Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Off to Vegas

Our local 4.5 teams will be jetting off to Vegas tomorrow for Nationals, which begins on Friday morning. The guys will have just about all of their key players. The players have been practicing and should be in good form. There may even be a surprise or two in the lineups over the weekend.

Red and Freeman will hopefully be giving me updates, probably as things are going on, so I will be sure to keep everyone informed. Hopefully Betsie will chime in with some good news as well.

HTA season is in full swing. I've only glanced at results a couple of times, but as far as I can tell the most interesting team seems to be the Deucebags, who have added some talent in an effort to help offset the expected loss of Aadrian Hasker next season. Alex Beaux and his top notch serve should definitely help. Crafty Huy "DJ" Pham has made his reappearance and is now rated 4.0. I heard a rumor that one of their players played on the infamous Backesto team in California, but I can't find any record of that and was apparently misinformed.

253 comments:

  1. It looks like the hurricane 4.5 team has wrapped up its first victory over New England. They're up 3-0 with the singles still on the court. Omon and John Burrmann came back from losing the first set 6-0 to win a tight 10-8 third set breaker.

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  2. Hurricanes swept the New England team 5-0. They play Mid Atlantic at 12 today who beat Caribbean 3-2.

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  3. Off to a good start, what about the Bestie's team?

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  4. Betsie's team Natural Guts won their 1st round match 3-2.
    They play again at 330.

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  5. Houston 4.5 Men just lost a tight 3-2 match against Mid Atlantic. 3 third set tiebreakers made the difference in this one.

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  6. 4.5 Women won their 2nd match today 3-2. Way to go Natural Guts!!

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  7. Why was Sarosh in the line-up?

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  8. Uh oh, how many teams do Red and Freeman have left in it now? I think they are down to the Hurricane 3.5, 3.0 and of course that stud team in junior team tennis.

    On a serious note, hopefully TX 4.5catches a break and gets out of pool play. The sweep could be huge if they can get a loss from Mid Atlantic. Good luck

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  9. Both 4.5 Men/Women are out at Nationals. 4.5 Women lost today 3-2, and in the mens Mid Atlantic advanced by going undefeated in pool play. Congrats to both teams for getting to Nationals.

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  10. Interesting that the Hurricanes elected to play Sarosh and Herb both players did not win a match for the Hurricanes. Perhaps this cost the Hurricanes the national championship, I guess we will never know.

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  11. i am sure freeman had good reasons to put saroch in the line-up

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  12. Herb did win a match in the first round.

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  13. Nothing went wrong. There were some close 3rd set tiebreakers but there always is.

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  14. Back from Vegas. It should not be a shock but we had an interesting time. In our 3rd round match to decide the winner of our flight, line 1 doubles was against Minka, an Asian Porn Star (size 55KKK). She has a website www.minkaxxx.com and I've got some pictures on FB. Unbelievable. We're still not sure if her partner is a man or a woman. Between the chest bumps, kissing, and butt feels it was quite distracting. Red, Herb, and Andreas were witness to it. In the words ot Herb, "what the F - - - "

    The team had a great run and it was really fun and exciting. We had our chances but just didn't pull out a few critical points. I watched almost the entire finals and pretty sure we would have beaten the team from Seattle. Time to start thinking about 2011.

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  15. Oh, and if any of you are in Vegas she gives private lessons for $150/hr. She's been on Conan OBrian and Jerry Springer. It was a Freak Show.

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  16. FYI - The link is highly NSFW.

    Good run by both teams. Anyone got any video? I thought that Billy Jean King said to hit high backhand lobs to well endowed women?

    Anyone got any video of her playing tennis? Betsie, make me your friend on FB.

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  17. Yes, we've got video. I'll get my friend to send it and post it. You need to invite me to be your friend. I can't add you for some reason. Ever since that FB Attacker

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  18. So any predictions after the weekend at 4.5 Nationals who will get bumped up/down?

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  19. wow..what a bad decision to play sarosh in singles.

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  20. So for all of the talent on the two loaded 4.5 teams, neither team was able to make it out of their pool. That is some tough competition!

    I wonder what the whiners have to say about the level of play represented by these players. Are they playing out of level?

    Maybe it shows that Houston players are over-rated, and need to work more on their game than complaining from behind a desk.

    I have a feeling that a lot of the whining comes from has-beens that had past success at a certain level, but are now fighting the fact that their game has decreased. The level of tennis from the incoming new players is higher, and league will only be more competitive next year.

    Great run for both 4.5 teams, guess it's time to rebuild for 2011 for Jason & Betsie.

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  21. The guy split sets. Give him a break. Wasn't that bad of a call. How about the other 2 3rd set TBs

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  22. who cares if sarosh split sets, that means the other guy was not that good.

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  23. http://picasaweb.google.com/betsiehollis/DropBox?authkey=Gv1sRgCLXaibeqku6pXw&feat=directlink

    I'm not sure if this will work or not. Try this link for pictures of Minka playing tennis. I'll post more as they come in from the team.

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  24. So cool, maybe Sarosh will get bumped back to 4.0 and we'l get this Blog heated up again.

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  25. For the women there were only a few standout players (maybe 2-3 at most) but for the most part the players were all at level. Jo was clearly the best player there this weekend and Emma would have stood out as well had she been there. I have definitely seen a leveling out at the 4.5 level from 2005, the first year we went to Nationals, to this year. DNTRP was implemented in 2003 I think.

    Of interest is at the Captain's meeting David Schobel, the USTA tournament director, implied that they plan on spreading out the levels much more because they see the trend of a lot of repeat players/teams. I took it that they are narrowing the margins to get bumped up. Not sure if Jason or Tim agree, they were at the meeting as well.

    Guess we'll see in a few weeks. Ratings should be out by the las week in November.

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  26. is huy pham the dude with the crooked neck?

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  27. Huy is a big time cheater, better get a linesman when you play against him. I have seen him make some really bad line calls in matches and they always come at the best time for him.

