Week 2 of USTA League Nationals is four days away

schmke

Hall of Fame
Figure we'll start a new thread for this weekend's events. Although I'm sure it will be dominated by discussion of Texas and Intermountain (where the other thread has currently gone).

The 18+ 2.5 women will be playing in Las Vegas. No men's event at this level.

The 18+ 3.0 levels play at a new Nationals venue, Oklahoma City, and the first simulation for the 3.0 women has gone up on my blog. Southern and Middlewest appear to be the favorites.

The 40+ 4.0 levels are at Surprise, AZ, this one may be one of the more interesting and competitive (at the top at least) events we see.
 
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djkahn86

Rookie
I will be playing in the vegas 18s the next week. Hope we have a shot. Either way ... VEGAS!!! training everyday
 

McLovin

Legend
The 18+ 2.5 women will be playing in Las Vegas. No men's event at this level.
I will be playing in the vegas 18s the next week. Hope we have a shot. Either way ... VEGAS!!! training everyday
My daughter is helping run the tournament in Vegas this week (its her first time as she just started w/ USTA in July), and next week. Then she goes to Arizona the 3rd week and runs that one on her own.

Be nice, or I'll have to post the a-hole list here...
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
For those waiting, I am not withholding the 4.0 simulations/predictions for effect, but waiting for the official schedules to show up on TennisLink (which they haven't yet as of my writing this despite the event starting in just 2 days). While I don't expect this official schedule to deviate from the PDF schedule posted in August, I prefer to wait for it to be official. I'm hopeful it is there today and I'll get the simulations done ASAP.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
And the 40+ 4.0 men simulation/prediction is posted.

This appears to be highlight competitive at the top, the top-5 teams all having their average ratings covered by just 0.04 and a 5-way tie at 4-0 having more than a 3% chance of happening. Due to a non-sensical schedule (this can be avoided), there is even a chance for a 6-way tie at 5-0.

Read the blog for more details, but the oft mentioned Texas and Intermountain teams are expected to make the semis with Mid-Atlantic and MoValley joining them. Middle States, NorCal, and Northern are lurking.
 
And the 40+ 4.0 men simulation/prediction is posted.

This appears to be highlight competitive at the top, the top-5 teams all having their average ratings covered by just 0.04 and a 5-way tie at 4-0 having more than a 3% chance of happening. Due to a non-sensical schedule (this can be avoided), there is even a chance for a 6-way tie at 5-0.

Read the blog for more details, but the oft mentioned Texas and Intermountain teams are expected to make the semis with Mid-Atlantic and MoValley joining them. Middle States, NorCal, and Northern are lurking.
I imagine southern is way down there with all their ESL bump ups now being ineligible for nationals?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I imagine southern is way down there with all their ESL bump ups now being ineligible for nationals?
Yep, they lose 4 of their better players that are ineligible as they are 2019 4.5s that, per Southern's rules, were allowed to keep playing as 4.0s through Sectionals. And yes, my simulation takes into account who is/isn't eligible.

Real bummer for the Louisiana team that lost to them in the Sectionals final 3-2. Louisiana is probably the stronger team with Nationals eligible rosters and would represent Southern better than the Alabama team that is there. Yes, the Alabama team played all of the 4.5s in the final, those player's contributing to the 3 court wins.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Tricky decision to play those guys. Southern ought to revisit that rule.
Tricky decision by Southern to play them at Sectionals? Why not, if they are eligible, they can help get the remainder of the team to Nationals, even if they can't play there.

On revisiting the rule, I doubt it. The impression I get is that Southern considers winning Southern Sectionals a bigger deal than Nationals and prefers to allow teams to stick together all the way through that event even if it means the "same" team can't advance on to Nationals. The fact that they may send a weaker eligible team to Nationals than they could otherwise isn't a concern to them.

Is this a recent rule change?
Which? Allowing Nationals ineligible players to play through Sectionals?

The change was a few years ago when early start ratings were done away with. When those were still with us, they were used to get players at the "right" level for early start leagues since these leagues started before year-end ratings came out. With them, the rules were that if you were a 3.5 and your early start rating was a 4.0, you would have to play as a 4.0 in the early start league. If your early start rating was a 3.5, you could play as a 3.5 in the ESL and even if you were bumped up to 4.0 at year-end, you could play on that ESL team as a 3.5 through Nationals (unless you reached the clearly above level).

With early start ratings gone, there was no attempt to get players at the "right" level and instead, National put a rule in place that you would play in the ESL at your current (3.5) level, but if you were bumped up to 4.0 at year-end, you would not be eligible to play at Nationals as a 3.5. Sections were given the option of how long to allow the 3.5 to play as a 3.5, and some elect to allow it only through the end of the calendar year or through local playoffs, others (like Southern) allow the 3.5 to play as a 3.5 all the way through Sectionals.

