for some of the other playoff teams this year.

Humberto Alzate gave Andre Dafel a battle, but came up just short. I was puzzled by the Jedi Knights decision to use Eric Kuo last night, but I don't know the availability of their other players. Kuo did not play well and the Knights dropped line one to Ristau and Dimitrijevic.

The Knights needed to sweep the last two lines to avoid the "upset", and I left Lee Leclear last night expecting them to do just that. The Black Sheep surprised me...they came close to taking BOTH of the last two lines. Veteran Chad Shaw and Tochi Mochizuki won the clincher with a third set victory over fiery Tom Caine and Tom Courson. While the Black Sheep lost the other doubles line, they did put up a battle and got a good contribution from a player, Chris Roberts, who had not seen much action this season.

The Jedi Knights will face Kingwood on Saturday morning. In this format, with just three teams in a round robin group, it's DEFINITELY within the realm of possibility that all three teams could finish 1-1, so the Knights are still in the hunt, but will have to play better to put a dent in Kingwood. The Black Sheep now have control of their own destiny...but if they are truly without Jendek on Sunday they will be in deep trouble.

The Hangovers-Sugar Creek score has not been reported. The Hangovers went with a singles lineup of Deluca and Rios against Sugar Creek's Bedient and Cooney. Erik Bedient fought gamely despite a shoulder he injured doing pullups. He was unable to hit topspin forehands and basically looked to chip and charge at every opportunity. It was a very athletic match with Deluca running down balls and Bedient quickly covering passing shots, but Erik didn't have a chance. I think the score was 6-2, 6-2. Jody played well and is hitting his backhand better than in past seasons (when he really didn't have a consistent topsin backhand).

Jason Cooney fought gamely, consistently returning powerful forehands from Don Rios and having his moments in the second set. Rios looked to be steamrolling Cooney at one point early on, but Jason hung in there and made Don work. Rios won a fairly long match, though I'm not sure if it was straight sets or went to three.

The first doubles match on was a good one: Benzon/Whitsett and Day/Burrmann. As has been mentioned here, Day and Burrmann are one of the top 4.5 teams in the city. Those who mentioned John Day has having one of the top kick serves in the city were on the mark. He consistently came up with service winners late in the second set and in the third set tiebreaker. Whitsett was having trouble with his backhand return. It was an even match but Day and Burrmann were just a little better in the clutch and pulled out the tiebreaker.

I left while the other two matches were just getting underway, but it's fairly safe to say that the Hangovers were heavy favorites to take at least one of them. Thach Ho and Tim Marco took on Tim Green and David Guy, who made a rare doubles appearance. Ken Douds and Stephen Epstein battled Andres Ballesteros and Peter Hansen.

I have to give some props to Green and Burkhart (assuming they pulled out one of those last two doubles matches) as they managed to work in several players who I thought might not get into the lineup this weekend. I have a feeling they'll use a stronger doubles lineup against Ssshhhwing on Saturday, though it wouldn't shock me if they went with the same singles duo. Both of those singles guys looked to be on their games last night.


  1. Tim and David Guy won in straights and Andres and Peter lost in straights. The final was 3-2.

  2. Hangovers are just bunch of hypes, Rios won in 3rd, it can go either way, and their best doubles team can't get a win tells you something.

    Swingers all the way!

  3. Looks like Shhwing will definitely be without Augusto Rodriguez who is in Puerto Rico and Kingwood is without Glenn Wright which both were key players on their teams.

    In League play not only is it important to have Good Players but also to have players who are available to play in the Key Matches. Playoffs,Sectionals etc.

    Shhwwing vs Hangovers Saturday.

    Danny Vu vs. Jody Deluca
    Christopher Hunckler vs.Don Rios

    Rothe/Januzzi vs. Green/Huffman
    Patterson/Hall vs. Li/Regent
    Benoit/Judson/ vs. Bobo/Whitsett

    Don't think this is the way it will line-up but I would like to see it.

  4. The Black Sheeps Captain is a former Recon Marine. He was trained to stay under the radar.

    Congrats to Lakeside 4.0 for going straight sets in 4 matches. Well played.

  5. With Augusto Rodriguez gone the chance of an on court assault has gone down by 86% in Houston.

    In case you did not know Augusto assaulted a player not even playing on his own court last year @ Westside during a USTA match. Augusto walked off line 1S and over to line 2S and started a fight by shoving the Westside player 3 times, once to the ground.
    For this Augusto received a 2 game suspension. He is a thug and should have been removed from the USTA for a year. The Westside player was given a 1 game suspension for language but should have been given a medal for telling Augusto to shut the F*** up and mind his own match. The Westside player also told Augusto to Suck his C*** but that was just flirting.

    I love this game!

