Friday, April 29, 2011


My observations from last night:

Biggest match of the night was the 5.0 match between Lakeside and the Met, won by Lakeside. Aadrian Hasker has continued to step up his game over the last few years and has now straight setted Robert Bickmore and Arun Nanjappa in the season's first two weeks. Equally interesting is the fact that if Lakeside wins the 5.0 division, it very well could affect the 4.5 division, as Greg Jones is a member of both the Lakeside 5.0 and Hurricane 4.5 teams.

Of minor interest, GTAC's 4.0 team beat Lance Loken's Copperfield squad 3-2. Will Sumit Arora avoid the dreaded three strikes this season? Probably...but it definitely will bear watching.

Also, my friend and former teammate Tuan Tran signed up for the Chancellor's 4.0 team. He's a talented player and if he can bring his Mob Squad intensity to the 4.0 level, the Chancellor's team will be better for it. They have assembled a dangerous roster.

I think 4.0 is shaping up with 4 (or 5) teams a level above the rest: Chancellor's, Hurricanes, Lakeside, Unicorns and (perhaps) the Good Guys. The Unicorns have a fun group of guys and appear ready to waltz into the playoffs, perhaps without really being tested.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week's Slate

Is there a single decent 4.5 matchup this week? What's the headliner? Katy Coaches vs. No Way Out?

In 5.0, David Toney's Met team gets their season underway, facing a Lakeside team which won its first match impressively.

There are a few possible good 4.0 matchups: Copperfield Shock & Awe vs. undefeated GTAC, Lakeside vs. unbeaten WSTC Spin Doctors and Hurricanes 4.0 vs. HFTC Straight Sets.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

QUIIIIICK 4.0 Predictions...

4.0 is boring. To be honest, 4.5 seems boring this year too. Here are my picks.

Div I

I'll pick Copperfield Shock and Awe. To be honest many of the 4.0 rosters are a mystery to me, as the turnover in 4.0 has been especially high over the past couple of years. I'm going to stick with the team/captains that have had success.

Div II

The Good Guys. I really think this team will be good. They have several guys who must have barely escaped being bumped. They'll be dangerous in the playoffs.


I have absolutely no clue. I'll guess Cinco Ranch North Aces.

Div IV

Lakeside. Danny Vu has gotten a lot of pub, but Lakeside has a guy who's equally strong. Rodney Kubicek, who has often done well in the Open division of the tough Oilman's tournament, went 4-0 in city playoffs and also undefeated at sectionals. His only loss was a late season probable tank job. How did he stay 4.0??? One bad match at Senior Nationals can trump everything else... Lakeside will have one line secured. Can they get 2 more in the playoffs?

Div V

The only division with two (alleged) heavyweights. Yeah, I'm Mr. Negative, but I do think Chancellor's will take it. They have a lot of returning talent and have mixed in some new blood. Quite honestly, after Vu the Hurricanes roster doesn't wow anyone.

Div VI

I'm not buying all of the Unicorn naysayers (possibly team members). I played great when I was on steroids, so I wouldn't write off Phillip Yang. Hahaha. I check the rosters often, and Lakeside, Chancellor's and the Unicorns are my first stops. They all scare me. (as do the Good Guys)

That said, The Sienna Aces have amassed a lot of talent and could take this division if I'm overrating the Unicorns. They play in week one. Huge matchup with playoff implications. I hope both teams are able to bring out their best lineups.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4.5 League Preview

As I'm sure everyone is aware, the League season begins Thursday. There are 5 4.5 divisions with the top 3 non-division-winners qualifying for the citywide championships. Here's a quick look at the five divisions:

Div I

Clearly, Lakeside remains the favorite in this division. Their roster has not undergone a great deal of turnover from last year, but they did lose Hai Vu and Greg Zachary to 5.0. They have added a couple of players but no true "difference makers".

The Katy Coaches look to be the only competitive team in this division, with the same key roster elements as last year with the addition of Chris Lubrano. They have a chance to win the division but should at least be in the hunt for a Wild Card spot.

The other teams should be also-rans.

Div II

Based on recent history, the Black Sheep should be considered favorites. Every year Tommy Ristau adds a stud or two to his roster. Where are they this year? They've lost Pio Davila and Fonseca and Morgan have not yet signed up. The team looks weaker on paper but I'm sure they'll still be tough. Hal Hale will help.

An aside: Where is the new blood in 4.5 this year??? Am I just uninformed or are there very few new impact players out there? Clue me in.

Ssshhhhwings will be the same type team. A little older, a little greyer, and rumor has it they've lost Giordanelli. It seems like they've been slightly regressing year after year.

Are the Gypsies interesting? Are they a threat? I don't see it, though they have some firepower in Muhala and Li/Regent, if Phong is able to play a full schedule.


