Sunday, May 31, 2009

Remi Osho

Unfortunately the traffic on this blog is at its lowest on Sundays but I hope people will get a chance to see this.  Rest in Peace, Remi.

To all tennis players,

Remi Osho has passed. His family and friends are having a memorial/fundraiser for him this evening at Woodlake tennis center at 7pm. Address is 2200 Tanglewilde. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I just completed my 300 mile drive home from the remote outpost of Sienna Plantation and figured I'd share the results with y'all.  

In 4.5, the Deucebags had an interesting lineup.  Aadrian Hasker, James Bui and Miguel Morales were all missing for various reasons, (Hasker had a commitment to a friend and I was told that Bui and Morales didn't want to make the long drive, but that may not be true) but Alain Tran and Derrick Dugas were both there to cheer their teammates on.  Captain Tran decided to leave himself and Dugas out of the lineup.  

Without Hasker, the Deucebags were shorthanded in singles and Sienna took advantage, as Juan Trevino and Andre Costilla both won.  The Deucebags took the first two doubles lines and the match came down to Ward Jannuzzi and Ed Mouton against Ian Bird and Justin Smith.  Last year I played some 4.0 and 4.5...Bird kicked my ass in a 4.0 match and he was every bit as impressive as any of the 4.5 players I played.  Tonight he and Smitty came up big, winning the clincher for Sienna.  

Sugar Creek will benefit from the Deucebags loss, but also lost themselves tonight by a 4-1 count to the 4.5 Hurricanes.  Omon Dibua trounced Simon Jim and Odion squeaked past Antoine Ford in a third set breaker.  Phong Regent saw his first action for the Hurricanes and came through with a W.  

In 4.0 out at Sienna, the Hurricanes squeaked out a 3-2 win.  I'll be honest, I was expecting a more lopsided score.  The Hurricanes played many of their new players, but all of them were in dogfights with the tough Sienna players.  

Daniel Durand is not an impressive looking player.  I'm sure most spectators were thinking "I'd kill that guy", as he continually floated balls back at his opponent and hit first serves that may not have broken the speed limit.  But the guy is good at what he does, and has frustrated many an opponent.  He came through with another 3 set victory tonight over Hank Kravec.

Greg Dwyer pulled out a tough win at line 2 singles for the 'Canes over Doug Whitehead, a class act whose son will be attending UT next season on a tennis scholarship.  Bruce Inting continued his remarkable run...he's now 20-1 this year in all of his league matches (HTA, USTA, mixed, tri-level, etc.)  after having a similar record last season.  He teamed with rookie Tu Tran to pull out an 11-9 win in the third set breaker.  

Ronnie Kwan and Ed Metoyer pulled out a big win over Scott Foster and Sebastien Chambert, both of whom have had success at the 4.5 level this season.  Kwan and Metoyer played solid tennis and really frustrated their opponents with some well-placed lobs, winning in straight sets.
So, the two matches between the Hurricanes and Sienna 4.0 teams both went 3-2 and could have gone either way.   The division winner will probably come down to lines or even sets won.  

As noted, some other results are trickling in....Bear Creek pulled out a win in their showdown and NWO continued to roll.  Kingwood Crush also had an easy victory over the Hurricanes 2 team. Also, Lakeside won their battle with the Smokers 3-2, making it a three horse race in 4.0's most competitive division.

Monday, May 25, 2009

4.0 Takes Center Stage

It's already been touched upon in the previous thread, but there are at least 3 big matches in 4.0 this week.  

For my money, the Lakeside-Smokers battle is the biggest.  Many people "in the know" feel that Lakeside has the most dangerous team in the division, but has had its back against the wall since its week one loss to Chancellor's.  A Smokers win will make it almost a foregone conclusion that Chancellor's and the Smokers will be the division's city playoff representatives.  A win by Lakeside makes it a three horse race.

Sienna and the Hurricanes have their second battle of 2009 after round one went down to the wire. I expect that both teams will have radically different lineups this time.  The loser will still have a big leg up on JCC for the second playoff slot.  Look for the Hurricanes to exact some revenge in this one.  

Bear Creek and Copperfield both put their spotless records on the line in a match that is mainly for bragging rights.  With the way the playoffs have been set up in recent years, there really is no advantage to winning your regular season flight.  Both of these teams have fallen somewhat under the radar and will have a chance to earn some much-needed respect this week.  

There have been a few lineup additions to some 4.5 rosters again in recent weeks that I failed to mention.   Sam Holmes and league veteran Chris Lubrano (who introduced me to USTA league way back in 1997) have joined the Copperfield roster and the 4.5 Hurricanes have added former SuperChamp and Aggie Soong Hay Tam.  Holmes crushed Jochen Moser in his 2009 debut and will be a nice addition for the Lobsters.  