    Just a warning if you play him.

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  28. Both 4.5 Houston Teams had a great showing this weekend. IMO if Betsie would have had Emma/Cori they definitely would have been a different team. It just goes to show that you can have a loaded roster but, they still have to show up on the court. Sadly, I know Betsie will regroup and be back at Nationals in 2011.

    As far as the men go, well they definitely had their chances to advance to Sunday but, just came up a few points short in key moments. Regardless of what anyone says we coulda,woulda,shoulda is irrelevant. We competed and just came up a little short. I guarantee you that everyone is a little disappointed but, in the end it was an experience for all of us to be at a Nationals event. I'm almost positive that it won't be the last Nationals trip for A lot of the players.

    I'm very Happy to say that Betsie and Jason did a GREAT job getting their teams to Nationals. It takes a lot of time,effort and most importantly patience to be a Captain that's why those two bring teams time and time again to Nationals Championships.

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  29. Just because the team didn't win, is it so hard to offer congratulations. To call the 4.5 men's team over rated or a bunch of has beens is silly at best. They went to nationals and competed well. They went 2-1, and in the match they lost, they lost 3tiebreakers, 2 at 10-8 and one at 12-10.

    Most of the players on the team won at least one match, something the author of the above comments will probably never accomplish.

    At nationals they play the best of the best. They competed well.

    So congratulations to both the men's and women's team. You represented Houston well.

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  30. Don't let anyone steal your thunder. Going to Nationals is a huge accomplishment and an honor. Anyone who attempts to deflate the experience is just jeolous.

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  31. Good job Hurricanes and Natural Guts!!!

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  32. so why did they play sarosh in singles? there's 8 guys on the hurricanes team that are better then him.

    he lost in singles against Morales and Diep.

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  33. It is a valid point. It's not like TX was playing Mid-Atlantic in the 1st round and didn't know what they were looking at. Mid-Atlantic had just beaten Caribbean so TX knew MA was the team to beat to get through. Why put in a 5th 6th or 7th string singles player for that match. I could have understood it if Sarosh went in for the 3rd match. They also Sat Andreas the entire weekend. Such disrespect for the guy who has won many critical lines for them.

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  34. wtf... they sat out andres? i thought he didn't make the trip. what about martinez? did he get sat out or didn't make the trip? andres would have definitely won that singles match.

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  35. Don't mean to second guess Jason here but Andres and David have won a lot of key matches for the Canes. Why sit Andres and play Herb in the 2nd match. No disrespect for Herb but Andres is a great doubs player. That sux to make the trip and not get to play.

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  36. Plus, Herb had already played in the first round.

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  37. My guess is it was the Green factor. Tim wanted to play and he doesn't have much match experience with Andres, David, or Wayne

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  38. Andres separated himself from the team the whole weekend. That is why he was not in any of the line ups. He definitely could have played, but he never was around the team. Nowhere to be found in key moments???

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  39. if i was captain, i would make sure that everyone on the team would play at least once. that's definitely rude sitting one of your players the entire weekend, after they made the trip out there to play for you.

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  40. Cart before the horse? Maybe Andres separated himself because he felt he was wanted/needed. Luckily his wife was playing that weekend so he had somewhere to go.

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  41. A couple of my friends play on Betsie's team and that is one thing she does really well. Everyone gets to play no matter what. It's probably an expectation she needs to change if she ever wants to win Nationals. I've never been on a Nationals team but I would be fine going and being a cheerleader if I'm not one of the better players. But, you need to let the players know that before they take off work and spend the money to get there. Otherwise, shame on you!

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  42. Going to nationals is not a popularity contest. Play your 8 stallions. There is no tomorrow.

    Who gives a funk if people come out there. Having played with Freeman in the past he is very clear about playing to win. Not playing to be popular.

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  43. I was on a Freeman team and I agree with the poster above. The players are made very aware early that the team comes first. The best 8 players will play, and the remaining ones will rotate in if circumstances permit it.

    I was not one of the top 8, but understood my placement before joining the team. So I was ok with it because it was an opportunity to advance farther than I had in the past.

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  44. andres has won some key match ups for the canes. He might have gotten to play had he showed interest in the team and supported. Hell he didn't even show up for the team picture. You don't break doubles teams up for the sake of playing time. Huffman didn't make the trip. Although Betsie did get all her players in its b/c they all supported and were around the team. Andres was nowhere to be seen when Hurricanes were in tight matches.

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  45. If that is the case then I would agree. I've never played on a Freeman team and if everyone knows that as the expectation of being on the team then no harm done.

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  46. Wow. A lot of activity on the blog.

    I won't presume to speak for Jason or Red but I do have a LITTLE insight into what was behind some of their decisions.

    Sarosh was playing VERY well leading up to Nationals and was highly competitive with some of their top singles players in practice matches. Ted has historically had a lot of trouble playing two matches in a day partly due to his cramping tendencies. I'm assuming they thought that Sarosh gave them the best chance of winning rather than pulling someone like Odion from the doubles into the singles lineup. I'm not sure if they considered using Sarosh in the first match since historically Mid-Atlantic fields and elite 4.5 team and New England is usually weaker.

    I do believe that Tim is most comfortable playing with Herb. By all accounts Herb played fantastic tennis at Nationals. My own feeling as a captain is that you play your best lineup until mathematically eliminated. Lombardi, Morgan and Ballesteros are all great players and I assume they were aware of the possibility that they might not play if they made the trip.

    Also, Jason echoed what Betsie said with regards to "evening out the levels". He made it sound like there would be a great effort to reduce the glut of 3.5 and 4.0 players and that we may see a bunch of 4.5's moving up to 5.0 and a domino effect at lower levels. This does not bode well for yours truly and many other borderline players.

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  47. andres is a much better player then sarosh. he is top 8. however, you know what you get when signing up on freeman's team.

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  48. Andreas is too fat to play singles. He could have played doubles and had Odion play singles though.

