Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nationals this Week

The Austin 4.5 team gets their chance to keep the 4.5 National Championship banner in the state of Texas this week. Good luck to Mike Davis' crew in Tuscon.

Texas is in a killer bracket, grouped with the USTA's largest section, Southern, as well as tennis hotbed Florida and perennial 4.5 power Richmond, who represents the Mid-Atlantic Section. It at looks like an uphill battle for Texas, but on paper they appear to be at least on the same level as the other teams in their flight. As always, it will come down to some clutch play and pulling out some tie breakers. Nerves will definitely come into play with a National championship potentially on the line.

The 5.0 Champions from Fort Worth will be playing in Indian Wells this weekend as well. I got a chance to hit on those courts about a year ago and must say that they are EXTREMELY slow, playing almost like clay courts. It certainly helps to explain why Nadal won the tournament there this year. Not sure if that is a plus or minus for Omana, Babb, Maupin, McCarthy and the rest of the Fort Worth contingent.

Texas' successes or failures will have a direct impact on Houstonians as ratings filter down from players playing at Nationals to Sectional participants to local league players. Midyear ratings may change drastically, depending on how things go this weekend.


  1. I don't think the Houston 4.0 team is nearly as good as they and everyone else thinks they are.

    I say neither the 4.0 or 4.5 texas teams makes it to the Final Four.

  2. I lean slightly to agreeing with you. I think their doubs is going to let them down. For both teams. It's REALLY hard to sweep singles at Nationals...

  3. Heard from one of the Austin guys that Holland may not make the trip, which will hurt them.

  4. The Houston 4.0 team is much better than most people are giving them credit for (and they are getting a lot of credit). They will dominate Nationals just like they dominated Sectionals. As long as Freeman can continue to handle the massive egos on his team they will do just fine.

    I think their doubles is stronger than their singles, even with Ahmed and Janek in the line-up.

    Both the Texas 4.0 and 4.5 teams will be playing on Sunday.

  5. I think anyone who is willing to make such a bold prediction has never been to Nationals.

  6. All I can say is if Jason's 4.0 team gets out of their pool with NorCal, Southern, and FL - they are rockstars. It doesn't get much tougher than that.

    That team from Southern has corporate sponsors. That's one serious team. NorCal and FL are always loaded!

  7. Mike is gonna have his handsful as well with Southern, FL and Mid-Atlantic.

    Does anyone know how they choose the brackets? It seems they always group the tough teams together. NorCal, SoCal, FL, TX Southern. I'm not saying always but as long as I've been interested in TX teams going to Nationals it seems the pools are not very even. The best team in theory should win but if you're killing yourself just to make it to Sunday seems the teams in the weaker pools have an advantage when it comes to play on Sunday - especially since they play the Semis and Finals back to back. There is literally no rest period between the semis and finals.

    At least in TX they always separate HOUSTON and DALLAS for the most part.

  8. Jason, are any of the guys who played for NoHo at Sectionals going to Nationals with the team?

  9. Hollis - what's it look like for your ladies? Will your missing players hurt you too much?

  10. Unlike the guys, at least we have 1 "easy" match - against Hawaii. But we've also got Southern who looks to be our biggest hurdle. And then our other pool play team is Eastern - the same team who won it in 2005 (the year we were there). That's the bad news - but the good news is I probably have about as much inside information on these teams as I could possibly get which always helps.

    We could make it to Sunday but I'm not overly confident either. This team is definitely good enough but we're also gonna need some lineup help.

  11. The key to advancing at nationals as always is who has the best ringers. There will be 5.5 players at the 4.5 nationals, its a question of which team has more of these types of players. Like last year, its quite possible there will be a team that will not lose under any circumstances. Austin has some good ringers in Case and Holland, but they may not be at the 5.5 level, which is necessary at 4.5 nationals as evidenced last year.

  12. I believe the draws are down at random but that 4.0 draw does seem rather tough. It is hard to rate sections since they change from year to year. Nor Cal should be tough in that section.

    Sectionals pairings: Houston/Dallas "for the most part" unfortunately for my 3.5 we played Freeman in flight play and we were both champs of our area.

    I am not sure how they could make flight fair maybe with these fancy computer ratings they could get an average and rank the teams accordingly.

  13. Well, I am starting to get guys are very excited to even be making the trip. They are not stupid or short-sighted. I will only predict Urtis and myself will do everything we can to give our guys a competitive advantage before they get on the court and, once on the court, my guys will play hard. Other than that we are simply going to have fun and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Chris Towle will be re-joining our team for trip to Arizona.

    Also, while most of my guys do have "competitive" egos, none of those egos ever come across as being negative toward the team. Actually, the opposite has been true all year long. These guys have been easy to captain.

    We will do our best and we'll see what happens.

    Oh yeah, I also like my doubles lines :)

  14. Hey Betsie,

    Don't you dare call us easy (on the court anyways), we are coming gunning for you and your troops.

    Here is the pre-match diaglogue....

    Oahu_Biatch: You wanna make it right? Then when you go to Nationals... bring it. Don't slack off because you feel sorry for us. That way, when we beat you, we'll know it's because we're better.
    BHollis: Oh, I'll bring it. Don't worry.
    Oahu_Biatch: I never do.

    (reference to this -


  15. Who let the women start posting in here? Oahu_biatch!!!!

  16. no kidding, can the skirts please start their own blog

  17. Agreed. Hawiian women also seemed alright on the Dog the Bounty Hunter but this tennis lady is crazy!? Not enjoying the nice weather enough in HI?

  18. You guys need to quit acting like the stupid, chauvinist, macho idiots that you are. Obviously the Oahu-Biatch is fictious. DUH!!!!!

  19. Or fictitious.

  20. i don't see the texas 4.5 mens team doing much at nationals.

  21. If they don't do much at nationals, then maybe they aren't the sandbaggers that some around here are claiming. However, we will find out today.

  22. So the Austin guys won 4-1. The singles scores look kind of lopsided although it is tough tell solely from a score.

    The ladies lost by the same score.

    Two third set breakers. Tough loss.

    Best of luck to both teams.

  23. 1s Chad Case won Vs. J.Gonzalez 6-4 6-0.

    2s Graham E. Thurman won vs. Robert Nickels 6-1 6-2

    1d Kattawar/Schlotterback lost vs.
    Seth Tarras Robert Henry 7-6.6-2

    2d Enrico Brunetta/Wilson E. Wicks
    won vs. Martin Voit/Gordon Light 6-7, 6-2, 1-0.

    3d Greg Gold /Eric Strawbridge
    won vs. Dick Greenberg
    Kalvin Alexander 7-6 , 6-4

  24. Someone is gonna have to eat crow - at least for the sake of the Houston women. Several people indicated that Texas is a weak section so maybe there's some credence to what they've been saying all along and the whiny cry babies who think they're loaded with a bunch of ringers are actually just suffering from sour grapes.

    Ouch - it always hurts to lose 3rd set TBs...

  25. I'd agree except that:

    1. They were playing the defending champs of 2 years ago.

    2. I can confirm that Betsie's team is limping into Nationals. Basically lost both her singles players so she was forced to dip into her doubles lines.

    Outlook is not looking good for the 4.5 women - But the men seem to be living up to the hype.

  26. I have no excuses. We still had a lineup capable of winning but Eastern outplayed us in both TBs. Austin men are rocking at least ...

  27. Hey Betsie,

    Don't forget about me.

    Make sure you bring it in the AM.

  28. Nice showing by the 5.0 guys also, hard to believe Steve Maupin had somehow gotten down to 4.5 yet he won several matches at 5.0 nationals, guess he will now go back to his true level with Babb.