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Old 06-07-2018, 06:57 PM   #801
H.S. Freshman Team
Join Date: Feb 2007
What a run! What a first set! What an implosion!!! Ugh... Good luck against the King.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:59 PM   #802
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
LOL. I feel even sorrier for you after the final; it could have been you. Or Pargeter, who beat me in the group stage.

So to complete the story of the World Tour Finals, both first-timers bow out in the semis after doing very well to get there. Hamal Sbai takes the first set against Ritwik Dudwadkar, but it got worse for him as the match wore on. Despite a 14-7 ace edge he falls 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Stuart Pargeter got himself good and truly stomped by King Kaspar in the earlier matchup. Which sets up Dudwadkar's first-ever final in this event … and he ends Mateo Kaspar's reign of terror and bid for an even more ridiculous legacy, 7-6(6), 6-4! Only 11 total aces and one break of serve in the entire match, six points separating the players but Ritwik deserved the win, being a little more effective in his return games than Kaspar was. First tour finals title at 29. I don't know if I've ever seen that before. That'll make it a lot easier to hold on to his position.

At the end of the year, Kaspar will still have about a 2,000-point lead over Dudwadkar, a little less than that back to Prince Karl. Sbai(4th) and Pargeter(5th) also strengthen their grip on those positions, putting a bit of distance between themselves and the rest of the Top 10. Chiba is 11th, ready to pounce on any stragglers. Usual end-of-year writeup in a few days but it promises to be an interesting 2060 season. This was definitely a most unexpected result.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 06-08-2018 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:26 PM   #803
Join Date: Jun 2018
Have you ever tried voting on gaming sites from different IPs in the same 24 hour window? Haven't tried myself, but not sure why they would be so against it since a vote IS a vote for them, regardless of where it comes from.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:16 AM   #804
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
I have not. I did the voting thing briefly, but soon decided it wasn't worth the trouble compared to the reasonable(at least IMO) cost of just buying the VIP account.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:39 AM   #805
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
World Team Cup Finals

Headed into the final, France was hot on our tail with less than a 50-point gap, meaning that if we lost against a nation featuring two of the top three players in the world, our long reign as the #1 tennis country in the world was over. That was the expected result, but it being held on clay left us with some chances.

** Monday - Dudwadkar d. K. Kaspar, 2-6, 7-6(10), 6-4, 7-6(2). A tense and vital match to be sure, esp. that second-set tiebreak which threatened to put Ritwik down two sets. Almost dead-even by the stats; Dudwadkar was a little better after a bad first set. Overall points to the Black Prince, 145-142. A huge win here.

** Tuesday - M. Kaspar d. S. Chiba, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2. Expected, but at least he had to work for it some. Tied at 1, it's now a best-of-three.

** Wednesday - A. Mehul/G. Kansai d. J. Ardant/I. Rumaintsev, 7-6(7), 7-5, 3-6, 6-0. I honestly expected more from the French doubles, but this puts us one win from the title. Even at 43, Mehul is still playing a key role of the national team.

** Thursday - R. Dudwadkar d. M. Kaspar, 4-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. Incredible comeback, and even moreso to beat both of them in the same week! After going down 2-0, Dudwadkar really dominated the back end of the match. One wonders if the 31-year-old Mateo had physical issues. In any case, for the first time in three years we're back on top, and the #1 spot in the nation rankings is clinched!

** Friday - K. Kaspar d. S. Chiba, 6-7(1), 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-1. Another four-set loss. Chiba was a serious customer in both but they end up as instructive defeats. I'd hoped he could get one, as I didn't think we'd win without that happening. Fortunately I ended up being wrong about that.

Sri Lanka defeats France, 3-2!! They've been world champions the last two years so it's great to restore the 'proper place' of things.

2060 Nation Rankings

1. Sri Lanka - 2599
2. France - 2457
3. United States - 2439
4. Argentina - 2243
5. Spain - 2051
6. Germany - 1979
7. Chile - 1965
8. Croatia - 1918
9. Russia - 1827
10. Thailand - 1812

Morocco drops to 13th after making this list last year.


** Canada(14th) vs. Germany(6th) - Despite the rankings, Germany is trying to get back in the top tier. Henri Sorel(33rd) is the only Top 50 player on either team, but the Germans have better balance and it was enough to get them a narrow 3-2 victory. The Canadians are demoted.

** Croatia(8th) vs. Australia(22nd) - Both came in as Tier 1 nations having fallen on hard times. Svajnovic did enough to lead Croatia to a 3-2 win, and Australia goes down.

** The Netherlands(18th) vs. Finland(37th) - Veini Aikio(12th) fails in his quest to keep the Fins up with no help. He didn't lose a set, but nobody else for his country won one in a 3-2 loss.

** Thailand(10th) vs. Mexico(17th) - Interesting matchup as both are good enough to play in the top tier. They met in the Level 2 final with Thailand winning 3-2; here that result was reversed, and this is the one that matters most. The grass surface was a determiner as much as anything. Both have a high-ranking player(#13 Castegali for Mexico, #18 Prachuab for Thailand) and a second that is credible. Mexico goes up, but I'd expect to see Thailand back next year for another crack at it and hopefully a more favorable draw.

Lots of movement as someone was promoted or demoted in each matchup. Next year we're in Group 2 with the United States(3rd), The Netherlands(18th), and the Phillipines(23rd). So we might not win the group against the USA, but we're in no danger of losing early.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:55 AM   #806
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
2060 Top Player Rankings

1. Mateo Kaspar(31, FRA) - 13,560

Skipping Masters events is proving hazardous for the King. But he's still the clear #1, with several more wins and half the losses of his top competitors. The latest thing he's done is to surpass Gorritepe for #2 on the all-time prize money list; and record-holder Prieto played in an era with no form mechanic so his numbers are inflated.

2. Ritwik Dudwadkar(29, SRI) - 11,050

A strong finish including his first-ever WTF title helped mask the fact that Dudwadkar posted his worst record in four years at 75-13. So far though, he's managing to hold off the Black Prince quite effectively by beating him in front of his home crowd at the Paris SF and in the tour finals group plays as well.

3. Karl Kaspar(25, FRA) - 9,270

Karl actually had the second-most wins on tour(77-14). The story of his year though was a stunning 1-6 H2H against Dudwadkar, to add on to 0-11 before this year. That left him with titles in Shanghai and Roland Garros, which wasn't enough. The only question really for him now is whether he can get the upper hand in that matchup. If and when he does, he's well-positioned to becoming the elder Kaspar's top challenger.

4. Hamal Sbai(26, MOR) - 5,385

Morocco's first-ever Top 50 player has finally broken through. Better late than never for the big-serving Sbai, who was runner-up in Monte Carlo and a semifinalist in Madrid and the tour finals. Mostly though it was consistent quarterfinal showings. As holder of the critical #4 spot, aka the 'best of the rest', Hamal is well-positioned to go a round further if he can avoid upsets and strengthen his hold here.

5. Stuart Pargeter(27, USA) - 5,155

Another player reaching his potential after underachieving earlier, Pargeter will seek to challenge Sbai for that spot. He put on quite a charge late in the year, with SF showings at Shanghai, Paris, and the tour finals, the last three big events on the calendar. Finalist showings at Rome and Roland Garros earlier also helped. Becoming the top American in the world is no small feat.

6. Gilberto Chinaglia(27, ITA) - 4,880

Chinaglia continues his brand of generally unimpressive play with moments of brilliance. He won Monte Carlo, made the final at Madrid, SF at Cincinatti and Wimbledon ... but didn't have so much as a QF to celebrate anywhere else. Could rise or retreat, there's no telling.

7. Tristan Allende(25, USA) - 4,340

Modest improvement this year for Allende, who seems poised to be the #1 US player eventually .. and opted out of the national team for reasons unknown. Despite his relative youth though, he is like multiple others here basically at his peak so there's no time to waste. A very hit-and-miss season for him with SF results at the AO and USO along with Shanghai, but went out in the third round at half of his Masters showings. That's got to change for him to be a threat to the players above him.

8. Dick Blake(27, USA) - 4,280

A meteoric talent like Allende, Blake is now fading away well past his prime. His high rank was fourth.

9. Gregory Mackenzie(28, USA) - 4,215

Monte Carlo champ in '57, Mackenzie reached as high as #4 as well but is on the decline like Blake.

10. Hugo Cordova(25, USA) - 4,170

There's never a shortage of Americans rising up to take the place of guys like the previous duo. Cordova won't get much better than he is though, as yet another player with short-lived longevity.

11. Sushant Chiba(23, SRI)

A good rise from 24th a year ago, but not with consistency; the majority of his points came from a brilliant run in winning Madrid. Didn't make it past the third round at any Slam event, and he could drop a few spots before he gets past that block to make it onto the first page.

12. Veini Aikio(25, FIN)

Another option as Blake & Mackenzie fall back towards the pack. Up a few from 15th.

14. Kenneth Brasher(24, GBR)

Last year I said 'It's a mystery to me how he's risen this fast, but I do expect some manner of regression'. Only dropped one spot though.

15. Brian Meikeljohn(21, IND)

74th a year ago. Just chew on that. Quite possibly the most remarkable rise in a year I've ever seen. And it's not a fluke. He's a serious contender for the Tour Finals this year despite his age.

18. Chalerm Prachuab(23, THA)

The hope of Thailand had a strong year(up from 32nd) and appears to be on the cusp of bigger things.

20. Chad Duncan(25, GBR)

21. Adam Hagans(24, GBR)

Duncan's up a few spots, Hagans right where he was. Too bad for Britain that they can't combine three good players into someone with the the stuff of a champion.

22. Stanley Edleman(22, USA)

Up from 31st as he may be finally making his move. Needs to avoid early-round upsets in order to make that happen; more consistency.

24. Esteban Cortina(26, ESP)

Quite apparent he's not going anywhere fast.

25. Tomas Guadiana(24, ARG)

Another new entrant to the list. Won the Swiss Indoors(500) late in the year and has done little else.

27. Uglesa Svajnovic(23, CRO)

A hard fall to around 50th, but he bounced back up. The top four from Chiba's class are all solidly in the big time now; we'll see what they make of themselves.

29. Henri Sorel(25, CAN)

A journeyman it seems.

31. Jacek Andrejova(23, CZE)

A lot of challengers still on the resume of this young Czech making his debut in the inner circle.

32. Mike Rhodes(21, PHI)

Even more here. Can't really take either of them too seriously, those Rhodes is a big talent for sure, until they start playing with the big boys more regularly.

12 of the next 13 players are youngish on the upswing of their career. Their appears to be another major push coming, with the majority of them 22, a year younger than Chiba.

540. Anil Mehul(43, SRI)

147th in doubles, and a little over a year left. Still looking like a high 5.4 or low 5.5 trainer. I'd really like it to be the latter, but I don't think he's quite going to make that.

20(J). Amrik Kasaravalli(17, SRI)

Lots of finals and semis in events my other players would have won; he continues to be a step or two behind. The count of younger and better players is at 12 right now.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 06-12-2018 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:58 AM   #807
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
2060 Preview

1. Mateo Kaspar(81%, 8.78, -0.09)

Four years into the decline phase, the King is still the best player in the world. It's not out of the question that he might reach the absurdly unthinkable milestone of a decade spent at #1(443 weeks right now, almost a year better than previous record-holder Gorritepe). 30 Slams(he has 28) seem likely. These are the kinds of unfathomable records that are the questions now; just how patently absurd will his legacy get before his throne finally is taken.

2. Ritwik Dudwadkar(85%, 8.63, -0.04)

Still good enough to be a threat on an off-day for King Kaspar.

3. Karl Kaspar(94%, 8.50, -0.01)

I ran the numbers twice to make sure. This is not encouraging for Karl. His pedestrian mental game could well keep him in the #3 spot for another year. No matter how you slice it, in terms of development this is a major disappointment after he saw good gains in the previous season.