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  49. I disagree, Andres is not a top 8 on that team. Unfortunately, his usual partner did not make the trip, so he was the odd man out. In addition and according to some testimonials, his team attitude was not good so he didn't "deserve" to play.

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  50. I agree with HTown. Between Mid-Atlantic and NE you've GOT to put out your best lineup for MA. You know you can't use Ted for both singles matches so play Sarosh in the 1st match. They took 5 lines against NE.

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  51. Just wondering. Canes are a HUGE team but only 11 players went. Is that because the others weren't gonig to play? Huffman, David B, Martinez, Phong, Hunckler, Day

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  52. It's Nationals and there are no freebies. How can you not play your best players in the first match? That is the match you don't have an opportunity to scout the other teams and could put you in a big hole if you lose.

    Gotta play the best 8 in the first pool match.

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  53. I found an ortho that will write you a letter for $100 on embossed letterhead to get medical appeal.

    I might be able to get a group discount if we get enough. Who's in? Contact me at noonewillgethis@gmail.com

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  54. I'm in. I need one for a weak backhand.

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  55. Betsie, are you serious about Minka being a 4.5 or is it a joke that I'm missing. What is her real name ?

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  56. I am totally serious. Her real name is Un Hee Aptekar and she's a 4.5 player. A really good 4.5 player. Unfortunately, she has absolutely no class at all. She's married to a Vietnam vet who kept telling her to stop her on-court antics but she wouldn't listen. She drives a white mercedes and parks in the handicap spots.

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  57. Andres attitude cost him playing time. He may have deserved to play but, if he wasn't supporting the team during matches and didn't even show up for the team picture I don't feel bad for him. He's an experienced player and teammate and should have known his team needed him. There is no way Andres makes the singles line up for the Canes.

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  58. Andreas is a nice guy but what key matches did he win. Furthermore he and Huffman were one of the few not to win a match at nationals last year.

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  59. Andres has gone 0-4 in 2 Nationals Trips in 2008/2005 in 2 matches each year.

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  60. Wow how soon we forget. Let's see in 2008 he won a key match on the NOHO team to beat Houston 3-2 in the finals at Sectionals. He also won a match against Wild Ft Worth in a 3-2 victory. Then in 2009 he took lines against NETX and Ft Worth - both were 3-2 wins. That's 4 key wins in most people's books

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  61. Yes, those were key wins at Sectionals in previous years. If Huffman had made the trip then he probably would have gotten to play. Since he didn't make the trip it did put Andres odd man out. Since he wasn't around the team at all how could any Captain justify him being able to play.

    Who did he beat in the finals last year at Sectionals?

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  62. Brandon Burriss and Jimmy Kilshaw 1,4

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  63. Huffman here. Let's clear a few things up...

    First of all, I didn't make the trip because I was told that Andreas and I were the 4th doubles line and would probably not play! I had my plane ticket booked but why go to be a cheerleader?! Sorry but we earned our spot and got hosed at the last minute. It would have been nice to at least have a chance to play Tim and Herb for the spot. Instead, the holy trinity of captains made the decision based on ASSumptions.

    It was a no brainer to stay home when I'm told that I will only play if: someone plays bad, someone gets hurt, or we are already out of it. We might not have won a match last year at nationals but we won all of our matches this year in league, city playoffs and sectionals. WE ARE ALSO THE ONLY GUYS THAT PLAYED AT NATIONALS LAST YEAR!! Who else has been back to back?

    To say it was a slap in the face is an understatement.

    Huffman

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  64. One more thing to add, I have 2 week old twin girls that just came home from the hospital. It was worth more to me to spend time with them then to be a bench warmer for the team.

    Even still, I would have went if we would have had the chance to play for the 3rd line spot and lost.

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  65. So let's see since you are so insistent that you/Andres have earned a spot let's point out a few things.

    All teams have a supporting cast and yes you/andres were the 4th doubles line. You had 2 months to play Tim/Herb in challenges, but I guess you just take it upon yourself and believe you earned that spot. If Hurricanes play their strong doubles lines like they did at Sectionals in Semis/Finals you are definitely line #4. You/Andres have won some key matches but, leading up to Nationals it didnlt show on the practice courts according to other teammates.

    You are correct that you/andres are the only 2 to play at Nationals last year. So does that make you a shoe in for a spot? How do you think you got on this years team? The Captains that you think that make assumptions thought you would be a great addition. This years team is definitely deeper than last years team.You DON'Tend up on a National team by luck, we all know that.

    Truth of the matter is you/andres could have played had you been there.

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  66. It's no surprise Huffman got to consecutive nationals. His ego is HUGE.

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  67. But not as huge as Minka...

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  68. I'm with you Huff. Bumm deal but at least you got to see your girls delivered. That's priceless. Forget Nationals. You and Andres will go again and leave these losers behind AGAIN!

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  69. Talk about carrying a load in doubles? She found a way to move those KOKOKO nuts around the court.

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  70. I'll be Switzerland here. I can see both sides, however, also don't have all the facts. At what point were the best 3 doubles teams announced? I agree, let's decide these kind of things on the court and not have unilateral decisions. Yes, anyone could and should have stepped up to play one of the top 3 teams to earn their spot. The other thing is did all of the players have this understanding before the season started. In other words, were they told going into Nationals only the best 8 players would play unless something happens or eliminated.

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  71. If we had Minka on our team she'd always be in the top 8.

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  72. There are a lot of players who would love to be the 4th doubles team on a Nationals team. David and Andres have already gone multiple times so perhaps they took it for granted. Wayne and Lombardi appreciated the trip and being there and did get to play. I'm sure they would have put their big boy panties on even had they not played one match.

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  73. How in the hell are Andres and David considered the Hurricanes #4 doubles team. Just starring at the roster I don't see it. There are at least 7-8 combinations that would easily beat them.

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  74. That's why you decide these things on the court. It's always subject to opinion.

