Predicting the 40 & Over 4.0 men's Nationals

#51
Perhaps USTA Georgia received a lot of complaints about the 4.0 guy that took the double bump, or someone from USTA GA reads this.
Honestly I bet it was purely ratings based. He was pretty dominant against guys whose ratings were surely in the low to mid 4.5 range at sectionals and nationals. If you beat those guys 1 and 1, 0 and 3, etc... you're easily boosting your rating to the 5.0 border.
 
#52
Double bump to 5.0 is rare, and as I wrote in my long post earlier, he didn't seem to be near a 5.0 to me. What I observed is what would an average 4.5 in my area. Granted, I understand that it was 4.0 Nationals and can see why people would be pissed to play a good 4.5 at 4.0. And almost that entire team was bumped to 4.5... so I get it... but that isn't that unusual when you win a National title.
The problem with judging someone's rating based on how they look is if they are better at winning than everyone else, then they are still a 5.0 despite how they look. A guy like that would beat average 4.5s in most areas even when stroke for stroke they look about even.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#53
I'd be amazed if the USTA adjusts ratings based on what we say here! The player in question lost a combined total of 2 games in his matches in the semifinals and finals at nationals, both of which were against opponents who were bumped to 4.5. His match ratings for those two matches were probably well into the 5.0 range, so it's not so shocking that his year-end rating was 5.0.
The guy from Middle States was not a "just barely bumped" player, either. He was playing clearly at a 4.5 level for the entire season (and his only loss before nationals was to the other singles player on the Middle States 4.0 nationals team in a match tb, who was also bumped to 4.5).
 
#54
...there's nothing shady-looking about his history. He's historically played 4.5, but only sporadically. He self-rated last year after a couple years off and had a bad year and got rated down. It happens.
I don't see how you can say there's nothing shady-looking about his history. It absolutely looks shady when someone plays exactly three matches in a ratings year, gets clobbered in all of them to get rated down a level, and then destroys everyone at the lower level. That is the minimal-effort way to lower your rating, and many captains have players do this routinely. As you say, there are other plausible explanations for his 2017 scores, so we can't be sure they were shady; but if I saw ten people with his track record then I would guess that at least nine of them had tanked their three matches from the previous year.
 
#55
Double bump to 5.0 is rare, and as I wrote in my long post earlier, he didn't seem to be near a 5.0 to me. What I observed is what would an average 4.5 in my area. Granted, I understand that it was 4.0 Nationals and can see why people would be pissed to play a good 4.5 at 4.0. And almost that entire team was bumped to 4.5... so I get it... but that isn't that unusual when you win a National title.

I'm still curious... what is that particular player's playing background? Did he play college tennis? Did he ever play high level junior, Open, or age group tournaments with any success? Was he a great athlete in another sport?

Getting a 5.0 rating after age 40 is huge honor, but it's also almost a death sentence for League play. I know... it happened to me a few years ago and my playing opportunities dropped in half (along with my winning percentage). :D

Just to note, I looked up the new ratings for the 4.5+ championship team that I highlighted previously. Every single 4.5 that played in the finals was bumped to 5.0, and both of their 5.0s were bumped to 5.5! So needless to say, that team was ridiculously talented and made the 4.0 champs look very average in comparison.
I believe he did play for Georgia Perimeter College after high school. That school was absorbed at some point into Georgia State University. Not sure what division they played or how much he played during college. He also played high level junior but don't recall what kind of results he had.
 

ace18

Professional
#56
I don't see how you can say there's nothing shady-looking about his history. It absolutely looks shady when someone plays exactly three matches in a ratings year, gets clobbered in all of them to get rated down a level, and then destroys everyone at the lower level. That is the minimal-effort way to lower your rating, and many captains have players do this routinely. As you say, there are other plausible explanations for his 2017 scores, so we can't be sure they were shady; but if I saw ten people with his track record then I would guess that at least nine of them had tanked their three matches from the previous year.
The guy plays under a different first name in the other Atlanta league and goes by that first name on one of the biggest social media sites. When I see someone using one first name for one league and a second first name for one league, that seems shady to me.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#57
The guy plays under a different first name in the other Atlanta league and goes by that first name on one of the biggest social media sites. When I see someone using one first name for one league and a second first name for one league, that seems shady to me.
These leagues you mention are both USTA leagues? Or are you just saying their name for USTA is different from their name for say ALTA?
 
#60
The problem with judging someone's rating based on how they look is if they are better at winning than everyone else, then they are still a 5.0 despite how they look. A guy like that would beat average 4.5s in most areas even when stroke for stroke they look about even.
I totally agree that NTRP ratings are fully based on results, not looks. We have a guy in our 5.0 league that has terrible looking strokes. If you saw him warm up, you'd guess he's a 3.5 at best. However, he always wins about 70% of his matches because he's got exceptional hands, is really fast, is mentally tough, and is a way better athlete than he appears - the definition of a gamer.

This guy from the Southern team had good looking mechanics. I saw him hit some pretty forehand winners, and a couple aces. However, I also saw him make a lot of unforced errors that a 5.0 just wouldn't do. He's a middle of the road 4.5 in my opinion, based on the small sample size of the single match that I observed at Nationals. But, as I've said, my perspective is a little skewed since I'm a 4.5 on the way downward from a recent 5.0 rating, and I've been playing guys way better than him this year. However, I totally understand that he'd stand out in what is supposed to be a 4.0 tournament.

I believe he did play for Georgia Perimeter College after high school. That school was absorbed at some point into Georgia State University. Not sure what division they played or how much he played during college. He also played high level junior but don't recall what kind of results he had.
OK, this makes much more sense. In 35 years of competitive tennis, I've only ran across a couple guys that reached a 5.0 rating in their 40s without a decent junior, pro, or college playing background. You have to be a very good athlete and invest an inordinate amount of time to start tennis as an adult and advance to that level after your body hits the 40+ age range.

