Teams Set for USTA Spring Championships; UCLA Women Down Baylor, Alabama Men Shock Ole Miss; Kreise's Ten Reasons No-ad Fails
|Coach Stewart Russell discusses doubles strategy with members of the Bengals|
Last year the tournament was popular with players, coaches and parents alike. Saturday and Sunday are practice days, with players getting to know each other and their coaches, and coaches able to assess the strength of their doubles teams, the only area where they have the leeway to select their best teams. The singles lineups are set as soon as the draw is made.
Which players are on which teams can be found at the TennisLink site under the Teams, more info link.
In college tennis today, the No. 12 UCLA women picked up their second Top 5 win in four days, beating No. 4 Baylor 4-3 in Waco, with Robin Anderson clinching the Bruins win with a 7-6(5), 7-6(6) win over Ema Burgic at line 1. Baylor took the doubles point, but UCLA got three wins from the bottom of their lineup, with Catherine Harrison, Kaitlin Ray and Kristin Wiley setting up Anderson's clinch. UCLA had previously downed No. 3 USC 4-3 on Wednesday, with Chanelle Van Nguyen defeating Zoe Scandalis in a third-set tiebreaker to secure that victory.
A major upset in men's SEC play today saw unranked Alabama take down No. 9 Ole Miss 4-2 in Tuscaloosa, with the Crimson Tide also fighting back after losing the doubles point. Unranked freshman Korey Lovett, who played on the bronze ball winning team at the Spring Team Championships last year, beat Nik Scholtz 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 for Alabama's third point, and Becker O'Shaughnessey closed out the Rebels, beating Gustav Hansson at No. 3 6-4, 6-3.
Chuck Kreise, who has opposed the ITA format change since it was first introduced, recently sent me his Ten Reasons No-ad is No-go for Player Development. I recognize there are many fans, players and coaches who do not believe the advantage scoring system is integral to the sport of tennis, but they should be aware the basis for the objections of those who do.
"Like many aspects of the game of tennis that look simple on the outside, the complexities and the intrigue of the scoring system of tennis often do not receive the depth of understanding that they deserve. Its multiple levels and challenges are unmatched in sport. It is wrong to use abbreviations.
1. No-ad is not a rule of tennis. Abbreviated forms of scoring will not sustain interest nor inspire players for the long run. College and junior tennis should be education driven first and entertainment after.
2. No-ad devalues the elements of conditioning and endurance for the outcome of competition. Physical and mental stamina have, and always should, play a big role for success in tennis.
3. No-ad promotes skewed results. Traditional scoring is an accurate and time-tested barometer for the many skill-sets it takes to win in tennis. The skill to overcome ‘pecking orders’ and the normal ‘rites-of-passages,’ in tennis have been consistent measures for over a hundred years. These accurate measures give critical guidelines for the development of a player. Randomness is highlighted by no-ad scoring.
4. No-ad accelerates parity between pecking-order levels without the mastery of skill-sets usually required for advancement. No-ad also rewards ball-striking skill more than point-construction skills.
5. The Deciding Point of no-ad is really worth 2 games. (Thus the need to win by two instead of one!) The 7th point of no-ad is of double jeopardy value. Everyone recognizes this when the score is 4-2 and the next game makes it either 5-2 or 4-3. However, it is the same every game! When a player loses the 7th point, he/she must win two games to have the same advantage had they won that point. Sadly, the benefits of cheating are enhanced because such weight is given to a sudden death point in every game.
6. No-ad eliminates the learning of ‘War Zone Endurance’ and the importance of ‘Conversion Points’ (3-in-a-row). No-ad is always 4-7 points duration in every game. This eliminates the multiple situations in a game that require very unique and disciplined skill sets to solve. One’s ability to win two points to break serve is perhaps one of the greatest puzzles to solve of all. Just as well, learning how to carry and defend a lead is critical to becoming excellent. No-ad does not teach nor reward these.
7. No-ad promotes random momentum swings and negates small differences in better player’s skill base that normally becomes a big advantage as a match progresses. Early war zones that are won usually set the tone for the match, but no-ad diminishes that hard-earned separation earned by the stronger player. Games do not evolve and deepen where the stronger player can separate from the weaker player.
8. As its highest claim, no-ad promotes excitement instead of the more enduring element of drama. Traditional scoring nurtures and develops drama. It is a consistent barometer for learning through the process. (Excitement diminishes with each occurrence; whereas, drama intensifies with each denial.)
9. The overwhelming majority of players are opposed to no-ad scoring. Players want traditional scoring!!! Coaches want traditional scoring as well. Coercive directives have continuously promoted and forced no-ad for over 20 years. (In fairness, 2/3 majority should always be achieved in changes of such magnitude.)
10. To abbreviate or to change the scoring system of tennis is a political overreach for immediate gain, instead of the ‘honoring of the game.’ No one is bigger than the game of tennis. It is absolutely wrong to try to change the fabric of this time honored cornerstone of tennis.
(Abbreviations do not inspire. They will not sustain interest for that which has value. The wonderful scoring system of tennis is a historical and sacred heirloom. Its depth needs to be honored.) (*ask leaders to simply make a TV or entertainment format if that is the end goal. Scoring system is sacred. Format is not!!)
Honor our Game - Protect Traditional Scoring!!!”