Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 USTA League 40 & over 4.0 Men Nationals Preview

The last weekend of Adult league Nationals is this weekend and I'll be following the Men's 4.0 level closely.  A local team that was in the same local playoffs my team was is there, and I've done some reports for some attendees, so there are a few aspects I'm interested in.  So here is a preview.

For each flight, I've calculated the average rating for the top-8 players to indicate strength.  Of course, it isn't just an average that matters, it is who plays and the actual match-ups plus how players play on that given day, but it is an indication of who is stronger on paper.

The first flight is the 5 team flight:
  • Texas - 4.19
  • Southern California - 4.16
  • Midwest - 4.15
  • Eastern - 4.11
  • Caribbean - 3.85
Other than Caribbean, this flight is crazy strong with 4 of the 5 teams with a top-8 average of 4.11 or higher.  And Caribbean simply doesn't play as much or against as many players/teams, so they could just be untested and better than their ratings.  Tough flight, the match-ups captains can get will likely determine the winner.  It will be hard for any team to go undefeated.

The next flight has:
  • Mid-Atlantic - 4.17
  • Intermountain - 4.10
  • Southern - 4.06
  • Florida - 4.04
Mid-Atlantic looks very strong, but all four teams with a top-8 average over 4.0, none will be a pushover.  Mid-Atlantic may look like the favorite but anything can happen.

The third flight has:
  • Pacific Northwest - 4.17
  • Northern California - 4.09
  • Middle States - 4.08
  • New England - 3.99
A similar gap between the two top teams, but NorCal and Middle States will give them a run.

The last flight has the following teams:
  • Northern - 4.13
  • Missouri Valley - 4.08
  • Hawaii - 4.02
  • Southwest - 3.99
This appears to be the weakest flight on paper, but one of the teams will make the semis and then you never know what might happen.

It will be interesting to see if things play out by the numbers or if there are upsets.  I'll post updates throughout the weekend.