The Manhattan 7.0 final

The final was played the day after the semi.

Availability or timing is as vital as having an ace player. Actually it’s more important: four of my girl marquee players are global trotting when final came.
A few pix on FB

my score card

my score card

I did this Manhattan team more for the players than my own desire so I played only two matches to satisfy the playoff requirement just in case. And I was glad because I was needed to play even I didn’t want to. The playoff opportunity should be given to the mates who played a lot during the regular season, when the matches are less predictable and sometimes can be boring. Let’s face it, the competition and excitement is just so much more during the playoffs.

A draw back for the local playoffs is the dates are set after the regular season has concluded and usually within a week or two of notice, which leaves planing almost impossible. Maybe this itself is part of the fun playing in the league, the unpredictability.
Quarter final vs Fred Derman, 2-1
Semi final vs Lawrence, 2-1
Again, we played on Court 1-3. Jerry and I were the third string on Court 3, vs the opposing team’s captain and a 21 years old kid. Dawes, the opposing captain came on to the court and then disappeared for a good five minutes. I was bit bewildered.  A first.

my Manh final squad

my Manh final squad; by Hazel

They won the toss and elected to serve.
Boom .. a 100 miles per hour serve that took my breath away. Throughout the match, I had to stand at the court end, with my back almost to the blue curtain to be able to handle his booming serve.
I knew the captain who is a 3.5 so the kid has to be a 3.5 too because Queens uses the year end rating. But that serve was more of 4.5. And he has other weapons too. Like, he can dash from left to right in a blink of an eye. Like, he could hit a forehand Federerish. Like he can swing a Nadal back hand. The girl was solid. Within a few minutes, we lost the first set at 2.

The second set started out against us too. But my partner has played so well, impressive and inspiring, he got me running mid way in the second set. We fought one point at a time; arrived at the tie break. We played the tie break so well, we won it convincingly. By now, court 1 and 2 have concluded. Before we started our third set tie break, the referee came over to say the match has decided. We lost.
Jerry was on a roll and wanted to play out. The girl agreed.

by Hazel

by Hazel

The ref:
“Have fun.” and left.

Our court must be the last match of the night because the lounge were filled with players. We don’t get spectators during our regular season matches because, most matches are played on weekday nights. Many clubs have no viewing space. Matches at the NTC are usually get a few because they have great viewing areas, plus the complex is large, there are other people around.
Much of the second set, I thought the kid took his vacation time. Now the match have decided, he seemed cared even less. However, when the score was even at 8-8, he came back fully charge. If I have to give an educated guest, it must be his inner competitive edge got better of him. Thought-out the match, he could dictate the match whichever he wanted but when the situation heated up, his competitive edge set in. He wanted to win the match that was in his pocket from the get go, now he had to work hard to win it. The last eight points were hotly contested. I had the match point but was unable to close the deal. Needless to say we were very happy when we won at 13-11.

1-0 (13-11)

UntitledOur team lingered in the lounge to socialize and also to celebrate Dan’s birthday. Mike although played thoughtout the regular season, did not play tonight but came with his wife. The social time during the playoffs are very enjoyable because during the regular season the matches are mostly on weekday nights, we went to play then parted after the match. Many players on the team have the attitude to labor through the regular season, hang out and wait for the playoffs for the real match, which are always more competitive.

The following day, the emails began pouring in ..

.. that team is made of college players, tennis instructors, career USTA nationals players. This is my first year captain and I have heard too much about it.

A few spectators in the royal box saw the signal instructing the kid to lose the match, in order to protect his rating.

I’m sorry your team lost, but we’re dealing with career ego team. This is not a reflection of our tennis, it’s a reflection of the length they take to “win.”

Someone from another team wrote to the league ..

.. Playing against an opponent who is falsely rated well below his skills is not enjoyable. Furthermore, this questions the validity of your entire league. People pay good money and give their time and captains give a tremendous effort to help make your league successful. This problem needs to be corrected immediately to ensure that this never happens again.

This problem, persisted for a good few years. The funny part of it, they never won a National. This also tells me how deep the other regions are.
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