4. Hamal Sbai(91%, 8.73, +0.10)

Nice improvement last year, and he may have a little more in him but he should be basically at the apex. On paper, the second-best player in the world and capable of challenging anyone. Whatever he's going to do in tennis, it's going to happen in the next year or two. Carpe Diem.

5. Stuart Pargeter(90%, 8.40, +0.07)

This is probably as good as it gets for Pargeter. After the struggles and bad luck of previous years though, it's nice to see him reach his potential here. Pushing any higher is too much to ask, but you never know who might have a bad season and open the door.

6. Gilberto Chinaglia(88%, 8.29, +0.02)

Strong mind and serve are keeping him relevant, but for how much longer?

7. Tristan Allende(91%, 8.29, -0.01)

Second straight small decline for a player who should be improving. Gotta chalk his poor technical development up to poor management. It looks like Allende may never become the Top-5 player he should have been.

8. Dick Blake(86%, 8.28, -0.04)

9. Gregory Mackenzie(86%, 8.36, +0.05)

Well that's surprising. A bit of mini-renaissance here. Nonetheless, look at how tight the scores are here for 5-9. You can see why it was so competitive for the WTF qualification; there's barely a sheet of paper between them. 8.3 is a real bellwether right now; you've got to surpass it to have any chance of breaking through.

10. Hugo Cordova(91%, 8.18, +0.02)

It seems to be mostly luck that Cordova managed to get this close, up from 17th a year ago. I'm not sure he sticks.

11. Sushant Chiba(96%, 8.50, +0.24)

Another strong year of improvement, and he should be able to make his share of QFs in the big events this year. It wouldn't be an actual upset for him to beat half the players ahead of him. Has to make the Tour Finals this year at a minimum.

12. Veini Aikio(92%, 8.10, -0.02)

Still has the best serve in the game, and not nearly enough to go with it.

14. Kenneth Brasher(94%, 7.96, +0.16)

Poor man's Aikio, though the gap there is definitely closing.

15. Brian Meikeljohn(99%, 8.41, NA)

The fastest player in the world. Ever, so far as I know. There's still work to do, but he's Top-10 quality at 21. Meikeljohn basically assures that Chiba will be hard-pressed to ever get to #1; the Black Prince ahead and this guy behind, he'll have to settle for probably third most of his peak years. India has never had a player in the Top 10, so Brian here is going to break all of their records, and likely spend an extended stretch at #1. It's just a matter of time while he works on his technique. Somewhat overbalanced on the serve side, but I would be too if I had that kind of speed to blunt opposing servers.

18. Chalerm Pracuab(95%, 8.15, +0.12)

I'd expect his progress to continue, but slow. Probably ends up in the 12-14 range this year.

20. Chad Duncan(93%, 8.02, +0.08)

Might inch up a bit more.

21. Adam Hagans(95%, 7.97, +0.11)

Duncan and Hagans seem destined to basically copy each other. Really virtually no difference, year after year, between these three Brits.

22. Stanley Edleman(95%, 8.15, +0.07)

Definitely had to be hoping for a little more of a boost, but he's good enough to push in another circle(Top 16 this year I'd say).

25. Tomas Guadiana(94%, 8.08, ??)

Solid all-around but technically behind the curve, and mostly a clay-court player.

27. Uglesa Svajnovic(96%, 8.01, ??)

Kind of strange here. Spent a bit of early time on doubles which is never a good idea. Weakish from the back but already has the serve of a Top 10 player. Slower even than Chiba though. So strengths and weaknesses, but he should be at least Top 20, perhaps more.

31. Jacek Andrejova(96%, 8.23, ??)

Another newcomer to the rundown, and surpringly good despite behind-the-curve technical skills. That's because of his outstanding mental toughness and physical strength. Already dumped some of his potential into doubles, so there's basically a big question mark all over this talented Czech. Could flame out, but he should be a Top 10, quite possibly Top 5 player.

32. Mike Rhodes(99%, 7.77, +0.30)

Rhodes is now arguably good enough to be ranked this high. Still going all-in on serve, power, and clay-court expertise. The kind of guy who could one day dominant the dirt and do nothing anywhere else. His baseline play is always going to be a joke. It'll be interesting to see whether management tries to remedy that to any significant degree. Extreme players are both frustrating and interesting to follow. Definitely making big strides overall though, even if his ranking is exactly what it was a year ago.

540. Anil Mehul(53%, 6.15, -0.18)

Even futures competition is now mostly superior to him. First-round exits in his last two events. The trainer projection, currently at 5.42, is the most important number for him.

20(J). Amrik Kasaravalli(84%, 5.09, +0.98)

Still lagging behind the normal pace.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:06 PM   #808
Pro Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Madison, WI
Originally Posted by Bouchlaghem View Post
Created an account just for this, I've been following this dynasty for a few months and I decided to get into RR a couple of days ago! I'm not premium yet, and I was thinking of starting a dynasty with Algerian (ALG) players, but I think I'll wait until my current players are done in 6-7 months, then convert the best ones to trainers and create a couple of Algerians with some saved up credits. Are any of you in GW2 or GW12?

I'm dabbling in GW2 (had played in both worlds in the past), but am just leaving a couple Japenese players in vacation mode to see how limiting that is to their development. (Spoiler: the AI tournament selection is lacking.)
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:25 AM   #809
H.S. Freshman Team
Join Date: Feb 2007
Originally Posted by britrock88 View Post
I'm dabbling in GW2 (had played in both worlds in the past), but am just leaving a couple Japenese players in vacation mode to see how limiting that is to their development. (Spoiler: the AI tournament selection is lacking.)

Funny I'm doing the same thing in GW3 but I can't help but at least jump in and do the occasional friendly match for my guys as I see them languishing. And you're right the AI tournament selection is occasionally downright hilariously bad.

I really appreciate the pace of GW1. I like being able to think about decisions that won't impact 3 weeks in an overnight.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:49 PM   #810
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
Since there's more interesting in RR1 right now, I thought I'd share this preview of coming attractions.

The Reaping

The long-awaited retirement to trainer duty of Anil Mehul is now just a matter of time. According to my calculations, he will be ready sometime between Paris and the World Tour Finals this year. I can confidently say that he'll get one more training in but not two, so his final trainer score looks like it will be 5.442.

At that point, I'm going to seriously skew the level of available talent in the game world. I've been saving up as many create player credits as I can for some time now: that's why I took somewhat disappointing players Chiba and Kasaravalli without trying again. I'm going to save up more by then by extending my VIP time to cover the entirety of my next player's career. Ritwik Dudwadkar will also be fired at the same time. The goal is take one final, best shot at getting a truly great player.

Mehul and Mooljee are tied for 7th in Slams, Mehul is 9th in prize money, Mooljee 8th in weeks at #1, but I've never had a really dominant player in the record books. Part of that is just timing. I think Dudwadkar was better than Mooljee, but he's been stuck in the era of Kaspar. Mehul battled against Antonin Iglar and was second-best almost the whole time. Mooljee, fitting in between, had three years at the top and may well have had a couple more if it wasn't for the rise of a dominant Kaspar. In any case, I'm hoping that with a number of shots at it I can create a player who is at least as good as my other best ones with better training to make them reach new heights; hopefully even with more potential than that, perhaps between there and a freak of nature like Kaspar or Gorritepe.

By firing Dudwadkar and moving Mehul to trainer at the same time, I'll create two open slots. By keeping one for the best player I get, I'll be able to ensure I don't actually cast off the wrong kid. Anybody who is interested in a new player around the end of this year should have some decent Sri Lanka options, with the con side of things being they'll still have to compete with whoever I end up keeping .
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:52 PM   #811
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006

World Team Cup, Round 1

We get the United States right away, and #7 Tristan Allende did us a favor by not showing up. That meant fading Dick Blake as their second player, and we beat him twice. Lost doubles, knocking Mehul back out of the Top 200 and into futures land again in that discipline. That meant it was all up to Stuart Pargeter, #5 in the world and the top American player. We needed to beat him once to get a third win. Chiba failed on the first day in four sets, but Dudwadkar got him on Thursday, also in four.

Sri Lanka beats the United States 3-2, giving them a stranglehold on the group. It looks likely to come down to us against France once again this year.

Ritwik Dudwadkar then went on to win in Brisbane(250), barely getting by Brasher in the quarterfinals. Sushant Chiba lost to K. Kaspar 6-3, 6-4 in the Auckland semis, then won the title in Auckland. It was far from easy. A third-set tiebreak was close in the QFs against Ugljesa Svajnovic, then a blast from the past took him to three in the semis; WC Hsuang-tsung Teng. The final against Duncan wasn't actually much of a problem. Anil Mehul had a couple of first-round futures exits, though he did make a final in doubles, while Amrik Kasaravalli didn't play any competitive events over the first few weeks.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 06-16-2018 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:04 PM   #812
Join Date: Jun 2018
Love this thread and had to join up for it. I have gone through a few youths in gw1 but will probably stick with my current two. Still takes a while to get going (which is what gw3 is for). Had some success there on clay with Arvizu but now have the ultra consistent Santa Claus (I did not name him) who makes quarter finals of masters/grand slams like a champ. Pity he has not won any of them yet but 15 masters qf and 7 slam qf and counting.

Hoping to match some of your guys in gw1 soon!
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:13 PM   #813
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Madison, WI
Just caught the end of (13) Chiba upsetting (5) Pargeter at the Rome Masters, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5). Serving at 4-5 in the 3rd, Chiba went down 0-40, and Pargeter blew 4 straight match points. For the match, Pargeter converted break points at an incredible 2/26. That can happen when the mentality matchup is 2.8 to 4.4.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:44 PM   #814
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
Thanks for the comments. I bet that Pargeter match sucks even more given what happened at the end of the tournament! But yeah that had to be down to mentality, which is Chiba's greatest strength. Not so much for Stuart.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:13 PM   #815
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
Special Report: Embrace the Chaos

I was too busy to really spend the time on a ranking update after Q1, but given all the nonsense that's unfolded in the clay season(we'll get to that), I didn't want to wait till after Wimbledon. So let's take a look at the major action now as the tour prepares for Roland Garros(tomorrow and the next day).

Australian Open

Form totally held here, with Mateo Kaspar winning his 10th straight. For the fourth year in a row, it was Ritwik Dudwadkar opposing him in the final. I don't even know what to say anymore about the King winning this every season for a decade. He had to come from two sets down against the Black Prince in the semis, while Hamal Sbai reached his first Slam SF. (15) Kenneth Brasher and (14) Brian Meiklejohn were notable surprise quarterfinalists, although only by ranking in Meiklejohn's case. Soon he'll be a fixture.

Indian Wells

Stanley Edleman shows signs of life with a nice QF run. Meiklejohn made it there as well. The US gets a couple of semifinalists in Cordova and Pargeter(d. Dudwadkar in QFs), but both lost to the Kaspars. Karl Kaspar had a surprisingly easy straight-set win over the legendary Mateo, as he's making a serious push this year to throw off his shadow.


Skipping Masters events comes back to bite you. I think M. Kaspar was banned from this one due to last year's absences. Ritwik Dudwadkar was top-seeded, almost lost to Brasher in the quarters, and did lose to Stuart Pargeter in the semis. Hamal Sbai made the other semi, losing to the Black Prince. K. Kaspar takes a second straight Masters, and convincingly. He now has three for the career.

Clay Chaos

Ok so here's where it gets crazy. Almost nothing that's happened on the dirt makes any sense. I'll break this down into how the current(pre-RG) Top 10 has fared on the big clay events.

** Ritwik Dudwadkar -- Is back on top, barely, due to the failings of King Mateo. A week short of his 30th birthday and he's #1 again. Amazing. Skipped Monte Carlo, won the title in Madrid, and then lost in the first round of Rome to unseeded Irishman John Hart. How do you lose in the first round and get elevated to the top player in the world? Well, he had an early exit here last year(R3), and also ...

** Mateo Kaspar -- Skipped Monte Carlo, lost in the QFs of Madrid & Rome. That's consistent at least, and holds with the idea that on clay he's no longer elite at 31. That's making the large assumption that anyone is elite on clay these days. Unseeded Ali Kaihep and #7 Hugo Cordova beat him. Cordova is a strong clay player so that one makes sense.

