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Old 06-30-2015, 01:45 PM   #51
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Indian Wells Masters

All of the seeds get a bye here and at Miami, and as the 20th among them this is the first time Mehul will benefit from that. Last year's result here was the third round.

R2 -- South Africa's Alex Beamer is one of the better unseeded players, and steamrolled a qualifier in the first round. One previous meeting was a tight three-set win in a challenger at the end of '37. He's a complete hardcourt specialist, but doesn't quite have the all-around game. Mehul jumped on him early with a bagel before seeing the match out in straight sets.

R3 -- Having equaled last year's performance, everything from here on would add to his points total. American Pierce Gaskell is a potential generational rival, with Mehul leading the head-to-head 2-0, both in straight sets. The first was way back in 2034 in a mid-level juniors match, the second last year in the first round of the Olympics. Gaskell has plummeted to 63rd in the rankings, but that's temporary due to some big challenger wins from last year dropping off. It was a much tougher win than the 6-3, 6-2 scoreline indicated. The normally clutch Gaskell may be suffering from confidence issues, as he dropped 11 of 13 break chances. Anil is returning fantastically well so far here, winning more than half of the points on his opponents' serve in both matches so far.

R4 -- Here he was again, a fifth appearance in the round of 16 at a big event in the last few months. Once again the odds were against him, with no. 3 Bjorn Benda waiting. This is of course a reprise of the AO beatdown a couple months ago, and at the same stage. The match started off similarly but Mehul rallied to make a match of it before losing, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. Benda was best in the important moments(4 of 8 break points versus 1 of 8) but it was more competitive this time around.

As with the Australian, only Hammerstein and Iglar made it to the fourth round among generational rivals, with the Austrian already having upset Topolski in a tight three-set match. Iglar was knocked out in a close match against Alastra(7-5 in the third), while Hammerstein faced the other top Russian, Goncharenko. He was absolutely crushed, taking only three games. So once again, the Iglar/Mehul/Hammerstein trio are bounced at the same stage, none gaining an advantadge.

Elder defeated Prieto in a tight third-set tiebreak to defend his title from last year in the final.


Miami Masters

Mehul is only defending a second-round result this time around, and had an easy match there to at least exceed it.

R3 -- Tough draw for this stage with no. 1 Alastra here. The win against him a few weeks ago indoors was one thing, beating him on the hardcourt was a different matter. Surprisingly, Anil pulled it off again 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(7)! The really surprising part of the match was how well he was able to return against one of the best servers in the sport. This set up a great opportunity ...

R4 -- Back in the round of 16 again with Argentina veteran Gael Graff(31, 16th) awaiting. Graff is a former world no. 2, one of the best to never reach the top spot but he was unfortunate enough to flourish in the latter part of Gorritepe's reign. Still, at his age Mehul was a modest favorite This time out though, Mehul was a little off and didn't return nearly as well, losing 6-4, 6-4. If they played 10 times he's probably win 6 or 7 of them; this is the only real upset he's endured this year and it cost a good opportunity. Incredibly, that's six trips to this stage in large events now without a single win, all in about seven months going back to the Olympics.

Hammerstein had an even more crushing result. He faced off against Hogue in the third round and after dropping the first set led 5-2 in the second, only to lose meekly in a tiebreak after failing to convert eight ... that's right, eight match points! It's pretty much the stuff nightmares are made of. One game from winning a big upset and he couldn't serve it out. The Stars of Tomorrow had more success elsewhere though. Iglar upset Prieto and Almagro in back-to-back matches before losing in the semifinals, while unseeded no. 63 Pierce Gaskell knocked out three seeded players, including no. 10 Alvarez and no. 8 Kucerovic on route to the quarterfinals. Gaskell could well become relevant again now as he moves into the Top 50 again.


Sri Lanka Roundup

With no smaller event available in the needed window, during the second week of Miami Girish Girsh entered his first Tier-1 Challenger in Guadeloupe. He was unseeded again but made it to the quarters before getting flattened by top seed Jens Petersen(Denmark, 56th). He was part of the champion doubles team, getting a total of nine matches in over a few days so he'll have several weeks off now. Mooljee continues to muddle through with his third junior event, getting one singles win and a pair in doubles.

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Old 06-30-2015, 02:16 PM   #52
Brian Swartz
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RANKINGS UPDATE

Top Ten

1. Gabriel Alastra(ARG, 29) -- 11,045

Losing to Mehul in the Miami third round took a big chunk out of the cushion he'd built up. Alastra is at his best on the clay though -- how well he does the next couple of months will be a huge factor in whether he stays at the top for a fourth year.

2. Mick Elder(USA, 27) -- 9,825

After closing in on Alastra with back-to-back Masters crowns in Indian Wells and Miami, giving him five for his career, Elder appears to be back in form.

3. Bjorn Benda(DEU, 24) -- 7,880

This is a big stretch upcoming for Benda. His coming-out party was at Roland Garros last year, but overall he was not as successful as Alastra or Elder in the clay season as a whole. If he wants to put his name at the top of the list, the first thing he needs to do is establish himself as the preeminent clay-court player in the world.

4. Perry Hogue(USA, 25) -- 7,500

Hogue is definitely on the rise, but he's not nearly as good on the clay. On the other hand, he doesn't have much in the way of points to defend their either. A fine spring has him in the thick of the second tier behind Alastra and Elder.

5. David Almagro(ESP, 28) -- 7,360

6. David Prieto(ESP, 28) -- 7,200

7. Evgeni Topolski(RUS, 25) -- 5,465

Topolski continues to improve his standing slowly, but is clearly a step behind the top six players still. Since his semifinal run at the Australian Open, he's been fairly unimpressive.

8. Spasoje Kucerovic(SRB, 28) -- 4,120

9. Eric Gorritepe(ESP, 33) -- 3,935

10. David Alvarez(ESP, 26) -- 3,830

Alvarez has been inconsistent since breaking into the Top 10 after Australia, and was knocked out in his first match at Miami. He's an extreme clay-court specialist who will move up significantly if he can avoid such lapses in the coming months.


There will be a ton of competition for the premier clay-court events, with a lot of specialists among the top players and nearly all of them at least seeing this part of the season as a secondary priority. If Benda does well, there could easily be a dogfight for the top spot by the time Wimbledon arrives.


Anil Mehul -- 36th to 20th singles, 291st to 295th doubles. Overall it was a fantastic spring, 18-5 which is almost halfway to last year's 37 wins, some of those coming on the Challenger circuit. The final WTC group play tie against Italy is up next, and then the clay season which will be his first in the bigger events there. Between now and the French Open Mehul only has three events to worry about defending -- and two of them he lost in the first round, getting no points from them. His results won't be as good on the dirt, but he still should be able to add a modest amount to his total and continue to move up a bit. The big question right now is Monte Carlo, the first of the clay masters and the only one which is not mandatory. After wavering back and forth on whether to enter there, he has decided to play only if he is going to be seeded which is still an open question: as of right now he'd be the last seed. If he doesn't play there, it will most likely be Barcelona, a 500 the following week, that serves as a 'bridge' event to stay in match shape before Madrid/Rome leading into the summer slams.

Girish Girsh -- 357th to 207th singles, 1557th to 490th doubles. The story of the spring for Girsh was establishing himself as a challenger player and trying to get his ranking high enough so that practice events stay competitive enough to be useful. He's aiming to qualify at the US Open for his first Slam event in the fall, but until then it'll probably be a steady diet of challengers with the better players at this level still more than a match for him. His development has become even more important with Amrik Chittoor having been picked up by another manager. Unfortunately they are overplaying him, and while he will probably be ok for the upcoming WTC tie he's already a little fatigued, a problem that could well get a lot worse. Sri Lanka's WTC fortunes could suffer for a bit untill Girsh manages to surpass him in the rankings and take his place on the national team. As of now, Chittoor is around his career high at 75th, so it will be some time before that happens. I'm hoping by the end of the year so that 2040 can be entered with a full head of steam.

Anil Manohar -- 442nd to 491st singles, 1417th to 1312th doubles. Results have started to 'even out' for him between singles and doubles a little bit, and that should continue for a while.

Prakash Mooljee -- unranked to 1028th juniors. So far he's winning against the bottom of the barrell competition just a little more often than he's losing, 6-4 in both singles and doubles after three tournaments. Work on the basic fundamentals of baseline play continues, and serve training will follow shortly. At this stage of course training is more important than anything else, tournaments serve mostly to give him a chance to put into practice what he's learning every once in a while so that he's fresh and motivated to continue improving.

Manager Ranking -- As hoped I've seen a small increase in my status, 29th to 25th and 10k to 10.8k in the points.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 06-30-2015 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:42 PM   #53
Brian Swartz
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WTC Level 2 Group 3 Third Round Robin Round
Sri Lanka vs. Italy

Hardcourt was set as the ground for this.

Monday: A. Mehul d. X. Jue, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0
Tuesday: A. Chittoor d. A. El Brazi, 6-0, 6-2, 6-4
Wednesday: X. Jue/A. Lepore d. A. Chittoor/P. Nilima, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2
Thursday: A. Mehul d. A. El Brazi, 6-1, 6-0, 6-2
Friday: A. Chittoor d. X. Jue, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0

Sri Lanka wins 4-1!

Another typical victory, and we move up to a tie for 41st with our larger neighbors across of the Bay of Ceylon, India. All of that was fantastic stuff ... and then we looked at the quarterfinal draw.

Courtesy of a 3-2 loss to Denmark in their last tie, we draw our good friends Austria. Not only that, it's on clay. Again. Any of the other possibilities would have been better. Any other surface would have been better as well. Arglebarglezorz!!!

This time it's actually worse than before, for two reasons. Chittoor's mismanagement means we probably won't be as well prepared for the clash. Also, unlike last year, if we lose it means we don't make the promotion playoffs since it's a quarterfinal tie, not a semifinal. So yeah, it was nice to win the group but as things turned out, we probably would have been better off losing it.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:37 PM   #54
korme
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This is great Brian.

Are you a VIP member? Have you ever created your own guy?
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"A common error: to have the strength of one's convictions. Rather, one should have the strength for an attack on their convictions."

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Old 07-01-2015, 04:30 PM   #55
Brian Swartz
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Thanks!

