Friday, May 30, 2014

4.0 Wild Card

Does ANYONE know the format of the 4.0 playoffs? I tried to search the HTA website, but that always seems like a fruitless endeavor for me. Early in the year, someone told me that there would be two wild card teams, based on percentage (of lines won? of games won?).

Anyway, one of the more interesting results from last night was the Unicorns 3-2 win over a bad Sugar Creek team. One of the Unicorn lines lost was due to retirement. With the Hurricanes' 5-0 win over Chancellor's last night, the Unicorns are most likely competing for a Wild Card spot, and still have a tough match with Chancellor's on the schedule.

Teams in the hunt for the Wild Card right now include:

Shock n Awe 21-4
Thors 19-6
JCC Dudes 19-11
WS Warriors 25-10
Unicorns 24-11
Chancellor's 23-12

Friday, May 23, 2014


Yet another remarkable streak ended last night. Erik Kiser has been playing summer league for three plus years now since moving to Houston in 2011. By my (possibly inaccurate) count, he was 25-0 in the regular season and 5-0 (plus one asterisk match where he was trailing when Connell retired) in City Playoffs.

That streak came to an end last night as he and Pete Rios fell to Kristian Rodriguez and Srdjan Blum in two close sets as JCC lost a tight 3-2 match with the Good-er Guys. Great win by Blum and Rodriguez.

Week Six

I can only speculate on the backroom deals that went into the makeup of the flights in 4.0, but I'm pretty sure a damn good team is going to get left out of the playoffs as a result. Maybe two damn good teams. The three top teams in 4.0 division VI all went into this week at 4-1, 19-6, and that is a fair representation of their relative strengths. They're even. It will be a travesty if only one of these teams makes it to Citywides.

Last night, the Hurricanes managed to eke out a 3-2 win over the Unicorns. Evan Fontenot was the big story. He had been straight setted by smooth Kevin Nguyen in the first match between these two teams, and lost the first set of their rematch decisively. However, he hung in there, made some adjustments, and won the second and third sets. Olivier Le Coz took down Hunter Emmott in the other singles match in two tiebreakers. There is no 2013 Chris Rossi or 2011 Vu, Rios or Yamaguchi on this Hurricane team, and the singles has suffered against the big dogs (1-5 against Unicorns and Chancellor's).

I had to work late yesterday and didn't get to see any other results. I heard that the Gooder Guys continued to roll in 4.5. Many people are picking them as the favorites, and I wouldn't bet against them. The Hurricane 4.5 team is not nearly as strong as it has been in past seasons, though it looks as though the roster was strengthened with the additions of Jazz Sulemanji and Arata Yamaguchi. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tommy Connell

It probably went unnoticed in last week's results, but Jorge Guerra and Lee Henley beat Tommy Connell and Stephen Ash in three sets at line 1 doubles. Connell, as most of you know, is a nationally (world?) ranked player in his sixties.

Connell has been playing 4.5 League since 2010 and that was his first legitimate doubles loss in all that time. (He did retire in one city playoff match despite being up a set when his team clinched the victory) Connell's doubles record now sits at 23-1 by my count. Still not too shabby.

Friday, May 16, 2014


I got to check out a little bit of the Chancellor's-Unicorns 4.0 match last night after my match was over. The Ace-Kings pulled out a 3-2 victory. Neither team appeared to be at 100% full strength, but the level of play was still clearly well above almost all other 4.0 matches. Notable absences included Kevin Nguyen and Eli Harper.

Chancellor's used Forehand Phuong (Alastair) Le and Jerry Pham as their singles guys. A dozen years or so ago, we all worked in the same complex. I would go running every day at lunchtime and those two were invariably out at the local court, practicing or playing doubles. To be honest, Phuong was not much of a player back then, a guy with a decent forehand and not much else. He's really come a long way as a player, and came up big last night against Varun Gouthaman, who was occasionally serving and volleying. Jerry continues to move so well on the court, and even at age 53 is competitive without much in the way of power. I sure wish I could move like that. Olivier Le Coz had too much game for Jerry last night, however.

I didn't see much of the doubles, but my impression was that Quan Vu and Jeff Lin won fairly comfortably, and that Calvin Miller and Gauge Krask did the same. Miller and Krask cover a lot of territory at the net. Their convincing victory over Hunter Emmott in week one was certainly not a fluke. At two all, the match came down to captain Lewis Lu's court, and he and Jeremy pulled it out in straight sets, I think. The combination of LLTC lighting, a distant court, and missing glasses made it hard for me to see much of that one.

It's a bit ridiculous that possibly two of the big three teams in this division will be sitting at home during City Playoffs. The 4.0 Hurricanes dropped at least one line against Sienna last night. At this point, that could come back to haunt them.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Not much to say

I really have nothing to add, but just felt like putting a new post up.

I'm sure most people were more focused on the NFL draft last night than USTA tennis. Should the Texans go with Derek Carr tonight? I hope people aren't influenced by his brother's stint here. I'm a Texas Ex, but will certainly be pulling for JFF and rooting for the Browns.

There has been only one interesting result posted thus far: Sugar Creek's 4.5 team continued to roll, beating the Deucebags 3-2. The Dbags continue to use Paul Nguyen in singles, and he was trounced by veteran Thach Ho. I'm surprised that they're using Nguyen while they have David Hall playing doubles. Paul may not be a doubles guy, but Hall is clearly a better singles player. Antoine Ford continued to roll. Nice to see Peter Rothe making a big contribution to Sugar Creek.

The 4.0 Hurricanes won 5-0 in Missouri City last night. That's the first time I've played there in years and was impressed with the lighting, especially after playing most of my matches at LLTC. It's a nice facility. The host team was very friendly also. Thanks for the beer and the hospitality.