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  75. I don't blame Andreas for not wanting to be with the team when he was told a day or two before that he basically wasn't good enough to play. He and Huff were good enough to get the team to nationals, but not good enough to play there? The captains should have told all players the deal before they bought tickets. And that is crap to say Huff and Andreas had a spot to play at natioanls if Andreas had been around the team...easy to say after the fact. If you wanted him to play, you should have played him.

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  76. TWO DAYS BEFORE LEAVING? That's just wrong. Sorry, I was in Jason's camp before I found that out.

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  77. They had a couple of months to play. I have a feeling Green was dodging them. Don't they all live in the Kingwood area except for Herb?

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  78. the real problem was playing sarosh in singles, while he lost in the summer against morales and diep. morales and diep are very good, but definitely not top 4.5 players. you need top 4.5 players in singles to compete at nationals. this is why you need andres to play that singles match instead of sarosh. andres is a better overall player in singles and doubles then sarosh. period...

    congrats huffman on your girls!

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  79. That kind of attitude will hurt the Canes long term. You can get away with only playing your best 8 at Nationals but you've got to have depth in August in Dallas. You've got to take care of your back-up or your back-up is going to go back another team.

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  80. Freeman/Red -- why don't you two chime in here on your thoughts and actions on this issue?

    Everyone knows you all are the best recruiters of talent in the area, but you also need to be leaders that manage ego centric talent.

    I don't think it bodes well to have your players bagging your choices on the blog.

    Man up for what you did and why you did it. Right or wrong defend your actions.....

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  81. It doesn't matter how long they had to schedule a "challenge match", they didn't know until 2 days before leaving they weren't considered good enough to get to play even 1 time

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  82. Mismanagement if you ask me. Seems everyone knows Puma has conditioning issues and Canes needed to identify who their 3rd best singles player is to spell Puma. They chose Sarosh, however, again it seems arguably Andres is considered by some to be more worthy of that 3rd singles spot as well.

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  83. Everyone knows Green/Red/Freeman's team holds no loyalty. What's changed? One year your the best until they find someone better. Hey, can you guys rename your team to the Dushbags2!

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  84. Huffman you’re the same as them. Didn't you switch from Kilshaw's team to be with these ASSESS as you refer to them. Are you getting a taste of your own medicine.

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  85. Betsie,

    That is grotesquely awesome. I can see how people would watch her play like someone watches a train wreck.

    Did anyone challenge her ability to be a 4.5? It says in her bio that she played college tennis and played in the Asian Olympics in the early 90's before engaging in her current career.

    Props for her for playing with what could be considered a physical handicap when it comes to tennis....

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  86. Andres is a terrible singles player. He's not much better in doubles. There are many 4.0 players better than him in both.

    How the *#$@ does Minka swing a racquet with those things?

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  87. having played 4 jasons team in the past his understanding of tennis is the best in the u.s.a. just look at his research on the new england team this year.tim/red looking forward 2 seeing u both at 5.0 tourneys,maybe u can play age group eventsor nationals.players ofyour level should have no problem winning a gold ball or two to make up 4 u not having ur own .man up 4 a change.your friend ward p.jannuzzi

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  88. No ego here. I was a little sleep deprived last night so maybe it came off wrong. I just wanted to clear the air (not stir the pot) since most people seemed to be dogging Andres for not being a "team player" and saying he didn't play because I didn't make the trip.

    I know we have a deep team, but to be told that those are the criteria in which you will be alllowed to play is crazy.

    I guess it really boils down to respecting us enough to let us challenge for the spot. To screw us over right before we leave was pretty weak in my opinion.

    Thanks for the kind words. The girls are doing great.

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  89. Since when are you tied to one team for life?? LOL

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  90. Yes it was quite amazing, and yes it was like watching a train wreck (over and over and over again). She literally lost her balance sometimes getting in ready position. Also, her breasts literally touched the ground when she had to get down in I-formation. What was worse was the PDA on the court with her partner.

    The player (Tour Player) I protested was on this team as well. Played 4 years on the pro tour. I lost the protest because they claimed she spoke spanish and didn't understand the form even though there's a spanish version. And there are no protests allowed past Sectionals.

    As for Minka playing in the Asian Olympics in the 90s, I don't think that's protestable, plus she had a computer rating. The 1 singles player from MidWest played in the Israel Olympics this year and won a gold medal in singles and doubles. Jo dismantled both players. Like I said, Jo was clearly the best player out there.

    A lot of people regard me as Jason/Red's women's counterpart and while I take a lot of time and effort in recruiting and researching the competition I do adhere to a different philosophy behind who plays. I don't think it has ever cost us the Championship. I have and am considering changing that for future teams. That being said, I would make it clear to all players before signing up for the team what their expectation should be as far as playing time at Sectionals and Nationals.

    Jason has had huge success with his teams at all levels. It's too bad there are hard feelings and without knowing all the facts I would never presume to question or judge his decisions. Someone has to make the tough decisions and in my opinion the remedy if you don't like or agree with the line-ups is to go find another team to play on.

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  91. Absent an explanation from Freeman, have to side w/ Huffman.

    If you wait until 2 days before the trip to tell a team they won't play, that team doesn't have a chance to "challenge" the #3 line. Of course, Andres didn't hang around w/ the team. He had essentially been told he wasn't needed and only made the trip b/c he had his ticket.

    Freeman made a business decision and it bit him in the butt in the form of 3 TB losses. Karma's a beetch.

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  92. i'm a minka fan. what's normal to you is not normal to her. she might think it's weird that people don't hug and kiss on the court. if she can play with 40lbs of breast then she needs to be praised. if my nuts are that size, i'm pretty sure i will be playing some other sport. all you women should stop whining and being jealous.

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  93. Actually it's 30 pounds - 15 pounds each side. Although it appeared that one side may have a leak was losing some of it's lift. And there's no way I'm jeolous. Are you kidding.

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  94. If it truly was just 2 days before take off before everyone found out who the chosen 8 were then I think that's pretty slimy. Was there anyone else besides Huffman who decided not to go.