Yes, I am VIP(otherwhise I'd only have two players). Mehul, Girsh, and Mooljee are all created players. It's really the only way to build up a nation like Sri Lanka. There are occasional decent players(Chittoor, one of the upcoming juniors that I mentioned in passing) but not nearly enough to challenge the top nations even if they were all managed to perfection.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:04 PM   #56
Brian Swartz
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I forgot to mention one notable milestone. At Indian Wells, Anil Mehul went over the $1 million mark in career earnings at about the time he turned 23. He became the top Sri Lankan in that category earlier in the year, with Prakash Manohari the previous holder at $913k and change. Manohari still holds the mark for wins(660 singles, 287 doubles). Jiten Dhatri has 390 in doubles which is at the top of that list. Mehul is at 319 and 167 but has a similar winning percentage of about .769 -- he's got a couple decades to go so the wins mark will fall in time. A couple of other journeyman-type players are around 400, including Manohar(388).

In terms of titles, nobody really has much to say yet. Mehul is still pursuing his first pro-level(meaning, everything above Challenger, 250s and above) championship. You'd have to go down to the Challengers where Mehul and Chittoor both have three victories. In terms of juniors, Chittoor(15 titles), Girsh(10), and Mehul(9) lead the way, though none of them won any of the big events.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:02 PM   #57
Brian Swartz
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April - May 2039

The first half of the clay season is in the books and the Madrid/Rome Masters are upon us, signifying the beginning of the ramp-up heading into Roland Garros.

Anil Mehul ended up skipping Monte Carlo, which was eventually won by Benda as he beat Elder in the semis and then Alastra in the finals, both in three sets. That trio looks set to be the top powers on clay once again. Mehul entered Barcelona as a 6-seed the following week, losing in the third round in three to no. 36 Cestmir Marcek, the kind of specialist who is only a threat to him on the dirt.

Girish Girsh spent the whole time training, a nearly two-month stretch as he's just outside of the Top 200, around 210-220 most weeks, and he's reached the point where the practice matchups are good enough that I think it's best for him to go back to a minimal tournament schedule. At this point mid-level Challengers(Tier 2) are his sweet spot, but the challenger events are sparse enough that he'll take what he can get. There's a couple of Tier 2s on hardcourt in a couple of weeks so that'll be his next foray.

Prakash Mooljee did not have to qualify for his fifth junior event which was just last week, and compounded that milestone by surprisingly winning the title as the 4-seed! This has propelled him to 746th in the junior rankings, good enough that I'll need to move him into the Tier 4 events now which have the standard 32-draw; the Tier 5's he's been playing have one less round, a 16-draw. I looked into the possibility of amateur events, but even the first-round losers in qualifying are generally far more advanced in their training. He probably won't be ready for those until he is 16 or 17, a couple of years from now if not longer. Going up to the Tier-4s is a modest jump, but the next step to the Tier-3s is much more difficult so he'll probably be staying at this level for a while. He's also reached the point where he has a basic grasp of the fundamentals involved in the different types of rallies that can come up, and will begin to take on developing some semblance of a serve now, the most difficult and important single shot in tennis.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:46 PM   #58
Brian Swartz
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Madrid

Anil Mehul's maiden clay-court Masters was definitely one to forget. He had probably the worst first-round matchup possible, 10-seed Eric Gorritepe. Anywhere else he'd have a decent chance at winning, but not on clay. A competitive but clear straight-set loss sent him packing. It was the first time he'd lost in the first round of anything in nearly a year, but there's nothing to be embarrassed about in losing to the GOAT on their best surface.

Rome

The script flipped here. Mehul won easily against a qualifier, and then had a fairly favorable matchup in the next round against Giorgio Becerril(ARG, no. 14). Becerril is another player that he could probably beat anywhere else, but he's also a clay specialist. Another straight-set loss resulted, 6-4, 6-4. Anil played well enough to have a chance at stealing it, but didn't take any of the five break chances he got and a close defeat resulted. Becerril did go on to make the semifinals, which made him feel a bit better about things.

Despite only winning one match and actually seeing a small net loss in points, Mehul moved up a spot to 19th due to Oberg finally sliding past him on his way down. There was some high drama at the top in Rome. Bjorn Benda won in Monte Carlo and Madrid, but Gabriel Alastra stopped him in an epic final, 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(3). It was Alastra's third match of the week to go the distance, and second straight final-set tiebreak after outlasting Elder in the semis. Benda led 5-1 in the first-set breaker, only to drop the next six points and the set, ultimately costing him the match. Despite losing the total points 118-122, Alastra took his 8th Masters shield, but more importantly assured that he'd stay in the #1 position until at least Wimbledon. The heart of the champion was on full display here, staving off the changing of the guard for a little while longer.

Girish Girsh knocked off a couple of seeds in a challenger tournament in Uzbekistan, but it had a disappointing end as he played inexplicably poorly in his last match. A semifinal defeat with only four games won against a player he should have beaten leaves a bad taste in his mouth, but it was enough to crack the Top 200 for the first time.

A week off now, and then it's off to Roland Garros.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:58 PM   #59
Brian Swartz
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Girish Girsh had another challenger, a small one in Luzern, during the interim. He entered there for a second tournament in a row because there is a several-week break beginning with RG where there are no hardcourt challengers until after Wimbledon. This was a tough call, one of those darned-if-you-do, darned-if-you-don't kinds of things where there really isn't a particularly good option. Many other players had the same idea as it had a strong field, but even so he knocked off some higher-ranked guys and made it to the final, where he was stopped short of his first challenger crown by Henry Healey(99th, USA) in one-sided fashion. Still, a strong showing that moved him up to 175th, firmly in the Top 200 to stay.


Roland Garros

Anil Mehul hopes of rescuing an unimpressive clay season were not helped by a relatively unkind draw. He entered as the 17-seed, a bit higher than expected since #6 David Almagro and #7 Evegeni Topolski inexplicably didn't show up. For Topolski, that's two out of three slams missed during what should be the heyday of his career! Criminal mismanagement there. Back to Mehul though:

R1 -- American Chris Kellogg, around 130th in the world, seemed a good draw for the first round until you looked at his resume. Naturally, he was a clay-court specialist though not an extreme one as a fairly balanced player, but certainly a guy who could still be a threat and there are a lot of players who would be easier here. Thankfully there wasn't a lot of drama in a straight-sets win, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, Amrik Chittoor nearly got his first win here before losing in five sets to familar WTC foil Guillame Vittoz(Nigeria).

R2 -- Next up was possibly the most dangerous unseeded player in the draw. Also from the US, generational rival Chad Dring, ranked 41st and a complete clay aficianado, had been every bit as impressive in cruising through his first match. Coming into the tournament, Mehul's goal was to defend his position(i.e. make the third round), at which point he would have gone one round better than last year and at least salvaged a decent clay performance on the year. Dring's appearance in his path threatened to throw a wrench in that plan. It was close, but Mehul continued to return very well and after taking a close third he had broken the American's will. The final was 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, a fine and important win.

R3 -- And then there was Becerril again. Another step up in competition and they'd just played a couple weeks ago in Rome. This time Anil started better and took the first set, but from there on out the Argentine just got stronger and stronger as it went on. 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 was the final, a game effort but on clay there's no question who the better player is.

The top 8 seeds made the quarters, top four made the semis, top two made the final in a rematch of Gabriel Alastra and Bjorn Benda. You can't get much more topheavy than that. There were some close matches in there to be sure, but the powers that be once again defended their territory. Alastra started well in the final, leading by a set and 3-1 before Benda rallied to claim the championship again in four sets. His reward for his second Slam title was to be demoted to #3 in the rankings, as Mick Elder surpassed him by a bit after making the semifinals. The top 5 all equalled or surpassed last year's results, making it a crowded bunch at the top.

All of that makes Wimbledon very interesting in three weeks. Alastra, the four-time defending champion, pretty much needs to repeat again if he wants to retain the top spot for long. With the grass season lasting only a few weeks, there is virtually no such thing as a grass specialist, particularly not to the degree that there is on clay. That makes it a much different playing field and the big servers have a little bit more advantadge there: speed can be a bigger factor as well.

As with most of the top players, Mehul will have one tuneup 250 going in. The big news for the Sri Lanka players though is that it will probably be Girsh's first Slam instead of waiting for the USO. During Roland Garros, he had a difficult time finding quality practice partners -- he's reached a point where many of them were trying to qualify there. It's sort of a catch-22, but he's probably better off trying to do that himself than hitting with guys who can't really challenge him much. Mooljee played his first tier-4 juniors during RG, which was also a mistake: he's high enough to make most of them but this one happened to have a more crowded field and he lost in qualifying. Lesson learned -- it's been a while since I coached up a junior, but I need to get him close to the top 500(around 750th now) before jumping to that level. A couple more good Tier 5 results at least will be needed, which shouldn't take long.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 07-09-2015 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:40 PM   #60
Brian Swartz
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June

Mehul played the UNICEF Open(250) in the Netherlands the week before Wimbledon, and going in as the 2-seed he had hopes for snagging his first title on the main pro tour. Vito Bonamoni of Switzerland, who he'd won a close match against last fall in their own only meeting stopped him in the quarterfinals instead via third-set tiebreak. It was only a moderate upset, but probably his worst loss of the year so far.

Prakash Mooljee was also in action, taking part in a Tier 5 in Prague(singles finalist, doubles quarterfinalist). He'll need another of those before moving up.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:51 PM   #61
Brian Swartz
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WIMBLEDON

Girish Girsh got his introduction to Grand Slam competition as anticipated. He was bounced in the first round of doubles qualifying, but did better in the singles. The biggest obstacle was in the second round, a match he should have lost, but he took advantage of a brief dip by his opponent and pulled through 6-3, 7-6(2). In the main draw, he was matched up against world no. 2 Mick Elder in a hilarious mismatch. The predictable beatdown was by a final of 6-0, 6-2, 6-1, with only five points won on Elder's serve. The success was in reaching the main draw itself though.

Anil Mehul had a qualifier himself first, winning with the loss of only five games. In the second round, Peruvian Arnaldo Barranco waited. They'd played once last year with Mehul winning a close match -- Barranco is a veteran who is still hanging around as a competitive Top 50 player. He was tough early, winning the second and third sets before Mehul rallied to not beat him so much as outlast him, 7-6(2), 4-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. It was Mehul's first five-set match in his career, and allowed him to best last year's result here.

The third round brought a clash with Antonin Iglar, a chance to see how he matched up with the best player of his generation. It was close, but Iglar won it 7-5 in the fifth after another long, epic match. Iglar would go on to beat Julian Hammerstein in five again in the next round, demonstrating how closely matched the three of them are. There will be many more meetings to come, but Antonin won this round.

