Tournament seeding can really decide what kind of results players will have. If you don’t get a seed, but play one in the first round, you could be out. With the seeding for the first 2016 tournament out today (see below), we asked USTA Florida’s Mark Taylor how they are decided and got some valuable insights…
I am the Adult Competitive Chairman for USTA Florida and will be thru the 2016 season. I am also the Florida Cup commissioner (which in my opinion is now one of the top team events in the country). For Florida rankings it is important for players to focus on the Super Senior circuit (both West coast and East coast) which runs January thru March.
There are not any planned changes to the Florida rankings process……Personally, I would like to see more tournaments count towards the rankings but I’m in a minority in that view. The section has done surveys over the years and the results reflect what you currently have. I’m old school in the opinion that the more matches played, the more results that can be digested the better the overall product.
Not An Exact Science
I can only speak for the tournaments that I oversee as far as how rankings translate into seedings. I will say this…….it’s not an exact science.
When I do seedings, I look at everything you can think of and I look at every player’s tennis resume’ for the last 12-14 months of play. I don’t look at what happened 2, 3 or 5 years ago. Players age up, players may play down, injuries occur, life circumstances happen. Things constantly change and evolve.
I look at current rankings (both national and sectional) and one doesn’t necessarily supersede the other. One player may have the financial resources to travel whereas another may not. I look at how active you are, do you play a full schedule, surfaces, who you beat, who you lose to, scores (losing 6-4 in the 3rd set vs. getting beat 2 and 1). Strength of tournament (some of these Cat 2’s have been watered down, some divisions are nothing more than a round robin).
There are a lot of variables and at some point I make a decision and we go play. I do not like the “block seedings” (4 guys seeded at #5, 4 guys seeded at #9, etc.) That’s the easy way out and I’m aware that even the national events do that. You won’t see that in a tournament that I seed.
Players moving into a new age group is also something I’m aware of. First year guys in a new division can really get a jump on that division if they are healthy. It is always good to be the “young guy” again every 5 years.
Doubles seedings can be challenging when guys play different weeks with different partners. Teams that stay intact for a while makes it easier to evaluate.
Head to head results have an impact both singles and doubles as well as recent results as an indicator of where your game is currently. For instance, Longboat Key just completed a couple of weeks ago. That tournament is more reflective of how you are playing right now than say a tournament last February or March (it’s an indicator, not a make or break). One thing for certain, seedings and rankings generate a lot of discussion and debate.
I’m very pleased that we have Colonial Country Club and Payne Park back on the 2016 SSGP schedule. The Florida Cup matches are going to be at University Park Country Club in Sarasota April 9-10. I wish everyone a terrific start to their tennis season and hopefully players can stay injury free. As we all know, that becomes a top priority as we all get older.
Florida Cup Commissioner
Any questions or comments???
Colonial: For this week’s first tournament, i was fortunate to squeeze out a #7 seed in a strong singles field; and Chuck Kinyon and i are #4 seeds in the doubles draw. The full list is HERE
If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com
My Book: and if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page.