Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Season

In case you hadn't noticed, I haven't so much as glanced at this blog in months. My interest level in tennis has waned, so I wouldn't expect much updating. That said, the League season has a way of rekindling interest.

I don't have many thoughts on the new year as I've barely glanced at the rosters. I am going to assume the Hurricanes are the 4.5 favorite based completely on history and without any knowledge. I'd probably put money on it blindly.

I am somewhat intrigued by the HTA decision to put the Hurricanes, Chancellor's, Unicorns and even Sienna in the same division. From an unbiased perspective I think I like it. It provides competitive matches for those teams almost every week, and also limits the blowouts in the "weaker" divisions as also-rans play each other more frequently. I guess the only negative is that it may result in a really talented team being left out of the playoffs, but given the double round robin schedule, the cream should rise to the top. It should make every week crucial since the second place team may not qualify. Plus, tanking will be virtually eliminated, one would think.

Best of luck to everyone in the major zone this weekend (too lazy to look up its current name). Feel free to post your bets on the winners.

100 comments:

  1. As a hurricane. Who do u think is a bigger threat chancellors or unicorns? Or even sienna?

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  2. Way too early to say. I recognize more names on Chancellor's but that doesn't mean anything. Good, competitive captains put together strong teams. They'll all be tough.

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  3. I'm just glad to see something new posted and that means the season is about to start. Like Greg, I think it is a good bet to go with the Hurricanes but that flight is really tough. This is a flight that you need a deeper team than usual; if you don't have your top 8 out, you will likely get beat.

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  4. Looking at the rosters, this may be the first time in years I can say Freeman is not a cut and dried favorite. Roster is good but not up to usual standards.

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    Replies
    1. He went to nationals at 4.0 and 4.5 with arguably his best teams. Tough to top that. I am sure he has some additions to make.

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  5. 4.5 League Preview:

    4.5 I
    1) Westside
    2) Gypsies
    3) Copperfield
    4) Lakeside CC
    5) Lakeside Estates
    I can't imagine this division being contested at all. The intriguing match-ups are Copperfield v Gypsies for 2nd and Lakeside teams for not last. Westside should be back in the playoffs after missing it last year.

    4.5 II
    1) Good-er Guys
    2) Hulks
    3) JCC
    4) HRC
    5) Djokers
    Again, a clear cut favorite - the Good-er Guys. Good-er Guys with some new faces like Zach Marnitz should breeze through the division. If JCC is able to sign up some of it's players from past seasons, they could make it interesting but for now the Hulks top 8 is the stronger team. Problem with the Hulks is their bottom 8 isn't that great, I expect 'playing time' concerns will get them 3 losses and miss the playoffs. HRC/Djokers aren't competitive yet.

    4.5 III
    1) Hurricanes
    2) Sugar Creek
    3) Deucebags
    4) Invincibles
    5) Oth-er Guys
    6) Wolf Pack
    7) Yellow Balls
    8) Clambakes
    9) Sienna
    Always tough to pick against the Hurricanes, they've got another good team this year. Being in the 9 team division means they may suffer a loss - all the other teams will bring out their best lineup for their match-up with them and it's tough to be 'on' every week. That said, I think the only serious contender is Sugar Creek. Sugar Creek already has a couple of guys that could possibly take lines off them, and it looks like they're not done filling out their roster yet. Deucebags is a notch above everyone else in the division, but don't have the stars to be competitive with the Hurricanes. #'s 4-8 should have competitive matches most times out, especially when playing each other. I would be surprised if they didn't pull upsets over the top 3 here and there. Sienna looks a bit hopeless to me.


    4.5 Playoffs
    1) Hurricanes
    2) Good-er Guys
    3) Westside
    4) Sugar Creek

    I think there's too much parity between the top teams and everyone else in divisions 1/2 that all the teams there end up with 2 losses just from their match-ups with the #1 teams, because of this I think Sugar Creek grabs playoff spot #4.

    In the playoffs, I think it comes down to Good-er Guys v Hurricanes. Good-er Guys actually present some trouble to the Hurricanes. Zach Marnitz may be the best player in 4.5 and Hirvela/Brice may be the best doubles team. This leaves the Good-er Guys searching for a 3rd win. I'm not sure I see it though. Maybe throw Brice in #2 singles and put the next best on #3 doubles? Seems like a stretch. Hurricanes are just too deep.