There were many surprises to come, none greater than four-time defending champion Gabriel Alastra being knocked out in the fourth round by no. 9 Viktor Goncharenko. At the same stage, Elder was also sent home by no. 14 Andres Blanco, while unseeded veteran Jean-Luc Veniard of Monaco joined the quarterfinals as well. After the established powers had impressively flexed their muscles all year long, here at Wimbledon the applecart was completely overturned.

Goncharenko went on to beat Benda in four to reach the final, where he outlasted David Prieto in a classic, ultimately prevailing 8-6 in the fifth. Prior to this event he had never gone further than a quarterfinal at a Slam, and Wimbledon had been his worst of the four the last three years running! He'll have fond memories of this to be sure, his maiden Slam crown at the most prestigious of them all. It certainly sets the stage for what promises to be a fascinating second half of 2039.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #62
Brian Swartz
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TOP TEN RANKINGS UPDATE

1. Bjorn Benda(25, DEU) -- 10,150

Alastra's early exit at Wimbledon allowed Benda, who managed the best of the top players in reaching the semifinals, to claim the #1 spot for the first time just a month after his 25th birthday. His hold on the crown is tenuous, but for now he's reached the top of the mountain.

2. Mick Elder(28, USA) -- 9,785

Elder has been almost but not quite there most of his career and that continues. He won one of the upcoming Masters and the US Open last year, so the best he can realistically aim for is to hold onto his position even if he plays fabulously the next couple of months.

3. Gabriel Alastra(29, ARG) -- 9,385

The question here is can the champ rebound from this disappointment? Is he done at the top, or can he make a surge in the late summer and autumn? He ranks tied for 10th all-time in Slam titles(6) and 9th all-time in weeks at #1(89), and is assured of going into the record books as a second-tier great even if he does nothing else.

4. David Prieto(29, ESP) -- 8,290

Prieto may be inconsistent on the whole, but he's brought his best at the Slams this year(AO champion, FO semifinalist, Wimbledon finalist). Those kind of results ensure that he is not about to fade into the sunset just yet.

5. Perry Hogue(25, USA) -- 8,140

Dropping a spot despite besting last year's result to reach the Wimbledon quarters, Hogue continues to have a fine year but isn't yet the best on any surface. It's a highly competitive group at the top, but he's got a big cushion on the rest of the field.

6. Viktor Goncharenko(26, RUS) -- 5,450

As the flavor of the month, Goncharenko is a big question mark right now. Over a third of his ranking points come from the Wimbledon title he's fresh off of. If he can bring that level of play consistently over the next few months, he could establish himself with the top group, but he's got a lot of ground to gain first. He should be making his first appearance at the WTF, and that's a good place to start.

7. David Almagro(28, ESP) -- 5,180

Almagro was one of the Wimbledon losers, and he hasn't fallen this far in several years. Assuming he doesn't skip the US Open again, there is hope he could still rally.

8. Evgeni Topolski(25, RUS) -- 4,880

A third-round loss to Hammerstein is a far cry from the previous year's semifinal, and after a big year was expected Topolski is a major disappointment right now.

9. Spasoje Kucerovic(29, SRB) -- 3,930

He simply refuses to go away.

10. David Alvarez(26, ESP) -- 3,550

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 07-13-2015 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:15 PM   #63
Brian Swartz
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Anil Mehul -- 20th to 17th singles, 295th to 383rd doubles. After an 18-5 start to the year, 11-6 during the clay/grass season was not fantastic. Winning the tough second-rounders at the French and Wimbledon kept it from being a disastrous stretch and he did continue to move up a bit, but no question he's happy to be done with it and back to the hard courts.

Girish Girsh -- 207th to 168th singles, 490th to 435th doubles. Similarly, Girsh moved up slowly as well with qualifying at Wimbledon the unquestioned highlight. He'll continue to claw his way up the challenger ranks, inch by inch.

Prakash Mooljee -- 1028th to 626th juniors. Among the better of the tier-5 competitors, he should make the jump to tier-4 in the third quarter.

Manager Ranking -- 25th to 22nd, 10.8k to 11.6k points. Continuing to gradually climb the ladder.

As for Chittoor, he's up to 54th but has also reached the point where he has been significantly overplayed to the point where it is really starting to adversely affect his performance. Assuming this mismanagement continues, at some point this will cause his ranking to fall but as of right now he's in no danger of being kicked out of the WTC roster.

This seemed a good time to show the ranking breakdown for each player as part of a more detailed explanation of how the system works and the kinds of decisions that can come up. The report in the screenshots here are only available to VIPs but with a bit of time could be hammered out fairly easily from a player's tournament history. The basic concept to keep in mind is that tennis operates on a rolling 52-week system, meaning the rankings are based on all points earned over the past year, and also that points are awarded based on what round you reach. So starting from the bottom up to begin with simplicity, here is Prakash Mooljee.





Most of this is fairly self-explanatory. The column on the left, 'W.L.', stands for 'Weeks Left'. In other words, how long it will be until a result is no longer counted. Naturally this starts at 52 and ends when a full year has passed. Although it isn't stated here, six events each year only count for the junior rankings. Mooljee has gone through the stage of establishing a ranking: at the bottom, one of his results for singles and doubles are listed as 'non-countable' since he's over the six-event limit. Those are disregarded. The best six singles results, and one-quarter of the best-six doubles results, are added together to give his ranking points. 80 + 14 for a total of 94 in this case. At this stage he has to get past the first round in singles(for a JG5) or past the quarterfinals in doubles in order to add to his points total: otherwhise he's just replacing an identical result and his points won't change.


Anil Manohar





On the pro tour, the number of countable results increase from six to what is known as the 'best 18' for singles: 14 for doubles. For most players, like Manohar here, it's simply a matter of adding up all the results from the previous year. Lower-ranking players usually do not play more than 18 tournaments, because practice is more important -- for younger players, developing to become the best they can at peak, and for younger players, working on their skills to become a better trainer since they are no longer good enough to compete at the top anyway.


Girish Girsh






Girsh is pretty much the same, except that we can see Wimbledon is separated out at the top. All Slams and Masters are counted first, and then other events added in up to the 18-result limit. He's starting to reach the point where good futures results will be dropped off, i.e. his win in China in a couple weeks time, and this will slow his rise as will the fact that his tournament schedule will be slowing again now that he's in position to have solid practice partners. He'll probably only be playing one challenger between now and the US Open in a couple months.


Anil Mehul







This, of course, is a lot different. There are a lot more categories, and it looks a lot more complicated, but really isn't overly so. The decisions on what tournaments to play based on this can be however. Every player who finished in the Top 30 the previous year gets a result for all of the Slams and the eight(excluding Monte Carlo) mandatory Masters -- if they don't play, they simply receive 0 points and are additionally banned from one Masters event the following year. So it's basically a really bad idea for a top player not to enter all of them, since they are going to count anyway.

That makes 12 tournaments: the other six are made up of as many as 4 500s and the rest 250s or challengers if the player was low enough to qualify. Anybody in the Top 32 at the time of entry cannot play a challenger event.

The upshot of all of this is that at the elite level, the only way to move up significantly is to do better in the Slams/Masters: there are a lot more points available there than in the smaller events. Mehul has a couple of 'extras' at the bottom: the UNICEF result will probably replace that last challenger in Sopot when it drops off in a couple of weeks. WTC success has been a nice boon, and even more-so earlier in his career: there was a point, when pushing through the lower ranks, when it was 200 of less than 500 points, or nearly half of his total. Continuing the trend towards slightly better and more consistent results this year will help, but the 'wall' that has seemingly been erected against Mehul at the Round of 16 will need to be consistently breached if he is to threaten the Top 10.

At this point his goal is to get securely into the Top 16(for better seeding) as soon as possible, and after that climb as close to the Top 10 as possible by the end of the year. For reference, here's how the spots around him look:

14. Oliver Challenger(29, USA) -- 2495
15. Giorgio Becerril(29, ARG) -- 2455
16. Isaac Malpica(29, ESP) -- 2050
17. Anil Mehul(23, SRL) -- 1905
18. Gael Graff(31, ARG) -- 1885
19. Strahinja Kecic(27, CRO) -- 1880
20. Julian Hammerstein(23, AUT) -- 1840
21. Lubos Nedved(26, CZE) -- 1695

It's very competitive and fluid, and over the last couple months Mehul has moved up more due to players like Kecic and Graff sliding than anything great that he's done. There are four masters left in the year(three hardcourt, one indoor) and getting seeded there will be a major boon in him getting consistently solid or better results. Right now though, he's the first man out which would mean he could face any of the top players in an early round. He'll need to play either Atlanta(250) or Washington(500) and probably both ahead of the Canada Masters a month from now. The uncertainty in whether he'll be in or out of the seeded positions at that time makes planning the tournament schedule a guessing game at best. The situation will be shifting on a weekly basis. In the long view, the upcoming schedule is absolutely vital: those two events followed by Canada/Cincinatti Masters back-to-back, then a week off followed by the US Open, and the week after that the WTC QF tie against Austria. It's a lot to pack in less than two months, which is one reason why he's had a little more rest over the spring and summer. Much will be determined in the coming weeks.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:30 AM   #64
britrock88
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Somehow I missed that the junior rankings are based on so few tournaments. Now I know why my guys have plateaued around #20 even as they win more JG2s. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:47 PM   #65
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You're welcome . At a certain point due to the small number of events it gets really hard for juniors to move up in the rankings. You pretty much have to go far in the A or Slam events.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:34 PM   #66
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JULY/AUGUST

Mehul started in Atlanta(250) as the top seed, proceeding to get upset in the quarterfinals by Pierce Gaskell 3 and 3, the first time he's lost in four meetings. Overall, it was as bad as any loss this year and continued the trend of slumping that he's been in for a while. The next week in Washington(500) was better at least. He looked good in the early rounds, knocking Mockler aside in the quarters and losing only to champion Perry Hogue in the semis, 6-4, 6-2. The rising world no. 4 beat him by the same score earlier in the year. There's no shame in losing this kind of match, it's losing to lower-ranked players that is problematic. Heading into the first of the two pre-USO Masters, it was touch and go whether he'd be seeded or not but Mehul is ranked 16th, just on the inside at the moment.