Another lopsided division. Are the Hurricanes the favorites to win citywides? It's not a slam dunk, by any means. How much will Greg Jones play? Is Borkop healthy? Has Phoummarath lost a step? If two of those three play at full strength, this team will be hard to beat in singles. Baer/Jones have been tough in doubles. Foster is hitting the shit out of the ball in practice, but will it translate? Jannuzzi is crafty. The pieces are there, and with Benzon/Freeman running the show an impact addition is always possible/probable.

Ummm...who else is there to talk about in this division? Is Armen Allahverdian the best non-Hurricane in the division?

Div IV interesting division. To me, Copperfield looks to be the class of the division. How will they manage their roster of 20 players? Will Kudrick be able to devote much time to Thursday night matches? They've got options if he doesn't. Anderson Kelly is a nice add. McMullan and Martinez can play some singles. The Kents are dangerous. What will the doubles lineup look like in the big matches?

I can't see the Deucebags contending. Goldberg, Schlensker, Chavarria, Bishop, and Morales are all possible number two singles guys. Where's the number one? Tran has become a top doubles guy, and the Dugas brothers have some nice wins, but I don't see the firepower necessary to challenge Copperfield.

The Jedi Knights are exactly what they have been lately. A bunch of older guys who can play some good doubles. Very Shwing-like. Can they take enough lines or steal a win from the Dugasbags to prevent them from getting a wildcard?

Div V

Another fun division with three intriguing teams. As usual, Sugar Creek's roster is not complete, so we will have to speculate that they'll be similar to last year, minus Antoine Ford, a big loss. Word on the street is that Simon Jim is playing some good ball right now. He'll need to, because there is some singles firepower in this division.

Chancellor's will be a fun team to watch. James Dat Bui, Hung Nguyen and Huy Nguyen are all solid singles options. Has Bui elevated his game to the elite 4.5 level? The doubles seems slightly weak on this team. A bunch of ex-4.0 guys who will have to earn their stripes against the big boys. They're capable. Lan Nguyen looks like a player and will help out immensely.

Finally, the JCC Blast will be a threat. Pete Taylor has converted to a two-handed backhand and I hear that his practice results have been good. Has Greg Medford lost a'd be surprised how many different opinions I've heard. Who will be a solid doubles line for this team? There's not much proven 4.5 doubles success and that may come back to haunt this team.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"The Coke"

As noted, the Draws are out. For what it's worth, here are my picks after a cursory glance at the draws:

M 4.0S George Hernandez

M 4.5S Steven Atherton

M 5.0S Tim Green

M 4.0D DeLaPaz/Le

M 4.5D Johnson/Swanson

M 5.0D Dibua/Dibua

Didn't want to go crazy, but I picked a couple of "upsets" for fun.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Post

Sorry, I've been busy. The season has snuck up on me (is this the first time the season has ever started BEFORE the "Coke"????) and I will try to do a preview in the next couple of days (after doing my taxes, of course).

Haven't seen too much that's piqued my interest, other than the fact that the "Unicorns" 4.0 team could be a major player. I had several "recruiting targets" in the offseason, and struck out on a lot of them. Some of them are showing up on other teams and it will be interesting to see if my judgment of their worth is proven correct or incorrect.

Anyway, I digress...this was mainly a new post so that people could see the comments. Carry on.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Davis Cup Tickets On Sale 5-April @ 10a

Thought most folks know this already but here are the specifics on tickets sales for the Davis Cup.

USTA Members will have exclusive access to tickets for the 2011 U.S. vs. Spain Davis Cup quarterfinal in Austin starting April 5 at 10 a.m. CDT until April 6 at 11:59 p.m. CDT with the general public on-sale beginning Friday, April 8.

Here is a seating map that breaks down the pricing tiers

Happy Hunting for tickets, here is the pricing scheme for the series of Fri, Sat, Sun.

Level 1 - Lower Bowl ($500)
Level 2 - Lower Bowl ($390)
Level 3 - Lower Bowl ($270)
Level 4 - Upper Bowl ($140)
Level 5 - Upper Bowl ($90)

This post was inspired by the Austin Tennis Blog BTW.  

4.0 Divisions Are Out

It looks as though the 3.5 and 4.0 divisions have been decided. As I understand it, League Committee president Freddy Soewito and Lakeside legend Mike Spoor lent their helping hands in trying to assure that the divisions were geographically and competitively balanced.

There are six divisions, five of which have six teams and one has 5, as an effort was made to have almost every team have a ten match schedule. As I understand it, the six division winners and the four wild cards (teams with the best records) will qualify for citywides. I was not part of the process, so I may be in error on some of the details.

My only gripe is a minor (and selfish) one. In 4.0, there are five perennial powers in my opinion. Hurricanes, Lakeside, Chancellor's, Sienna Overhitters and Copperfield Shock and Awe (they're debatable I suppose). Two of those teams were placed in the same division.

My sleeper team for this year is the Good Guys (assuming Helvenson, Sherbondy, Mei and Guerrini all sign up). Keep an eye on them, somehow they avoided being decimated by bump-ups despite having some success last year.