2.5 and 4.0 Men's 18+ Nationals Prediction

soil

New User
I forgot to predict last week's 3.0 and 5.0 Nationals. Looks like Southern 5.0 is very strong. Southern teams got not only the champion but also the runner up.

This weekend is 2.5 and 4.0.

2.5 only has 3 flights. Winners of the flights will be Caribbean, Southern and Mid-Atlantic. They will do round robin instead of semi and final. Caribbean will recover from the 3.0 shock against Dallas and win it. Southern will be the runner up.

4.0 will be brutal. Semi will be Middle States vs. Southern, Texas vs. New England. Texas will breeze through, while Southern will have a little bit of challenge.

Both teams have two players DQ'ed, but Texas still has 7 self raters surviving, slightly more than Southern. Texas will win the battle of ringers by a small margin.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I can't imagine what pathetic individual you'd have to be to sandbag to win at 2.5 men's Nationals. And this is coming from a strong 3.0. It would be bad enough to do it at 3.0 but honestly I can hardly believe they have a men's 2.5 division at Nationals.
 

Brian11785

Hall of Fame
I can't imagine what pathetic individual you'd have to be to sandbag to win at 2.5 men's Nationals. And this is coming from a strong 3.0. It would be bad enough to do it at 3.0 but honestly I can hardly believe they have a men's 2.5 division at Nationals.
I don't understand why there is a Nationals for 2.5, 3.0 or even 3.5. I mean, I understand giving everyone a shot at the trip, but when it is basically the same small crop of Machiavellian captains going every year, it sort of weakens the inclusiveness argument.

Honestly, unless a friend specifically invites me to play on a team some time in the future, I think I am done with feeding the USTA beast.
 

tennis_tater

Semi-Pro
What team are you playing on Soil? Surely you aren't scouring through all of these rosters unless you, too, are competing in this event.

Anyway, Texas was the trendy pick last year, but didn't fair too well.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I don't understand why there is a Nationals for 2.5, 3.0 or even 3.5. I mean, I understand giving everyone a shot at the trip, but when it is basically the same small crop of Machiavellian captains going every year, it sort of weakens the inclusiveness argument.
Heck why have nationals for 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 either? None of us are going to make any money for this. What makes a 3.0 tournament less deserving than a 4.5 tournament?
 

Brian11785

Hall of Fame
Heck why have nationals for 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 either? None of us are going to make any money for this. What makes a 3.0 tournament less deserving than a 4.5 tournament?
I agree actually. It is perk that very few people get to enjoy, yet its existence leads to certain actions that I would argue are antithetical to the idea of recreational tennis.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
The Middle States 4.0 team is really deep with very good doubles players on every line. They have one true ringer, a kid who is a high level 4.5 who really has no business in 4.0, but they are a contender not because of him but because they have almost a dozen guys that are borderline 4.0/4.5 to low level 4.5 (i.e. not really ringers but no easy outs anywhere in the lineup).

This team kind of epitomizes how to use ringers to win at nationals. Teams that try to ride 2 or 3 out of level self-rates to nationals glory inevitably fail because the guys get DQ'd from having to win every tough match or if one has a bad day and loses, they have no one to pick up the slack. The Middle States has the one ringer kid who is now a sure win at nationals, but if you DQ him and reverse every one of his results, they still win every match and go to nationals, so he is not the reason they made it at all. To win nationals with ringers like this, you have to be able to get there without relying on them and then let them loose once you get there. Look out for this team, they should contend.
 
Heck why have nationals for 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 either? None of us are going to make any money for this. What makes a 3.0 tournament less deserving than a 4.5 tournament?
For me it's the chance to play other players from other parts of my state or country. I love playing against new players. Playing the same old players from my city gets stale. Sectionals is so cool and fun.

It also gives me a gauge for how good or not good I am. Local league just doesn't do that.
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
4.0 will be brutal. Semi will be Middle States vs. Southern, Texas vs. New England. Texas will breeze through, while Southern will have a little bit of challenge.

Both teams have two players DQ'ed, but Texas still has 7 self raters surviving, slightly more than Southern. Texas will win the battle of ringers by a small margin.
Interesting to look at this so far:

Middle States 1-1 - MoValley and Intermountain lead, both 2-0
Texas 2-0 - Winning easily so far
Southern - 1-1 - SoCal leads at 2-0
New England - 0-2 - Florida 2-0 in the lead
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Interesting to look at this so far:

Middle States 1-1 - MoValley and Intermountain lead, both 2-0
Texas 2-0 - Winning easily so far
Southern - 1-1 - SoCal leads at 2-0
New England - 0-2 - Florida 2-0 in the lead
I talked to the Middle States captain this afternoon. They are missing one key player who canceled out on the trip at the last minute and it cause two of their regular doubles teams to be changed in the AM match, both of which they lost. He said the Intermountain #1 singles guy is really good, too. They came back and beat Puerto Rico in the PM, but he said Mo Valley looks very tough, too.
 