Meanwhile, Girish Girsh is preparing for a Tier-1 challenger in Beijing, his first tournament since Wimbledon and a good opportunity to grab some points with four hardcourt challengers in the same week. Prakash Mooljee did not overwhelm in two events in Jerusalem and Sfax. He won only one singles match between the two, did ok in doubles, but is still hovering around the 600 mark in the rankings. Both losses were to better players, unusually good for this level. It's off to Egypt for him next week for his latest foray, still in the junior fifth tier and there he'll stay until he manages another good run.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:12 PM   #67
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CANADA MASTERS

Going in, there was a tie for the 16th seed between Anil Mehul and Julian Hammerstein. Hammerstein had just made the final at Washington to bridge a significant gap. I don't know if it was because of some tiebreaker or if the seedings were determined the week before, but Mehul got the spot -- and it didn't matter at all. Why? Because they were matched up in the first round! Literally, this was the worst possible first-round opponent he could draw. Since Hammerstein had more to gain and less to lose, having not played as many events and not most of the masters the previous year, Mehul needed to win this to have any chance of gaining the upper hand soon.

It was a tough, tense match as they tend to be between these two, and came down to the key moments. As he usually is, Hammerstein was best in those moments and won it 7-5, 6-4. He was 3-for-7 on break chances, Mehul 1-for-8. Having broken back to 5-all to stay in the first set, Mehul dropped the last two games. Later in the second, he had triple break point with Hammerstein serving at 1-2, and failed to convert any of them. Those two moments pretty much sealed this. It's the first time he's lost in the first round of a hard-court masters in almost two years.

The other Sri Lankans did better. Girish Girsh made the semifinals of the Beijing challenger, losing a close match to George Craighead(no. 61), 6-4, 7-6(4). A fine showing for him. Prakash Mooljee got his second tier-5 juniors title, moving him up to just inside the Top 500 and allowing him to finally break free. He'll have about a month off before heading into regular Tier-4 competition.


CINCINATTI MASTERS

Spasoje Kucerovic, the ninth seed, was the first obstacle this week and both of their previous matches have been tight with one going each way. That wasn't the case here, with Mehul dropping just five games in one of his more impressive matches of the year. He'd had a long week to contemplate the disappointment in Canada, and used it well. In the second round, he dropped only a single game in a very impressive display, giving him what was now his 7th chance in the round of 16 at a big event. The foe was certainly worthy of the occasion, Mick Elder. Unfortunately the seventh time was not the charm, Elder flattened him 6-2, 6-3. He's been playing very well lately, unlike early in the year at Brisbane when Mehul defeated him for the first time.

Neither loss was really a bad one, though both a little disappointing especially in not putting up more of a fight against Elder. He lost to better players both times, and got enough matches in to be ready for what will hopefully be a good run at the US Open. The goal of getting inside the Top 16 is still not realized however.

On the larger scene, Cincinatti was a coming-out party for Antonin Iglar. He beat Benda ... and then Goncharenko ... and then Prieto ... and then Elder in the final. The last pair of matches weren't even close. It's one of the most impressive things I've seen in a long time. Iglar's title is of course his first Masters Shield, and he moves up to #9 in the world, a legitimate member of the elite now and candidate for the World Tour Finals in a few months. He is still about three months shy of his 23rd birthday. By comparison, Gabriel Alastra took about another year to reach this level of achievement, though the all-time greats like Gorritepe, Sullivan, etc. got there a year or so quicker. Still, for a 22-year-old to breach the Top 10 is not something that happens often. Once a decade maybe at most. Nobody will be interested in seeing Antonin Iglar in their draw at the US Open, that much is certain.

After a week off, the focus of the tennis world will switch to Flushing Meadows. Girsh will try to back up his qualifying effort at Wimbledon by doing it again, and Mehul will attempt to improve on last year's third-round effort.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:22 PM   #68
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US OPEN

Girish Girsh made the final round of qualifying without incident, then edged past journeyman Jaromir Simunek, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Having succeeding in his goal, he met the best, by far, up-and-coming player in the world in the main draw: Spain's Marcel Bahana, already seeded here at 20 years old. He did manage to get one break but still lost in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3).

Anil Mehul cruised through his first pair of matches, dropping only five games in each. Eric Gorritepe, who has already effectively given up on his singles career and is focused on trainer preparation after dropping out of the Top 10, was next up. Gorritepe held a 2-1 edge including a win earlier in the year, but this time it was all Mehul, a competitive match but straight sets.

Fourth Round -- On to the Round of 16. Again. 8th time in a little over a year. The foe was Mick Elder who is the defending champ and had certainly taught him a lesson a couple weeks ago in Cincinatti. All signs pointed to the same result here; but Mehul won a tense tiebreak in the opener and went on to take the upset in four! A huge, huge win, his second over Elder and finally he has broken through the wall.

Quarterfinals -- Pierce Gaskell was a surprise to see here, but he's on the rise as well and had nearly as impressive a fourth-round win, knocking off Goncharenko. They'd last played a little over a month ago in Atlanta, Mehul's only loss to Gaskell and one of his worst defeats of the year. This one went a little different; Anil dominated the match, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

Semifinals -- The last four at a Slam; certainly this was not expected coming in. Opposing him was the flavor of the month, Antonin Iglar. Iglar had knocked Mehul out of Wimbledon at a much earlier stage, then followed up his masters win in Cincinatti by crushing Prieto and then rallying to beat Topolski in a good four-setter. He was the favorite here as well but another upset was not out of the question. Iglar is on a mission though and prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2). Mehul could take solace in the fact that nobody played him any tougher here.

In the other semifinal, Perry Hogue clinched the #1 spot for the first time by defeating Almagro. He was beaten in straights though in the final by Iglar, who snagged his first Grand Slam title and has now won his last 12 matches to surge past a number of players far more experienced. He's more vulnerable on other surfaces, but there's no doubt that right know Iglar is the best hardcourt player in the world.

As for Mehul this is a mammoth result. He increased his career winnings by over 20% by taking home over 350k, and leapfrogged past Hammerstein to convincingly take his place in the Top 16. The win over Elder was the big one, the others he should have won but did so convincingly, and gave Iglar a fairly tough match as well. This is the breakthrough he's been waiting for over a year now -- can he build on it?

Elsewhere, Mooljee's first Tier-4 event in Boston resulted in second-round exits both in singles and doubles. He'll go back to tier-5 for at least one more tournament, perhaps vacillating back and forth for a bit yet.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:42 PM   #69
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TOP TEN RANKINGS UPDATE

1. Perry Hogue(25, USA) -- 9,060

The derisions of Hogue as a 'slamless #1' have now begun, as he jumps from 5th and a career-best of 4th to the top spot here. As a finalist at the Australian and United States Slams this year, his bona fides are well-established.

2. Bjorn Benda(25, DEU) -- 8,870

A quarterfinal loss knocks him from the perch he earned over the spring and summer, but not by much.

3. Gabriel Alastra(29, ARG) -- 8,775

Don't count him out for the year-end crown just yet. There's a lot of tennis left to be played.

4. David Prieto(29, ESP) -- 8,660

5. Mick Elder(28, USA) -- 7,665

Elder was back at #1 for a week in the late summer, and now tumbles from second to fifth thanks to the loss to Mehul.

6. Antonin Iglar(22, CZE) -- 6,010

You can pencil in Iglar for the World Tour Finals, where he'll attempt to show that the new kid on the block can succeed on other surfaces. For now though, he's unquestionably joined the elite and will be a force to reckon with for years to come.

7. David Almagro(28, ESP) -- 5,600

8. Viktor Goncharenko(26, RUS) -- 5,510

Goncharenko has been decent since winning at Wimbledon, but hasn't done enough in the current topsy-turvy climate and drops a couple of places.

9. Evgeni Topolski(25, RUS) -- 4,695

Topolski needs more consistency to make any kind of serious run at the top places.

10. Spasoje Kucerovic(29, SRB) -- 3,570

Still hanging on by the skin of his teeth.



Any of the Top 5 still has a very legitimate shot at the year-end #1. The first four have barely a sheet of paper between them in the rankings, which will change almost week to week now. Hogue and Benda could have an interesting but very unbalanced rivalry going on, each dominant on their own turf. Iglar is just as big a story, making really all six players involved in compelling stories of their own as the season enters it's final act.

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Old 07-23-2015, 03:00 AM   #70
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SRI LANKA RANKINGS UPDATE

Anil Mehul -- 17th to 15th singles, 383rd to 381st doubles. An 11-5 mark brings him to 40 wins, already better than last year's 37 and there's still several events to go. The breakout semifinal at the USO puts him solidly in the Top 16, and the rest of the year will be about getting set up for the offseason and getting as close to the Top 10, the next goal, as he can by the end of the year.

Girish Girsh -- 168th to 152nd singles, 435th to 438th doubles. Nearly stagnant the last couple months, Girsh did qualify for the last two Slams but at this point is essentially replacing 20-25 point results(good futures tournaments from last year) with 35-point results(GS qualifying, semis in challengers). It is still the case that until he starts getting some challenger titles, it'll be slow progress. I think he's close to breaking through, but not quite there yet.

Prakash Mooljee -- 626th to 475th juniors. Right now the limiting factor as much as anything is physical maturation. Mooljee doesn't have the endurance to play a lot of matches in a week. At his age, a more important measuring stick than ranking is looking at how many players younger than him are ranked ahead, which I'll look at in more detail at the end of the year but he's doing pretty good there.

Manager's Ranking -- 22nd to 21st, 11.6k to 12.3k, a lot of that due to Mehul's USO SF.


Being played out as I write this is the WTC quarterfinal tie against Austria. Much will be determined there, and a month after that the asian swing picks up steam with the Shanghai Masters.
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:04 PM   #71
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World Team Cup Level 2 Quarterfinals
Sri Lanka vs. Austria, Clay

Monday: A. Mehul d. H. Frankl, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Tuesday: J. Hammerstein d. A. Chittoor, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1
Wednesday: J. Hammerstein/T. Weidman d. P. NIlima/A. Chittoor, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
Thursday: J. Hammerstein d. A. Mehul, 7-5, 6-0, 7-6(5)
Friday: H. Frankl d. A. Chittoor, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3

Austria defeats Sri Lanka 4-1. A disappointing but hardly unexpected result. We've now lost twice in 'my' tenure and both of them to Austria, who will be in the playoff to go up to Group 1 next year while we will not. Unlike last year we were defeated in doubles, Chittoor has been mismanaged this year as previously mentioned but also Prakash Nilima, the consistent cog in doubles through all of our WTC runs, is now 31 and not nearly the player he once was. Mehul won his first match but had one disastrous set against Hammerstein and was only 4 of 18 on break chances. It was still better than he managed last year and wouldn't have been enough to salvage the tie anyway, but still a disappointment.

