Longboat Key Friday


Today was the last day of doubles round robin play… with Noble and me having two challenging matches scheduled (one in the morning and one in the afternoon—- and he had singles quarters in between!)

Morning Doubles 

Our first match was vs the solid team of upstate NY of teaching pro Tom LaPenna and Bill Berry … and we played excellently!  I served particularly well (and had only one double fault) and made every return of serve except one … and Noble ran around the court covering everything else!  So, we registered a solid 6-3,6-0 victory. 

Under the heading of “what did you do about it?”, when I served to LaPenna in the ad court, we used the Australian formation.  He stood close to the alley, so I served effectively down the tee.  And I decided to keep doing that till he moved over (and exposed his backhand); but he never did!

Noble’s Singles

He faced his good friend, next door neighbor, and #2 seeded Steve Lunsford.  Their 12:30 singles match was delayed and didn’t start until 2 PM. And, one hour and fifteen minutes later, they finished the first set, with Noble winning in a tiebreaker (7-5).

The second set was shorter (50 minutes) and belies the lopsided score of Noble winning 6-1 for the victory.

And then…

By this time, it was 4:15, with sunset in just about one hour+.  But Noble (who is a retired M.D.) said he knew that if we played another match, either he or his singles opponent and friend Steve Lunsford (or both of them) would suffer an injury.  So he refused to play a third match of the day and we are scheduled for 9 am on Saturday.

The rule? I believe a tournament cannot require a senior player to play three matches in one day; and the tournament referee immediately agreed (although, he did then search his handy guidebook, which was not definitive). Anyone know?

For the rest of the scores, please click HERE

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6 thoughts on “Longboat Key Friday

  1. The round robin doubles format is better for the doubles only participants but not necessarily for someone also playing singles into the 3rd and 4th days of the tournament.
    With a regular doubles draw, main draw players playing singles and doubles are only scheduled for 1 match of each per day. Having two doubles matches a day in the round robin format does not work as well for someone playing singles also.
    I think eventually the round robin format will be used in doubles only tournaments primarily.

    Winder, i believe this scheduling problem could have been avoided. In our age group, there were 20 teams, with five teams in four flights. Had they made it FOUR teams in five flights, we could all have played only one match on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and then brought forward eight teams for quarters on Friday, semis on Saturday, and finals on Sunday. Agree? thanks, george

  2. Thanks to Ron Bartlett for this USTA rule sharing…
    Max # Matches
    Rest Between
    Open, 30, 35, 40, 45s
    2 Singles & 1 Doubles or 1 Singles & 2 Doubles or 3 Doubles
    1 hr/Singles & Singles or 1 hr/Singles & Doubles or 1 hr/Doubles & Doubles
    50s or 55s
    2 Singles or
    1 Singles & 2 Doubles or 3 Doubles
    1.5 hrs/Singles & Singles or 1 hr/Singles & Doubles or
    1 hr/Doubles & Doubles
    60s or 65s
    2 Singles or
    2 hrs/Singles & Singles or 1.5

    1 Singles & 1 Doubles or 2 Doubles
    hrs/Singles & Doubles or 1.5 hrs/Doubles & Doubles
    70s or 75s
    1 Singles & 1 Doubles or 2 Doubles
    1 Singles & 1 Doubles or 2 Doubles
    2 hrs/Singles & Doubles or 1.5 hrs/Doubles & Doubles
    80s or 85s
    2 hrs 2 hrs

  3. Cool to learn about those rules. They make a lot of sense. Noble is my hero, but that really woulda been asking too much of him. Glad it worked out right.

  4. You asked if I agree with the 5 groups of 4 instead of the 4 groups of 5: The point of the round robin is to provide more guaranteed matched for the lower and mid-level players.
    5 groups of 4 provides 3 matches to that group IF no injuries, defaults which do regularly happen putting those players back to the two matches average like in the non round robin format.
    Having 4 matches scheduled makes the 3 matches at least played more likely. Even just 1 singles and 1 doubles per day for 3-4 + days in a row is pushing it for senior players. How many of us play two matches in a day at home on a regular basis? Tournaments require a realistic assessment of what volume of play your body can reasonably expect to perform. Kudos to the smart ones who listen to their bodies and stop when prudent to lower the injury potential. Deciding to play only singles or only doubles becomes a practical option as you age.
    I often split the baby by only playing one or two rounds of singles with a default if winning before match is over in order to complete the tournament in doubles. Winning and then defaulting is not fair to the next opponent who travels to the tournament and gets a no play day.

    Winder, two different issues here… 1) How to have doubles only players have only one match per day and 2) Understanding that some players will attempt to play BOTH singles and doubles in the tournament, which will require them to play two matches per day. On #1, limiting groups to four players helps that. On #2, follow the “Irvine Protocol” and use your singles match for practice and retire when the match runs too long. Thanks, George

  5. George, having 5 groups of 4 is not what I intended when originating the formats. The goal is to provide 3 matches in the round robin. If you have more, teams will default because they have no chance and second it eliminates the chance for three wildcard teams to make the quarters. Tom seems to think it is better for the players but I don’t think so. I am going to try to convince him for next year.

    Larry, i think you mean “4 groups of 5,” … and i hope you can affect a change. Thanks for all you do. George

  6. “Never in doubt and often wrong” – once again Larry’s point of view convinces me that my logical analysis is flawed, his is correct. My concern that 5 groups of 4 may not provide 3 matches if defaults or injuries is offset by the increased chance of defaults in the 4 groups of 5 format as Larry points out. OK, if same number of entrants next year, 5 groups of 4 with 3 best 2nd place group finishers going into quarters is better than 4 groups of 5.

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