** Karl Kaspar -- No Monte Carlo, second round at Madrid(Guadiana), first round at Rome(Meikeljohn). This is the guy who just pulled off the IW/Miami double and won Roland Garros last year for his maiden Slam title. Both losses were to credible clay players, but still.

** Hamal Sbai -- Won Monte Carlo, and Barcelona(500) the week after for good measure. Finalist in Madrid(l. Dudwadkar). Great so far. Then lost to Castegali in the third round of Rome. He's got the best clay resume so far, but still lost to a guy down in the teens.

** Stuart Pargeter -- Finalist in Monte Carlo, early loss in Barcelona, Madrid QF(l. Sbai), Rome R3(that epic collapse against Chiba).

** Gregory Mackenzie -- Monte Carlo QF, Madrid SF(l. Dudwadkar, winning ONE game), Rome F(l. Chiba, winning TWO games). Good results overall. Very good. But how do you fall on your face like that after getting that far??

** Hugo Cordova -- Monte Carlo SF, Madrid QF(close loss to Dudwadkar), Rome SF(3-setter to Chiba). Consistent at least, which is more than we can say for most. And the win over Kaspar is a big one.

** Gilberto Chinaglia -- Monte Carlo SF, Madrid R3(l. Kaihep), Rome R2(l. [b]Benjamin Abanades). I'm sorry, who again?? Remember two years ago that Chinaglia was RG champion.

** Tristan Allende -- Consistent at least. He hasn't gotten by the third round in any of them.

** Sushant Chiba -- Monte Carlo QF, R1 Madrid(l. Abanades), winner at Rome as 13-seed. Loses to an unknown in Madrid after winning there last year, dropping from him from as high as 9th to 14th. Then wins Rome the next week, getting back up to 10th.

So who wins RG? Pick almost anybody in the Top 20 and I'll be hard pressed to say you're wrong. Only Top 10 player who doesn't have a realistic chance is Allende. And then there's the others who have upset multiple player in this group in recent weeks. It's been a long time, if ever, since I've seen something this wide-open. I think both of my guys could potentially win. I think they could also potentially lose in round of 32.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:48 AM   #816
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Q3 Rankings Update

1. Mateo Kaspar(31, FRA) - 12,230

Mateo made a quality run to the RG SF, then regained the top spot by taking the title at Wimbledon for his unprecedented 30th Slam title. 10th straight year in the final, but he's lost the last two to Dudwadkar. He lost one set each in each of the last three rounds, but never trailed in any of them. Most revealing stat I think is that he played seven tiebreaks in the fortnight ... and won six of them. Which is what champions do. And so the King's assault on history continues.

2. Ritwik Dudwadkar(30, SRI) - 11,370

Dudwadkar was up two sets to none on Karl Kaspar in the RG final ... and then fell apart, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 in the last three. It would have been his second title on the clay. A streak of two straight Wimby titles and four finals in a row was also broken by the Black Prince, in a compelling four-set semi that saw the first three sets go to tiebreaks. Ritwik won just one of them. After winning 17 of their first 18 meetings, Dudwadkar has last the last three in a row to the younger Kaspar. It's a trend. Here's a quirky fact though; he was still #1 until the end of Wimbledon, meaning that he's the first player I've ever seen to spend more time at the top ranking after his 30th birthday(7 weeks) than before it(3 weeks).

3. Karl Kaspar(25, FRA) - 10,400

After defending his RG title(having done basically nothing on clay going into it) and making the Wimbledon final, Karl is the de facto top challenger and part of a legit Big Three. I think he's probably year-end #2(having not looked at the numbers yet) behind the King and takes the top spot next season. It's taken a bit longer than expected but it's his time if he keeps performing like he has in the past month.

4. Hamal Sbai(27, MOR) - 7,225

Sbai has gradually strengthened his grip on the #4 spot, and it's now quite secure. QF at RG, SF at Wimbledon in a strong but unspectacular spring.

5. Stuart Pargeter(27, USA) - 5,370

Another spot that's pretty well locked down. Hard to see him moving in either direction, at least for the rest of this year. He's had too many early defeats to be a serious threat to those above him.

6. Gregory Mackenzie(29, USA) - 4,380

Starts to get a lot more fluid here.

7. Sushant Chiba(24, SRI) - 3,900

Made the fourth round at Roland Garros, where he'd won two tight breakers against Dudwadkar before giving up that lead. A four-set win over Pargeter at that same stage in Wimbledon is the biggest win to date of his career, and got him to a QF for the first time ... where he lost to his countryman once more, again in a tight four. He's close to becoming Sri Lanka's top player, but not quite there yet. The H2H is 6-0 against him. Still, that run on the prestigious grass has him in strong position to make the WTF and he'll also see more favorable draws the rest of the year, which should aid his ascent.

8. Gilberto Chinaglia(27, ITA) - 3,615

QF at Roland Garros, but otherwhise he's done basically nothing this year.

9. Tristan Allende(26, USA) - 3,610

10. Hugo Cordova(26, USA) - 3,605

It's closely packed here, and Blake is just a hundred points further back. 8-11 could very well switch places a lot in the coming months, and Mackenzie could also fall down into this group. Chiba and the Top 5 should be able to stay above this fray comfortably.

12. Brian Meikeljohn(22, IND)

The young Indian is several hundred points further back. He's inching upwards but may not make a serious run at the Top 10 until next year. He's on the other side of that scrum at the bottom of the first page. Fourth round at each of the last two slams, where he lost competitively to Sbai and K. Kaspar. If he gets a bit more favorable draw over the summer in a couple events, don't count out a quicker push. He's got the goods.

13. Chad Duncan(25, GBR)

Back up to his career high after slipping to 20th last year.

14. Veini Aikio(26, FIN)

He was close, up to 11th in the spring, but has faded a bit and might be on the downside now.

15. Kenneth Brasher(25, GBR)

Briefly made it to 10th earlier, but it was apparently a happy accident.

17. Ugljesa Svajnovic(24, CRO)

Up 10 spots already this year. He may not be around long, but he's making something of his opportunity here. And as I write this I notice he just claimed a 250 clay title, beating #10 Cordova in the final.

18. Ali Kaihep(26, ALG)

Who are all the great Algerian players you know?? Me neither. Kaihep was 34th at the start of the year. Safe to say he's the most-improved shoo-in right now.

19. John Hart(22, IRE)

The young ones just keep on coming. Hart is up from 35th. So maybe Kaihep isn't a sure thing.

20. Tomas Guadiana(25, ARG)

Gradual improvement here, from 25th.

21. Seamus Hughes(22, IRE)

Good to be a tennis fan in Ireland.

22. Stanley Edleman(24, USA)

Almost back to his career high.

26. Chalerm Prachuab(24, THA)

Fourth member of the Chiba class was 18th last year, so he's not doing so hot.

27. Benjamin Abanades(23, ESP)

Like Kaihep, he's made a name for himself with some big upsets. Up from 38th.

29. Mike Rhodes(22, PHI)

Seems like he's been around here forever, despite his youth.

31. Barry Molyneaux(22, USA)

Stop the presses; it's another good young American player.

32. Willy Bochette(23, FRA)

Make that five from the Chiba class. Moving up gradually.

93. Constantino Gonzoles(19, ARG)

Latest to make the Top 100 as a teen. Very good athleticism, elite mental game and crowd favorite. Long way to go but he's got a top-quality manager. I wouldn't bet against seeing him the Top 10. Looks to be possibly the next great clay-courter.

648. Anil Mehul(44, SRI)

267th doubles. More importantly he just finished his final skill training. Still looks like it'll be a little before the end of the year when he's ready to go trainer. I've decided to let him stick around to the WTC Final to head up our doubles efforts again, should we make it that far. The draw looks friendly for that to happen; France-USA is a brutal QF matchup on the other side of things.

9(J). Amrik Kasaravalli(18, SRI)

Well whaddya know. Kasaravalli was strong at the junior RG, aided by the fact that I increasingly favor clay proficiency in young players. He won the title in doubles, and made the SF in singles, losing to the lastest dominant junior Ollie Haas of the Netherlands. And then I forgot to enter him in Wimbledon, overlooking the fact that it occurs two weeks before the senior event. Still, he's having a strong year particularly by his standards, with four JG2 titles now bolstering his points. We'll see what happens in the big events the rest of the year but it certainly looks like he's ready to make the jump to the senior tour.

3. Manager Ranking -- 27.7k. I've held in the upper 20k range for several years now, and don't figure that to change until I start getting some production out of the new youngsters I'm going to acquire in the Reaping.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:06 AM   #817
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Race to the World Tour Finals
Post-Wimbledon Edition


Karl Kaspar - 7570
Mateo Kaspar - 7180
Ritwik Dudwadkar - 6070

Very interesting race here at the top. I don't see the Black Prince finishing the year at #1 but you can't dismiss his chances. There's holes in the resume of all three players, but most importantly he's still(theoretically) getting better while the other two are well in decline.


Hamal Sbai - 5645
Stuart Pargeter - 4320
Gregory Mackenzie - 3210
Sushant Chiba - 3190

Sbai is just a matter of time, certainly he'll be confirmed by the end of hardcourt swing. Pargeter could get a lot closer by playing some 250s(he's got a glut of 500 results), but figures to be in a strong position regardless as well. After that it gets more hazy. The last three spots will take some work to be claimed.


Gilberto Chinaglia - 2775
Hugo Cordova - 2580

Two players on the downside of their careers currently vie for the final spot.

Long Shots

Brian Meikeljohn - 2230
Chad Duncan - 2175
Kenneth Brasher - 1850
Dick Blake - 1810

Meikeljohn looks to be the only real threat here. He's got four quarterfinals in big events this season. If he adds a couple more, he'll probably be in the mix. It's a testament to how far #9 Tristan Allende has fallen that he doesn't even make this list.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 07-12-2018 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:56 AM   #818
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Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
Q3 Rankings Update

4. Hamal Sbai(27, MOR) - 7,225

Sbai has gradually strengthened his grip on the #4 spot, and it's now quite secure. QF at RG, SF at Wimbledon in a strong but unspectacular spring.

18. Ali Kaihep(26, ALG)

Who are all the great Algerian players you know?? Me neither. Kaihep was 34th at the start of the year. Safe to say he's the most-improved shoo-in right now.

19. John Hart(22, IRE)

The young ones just keep on coming. Hart is up from 35th. So maybe Kaihep isn't a sure thing.

21. Seamus Hughes(22, IRE)

Good to be a tennis fan in Ireland.

All 4 of my players made your ranking list! That is ridiculously exciting for me. Also to add something of substance. Karl Kaspar is taking flight. If he's not number one by the end of the year he should at least be extremely close. Sbai and Pargeter his nearest chasers are both older than he is and the next younger player is Sushant and then at 12 Meikeljohn. He's stepping up to the throne for the forseeable future.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:18 PM   #819
Brian Swartz
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Karl is doing well. My vote though is that Meikeljohn overtakes him sooner rather than later. He's primed to break through, wasn't too far behind Kaspar in the overall rankings at the beginning of the year, and of the 10 other players ahead of the Indian prodigy only Chiba is still improving. The rest are either at their peak at best, most past it … some significantly past it. It's been a strong era here but the ruling class is going to collapse very soon, and that will facilitate him moving up to around 5th or so much more quickly than would otherwhise be possible. Slam losses this year are to Sbai(twice, closer the second time) and K. Kaspar.

Thought I'd just throw in my .02 there, four players in or near the Top 20 is a heck of a thing, well done! Sri Lanka's only been able to field that many once, and briefly at that.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 07-13-2018 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:04 PM   #820
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The short break had a whole lot of nothing going on. Sushant Chiba did play at the Washington 500, where he lost in straight-sets in the final to an old 'friend', Stanley Edleman. Edleman beat #5 Pargeter in the semis, a fine showing for him that propels him to a career-high 19th. He has a 3-1 edge against Chiba, even though Sushant has clearly surpassed him at this point.