The Hurricane 4.5 team faces Sugar Creek this week...hopefully Sean Straley will be available for this one.  The Deucebags travel to Sienna in the other match in that Division.  Not too much else of interest in 4.5 this week. 

5.0 is a runaway at this point.  The battle is for second.  Willowfork has a chance to get in the conversation if they can beat Westside this week.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Any Scores Rolling in yet?

Any early results from tonight?

I hope the Kingwood v. Westside (what was their name again?) smack talking was settled on the court.

I saw the that 4.5 Hurricane team was done quickly tonight and shared some remarks about having to play the weakest team in their division.

What else happened?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Last week

I forgot to mention something about last week's matches. Yes, he's out of practice. Yes, he's not in the shape he once was. But he's still dangerous. Steve Phan ran his career 4.5 singles record to 18-0 last week. In fact, it was the first time he's ever dropped a set.

He's got some work to do, but if his being in the lineup is an indication that he's "getting back into it", things could get interesting come playoff time in 4.5.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Week Five

The schedule, like the weather, is starting to heat up.  We've been lucky this year with no rain on Thursday nights...let's hope that continues.  

There are a few good matchups in 4.5 this week.  There has already been a lot of discussion about the Kingwood Crush matchup with Westside's No Way Out.  Maybe I'm biased, as there are six former teammates/friends on the Kingwood team, but I'd be shocked if No Way Out pulled off the upset here.  

Every week brings an intriguing matchup in 4.5 Division III.  The Deucebags will be taking on a much stronger Sugar Creek team that has its back to the wall.   Sugar Creek will be at home and should be able to get Straley, Jim and Herr in the lineup.  Look for this one to come down to the wire.  We'll see if Alain Tran stands pat or adds some talent to contend with the very tough division competition. 

The top two teams in Division I also face off as Ssshhhwings take on Copperfield.  The Shwings haven't been tested yet, and quite frankly won't get the kind of battles in Division I that some of the other teams will see during the regular season.  

In 4.0, division leader SAP will be taking on a 2-2 (I believe they lost last week) Rolido Boys team whose season is in jeopardy.  An SAP win all but assures SAP and Lost Forest trips to Citywides.

Two of the five quality teams in Division II square off as the Smokers take on a Phoenix team that experienced their first loss last week.   The Phoenix can make things interesting with an upset here.  

Finally, the Hurricanes 4.0 team has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far, and has a tough matchup with a veteran JCC squad.   Is it possible that Freeman's bunch will be on the outside looking in come playoff time? 

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've been too busy watching the gutty Rockets  to get much of an update about tonight's matches. 

I did hear that Kingwood won 3-2 in the big battle with the Black Sheep.  I believe Don Rios and Raymond Santiago/Bao Vo Dinh surrendured the two lines for the Crush.  The other Westside team won 4-1 and is in the hunt for that second playoff spot.  

Lakeside beat the Phoenix 4-1 and kept their season alive, silencing the naysayers.  Roscoe Trujillo is an impressive player for the Phoenix and won his singles match comfortably over Omel Ruiz.  

In 5.0 Copperfield dominated the Met and all but officially wrapped things up.  Jason Pieters handled Amit Garg pretty easily.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The NCAA tennis championships are being held at Texas A&M, starting Thursday.  The women and men's championships are now held at the same site.  Both the Aggies and Longhorns will be competing. 

For those interested in attending or following the action, the Texas College Tennis Blog does a great job of covering college tennis.  

In other non-league related news, the Austin Tennis Academy has been named the third USTA regional training center.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This week's slate

It's been a slow couple of weeks, but hopefully the matchups this week will be a bit more intriguing.  

Discussion has already begun on the Sienna/Hurricanes 4.5 matchup. (Oops...Should have checked that...Sienna plays Sugar Creek)  Still wanna' see Costilla versus Straley or Jim... 

The Black Sheep are smarting from last week's shocker, but still appear to be in no jeopardy of missing the playoffs in their two-tiered division.  I'm sure they will bring all of their big guns this week and Kingwood will get their first test.  I'm curious to see how Kingwood will line up...still no Juan Lopez or Minh Phan (nursing a wrist injury) on the roster.  I hope Steve Phan gets out there...he's too talented a player to be sitting on the sidelines but I'm sure he's pretty rusty.  