I can also see more why guys are complaining so much about this. This is an example of someone who played a decent level of junior tennis and college ball that has a history of doing OK in 4.5 going back 10 years, who self rates as a 4.5 after a few years off, loses exactly 3 matches by 6-0, 6-1 scores, and then turns around to lead his team to a National title while going 14-0 in 4.0... it does look very suspicious. Obviously, with his background, he'd know that he clearly was not a 4.0 as his play this year showed. And if he's playing for a captain that has a reputation for doing some shady ratings maneuvers, it's not out of the realm to think that he was convinced to take a fall in 4.5 in order to get his rating down and help this group become competitive at Nationals.

Unfortunately, this is a formula that has been successful by many, many National semifinal and championship teams. If it's not caught or policed at the Sectional level, the only thing the USTA can do is put the ratings hammer down at the year end. This player got smacked, along with the whole team. Similar to what happened with those two ringer kids from the cheating Texas team in 4.5 last year that got bumped to 5.5. Granted Texas made the semis, and this Southern team got a title... and it may seem hollow since they "won", but at least the USTA did something after the fact.
 
Last edited:
#61
Is it common to see 4.5 players with that type of pedigree? In my area, I don't know of anyone near the 4.5/5.0 border who played at a school with much (any?) name recognition. I would have thought guys like the ones you listed would be playing 5.5+, not 4.5+.
The answer is NO, it is not common to have 4.5 players with those kinds of pedigree... except for on a Nationals team! :)

On my 40s 4.5+ team, 8 of our 4.5s and all 3 of our 5.0s played college tennis. However, none of the schools were "blue blood" programs - University of New Mexico, BYU, University of Portland, and several Division 2 and 3 programs. And none of our guys had national rankings in college, or played for teams that made the NCAA championship. However, we were undefeated as a team this year... until we got to Nationals.

The SoCal and NorCal teams this year were as loaded with talent as any team I've ever seen, and that final was amazing to watch. They made us look like a bunch of rodeo clowns in comparison, and I'm pretty sure that almost any of their top "4.5" guys would have beaten our 5.0s. However, I don't have sour grapes - I was really happy to be a part of a Nationals team and compete in the same tournament. I had been trying to get to Nationals for over 12 years, and had many close opportunities before this team came together, so it was a joy to be there. And I don't consider the SoCal team as sandbaggers if their ratings were legitimately garnered (I don't think any of them were self rated or tanked matches) because 4.5+ is the highest category available in 40s. If I could find that kind of talent at 4.5 and get them to all play on my team, I'd do it in a heartbeat!
 
#62
This guy from the Southern team had good looking mechanics. I saw him hit some pretty forehand winners, and a couple aces. However, I also saw him make a lot of unforced errors that a 5.0 just wouldn't do. He's a middle of the road 4.5 in my opinion, based on the small sample size of the single match that I observed at Nationals. But, as I've said, my perspective is a little skewed since I'm a 4.5 on the way downward from a recent 5.0 rating, and I've been playing guys way better than him this year. However, I totally understand that he'd stand out in what is supposed to be a 4.0 tournament.
Looks like we'll find out. Him and another guy on that 4.0 18+ team were DQ'ed. He is now signed up on a 5.0+ 18+ team. It will be interesting to see his results. The team he signed up on doesn't seem to have a history of tanking.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#64
Isn’t the Georgia singles player a teaching pro who goes by a different name than his “usta name.”
Yes. But just being a teaching pro doesn't really mean anything. There are teaching pros in this area who are 4.0s and teaching pros who are 5.5s. The other people from Atlanta on here have claimed that his history is shady and that people have been complaining about it for years, so I'll take their word and say that he never should have been playing 4.0, but you shouldn't think that being a teaching pro itself is a disqualification from 4.0.
 
#65
I don’t think the fact that he is a teaching pro itself is the basis of the disqualification. It’s the totality of the circumstances. He played college tennis. He played on the team that has been to nationals on multiple occasions that has a history of tanking in the years after their nationals run to get players back down. He signed up under a name different from the name he goes by. Despite getting slaughtered in the year to get computer protected, he then proceeds to destroy everyone all the way through nationals final. It was clearly a tank job and, quite frankly, players like that, and their coaches/captains should get banned for life.
 
#66
I was curious to see how that Georgia player would do after being double bumped to 5.0. It looks like he joined a 5.0+ league and in his only match so far he played singles against a 5.5 rated recent D1 grad. He lost 6-2 6-2. Obviously we don't know the circumstances of the match but losing 2 and 2 to a guy who played in the ACC as recently as 2015 should be far beyond the scope of what 100% of 4.0s (and 99% of 4.5s) are capable of.
 
#67
I was curious to see how that Georgia player would do after being double bumped to 5.0. It looks like he joined a 5.0+ league and in his only match so far he played singles against a 5.5 rated recent D1 grad. He lost 6-2 6-2. Obviously we don't know the circumstances of the match but losing 2 and 2 to a guy who played in the ACC as recently as 2015 should be far beyond the scope of what 100% of 4.0s (and 99% of 4.5s) are capable of.
Since we have identified one ratings manipulation case in GA, I feel comfortable declaring the state of GA is the capitol of sandbaggers. This is a message board so this one case applies to all players within the state border, no? :censored:
 
#68
Since we have identified one ratings manipulation case in GA, I feel comfortable declaring the state of GA is the capitol of sandbaggers. This is a message board so this one case applies to all players within the state border, no? :censored:
I hear entire teams are now using alternate names for their USTA account. For example one Georgia teams' real names are listed here:
Sandbaggers galore
 
Top