Archive for November, 2012

A bump up

The second 7.0 match was a win, 2-1 (4-6, 2-4; 6-0, 6-2; 6-0, 4-3). The opponent put a 6.5 as the 2D while 7.0 for their 1D and 3D. I tho it’s common courtesy to line up your pairs according to their strength during the regular season, to give more competitive matches, even as on paper.


Dear :
The USTA National Regulations require each section adopt a policy to handle rating changes within the Early Start Leagues – which includes our Manhattan Mixed Doubles.
The Eastern Section’s policty is: “Players who are found to have valid computer ratings, after the appeal process, that place them above the NTRP level at which they are competing may continue their participation at the lower NTRP level UNLESS their year-end rating reached the clearly above level mark. If it did, they must adjust to that new NTRP level. Prior team matches played will be valid.”
Your year end rating of 4.0 places you clearly above level and you will not longer be allowed to participate as a 3.5. All matches from this point forward will be played at your new 4.0 rating.

(the coordinator)
LLC – Metro Region
USTA Eastern Section

My player’s 2012 season records is 3-3 in 7.0 flight and 0-1 in 8.0. This 2013 season, the player played only one match as 3.5 against 6.5 rating combo, won 6-0 and 6-2. I’m confused as why?

The coordinator sent me this link for info – Dynamic Ratings.

Deb (12/12/12):

Everyone has a dynamic rating – it is what is used to determine your year-end rating.

Self-raters are the only players for which you can file a self-rate grievance. All computer rated players are protected as their rating was determined by match results.

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My one day massage ordeal

I’ve been visiting tuina 推拿 manipulative therapy on and off, for a few years. It’s interesting to note, this kind of method is widely available in China, called Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) 中医 but I would not have considered when I was in China back then, because, well I was young and youngsters visit Western Doctors. The fact is, I began to use it when I’m living in New York is beside the point: my advancing age is the key -:).

Over the years, I used a few different masseurs, male and female. Some are better than the other: skills, personality, availability, locality, etc. Recently I’ve been sticking with Dr. Steak. When a friend opened a new massage salon, I decided to check it out.

It opened a month ago. One hour body massage is $40 (or $400 for 13x) but $15-$20 tip is expected; foot one hour is $30, $10-$15 tips. I made an appointment at 1 pm with a girl friend who wanted foot massage. She is a sharp cookie, who knows a lot about massage or tuina. After a brief conversation with the masseur Mr. T, she decided not to go forward.

My back has been bothering me lately. My torso looked like the Spongebob, and walked like a shrimp. But after two visits with Dr. Steak, the second one being on Thanksgiving day (he called), I was feeling mighty fine and able. No pain whatsoever. My purpose of visit today, it’s more like maintenance, an extra security: I’m eager to play tennis, again.

Mr. T whose breath smelt smoke asked me what’s wrong with me and where/who had I visited. When I mentioned Dr. Steak, I thought he showed some disapproval. Once on the table, he gave me a quick rub down/exam, to see what and where the problems are. Then as he started to massage, he asked me if the previous masseur had done what he was doing. And if the previous masseur had done this and or that. In all honesty, I couldn’t remember.  Mr. T is very talkative (loudly) throughout the full hour. Mostly was about how superior he is than the rest. And how much more he’s doing than the rest. At one point I heard him cursing. One leg of the massage table seems shorter then the other three, constantly squeaking, and it slide easily. Toward the end of it, he made a big move that caused sharp crack sound, like something dislocated. Immediately I felt my back side becoming tender. He insisted that he just corrected my dislocation.
It could not be true! I have 闪腰, not 错位 liked he said – IF I had 错位, don’t think I could walk. By that time, I had enough of him. I just wanted out of that room. He said I should come back two more times that he’ll fixed me good. I tipped him $15 and left.

