Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Handicapping USTA League Nationals 40 & over 4.0 Men

Nationals for the 2017 USTA League 40 & over division continue this weekend, and so my previews continue.  Here are the 40 & over 4.0 men after doing the 40 & over 4.0 women.

For all my previews, I'll be using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings and comparing teams using the top-8 (for 5 court levels) or top-5 (for 3 court levels) averages which gives an idea of who the best teams are, if they play their best players.  Who actually plays and the match-ups a captain is able to get obviously go a long way to determining who will win, but it is still interesting to compare "best" vs "best".  The actual detailed numbers along with full roster averages and by court played averages are available as part of a Flight Report which can still be purchased for any Nationals flight.  Contact me if interested.

The 40 & over 4.0 men will be played at the National Campus in Orlando, FL.  The full 17 teams are present so there is one flight with five teams and three with four teams, the flight winners advancing to the semis.

The favorites in the four flights are Mid-Atlantic, Florida, Middle States, and Intermountain, but one of the flights is very close with three of the top-4 overall teams.

Ratings will clearly change as a result of the matches played, but right now, Middle States and Florida are in a virtual tie for the top spot if they have/play their best players.

Good luck to all!

Handicapping USTA League Nationals 40 & over 4.0 Women

Nationals for the 2017 USTA League 40 & over division continue this weekend, and so my previews continue.  Here are the 40 & over 4.0 women.

For all my previews, I'll be using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings and comparing teams using the top-8 (for 5 court levels) or top-5 (for 3 court levels) averages which gives an idea of who the best teams are, if they play their best players.  Who actually plays and the match-ups a captain is able to get obviously go a long way to determining who will win, but it is still interesting to compare "best" vs "best".  The actual detailed numbers along with full roster averages and by court played averages are available as part of a Flight Report which can still be purchased for any Nationals flight.  Contact me if interested.

The 40 & over 4.0 women will be played at the National Campus in Orlando, FL.  The full 17 teams are present so there is one flight with five teams and three with four teams, the flight winners advancing to the semis.

The favorites in the four flights are Intermountain, Northern, New England, and Texas, but three of the flights are very close.

Ratings will clearly change as a result of the matches played, but right now, Texas appears to be the favorite overall if they have/play their best players.

Good luck to all!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The busiest week of 2017 USTA League Nationals is upon us - 18+ 2.5/3.0 and 40+ 4.0/4.5+

2017 USTA League Nationals continues this weekend with seven titles to be handed out, the busiest weekend of this year.

The 18 & over age group will be playing the 2.5 women in Mobile and the 3.0 level will be played in Arizona.

The 40 & over age group is also in Mobile with the 4.5+ level and the 4.0 level is in Orlando at the National Campus.

Stay tuned for some previews.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The second weekend of 2017 Nationals are in the books, 18 & over 4.0 and 40 & over 3.0 teams win championship banners

The second weekend of Nationals is complete, and there are four more teams that are going home with championship banners.

The 40 & over 3.0 women saw Caribbean, Southern, Middle States, and Southern California make the semis.  Southern and Middle States made the final with 3-2 wins where Southern took it all with a 4-1 win.

The 3.0 men saw Middle States, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest win their flights with Mid-Atlantic getting the wildcard.  Middle States won a hard fought 3-2 win over Midwest and PNW dispatched the wildcard 4-1 leading to Middle States taking it all with a 3-2 win with two match tie-break wins the deciders.

The 18 & over 4.0 women found Northern California, Midwest, Intermountain, and Missouri Valley in the semis.  The first semi was loaded with pre-tournament favorites playing with Midwest beating NorCal and Missouri Valley also a flight favorite took care of Intermountain.  The final had Missouri Valley in a small upset winning 4-1.

The 4.0 men had Texas, Southern, Hawaii, and Southern California in the semis.  Southern Cal pulled an upset to make the final against Southern, but ran into the pre-tournament favorite buzzsaw and Southern took it all.

I've updated the tally of the semi-finalists and winners for 2017 here and will continue to keep it updated.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review of day 1 of weekend two of 2017 USTA League Nationals - 40+ 3.0 and 18+ 4.0

As I write this it is almost 9pm ET, and unfortunately I can't say that day 1 of this weekend's Nationals are complete!