Kasaravalli and Dudwadkar were better suited to taking the time off.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:26 PM   #821
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Not a great deal worth mentioning from the opening rounds; the top 8 players all made the quarterfinals here. It was rough in some cases, including a third-set tiebreaker separating Dudwadkar from Hugo Cordova. In the QFs, Stuart Pargeter lost to M. Kaspar, and Karl Kaspar was a surprising upset victim to Mackenzie after having bageled the American in the first set. A stunning collapse there. Then another upset, as Ritwik Dudwadkar lost a close straight-sets affair to Chiba, his first defeat in seven matches between them. Sbai stopped Gilberto Chinaglia to wrap things up.

Gregory Mackenzie was easily dispatched by Kaspar in the semis, but the other favorite Hamal Sbai didn't fare as well. Sushant Chiba controlled the action and saved the only break chance against his serve in a 6-3, 6-4 win to make the final. He couldn't complete the run though, with Mateo Kaspar taking a 6-2, 7-6(5) title. 61 Masters Shields.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:03 AM   #822
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There was a little more action in the early rounds this time. Tristan Allende was a bit of a surprise entrant to the late rounds, taking out 6th-ranked Mackenzie, but it wasn't a shock by any means. He's capable, just hasn't done much lately. Then there as Brian Meikeljohn getting obliterated by Sbai 6-1, 6-1, and winning just 37% of his own service points. That just doesn't happen to top players, and it comes after him nearly beating King Kaspar last week. Something's weird with Meikeljohn, and one thing is the fact that he's fallen victim to Doubles Disease. Wrong-headed investment in that discipline is really sidetracking his progress, and if it continues his big future will be very much in question. Before all of that, Sushant Chiba lost a tight one to generational rival Charlerm Prachuab. It was Prachuab's first big win that I've noticed(7-6, 7-5). It would not be his last. For Chiba it may end up as blessing in disguise, giving him a chance to be more physically ready for the USO after playing a couple more matches than expected last week. I still wasn't thrilled with it though. He forced his opponent to serve a lot more points(96 to 66) and then played a bad tiebreak(7-1) along with a horrific display on BPs(lost both he faced, won just 1 of 7). Not what I expect from a mentally strong player he can't be happy about such a performance.

Stuart Pargeter was knocked out in the last eight again, a close straight-sets match to M. Kaspar. Then Prachuab struck again, eliminating Hamal Sbai, 7-6(9), 6-2. Didn't see that one coming at all. Dudwadkar crushed Allende's hopes, and K. Kaspar did the same to Gilberto Chinaglia. So the top three and the Thai upstart moved on. Mateo Kaspar thumped him pretty easily in the first semi, then Ritwik Dudwadkar has 13 aces but the Black Prince still had enough to handle him 6-4, 7-6(5) in the second. Four straight now in that matchup. Karl Kaspar had the goods against Mateo for once, losing just 11 points on his serve to hold off the legend and claim his 4th Masters in an all-Kaspar final. It's just his fourth win against twenty losses there ... but Karl has won three of the last four. Definitely looks like thehitcat is right here. The Prince may well be on the verge of a promotion. As it is, he moves up to #2 past Dudwadkar heading into the US Open.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:15 PM   #823
Brian Swartz
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Q3 Rankings Update

1. Karl Kaspar(25, FRA) - 12,260

The ascension came sooner than expected. By virtue of a straight-sets win over Mateo in the US Open final, the Black Prince has deposed King Kaspar. At least temporarily. Kaspar the elder did not play Shanghai, coming up in a little over a month, last season; and the gap is narrow. But let's let him have his moment in the sun at least. Karl has earned it, and now we'll see how long he can stay at the top.

2. Mateo Kaspar(31, FRA) - 12,030

Flushing Meadows showed that France truly rules the sport of tennis, at least for right now. It's hard to imagine anyone else as WTC champs. It looks like Mateo, the standard by which all future greats will be judged, is mostly done adding to his legacy. He'll still have his moments I'm sure, but with four out of the last five matches going the way of the younger Kaspar, the torch appears to have been passed ... even though on paper Mateo is actually still a hair better.

3. Ritwik Dudwadkar(30, SRI) - 9,290

Just a few months ago, Dudwadkar occupied the top spot. Now he's no longer within shouting distance of it after a stunning fourth-round loss to Brasher; 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-7(2), 2-6, 6-3. Nearly came back and won it, and played more than well enough to win, but went 3 of 17 on BPs. The upstart Brit went on to make the semifinals, and Ritwik will be a little easier to fire at the end of the season now that his days as a contender appear to be over.

4. Hamal Sbai(27, MOR) - 7,405

Another upset at the hands of Chiba, five sets in the USO quarterfinals, is not what the doctor ordered here. Sbai still has a chance to push a bit further up with two over-30 players ahead of him, but for the moment he's staying solidly where he is.

5. Stuart Pargeter(28, USA) - 5,640

Stuart had a competitive straight-sets loss to the eventual champ at the USO, equalling his best result there in the QF round. Like Sbai he's pretty much treading water ... but it looks like he's about to slip a position.

6. Sushant Chiba(24, SRI) - 5,160

Chiba is on the move. After beating Sbai he gave M. Kaspar all he wanted to handle for the first three sets of their semifinal, before running out of gas and losing in four. He's reached the point where he's a legitimate threat to anyone in the world, and while I don't see him catching Prince Karl anytime soon, he is a year and a half younger and could well be ahead of anyone else a year from now. For the moment he's steadily moving up, working his way into position to break into the Top 4. Hard to see that happening before next year.

7. Gregory Mackenzie(29, USA) - 4,230

This is where the next break starts; the declining Mackenize is atop a heap of relatively interchangeable players.

8. Gilberto Chinaglia(27, ITA) - 3,695

9. Hugo Cordova(26, USA) - 3,430

10. Tristan Allende(26, USA) - 3,160

Mackenzie and Allende in particular did not do as well in front of their home crowd as they did a season ago.

11. Kenneth Brasher(25, GBR)

A shocking run to the USO semis has Kenneth overachieveing again.

12. Brian Meikeljohn(22, IND)

The gifted Meikeljohn has clearly 'gone doubles', leaving open the question of who will be the next #1 after the Black Prince's reign ends. He was a shoo-in for the spot, but no longer. Due to the uniqueness of his physical gifts and being from India, I was looking forward to him being a challenger. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that will materialize now.

13. Chad Duncan(26, GBR)

15. John Hart(22, IRE)

What we lose in the Indian prodigy would appear to be for the gain of others, such as this guy.

16. Stanley Edleman(24, USA)

Could well be headed towards the Top 10 yet. An important jump for him this year.

17. Ugljesa Svajnovic(24, CRO)

18. Ali Kaihep(26, ALG)

The teens remain packed with promising and improving players.

20. Veini Aikio(26, FIN)

Now just past his prime, Aikio's time in the sun appears to be over. He got close to the top page, but peaked at 11th.

21. Seamus Hughes(23, IRE)

22. Tomas Guadiana(25, ARG)

23. Charlerm Prachuab(24, THA)

24. Mike Rhodes(22, PHI)

27. Benjamin Abanades(23, ESP)

29. Jacek Andrejova(24, CZE)

30. Harald Balzer(21, SWE)

The latest young addition, Balzer was 62nd at the start of the year.

32. Livio Kaspar(26, FRA)

The trend of lots of up-and-comers continues. Far more improving than declining. I expect soon we'll reach critical mass and the majority of the current Top 10 will crumble and be replaced.

616. Anil Mehul(44, SRI)

Closing in on 4k points to go. In game terms, he's got about three months left in his playing career.

7(J). Amrik Kasaravalli(18, SRI)

Kasaravalli has really surprised with a strong last junior year. He made his second slam SF in singles at the USO, losing a close two-setter to #2 Il-sung Junb(KOR). He also won doubles for the second time.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:28 PM   #824
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Race to the World Tour Finals
Post-USO Standings


Karl Kaspar - 10,750
Mateo Kaspar - 9,980
Ritwik Dudwadkar - 6,790
Hamal Sbai - 6,745

Dudwadkar slips to a distant third -- and Sbai could well take that from him by year's end. Meanwhile the top spot is very much up for grabs. House Kaspar will fit it out amongst themselves.


Stuart Pargeter - 5040
Sushant Chiba - 4670
Gregory Mackenzie - 3960
Gilberto Chinaglia - 3315

Pargeter and Chiba should be locks by the end of the Shanghai Masters. Mackenzie is also looking very strong to grind out a spot. Chinaglia now has the edge for the final one ... but he's far from safe.


Long Shots

Hugo Cordova - 3045
Kenneth Brasher - 2820
Brian Meikeljohn - 2500
Chad Duncan - 2400
Tristan Allende - 2330

Cordova really needed to not bow out in the third round of his home Slam. Now he's on the outside looking in. Brasher's first Slam semi has forced him into relevance as a long-shot candidate, while Meikeljohn also lost early at the USO and is now facing a bigger mountain. Nobody here inspires me with confidence that they will make a run at it.
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:12 PM   #825
Brian Swartz
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Just noticed this logjam in the rankings. It's early October at the moment, week 40, with the WTC SF round underway.

15. John Hart - 2300
16. Stanley Edleman - 2225
17. Ugljesa Svajnovic - 2195
18. Ali Kaihep - 2170
19. Seamus Hughes - 2155
20. Tomas Guadiana - 2140
21. Veini Aikio - 2130
22. Cristian Castelgali - 2100

Aikio and Castelgali probably drop from this group soon; they're on the far side of their peak, while the others are still improving. Still, that's eight players in a 200-point span and who ends up on top of this is important, with the first two in this range getting better draws at the big events.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:18 PM   #826
Join Date: Jun 2018
So in GW1 I am happy with Perez taking a junior major. Aas is still growing slowly but I always find challenger level difficult to navigate. Always tough to tell in advance which ones are going to have high ranked players. Sometimes CH2s are easier than CH3s. Nearly, there, just need to reach the point where beats all challenger level players anyway I suppose.

I should also report a major point in gw3.

Dustov, a future no.1 has recently won in Miami. Why is this a big deal? Globenko and Balerio between them have won the last 5 wtfs, 9 slams and before Miami the last 28 majors! The fact that one of my own players spent a good chunk of time at no. 3 and was prevented from getting any major titles does not leave me at all bitter!

I think the faster game world is helping me a lot. I feel like it is currently driving home the importance of mentality since I have little of it and am frequently beaten when I generate far more break points. So hard to win if you don't get those points and it seems to have a massive effect on those points.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:28 AM   #827
Brian Swartz
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I've estimated mentality to be roughly equal to speed and strength(a hair more important than speed, a little less then strength). It definitely makes a noticeable impact, but even top-mentality players will have matches they lose in that way. A great player with high mentality though does seem to be a true fortress, because even when you get chances against them they manage to squeeze out most of the time.


World Team Cup

The quarterfinals matched Sri Lanka against Argentina, on clay. Guadiana is solid player, and Fabrizio Abinati is a rising talent just reaching the age of 22. They blanked us in doubles but that was their only win; took a set each in a couple of singles matches but we had the quality to see them off 4-1. In the semis, it was Great Britain. Just stop and ponder that for a moment. Great Britian is in the WTC semifinals. That's something to celebrate all on it's own. In Brasher and Duncan they have the 11th and 12th singles players in the world, so they are a significant threat. We beat them 5-0, but that's not really fair. Chad Duncan pushed Dudwadkar to five sets in the opening match, winning the first before eventually going down 6-3 in the last. Doubles were even closer, with Mehul/Kansai eventually prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 2-6, 8-6 in a pretty epic affair. The other three went our way in straight sets, but the Brits definitely deserved to take at least one rubber. Instead it's a 5-0 skunking.

In the final we'll face France(who else). On an Indoor court, which is unusual. I'd love to send Mehul out on top, but going against the top two players in the world on a surface that favors them? The odds are definitely not in our favor. I'd bet heavily on the French in this one, either 3-2 or 4-1 with doubles our best shot at a point, quite possibly stealing one against one of the Kaspars also. It could be close, but I think we have enough to narrowly retain the top spot in the rankings even if we lose.

