Sunday, September 25, 2011


What a great year it was, despite the disappointing finish. Some observations:

Roger Mark, de facto captain of the Seattle team that beat us in the finals, won his sixth National championship as a player and "coach". He has taken twenty teams to Nationals. As with most successful captains, he is a charming, gregarious and very likeable guy that players love to play for.

Having been associated with several Freeman teams now, this is the first time I felt we truly came together as a real team as opposed to a collection of pretty good tennis players who happened to play for the same team. It almost reminded me of the old Mob Squad days, minus the cheering. The players, wives, girlfriends and mothers all hung out with each other and truly supported each other. It makes League tennis much more enjoyable. However, as with many other Freeman teams, we were not all that vocal and were drowned out by the cheering of the Seattle team. Players can feed off the crowd and that could well make a difference in a match where we were just a couple of points away from a National Championship. Brad Beinart was awesome in support and had a nice doubles win as well.

Still, second place out of the literally thousands of 4.0 teams across the country is something to be proud of, and far exceeded my expectations at the beginning of the year.

One byproduct of the successes of the Houston 4.0 team and the Austin 5.0 team will be a ratings inflation in Texas next year. A rising tide floats all boats, and the high ratings of many of the players who went to Nationals will filter down to all local players. We'll see how Joel Pickett's 4.5 team will do in a month or so.

As always, thanks go out to Freeman, Red, Tuyen and everyone else who helped out with the Hurricane team this year. A job well done.

Friday, September 23, 2011


We have arrived in sunny Tuscon and play our first match this morning against the Intermountain team from Idaho, followed by a match against the Northern Section winner from Minnesota. Tomorrow we will face Florida and New England. There's really no way to tell at this point which of those teams will be the strongest, though I would guess Florida would be your best bet.

Some of us went out and scrimmaged with some of the guys from the Pacific Northwest team today, and I think we would do well against them in a real match. There's quite a big difference in the way the ball carries in the thin air here compared to the humid air of Houston.

I will try to update as much as possible.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

USTA League Rules for 2013

Here is the 411 on the league changes coming in 2013

This is a note from USTA Texas League Coordinator.

Link is to flyer from USTA on changes

I have some more information on the 2013 league restructure. I was in New York last week and there were a few new things that were approved for the restructure.
For the 18 & over division, the 5.0 level will now be 5.0+ which allows 2 players that are rated 5.5 to play on a team.
For the 40 & over division, the 4.5 level will now be 4.5 + which allows 2 players that are rated 5.0 to play on a team.
These players can play anywhere in the lineup. The reason they will be allowed  to play anywhere in the lineup is that there is not a way for Tennislink to monitor which line they play and we did not want to put more work on coordinators and captains having to monitor this.

For the 70 & over we will continue to offer a sectional event for these players.

I've included some flyers for you. There is one for coordinators, one for facilities and the other is a general one for captains and players. Please feel free to send these out. In the next month we will let you know what time of year we will be holding the sectionals for each of these so you can start to plan locally.  It is still early but the sooner we have it all planned out the smoother I think it will go.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adult Sectionals

The Beaumont Labor Day Open Tournament was cancelled due to the weather this past weekend. The year's biggest tournament, Texas Adult Sectionals, will be contested this coming weekend.

Some local players received high seedings based on their success over the past year. In 4.0 singles, Matt Drake is seeded first, but in my mind will be an underdog in his first match against league player Kevin Pimm. Carlos Quijano was awarded the second seed. Brian Goldberg, Herb Morton and John Griffin join top seed John Patch among the seeded players in Men's 4.5. Tim Green and David Guy are the two seeded players in 5.0. Guy will face Jason Gound in the first round.