Offense Wins

A group of us have been having some great tennis on Thursday afternoons in a two-team USTA 4.5 Super Senior (60 and over) league. When we all thought about putting a team/league together, the debate was: should we try to put together ONE very good team that could go to sectionals and beyond; or two evenly balanced teams that could play well each week?

We opted for the latter; took 20+ of the top senior players around and tried to develop two good teams; and it is working out great, with many close and fun matches.

A similar question comes up in a CTA league I play in: if you have 12 players on the team, do you play your top six each week or rotate around the playing opportunities, and take your chances on losing? I vote for the latter.

We just finished our third Thursday in our 4.5 group, and in my matches:

  • Three times we split the first two sets and played a ten point Champions Tiebreaker;
  • Three times my team survived at least one match point in the tiebreaker;
  • we survived one match point and won the first week 11-9 and was the only one of our three teams to win;
  • last week we survived at least FOUR match points to win 15-13, which was the deciding match for the day;
  • and this week, we survived three match points, only to fall 11-9 (but our other teams won).

What is interesting in today’s loss is that our opponents (Joe McAleer and Keith Butterfield) were very aggressive at the net during the tiebreaker. They closed tight to the net and clogged the middle. And with it being a very windy, gusty day, lobbing was an iffy solution; so I tried to drive the last few points through them… some successful, but just not the last two.

Today’s loss also ended a personal doubles winning streak of 15 consecutive matches over the last month – winning close ones, like the one we lost today!