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    1. Sienna is hopeless cause its a tanking team. Just look at the names. Any team that has that many ex-Hurricanes is just hoping to get bumped down. Save on court fees, don't show up to play them.

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    2. Its so funny that 4.5 Sienna with any 4.0 Hurricane background are tanking like no other.

      Andrew Kwan only managed to get 2 games.

      Bruce Inting/Robert Rizarri got 3.

      Ronnie Kwan/Scott Boarman got 2.

      Even Robert Dornbos/Donn Nguyen on Invincible got 3.

      Isn't this a coincidence. Sad that they are not even competing at their levels. I guess their inability to win it all last year is still haunting them.

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  6. Unless they add a bunch of talent, that Hurricane 4.5 team is doing nothing at Sectionals.

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  7. Sometimes it's just about getting to Sectionals. It's always just good to represent your city.

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    Replies
    1. Jason may have felt like that the first time. Never since.

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    2. Once you have been to Nationals, sectionals trips feel so ho-hum.

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  8. Recent Hurricane 4.0 signing Adrian C. Santesteban's history of tanking goes way way way back!

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    1. Is he any good?

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    2. He sure sucked last year in NOHO. Just like a few other 4.0 Hurricanes.

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    3. Must be a tough league up there.

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    4. It is a brutal deep league... both teams.

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    5. Concentration of talent. Makes sense.

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    6. With that awesome talent pool and clear great sportsmanship, you would expect NOHO to dominate sectionals.

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    7. On a serious note, are those NOHO matches between Hurricane Tanker Team and the other team even played? It can't be fun for either team.

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    8. he s not good

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    9. The NOHO matches were never played. Just matches on paper. More Hurricane shananigans!

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  9. another serial cheater from the hurricanes? what a surprise.

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  10. Division 1 Player on the Hurricanes 4.0 roster: Hunter Lee Emmott!

    http://www.collegetennisonline.com/TexasA-MUniversity-M-Tennis/Player.aspx?plId=17289

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    Replies
    1. Are you kidding me? I am already missing Rossi, Foster and Rios. This should shock the conscience of... about everybody.

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  11. Keep in mind that Hunter had a nearly fatal motorcycle accident about 2 years ago that nearly left him unable to walk. He is fortunate to be on the court at this point in time after a ton of PT and rehab to get to where he is.

    Yes, pre-accident he was probably a 6.0 NTRP and anyone who plays NTSL will attest to this.
    This is one case where I believe a medical disposition is justified.

    Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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    1. He didn't get a medical. He self-rated 5.5 in the Fall, then tanked so well that he dropped three levels to a YE rating of 4.0C. An amazing feat that's probably never been accomplished before. I'm sorry about his accident but perhaps we could bake him a cake instead of being happy to see him as a 4.0.

      Don't hate the player or the game, but the captain may be worth a thought.

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    2. He got blown out last night. A lot of bitching for what looks to be a mediocre Hurricane team.

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    3. I am not sure the skepticism comes from him as much as the group he is running with. Maybe he is hurt but come playoffs, he will be miraculously healed.

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    4. Hunter Lee Emmott won't take long to bring his level of play up even with his accident. It's much easier to get better when you are able to play at a higher level than someone who is working his game to go up. He has experience from playing D1 that he would wipe out the competition if his body lets him.

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    5. He did win an open tournament in doubles since the accident. Including beating the singles tournament winner and another guy with a 5.0 rating. Sounds like a guy that gets beat down by 4.0s to me.

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  12. what was the scores from last night s match

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  13. Sienna 4.5 players are not even playing the matches. Phony scores. Captain should be kicked out of The USTA. The Invincables captain should be too. How do I let the USTA know? I would love to get Robert Rizarri kicked out too. He is an ass.

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  14. how crazy would that be if the hurricanes dont make city playoffs in 4.0. The unicorns have six guys from last years team in there starting roster at sectionals and the mob squad has lots of guys from two years ago with experience. I think unicorns will take either a wild card or win the division but theres a chance the canes dont even make city playoffs. Has that ever even happened????? Crazy division feel kinda bad for all 3 teams but not really. then again you at least get two chances to beat them rather than one in the playoffs which you would probably end up playing then anyways.