Sri Lanka drops one spot to 42nd in the world. Anil Mehul will have a busy schedule now the next couple of months as with no WTC action until next year, he'll need to get a lot of matches in order to support training during the off-season. For him, the off-season this year will be nearly two months, everything after the Paris Masters. Next year we will try again to fight for promotion, and it's very possible it will be without Austria in our path. That wouldn't bother me one bit.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:04 AM   #72
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September

The first week of the 'big finish' came at the Japan Open(500) for Anil Mehul. In order to sustain training effectiveness over what will now be a seven-week offseason for him due to the unpleasantness in the WTC recently, he'll need to play at least four events in five weeks, possibly five straight depending on how they go. Most will probably involve doubles as well. By the end of the Paris Masters in November, he'll need to have overplayed a fair amount. This will probably hurt his results a bit but that isn't as important as going into next year with a full head of steam.

After a couple of easy rounds, he had competitive wins over Kecic and Gaskell to reach the final. Julian Hammerstein, who had just eked out an upset over Benda in the other semifinal, waited there. Another close one was expected, but in this case Mehul took it to his rival with a surprisingly easy 6-3, 6-4 win that saw him lose just a dozen points on serve and fail to suffer a single break chance! This was the fifth meeting between the two, the first coming just over a year ago, and Mehul has now won two and dropped three, 2-1 on hardcourt, winless in two chances on clay both in the WTC.

With the win, he moved up to 13th ahead of the Shanghai Masters, leaping declining veterans Becceril and the incomparable Gorritepe. More than that, it was the first professional tournament title ever for a player from Sri Lanka, a real piece of history, and will certainly serve to offset the points he's going to lose from last year's WTC run. A fine way to back up his USO run and get back on track -- he's looking good heading into the end of the year.

There were good results elsewhere also. Girsh Girsh was in Recife for a small challenger the same week, and he proceeded to brush aside former conqueror Joseph Skirrow 3 and 3 in the final to claim his first challenger-level title and move up to 125th! Skirrow has not been managed as well, and Girsh has legitimately at least equaled him after it looked a year or so ago as if Skirrow would be a major force in his generation. This is a great example of how talent alone can't win by itself -- the right kind of work and training, intelligently pursued, is also required. Skirrow is still a somewhat better athlete, more on Mehul's level in that regard, but Girsh has clearly surpassed him technically.

Prakash Mooljee seems to have played his last tier-5. Yes, I've said that before, but he rattled off another title, aided no doubt by the fact that the event was played in Colombo. It's rare to have a chance to play in front of a Sri Lankan crowd and pretty much only happens in juniors. With the win he's just inside the Top 400 now in juniors and should be seeded in all tier-4 events, allowing him to consistently progress well into the draws. We'll see how that actually plays out.

Titles for all three of the players that are still developing in the same week, a very fine thing to celebrate as we move towards the end of another season. On to Shanghai, where the big question is: can anyone derail the Antonin Iglar express?
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:34 PM   #73
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Shanghai Masters

Mehul was the 11th-seed here and had a surprisingly tough first pair of matches. In the second round, he barely escaped 40th-ranked Olav Birkeland of Sweden, 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(4). Birkeland actually outpointed him 117-112 and he would have had little to complain about had he lost. That set up a match against Viktor Goncharenko, which was close as their last meeting had been but Goncharenko won it 7-5 in the fifth for his third win in as many encounters between the two. Again it could have gone either way.


Normally this would be mildly disappointing, but Mehul has played a lot of matches the last couple of weeks; he qualified in doubles which was unexpected and is a bit overplayed at this point. At his best, maybe he wins that encounter. Regardless, he got enough in that he'll be able to take a week off before the last two tournaments of the season for him, and a third-round finish equals his performance here last year so at least there's nothing lost. There's a two-week gap, then the Paris Masters will end the year for most of the top players.

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Old 07-29-2015, 10:28 AM   #74
britrock88
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I'm having an interesting time with my group of 18-22 year olds--I can get their skill/service developed into 4+/3+ territory, and make them competitive in challenger-level events, but I'm having trouble getting them inside the Top 200. It could be because I enter them in the GSL and Masters events, which take up slots in their rankings formula.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:24 AM   #75
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Multiple things could be going on there. I would advise that it is not best to enter players into Masters or GSL that early. I don't enter Masters until players are at least into the Top 100 and higher than that for most of them; Top 150 approx. for Slams. If a player isn't ranked that high then even if they qualify they aren't getting anywhere in the main draw and it's counterproductive I think.

If you want to post a screenshot or a little more detail on the players(with skill/serve/strength/speed/mentality scores) I can give you a bit of feedback on about where they should be ranked and what events I would be playing them in if I was managing them. It all depends on how good they are, really.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:11 PM   #76
britrock88
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Here's my stable of guys in two different game worlds.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:20 PM   #77
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Thanks. I think you have a group of good-but-not great players objectively, with endurance being the main limitation. I think endurance is the single most important attribute, as it allows you to train them more. YMMV but as a general rule I don't play them there until they can benefit from it(Top 150 for Slams, Top 100 for Indian Wells/Miami, Top 50-60 for other Masters). If they don't have an excellent chance of making it through qualifying, it's a waste of time in my opinion.

It might be related, but I would also suggest less tournaments and more practice overall. You appear to be doing an excellent job at keeping them out of the 'red zone' in terms of form, but until a player reaches about the Top 50 -- at which point they should be playing all Slams/Masters or at least most of them -- I think this is still overplaying. Development first again. Anybody else, as a general rule, shouldn't be playing in a tournament the following week unless it is necessary to avoid the form penalty by going under 15.0. More specificially, for challenger players:

** The last challenger is in week 48 and the first one in the new year is in week 2. In order to 'bridge the gap', by the end of week 48, you need to be up to about 25 form or just a hair under. This is exactly the situation in which Girsh finds himself in RR1 for my players, he's a bit higher ranked than your guys but not much and still very much a challenger player. Week 44 just ended, he'll need to play in week 46 to stay out of the 'red zone' and at least once more in 47-48, maybe both weeks to get up there where he needs to be. Note that for juniors/futures players this isn't necessary since they have year-round options.

** Since form declines by percentage(8% decrease each week), the higher it is, the faster it goes down. Combine that with the fact that there's always a chance you lose early in a tournament and are forced into practice events to use up your fatigue for the week, and it's best for development to play less tournaments.

** It's always good to look for opportunities where there are a lot of challengers in a week and you can 'play up' a level and still have a chance to go deep in the draw. A couple of your higher-ranked guys might be able to get away with a CH1 once in a great while but only if there are multiple CH+ events that week, etc.

** To stay above the 15-form line, all you need is to have 16.3 or more the previous week. So, if you aren't below 16.3, most of the time you shouldn't be entering another tournament the next week. Practice, practice, practice(with no apologies whatsoever to Allen Iverson)

Player-Specific Suggestions

If I were you(I'm not, have fun with the game whatever you decide), this is what I would personally do.

** All four should be playing CH3's primarily, and on surfaces they are at least decent on(appears to be hardcourts will be best in most circumstances, but again this a week-to-week thing depending on what tournaments are available). You are doing it exactly right by playing both doubles and singles, the idea is to get in as many matches as possible, take whatever points you can get, and then take as long of a break as you can for practice tournaments to build up your abilities -- lather, rinse, repeat.

** I would drop Delacave like a bad habit. Probably about 100th is the best he's going to get. I'd do the same with Bollom, although he's better, and then you have a gap between your two players in each world. Hansell I like the best. He's got almost everything you want except for strength. I'd be surprised if you can't turn him into a Top 30 player. Kazic probably Top 50(just ballpark stuff here, depending on their aging factors, etc.). None of them are Slam-champion guys but you can have a lot of fun with them while replacing the other two. That'd be my call anyway.

Not necessarily immediately, but I'd be scouring the new juniors every Monday looking for a new player. To find them, remember that endurance is far more important than talent. The difference between a below-average(Manohar, 2.0) and elite(Mooljee, 4.7) player in talent is only 11 xp points per week. That works out to less than 10k over the course of their productive career, or 2-3 extra training sessions. It's not nothing, but it's close to it. Endurance is several times more important -- a similar gap there would mean 150-200 xp points a week, roughly 15x as much. Anybody who doesn't have at least a 1.4 endurance when they come in is somebody you want to ignore. I think second-most important is athleticism(strength/speed) and mentality. Since you can't train those abilities, they either have them or they don't.

So looking at the new players, I'd do a quick calculation of their peak endurance/speed/strength, look at mentality/talent which doesn't change, and then if you have players who are close how developed their skills are will also matter. Surfaces/Home Advantage can safely be ignored. Might be useful here to illustrate a couple of RR1 examples:

** Brad Bennett(USA, 14y 29w, 67% aged). Until I decided to do this I hadn't seen him, and my jaw figuratively hit the floor. He's not 'sexy', doesn't have that uber-talent that just makes you amazed, but he has the following:

Skill: 0.6
Service: 0.3
Doubles: 0.1
Talent: 2.8*
Strength: 2.3
Speed: 1.8
Mentality: 2.3
Endurance: 2.1!!!

I don't hire anybody not from Sri Lanka, but if I did I'd be on this guy like yesterday. I want to slap 95% of the managers in RR1 right this very minute, because no way should he be available. Talent is just a bit above average there nothing exciting, mentality a bit below average so he's not particularly clutch. But if we do the math, at peak he will have:

Strength: 3.4(good)
Speed: 2.7(a hair over average)
Endurance: 4.7

That's better endurance than any of my players and I specifically emphasize it when they are created. Athleticism is almost as good as Mehul/Mooljee. Properly trained, he'll have a fairly meteoric career but probably be better at his peak than anybody I have. He'll at least be as good. Should be a Top 10 player, and he's just sitting there waiting to be snapped up . He's been around for almost six months so some of that potential is already wasted, but still ... you don't get youngsters with that kind of endurance very often.


** Greg Sanderson(AUS, 14y 26w, 64% aged)

3.8 talent, 1.8 endurance, 2.4 strength, 2.2 speed, 1.3 mentality.

Well the mentality sucks here and he's going to lose to anybody close to him in ability, but having said that endurance will end up at a very fine 4.4, 3.8 strength, 3.4 speed which is better athleticism than anyone I've gotten. Again, I'd be snapping him up in a second.

