So uh, how's 2021 going for you?

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Can't believe my year is over.

Played one mixed match in November, and 3 men's matches and I was done for the year by July.

I checked the tournament scene and it's pretty bleak.

Seems like people just aren't into it.

Tennis is booming, courts are full, selling racquets and stuff, lessons and clinics are packed, just no one seems to want to compete here. Even our country club leagues and non USTA stuff.

J
 

nyta2

Professional
leagues in westchester were big
i've been teaching a "full" load (~6-8h, which is about my limit :p).... definitely way busier than a couple years ago
haven't been really looking for tourney stuff, but from talking to the juniors (utr9-11), and their parents... seems like the beginning of the year tourneys were kinda dead, but have picked up recently. some indoor clubs by me were still mandating masks when playing, so that made me and a bunch of other folks quit them. outdoor clubs have been full, guessing little court time avail to run tourneys
there's a westchester county ladder that's been extremely popular too.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
In the Pacific Northwest. As I turn 60 this year, I've been searching out all age group tournaments in our area. There has only be one so far and I reached the finals in a small draw, having to retire in the second set because of injury. There's only one other age group tournament within 100 miles for the remainder of the year. Our state open tournament was cancelled, and the national 60's indoors which was last held here in 2019, is no more. So seems like we're in the same situation as what @J011yroger is experiencing - lots of players but not much interesting in competition. Hope next year is better.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
In the Pacific Northwest. As I turn 60 this year, I've been searching out all age group tournaments in our area. There has only be one so far and I reached the finals in a small draw, having to retire in the second set because of injury. There's only one other age group tournament within 100 miles for the remainder of the year. Our state open tournament was cancelled, and the national 60's indoors which was last held here in 2019, is no more. So seems like we're in the same situation as what @J011yroger is experiencing - lots of players but not much interesting in competition. Hope next year is better.
Are players not interested in competition? Or are tournament directors just not wanting to deal with tournaments given COVID protocols, potential liability, and not knowing if advertising a tournament for several months will find new restrictions precluding it being played?
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Are players not interested in competition? Or are tournament directors just not wanting to deal with tournaments given COVID protocols, potential liability, and not knowing if advertising a tournament for several months will find new restrictions precluding it being played?
Kevin, my understanding is that the Washington State open wasn't held because back in April or May, the sponsors wanted a commitment or guarantee that there would be a full field. With the pandemic situation back then, STC couldn't agree to that and so the sponsors pulled out. The 60's indoors were a gold ball tournament that lost their gold ball status due to the USTA limited level 1 tournaments, and for primarily that reason it isn't being held any longer.

The one tournament I played in was a level 5, and apparently Adam Hutchinson agreed to move it up from a level 6 in order to get more players and to support the tournament. It didn't help. In my 60's age group, there were, I think five players. There was something a bit weird in that there were a lot more tournament players listed a couple of days prior to the end of registration, so I entered. I then got hurt, thought about pulling out, went to the website, and saw that a number of those players disappeared and I think at that time there were only two or maybe three in my age group, so I could have gone directly into the finals. I thought I'd support the tournament by showing up and giving whoever else it was at least a match. Somehow after the deadline, a few more players got into the draw, but there were only two guys at the 4.5 level - I was one of them and played the other in the final.

Actually, now that I think about it, there was another age group tournament, held a few months ago at Galbraith. There was only one other guy in the 60s and so I would have gone directly into the finals against him - I looked up his USTA record and he was a 3.5. The tournament director called and said we would be put into the 50's along with the 55's, to get at least eight guys. I declined but looking back at it, I should have played. I thought tournaments would be plentiful and I'd have lots of opportunities as the baby of my age group.

I'm captaining our 55+ 9.0 team again and we actually have three teams in the league versus two last year. A couple of guys on my team are also babies of their age group and are interested in competing but haven't been willing to make the drive to the tournaments. That one tournament I played in was in Olympia - my first match was 3 p.m. Friday and it was nearly a three hour drive in heavy traffic to get there. Galbraith is closer - only about 90 minutes in traffic and that's where the October tournament is. And so far, of the three teams, one team doesn't have half of the players at level so I don't know what's going to come of that. On my team, I have a guy who is perennial top five in tournament rankings so I would think he would play if he could. The age group tournament next January that our club normally holds appears to be on track.

What do you think? Are you seeing much interest in competition among the players in your club and in your general area?
 

McLovin

Legend
Northern VA is up & running full bore. I have two friends going to Sectionals this month for various leagues (18+ 4.5, 40+ 4.5, 9.0, etc), and one was on ~ 15 teams this year.

I only played on 2 teams (40+ 4.5 and a Tri-level), but that was mainly because I didn't want to drive 45min each way at 10PM on a weekday to play. Had I wanted to dedicate my life to tennis, I could have played on the same teams as my friends. Of course, I'd probably be divorced by now, but I'd be going to Sectionals!!!