My back, with fire cupping at Dr. Shi’s office
As I am driving home with my girl friend, my right side feels worse. She asks me if I’d like to visit Dr. Shi near home with her – she’s going there to treat her sprained feet that she didn’t let Mr. T to treat.
On the table again, on the same day. Dr. Shi exams me first – the problem is 腰二 waist #2 穴位 acupuncture points – on the right side – it feels raw and painfully tender to the touch. He first treats me with little massage, then follows by acupuncture. One needle to the left side of my left hand. And more needles to my lower back. His assistant, a girl comes in to apply current to the needles; leaves me with a bell in case I need help. She comes back about 30 minutes later to remove the needles. Dr. Shi then applies a real fire cupping. Because it’s big, he explains, has to use fire.

This is my girl friend
Her cupping is not fire, using built-in suction device instead. She doesn’t like needles, so acupuncture is out. According to Dr. Shi, acupuncture is far more effective than massage. Not sure this is true tho. I get up from the bed, with the needle still in my left hand, I am asked to raise my right arm high and stretch toward left. Repeat that for a few times.
Now my right back is in slight pain but much better than after Mr. T. My plan to have extra maintenance/security so I can play tennis tomorrow is totally ruined!

My back (swollen!) area needs a larger cup, so the fire one is used. The built-in suction cup is for smaller area.

more pix in the gallery

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2012 Year-end NTRP Ratings

2012 Year End Rating, is different this year: no list but go thro the fine a player process, one by one. Can’t find myself on the following list tho.

Men: A-G, H-P, Q-Z 25 pages

Women: A-E, F-K, L-R, S-Z 37 pages

I hardly get a girl but this list seems to say women out number men by a large margin.

One of my mates got bumped to 4.0 with 5-5 record, who appealed immediately and was denied. Later in the night, for some reason, the mate got back down to 3.5.

On tennis link – Men: A-G, H-P, Q-Z. Women: A-E, F-K, L-R, S-Z

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The W Factor

An eventful day.
Sending the kids back to their paradises. They hugged me at parting,
“Mom, it’s only three weeks, we’ll be back.”
Still, it’s a sad moment for me, happy for them. The result of bad mothering.

Giants got annihilated last week by the Cincinnati Bengals (31-13). So, to show my moral support, with home made dip. As it turned out, they destroyed the Green Bay Packers to a 38-10 win (Eli Manning passed 249 yards). Oh well. It’s not nearly as exciting as my SNT.

Peacock Wai whose ring is frequently kissed by the previous organizers (yes, they even asked for his autograph .. !!), had a huge night:

Wai/Tony vs Ral/Dan: 6-0, 6-3
Wai/Gis vs Dan/Sachi: 6-1
Wai/Sachi vs Dan/Gis: 6-0

Ral is a former teaching pro who’s in shape and extremely competitive. Extracting a bagel out of him is no small feat. Reportedly the Pro got upset again by a questionable line call made by the girl, surrendered the set at 3 after the 3-1 lead. Actually the same girl has made a line call that was reversed by her partner. So, it seems she isn’t the cheating type but not as sharp as many 4.0 guys.

Later I spoke with the girl who couldn’t even remember the incidents.
“I really had good time playing, perhaps didn’t even notice.” She felt that her opponents had no chance of winning and went on to say, “when the ball is on my side of the court, I hope my opponents respect my line call because I have a closer view.”

It’s better to air the dispute right away, so all involved could solve it immediately. Especially on the har tru surface, the mark might still be traceable.

Another bad news is, one of my mates popped his Achilles about 40 minutes into the two-hour long play. Aouch .. Speedy recovery J!

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Sunday night 2012-3

Where  Sportime at Roslyn, har-tru surface
When   Sundays 7:30pm – 10pm
What    Doubles and mixed doubles
Cost      $15 (2 hrs w/ balls)
Format  Regular game w/ court change at 9pm
Ladder   tentatively planned in January 2013
Charity Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition

2012 – 2013 Season

  1. Oct 21, 24 spots
  2. Oct 28, 16 spots
  3. Nov 4, 28 spots
  4. Nov 11, 24 spots
  5. Nov 18, 20 spots (3 courts used for 8.0)
  6. Nov 25, 20 spots
  7. Dec 2, 20 spots
  8. Dec 9,
  9. Dec 16,
  10. Dec 23,
  11. Dec 30,
  12. ..
  13. more to come ..