To find these guys, what I did is to simply sort the list of available 14yo by endurance. Then I just looked through to find guys who were high on there and had a decent mix of the other abilities, taking a closer look at any who catch my eye. There's no question you can do at least somewhat better than what you have, it takes some patience to train them up of course.

Any questions?

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 07-29-2015 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:40 PM   #78
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Wow. What a masterclass!

I will admit that I went in with my 150 starter points in each world and took this approach: spend 60 on the most talented and well-rounded 14yo I could find (Kazic/Hansell), then spend the other 90 on a ~16yo that would be a little ahead in developmental terms so I had a better idea of how to develop the 14yos. At this point, we both see that the younger guys have essentially caught up to the elder guys and have brighter career arcs.

To this point, I've been chasing XP through practice tournaments and friendlies after early tourney exits. Are either of the older guys worth turning into a trainer, seeing that I have none? I could spend a little time building up their doubles skills (which is very cheap to do) and reap the 1/3 multiplier in the trainer rating formula. In any case, they're in the neighborhood of 3.0 trainers.

I've really enjoyed seeing Kazic progress in the context of other Serbian players. That, combined with this dynasty (thanks again for turning me and others on to this!), is pushing me toward focusing on a smaller nation or two and seeing what I can do there.

I will gladly accept your advice on the importance of endurance. Your post made me dive back into the help section on player info. I see now where you can read between the lines on the relative importance of endurance to talent--endurance allows you to train more, whereas talent is just a relatively small natural boost to the process. And I also can make sense of the progression of a player's athleticism with the aging factor in play--that's a key detail I had missed before.

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom! I'll try to make sure that Kazic and Hansell have bright days ahead of them.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:49 PM   #79
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Uh, better thought. I should probably spend a bunch of the points I have to hire players on a veteran who's very skilled, and make that guy a trainer.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:48 AM   #80
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You're welcome, and I'm glad I was able to help(particular since we aren't competing in the same game world, although I've been toying with the idea of joining a second one ... ).

Anyway, your last post has the best idea. If you want to stick with the game longterm which it certainly appears that you do, yes get a trainer. You can't max a player out in terms of their potential without it. Dump the weaker pair of players, get an experienced one in their place that you can make into a decent trainer quickly, then after you do that you can replace them with a younger talent, etc.

A 3.0 trainer is of minimal benefit, but you should be able to find much better. To do so, if you look at the oldest age bracket(27+) and leave the sort on Cost, look for guys who are at least in their mid-30s on the first couple or few pages of that. That should give you some idea of what kind of players are available. The younger ones who are available are probably not going to be very good, require more work, etc. Anil Manohar is a great example from my game. I don't talk about him much because he's simply training and playing FT3s(exciting stuff, that :P). But his career best ranking is 238th, I didn't pick him up until midway through his career, and he literally didn't play at all in juniors or early in his pro career, was never hired by another manager, so he blew a lot of his potential out the window. And he's over a 4.1 trainer equivalent right now with several more years of training available. The higher you go the harder it gets to improve -- he's near the end of the point where doubles training is best(at about 3.6 there) and will be switching to service/doubles alternating soon, but the point is he'd be a solid trainer right now and has been screwed up/undeveloped for a large part of his career and wasn't that talented to begin with(1.3 endurance right now, a pedestrian 2.9 at his apex).

I found a guy near the top of the list who is 36y28w, 68% aging(on the downslope here of course, basically the same as an early junior but on the opposite end of the career). 4.3 skill, 3.5 serve, 5.0 doubles. By my calculations(remembering that doubles doesn't suffer the aging decline that the others do), if he just saved the xp payment required to be a trainer and cashed it in right away with no more training he'd be a 5.0 trainer right now! It's rare to find players that good, he already has service and doubles maxed out and was dumped a few months ago by a manager who has ... only a 4.7 trainer. Why??? But I digress. Finding players who can be turned into a 4.5 trainer or higher quickly is pretty easy in my game world and so I'd assume probably would be for you as well. The difference between a 4.5 and a 5.0 is still something, but a lot closer than either of us are right now and getting a couple of them in pretty quickly would help Kazic/Tanner develop and give you some experience with the process. Or you could be a little more patient and spend a few years getting a player all the way up to maximum before retiring them as a trainer. Either way you'd be set to max or near-max your next 'youth project', and then now with some more experience with the game would have a much better chance of really making them great.

One more point in this excessively long-winded post about margins at the top. Another thing you could check in your world of course, but here's how my uni sits:

#1(Bjorn Benda) -- 5.0 skill, 4.1 serve, 3.9 str, 3.3 spd, 3.6 ment

#10(David Alvarez) -- 4.9 skill, 4.0 serve, 2.8 str, 3.6 spd, 3.7 ment

#20(Oliver Challenger) -- 4.5 skill, 4.0 serve, 3.7 str, 3.1 spd, 3.9 ment

Challenger actually understates the situation because he's falling like a sinking ship and isn't playing like the #20 player in the world anymore. But look at the difference between Benda and Alvarez. A pretty small athleticism and virtually non-existent technical gap. The difference between 'great' and 'excellent' is miniscule(Benda has won 86% of his matches on the season, Alvarez 80% but the rankings points gap is nearly three to one) -- and by the way the next couple of generations of players look to be even more competitive. Raising a champion is about creating, via proper management, miniscule advantages over your opponent.

I read a study about the recently ended real-life 'reign of terror' by Rafael Nadal at the French Open. While dominating the event for a decade, he proceeded to lose 44% of the points he played(including the early-round matches against players he could thrash with his eyes closed practically). Winning another half-percent of points is an enormous advantage in tennis, and thinking about this as I've developed a strategy for RR over time has really focused me on maximizing. Proper management, the gaining of very small bonuses over time, has a monstrous cumulative effect.

Getting a trainer, followed by a new carefully chosen youth player, would let you reach much greater heights -- no question about it. Good luck!

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Old 07-30-2015, 05:19 AM   #81
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On the endurance vs. talent thing: I just realized that I overstated the case, my brain wasn't working properly and I miscalculated with the example I used. I'll post something more accurate when I'm not tired :P. The essential point is still correct, endurance is significantly more important than talent but not to the degree I stated.

*slap self*

Some surprising stuff happening in the Paris Masters as this year winds down in my universe. How is that for a flagrant and completely unjustified cliffhanger?
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:57 PM   #82
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Ok, last wall of text post(I think) on the strategy/analytics side:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Swartz
The difference between a below-average(Manohar, 2.0) and elite(Mooljee, 4.7) player in talent is only 11 xp points per week. That works out to less than 10k over the course of their productive career, or 2-3 extra training sessions. It's not nothing, but it's close to it. Endurance is several times more important -- a similar gap there would mean 150-200 xp points a week, roughly 15x as much. Anybody who doesn't have at least a 1.4 endurance when they come in is somebody you want to ignore.

Bolded is the key. 11xp per day, not per week. That's still not as much as you can get from a high endurance. It should also be noted that talent never changes over the course of your career, while endurance is low for young/old players so you don't get the full advantage of it except for a few years in your early 20s. It's still more important, but maybe 2x or a little less as compared to talent. so I'd prioritize this way in choosing a youngster that will have a bright future:

1. Endurance
2. Talent
3. Mentality(due to the small tolerances between good and great players at the high end)
4. Athleticism(speed/strength)
5. Skill/Service(much less important than the others since there's not all that much variance here and training is quick for a young player).
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:58 PM   #83
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October

A couple updates to get caught up on. I forgot to include the conclusion of Shanghai, in which Benda took possession of the driver's seat for year-end #1 by winning tight matches against Almagro and Elder to take his first big title off of clay. Meanwhile, Iglar was a shocking third-round upset, ending his run of hardcourt dominance for the moment.

Mehul headed off to the Valencia Open(500) in Spain the week before Paris, and got himself through a tight final-set tiebreak against Isaac Malpica(10-8) before losing to David Prieto 7-5, 7-6(2) in the semifinals. Objectively he's better than Prieto but he's overplayed to get set up for the offseason as mentioned.

Prakash Mooljee went off to a Tier-4 in Nova Gorica(Slovenia), and I was shocked that he wasn't seeded there! Junior events are so much harder to predict but there were a lot more top players at this one. He was smacked down 6-3, 6-0 in the first round although he did make the semis in doubles. Still, one thing that is becoming obvious is that I still have some to learn about training juniors players and getting them into the right events.


Paris Masters

For Anil Mehul, it was an unexpected and even undesired success here. Singles went as you might expect for a tired player, although he coincidentally had the same matchups as in Shanghai. First-round bye, beat Malpica easily this time(2 & 0!) and then lost to Prieto in the third round, again in straight sets. But in doubles, he qualified ... and just kept winning, knocking out the first and seventh-seeded teams along with partner Hugo Sanchez(MEX) en route to the semifinals! At most I figured a first-round loss, if he got through qualifying. It's better than the alternative of underplaying, but he's now really tired and will suffer a bit for it in his first week of the off-season which begins now. He moves up to a personal and Sri Lanka historical best 100th in doubles, fairly irrelevant but there it is. It looks like he'll finish the year at a career-high 12th in singles, with a 52-20 mark on the year(last season was 37-17 against somewhat diminished competition). He's turned the corner, and will now spend the next several weeks preparing for a determined charge against the best in the world next year.

At the business end of things, Bjorn Benda ran the table once again and you can pretty much pencil him in now as the #1 to end 2039. Iglar in the quarters gave him a battle and Goncharenko in the final pushed him to three sets, but with back-to-back Masters crowns off his favored clay, Benda pushes his total to four Masters shields, all this year, and has shown he has enough of a well-rounded game to be a force anywhere. The gauntlet has been laid down, and from the chaotic competition of the last few months a clear champion has emerged. The German is a step above all comers right now.


World Tour Finals Preview

So in three weeks time the best will meet to confirm Bjorn Benda as champion. He has a lead of well over a thousand points now, and the only way he doesn't finish the year on top is if he loses all his matches and David Prieto wins all of his and takes the title. Prieto has only made it out of group play here once(he won it three years ago) and didn't take a single match last year. That just plain isn't going to happen.

Perry Hogue's moment in the sun appears to have lasted about a year, he's faded the last few months and the general consensus is that it was the best the tennis world will ever see from him. As last year's runner-up, he has to do well to even maintain contact with the other top players. The stakes are even higher for Gabriel Alastra, who after being #1 the last three years and taking the title here last year, will enter play seventh in the field. While his counterparts Prieto, Elder, and Almagro are still here as well, this is the last hurrah for them as a major force. The sun is setting.