goober

Legend
The only problem I have with a 2.5 nationals is that a lot of people can legitimately go from 2.5 to 3.5 in one year pretty easily.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
nice to see TX former Top ITA Player under 30 y.o has figured out how to play again since the playoffs started winning easily
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Middle States stormed back today with a combined 9-1 match score and got some help against Intermountain to take Group 5. Congrats, boys.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
FWIW, Texas and Florida did the best in their flights, 3-0 and 12-3 each, but Texas handled Florida 4-1 in their semi, although two of the wins were match tie-breaks so perhaps closer than it sounds.

Is a second Texas win on the way?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Just took a look at this Texas team. I'll leave any conclusions to the reader, but here is what I'm seeing:

There were a total of 8 self-rates or appeals.

One was a self-rated 3.5 that played only 4.0 that got DQ'd to 4.5 in 4 matches, so he wasn't eligible for Nationals.

They also had a 5.5S from 2012 that went 0-3 in 5.0 last year and was apparently able to appeal down to 4.0 to start this year and likely had two strikes but avoided a DQ.

There was another self-rate that likely had two strikes but avoided more by playing only 3 matches that generated ratings.

Another self-rate did get DQ'd up to 4.5 which my ratings agreed with so not eligible.

So, they lost two of their best players and have still made the finals at Nationals.

--
NTRP Ratings FAQ
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Southern Cal won the other semi, also 4-1 over Middle States. They had gone 3-0/10-5 in their flight. So can they give Texas a match in the final?

They don't have the same number of self-rated or appeal players, just 3 that played matches, but appear pretty strong nonetheless. Not including Nationals matches, I have their top-8 rated at 3.97 or higher while Texas' top-8 available are at 4.07 or higher.

I have not checked to see if the top-8 are playing for each team, but it would appear Texas does have a slight advantage from a ratings standpoint.

--
NTRP Ratings FAQ
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Southern Cal won the other semi, also 4-1 over Middle States. They had gone 3-0/10-5 in their flight. So can they give Texas a match in the final?

They don't have the same number of self-rated or appeal players, just 3 that played matches, but appear pretty strong nonetheless. Not including Nationals matches, I have their top-8 rated at 3.97 or higher while Texas' top-8 available are at 4.07 or higher.

I have not checked to see if the top-8 are playing for each team, but it would appear Texas does have a slight advantage from a ratings standpoint.

--
NTRP Ratings FAQ
There are two guys on the So Cal nationals roster that we played at nationals last year, including one in the semis, and neither even made their nationals lineup at all. It's not surprising their right there at the end.
 

soil

New User
Texas didn't have their best singles, the 17-year old Kenyan national junior player (self-rated of course). Their 2nd best singles player had to carry the whole singles burden. Situations like this cannot be foreseen and affects the accuracy of prediction.

This Texas national team is weaker than the sectional team.

SoCal, on the other hand, brought their strongest players. Their doubles players performed better than I thought.

Looks like Texas could have used a singles player.
 
Heck why have nationals for 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 either? None of us are going to make any money for this. What makes a 3.0 tournament less deserving than a 4.5 tournament?
I can see the reasoning for 3.5+ but how can you stay a 2.5 Player for any longer time? even if you are not an outright sandbagger there is still a good Chance you develope out of that Level quite fast and by the time of the competition you are too good for that Level.

there are many 3.5 "lifers" but for 2.5 and 3.0 that is quite rare unless you receive no formal Training at all.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I can see the reasoning for 3.5+ but how can you stay a 2.5 Player for any longer time? even if you are not an outright sandbagger there is still a good Chance you develope out of that Level quite fast and by the time of the competition you are too good for that Level.

there are many 3.5 "lifers" but for 2.5 and 3.0 that is quite rare unless you receive no formal Training at all.
My experience is there are plenty of "lifers" at 3.0. My wife plays 2.5 and there are plenty of ladies here who stay at 2.5 for years. Have yet to see a male who has not been bumped from 2.5 after a year of league play though perusing rankings it appears that there are some guys out there with a 2.5C rating.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Texas, as the 3.0 team had at least 1 player beating good 3.5 players while playing 3.0 I'm surprised 3.0 texas didn't get any dqs. That 3.0 team blew everyone off the court. They were clearly a stocked team.
I think texas will win 4.0 as well but maybe only a few double bagels, Lol
I just looked at the TX 3.0 team. It is HIGHLY suspect. Their #1 singles player who won 6-0 6-1 in the national finals was a kid (2014 HS graduate) who played and won juniors tournaments and high school district tournaments. That should put him at 4.0 on the guidelines in itself. He plays one regular season match, a doubles match that he LOSES with a partner who is winning at 3.5. In sectionals, these two guys win a squeaker 6-4 6-4 in the first match before conveniently splitting sets in their second match after the team had already won three 6-0 6-0 courts to win the match very quickly. He gets to nationals where he can't get strikes, switches to singles, and barely loses a game.