Intriguing matchup in 4.0 as the West Side Phoenix, unmentioned in this space yet sporting a perfect record thus far, take on the grizzled Lakeside team.  Omel Ruiz has an accurate and dangerous forehand but a vulnerable backhand...will the Phoenix singles player be able to exploit him?   It's do or die for Lakeside this week...with 5 solid teams in that division two losses early would be almost fatal. 

Also, the Rolido boys have their backs to the wall and take on undefeated Lost Forest Hackers. With a solid SAP team also in their division, this one is crucial for the Rolido Boys. 

In 5.0 the prohibitive favorites, the Hurricanes, have a bit of a test, taking on the 2-1 Met team captained by David Toney.  Expect to see Amit Garg or Arun Nanjappa at singles for the Met, who appear to be outmanned at every line.   

Plenty of other ok matchups this week....Discuss.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quick Update

The Hurricane 4.5 team took down Sugar Creek 4-1 tonight.  Odion Dibua beat Simon Jim in a tight and at times contentious match.  Ted Pumma waltzed past Samir Chiali.  David Herr made his league debut a successful one, teaming with Nick Hiemstra to take down solid veterans Burrmann and Day in three sets.  Omon Dibua and Ricardo Martinez took out Jason Cooney and new self-rate Luis Hernandez and David Lombardi and Wayne Morgan won their line very quickly and easily.

Ken Douds is doing everything in his power to improve his roster, and has made some really nice additions.  Assuming that neither team takes down the Hurricanes or stumbles against Sienna, Sugar Creek will have to sweep their remaining two matches against the Deucebags to make the City playoffs.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sugar Creek v. Hurricanes

Sugar Creek travels to the 4.5 Hurricanes in this Thursday's most intriguing match.  It's a short drive up 59 for Ken Douds' crew, and hopefully he will get all of his stars to make the trip.  With Straley, Herr, Jim, Chiali, Cooney and some of the other veterans, he can field an imposing lineup. Finding the right combination will be a challenge.  I'm sure the Hurricanes will have most of their big guns there.  A loss to Sugar Creek will make things interesting...I wonder if the Deucebags are rooting for Freeman/Benzon's boys or so they still have their sights set on winning the division?

It's early, but my impression is that the other "teams to watch" (besides the three already mentioned) in 4.5 are the Crush, Black Sheep, and Ssshhhwings, with perhaps Copperfield and Jedi Knights also in the playoff mix.  None of those teams have particularly difficult matchups this week.

Likewise, in 4.0, the teams I have on my radar so far are Sienna, the Hurricanes, SAP, Rolido Boys, Chancellor's, the Smokers, Lakeside, Copperheads and Bear Creek.  Certainly other teams may emerge as the season progresses, but on paper all of these teams should breeze through this week as well.  

I'm curious to see how some of the newer roster additions play out this week.  David Herr has been mentioned.  Sienna's 4.5 team added a 19 yr. old superchamp in Andre Costilla.  I'm sure we will see more talent being added to some of the heavyweights as the season progresses.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Not much news

I was playing out at Memorial Park last night and it was definitely pretty dead out there compared to your typical Thursday night.  

There were only two matches last night which interested me.  The Deucebags were again at the center of things.  Coming into the week, it looked to be a cakewalk for Alain Tran's bunch, but veteran captain Ken Douds had some tricks up his sleeve and had four last minute roster additions to make his team formidable.  It was a nice move, perhaps designed to catch the Deucebags by surprise if they brought in a mediocre lineup.   Sugar Creek added Sean Straley, Nick Hiemstra, Jason Cooney and a player who is unknown to me:  David Herr.  

I only have third hand information on the match last night, but I understand that the Deucebags took the match 3-2.  Aadrian Hasker again had a tough matchup (and a toothache).  Last year he was stuck in an easy division and was untested during the regular season.  Simon Jim gave him a tough battle in the first set last night, but Hasker pulled it out and cruised in the second.  The Deucebags also took line 2 singles as Douds used Straley and Cooney in doubles, where they both won their matches.  

The Deucebags as a team have made great strides and are a close-knit group.  They have weekly team practices on Wednesday nights and recently had a team tournament at Seven Lakes high school.  Some emerging 4.0 stars like Rafah Ahmed also practice with the team as Tran looks to groom players for the future.  

I've not heard any news from the other "big" match of the week where the Sienna 4.0 team hosted JCC.  Sienna usually reports scores promptly...makes me wonder if there might have been an upset?  

At MPTC last night, the 4.0 Hurricanes cruised over the Acers and I believe the Breakers pulled out a 3-2 win in 4.0 over Double Trouble with recently married Allan Chiu manning the number one singles slot for the Breakers.