Amrik Kasaravalli was ousted in the QFs of singles and doubles in the Osaka Mayors Cup(JGA), a solid but unspectacular showing. He took #2 Jung to a tough match again, pushing him to three, but the young Korean dominated the final stanza to get the win. A super-TB loss in doubles was a tough one as well. As for Anil Mehul, as Shanghai arrives he's less than 3000 points away from retirement now. Looks like he's literally going to get there probably the week of the WTC Final. A great way to go out for him, win or lose. In China, all eyes are on the Kaspars. It's expected that Mateo will regain the #1 spot there, though who knows for how long. He didn't play their last season, while Karl was the victor, and less than 200 points currently separate the two in the rankings. It's a pivotal moment in determining who ends this year on top.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:55 AM   #828
Join Date: Jun 2018
Very possible I notice it more as it is my player coming up short (and he does reach later rounds consistently). Plus break points are not always a fair measure given low mentality players will end up with more (think of being 0-40 up, a high mentality player will likely get 1 break point and 1 break while a low mentality player could easily end up with 3 or more in spite of both players engineering the same advantage). Will keep an eye on it.

Good luck on the finals. It will be said to see Anil have his last international after all that time. Any idea what his international record is?
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:43 PM   #829
Brian Swartz
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I'll answer that when we get there. I'm planning to do a tribute post to recap his career, I figure he deserves it.

Shanghai Masters

One upset in the early rounds, with unseeded Ugljesa Svajnovic joining the top seven in the quarterfinals; a close two-set win over #8 Chinaglia got him there. Not a great draw for Sushant Chiba, who ran into K. Kaspar at that point, suffering his 10th defeat in 11 meetings 6-4, 6-2, and one of the more lopsided of the series. Stuart Pargeter lost a close one to Sbai, Gregory Mackenzie was dismissed by the 'other' Kaspar, and Svajnovic was handed a pair of breadsticks to chew on by Dudwadkar. On we go.

Top four then in the semis, and Hamal Sbai was Karl's equal for two sets, then faded in the third. On the other side, Mateo Kaspar was upset by Dudwadkar 7-5, 7-6(2), which combined with Mateo not defending a 500 title last week means he won't get back to #1 if the younger Kaspar takes the title. Ritwik Dudwadkar tried to play spoiler again, but for the second match in a row Karl 'No longer a Prince' Kaspar dominated the final set, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. He stays on top and now I have to find a new nickname for him, because it looks quite likely that he won't be removed for quite a while. One reason for that is Mateo has switched to doubles. Too early IMO; combined with the Masters events he's missed the last couple years, he's really missed out on a chance to further cement his legacy. To my mind, if you're a living legend and the clear #1 in the record books you have to keep setting that bar as high as possible as long as you are still a threat in the big events. That's really the only criticism I can make of hugoboy as a manager though.

I'm skipping the RACE rundown since it seems very unlikey to change over the last month. I'll be surprised if the Top 8 don't finish in the same order they are in now:

1. K. Kaspar
2. M. Kaspar
3. Dudwadkar
4. Sbai
5. Pargeter
6. Chiba
7. Mackenzie
8. Chinaglia
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:44 PM   #830
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Karl Ballkiller of the House Kaspar, First of His Name, the Unblemished, King of the Courts and the Tennis Men, Winner of Wimbeldon, Breaker of Bryans, and Father of More Kaspars
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2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

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Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:14 AM   #831
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I should type out that entire thing every.single.time I mention his name from now on, just to spite you.

But I won't.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:27 AM   #832
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Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
I should type out that entire thing every.single.time I mention his name from now on, just to spite you.

But I won't.

Could always hotkey the text to put in with a button press.
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:30 PM   #833
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Paris Masters

If you needed confirmation that the current Top 8 are the correct ones, you got it as all of them made the quarterfinals, shutting out all the dreamers. Sushant Chiba faced Karl K again, and gave him a tough set before folding 7-6(5), 6-1. Stuart Pargeter was dismissed easily by Dudwadkar, Gilberto Chinaglia gave the deposed legend Mateo a battle before passing on 7-5, 6-4, and it was the flip of that score as Sbai eliminated Gregory Mackenzie. All the favorites advance again. ZZZZZZzzzzzzz.

The close to the tournament was quite competitive though. Ritwik Dudwadkar nearly derailed the KK train, 6-4, 7-6(5). Strong showing by him here, even if he did end his run a match before the final. Hamal Sbai took the first set against Mateo Kaspar before falling 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. And then #1 Karl Kaspar stumpled, with 32-year-old Mateo taking his 62nd Masters, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The gap at the top still increases as Karl was out in the semis here a year ago, but a nice run by the former King who adds yet one more trophy to his records.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:28 PM   #834
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World Tour Finals

Didn't, uh, go so well for my guys. I don't think I've ever had two players involved and neither make it past group stage, but that's what happened here. Dudwadkar and Chiba each won a single match. M. Kaspar and Pargeter each had two wins in the first group, while K. Kaspar was unbeaten and Sbai won the tiebreaker in the second group, a ring around the rosy as he beat Chiba and lost to Chinaglia who also lost to Chiba so all three had one win.

In the semifinals, Stuart Pargeter put up a brave fight before losing to Karl 7-5, 7-5, while Mateo dismissed Hamal Sbai much more easily. That mean an all-Kaspar final, in which Karl Kaspar solidified his grip on the #1 and snagged his first WTF title, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Coming Up

I should also mention that Amrik Kasaravalli played his first amateur a couple weeks back, making the final before losing to one of those all-skill, no-serve guys. He's got a couple more junior events before making the jump. The WTC final, Mehul's last competition, is coming up in a couple of weeks and then the end-of-year stuff. I'm still going the make him a trainer after that's over no point in waiting and he's still on target to be ready that week. I've decided that in order to optimize my new players though(hopefully), I'm going to wait until a few months into the new year for the Reaping. That will also give me time to do a synopsis of his career, and I want to put together a comprehensive strategy guide as a legacy type of thing. So all that will be gradually coming out over the next couple of real-life weeks.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:29 PM   #835
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WTC Finals

Our uphill battle against France was ultimately a failure. Sushant Chiba gave Karl Kaspar a royal fight before succumbing on Monday, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. That was our best chance. Then Ritwik Dudwadkar lost to Mateo Kaspar, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4). Doubles saw Mehul/Cansai take a set off Ardant/Gravier, but they still went down to defeat 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

There are two more to play but they will be irrelevant to the outcome; France is world champion this year. It's their third title in four years; we beat them in the final last season but aside from that nobody has been able to stop the Kaspar train.

Also, Anil Mehul's career officially came to an end, as that doubles match put him over the top for the required xp and he was converted to a trainer shortly after it finished. I expected a high 5.4 grade, but I was wrong; he comes in at 5.5. That's a nice surprise, and it's cool to finally see it officially. Among the special reports upcoming will be a little feature on how much of a difference he will make as a supertrainer once I have an opportunity to test it out.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:39 PM   #836
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Anil, the man who brought me to the game (with Brian's help of course.) He may not be the very best player who played in his time but following his career was the ultimate page turner. Thank you for bringing him to life and then bringing him to us Brian.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:47 AM   #837
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You're very welcome - glad you've enjoyed it(and joined the game as well)!

Final 2060 Nation Rankings

1. Sri Lanka - 2603
2. France - 2550
3. United States - 2321
4. Argentina - 2154
5. Spain - 1939
6. Croatia - 1934
7. Chile - 1915
8. Italy - 1911
9. Sweden - 1902
10. Thailand - 1896

France went on to close out a humiliating 5-0 skunking of us in the WTC Final; Chiba won another set against M. Kaspar, while Dudwadkar endured a second straight close 3-set loss. More evidence that he's no longer our best player, and I can't remember the last time we were shut out. We do retain the top spot, as we have for about 15 years now. It's an unprecedented run that is about to come to an end. Hard to envisage a scenario in which France does not take the top spot from us next year. It's a short-term sacrifice made to usher in a final run that will probably, and hopefully, be our most dominant stretch yet. Also, France is just that good right now thanks to House Kaspar.

Next year, we're in Group 4 along with Italy(8th), Morocco(15th), and Mexico(17th). On paper that's a cake draw. Italy made the SF this past year(losing to France), but both of their top players are declining and only #8 Gilberto Chinaglia is even worth being worried about. Morocco of course boast the best player in the world on paper(but not on the court, sadly) in #4 Hamal Sbai … but they were relegated to having to survive in a playoff. That's basically because Sbai has no help; they lost all their group ties 3-2. Mexico has the aging #15 Cristian Castelgali and that's about it there. It shouldn't be any problem getting through unscathed, even with the retirement from active play of Mehul crippling what semblance of a doubles presence we had.

WTC Playoffs

Speaking of the playoffs, here's how the matchups shook out:

** Russia(16th) 4, Germany(12th) 1. This was a trend this year; the higher-ranking paper tiger going down to the superior lower-ranking nation. No household names for the Russians, but they do have a pair of Top-50 singles players. The Germans no longer have any. They promoted up from Level 2 last year but now they go right back down, with no tie closer than 4-1. They really didn't compete.

** Morocco(15th) 4, China(35th) 1. China did very well to get here; two years ago they were a Level 3 nation. It was a big mismatch, and they really have no realistic aim of being in the top level.

** Thailand(10th) 4, Netherlands(23rd) 1. It's been two years since the Netherlands won a Level 1 tie. Last year they escaped relegation at Finland's expense. No such luck this season, and an overdue breakthrough for Thailand after narrow 3-2 defeats in promotion attempts against Finland and Mexico the past two years. #21 Chalerm Prachuab is known already, and #45 Nintau Ariyanuntaka is on the rise as well. My guess is they stay up for the next few years and continue to gradually improve their status.

** India(11th) 5, Sweden(9th) 0. Bad luck for Sweden, who lost by the same score to the same nation in both the Level 2 semis and the playoff. They'll probably be back for another attempt at getting up next year. 11th-ranked Brian Meikeljohn powers the India effort in both singles and doubles, able to get them by most nations almost singlehandedly. But then there's Satyajit Gavaskar, just recently turned 22, and also just recently into the Top 50. It looks like they, similarly to Thailand, are primed for an extended stay in the top tier. Both nations will very much bear watching.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-02-2018 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:20 PM   #838
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Three Decades Between the Lines
The Career of Anil Mehul

Anil Mehul's defines Sri Lanka tennis achievement. When he arrived, we were nothing, the lowest of the low. In fact, this dynasty did not even exist. I began posting it over three years ago IRL, and 22+ in game terms(2038). That was back during the Gorritepe regime, an era long-since forgotten. It seemed best to me to recount his fortunes and the nations' together, because they are intertwined. His story is our story.

Mehul made no real waves as a junior. His highest rank was 15th, keeping him well off the radar. Of course at this time I was still in the early stages of working out my strategy, and some of my scheduling decisions were not the best.

There's a limit to how far the records for the WTC go back. I think it's set at 40 years, which at this point is just over half the tour's lifetime. Sri Lanka had some early, minimal participation in the World Team Cup during the infancy of the tour but had not been involved for decades. That changed in 2037, when Mehul and Amrik Chittoor, a surprisingly good 'naturally' generated player who would eventually make a brief foray into the Top 50 in his own right, reached sufficient heights to get the nation back in the fray. Both players were just out of their teens, but that didn't stop them from spearheading a strong march through the Level 4 tier. Nobody won more than a single rubber against them. Ecuador, Lithuania, and Egypt all fell 4-1 in the knockout rounds, then Lithuania again by the same score in the knockout rounds. Meanwhile Mehul reached the Top 100 for the first time. By the time the WTC Playoff rolled around at the end of the year, he was up to 80th.