It’s no accident that tennis uses the language of life… service, advantage, break, hold, love… The lessons of tennis is the language of maturity. Tennis makes you perceptive, proactive, reactive all at the same time. Tennis teaches you the subtlety of human interaction, the curse and blessing of cause and effect. Tennis teaches you there’s no such thing as perfect, you wanna be perfect, you hope to be perfect, and then you’re out there and realize you’re far from perfect. And after playing tennis, you never forget that we are all connected.

Andre Agassi


About this group

We play for a good cause, with a group of players, male and female with NTRP 3.5 and up. The matches are competitive yet friendly, on Sunday night 8-10 pm at Sportime @ Roslyn, from late October to the end of April or, till no one comes -:). The schedule is flexible: you sign up (or cancel by 3pm on Saturday) when you receive an invitation in the email (on EventBrite). It’s that simple.

The club has 9 har-tru court (6 and 3) at 1 Landing Road location.

You can arrange/request your partner/opponents by mutual agreement.

All proceeds are used to pay for the organizational expenses associated with each event, that includes donation to a charity at the season end; happy hours if possible. No profit is budgeted or expected.

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Fees and cancellation:

Court fee: US$15 for 1 match, per player, balls are provided. ($50 for 4 matches for players on my usta teams.)

We prefer payment in advance via PayPal or JPM Chase or cash.  Check and plastic are not welcome. If you must pay with credit or debit card via Paypal, please add 2.9% of total sent plus $0.30 per transaction to your total due to Paypal policy.

Refund: will be issued at end of the season or upon request for those who paid $50:
$50 or
$35  will be refunded after playing 1 match.
$20  will be refunded after playing 2 matches.
$5  will be refunded after playing 3 matches.

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Sign up and cancellation

You need to sign up each week when you receive an invitation in the email.

Although we strive to accommodate all but it is a first come first serve situation.  Please sign up early to secure your spot. The wait list players will be notified via email as soon as a spot is open.

Tardiness: The game starts at 8:00pm but please arrive at 7:30 to get court assignment, meet your friends/foes and take care of the court fee if you haven’t.  As a courtesy to others, there is $10 penalty if you are not ready to play by 8:00 pm. You’re free to cancel before 3pm on Saturday – please make sure to get a confirmation from me, OR find a comparable replacement. Failing to show up for work, you’ll incur wrath from three fellow players plus $15 penalty. Please be considerate to others, do not leave early, unless there is emergency.

Here is how to cancel on EventBrite if you’ve an account, or call/text me.

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The scoring format

May we suggest the following: play with regular game scoring till end of each hour.  At 9 pm, the losing pair from Court 1 moves to Court 2 to switch with Court 2 winning team. The same goes for Court 3 with 4 and Court 5 with 6 (if we have odd number of courts, the last court stays put.)  It’s at players’ consent either splitting up for the second hour, or staying the same.

When there are many requested courts, we may use different format.

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How to get there by LIRR

For city slickers, take Port Washington Branch from Penn to Great Neck, I can pick up/drop off.
Penn – Great Neck -> 6:18 pm – 6:55 pm
Great Neck – Penn -> 10:50 pm – 11:25 pm

Someone in the group can usually drop you off at a subway station if it’s more convenient. Be safe first, tennis 2nd for once -:).

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Decisions, decisions

We took a team vote on whether to default the non registered player. One mate reasoned that we shouldn’t:


When you exchanged the lineups, was his name listed on the roster on the scorecard?
If it was, then there is no issue and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
If it wasn’t, then WE should have noticed that and questioned why he’s playing.
Since he played “in good faith” and we didn’t object, then I think we’re stuck with the result.

This mate has a point. His name was not listed on the roster on the scorecard but I did not notice his name was missing until I began to entering the score: I don’t scrutinize the scorecard nor do I read anything.