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  95. somewhat amusing watching the meltdown of "The Franchise"

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  96. The Franchise isn't melting. Just a few disgruntled players. Everyone is expendable on the Canes.

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  97. I agree with the last poster. Freeman has no loyalty and we know Red would sell his mom for a better player.

    Freeman is a good salesman and positions it well but it is challenging to manage all of those egos.

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  98. So how much of a tennis slut are Andres and David. Will they play on the Canes again? That's the real question here. We all know where Red/Jason/Tim's priorities are but how about Andres and David.

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  99. dibua brothers and green bumping up to 5.0.

    who will play number singles next year.

    who will play number one and two dubs.

    the canes will have no one in 4.5 next year.

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  100. Sweet. I might have a shot at the team next year! If everyone is gone then I might have a shot at line 5.

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  101. Don't forget, only 3 of the Cane 4.5 players can play on the same team next year.

    I assume that Red and Jason (and Tim and Phong if they're around) will collaborate next year again since things worked so well this year. I think it's a safe bet that the Dibuas will get bumped. Green? Burrmann? Soong and Matt? They may all get bumped as well. Maybe even more if the levels are "evened out" as has been reported.

    Who will be the three that Red and Jason decide to keep on next year's super team?

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  102. FWIW, I totally disagree with those who say that Freeman and Red have no loyalty to their old players.

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  103. Please take back the comment about Red's mother. Last I heard was that she was in hospice care. I hope you feel better about yourself now.

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  104. They'll go outside Houston

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  105. I think we need a new thread or a BBS setup. There are close to 3 conversations here:

    1. The adult film star tennis player
    2. The captain/team communication issues on who is playing
    3. Who is getting bumped for 2010.

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  106. Not really, Chris, because Minka qualifies for all 3 conversations

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  107. Maybe what Canes need to do to win Nationals is get John Holmes

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  108. Oops, my bad, you said Bumped not Humped

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  109. minka should be on the usta board. i would love to see her play kournikova. beauty vs booty

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  110. Now that's funny BHollis wants to protest, like she doesn't sneak some college players in her roster. It's like Red protesting. They want the best, but if someone else has a better player they don't want that matchup to happen.

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  111. Minka pics, please....

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  112. Wow I guess all of a sudden people soon forget that Huffman/Ballesteros were on 2 previous teams with Benzon/Green. Loyalty?? Do you think that they just somehow ended up on 2 Nationals rosters? They were asked to play and knew what was at stake. If you believe that every player on a roster has to play then you should advertise that. They weren't complaining when they were sitting out at Sectionals in the Semis and Finals. Do they beat Burrmann/Dibua,Green/Dibua or Summrall/Soong Hay?? Probably a distant 4th on this roster. In the end I'm sure that Andres/Huffman will try to make another Nationals run next year and I wish them the best of luck.

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  113. I guess I'll weigh in a little here…

    First, Andres and David are class acts and I truly enjoyed having them on my team this summer. Without their contributions we may not have made it out of our pool at sectionals as they had match deciding wins against NETX and FW. They made themselves available all summer long and did everything I asked them to do. I think they were undefeated throughout the year as well - they were an integral part of our team's success.

    Second, while people adamantly disagree with my decisions sometimes, I pride myself in being honest and upfront in communicating with my guys on my teams. This team was no different. Just to clarify some misunderstandings, here is a passage from an email I sent out immediately after sectionals regarding nationals:

    "The competition will be very high so you guys need to keep up the practice and keep your games sharp throughout the next couple of months. I will be up front and honest with you guys - once we get to Vegas we'll play every match to win and we'll go out there with the best 5 lines we have available for each match. This team was not put together to simply "get" to nationals - it was assembled to "win" nationals and it has taken every single person on this roster to get us through local league play (in a very difficult division), Houston City Championships and Sectionals. We have 19 players eligible to play and I hope we have 19 players make the trip but with only 3 matches in pool play I seriously doubt everyone will get in a match (I certainly can't and/or won't guarantee it). Keep practicing, get out and play each other, get into tournaments (Copperfield, Sectionals and Fall Festival are coming up) so that in the event you are asked to step on the court in Vegas you'll be ready!!! Our "best 5 lines" may be completely different by late October as compared to August so keep getting out there, challenging and pushing each other and keep working on your game."

    Noone was told they would not play. Several people asked and I gave each of them the same answer - I can't and/or won't promise/guarantee anyone outside of the 1st match lineup that they will play and that all subsequent lineups will be situational depending on the circumstances at the time of that match. Right or wrong, this is how I've ran every team I've captained for the past 4 years. Some people like it, some people hate it - I understand both sides and respect anyone who determines this philosophy is not for them - but I am ALWAYS up front with everyone. Once again, every year on each team individuals may disagree with what I think/feel is our best lineup - I'm not claiming to be right, just honest.

    To the extent there was a breakdown in communication to anyone on the team, I apologize and will attempt to correct in the future.

    It was a joy captaining this team and getting to meet a whole host of new Houston tennis folks. Houston and Texas was well represented in Las Vegas and I'm proud of how the guys came together and played…like many who go to Vegas, ultimately luck was not on our side.

    Thanks for all the support!!!!!

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  114. That last comment was from me.

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  115. Good Try. There are no self rated players on either team that went to Nationals for men or women in 4.5 this year.

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  116. I want to be on Minka’s team! There won’t be any controversy, she can play all the matches.

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  117. Why is Ward talking about balls when he doesn't have any. Also, learn how to write English.

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  118. Ward thinks he's tough because he plays with a bunch of senior citizens in those age tournaments because he can't hang with good 4.5's any more.

    I'll give him some credit. He did sign his name at least. Unlike me. :-)

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  119. Ward Sucks!! He should be given the A _ _ Award for worst player.

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  120. That old man A Ward is CRAZY!!

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  121. I didn't know Ward could read.

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  122. Play me with Minka, I need a little PDA...

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  123. Jason - the question is when did you inform Andres/David that they were the #4 line and unlikely to play? If you were not upfront w/ them until the last minute, then of course people will be pissed. They've just spent money to be a spectator.

