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View Full Version : 18th La Habra Fall Tournament


35ft6
11-29-2009, 02:56 PM
Random observations...

Finally got to see Noah Newman play. Incredible hands on that guy. He takes the ball insanely early, hits very flat, and despite hitting flat manages to create some amazing angles especially off the backhand side. There were a few points where he just kept taking the ball earlier and earlier, hitting corner to corner -- it was beautiful to see. He played Mousheg H, a kid who a few months ago reached the semis of Kalamazoo in singles and doubles. Mousheg was given a 3 game penalty for showing up late. I think it really bothered him and he seemed on the verge of mental collapse almost from the get go. Plus, not sure if Newman is the guy you want to play stone cold straight from a 90 minute drive.

Newman plays a very simple but brutally efficient game. He takes everything early, hitting some returns 5 or 6 feet inside the baseline, and hits flat into a corner. Over and over and over. He doesn't have a lot of power, for this level, but he's very consistent and makes every shot count. Also, he isn't a great athlete but he covers the court very well, cuts off angles, and has great hands, he can pull off some amazing shots on the defensive especially when he has a target in the form of a guy at the net. With him, there is no mystery how he's going to play that day. He seems like a guy a better player can lose to if somebody pees in their cereal that morning. Somebody can lose to him 3 and 3, then beat him 3 and 3 the very next day. Very impressive player. And almost robotically stoic on the court. And off.

Biggest forehand and serve belonged to Kaes Van't Hof. But his game comes and goes. If you can return a couple of his heaters, he's almost bound to miss the 4th or 5th shot. Still, a lot of fun to watch. Forehand is very similar to Nadal and Verdasco's, looks like a shot developed on clay and not on the hard courts of California. Open stance, wristy, left handed, incredible action.

Brian Battistone of the jumping volley ball serve and three handled racket was there with the second biggest serve but most difficult to return serve. He routined Robert Yim. He just wasn't giving him any rhythm at all, serve and volleying, hitting incredible drop shots, and playing great defense when necessary, hitting left AND right handed forehands, some slice, that would land delicately on the baseline. And in doubles, he was just ridiculous in the first set against two very good Asian players. He missed maybe 1 return the whole set, and it seemed like everything he touched was either a winner or drew an error. He could rip returns down the line or crosscourt, alternating between left handed and right handed forehands, or two hands off either side, or sometimes using the third handle on the neck of the racket to rip a flat shot. And he could hit serves and overheads with both hands, impossible to lob.

And on on. More later. Maybe.

35ft6
11-29-2009, 03:05 PM
Oh! The 5.5 tournament was in many ways more interesting. A left handed player named Brian Matek was very fun to watch. Slice backhand, great volleys. Not REALLY a serve and volleyer, but looked to get to the net as soon as possible behind very deep slice approach shots and deft drop shots. He was a lot of fun to watch, plus he had a very laid back attitude. He beat the number 1 seed in the semis, and it almost seemed like he turned it on when he needed to. A bit of sand bagging? Well, he is a bit overweight. But his skills are open level, and he played the Men's open doubles, where he and his partner easily beat the team that consisted of the guy who beat Van't Hof, and some other dude.

The other semis was a guy named Andy Chang, who used to play number one for Cal Poly Pomona. He's ranked 135 in the Mens Open seeding list, higher than several guys who got smoked in the first round of the Open draw. He didn't really have to try in the semis. He just coasted to victory, hitting forehand winners at will. Another super nice, laid back guy. Should be the friendliest finals ever.

I see Chang won when Matek retired in the 3rd set.

onehandbh
11-30-2009, 01:36 AM
Some video footage from the tournament:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQA2quSQWSw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUuSmAuQhTM

onehandbh
11-30-2009, 10:10 AM
btw, can anyone guess which (if any) of the players in the
above videos made it to the finals? and what level they were
playing? The tournament had levels from 3.5 - open.

BravoRed691
11-30-2009, 10:35 AM
Oh! The 5.5 tournament was in many ways more interesting. A left handed player named Brian Matek was very fun to watch. Slice backhand, great volleys. Not REALLY a serve and volleyer, but looked to get to the net as soon as possible behind very deep slice approach shots and deft drop shots. He was a lot of fun to watch, plus he had a very laid back attitude. He beat the number 1 seed in the semis, and it almost seemed like he turned it on when he needed to. A bit of sand bagging? Well, he is a bit overweight. But his skills are open level, and he played the Men's open doubles, where he and his partner easily beat the team that consisted of the guy who beat Van't Hof, and some other dude.