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    1. freeman always has something up his sleeve. one thing to watch out for is hunter emmott's progress through out the season, but then again you can never be sure how much he is holding back to just stay in 4.0. with talks of him winning at a much higher level since the accident i wouldn't be surprised that his loss to the unicorns may have been on purpose.

      also any post from chris towle defending freeman i'd take with a grain of salt. i can't imagine him to be the most unbiased guy regarding freeman.

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    2. Emmott was playing the late match against the Unicorns. Pretty obvious the Hurricanes needed him to win, especially considering the opponent and the division. No way he tanked. Maybe his partner is complete garbage, or maybe the opponents were ringers too, but no way he tanked.

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  15. Thank you mr anonymous keyboard assassin, so bold of you.

    I wasn't necessarily defending Freeman, I was commenting on my viewpoint on why someone's with Hunter's experience could end up where he is.

    IMHO he should be at 4.5, not 4.0 but I am not the one making the decision on medical rating.

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    1. Chris, this one is hard to justify. I understand where you are coming from but it is still tough to comprehend. You are 4.5 and how do you think you would fare against him? If both of you are playing all out, I think he gets to 12 games about the same time you get to 12 points. I've seen him play and he is nor ever been a 4.0 in his adult life. He is still closer to 5.0 than 4.0. If he hadn't played for the 5.0 Canes (or mafia associates) I might take a wait and see approach. There is way too much smoke to have no fire.

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    2. ^^^ This. You can only pull so many underhanded dealings before nobody will give you the benefit of the doubt. This is not an isolated instance. The Hurricanes have been doing this with players for years.

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  16. If Hunter really is hurt and is slowly recovering, why would you play for a shady ass team like the Hurricanes? Why not rehab and then play at your true level? Why be a little bitch and expect sympathy from anyone? If you are hurt, stay at home and don't play against 4.0s. What's the fun in that? If you are playing days are over... quit. If you think you are going to improve and get better over time, then what's the point on beating up on 4.0s later on? You had your glory days in college. Enjoy that.

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    1. I'm guessing you're no motivational speaker. "If you are playing days are over...quit". Ever worked at hospital were people lose their legs, or in a coma, etc.? They might as well quit life, right? Maybe Hunter loves tennis so much that he can't stay away but knows he can't compete at those upper levels. I'm sure he will settle in 4.5 in the future but sounds like he got hurt pretty bad.

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  17. I don't know how the rating was achieved, or trying to justify how it happened. I am simply offering my POV on what I know.

    I am hardly a 4.5 these days BTW.

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    1. We might be more apt to give the benefit of the doubt had he not played for the Hurricanes 5.0 team and lost bad with another guy with a questionable reputation. You can only pull so much shady stuff until everything you do is eyed with a healthy skepticism. Also, I've observed through the years that most Hurricanes that graduate to 4.5 suddenly forget how to play tennis once they are 4.5.

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    2. I saw him play on Thursday for a few games. 6.0 strokes and 1.0 movement. His partner was immobile too. Bad combination. They weren't tanking as far as I could tell.

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  18. Ho hum, ANOTHER year of hurricane bashing and finger pointing. Get a life guys. This is recreational tennis.

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    1. At this point I think the 4.0 Hurricane season will be effectively over after Thursday unless Freeman has stepped up his recruiting. Then maybe we can move on to some other teams to talk about. Even the 4.5 Hurricanes doesn't look like the best team to me.

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  19. Hunter played a very tough match the night previous to Jake Swanson and lost in a tie-breaker. If you don't know Jake Swanson he is a pretty good 4.5 and gets a lot of balls back. Hunter had to play singles AND doubles because shortage of players on his NSTL (North Suburban Tennis League). He was very sore and couldn't move because he struggles with back to back days. Sure, he can compete and higher levels but with better players they will be able to get more balls back and move him around and eventually win. All the rehab in the world won't be able to get him back to 5.5. If you don't believe me then come out to one of his matches and look at his right leg that surgeons had to take skin from his thigh and lower back to to piece in to his leg to cover the exposed calf muscles after his numerous surgeries which includes a titanium steel rod inside and total length of his tibia.

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    1. So what you are saying is that Hunter should be a 4.5. He can still play very competitive against a 4.5 Jake Swanson. I am not complaining about him being a 4.5 but he was somehow able to appeal down to 4.0. The tactics used to get him down to 4.0 is the big issue.