I wanted to do the Grass Court Nationals, but they moved the 40s & 50s up to Rhode Island this year. Was nice when it was in Philly as it's a fairly simple (albeit somewhat expensive) drive up I-95...but Rhode Island?
 

vex

Hall of Fame
Good playoff run in 18+ and mixed so far. Going to have to play a bit more aggressively to keep advancing. Team depth is a major problem too…
 

nyta2

Professional
Are players not interested in competition? Or are tournament directors just not wanting to deal with tournaments given COVID protocols, potential liability, and not knowing if advertising a tournament for several months will find new restrictions precluding it being played?
agreed, clubs/tourneyDirs not wanting to deal with tourneys, would be my guess...
also i think with indoor places (gyms, indoor tennis, etc...) have turned off people to being indoors (has for me, and folks i've talked to anyway), so tennis courts (even public courts by me) have been used more (even during the "dead" hours (12-4p))
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
2021 is Meh. leagues were spotty and to me the lack of YE ratings, and proliferation of S rated players made it a mix of too many folks playing up and a few competitive matches. We just went to sign up for the 40+ 4.0 and not enough teams entered, so seems eveyone we usually see is just trying to build one bigger 4.0 league signing up for the 18+ exclusively. I think they said like 8 teams total, which is super low for our area, so 2022 looks about the same. I do see the beginner classes are packed with new folks picking up tennis, so I bet 3.0 teams are hoping. Overall though, courts are quite empty, but it is also hell hot summer in AZ, so hard to tell. We will see come October.
 

Purestriker

Semi-Pro
Can't believe my year is over.

Played one mixed match in November, and 3 men's matches and I was done for the year by July.

I checked the tournament scene and it's pretty bleak.

Seems like people just aren't into it.

Tennis is booming, courts are full, selling racquets and stuff, lessons and clinics are packed, just no one seems to want to compete here. Even our country club leagues and non USTA stuff.

J
Tournament scene is nonexistent. The only one that we had was canceled. League play continues, but not at the same number of teams as before. We play the same three teams, pretty mundane.
 

McLovin

Legend
the lack of YE ratings, and proliferation of S rated players made it a mix of too many folks playing up and a few competitive matches.
Not sure about other Sections, but heard Mid Atlantic suspended the "3 player rule" for 2021, where a max of 3 players could be on different "same level" teams. For example, Moe, Larry, and Curly could play together on a NoVA 4.5 team AND a MoCo (Montgomery County) 4.5 team. But Shemp could only play on one of those two teams.

Suspending the rule, you could theoretically have a 'super team' play in NoVA, MD, and DC 4.5 leagues, locking out any other teams from advancing.
 
Can't believe my year is over.

Played one mixed match in November, and 3 men's matches and I was done for the year by July.

I checked the tournament scene and it's pretty bleak.

Seems like people just aren't into it.

Tennis is booming, courts are full, selling racquets and stuff, lessons and clinics are packed, just no one seems to want to compete here. Even our country club leagues and non USTA stuff.

J
Yea, now that USTA summer league is over, and the Fort Wayne city tournament is done, it seems like I'm starting to have a harder time getting guys to practice with me.
It's a good thing that I have a ball machine...
Maybe things will pick up in a few weeks when the fall season begins.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Decent year, first run with a new team in 4.0's we won Dallas cities 18+. Lost in a close match in sectionals to advance to semis. Most of the same core team is on a 4.0 40+ team and won Dallas cities as well. They go to sectionals in a couple weeks. I also won my first 4.0 USTA tournament this year.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
League tennis here has been very strong. Participation in terms of number of people and number of teams is up over previous years.
Fall season with teams forming now may be show even highest participation #s. Every club/facility is at capacity for number of teams per our LLC.

But adult tournaments have all but disappeared. We never had many, but now we have none.

Kid's tournaments seem to be doing fine though.

I am looking forward to watching the results of what will be an Epic bump in December.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
Can't believe my year is over.

Played one mixed match in November, and 3 men's matches and I was done for the year by July.

I checked the tournament scene and it's pretty bleak.

Seems like people just aren't into it.

Tennis is booming, courts are full, selling racquets and stuff, lessons and clinics are packed, just no one seems to want to compete here. Even our country club leagues and non USTA stuff.