On that match day, the opposing team was a little late. By 7:55, I asked 2D lady if they were ready to exchange the lineup. She said she wasn’t the captain but knew the lineup. I asked if she could write it down so we could exchange. As I was looking for a piece of paper, the 1D arrived, and handed me the lineup (I couldn’t remember he wrote it up on the spot or had it written.) that with only the last name of their six players.

Once we exchanged, as usual I put it aside. The reason is: I don’t comb the opponents, so there is no need to see who’s playing us. Beside, Roger Federer, from time to time, may have an off day. So, why bother?

After about ten or fifteen minutes, Jenn came to me and asked what are their ratings. I was chatting with the opposing captain. I looked at the lineup sheet, the penmanship is hard to read, so I asked OC. She provided me a few, plus their first names, I found a few myself from the scorecard. Now come to think, I remembered that I didn’t find the unregistered 2D (obviously), nor the 2D girl; the OC gave me their first names. I didn’t suspect anything, because either I did not read it thoroughly (failing to find their names), or they could have registered after we printed the score card – the deadline is good till 1/1/2013.

I found him missing from the team roster was only when I was entering the scores. I knew unregistered player is ineligible to play. But I could not believe that a seasoned captain would fail to check on this simple requirement. So I sent the OC an email immediately at 12:56 am.

As to my masterful English and its reading skill: the missing player finally registered the following AM. When I entered the score again, I looked to the bottom of the list first but I didn’t find him there. My first thought was, on no, don’t tell me he failed again. I know, I know, it’s only a short list, with a little more than a dozen of names. But he used MD as his title – so the list showed his last name followed by MD.

Anyway, the OC didn’t reply till 9:54 pm after I pressed again, who wrote:

Ok, you can go ahead and just put in all the scores. He registered late, with everything going on with his home and business with the storm he forgot.

Making the story short, our team voted default. It’s not an easy decision to reach. Certainly one we wish we did not have to make. This is the second time we faced ineligible player issue.

I actually did not know how to enter a default score. Thought maybe only the league coordinator could do it, who replied:

If he played a match without being registered, it should be a default as he was an ineligible player. I think the OC said it was due to the storm. If that is acceptable to you and he is now registered, you can just enter the score. If not, out your players names in, enter 6-0, 6-0 and in the drop down box, put default.

Guess not. I did it myself. One more lesson learned.

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Friday night is back

I got a call from GNE to say they’re done draining the water, re-opening for business. That’s pretty on schedule.

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We won our first 8.0 match

Finally we played our first 8.0 match last night, at a borrowed location because our home base is flooded by the storm. Two pretty women were chaperoned by their boy friends: our team is getting younger by the season!

file 22332

The number, such as 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0, even 10.0 would not have make a difference but in many players’ mind, the higher the number the better the league. I disagree. Although the higher the number the better the skill, but each league (number wise) is competitive in its own way – this is where the NTRP comes in. 6.0ers compete with other 6.0ers and 9.0ers compete with other mighty 9.0ers.

I personally don’t feel any inferior to a 4.0 and up girl and thought I would react to them the same. Jen and I are both 3.5, now I have to admit that I feel slightly flattered that they joined us. This is purely from one bum’s appreciation to another bum. In the past, all my teams were 7.0 and 3.5, so we the 3.5ers are the dominated force. Now we’re the lowest on the food chain -:). It does humble me.

[gender reassignment]

During the sign up process, one day Jen asked me

“Who the 3.5 guy is and what is he doing on our 8.0 team? Did you invite him?”

“No I didn’t.” I could not think of anyone. Puzzled, I went to investigate.

As it turned out he’s our beloved 4.0 player. You could image our glee. We erupted in cheers.  Not that we want to cheat but a solid 4.0 player reclassified to 3.5, it’s to our advantage. All we have to do is to find a 4.5 girl, we would have a super team. But life has it own way to mend [hand out] justice. We never found our 4.5 girl. He played out the season with 4.0 girls, two wins and one drew.