In 2038 we met our first serious obstacle, in the form of Austria and Julian Hammerstein, a massively powerful player physically who crushes us in both singles encounters en route to a 3-2 defeat in the Level 3 semifinals. That was just enough to get us into the promotion playoffs though, where we easily beat Nigeria 4-1. Both us and Austria moved up, while Mehul's years of struggling in the low double digits were at an end. He finished the year at 37th, already a national record.

** 2039: we won our group again easily, and were cast aside 4-1 once again by Austria, this time in the quarterfinals so the ascent was stalled. We'd have to remain in Level 2 at least one more year. Hammerstein and Mehul were 16th and 15th, both clearly on their way to bigger and better things ... especially the former.

** 2040 began with an impressive run punctuated by a 7-5 fifth-set win over #4 Perry Hogue to the AO semifinals, where Mehul was beaten by one Antonin Iglar, who had won the US Open the previous fall. He was only seeded 5th here, but by year's end he would be #1 and would stay there for quite a while. Anil's solo career would, of course, long be defined by his matchups with the Czech great. In the WTC, a bad showing by Chitoor led to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Slovak Republic in the final round of group play, but we still advanced to the knockout rounds. There we performed much better, losing just a single rubber in winning the Level 2 title. The main reason for this was the arrival of my second created player, Girish Girsh. By the end of the season, Mehul was 7th in the world, Girsh in the Top 50, and Peru was brushed aside 4-1 in the promotion playoff. Sri Lanka had arrived at the top tier.

** 2041 saw Mehul rise to #2, just ahead of deposed champ Bjorn Benda of Germany, and well behind Iglar. He was nearing his prime, and would settle in there for quite some time. Girsh was #11, three years younger at 23. And yet the WTC was not kind to us. A 3-2 loss to Spain's 'dual Davids' -- Almagro(3rd) and Alvarez(6th) were still among the world's best -- followed a 3-2 defeat to the Czech republic. In that one, Mehul suffered a rare WTC blemish, losing in five to Iglar after leading 2 sets to 1 ... all by tiebreak. We won the doubles, but with #10 Cestmir Marcek the other Czech player, we could make no inroads against them. Two of the elite in our group was just terrible luck.

** The next year I had occasion to hate the scheduling algorithm again, though for different reasons. Germany played spoiler behind Benda, still the best player in the world on clay. All three knockout rounds they had the dirt in their favor, leading to 3-2 wins over the Czech Republic(semis) and in the final(us).

** Another 3-2 loss to the Germans on clay followed in 2043, this time in the quarterfinals. I was not amused. Overall we were better than them by now(Girsh was up to #5 and we were at worst the equal of anyone), but the deck was stacked against us. Meanwhile Mehul surged just past Iglar with a strong finish to the season, finishing #1 by virtue of a 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4 win in the World Tour Finals. It was a truly storybook ending to the season in that sense.

** Iglar struck back on both fronts in '44, as the Czech Republic narrowly beat us 3-2 in the WTC Final, while the Czech dominated the singles scene to take back the #1 spot. By more than 5000 points. Particularly annoying was his opening-day comeback victory in the WTC, where Girsh held a two-set lead but couldn't close.

** 2045 began a golden era for Sri Lanka in the World Team Cup, the likes of which have never been seen before. The next four years we won the world championship(the United States had previously won three in a row, as had Spain), and eight out of the next ten(Spain had done 7 in a decade before). So on both counts we were just ahead of history. The Czechs were the next to interrupt it, with Tomas Niklas defeating Girsh 9-7 in the 5th on the final day for a 3-2 semifinal count in '49. Three years later, with Mehul now a doubles player past his prime, we had only #2 Prakash Mooljee among the elite and an indoor match Germany tripped us up. Again it was 3-2 in the semis, and again we bounced back with the rise of Dudwadkar to win the next two. All in all, there was a 12-year period(from '45 to '56) in which we never failed to be crowned in consecutive years. Only the rise of France's Kaspars ended that streak.

** Mehul was the top singles player for that first title, then surpassed as he started to decline the next year and Girsh became our best. He actually wasn't on the final team at all for he fourth one in '48, as he was making the transition to doubles. He would be back though for the '50 return to glory, spearheading our doubles team then and for more than a decade afterwards. Two years later, at 33 he was one of the most accomplished doubles players in the world(ranked 3rd). He would remain at that level for a couple seasons, making #1 for a brief time, but once again the hands of time came for him and by his late 30s he could no longer be a significant player even in that discipline and long-time partner Lars Kroese sensibly moved on.

** Grand Slams - 8 singles titles(T-7th all-time), 4 doubles.
** World Tour Finals - 3x winner(singles)
** Masters - 8 singles titles, 8 doubles
** 500 - 7 singles titles, 1 doubles
** 250 - 10 singles titles, 1 doubles

** Total Win/Loss - 1351-365(.787 pct) singles, 567-261(.685 pct) doubles.

** WTC Record(as requested) - 118-10(.922 pct) singles, 42-43(.494 pct) doubles


Antonin Iglar in his generation, along with several others, rank above Anil Mehul in the historical record. He's a third-tier all-time great, someone on the very periphery of the conversation when you are talking about the best ever. 1st tier(Kaspar/Gorritepe), 2nd tier(Sullivan/Prieto/Iglar/Horesign), and then a big group of players on which he is just one. Anil does rank as the clear #1 on the Sri Lanka legends list. It's not a huge list of players who have been #1 in singles and doubles, but it's not exceptionally rare either. 9th on the all-time money-list, T-7th in Slam victories, though he didn't win as many Masters as one would expect; half of his eight in that one brilliant year when he unseated Iglar. Total weeks at #1 is just over a year at 60.

Where Anil really stands out is in legacy and longevity. Nobody has ever done as much for their nation has he has. The WTC numbers are sort of a microcosm; the singles record is quite sparkling, doubles not so much, but the most impressive thing is the volume. He played in 20 years worth of ties over 24 seasons with a couple of brief breaks in there. Qualifying for a top nation for that long made him almost as reliable as death and taxes. He also holds three age-related records, which is more than any other player save Martin Prieto, who played in the early, pre-form days. Oldest singles winner of Masters event(32y 20w), oldest Olympics gold medalist in doubles(38y 19w), and oldest WTC doubles champion(43y 37w). Ultimately it's now how high Mehul's peak was, but how long he just kept coming back, year after year, that sticks with you. This last year he was 1-5 in doubles appearances, and the one win barely in five sets. But there was never any question that he was still the best we had, and as long as that was the case he would still be there each time.

More than any of my other players, he really appeared to have the heart of a champion. In the battles with Iglar(17-36 overall), he won more than he had a right to given the gap between the players in athleticism particularly, even while still being clearly inferior in the big picture. He just kept coming, and rarely lost a match in which he was a clear favorite. The other players have been more of a mixed bag, with Girsh somewhat of an underachiever and Mooljee/Dudwadkar having periods of excellence and periods of disappointment. Anil was a consummate professional 9 times out of 10 or more, making him the ideal figurehead as he moves into the trainer phase.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:00 AM   #839
Brian Swartz
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Just one thing to add-on; another disadvantage overcome by Mehul that I meant to include is the fact that I didn't know what I was doing as much with him. Scheduling, the best way to get through certain chokepoints like the Challenger level, etc. are something I learned more about with time. He suffered a bit by being my guinea pig.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:04 AM   #840
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2061 Player Rankings

1. Karl Kaspar(26, FRA) - 13,650

How long Karl remains on top is a subject for discussion and reasonable debate. What is sure though is that over the second half of last year he seized control of the tour, particularly with titles at the US Open, Roland Garros, and the World Tour Finals. A stellar 84-6 overall record was far better than the previous year in which he fell to defeat 14 times. Clearly it is his time now. I think I like the 'First of His Name' nickname the best.

2. Mateo Kaspar(32, FRA) - 11,990

All good things must come to an end eventually. I think Mateo will get in a blow every now and then, but now that he's gone doubles he'll probably decline significantly over the next year until he maxes that out. He's still a threat to anyone unless it's a clay match; but the reign of King Kaspar is over. What a reign it was, a thing that may well never be matched or even approached.

3. Ritwik Dudwadkar(30, SRI) - 8,350

As Karl ascended, Dudwadkar declined. He really hit the wall the second half of last year. If I wasn't about to fire him soon I'd say he had a chance at a bit of renaissance this year, but it's time for Ritwik to say good-bye to being a real challenger just six months after briefly holding the #1 ranking again. The overall mark of 70-17 was his worst in five seasons.

4. Hamal Sbai(27, MOR) - 7,165

Still somewhat of an underachiever, Sbai isn't going anywhere just yet and could move up a spot or even two depending on how quickly the aging players above him fade. He's got the ability to depose Karl, but has shown no sign of playing at the required level consistently.

5. Stuart Pargeter(28, USA) - 5,600

Stuart's held steady here for the last year or two, and is seemingly no threat to fall apart or rise significantly. He had more than his share of frustrations during his early prime, but Pargeter has become the clear #1 American and that's no small feat.

6. Sushant Chiba(24, SRI) - 5,230

Chiba's won a single clay Masters two years running(Madrid two years ago, Rome this past year). QF at Wimbledon and SF at the USO broke him out of a pattern of uninspiring Slam performances, and if he continues that level of play he will find himself pushing further upwards.

7. Gregory Mackenzie(29, USA) - 4,840

A consistent veteran who presently occupies the 'best of the rest' spot based on his experience.

8. Gilberto Chinaglia(28, ITA) - 3,815

Chinaglia eventually made his third, and probably last, WTF finals showing this season. The former #4 has no real hope of reattaining those heights.

9. Hugo Cordova(26, USA) - 3,390

Hugo is a meteoric player and despite not being particularly old, he's already definitely over the hill. He's reached as high as 7th but never made the Tour Finals. Weirdly, the only Slam he's never reached the second week of is the one in Flushing Meadows. Third-round exits in his last three Slams suggest his best days may be gone now.

10. Kenneth Brasher(25, GBR) - 3,080

The second-youngest player in the Top 10 is also just the third British player to reach these heights; and both of the other two are collecting their pensions.

11. Brian Meikeljohn(22, IND)

Meikeljohn led India through the WTC playoffs with excellence, and it looks like he may have stopped pushing the doubles angle. We'll see, but even if so a lot of damage has already been done. He's still plenty good enough to push his way onto the first page though.

12. Chad Duncan(26, GBR)

The 'other' Brit is up well from 20th, though I'm not sure he goes much further.

13. Tristan Allende(26, USA)

Much potential, but ultimately a disappointment. Clearly on his way out now.

14. John Hart(23, IRE)

Hart is the surprise player of the year. I don't even know what his ranking was last season, but it's clear he will be seen a lot more this campaign - and will not be safely ignored.

15. Stanley Edleman(24, USA)

You knew it was coming eventually. Edleman stirred the pot in the mid-20s for multiple years, and is now making his play to see what the former dominant junior can do as a pro.

16. Ali Kaihep(16, ALG)

Already the highest-ranking Algerian in singles ever by a long ways, Kaihep made the semis in Madrid but didn't do a whole lot else in the big events. We'll see what he can do with better seeding.

17. Seamus Hughes(23, IRE)

Oh look, another young Irish player that I didn't report on last year and who is now making me look stupid.

19. Ugljesa Svajnovic(24, CRO)

27th last year. I said 'He should be at least Top 20, perhaps more'. I'm not often that dead-on, but I'll take it. Thanks for making me look good on at least one call.

20. Chalerm Prachuab(24, THA)

Actually down a couple spots from 18th, so might be treading water now.

21. Mike Rhodes(22, PHI)

Won a few 250s last year but still mostly Challengers on the resume. Didn't play a single slam, one Masters and 2 500s(going 1-3 in them). When is Mike going to grow up? He was 32nd a year ago though, so something he did worked.

23. Jacek Andrejova(24, CZE)

Up 8 spots and his schedule was at least arguable, with a lot of 250 success. Still, it'll be good to see him take a step up in competiton.

26. Benjamin Abanades(24, ESP)

About to become the top Spaniard over Cortina(25th), a thing that was once a prestigious distinction. Made the SF in Rome but had a very unspectacular resume elsewhere. Let's see if he grows more consistent.