J
I tore meniscus in March, had surgery in May, so pulled out of all summer leagues/tourneys...bummer. started hitting again June 30. i cap 2 teams, leagues were pretty much normal with a slight dip in rosters but the 3.5 & 4.0 flights were about the same volume of teams/players overall. adult tourneys non-existent, but kid tourneys seem to be about the same.
 

socallefty

Legend
It seems like social tennis is big as more players have more free time due to WFH. Most guys seem to have a regular schedule of matches on several days a week with their social group while they might have struggled to find several regular weekly matches in previous years. So, people don’t seem to need tournaments or leagues as much to get regular competition.
 

nyta2

Professional
It seems like social tennis is big as more players have more free time due to WFH. Most guys seem to have a regular schedule of matches on several days a week with their social group while they might have struggled to find several regular weekly matches in previous years. So, people don’t seem to need tournaments or leagues as much to get regular competition.
definitely see alot more folks on the courts at what used to be dead times... 7a, noon, 5:30p (the folks that used to come back from nyc typically aren't home til 7p or so)
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
It's all social tennis these days. We had a recent mixed tourney which ended up being more of a social mixer than a tournament.

I expect leagues and tournaments may start in the fall, but this Delta thing is hanging a shadow over the next few months.
 

Max G.

Legend
I think this year, people are mostly sticking to the groups they know well. As far as I can tell there's just as much tennis going on in practice groups... but a lot of clubs aren't interested in hosting guests, people are even less interested in meeting strangers or traveling.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
It seems like social tennis is big as more players have more free time due to WFH. Most guys seem to have a regular schedule of matches on several days a week with their social group while they might have struggled to find several regular weekly matches in previous years. So, people don’t seem to need tournaments or leagues as much to get regular competition.
Our club recently had a social competition where 56 members could sign up and would be "drafted" into teams of four by teaching pros. They then competed six hours over two days. The signups filled quickly and there was a wait list way more than 10 people deep. Every night after finishing, the outside patio/deck area was full of people socializing deep into the warm summer nights. It was awesome - our local area has vaccination rates around 90% and being the first big social event, people saw it as an opportunity to celebrate a return to safe normality for social tennis events.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Covid changed a lot on the tournament scene, but my impression is that more people than ever are playing tennis. Clubs are full, and multiple clubs in my area have been able to increase their initiation fees and dues because of demand. Tennis may be more popular than ever at the rec level.
 

Rosstour

Legend
Don't understand why leagues are booming but tournaments are not. I am not too interested in league play due to my schedule but could certainly make time for tournaments.
 

nyta2

Professional
Don't understand why leagues are booming but tournaments are not. I am not too interested in league play due to my schedule but could certainly make time for tournaments.
imo leagues and ladder matches are easier to plan, schedule, and not overly expensive
tournament logisitics can be painful (travel, or all day commitment), and are expensive (eg. 1st rounders are paying for finalists court times + tourney director time)
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
imo leagues and ladder matches are easier to plan, schedule, and not overly expensive
tournament logisitics can be painful (travel, or all day commitment), and are expensive (eg. 1st rounders are paying for finalists court times + tourney director time)
my lifestyle dictates that even if there was a tourney i could enter every weekend, i'd only do one about 1-2 times per quarter. too much other stuff going on to make thet type of commitment to an entire weekend.
 

damazing

Rookie
Not sure about other Sections, but heard Mid Atlantic suspended the "3 player rule" for 2021, where a max of 3 players could be on different "same level" teams. For example, Moe, Larry, and Curly could play together on a NoVA 4.5 team AND a MoCo (Montgomery County) 4.5 team. But Shemp could only play on one of those two teams.

Suspending the rule, you could theoretically have a 'super team' play in NoVA, MD, and DC 4.5 leagues, locking out any other teams from advancing.
It's suspended even within the State level. Check out the sectional players for 2.5 Women and 4.0 both Men and Women.

 

socallefty

Legend
I don’t play tournaments for two reasons.

- I don‘t want to spend the whole day during weekends away from my family like I have to do during tournaments where I have to play at least two matches per day and wait around in between matches.
- I don’t want to subject my 53-year old body to two singles matches in a day and possibly 3 or 4 singles matches over two days. It usually results in injuries if I do this a couple of times in a month.

So, once-a-day league matches are easier on my body and easier for my schedule so that I can balance time at the tennis club with family time. I suspect that many players don’t play tournaments for the same reason. Young guys have family commitments with young kids and old guys don’t want to play two singles matches in a day.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I don’t play tournaments for two reasons.

- I don‘t want to spend the whole day during weekends away from my family like I have to do during tournaments where I have to play at least two matches per day and wait around in between matches.
- I don’t want to subject my 53-year old body to two singles matches in a day and possibly 3 or 4 singles matches over two days. It usually results in injuries if I do this a couple of times in a month.

So, once-a-day league matches are easier on my body and easier for my schedule so that I can balance time at the tennis club with family time. I suspect that many players don’t play tournaments for the same reason. Young guys have family commitments with young kids and old guys don’t want to play two singles matches in a day.
I don't play tournaments because it's tough to justify cancelling lessons.