Benda and Hogue will be joined by first-timer Viktor Goncharenko as a third member of what is now ostensibly the ruling class, though it'd be more accurate to say Benda rules over a hodgepodge as Goncharenko has been inconsistent since Wimbledon and Hogue is apparently on the decline now. Antonin Iglar, just past his 23rd birthday, will look to make a statement as he represents the next generation that is increasingly making it's presence felt.

The main drama here will be in how 2-4(Prieto/Elder/Hogue) and 5-7(Goncharenko/Iglar/Alastra) shake out. Anybody in the second trio could move up a few spots with a great performance, but it really all boils down to the fact that everyone's chasing Benda.

With Goncharenko and Iglar joining, two players from last year will not be returning. Spasoje Kucerovic has given up the singles game to focus on doubles as of late in the year, tumbling well out of the Top 10. Far more disappointing is the case of Evgeni Topolski. The Russian, barely 26, finishes the year just out of the field and really should be in it -- he's been a major disappointment this season and unquestionably a waste. 2039 and 2040 should be his best two years, the peak of his abilities, and it's clear that without a major recommitment to the game he'll have to be regarded as an underachiever. .

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Old 07-30-2015, 10:49 PM   #84
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*steals strategy info*
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:16 AM   #85
Brian Swartz
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Good luck Izulde! I wonder what world(s) you are in if you care to share?

I decided just to be difficult to jump into #2 and compete there -- chose that one because it's the one with the most people. I will say that the fast pace is already driving me nuts and it's also clear that, as would make sense, it's more difficult to find quality players(455 managers in that one, 170 in #1 where I've been at). Having a player like Kazic is more of an achievement that it would be in #1, and it's also a lot harder to manage them well because of the increased speed of the simulation. Got myself a decent youth and an experienced player to get some points, I don't expect much out of either of them, I'll need to bide my time and hopefully eventually find someone better.

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Old 07-31-2015, 10:57 AM   #86
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I'm in 2 and 12, FWIW.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:57 PM   #87
Brian Swartz
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November

Prakash Mooljee tallied another Tier-5 win, this one in Zagreb, and made the final in doubles as well. That his fourth tournament at that level, pushing him to 330th in the junior annals with the year's end coming up, and he'll try to successfully crack the Tier-4 wall once more before the latest crop of 18-year-olds turns pro.

Girish Girsh was very busy getting his late-season rush of matches in. At a Tier-1 challenger in Geneva he figured to have a chance against any of the top seeds, but lost a tough quarterfinal to Slovakian Cestmir Dziadosz, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The next week he fared better in Bratislava. Most of the best players there lost early as there was a lot of fatigue going around. A narrow victory in the final over Spain's Eduardo Serrano, 7-5, 7-6(2), got Girsh the biggest title of his career and second challenger, moving him up to just outside the Top 100. In Japan for the Toyota tier-2 event to finish off his season, he moved just inside it by reaching the semis where he was blasted aside by Manne Pascual. The former world no. 12 is a little out of his league, but it was still a fine finish to the year and despite losing both doubles matches he played over the three-week stretch, Girsh is set up perfectly to get through the five-week offseason and be ready to go again in January.


World Tour Finals

Bjorn Benda made this a proper coronation, rambling undefeated through his group and failing to drop a set in sweeping aside all comers. Gabriel Alastra fittingly gave him his toughest match, 7-6(4), 7-6(4) in a razor-thin semifinal, while Almagro was less of a challenge in the championship match. With a nearly three-thousand-point-lead, Benda is head and shoulders ahead of the field at the moment.

Antonin Iglar won one match but failed to get out of group play, Viktor Goncharenko had a solid semifinal run in his debut, and the big loser was Perry Hogue, the only player to go winless for the week. The American, who was #1 for four weeks just a couple of months ago, has clearly hit a poor patch and it's doesn't appear likely he's going to recover from it.

So the month-long offseason is upon us, with final 2039 rankings and 2040 predictions upcoming after that.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:26 PM   #88
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I just joined world 1 too
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:46 PM   #89
Brian Swartz
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World Team Cup

There's a week yet left in the season, but the WTC Playoffs have completed. Our nemesis Austria, having edged Denmark 3-2 in the Level 2 Final, beat South Africa 4-1 to promote to Level 1 for the 2040 season. I have mixed feelings about this. I won't miss having to face them(they are still the only nation to beat us so far) but on the other hand they get to compete against the very best in the world, which is our ultimate goal and they stopped us from achieving it.

Revenge will be served cold if at all in this case.

Denmark is the only other nation to promote, as they defeated New Caledonia 3-2. Serbia and Monaco were relegated to Level 2 and will be among our potential foes. Sri Lanka finishes the year at 43rd in the world, just eight spots up from 51st a year ago. Our rise was definitely slowed by being knocked out earlier than usual. We've been drawn in Group 3 of Level 2 again, and will face Israel(29th), Romania(30th), and the Slovak Republic(26th) with Romania coming up first on an indoor court.

Israel is recently promoted from Level 3, going undefeated until a 3-2 loss to Luxembourg in the semis, but getting past Chinese Taipei easily 4-1 in the playoff. They have no Top 100 players and should be an easy out. Romania is a bit better, they also promoted from Level 3 and were beaten by Luxembourg as well(4-1 in the finals) before blanking Uruguay. They should not pose a serious threat to us either. The Slovak Republic lost two of three group matches last year, getting past only relegated Uruguay. All in all it really is a pretty easy group and we should easily win it with Romania probably second, followed by the Slovak Republic and Israel most likely. Looking around at the other groups, Group 3 seems to me to be by far the weakest. A stroke of luck for us, virtually guaranteeing at least a return to the quarterfinals.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:21 PM   #90
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2039 FINAL TOP TEN RANKINGS

And here we are, the end of a second year in this dynasty(and nearly a decade total for me) in the books. Thanks for joining me on the journey so far!

1. Bjorn Benda(DEU, 25) -- 11,450

Championships in Shanghai, Paris, and at the World Tour Finals in Belgium stamped Benda as the undisputed best player in the world. He hasn't lost an important match since the US Open three months ago, and made the quarters or better in all four slams and five Masters events. He's certainly helped by a weak cadre of contenders in his age bracket, but you can only beat the opponents in front of you. Either at or close to the peak of his powers, Benda is probably headed into a dominant 2040 campaign.

2. David Prieto(ESP, 29) -- 8,850

You can make an argument that despite his age, Prieto just had his finest season. He set a career-best with 74 wins against 17 losses and was only a sliver better in terms of winning percentage once(73-16 in '37, two years ago). The crown jewel was taking the title at the Australian Open and he'll need to repeat there if he wants to sustain this lofty position.

3. Mick Elder(USA, 28) -- 8,390

First-week defeats at the USO and Wimbledon hampered what was a spectacular season in many respects. He made six Masters finals, more than any other player, but walked away with just two crowns. Almost, but not quite in terms of being a consistent #1 threat, Elder is still more than a match for most of the elite.

4. Perry Hogue(USA, 25) -- 7,540

All signs point to a fairly quick decline now for the meteoric Hogue. He snagged the #1 ranking for almost a month in the late summer, but after a fantastic stretch lasting almost exactly one year his fall performances were disappointing, and in Perry's case it looks like a decline in athleticism, not a slump. It might be all he can do to stay in the Top 10 this year.

5. Viktor Goncharenko(RUS, 26) -- 6,420

The man who emphatically broke Alastra's stranglehold on the sport with a stunning run at Wimbledon has been decidedly unimpressive if solid since then. The general consensus is that he's a one-hit wonder who will hang around for a while, but has probably seen his lone brief moment in the sun. He has no Masters and just a single 500 to his credit, bolstering this argument.

6. Antonin Iglar(CZE, 23) -- 6,410

Iglar is the standard-bearer of the next generation, and his time has come. Objectively, he's the only player who has any real chance to unseat Benda. It's almost certain that he will, the only question is when. Probably it will take another year to two years, but if he can replicate the form he showed in crusing through all opposition in Cincinatti and the US Open, that could be sooner rather than later. I still think he'll be remembered as the best player in the post-Gorritepe area, Alastra included, before his time is done. Best guess is he finishes this year as #2 behind the German champion.

7. Gabriel Alastra(ARG, 30) -- 6,155

Flashes such as he showed at the tour finals are now few and far between, making this an opportune time to assess Alastra's place in history. His 6 Grand Slam titles are tied for 10th, 8 Masters Shields are a bit out of the top group(10th is 10 of them), and 92 weeks as #1 puts him 9th. Overall he's a solid second-tier great, bolstered by three consecutive seasons('36-'38) as the year-end #1. Not a transcendent talent, but definitely the best of his age bracket.

8. David Almagro(ESP, 29) -- 5,790

A strong finish to the year, but he's not getting any younger and missing his best event(Roland Garros) really hurt.

9. Evgeni Topolski(RUS, 26) -- 4,515

Toposki is a big, big-time disappointment. He should have been the top challenger to Benda at this point in my opinion. He's been mismanaged and seems to have lacked confidence, killer instinct ... something. The window is nearly closed for him. This past year probably should have been his best, he'll either make a big splash this year(unlikely) or be known to the history books as an underachiever.

10. David Alvarez(ESP, 27) -- 3,650

Alvarez is the current holder of the last spot, which seems to rotate between a series of players who can't make a serious move up. I expect to see him off the top page by year's end.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:44 PM   #91
Brian Swartz
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Sri Lanka Rankings Update

Anil Mehul -- 36th to 12th singles, 291st to 104th doubles. I'll be looking at his prospects for the coming year in more detail, but it was obviously a fine year, a career-best 52-20 win/loss and he won more prize money this year than he had lifetime coming in.


Girish Girsh -- 357th to 98th singles, 1557th to 424th doubles. Girsh has reached what is, based on Mehul's experienced, the last 'speed bump' in his rise through the rankings. He probably won't move up all that much this year. It will be a year of adjustment and acclimation as he will be playing all the Slams, at least the biggest Masters(Miami/Indian Wells), and a smattering of larger challengers along with probably a 250-level tournament or two. He does not, yet, have the advantage of fattening up his ranking with WTC points that Mehul and Chittoor had on their ascent.

Many of the players in the 50-100 range are still better than Girsh is. 2040 will probably be a year of seasoning, but by the end of it he should be ready to start reaching greater heights again. The more attentive readers may recall that he played a somewhat accelerated tournament schedule at the beginning of this last year; those points will now start to come off but continuing to build his technical abilities is still much more important. There is a solid foundation but he's not yet quite ready to be a top player, and a fair amount of fluctuation in his ranking is expected. When he's ready to move up again, the tournament results will begin to show it, and he continues to be on a strong path long-term.


