Saturday, February 9, 2008


Well, it's about that time of year when a lot of us start thinking about the USTA summer league. Of course, the more serious captains have been working on their rosters continuously since last season, always having an eye opened for a potential contributor.

I haven't talked to very many people so I'm not very well-informed of the goings-on around the city. The few people I HAVE talked to are all in agreement that the Copperfield 4.5 team is going to be a team to keep your eye on. With John Kudrick (it seems like just a couple of years ago when he was playing at 5.5 NATIONALS) and Blessing Bvunzawabaya now rated 4.5, they could be almost unstoppable. Rumor has it that Blessing will be working at Liezel Huber's new tennis academy in the Northwest part of town, so time will tell if he'll have the time or desire to play with a Copperfield 4.5 team.

Mostly everyone I've talked to is still scratching their heads over some of the ratings after all of the appeals were accepted or denied. Tim Hurlbert's name is the one most often mentioned. Despite losing the Dibuas, Kingwood will again be loaded.

I saw a bunch of league players out at the UT-aTm match yesterday. Craig Bobo and Ben Whitsett were playing in a tournament there and are already in midseason form. Whitsett looks like he's improved from last season, and the duo were just a point or two away from handing a loss to former UT All-American Jack Brasington. I believe Bobo will be taking over from Tim Green and Ken Burkhart captaining the Hangovers. With his connections as tennis director at Walden Country Club I won't be surprised to see some more talent added to the roster. The Hangovers have been diligent about working on their games in the offseason, with leagues and drills just about every week. Lurking in the background is Red Benzon, of course. With his tennis connections, any team he joins will become an immediate favorite.

I haven't heard too much about the other divisions. Apparently the Houston Racquet Club will be fielding a team in the 5.0 division, which I'm sure will be competitive. I'm sure Tim Green will be fielding a team in 5.0 that will raise the bar in that division. Love him or hate him, (I've never figured out why there is such animosity towards Tim in the comments here??????) he's got a great track record at putting teams together. Although it was well-balanced, last year was a down year for the 5.0 division in Houston. Perhaps there will be a talent boost this season.

I've heard absolutely no talk about 4.0. I know Jason Freeman will have a team, and based on past performance his team will definitely bear watching. It remains to be seen if he can field a winner after losing a ton of talent from last year's squad and being hamstrung by the "three player rule" which affects teams that go to Nationals. Rice, Lakeside and Chancellor's are three other teams to watch. I just found out that Rice captain Bill Hunt had suffered a heart attack just prior to Sectionals last season. Hopefully he has fully recovered and will again be putting together a top-notch team.