27. Tomas Guadiana(25, ARG)

Another young player stuck in neutral, it seems.

28. Valery Stachovsky(22, RUS)

Say hello to Russia's next hope. Played mostly Challengers until late in the year, when he won St. Petersburg(250) and the Kremlin Cup(250). Both on home soil, it must be said. Young, unproven, definitely interesting and new.

31. Livio Kaspar(26, FRA)

Doesn't look like he'll amount to much, certainly not by Kaspar standards.

32. Cheng-ho Geng(25, USA)

An American name if ever I've seen one ... notably won three CH+ events in dominating that level, and runner-up in Kremlin Cup to Stachovsky.

Five players who are not yet 24, and six who are. The youth movement continues.

2037. Amrik Kasaravalli(18, SRI)

Welcome to the professional tour, AK - nah, not gonna go there. Finished last year 8th in juniors, which is more than I expected of him esp. considering he missed one of the Slam events. It'll be interesting how he compares to the benchmarks for getting through futures and challengers the next few seasons with his relatively low endurance and the adjusted training plan.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-03-2018 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 08-03-2018, 04:31 AM   #841
Brian Swartz
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2061 Preview

** Aside: It feels really weird to only have three active players right now. And not to have a certain guy on that list.

1. Karl Kaspar(93%, 8.57, +0.07)

His second-half surge was fueled by just playing better more than anything else, though Karl did improve his serve this year. He's far from a dominant force, well below the peak of Dudwadkar never mind the elder Mateo, and definitely not the current best player on paper. Suffice to say, I'm not sold on him staying at the top for years to come. But, the First of His Name is there now, and still has at least another year of potential improvement.

2. Mateo Kaspar(79%, 8.55, -0.23)

While it hurts him in singles, the doubles focus could well make France stupid-dominant in the WTC for a while. His skills there are half-complete, but he hasn't played much. I expect he'll be on the national team in pairs by year's end. It's also easily seen that all he'd have to do is go on a hot streak at this point to knock Karl from that perch of his.

3. Ritwik Dudwadkar(82%, 8.59, -0.04)

Actually higher-rated, by a hair, than either Kaspar right now. It gets crazier, but just look at how close these three are!! This lends credence to the 'Karl's just hot right now' theorem, but it also means that really nobody knows what's going to happen next year with the top rankings. Usually when players are this close, inertia wins(higher seeds get favorable matchups and stay where they are).

4. Hamal Sbai(89%, 8.65, -0.08)

His first year of decline is now evident, but it does have to be said that Sbai is, on paper, now the best player in the world. Does he keep underachieving, or he can he catch lightning in a bottle, do something with that fact, and make a real challenge? He can't do worse than last year's record against the Top 3: 0-8, and most of them weren't close.

Also: This is the lowest-rated 'best player in the world on paper' that I've seen in a LONG time. I really think there's exciting stuff coming. More on that later.

5. Stuart Pargeter(88%, 8.29, -0.11)

Mateo's doubles partner now. Isn't that interesting. Looks like Pargeter's done being a competitive singles player, at least to a degree. It's understandable given that he's in a rut a best.

6. Sushant Chiba(95%, 8.51, +0.01)

Well, that's not a great improvement number ... but a lot of it has to do with him being a 'high' 5.1 skill, 3.9 serve guy right now. Probably will see a more significant boost next year. Looks to be just behind Karl Kaspar overall, 2% and just over 1.5 years younger. I think there's the potential for an interesting rivalry here.

7. Gregory Mackenzie(84%, 8.18, -0.18)

Moved up two spots from 9th, while dropping like this? I think it's safe to say that's not going to last.

8. Gilberto Chinaglia(86%, 8.27, -0.02)

The exact same rating he had two years ago. Chinaglia has arguably the best serve in tennis right now, and is doing everything he can to hang around. Part of me admires a guy who is refuses to go quietly into that good night. Another part just wants him to get out of the way in favor of fresh blood, but good for Gilberto for making the newcomers earn it.

9. Hugo Cordova(88%, 8.19, +0.01)

At his peak, and a big question right now is who among the over-the-hill gang drops the fastest.

10. Kenneth Brasher(92%, 7.96, --)

Riding his big serve as far as it will take him. Which is further than expected so far. Flatlining during a key prime year is not what the doctor ordered, however.

11. Brian Meikeljohn(98%, 8.57, +0.16)

Even with the doubles diversion, he's good enough to be a serious contender. What will he do with that opportunity?

12. Chad Duncan(90%, 7.98, -0.04)

Definitely an overachieving year for him ... but right now if you can serve, you have a chance. There are a lot of slow players out there.

14. John Hart(98%, 8.47, NA)

Yikes. Hart has legitimate technical skills for a top player right now, solid athleticism and mental abilities as well. Nothing special in those areas, but he's got exceptional endurance and has been well-developed. Hart is a legit candidate for future #1. A strong one.

John snuck up on me last year, but he won't do so again.

15. Stanley Edleman(92%, 8.14, -0.01)

I ran the numbers twice on this, just to be sure. The year that Edleman breaks out a bit(22nd last year, mid-20s for a couple before that) he actually doesn't get any better. Go figure. Well he's got one year of improving left to do and there are worse players ranked above him. Top 10 could still happen.

16. Ali Kaihep(91%, 8.30, NA)

Weird for a player this old to just emerge out of nowhere. He's spent far too much on doubles or he'd be better. Good mental game, solid athletically, just not quite there technically because of the doubles thing. Still has every chance to be Top 10.

17. Seamus Hughes(97%, 8.19, NA)

Hughes is a little better mentally, but doesn't have the footspeed or dedication that Hart does. He looks to be the weaker of the two Irish young guns ... but he'll find his way to the Top 5 at least I expect anyway. He's still quite good.

19. Ugljesa Svajnovic(84%, 8.08, +0.07)

A gradual climb looks sensible for Svajnovic. Borderline Top-10 potential depending on what happens with other players.

20. Chalerm Prachuab(94%, 8.28, +0.13)

Sometimes life isn't fair. Prachuab had a good year off the court, and slid two spots. His technical skills are getting close to the required level for him to make a significant jump, and I'd be very surprised if he's not at least in the low teens this year.

21. Mike Rhodes(98%, 7.89, +0.12)

The grand 'who needs baseline play' experiment with the elite-serving, powerful Rhodes made some progress last year. One would expect he'll try to make his mark on the clay events this season. I'm not betting the farm on his success, but it'll be worth watching. When going for an extreme player approach, it might be worth not doing a self-contradictory one(i.e., grind if you're going to grind). Clay is the surface on which being a big server is the least useful. Just saying.

23. Jacek Andrejova(94%, 8.36, +0.13)

Solid improvement for Andrejova, another guy who looks too good not to keep moving up. Similarly flawed from the back as Rhodes, but not to as much of a degree and while he doesn't possess the same power, he has a lot and is mentally strong at a high level also.

26. Benjamin Abanades(95%, 8.18, NA)

Opposite idea here: the next hope for Spain is fast, but has imbalanced himself towards baseline play at the expense of his serve. It's good enough for mid-level Challenge play only. Also has diversified his surface abilities too much. He's proved himself dangerous, and should keep moving up. Probably peaking in the 7-10 range I think, if even that high.

27. Tomas Guadiana(92%, 8.17, +0.09)

Looks like one of those guys who is good enough to get a mention for a few years, but not good enough to make any of the top players really sweat.

28. Valery Stachovsky(99%, 8.01, NA)

It's always interesting to look at a new, young talent. Talent he has in spades(4.9, haven't seen that stratosphere in many moons!). Good endurance as well. Someone should tell him having indoors as your primary surface isn't a real swell idea though. Not the most powerful player, but reasonably fast ... technical abilities are reasonably well-developed also. Looks pretty good, but would need a better manager to really become great. If I had to guess, I'd say probably peaks somewhere around 5th, maybe lower. There's still time to fix the biggest problems, but it's not likely to actually happen.

2037. Amrik Kasaravalli(92%, 6.20, +1.11)

Interestingly he made up some ground here. Chiba was 6.22 at this point, usually players are a bit closer to 6.3, but Kasaravalli is looking like less of a disappointment than expected which backs up the way he performed on the court. In any case, he figures to be ready to tackle the amateur level successfully and get on to futures this year.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:11 AM   #842
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Special Report: A Wealth of Possibilities

I wanted to do a follow-up on the usual annual preview post, because this year sets up as being a wide-open competition at the top of the rankings. That's partly because of a real historical anomaly. Any of my main players, at their best, would be expected to wipe the floor with any of the current top contenders. Usually I've topped out at 8.75-8.8(Dudwadkar hit the high-water mark at 8.83). Here's the players who I think have a shot at it this season:

** Karl Kaspar(obviously) - 8.57
** Mateo Kaspar - 8.55
** Ritwik Dudwadkar - 8.59
** Hamal Sbai - 8.65
** Sushant Chiba - 8.51
** Brian Meikeljohn - 8.57

First I should give an honorable mention to John Hart, who I think is a better prospect than any player I've ever managed, due to his exceptional talent and endurance. I haven't ever had a 5.0 skill, 4.0 serve player at age 23. He's just got too far to go in the rankings at 14th, and rated at 8.47 is just below this group so it'll take him some time. Starting next year though, he could well be mentioned as the 'best player on paper'.

Most years there's an obvious #1. Sometimes two candidates, at most three for a bit of a transition time. In this case though, Karl is hot right now and he's obviously got the inside track. If he slips, Mateo is there but with his work right now on the doubles he'll probably keep declining, so he'd have to start strong. Hamal can do it if he can put everything together for once, and Ritwik really seemed to hit a cold stretch which he'd have to reverse. Sushant and Brian are longer-shots but they are both still improving.

Usually this kind of thing is about management and who has the more-developed player. Proper preparation for tournaments will be massive this season; I can't stress that point enough. The bonus for being in the form 'sweet spot' will swing many matches and points I expect. Beyond that though, it should be a war and simply come down to who is playing better at the time. Karl is the flavor of the month right now but the winds of momentum could change at any time. I've never seen a year so uncertain, with so many good-but-not-great players and no vaguely dominant ones. I'm going to go into every big event not having a clear picture of who will win it. It has the potential to be highly chaotic, and fascinating.

I also rather envy thehitcat, who's done a great job with his young players and is poised, after a year or two longer, to be the top-performing manager for a while. I am of course sandbagging the situation as mentioned for my next and final generation, but Hart/Hughes are definitely superior to Chiba/Kasaravalli, and I expect to take a back seat in the interim.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:39 PM   #843
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
Special Report: A Wealth of Possibilities
I also rather envy thehitcat, who's done a great job with his young players and is poised, after a year or two longer, to be the top-performing manager for a while. I am of course sandbagging the situation as mentioned for my next and final generation, but Hart/Hughes are definitely superior to Chiba/Kasaravalli, and I expect to take a back seat in the interim.

Yes but now comes the hard part where I need to do something with these guys as they transition from could be to are...

Thanks for the kind words and from your lips to the AI's ears
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:57 AM   #844
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006

The first round of the World Team Cup, on grass against Morocco, saw Hamal Sbai do everything he could. The world #4 beat Dudwadkar in straight sets(all 6-4) and Chiba in four. Unfortunately for them but good for us, their doubles partnership somehow managed to be worse than ours. And that's saying something. We have Girish Kansai(120th) and veteran Ritwik Suksma(346th). Those rankings are after getting the points from their straight-set win here, mind. Just ponder how bad you have to be to not take a set off from that in Level 1 competition. But anyway we win 3-2, and figure to decide the group title next time against 6th-ranked Italy.