You'd think we'd be waiting for the 18+ 4.0 matches in Arizona to complete, but alas that isn't the case as there was a 5-hour rain delay in Florida for the 40+ 3.0 and seven matches are still not recorded on TennisLink.  As far as I know, they are still being played tonight so I expect the scores will show up soon.

Note that because of the rain, my understanding is that the USTA preemptively shortened matches to start each set at 2-2 and also go to no-ad rather than playing the deuces out as is normally done at Nationals.  I do not know if this will continue tomorrow or was just to try to get today's matches in, but with more rain forecast, there is probably a good chance matches remain shortened.

But on to how teams have done.

In Arizona, the women has every team with only wins or only losses.  Each flight has two 2-0 or 1-0 teams and two 0-2 or 0-1 teams.  Caribbean didn't make the trip so there are four four team flights and Southern and Northern California won twice each in flight 1 as expected, Intermountain and Northern each won in flight 2 as expected, flight 3 also had the favored teams win in Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, and form also held in flight 4 with Missouri Valley and Florida winning twice each.  So the head to head matches between the winners today will decide things tomorrow.

The 4.0 men also had Caribbean not make the trip so the four four-team flights exists here too.  Several teams did go 1-1 though, not quite the "chalk" of the women.  Flight 5 had Texas upset Florida to lead at 2-0, flight 6 had Hawaii and Middle States win as expected, Southern leads flight 7 as expected, and flight 8 has Midwest and Southern Cal leading.

In Florida, for the women, Caribbean and Texas lead in five-team flight 1, Middle States and Midwest in flight 2, Mid-Atlantic and Southern in flight 3, and no scores are recorded for flight 4 yet.

The men have three five-team flights, and have Southern and Middle States leading flight 5, Northern and Pacific Northwest undefeated in flight 6, and Texas and Intermountain leading flight 7.

Good luck to all!

USTA League Nationals in Florida - Rain? Who knew!

For 2017 the USTA elected to hold a bunch of USTA League Nationals in Florida.  Last weekend the 18 & over 5.0+ level was played at the National Campus in Orlando and to my knowledge went off without incident, but this weekend Fort Lauderdale is hosting the 40 & over 3.0 level and it appears they've started out with a 2-hour delay due to rain and the forecast doesn't look promising.


That is not the most reassuring weather report when you have over 300 individual courts to get played over three days.

This was a concern I wrote and even polled about when all this was announced, the about a quarter of those polled agreed with me that due to weather, Nationals should have stayed in Arizona and California.  While you can have weather or fires or other events that may affect the ability to get the matches in regardless of location, picking a location where it frequently rains and it is a pretty sure thing that there will be some sort of weather delay over a location where it is highly unlikely to have one does not seem like the best decision, especially given the time and expense players and teams are asked to incur to make the trip.

Hopefully the weather holds and all the matches can be played as planned, but as someone spending thousands of dollars to make a trip to Nationals, I know I'd be pretty unhappy if I end up making the trip to only get to play a few pro-sets instead of complete matches.

p.s. if they had stuck with playing in the California desert, here is the forecast there.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Handicapping USTA League Nationals 18 & over 4.0 Women

Nationals for the 2017 USTA League 18 & over division continue this weekend along with the 40 & over starting, and so my previews continue.  I wrote about the 40 & over 3.0 women, now the 18 & over 4.0 women.

For all my previews, I'll be using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings and comparing teams using the top-8 (for 5 court levels) or top-5 (for 3 court levels) averages which gives an idea of who the best teams are, if they play their best players.  Who actually plays and the match-ups a captain is able to get obviously go a long way to determining who will win, but it is still interesting to compare "best" vs "best".  The actual detailed numbers along with full roster averages and by court played averages are available as part of a Flight Report which can still be purchased for any Nationals flight.  Contact me if interested.

The 18 & over 4.0 women will be played in Surprise, AZ.  The full 17 teams are present so there is one flight with five teams and three with four teams, the flight winners advancing to the semis.

The favorites in the four flights are Northern California, Northern, Midwest, and Missouri Valley, but most flights are very close.

Ratings will clearly change as a result of the matches played, but right now, Midwest appears to be the favorite if they have/play their best players.

Good luck to all!