The other semis was a guy named Andy Chang, who used to play number one for Cal Poly Pomona. He's ranked 135 in the Mens Open seeding list, higher than several guys who got smoked in the first round of the Open draw. He didn't really have to try in the semis. He just coasted to victory, hitting forehand winners at will. Another super nice, laid back guy. Should be the friendliest finals ever.

I see Chang won when Matek retired in the 3rd set.

I've forgotten about this tournament! Yea im glad you got to watch both Chang and Matek play! They are both local players in my area and yes, they prob could have played the opens...and they have in other tournaments before. La Habra is usually pretty stacked so....

I dunno if this is the same Brian Matek, but im assuming it is...he is a pro here at our local tennis club. Never met him personally but from what i've hear he is very cordial and nice. Both kids and adults like him. And he is NOT overweight....hehe maybe a bit pudgey in the gut area...not in his collegiate playing shape lol! There are actually a few very very solid opens dubs players coaching at that club...

Hope Brian is ok nod not seriously injured...any idea on the source of his retirement?

Br

Carlito
11-30-2009, 11:13 AM
Everyone sandbags La Habra. Its a money event even for the 3.5 and 4.5 levels. I think it was $85 dollar for the Open and you had to go through qualifying. I know some people that usually play Opens trying to get into the 4.5 event.

35ft6
11-30-2009, 11:13 AM
And he is NOT overweight....hehe maybe a bit pudgey in the gut area...not in his collegiate playing shape lol!He's not Orson Welles or anything, but a good 25 to 30 pounds over a decent playing weight.There are actually a few very very solid opens dubs players coaching at that club...I saw online that Matek used to be ranked 1 in So Cal in doubles.Hope Brian is ok nod not seriously injured...any idea on the source of his retirement?The USTA tournament links site. (http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=78070)

Alexander Sarkissian gutted out 3 consecutive matches that went down to the wire in the third set to take the men's open singles. When I saw him and Daniel Nguyen beginning their match, they looked, to me, like a notch down from Battistone, Yim, Perez, and Hoft. Even from Mousheg and Newman. How wrong I was. Anybody in the semifinals could have won the tournament, every match there on went to a 3rd set tiebreaker.

onehandbh
11-30-2009, 11:40 AM
Everyone sandbags La Habra. Its a money event even for the 3.5 and 4.5 levels. I think it was $85 dollar for the Open and you had to go through qualifying. I know some people that usually play Opens trying to get into the 4.5 event.

The guys in the Open main draw and 5.5 main draw looked
significantly better than people on the other courts.


Alexander Sarkissian gutted out 3 consecutive matches that went down to the wire in the third set to take the men's open singles. When I saw him and Daniel Nguyen beginning their match, they looked, to me, like a notch down from Battistone, Yim, Perez, and Hoft. Even from Mousheg and Newman. How wrong I was. Anybody in the semifinals could have won the tournament, every match there on went to a 3rd set tiebreaker.

I totally misjudged Sarkissian & Nguyen also. I thought Perez
would take it.

35ft6
11-30-2009, 01:30 PM
^ It's really impressive that a young guy like Sarkissian could beat 3 such different players in a row, 2 of which were "veterans." It doesn't get much more different than Newman and Battistone. People talk about how there's no variety in tennis anymore but even at this tournament, you watch those guys and you see some very different playing styles, and it comes down to matchups. Sarkissian overcame several styles but two months ago lost to Perez 2 and 1. And I'm sure we would have seen a different Yim against a baseliner.

That Sanchez dude who paired us with Das to take out Stadler and Van't Hof was a pretty impressive junior. He lost to Querrey like 4 and 6 once and has beaten Kalim Stewart, seems like he's a top 25 Open level player but doesn't appear to have a singles ranking.

Can't find much on the yellow shirted Asian dude. He looked quality. Not even sure which Nguyen he was.

onehandbh
11-30-2009, 01:53 PM
Hadn't thought of that. I guess it does make it even more impressive that he beat such a variety of players.

That was a lot of Nguyens in one tournament. Reminds me
of this sketch group that did a parody song of "Dust in the
Wind." They replaced "Dust in the Wind" with "Dustin Nguyen,"
the Vietnamese actor, and did a parody/homage song to him.
Hilarious.