Ritwik Dudwadkar played in Brisbane(250) as his warm-up event, and his toughest out was in the quarterfinals. The new Russian I mentioned in the preview, Valery Stachovsky, pushed him to 7-5, 7-6(5). The rest was easy, including the final over Kaihep, the pride of Algeria. Sushant Chiba was off to the Qatar Open(250) as the 2-seed. There was an anticipated match there against John Hart, the first of what will surely be many meetings. It went pretty much to form, a tight one which Sushant won 7-5, 7-6(4) with both players optimally prepared. He won both break points in the match(one on each player's serve) and the tiebreak. That gave him the victory despite being outplayed by a hair overall. Hart is equal technically and moves better around the court, but he doesn't have Chiba's mental game. So for now, and probably not much longer, that still gave my guy the upper hand. The final was a 7-5, 6-2 defeat to Karl Kaspar. No sign in his hardcourt dominance abating as of yet. Also notable was semifinalist Nintau Ariyanuntaka; the Thai 23-year-old started the year ranked 42nd and made a statement here that he's moving up.

Prachuab, Guadiana, and Meikeljohn won the other events, with the last of the three moving back up to #10 with his title. It's time to see who has the goods in the first Slam of the year now as the Australian Open beckons.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-06-2018 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:51 PM   #845
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Australian Open

The first Slam of the year twas quite the shindig. On the first day, (29)Serge Cardone of France was the first seed to fall, in four to Russian Alexey Artamov. Spaniards Cortina and Abanades barely survived, each being pushed the distance. The worst day belonged to (15)Stanley Edleman, summarily dismissed in three sets by Sweden's Ali Soiberg. A couple more low seeds departed as usual in the second round, along with 8th-ranked Chinaglia, courtesy of Nintau Ariyuntanaka, the fast-rising Thai player.

And then in round of 32 things really started getting crazy. (10)Brian Meikeljohn found an early exit thanks to Castegali, while former Top-100 teenager Jorgen Henriksson had a very, very long day before marking his first significant upset on the senior tour. 11th-ranked Kenneth Brasher was the victim, 12-10 in the 5th of this epic match. Hughes and Chiba both needed a 5th as well to advance, and there were more relatively minor upsets.

The young Swede had another long day in the fourth round, but this time Seamus Hughes stopped him, in his second straight five-setter, 9-7 in the 5th. Those two wins will really stoke the young Irish player's fortunes. In a rematch of a recent encounter, John Hart met Sushant Chiba in the match of the day. I expected another close win for my guy, given that Hart was playing doubles as well and was therefore not in optimal form. I was wrong; 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(1), 7-6(8), 6-4 was the final as Chiba blew an excellent opportunity to finish this one off in that fourth-set tiebreak. After 56 combined aces and 380 points, it was clear that my warning not too long ago was correct; the Irish are coming.

The top four all made the quarterfinals, but none of the next four did. First up, Seamus Hughes had five-set match number three in a row, but this one eventually ended on the short end against none other than K. Kaspar. Hugo Cordova departed in three close ones against Sbai, John Hart pushed the 'other Kaspar' the distance as well but also lost, and Jacek Andrejova, the young Czech who was the lowest-ranked in the round at #23, lost a competitive if routine encounter to Dudwadkar.

So after all that, Top 4 still hanging around. And then a stunning 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 scoreline as Karl Kaspar was informed he can no longer be comfortable at the top in a beatdown by Sbai. Ritwik Dudwadkar started slow against Mateo Kaspar with a first-set breadstick, then pushed him to two tiebreaks but couldn't win either. Hamal Sbai, at age 28, then faced the former King in what was the first Slam final of his career … and Mateo's 38th. That may have played just a bit of a role in the 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(8) score that gave Kaspar the Elder his 31st Slam crown … and made him the oldest ever to win one at 32 years, 20 weeks. Hey look, it's another record. He lost only two sets … both to Hart. Just sayin'.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-13-2018 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:56 PM   #846
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006

In the second round of the WTC, Italy won doubles but could take only one combined set in singles. Sri Lanka wins 4-1, securing their hold on the group. Then it was off to Acapulco(Hard, 500) for both of my top players after a few weeks off. Ritwik Dudwadkar made an early exit in the semis to Brasher, but Sushant Chiba extracted a bit of revenge with a 6-2, 6-4 win in the final. We both went here because the First of His Name was in Dubai, where he won the tournament.

Amrik Kasaravalli's second amateur event was his first non-juniors title, in routine fashion coming from qualifying position. I'm in no hurry yet to push him higher, but it was a good one for him.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:01 PM   #847
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
It is Time

The Reaping will commence at a little past 3 AM EST tomorrow morning, in just a few hours from now. For better or worse, hopefully the former, the final chapter in this story will begin then. I'll be flooding the field with several cast-offs, but that can't be helped; there's no predicting whether it's good timing or not with the quality of other players in that class anyway.

The reason I've waited until now is to optimize the ages of my players, as best I can. The three I have now were all created on the last week of the year and their birthdays come at the 25th, 30th, and 32nd week of the calendar. So basically just past the halfway point. I'd like my players to be a little bit later than that, so that they are younger than their fellow juniors. That'll make them a little weaker, all things being equal, and allow them to lose more and learn more from their peers. By waiting until week 12, they'll hit their birthdays around week 39-40 if these trends hold. Additionally of course, this gives a few more months as seniors to push their way up before reaching peak. That also gives some leeway if I get a prodigy who ends up a bit younger than that. It's sort of a calculated risk in terms of when the best time is, but this is where I came down on that.

I'll post with the results of my creations as soon as I've finished with the process and evaluated them.

SuperTrainer Testing

I've also got some results of this. Long story boring is that it appears each 0.1 of trainer rating is worth 1% in increased training efficiency. Mehul(low-5.5) is getting about 9% or a bit above improvement over Manohar(high-4.5). That means about 1.5% or so better than the existing 5.3 supertrainers I've seen around. Which isn't that much, but every tiny bit helps when you're talking about improving the peak. And the gain I'll get over Manohar's performance these past year, which already has made a difference, will be a fairly significant.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-13-2018 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:52 AM   #848
Brian Swartz
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
Notable Past TESS Scores

Mateo Kaspar -- 9.3 TE, 7.6 SS, 16.9 total
Prakash Mooljee -- 9.0 TE, 6.9 SS, 15.9 total
John Hart -- 9.7 TE, 6.1 SS, 15.8 total
Anil Mehul -- 9.1 TE, 6.7 SS, 15.8 total
Ritwik Dudwadkar -- 8.9 TE, 6.6 SS, 15.5 total
Girish Girsh -- 8.6 TE, 6.1 SS, 14.7 total
Amrik Kasaravalli -- 7.7 TE, 6.3 SS, 14.0 total
Sushant Chiba -- 8.7 TE, 5.2 SS, 13.9 total

I threw Hart in there because, even though he's even with Mehul and below than Mooljee, he's clearly better than either. TESS is not perfect, and that powerful a mix of Talent and Endurance is tough to find ... as the Reaping would show.

Aparna Thangaraj(14y 20w)
95% aging factor
3.3 Home Adv
3.3 Mentality
4.2 Talent
3.0 Strength
2.8 Speed
3.4 Endurance

TESS of 13.4, the worst I've yet seen.

Rakesh Kayeeda(14y 18w)
97% aging factor
3.3 Home Adv
3.1 Mentality
4.3 Talent
3.4 Strength
1.7 Speed
4.6 Endurance

TESS is 14.9. That endurance is nice, and makes him a tolerable, middle-of-the-pack player compared to my past ones. Thangaraj is the first to be cut.

Girish Koritala(14y 23w)
97% aging factor
3.5 Home Adv
3.0 Mentality
4.1 Talent
2.3 Strength
2.3 Speed
4.2 Endurance

TESS = 12.9. A new low. You are the weakest link Koritala ... goodbye.

Nasir Chittoor(14y 16w)
97% aging factor
3.1 Home Adv
4.1 Mentality
4.3 Talent
3.1 Strength
2.2 Speed
4.7/4.8 Endurance

TESS is 14.3. Endurance is at Hart-like levels. Compared to Rakesh Keeda though, he has much better mentality, the same talent, 0.3 less strength, 0.5 better speed. The mentality makes the difference despite the lower TESS score. Kayeeda goes, Chittoor stays. Five more players to go, and I haven't yet found a player who is as good as my best, let alone a trailblazer. Come on, RNG ...

Shakti Vemireddy(14y 22w)
98% aging factor(grrr)
4.4 Home Adv(nice, but irrelevant for us)
3.5 Mentality
4.2 Talent
3.7 Strength
4.0 Speed
4.2 Endurance

Boy. TESS of 16.1, which is the best I've had. That's based on the athleticism, which is very nice. The more balanced aging curve isn't a positive. Basically comes down to whether nearly doubled speed(4 vs. 2.2) is better than 0.1 in talent and 0.5-0.6 in endurance. I don't think it's that close of a call; it's not. So while this is a glowing TESS score, Vemireddy still hits the waivers.

Ritwik Intodia(14y 19w)
97% aging factor
4.1 Home Adv
3.8 Mentality
4.5 Talent
3.3 Strength
2.9 Speed
4.2 Endurance

TESS comes in at 14.9. Compared to Chittoor, 0.3 less mentality, 0.2 more strength, 0.7 more speed, 0.2 more talent ... same 0.5/0.6 less endurance. It's closer, but once again I've got to stick with Nasir Chittoor and cut Intodia loose. Endurance gap is too big without enough to compensate for it.

Sushant Chivukula(14y 9w) -- If I keep him, I pay for having him actually be one of the oldest in his class.
97% aging factor
3.2 Home Adv
2.8 Mentality
4.3 Talent
2.9 Strength
3.6 Speed
3.6 Endurance.

TESS of 14.4. Pretty good athleticism but endurance is too low, even with how young he starts. Adios; two more to go.

Girish Shivakumar(14y 31w)
97% aging factor
3.9 Home Adv
3.2 Mentality
4.5 Talent
4.5 Strength
2.5 Speed
3.9 Endurance

Oh boy. If only his endurance was higher. TESS of 15.4, but I've got to toss him. Nice talent, excellent strength.

Satyajit Guha(14y 31w)
96% aging factor
3.3 Home Adv
3.7 Mentality
4.3 Talent
3.2 Strength
2.7 Speed
4.4 Endurance

I'm keeping him regardless doing to Guha being the final one. At least he didn't end up being a disaster. TESS is 14.6. Athleticism is solid but nothing to write home about. He's not quite as good as Chittoor, but about as good as everyone else I've run into.

Development Approach

So we're set, with Nasir Chittoor and Satyajit Guha my final pair of players. Chittoor will be developed as normal, while with Guha I'm going to try going for a doubles focus right away. If I had two players super-close to the same ability I was going to stick both with singles and try a rivalry approach, but I think Chittoor is definitely a cut above here. I hoped for a player who could put it all together, but I didn't really get that. That's the think about luck ... you can only optimize your odds, but in this case that wasn't enough. Both of these should have quality careers though, and Guha will ensure we always have a good national team for the WTC. I'm also curious how well I can do in singles with him getting a doubles diversion. Time will tell there.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:47 AM   #849
H.S. Freshman Team
Join Date: Feb 2007
Oh man look at those players. I want to create a new account of server one just to pick up Kayeeda and Vemireddy so we can see what they become, sadly against the rules. I like your choices. But I don't know that I would have been able to give up on a couple of those players.

My most recent youth (I let Kaihep the Algerian go) clocked in with the following
Tommy Fitzpatrick(14y 18w)
96% aging factor
3.7 Home Adv (tour doesn't have many stops on the emerald isle)
3.9 Mentality (my highest for a created player ever)
4.4 Talent
2.9 Strength
3.3 Speed
4.7/8 Endurance

So a TESS ~ 15.3 better than Hughes but not as good as Hart. Still I think worthy with the long aging curve to see what I can build. He was the better of two builds.

As for current days it's time to see if either of my top players can scale the Wall Kaspar. I'm ever hopeful Nope pooched again...sigh.

Last edited by thehitcat : 08-14-2018 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:46 PM   #850
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Fitzpatrick is still better than any of my guys . You'll break through the Kaspars in time. Sbai has reason to be aggravated but the other two are just playing a waiting game as they move up. Still did very well for themselves.
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