    Maybe you assumed they knew their role.

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  124. Leave the chipper/dinker/lobber senior alone. He's got crazy game for sure.

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  125. The message Freeman paraphrased from looks nearly like the exact same message that he sent to us in 2007.

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  126. If after Sectionals huffman/ballesteros thought they were in the top 3 they should have challenged. Prior to Nationals they showed no signs of being a Top 3 Nationals Team. It's simple even being a line # 4 team at Nationals is good just might not be good enough in Andres/Davids eyes.

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  127. So what does that mean Chris? Did you feel people got shafted from playing in 2007? Or did everyone know their role?

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  128. Freeman,
    so why did you play sarosh in #2 singles? did you really think he could win? just wondering.

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  129. This site is insightful and entertaining. It’s like a reality show, not like Austin/Dallas/SA. The more drama the more ratings and we have plenty of ratings since other cities visits Houston's blog. AS MY STOMACH TURNS.

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  130. Sarosh was playing well prior to Nationals. He had his opportunities to win a big match but, just fell short.

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  131. The bigger question is why didn't Jason recruit better singles players. That team all along has been suspect at singles.

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  132. @2:29p - That means that Freeman is consistent in his message.

    Trust me in 2007 I recognized my place on the team. Let me explain it like this: Out of all of the people on the 2007 roster that played myself and Chris Reese are the only two players that were not 4.5 in 2009.

    I knew where I stood and really debated the value of going but then who knows when I would get another chance? I had fun, it was a $600 weekend and hell I even got to play once we were eliminated.

    It was a good experience but I do also understand those who know they won't play and choose not to go due to family, work or monetary situation.

    LMK if that explains it a little better.

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  133. You can't put a price on memories. Or mammaries.

    That 600 bucks would have bought you 4 lessons with Minka. :)

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  134. Well put Coach!!!

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  135. When you see Minka, then you know why Andres was spending more time with his wife's team.

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  136. David H has a point if he belives one of the following:

    1. He and Andreas are a better team than Tim and Herb.

    2. He or Andreas would have been a better choice to play with Tim than Herb.

    I don't believe either.

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  137. not man enough to sign your blogs,why? f.y.i. i did get to a 4.5 singles final this summer beating herb morton along the way .i play the 4.5/5.0 and mixed to be ready for tourney play , so all you poserscan f*** off .ward p. jannuzzi p.s i always sign my name

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  138. If I remember right the player that Betsie protested tried to SELF RATE at 4.0. Also, as someone has already posted, none of the players on the men's or women's team were self-rated. Huge difference.

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  139. Aaaaah, now I understand why Andres was MIA.

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  140. Ward, who was the guy when you played mixed?

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  141. it was your mother. ward p. jannuzi

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  142. please don't let this blog become like the tournament blog. There is actually some good discussion, it would be nice to keep it that way.

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  143. All BS aside, I just wanted a chance to play Tim and Herb for the spot. I think we atleast deserved that based on our play this year.

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  144. every beats herb and sarosh, so why not play andres and huffman

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  145. "All BS aside, I just wanted a chance to play Tim and Herb for the spot."

    Sooooo did you tell Freeman that prior to being told you were #4 or after?

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  146. Not trying to stir up sh%t, but why DIDN'T you guys play? There was a lot of time.

    I know Sarosh is taking a lot of heat, but he thought he deserved a chance to play and went out and challenged several of the players "ahead of him" on the team. I always assumed that you and Andres kinda' knew that Tim and Herb were ahead of you in the pecking order and that you had to beat them to get your spot. Did they dodge you or was everyone just too busy or something?

    I would like to have seen Tim play Ted or Sarosh in singles and then perhaps move him into the singles lineup for that second match if he was ahead of Sarosh, but again, those matches never happened. It's not my team, but I was kinda' hoping all of those things would get fleshed out beforehand.

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  147. We talked about it on Saturday before Nationals. He said "It won't guarantee that you will play but it would make the conversation interesting."

    Unfortunately, Tim was unavailable to play us before leaving for nationals.

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  148. Freeman has got it right, his track record proves it. His players know very well that he’ll play whoever he thinks gives the team the best chance of winning the match. They’re just all confident guys – they have to be to make it to this level – and each thinks he’s better than whoever is playing instead. Perfectly natural, perfectly OK, and it’s the attitude that should be expected and even hoped for. What should not be expected is for the #4 line to stay home (OK, new babies notwithstanding) or not to have their game faces on. A team needs their backup lines there, you never know who will go down with an injury or show poor form. If you want to win, the team should be everything and individuals should be nothing. And a smart captain like Freeman would never let the results of one challenge match decide who plays at Nationals. A good captain has to take many more results and beliefs into account than that.

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  149. There were suppossed to be a bunch of team practices before nationals but they never really materialized.

    Everyone was practicing on their own and playing when they could, from what I understand.

    In my mind, if Tim and Omon played together then we would sit. Otherwise, we were playing line 3.

    The Tim/Herb thing kinda came out of nowhere for me but then again I was dealing with my wife being pregnant with twins and all that goes along with that trainwreck. Maybe I was just being naive?!

    Whatever the case, it wasn't made clear that they would be playing line 3 isntead of us until the last minute. At that point, I would rather spend time with my family and save the money.

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  150. weaknesses:

    ted- bring him to the net
    tim- keep him away from the net
    andres- move him around
    herb- just hit to his backhand
    sarosh- just hit the ball over

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  151. Let's not forget Sept/Oct was a monsoon. Very hard to get enough pratice matches in.

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  152. They could go play indoors. That is weak. They are sponsored by Freeman's evil employer -- ExxonMobil.

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  153. If Odion moved into the singles, that made Tim odd man out. Tim is aruably the best doubles player on the team, it would be silly to sit him out.

    He and Herb are a long standing team who has done very well, it is natural they would play together.

