Friday, October 26, 2007

NorCal - Match One

By now the results are online and the comments are flowing in.

This was a very close match that could have gone either way.

The lineup was as follows:

1S- Sarosh

2S – Knutson

1D – Kern/Veilleux

2D – Goldberg/Trans-Pak

3D – Patton/Wood

Subs: Janek, Towle, Urtis.

De los Santos is AWOL. No one knows where he this point he is not answering calls..everyone hopes everything is ok and that there is an assignable cause to his abscense.

From the scores you can see that both line 1’s took it easy. Sarosh’s guy got frustrated mid way in the second set and Kern/Veilleux took it in two seeming to be in control the whole match

On line 2 dubs, Goldberg and Thomas took the first set with a break, but then their opponents seem to “wake up” in the 2nd set. The norcal guys had hellacious serves that seems to get better as the match proceeded. By the time the tie break started Brian and Thomas got down early and made an attempt to close the gap by a 2-7 deficit is hard to overcome.

On line 3 dubs the duo of Patton and Wood started off slow losing the first set at 1, but also seem to wake up in the second taking a comfortable 5-1 lead to close it out at 3 with Dan holding a close service game. The tiebreak was very close with match points on both sides of the net with the NorCal guys winning 12-10.

After the Norcal guys took two close tiebreaks to pull even and then it all came down to Knutson.

His court did not come available until about 45minutes into the other matches. By the time everyone finished he was only partially into the first set. Most of you that know Kris’ game know that he is crafty moving you around the court and forces you to make mistakes. The guy he was playing seemed to feed on this type of play. Kris fought a very tough match but in the end it was a single break in each set with close to 40 people watching that allowed NorCal to edge out Texas. As you can see from the photo below there was quite a lot of action around the court which no doubt had to be slightly distracting (see photo below).

I know rectal vision is 20/20, but one has to wonder what the impact was of De Los Santos not showing up forcing the swizzling of the lineup to have a team out there playing together for the first time at this level of event. Richard and Dan did draw the toughest of the three doubles lines (IMHO), but it can only be speculated of the impact of this last minute change to force this duo.

The strategy at this point is to win out and finish 2-1 and move ahead on game differential. Southern beat Florida 3-2 today, so at the end of today there will be one 2-0 team, two 1-1 teams and one 0-2 team.

Thoughts on Tucson and Event Coordination

I think Tucson is the antithesis of Houston. Houston has no scenery and tons of buildings…while Tucson has no buildings over 4 stories (that I have seen) and a ton of mountains surrounding the city. The weather is dry and there is not a cloud in the sky.

The facility is very nicely maintained for a public park and the courts are in good shape. The event is a couple of minutes behind due to delay but that is somewhat expected for an event this size.

The start of an event is kind of goofy…picture this – They call both teams up to a table and they stand there and call the lines as they come available (1S, 1D, 2D, 3D, 2S) and there is this crowd of 16 plus others standing at this table cramped, ready to play, waiting for a court…very strange.

As expected there are a lot of color/outfit coordinated women’s teams from all over. They look like some gangs looking for a fight…It is kind of funny. There are even a couple of color/outfit coordinated men’s teams too.

One thing that is cool that they do that maybe HTA should consider is that they are randomly checking ID’s of the players to get on the court. This is the minority versus the majority of the time, but it is a good practice after the NorCal fiasco last year in Hawaii where some non-roster people were on the court. There is a ton of info about this on the tennis warehouse site if anyone has interest to learn the story.

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