J
 

PK6

Rookie
Terrible!!!! Really need to re think if it’s worth playing. If I’m not in shape to play it’s not worth it. Honest if you want to get better you have to be all in!!! It’s not a weekend hobby anymore. This summer was worst ever as I was spread to thin in playing singles league as well 3.0/3.5 along hitting with pro 2 times a week. That’s overkill!!! This won’t happen again!!!! As a result I’ve lost interest and really need to decide if I want to play anymore or quit all together.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I will get more stats and write it all up, but just did a quick check and team counts for 2021 compared to 2019 are:

18 & Over - 18.4K this year vs 21.4K in 2019
40 & Over - 11.1K vs 12.5K

So team counts down about 11-14%.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
I will get more stats and write it all up, but just did a quick check and team counts for 2021 compared to 2019 are:

18 & Over - 18.4K this year vs 21.4K in 2019
40 & Over - 11.1K vs 12.5K

So team counts down about 11-14%.
If it is easy to see, do you know the status of Dallas tennis teams? The usta gave a woman in Dallas an award for increasing the usta players by 1,000 n some recent period, maybe this year, just wondering if that was really true. Of course I wouldn't be surprised considering the chaos here with population increase. Maybe the teams increased slightly to reflect that.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
‘21 has turned out to be a pretty routine year
up here (Eastern section). 8.0 mixed team made regionals, 9.0 mixed made sectionals. 4.5 men’s team didn’t make it out of local. Participation, in my leagues at least, was pretty on par with years past.

Me, my game is in shambles. My forehand feels like an unfolding lawn chair. Finding out the hard way that the older I get, the harder it is to fix things. Never mind the fact that everything hurts and I don’t recover nearly as well (or at all).

On the bright side, my wife and I started a 40+ 8.0 mixed team this summer. First time that has run up here in a while. Looking forward to seeing where that takes us. But at the same time it’s pretty relaxed tennis.
 

!<-_->!

Hall of Fame
I will get more stats and write it all up, but just did a quick check and team counts for 2021 compared to 2019 are:

18 & Over - 18.4K this year vs 21.4K in 2019
40 & Over - 11.1K vs 12.5K

So team counts down about 11-14%.
Interesting to see these numbers. More or less aligns with what I see in my own community - the younger crowd stopped tennis whereas the older crowd played through the issues as if nothing ever happened.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
If it is easy to see, do you know the status of Dallas tennis teams? The usta gave a woman in Dallas an award for increasing the usta players by 1,000 n some recent period, maybe this year, just wondering if that was really true. Of course I wouldn't be surprised considering the chaos here with population increase. Maybe the teams increased slightly to reflect that.
Texas as a whole is down a bit, 2146 to 2038 and 858 to 837 respectively in 18+ and 40+.

But Dallas is up, 414 to 498 and 161 to 184. So definitely bucking the trend. And nearly 25% of the 18+ teams in Texas are in Dallas.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Texas as a whole is down a bit, 2146 to 2038 and 858 to 837 respectively in 18+ and 40+.

But Dallas is up, 414 to 498 and 161 to 184. So definitely bucking the trend. And nearly 25% of the 18+ teams in Texas are in Dallas.
Thanks for that information, just another stat proving this is insane, how can so many people want to come to Dallas!?!?! Boggles the mind, good for tennis variety though, I guess.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
its too hot to play in the dirty south rn, but were doing it anyway. ive already had my annual brush with heat exhaustion. USTA combo is pretty busy in my neck of the woods and mixed state starts in a week

just remember: beer already has water in it. stay hydrated
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Texas as a whole is down a bit, 2146 to 2038 and 858 to 837 respectively in 18+ and 40+.

But Dallas is up, 414 to 498 and 161 to 184. So definitely bucking the trend. And nearly 25% of the 18+ teams in Texas are in Dallas.
Data from a few more sections.

Southern, 5.6K down to 4.9K for 18+, and 3.2K to 3.0K for 40+

PNW, 738 down to 475 for 18+, 555 down to 406 for 40+. Pretty big drops there, but we've had far more restrictions on play as leagues started earlier in the year and that likely kept some players away.

Florida, 800 to 876 for 18+, 645 to 715 for 40+, so flat to some significant growth.

One more, Eastern, 910 to 705 for 18+, 430 to 351 for 40+.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Data from a few more sections.

Southern, 5.6K down to 4.9K for 18+, and 3.2K to 3.0K for 40+

PNW, 738 down to 475 for 18+, 555 down to 406 for 40+. Pretty big drops there, but we've had far more restrictions on play as leagues started earlier in the year and that likely kept some players away.

Florida, 800 to 876 for 18+, 645 to 715 for 40+, so flat to some significant growth.

One more, Eastern, 910 to 705 for 18+, 430 to 351 for 40+.
This checks out with my observation whenever I pass thru Miami that the pandemic never happened there.
 
Top