USTA League Nationals for 2014 started today with the 3.0 level playing in Tucson and 5.0+ in Indian Wells. After day one, there has been some good competition but a few teams have stepped forward to be contenders to make the semis.
First from Tucson for the women's 3.0 level, flight 1, the five team flight, has two 2-0 teams leading the way with Southern and Texas. The winner will likely come from one of this pair.
Flight 2 has the Pacific Northwest leading at 2-0 but they still have to play one of the two 1-1 teams tomorrow.
Mid-Atlantic leads flight 3 at 2-0 but the Caribbean is 1-0 and won all five courts today they still have to play.
Southern Cal leads flight 4 at 1-0, but only won 3-2 and there are two 1-1 teams still in it.
For the men, New England has the lead in flight 5 winning their matches today 4-1 and 3-2, but Eastern won their one match 4-1 today so their match tomorrow will likely decide the flight winner.
The Pacific Northwest and Intermountain lead flight 6, but PNW has gone 10-0 while Intermountain has gone just 6-4 so far on individual courts. But they still have to play to decide the semifinalist.
Northern California leads flight 7 but both wins were 3-2 and there are two 1-1 teams right behind them so it isn't decided yet.
Similarly, Texas leads flight 8 at 2-0 but two 1-1 teams are also behind them.
The women's 5.0 Nationals has three flights each with four teams. Southern Cal leads flight 1 at 2-0 but two 1-1 teams are close behind. Similarly, Intermountain is 2-0 ahead of two 1-1 teams in flight 2. And for the sake of consistency, Texas leads flight 3 ahead of two 1-1 teams.
With three flights, I believe a wildcard will make the semis so those second place teams still have a shot.
The men's 5.0 has three flights as well, but five teams each except the Midwest team pulled out so just four teams in flight 6.
Flight 5 has Northern Cal and Southern both at 2-0, and they play first up tomorrow to likely decide the semifinalist.
Flight 6 has two 1-0 teams in Intermountain and the Texas wildcard, but the 1-1 Southwest team is still in it.
Northern has taken the 2-0 lead in flight 7 but with three 1-1 teams behind them, it is still up for grabs.
I did look at a few match-ups and with just a couple of exceptions, the higher rated players and teams are generally winning. Even though the ratings are specifically meant to predict winners, this does help validate the accuracy of my rating estimates.
Good luck everyone!