Well done. He earned a hard-fought crystal trophy that says you beat a bunch of beginners even though you have been a tournament level player for at least 5 years. Something to be super proud of.
 

chay337

Rookie
I just looked at the TX 3.0 team. It is HIGHLY suspect. Their #1 singles player who won 6-0 6-1 in the national finals was a kid (2014 HS graduate) who played and won juniors tournaments and high school district tournaments. That should put him at 4.0 on the guidelines in itself. He plays one regular season match, a doubles match that he LOSES with a partner who is winning at 3.5. In sectionals, these two guys win a squeaker 6-4 6-4 in the first match before conveniently splitting sets in their second match after the team had already won three 6-0 6-0 courts to win the match very quickly. He gets to nationals where he can't get strikes, switches to singles, and barely loses a game.

Well done. He earned a hard-fought crystal trophy that says you beat a bunch of beginners even though you have been a tournament level player for at least 5 years. Something to be super proud of.
I'm not a beginner! Played for 4 years! :)

Still at even the 3.0 nationals (2013 and 2014), I rarely saw "beginners".
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I'm not a beginner! Played for 4 years! :)

Still at even the 3.0 nationals (2013 and 2014), I rarely saw "beginners".
4 years is still a beginner if you are an adult (i.e. not a junior). I've been playing for 35. This kid who was playing for the 3.0 TX team had more or less the same junior background as the kid who I said was a ringer for the MS 4.0 team (who was 6-0 at 4.0 nationals). The fact that someone would even consider a player like that for a 3.0 team is unbelievable, but TX and Southern never cease to amaze me at the depth of their depravity.

Did you end up with a team in the MS Tri-level league (it was 3.5, 4.0, 4.5)? Another guy asked me, but my son had soccer both weekends they were running the league.
 

chay337

Rookie
4 years is still a beginner if you are an adult (i.e. not a junior). I've been playing for 35. This kid who was playing for the 3.0 TX team had more or less the same junior background as the kid who I said was a ringer for the MS 4.0 team (who was 6-0 at 4.0 nationals). The fact that someone would even consider a player like that for a 3.0 team is unbelievable, but TX and Southern never cease to amaze me at the depth of their depravity.

Did you end up with a team in the MS Tri-level league (it was 3.5, 4.0, 4.5)? Another guy asked me, but my son had soccer both weekends they were running the league.
I know, hence the smilie. :) There's a local rec league and they have 4 skill classes. Every season I select "beginner", they scour at me saying this isn't USTA!!

I didn't look into Texas 3.0 team. Waste of time/energy for me. It's still very evident that most players in USTA are over rated still and could contribute to the fact of calling people cheaters, etc. Not saying this is the case with TX but in most I find that it holds true.

I'm running a 3.0/3.5/4.0 tri-level team, playing as 3.5. I'm liking the format. Caught a little womens 3.5/4.0/4.5 on Sunday and it was good.

Maybe next year, if your schedule works, we can play a 3.5/4.0/4.5.
 
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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I know, hence the smilie. :) There's a local rec league and they have 4 skill classes. Every season I select "beginner", they scour at me saying this isn't USTA!!

I didn't look into Texas 3.0 team. Waste of time/energy for me. It's still very evident that most players in USTA are over rated still and could contribute to the fact of calling people cheaters, etc. Not saying this is the case with TX but in most I find that it holds true.

I'm running a 3.0/3.5/4.0 tri-level team, playing as 3.5. I'm liking the format. Caught a little womens 3.5/4.0/4.5 on Sunday and it was good.

Maybe next year, if your schedule works, we can play a 3.5/4.0/4.5.
Possibly. I'm proud to say I can't help you with 3.0/3.5/4.0 anymore, though.
 

Brian11785

Hall of Fame
As I said earlier in the thread, I was recruited last spring (before I had a computer rating) to play on that 3.0 Texas team that won Nationals. Respectfully declined and joined a 3.5 team--and won some matches at sectionals. It looks as if I would've been lucky to have even gotten to play at Nationals on this 3.0 team.

(One of the doubles players also played on a 3.5 team last season and I beat him in a close singles match; not sure if it was a thrown match or not. But he didn't call the score pre-serve the whole first set and then tried to claim an "Ad Out" point was an "Ad In" point after I won a point to break at 6-5 and starting changing sides. Yelling ensued. He made a lot of terrible line calls in the second set. Like "a foot in" bad. Worst USTA match experience ever actually.)