This has led to several situations where ESL teams are at a significant advantage over Spring teams as the ESL team can have (now) above level players on their roster and dominate through Sectionals, but then their roster may be gutted as far as who is eligible to play at Nationals. In a case or two I think, a team that won Sectionals was not able to field a roster for Nationals and had to decline going.

It seems silly to me to allow players to continue playing at their prior/lower level once they are bumped up if they aren't going to be eligible for Nationals, it isn't fair to their competition trying to make it to States or Sectionals or Nationals, but some sections disagree.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
And women's 40+ 4.0 posted. Southwest, Intermountain, and Middle States appear to be the favorites.
 
It seems silly to me to allow players to continue playing at their prior/lower level once they are bumped up if they aren't going to be eligible for Nationals, it isn't fair to their competition trying to make it to States or Sectionals or Nationals, but some sections disagree.
There's really no argument in defense of it being fair. It's just not an even playing field. Every state has 4.0s that get bumped up. Not every state has Early start leagues that can use these former 4.0s at sectionals. Is consistency across the board too much to ask for?
 
Why not, if they are eligible, they can help get the remainder of the team to Nationals, even if they can't play there.
Well I guess if a fellow can only see one side of it, it's not a tricky decision at all (not that many of us would do differently).

The impression I get is that Southern considers winning Southern Sectionals a bigger deal than Nationals.
Hoo boy. Perhaps they do. Better for the rest of us.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
And the 40+ 4.0 men simulation/prediction is posted.

This appears to be highlight competitive at the top, the top-5 teams all having their average ratings covered by just 0.04 and a 5-way tie at 4-0 having more than a 3% chance of happening. Due to a non-sensical schedule (this can be avoided), there is even a chance for a 6-way tie at 5-0.

Read the blog for more details, but the oft mentioned Texas and Intermountain teams are expected to make the semis with Mid-Atlantic and MoValley joining them. Middle States, NorCal, and Northern are lurking.
Middle States plays Mid-Atlantic first thing tomorrow, which seems a lot like an elimination match.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Middle States plays Mid-Atlantic first thing tomorrow, which seems a lot like an elimination match.
Possible for them to both make semis, but yeah, that is a big match. Head to head, the teams are near equals, but Middle States has the tougher other matches, so it is probably more important for Middle States to get the win here.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Anyone talking about the extreme weather changes that are about to attack OKC?

They are looking at temps going from 80 today down below 40F overnight. High on Friday looks to be 55 but with really high winds, warming some on Saturday but still windy.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Anyone talking about the extreme weather changes that are about to attack OKC?

They are looking at temps going from 80 today down below 40F overnight. High on Friday looks to be 55 but with really high winds, warming some on Saturday but still windy.
Ummm, I wrote about it yesterday!

"Oklahoma City is hosting its first event and while there is an 80% chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, the weekend looks dry, albeit a bit windy and cooler."
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
OKC is always windy, much like Vegas.
PHX is always hot
Mobile and Orlando always has rain
Orlando also is a swamp.
No win situation for Nationals come September/October
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
OKC seems like such a strange location for Nationals
Well, it isn't a "destination", but it replaces Arlington from last year as a fairly central location that is reasonably accessible from either coast, rather than making those in the West travel to Florida or those on the East Coast travel to Vegas/Arizona/Palm Springs.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
I played several college tennis matches in OKC, and I don't remember it being particularly windy. But then again, it was in the 90s, so I may have lost those memories along the way.

The first time I played in Vegas was a tournament in the springtime about 10 years ago and it was very windy at the Darling Tennis Center. However, for Nationals last year, it was nearly perfect conditions for the 10 days we stayed there in late October.

Heading to Orlando for Nationals this year, and I'm anticipating high heat and humidity, with thundershowers. I'll be pleasantly surprised if we get perfect weather, but hope we do.
 
It's so windy in Dallas, which means it's going to be worse in okc. OKC isnalways colder and worse than Dallas at this time of year, Dallas winter is the edge of whatever kansas and Oklahoma are having. Will be fun to hear the experience in the whhhhhhind.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
It's so windy in Dallas, which means it's going to be worse in okc. OKC isnalways colder and worse than Dallas at this time of year, Dallas winter is the edge of whatever kansas and Oklahoma are having. Will be fun to hear the experience in the whhhhhhind.
I must have gotten lucky when I played in OKC in the past. However, I totally agree with you on Dallas. I remember playing two matches at Dallas Baptist University, and the way those courts were situated with the cross wind, it was the worst wind conditions I can recall playing in. I hit big loopy spinning shots that literally travelled 10 to 15 feet sideways. On one side of the court, you could only hit to the forehand side to keep it in play, and then only backhand on the other side of the court. No such thing as moving your opponent around with alternating shots, using short angles, or attacking the net... it was just an exercise in patience and misery.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
I hate wind. Not much else to say but it really drags the fun out of all the training that goes into heading to nationals. It’s hard to practice playing in the wind unless you seek it out to practice in. Heading to Vegas next week. Any suggestions other than hitting into the wind and keeping it low.
 

tennis_tater

Semi-Pro
Looking at the ten day forecast for Vegas, it looks like the wind is never really more than 10 mph, which seems normal to me. I've been to Vegas in the January/early spring, and it WAS very windy. But I didn't think it was like that year round. Just thought that was more seasonal. Am I wrong?
 

