Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014 USTA League 40 & over 3.5 semi-finals prediction

The USTA League Nationals for the 3.5 level of the 40 & over division are taking place and the semi-finals and finals are today.  Here is what the ratings say about the match-ups.

In one semi-final, Pacific Northwest plays Intermountain.  PNW lost their first match, but came back strong to win their flight while Intermountain went 3-0 taking the drama out of it.  PNW's top-8 are slightly stronger than Intermountain's (3.64 average vs 3.57), so if the teams play straight-up, you'd expect a PNW win with competitive matches on each court, but at least a 3-2 win but more likely 4-1.  But Intermountain could pull the upset if they get the right match-ups.

The other semi has Hawaii playing Midwest, Hawaii easing to the 3-0 flight win while Midwest went 2-1 and got in on a tie-breaker.  Hawaii's wins were close though two 3-2 and one 4-1, and with their top-8 average of 3.54 match up very closely to Midwest with an average of 3.55.  The winner here will depend on match-ups and how everyone plays today and is too close to call.

Should PNW come through in the first semi, it appears they would be the favorite over either opponent.  Intermountain would be pretty close to either of the others but perhaps a slight favorite.

As always, line-ups matter, and of course how players play on a given day is most important.  The team with the higher top-8 average doesn't always win.

Good luck teams.