I am a beginner myself by JRB's standards. Only been playing four years, but I do not have the desire to be a competitive underachiever. But I suppose an 18 year old former HS player isn't going to turn down a free (I assume a ringer that good went for free....let's be honest) trip only needing to throw a few matches against hackers.
 

chay337

Rookie
As I said earlier in the thread, I was recruited last spring (before I had a computer rating) to play on that 3.0 Texas team that won Nationals. Respectfully declined and joined a 3.5 team--and won some matches at sectionals. It looks as if I would've been lucky to have even gotten to play at Nationals on this 3.0 team.

(One of the doubles players also played on a 3.5 team last season and I beat him in a close singles match; not sure if it was a thrown match or not. But he didn't call the score pre-serve the whole first set and then tried to claim an "Ad Out" point was an "Ad In" point after I won a point to break at 6-5 and starting changing sides. Yelling ensued. He made a lot of terrible line calls in the second set. Like "a foot in" bad. Worst USTA match experience ever actually.)

I am a beginner myself by JRB's standards. Only been playing four years, but I do not have the desire to be a competitive underachiever. But I suppose an 18 year old former HS player isn't going to turn down a free (I assume a ringer that good went for free....let's be honest) trip only needing to throw a few matches against hackers.
Thanks for sharing.

Personally, I had a great experience at nationals. Even against PNW who also were called, "sandbagger". I enjoyed that match. Being over 40 and being able to keep up with them at nationals is an accomplishment for me. I also played 3.5/18+ last year against 2 teams that were at least sectional worthy. One actually is at nationals as we speak. Some sections get there by winning against 1 team in their local division but they still enjoy it. They know the odds and still compete. The captain from ******* was nearly in tears of gratitude after our match because of what I did during the match. I'll never forget that.
 
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Brian11785

Hall of Fame
Thanks for sharing.

Personally, I had a great experience at nationals. Even against PNW who also were called, "sandbagger". I enjoyed that match. Being over 40 and being able to keep up with them at nationals is an accomplishment for me. I also played 3.5/18+ last year against 2 teams that were at least sectional worthy. One actually is at nationals as we speak. Some sections get there by winning against 1 team in their local division but they still enjoy it. They know the odds and still compete. The captain from ******* was nearly in tears of gratitude after our match because of what I did during the match. I'll never forget that.
I had a great time playing at Sectionals last year and imagine Nationals are equally as fun if you can ignore "how the sausage is made." I have thankfully found other, more social, non-USTA forums in which to play against considerably better players than myself. Though I recognize that not everyone lives in a big city like I do, so to them USTA might be the only game in town.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Thanks for sharing.

Personally, I had a great experience at nationals. Even against PNW who also were called, "sandbagger". I enjoyed that match. Being over 40 and being able to keep up with them at nationals is an accomplishment for me. I also played 3.5/18+ last year against 2 teams that were at least sectional worthy. One actually is at nationals as we speak. Some sections get there by winning against 1 team in their local division but they still enjoy it. They know the odds and still compete. The captain from ******* was nearly in tears of gratitude after our match because of what I did during the match. I'll never forget that.
Over 40 normalizes things out some. You can't get a kid straight out of college to self rate way too low.
 

chay337

Rookie
I had a great time playing at Sectionals last year and imagine Nationals are equally as fun if you can ignore "how the sausage is made." I have thankfully found other, more social, non-USTA forums in which to play against considerably better players than myself. Though I recognize that not everyone lives in a big city like I do, so to them USTA might be the only game in town.
Yes, we are fortunate. Looking into corporate ladders in NYC. Personally, USTA is my biggest tennis platform I can find and because of it, personally it adds to every aspect of tennis experience.
 
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chay337

Rookie
Over 40 normalizes things out some. You can't get a kid straight out of college to self rate way too low.
Agreed. It was possible that I could have taken more than half my team to 40+ nationals. Maybe next year but why not fight on the tougher platform. :)

My 73 y/o singles guy took PNW's fittest kid to 3rd set TB and almost got him to cramp. :) I don't know how that kid played 3 more matches after almost cramping.
 
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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Yes, we are fortunate. Looking into corporate ladders in NYC. Personally, USTA is my biggest tennis platform I can find and because of it, personally it adds to every aspect of tennis experience.
USTA leagues are great if you can keep it all in perspective and not get caught up in the rat race along the way. A "national championship" at an artificial stratification of skill level is meaningless, but the competition to get there is not and is what makes the league fun. That's why I don't understand the people who go to all these lengths to cheat to get something that is ultimately meaningless except for the battle to get it. If you cheat to win the battle, what you end up with IS truly meaningless.

My team proved that you can go a long way doing things the right way (although, as others have pointed out, it's a lot tougher to game the system with sandbaggers in 40+...), but at the same time, if we don't make it, that's fine, too, as long as we had fun playing.
 
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