    Also they are a better team than Andres and Huffman.Just comparing recent results, A and H beat Morgan and Lombardi 6-4 in the third, Tim and Herb beat them 0 and 2. Also Tim and Herb went three sets with the Dibuas, something I dont think Huffman and Andres are capable of.

    It seems as if the right choice was made.

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  154. congrats to you all for great runs at 4.5. I am sure you all will forget about the little drama going on. I wish I had drama instead of sitting at home during playoff tennis this season, success always produces positive tension and I am sure you all will be strong again next year.

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  155. Why not play Tim at line 2 singles and Huffman/Andres at line 3 dubs?

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  156. Wait, didn't Tim and Herb lose to the formidable Mouton and Bui in the city playoffs? That's solid.

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  157. Yeah, and luckily Lombardi and Morgan were in the line-up to win line 3 doubs

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  158. Arguably, Andres/Huffman feel that they should have been playing ahead of Tim/Herb. Although, past results and history show that Tim/Herb have played every tournament leading up to Nationals. That being said Huffman/Andres should have tried to play them in a tournament like Lost Forest. Regardless if you were to take a team vote as to the line up it still would come up to the same conclusion, and that is that Huffman/Ballesteros are the line #4 Team. Odion/Burrman,Matt/Soong and Tim and whoever he chooses. He choose Tim with all their history and success.

    For David or Andres it will be interesting to see who picks them up next year. They will most likely be 4.5's again.

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  159. Let's find out which team is better. Tim/Herb play David/Andres. Post the date and time on the blog, this way anybody wishing to watch can. Once the match is played post the score. Hopefully Tim/Herb are not too scared to play.

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  160. They'll be on the fading Kingwood Crush.

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  161. I think they should settle all the smack talking and speculation in a wii tennis tourney where after each round the winner has to chug a beer. Man that final will be some sloppy tennis!

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  162. From Freeman's 4.5 Nationals team, I can see these players remaining as 4.5:

    Ricardo J. Martinez
    Sarosh Ahmed
    Herbert L. Morton
    Andres Ballesteros
    Ted T. Phoummarath
    Christopher D. Hunckler
    David Lombardi
    Phong Regent
    John R. Day
    David Huffman
    Wayne Morgan
    David Bvunzawabaya

    the rest will probably be bumped to 5.0:

    Omon O. Dibua
    Soong Hay Tam
    John E. Burrmann
    Matthew K. Sumrall
    Odion Dibua
    Timothy A. Green

    The question is on which team will the 4.5 players land next year, and how will the 5.0 bumpees fare at the next level. Maybe they can join Freeman's 5.0 team for a return trip to Nationals.

    Let the recruiting begin for these cast offs.

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  163. Return trip to Nationals? They didn't make it out of their flight at 4.5

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  164. I think Ted P. will be a 5.0.

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  165. The 4.5 dream team would have been last year's singles players with this year's doubles teams. That team would be undefeated at Nationals.

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  166. Red's 5.0 team came in 2nd at 5.0 nationals. I think that is what the poster was alluding to.

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  167. Ted P. record is not strong enough to get him bumped, he had 2 losses at Sectionals.

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  168. David/Andreas would win 6-2, 6-2 against Herb/Tim

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  169. Andres and Huffman are a good team. Don't think there is that much difference between Tim/Herb. I think Herb/Tim winning Sectionals says a lot. Although Huff/Andres did have a good showing at Fall Fest.

    I think that everyone that won a match at Nationals will be bumped up to 5.0's. Maybe Lombardi/Morgan stay 4.5 but, everyone else is in danger.

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  170. Huffman/Ballesteros have no problem being the 4th team behind Odion/Burman, Omon/Tim, Matt/Soong. That is the lineeup that played the semis and finals at sectionals. That was the lineup talked about until days before nationals. Then all of a sudden Herb was plugged in - maybe because of the weak singles. Huffman/ ballesteros had no problem cheering at sectionals semis and finals while sitting and they were a big part of getting them to Sunday. Face it - the holy trinity screwed up and it started just days before nationals.by alienating key players.I may not be as enlightened as the holy ones, but no team can win nationals by playing the same 8 players 5 matches in a row. Talk about egos......

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  171. Herb/Tim did lose to Bouton/Bui. Andres/David H lost to Judson/Rothe at Fallfest.

    It happens.

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  172. Biggest ego in the Holy Trinity? Tough choice.

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  173. In my opinion Tim/Herb vs Andres/David are a wash. One team wins one day the other the next. The problem presents itself when you've got Tim sitting out to play Andres/David.

    How does Tim usually do against Sarosh? I would think he'd win most of the time. Seems to me more important than deciding the third doubles team is whether or not Sarosh should have put in in the second match against the biggest challenger.

    Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 but feelings last forever into the future.

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  174. Why not
    D1 Tim/Odion
    D2 Matthew/Soong
    D3 Andres/David

    If it's established that Tim/Herb is equal to Andres/David seems that's just as good a line-up. Maybe better as I too believe that Andres/David are a better team. Herb's a great guy and player but let's face it, the strength of the team lies on Tim's racquet.

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  175. Burmann is better than alot of guys in that lineup.

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  176. And here my friends is why you need 1 person, the Captain, to make the line-up decisions. I'm not saying I agree with telling your players only 2 days before the event if they are not playing but I don't think anyone has the right to doubt or question the lineups. Just as we all agree to adhere to and accept the rules of the USTA (including the dreaded DNTRP Self-Rate system) by agreeing to sign-up on Jason's team (or any Captain's team) we are agreeing to accept their decisions regarding line-ups, etc.

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  177. Tim is arguably the 3rd or 4th best doubles player on the Hurricane Roster. He is the Co Captain of the Hurricanes team as well. Quite honestly, there are no arguments to be made here. It was very clear to all players on the Hurricane roster we were going out to try and win a Nationals Championship. No matter what Andres/David say they didn't have line # 3 locked up. Why not challenge Matt/Soong or Burmman/Odion? Why just Tim/Herb?