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    2. I think he is probably 4.5 but who knows with that severe of an injury. I think he can compete at 4.5 but I guarantee he won't win every match at 4.0. That "open" tournament he played was with Dave Guy and non-sanctioned so not real strong competition plus Dave is pretty good. Hunter is over 30 now and a lot heavier than his college days. Maybe he's border of 4.0 and 4.5. Kris Knutson wins a lot at 4.0 but can't do crap in 4.5 but has several wins over Greg Schmucker. Who knows.....

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    3. Schmucker got off his kayak and won the back draw. Typical schmucker..."yeah I can beat Goldberg so why should I try in the main draw?"

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  20. Please Chris. Save it. Freeman has him on the team because he is a big time ringer. There is no way he is close to a 4.0. Once again the Freeman and Todd Reed love affair goes on.

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    1. "big time ringer" = 0-1? Yep, I'm sure you are correct

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    2. He needs a speedy guy to play with him. Maybe Towle is available?

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  21. No team has Stephen Coyle? Winner of 4.5 singles at the "coke" with a convincing finals thrashing of Dave Guy. He also beat Scott Foster & J.D. Miles on his way to the tournament win.

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    1. But did he beat anyone good?

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    2. Doesn't matter. He showed up. He played. And he won - convincingly, without dropping a set. Maybe next year you should show up and show us all what you can do.

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    3. Patch would have beaten Coyle

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    4. We'll never know.....Patch withdrew injured. You can only play those who show up.

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    5. Maybe patch "injury" withdraw was more like scared of Stephen Coyle and figures he can't beat Foster, Coyle, and Guy all in same tournament.

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  22. Unbelievable. Everyone's wrath should be on to Freeman and not Hunter. To beat on a person with a real life changing injury is pathetic. First, Hunter played with Guy at a low-level open doubles tourney and Guy strangely carried him. Second, he has played at the top levels and has no fear of anyone on the court regardless of his being unable to move. With that said, you can have Fed's strokes but move like Pete Rios. Third, Hunter did not actively tank matches. If you know him he hates to lose- especially when his partner shanks returns into his working calf. Fourth, don't we all want to win? Freeman does it the best and we-, including me, are envious of how he does it. Shouldn't we be banging on Cali for bringing college kids to Nationals instead of our own. Freeman brought a huge stick, but he still has to swing it. If anything we should be pointing the finger at Brian Smith who helped the seeding committee at the Coke and seeded himself- now that is truly working the system.

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  23. I like those talking crap are anonymous...too scared to talk shit openly? How about you get mowed down by a car, nearly lose your leg and go through numerous surgeries and see what level your playing at...maybe before you start opening your mouths you should get your facts straight...and whoever made the cake comment...why don't you go bake yourself a fucking cake while the real men play the game

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    1. Liked that cake one, huh Mr. Anonymous? Touched a nerve? Good!

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    2. Anons bickering with anons about being an anon. Anyone else see the irony?

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  24. Welcome back blog. I missed you.

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  25. Careful adult chatroulettites. My buddy was at that league match and swore that Hunter had a Delta tattoo. It is rumored that after college Hunter went into the Army and became a Delta Operator- albeit he is no longer on active duty I would be careful who I talk trash about. Nonetheless he is not bad for a 3.5 ((6.0 strokes+1.0 movement)/2)

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  26. Me thinks too many hurricanes protest too much. I'm sure he will find his form about playoff time.

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  27. Dallas blog has another great post. It is giving Freeman way too much respect but it is great. We need to steal their blogger.

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    Replies
    1. @631pm -

      If anyone wants to have ability to originate posts please contact either Greg or myself and we can arrange it.

      If you request contact info, then you shouldn't be writing posts to a blog.

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    2. No disrespect intended Chris. It is just they have some great stuff over there. Whoever their new guy makes their blog pretty interesting.

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  28. None taken. Just don't have the time or motivation to actively post these days, not sure about Greg but he seems to be a reluctant participant as well and Tuan doesn't seem to be going all in on the Htown FB group this year.

    Trying to get some new blood and keep it going.

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    Replies
    1. Tuan has nothing but time. He writes more then a chic.

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  29. I'm sure Father of the Year Ronny Kwan will be passing along his values to son Andrew again this week. Honesty and sportsmanship.

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    1. Andrew is not even playing those matches. Fake scores. If I can get some proof I will attempt to get both captains kicked out of the USTA.