  6. I was personally at that match that Augusto was involved in last year and the writer of the last comment left out many details that took place prior and during the incedent. That still doesn't excuse Augusto for what he did, but the other player did what he could to provoke everyone there before and during his match with Mike Giordanelli. Poor sportsmanship from both sides. The league punished both players and we move on. I think that rather than make personal attacks on something that happened a year ago, or personal attacks, period, on this blog shows a lot of immaturity on the part of those that chose to make these kinds of comments. Please, let's keep our 13 year old children from commenting on this blog.

  7. I agree with the above comment. Many things were left out of the above comment in regards to Augusto and the Westside player. Lets not take any cheap shots at anyone and just play tennis. Everyone knows there has been an abundance of poor sportmanship etc. from a lot of people this year.

  8. What is more inmature, cursing or assualt? I'm just glad I won't have to see him on Saturday. Two of you say it's bad form to post it. I say it's public info and I'm glad it was posted. There is never justification, under any circumstance, when a player should strike another player for any reason in a tennis match. I'm stunned the league did not take a harsher stance, Shhwing must have an inside source at the USTA/HTA. Oh wait, I know they do!

    Augusto is a non-factor from here on out either way.

    Looks like I missed some great matches last night. Well done BlackSheep and Hangovers.

  9. Read what was written!!!! No one was justifying anything, the WHOLE SITUATION was poor sportsmanship by both players. And honestly, harsher punishment should have been placed on both players. For the record, no one struck anyone.

  10. I like cheese burgers.

  11. Any personal attacks on this blog shows a lot of immaturaty. If someone out there is assaulting you, then call the police or your lawyer. On this blog we are trying to discuss tennis and tennis strategy. We are not interested in reading about personal attacks on Augusto or Tim or Red or whom ever. Again, if you feel that you have been assaulted, then call the police or your lawyer. If you feel that someone in the league is cheating, then take it up with the league. If you want to discuss cheating in the league, fine, but let's keep it civilized and not personally attack any one person. This is not a court of law. We are not interested in reading about your personal problems that you may have with any individual player. Half of us don't know these people nor care about your personal problems. Again, let's try to keep our 13 year old children from writing on this blog. This blog is for adults.

  12. Let's stop this. I was there, I'm captain of the Black Sheep. If I get another e-mail from anyone on my team about this stupid blog, I will sit your ass on the bench. I have a life and this blog is not a part of it. Both players were way out of line, Josh was shoved 3 times, 1 guy above me and the cheeseburger idiot, don't lie about it. A shove in any court anywhere in the US is assault. I saw it, I broke it up, and acted like an ass during the scene as well, who cares it's over. I hope to play the Shhwing again in the finals, they compete hard. I'm out of town and I wish I could be there to watch. Let's put it on the court where it belongs. Play hard, toast a brew to a good match and have fun.

    Tennis is a game and I think most of you in this forum have forgot we play for fun. We all want to win but I will take ethics and honor over winning at all cost, everytime.

    We get a towel and a free t-shirt if we win. Lossing respect is not worth what we truely gain. To me the journey is just as important as the destination.

    Go Black Sheep
    Scott Carr

  13. Interesting comment from Team Carr. I think one of his guys got DQed because he self rated 4.5, but his tennis history rated him higher. My respect goes out to you!

  14. Scott,

    Again, we really don't care about the details of this event. Why go in to the details again. This is exactly what we don't want.

  15. ******Interesting comment from Team Carr. I think one of his guys got DQed because he self rated 4.5, but his tennis history rated him higher. My respect goes out to you!****

    Ask around to other team captains, Atsushi got screwed and it's been detailed in this forum. He did not have a history, he won 4 matches 2 being very close. Players he played and captains have said he is not deserving of the bump and DQ. Have the courage to post your name and do some research before posting and wasting our time.


  16. Honestly, the only thing that matters is what the TTA/USTA says. This forum is what it is: a bunch views/opinions whose final say so in the matter MEANS NOTHING.

  17. In Austin and San Antonio the winner of the League goes directly to Sectionals. I was wondering what everyones opinion was about the Playoffs. I think there is alot of sacrifice during the regular season and no reward. I know that in Dallas they have Playoffs as well but is it only because Normally Dallas and Houston get the Wilcards or just to promote more play.

    It would be interesting to see some of the results if we had to play some of the 3rd setters out.

  18. as Rodney King said "can't we all just get along"

  19. I really don't understand why people bother to make comments in the blog with anonymous names, just be man enough and put your name. Yes I was suspended for being a team player, and the guy only received a push, that's it. However, the captain of that team cried like a baby, and inmediately start calling people and making false statements about what happend, just because I hurt his new boy who by the way lost the match...... I am pretty sure he is the anonymous guy writing all this BS about players and all that. Just come to the court and let's solve it playing, otherwise just shut up, nobody cares about what you have to say. Adios amigo!!!!!

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