    All this posting by Huffman has I'm sure has caused some animosity amongst the team. I'm sure in the end we will soon see if they can repeat next year onto someone elses roster to make a Nationals run. I highly doubt it.

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  178. Hey Huffman, who you gonna play for next year? Schwinng is looking for a line # 2 team behind Rothe/Judson.

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  179. LOL you guys are a riot!

    1. We were wrecking Rothe/Judson until the 24hr rain delay. Credit to them however for coming back out strong while we were flat.

    2. I would have loved to play Odion/Burrman or Matt/Soong. However, the issue is with the Tim/Herb situation because they were thrown in over us without time to challenge. That is what this is really about.

    3. Contrary to what some of you believe, I didn't post on here to just stir shit up. In fact, my original intention was to defend Andres because he was getting torn up as a "bad teammate" when that was not the case. This thread is the only time I have ever posted on the blog.

    4. Grow a sack and put your name on your post. Too many posers and wanna-bes posting up non-sense just to blow this out of proportion.

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  180. Why didn't Freeman have any out of towners on the team? It seems an out of town ringer to play with Green would have pushed them over the top.

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  181. You guys are all morons. If you play on a team with snakes like Benzon and Green what do you expect? It isn't even about tennis with them, it is all about cheating. If you want to actually play legit tennis, get smart and stay out of USTA league, and for Christ sakes avoid green/Benzon team like the plague.

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  182. Checked out Minka's website. From the main page (I kid you not!):


    NATIONAL CHAMPION!! I am now the best female amateur tennis player in the USA (along with my partner) in 4.5 women’s doubles. This past weekend here in Las Vegas my women’s doubles team won the USTA National Championships. We played teams from all over the USA. My toughest match was against Texas. My team won the first set, lost the second set and it wound up to a ten point tie breaker. My partner and I were down 9-5. Our opponents only had to win one more point and they would have beaten us.
    My partner and I buckled down and won the next 6 points winning the match by a score of 11-9. It was an awesome comeback that nobody thought we could win that were watching the match. Texas always has a strong team and were favored to beat us. The next day we played Seattle, WA for the title. My partner and I lost the first set 7-5, won the second set 6-2 and this one too went down to the ten point tie breaker. We won going away by a score of 10-6. We had been down 5-2 but came back with 5 straight points making the score 7-5. They won the next point so the score was now 7-6. We then won the next four points and won the Nationals. I have been waiting three years for this and my partner and I finally became the best in the USA.

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  183. Incredible to hear so many different versions of the truth. As a veteran captain in this league for 20 years I to have learned the hard way that you have a responsibility to all the players on your team to play the best team at these types of events. I don't think anyone is arguing this point. The correct thing to do would have been to settle it on the court as some have suggested (and I know that Andreas and David were up for this but were not given the opportunity). You can send out e-mail messages all you want telling everyone to play, practice and get ready but with so many on the roster you should have had some of these guys play each other in order to give them all a fair chance and shot. You do this, then all of these problems/comments don't happen and these guys come and support the team with the understanding that they settled it on the court and that they may not play.

    You can't back door this after the fact. Sure everyone knows Tim is more comfortable with Herb because he mostly plays with Herb but you have to man up (and yes possibly risk as a captain not playing) and settle it on the court and I believe intuitively everyone including Tim knows this.


    Old School Allen T.

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  184. I agree. A blanket, go out and practice, we're going to Vegas to win, doesn't cut it. The players should have been given a realistic view of what Jason was thinking. Expectations - are only the top 3 doubs teams going to play or will the top 4, and who are those top 3 teams (today). I am fairly confident that if Andres/David knew that they were 4th seed and wouldn't play unless they could prove that they were more worthy than one of the other 3 teams they would have made a point to set up some matches. There were like 11-12 weeks between Sectionals and Nationals. Sorry, Jason - I think you fell short here.

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  185. I get the feeling Tim thinks he is above people like Andreas and David and didn't need to play them. I could be wrong but that is the impression he gives off to me. Maybe I am wrong.?

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  186. In principle Jason was right on, in practice he was dead wrong.

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  187. I think what it all boils down to is whos the better team Andres/David or Tim/Herb? Yes, Andres/David won some big matches this year but, so have Tim/Herb. Prior to Nationals there were some practice matches played and Andres/David didn't do so well according to other teammmates. Tim/Herb by no means dodged anyone. They played Lost Forest and Tim even told Andres/David to sign up.

    Being on a high caliber team like this one there are lots of expectations. Andres/David felt like they were # 3 and I'm sure Tim felt he/Herb were line#3. What it comes down to is a match was never played between these teams.

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  188. It pretty much a guarantee that if a captain can put together a team and take them to Nationals, not 100% of the players will be happy. There is no way that many egos can be managed successfully without some getting bruised. The question is whether enough egos will be put aside for the team to be successful.

    There has only been discussion about Huffman and Ballesteros, what about the other team members? Did they feel as badly treated or mislead? Some of these players would be line 1 or 2 singles or doubles on most other teams.

    As a former captain, I know it's almost impossible to collect this much talent on ONE team, and not have problems with egos. If you join a Freeman team, then you expect to advance far in league. If you want to play more, then join another team.

    There should be a poll taken. Who would rather play on Freeman's team with a high chance to advance, or stay home after city playoffs?

    Results speak for themselves.

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  189. I vote for staying home and reading about Sectionals and Nationals on the blog. My ego is too big and I need to play.

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  190. Less than 1% of league players get to go to Nationals each year. Of course it's nice to go and get to play but getting to go is an honor and a privilege.

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  191. a privilege for what? to play your heart of to get to nationals, then being benched. screw that.

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  192. Then I guess stay home and read about the teams that go to Sectionals and Nationals, and stop complaining about these teams and how they "cheat" by having computer rated players on their teams.

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  193. Yes, do you see Minka bitching. She is full of love and affection.

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  194. BHollis can you send out an email to your team like Freeman, but instead of telling them to practice more they should show more love to their partner. This will increase USTA membership.

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