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    2. The Sienna 4.5 vs Invincibles match was played, ask anyone who was there. I am not on either team but was there to watch as I live in Sienna. I don't play league tennis any longer because of shit like this. Get a life. Don't you guys have anything better to do all day long? What a joke.

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    3. Played or "played"?

      I'm sure you're very trustworthy. (sarcasm font)

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    4. Apparently they did have something better to do.

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  30. It looks like Chancellor's 4.0 added a hotshot high school player to their roster. The kid plays at the high school right down the street from me. Probably lives in my subdivision. I hope Freeman doesn't kick me off the team for my poor recruiting skills.

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  31. What 4.0 teams usually do the best recruiting for juniors. I feel they can really add value to your roster

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  32. I believe historically most of them been busts when it comes to city playoffs or sectionals? One dude got grounded, one guy had a ZAT conflict and others just didn't live up to the hype. 2012 Hurricanes and Copperfield come to mind.

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    Replies
    1. How can ZAT be a conflict. If the kid is in. ZATs. Who needs him? 3.0?

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  33. Best juniors in the last 3 years? I would probably give it to reeves.

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  34. Does Zach Marnitz qualify as a "junior"? Reeves was really good, but for some reason I would classify him as a bit of a disappointment. A bit overhyped.

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    1. His youtube video was much better than his on court performance.

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    2. Without a doubt. He looked 5.5 on the video. His actual game was solid 4.5 and that is it.

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    3. 5.0/5.5 strokes and 3.5/4.0 mental toughness.

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    4. If you want to know why so many (not all of course) of the junuiors disappoint in Adult league, see above. There's something to that old-age-and-treachery thing.

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  35. Predictions:
    4.5 I
    Westside def Net Crushers 5-0. Match isn't close, maybe nedwed keeps his line close but that's about it
    Gypsies def Copperfield 3-2. Club pro Dagian carries his line, and they find one more with Letan, Hays, or Ahn but not enough.

    4.5 II
    Good-er def HRC 4-1. Staley beats anyone but Marnitz or Hirvela/Brice and Good-er guys probably bring out the B-lineup. Most lines are a blowout maybe 2 contested.
    JCC def Djokers 3-2. Can Rios still play singles? JCC not deep enough to sweep and homefield helps out Djokers, Bayer/Anduiza probably helps grab a line. Closer than it looks.

    4.5 III
    Titans def Wolf Pack 4-1. Ford, Wedderburn, Burrmann, Marco all carry their lines. Should be some fun doubles matches to watch, but Titans come up on top in contested lines.
    Other Guys def Invincibles 3-2. Expect 3 or 4 3rd setters. Are old canes tanking?
    Deucebags def Sienna 5-0. Nothing like a match involving people trying to lose. What an embarrassment. Here's hoping Sienna is booted before the season ends.
    Yellow Balls def Clambakes 3-2. Another one with a lot of close matches. Still think the yellow fellow's come out on top, not enough help for Grego.

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  36. Duecebags should all play left handed. And they will still get the win.

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  37. Did the duecebags play left handed?

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    1. They did with themselves.

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    2. That is a horrible visual.

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    3. Actually it looks like none of Sienna's tankers played. Remaining players on the team gave it their best but came up a bit short.

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    4. It looks like Sienna lost on the first week 3-2. Tanking? They probably just suck.

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    5. The Ronny Kwan Group is tanking. Father of the Year must have been busy teaching his son to rob banks or something yesterday.

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    6. As is often the case, the team is a mixture of cheaters and guys giving it their best.

      Cheaters:
      Ronnie Kwan
      Scott Boarman
      Andrew Kwan
      Bruce Inting
      Robert Rizarri

      Expect to see those guys have great results in:
      Mixed Doubles (doesn't count towards rating)
      Summer league when they are rated 4.0
      Tournaments

      Expect to see them have terrible results in:
      Spring/Fall USTA Men's leagues
      Summer league when they are rated 4.5

      Captains/Players should avoid any teams these players are on.

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  38. I still don't understand why the spring and fall results go toward your ranking. If the HTA were smart they would get rid of that. Not only would more people play but there would be a lot less bitching about tanking. That will make it harder for tankers to get away with it because they would have to use the summer and mixed leagues and tournaments, which they care most about, to get their rankings down.

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  39. Why not just leave it to the honor system? Bet that would weed out the riff raff and really explode the 3.0 division.

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    Replies
    1. Now that is a good idea.

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    2. Nice did someone say weed?

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