GatorTennis

Rookie
Figure we'll start a new thread for this weekend's events. Although I'm sure it will be dominated by discussion of Texas and Intermountain (where the other thread has currently gone).

The 18+ 2.5 women will be playing in Las Vegas. No men's event at this level.

The 18+ 3.0 levels play at a new Nationals venue, Oklahoma City, and the first simulation for the 3.0 women has gone up on my blog. Southern and Middlewest appear to be the favorites.

The 40+ 4.0 levels are at Surprise, AZ, this one may be one of the more interesting and competitive (at the top at least) events we see.
I think we're all waiting for your prediction on the 2.5 women :)
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I hate wind. Not much else to say but it really drags the fun out of all the training that goes into heading to nationals. It’s hard to practice playing in the wind unless you seek it out to practice in. Heading to Vegas next week. Any suggestions other than hitting into the wind and keeping it low.
I play in a lot of wind all the time. Yes, Vegas is windy ...but this time of year (except for last night, don't ask about it, it was terrible) is usually pretty calm.

In terms of forecast, 10 days is too far in advance to really say anything, too much can change.

If it is 10mph or lower it will be a non issue

If it is over that but below 20mph then what I find works best is to slice more but not floaty, keep the ball lower. Understand which side of the wind you are on and use it to your advantage.

If it is over 20 mph ... keep your sense of humor. The winner will be the one with the most level head and the best footwork.

Playing well in wind is just a mindset. All players are dealing with it, can you mentally deal with it better than others? Well, that is your choice to make :)
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
Oklahoma City is VERY windy in the spring and in the fall. Tough conditions when the wind is up. The OKC Tennis Center is sunken in, so it blocks some of it. Earlywine is being used for some reason, though, and it's windy as hell at Earlywine almost all year long.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Middle States took care of business against Mid Atlantic. MiddleWest is next up today, then another showdown match with PNW tomorrow before finishing round robin play with Southern.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Middle States took care of business against Mid Atlantic. MiddleWest is next up today, then another showdown match with PNW tomorrow before finishing round robin play with Southern.
4-1 was big for them. This match was going to be key to who advances to semis and with two of the wins in match TBs, it sounds like it was about as close as I predicted.

Middle States is probably now one of the picks for semis, but Mid-Atlantic has an easier remaining schedule so is still in it should they get to 3-1, but not losing 3-2 may haunt them should it come to tie-breakers.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
4-1 was big for them. This match was going to be key to who advances to semis and with two of the wins in match TBs, it sounds like it was about as close as I predicted.

Middle States is probably now one of the picks for semis, but Mid-Atlantic has an easier remaining schedule so is still in it should they get to 3-1, but not losing 3-2 may haunt them should it come to tie-breakers.
A little birdie told me they are missing key people due to injury, but the lineup they used in match 1 was pretty close to as strong as they could put out there anyway. There was one guy who played with a different partner than normal, and one of the top singles guys didn't play, although we'll see if he plays in match 2 instead. One of their top doubles players who was injured at sectionals was playing.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
A little birdie told me they are missing key people due to injury, but the lineup they used in match 1 was pretty close to as strong as they could put out there anyway. There was one guy who played with a different partner than normal, and one of the top singles guys didn't play, although we'll see if he plays in match 2 instead. One of their top doubles players who was injured at sectionals was playing.
With three matches played (Texas and Florida also won), simulation now says Middle States, Texas, and Intermountain are very likely to make semis, MoValley a tick better chance than Mid-Atlantic to take the 4th spot.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
With three matches played (Texas and Florida also won), simulation now says Middle States, Texas, and Intermountain are very likely to make semis, MoValley a tick better chance than Mid-Atlantic to take the 4th spot.
Intermountain just won 5-0, that result won't really change the simulation's outlook.
 
So after seeing Southern play today, I withdraw any objection. What remains of the team after losing their ESL 4.5s is still very good. Barely lost to a strong Florida team.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
Give me some scouting on middle states. Been training with these guys for last two months to get them battle tested.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
So after seeing Southern play today, I withdraw any objection. What remains of the team after losing their ESL 4.5s is still very good. Barely lost to a strong Florida team.
The match was close, but by my ratings, Florida was favored and is only mid-pack for this Nationals, and while they have several strong players, they lack the depth of some other teams there. We'll see where they both end up though.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
And Middle States loses 4-1 to MiddleWest.

Five undefeated out the window and even four isn't likely now. Now the fun begins, how big could the tie-breaker at 3-1 be?
 
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