Because many teams are affected by stormy Sandy, the league coordinator let us, the captains to re-schedule the match as we see fit. When my first match OC – opposing captain called a few weeks ago, saying most her mates are under the water, I told her to pick a couple of dates and let me know. We are weathering the storm almost unscathed (the worst perhaps was me, without power for nearly two weeks ..), so let her to decide first then we work from there. When I didn’t hear from her for a while, I emailed/called. It might seem pushy, and at that time, I had only three 3.5 girls and one 4.5 guy among a few 4.0s on the roster; but we were anxious to play – it’s our first 8.0. After few more emails and calls, the date was set on 11/18.

It’s my first time captaining a Long Island team. It differs from the Metro. I asked advice from the OC who came too but didn’t play either. She said that the home teams usually collect $5 from its six players for the refreshments after the match, while other teams may impose $25 from each players on the team from the start. She also mentioned that by now she has her power, cable and Internet back: she was working out of Starbucks back when we first started talking/emailing.

Wai and Giselle played the first doubles. Wai asked Giselle if she’d like to serve and she said yes. When Wai served the last, they were 0-3. However, they were able to win the first set at 4 and the second at 2.

I was slow to put the food and drinks on the table – aiming at 9:45. But when I came out of the bathroom by 9:30, all three courts have concluded and the opposing team players were about to leave. Terribly sorry for my inexperience. I should have known it’s kind of late on a Sunday night. I thought they’d play the full two hours.

The OC also said that the home team enters scores. When I trying to finish entering last night, the site won’t let me: because their 2D guy wasn’t registered. I wrote her and the coordinator an email, asking for advice, bec I didn’t know how to handle it and how to enter the score with a missing player.

F. Each team shall have a team captain who shall be responsible for making sure all team players have registered for the team. At the time of registration all players must furnish their USTA number or join, have a N.T.R.P rating or enter their self rating after filling out the questionaire, and pay the roster fee. If anyone plays a match before being registered they will be considered ineligible and at the coordinators discretion, all courts may be given to your opponent. It is up to the captain to check their rosters before playing players.

One of girls from the other team bought a $39.99 top, left me with $40, saying if she pays cash, there isn’t a sales tax. As it turned out,

Hi Irene,
The Shirt that your friend took is $39.00 less 20% and including tax comes to $32.65.

I sent a email to the OC, letting her know there is a small change now for the girl who bought the top. She replied at 9:04 to say she has forwarded this to the girl. When I pressed for guidance, she replied by 9:54 PM:

Ok, you can go ahead and just put in all the scores. He registered late, with everything going on with his home and business with the storm he forgot.

Tuesday, Nov 20:
The coordinator wrote back on Tuesday afternoon,

If he played a match without being registered, it should be a default as he was an ineligible player. I think Julia said it was due to the storm. If that is acceptable to you and he is now registered, you can just enter the score. If not, out your players names in, enter 6-0, 6-0 and in the drop down box, put default.

Guess I didn’t need the coordinator to enter the default scores. Oh well, just learnt a new thing.

The team may becoming younger but I feel my wrinkles are deepened and hair grayer. As I’m writing this, my back is bothering me (from tennis ..), renders my torso looking like the Spongebob and I walk like a shrimp.

All in the name of loving tennis.

More pix in the gallery

We took a team vote on the situation. The decision would soon cost me dearly.

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thankful ..

My family
A. Tong
Brion Hathaway
Jamie Karasyk
Julie Alexander
George Xu
Zhen Wang
Barrie Coffman
Jenny Lihua Hong
Denise L. Shapiro
Catherine Tharin

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First Friday night at Bay

Someone just couldn’t sit out for too long, who pushed to have a practice. I found Bay Terrace. Five courts filled in less than two days.
Dave and I played Nick and Sachiyo. It’s intense and thrilling. I didn’t even realize that I bent down low to return many Nick’s shots. Dave is very positive and encouraging. We almost broke them when Nick was serving at 3-4. After a few deuces, he finally nailed me with a nasty serve that almost took my head off -:). Nick played so well.
The second hour was very mild, like a 3.5 match. By then I was tired and lost my concentration. Ron and I lost to Vincent and Stacy at 2 and won the second set at 4.
Not sure how long we can keep up the Fridays at Bay, especially when our regular Friday at GNE is back.

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