Prakash Mooljee -- 168th juniors. The first 'establishing' year is in the books for the 15-year-old. Juniors throw a wrench into the works this time of year as the 18-year-olds are removed from the rankings at the start of each year. On the professional tour, veteran players slide down the rankings gradually, making such changes much less abrupt. In this case, Mooljee gained about 100 places almost overnight. He did very well in the last event, reaching a Tier-4 final in singles and winning the tournament in doubles. That will allow him several weeks of practice before he needs to get out there again. He'll slide down the rankings a fair amount in this time, since the bigger events are now more accessible to players who weren't ranked high enough until the 18-year-olds turned pro; it is typical for my juniors to actually gradually decline in their ranking for at least the first few months of the year because these other players are gaining points quickly, and it makes for a chaotic start to the year in which it is difficult to pick well what tournaments to enter.

As a baseline for looking at how Mooljee is doing as a player(good, on the whole), I like to look at how many players are ranked above a junior player that are younger. 168th may not look that impressive on paper but most of those above him are 17 and 16-year-olds, significantly more advanced in their physical maturity. In point of fact he is doing even better than I imagined; there is not a single player who is both younger and higher-ranked! He's just past 15 and a half, and there are only about a half-dozen(all at least several weeks older) who have not reached their 16th birthday yet. Not bad for a guy who I thought was pretty raw when he joined my 'stable' of players. The future's looking very good here.


Anil Manohar -- 442nd to 580th singles, 1472nd to 870th doubles. As expected, Manohar's rankings are 'evening out' as he works toward becoming a trainer. In less than a month he'll reach the point where his doubles skill has 'caught up' with the rest of his abilities and then splitting time between doubles and serving will commence for some while. He made better than expected progress this year, a hair under 4.0 as an expected trainer rating a year ago and now he's at 4.134 with almost eight years left to work on it. Of course, it is harder and harder to improve the better you get, but he should be able to finish as a very good though not quite maximum trainer by the time he retires into that role.


Manager Ranking -- 29th to 20th, 10k to 13.5k points. It's worth noting here that manager of both Benda and Iglar(a wealth of riches!) has taken over the #1 spot for the first time. Only three active players have ever been #1 on the rankings here, and they are current top 3, 7000 points clear of the field with at least 37k points each. I won't be in that stratosphere anytime soon but should be able to continue creeping upwards.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-06-2015 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:28 AM   #92
Brian Swartz
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My minimum goal for Anil Mehul going into the 2040 season is to be one of the Top 8 who make the World Tour Finals. The semifinal run at the USO, specifically knocking off Mick Elder in particular, really showed that his time has now come. Beyond that though, how much can we really expect? I decided to take a more in-depth look at the top players and what to expect from them, working out on overall rating. As I did this, I also thought it might perhaps be useful to explain the various aspects of a player's abilities more, particularly since we have a few who are playing the game reading my musings. This post will detail that breakdown so for anyone interested in the results of my universe but not the technical analysis, feel free to skip the rest of this . Most of this is in the game documentation but some is either not explained all that well or not synthesized in a way that, at least to me, makes sense.

Aging Factor -- All players have somewhere from 95% to 105% -- the lower end will result in a longer 'prime' as a professional, but players will not be as good as juniors and will not be able to train as much. Overall, less is better in terms of great pros which is what I focus on. Mehul is 95%, Girsh 96%, Mooljee 97% so my players are all on that end of the scale, quite intentionally. Most of the Top 10 is as well. Perry Hogue is a notable exception; he's about to turn 26 which isn't that old at all -- Mehul will probably hit his peak about then -- but I note him as a player in decline because he has a 103%(hence the meteoric label). Generally speaking junior #1 will have a 103% or more. A great example in my universe is a dominant junior between Alastra and Benda in age, Lubos Nedved. He is now almost 27, and basically won everything in juniors as a 17 and 18-year old and terrorized up-and-coming players(including Mehul) for a few years after that. He won the last five junior grand slams he was eligible for, but as a pro he has won just a pair of 250-level events and nothing higher, peaking at 19th and now 28th in the world and declining. Hogue is obviously a better version of this but he was never going to be a top player for long.

Age % -- This can be confused with aging factor but is not the same thing. This describes where a player is in their development, and is a multiplier that determines their actual ability at the time. For example, Mooljee has a raw ability of a little over 2.0 in skill, but because he's a young player, age % is only 68% and so he plays at a level of 1.4 instead. Skill, service, speed, strength, and endurance(twice, i.e. multiplied by 68% or whatever twice instead of once) are all affected by Age %, but the other abilities(mentality, doubles, talent, etc.) are not.

Static Attributes

These do not change throughout a player's career. They do not improve or decline with age, and they cannot be trained. They simply are -- a player is either good at them, or they are not, as a natural ability or lack thereof.

Talent -- Every player gains experience points, to be used in improving trainable skills(below) on a daily basis. It is the same amount every day. Mooljee(4.7) gets 31 xp per day, Manohar(2.0) gets 20 xp per day, etc. For particularly young and old players, this is especially important since they can't practice as much, meaning a higher proportion of their experience comes from their natural affinity or talent for the sport.

Mentality -- 'Clutch' ability that is used on important points, game points, break points, match points, etc.

Home Advantage -- Bonus given to players in front of their home crowd. This is largest in small events, and smallest in bigger ones: it disappears completely as a non-factor in Slams. I note it here only because it's there, but really it has a quite minor impact on the game. All else being equal I will play junior/future events in a player's home country, but of course all else is rarely equal and by the time you reach the level where it's really important to win, this virtually doesn't matter anymore .


Variable Attributes

All other attributes change based on a player's natural development curve(i.e., their age % which depends on the aging factor). The ones listed in this section cannot be trained either.

Endurance -- As I've mentioned, this is in my opinion the single most important attribute of a player. It defines how much a player can practice before become too tired to benefit from it. The formula here is simple: points played divided by endurance equals fatigue. I.e., a match with 100 points(for simplicity) and a player with 2.0 endurance will result in 50 fatigue. Above 500 fatigue performance penalties set in very quickly, so overworking a player beyond a certain point is just counterproductive. Since age % is divided in twice here, endurance both improves and declines much faster than anything else. This makes it doubly important to take advantadge of the 2-3 year 'physical peak' at which a player is at their maximum endurance(Girsh is about in the middle of this right now for me). That period is where trainers really shine, since these players can't play enough practice matches at that point to use up all of their fatigue allotment.

Strength -- Added directly to a player's skill to determine their playing ability in matches, but at a 20% rate(i.e., divided by five).

Speed -- The admin mentioned some years back that speed is a more complicated matter than strength, and never released the formula for it's effect. They said it was probably about the same impact as strength, but a number of players have mentioned they think strength is actually more effective in their players. It is generally thought to have the most impact on return of serve, but this is purely a logic-based conjecture.


Trainable Attributes

I've referred to these as the 'technical abilities/skills' at times. These are what I, as a manager, can improve using the experience points saved up via talent, matches, and training sessions.

Skill -- Basic rally ability of a player. This is used in all points, and is affected by age % as well.

Serve -- A player's serve ability is added to skill when they are the server. I.e, a player with 4.0 skill and 3.0 serve would have a base ability of 4.0 when returning, 7.0 when serving(before adding in speed/strength/mentality/etc. affects). Serve is also affected by age %.

Doubles -- Doubles is added to Skill in doubles matches, and(obviously) not used in singles. Importantly, it is not affected by age %, unlike the other trainable attributes.

Since Skill is always used but Serve only when serving, it is sensible and pretty much universally practiced to train Skill at least somewhat more.

Ok, so that's pretty much everything I know about the player attributes, all of which is a setup for:


Bryan's Overall Player Rating Formula

** Skill +
** 50% of Serve(again, since it's used half the time) +
** 40% of Mentality(a guess on it's importance, this is a matter of personal taste and the magnitude of the effect has not been publicly defined. Based on what I've seen this is a reasonable guess in my opinion. It may be a bit high but I don't think by much if it is) +
** 20% of Strength(official) +
** 20% of Speed(official estimate)

There are other matters such as a player's bonuses on the four surfaces, bonus or penalty depending on their form, and so on but all of these are completely within the control of the manager to properly prepare their player for success. The rating here is meant to simply describe the overall ability of a player at a given point in their career, to which good/mediocre/bad player management will add it's attendant effects.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-07-2015 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:43 AM   #93
Brian Swartz
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2040 Outlook

Here's how the Top 20 shakes out in my universe, Game World 1, as the new year approaches:

1. Benda(9.93, 93%, 0-2)

One thing I like about how this works out is that we can see right away that an even 10.0 would be a pretty darn good estimate for a 'great player'. This provides for easy comparisons further down the list. The % given is each player's current age %, i.e. development stage. A rule of thumb I've seen but never verified is that 92-94% equates a player's peak. If so, then Benda is really at the apex of his career, which would make sense. It will be interesting(at least for a math-nerd such as I am) to track the numbers here over the next couple of years and see whether that is completely accurate or not. I also included Mehul's record against these player's in 2039, as I was curious how close he'd come to playing like a member of the elite the past 12 months.

2. Prieto(9.64, 85%, 0-2)
3. Elder(9.87, 87%, 2-1)
4. Hogue(9.66, 90%, 0-2)

Hogue depended heavily on his athleticism, and as mentioned it's starting to go quickly now. Elder, by contrast, has fabulous mental strength(4.4) which has allowed him to overcome some minor deficiencies ... so far. It ends with everyone eventually.

5. Goncharenko(9.56, 91%, 0-1)
6. Iglar(10.03, 97%, 0-2)

Iglar is a beast. There's just no two ways about that. He's trained up his skills noticeably in the offseason period. I see double-digit slams coming. The only good news for me is that he's aging faster than Mehul. I don't think that will be enough to close the gap though.

7. Alastra(9.52, 83%, 2-0)

It's always a bit painful to watch this part of a great player's career, when they simply don't have it anymore.

8. Almagro(9.89, 86%, 0-0)
9. Topolski(9.82, 92%, 0-0)

You almost don't have to look up the fact that both of these two have the same manager. They should both be Top 5 at a bare minimum, but they've missed Slams and had other mistakes each of the past two seasons. That kind of margin for error just doesn't exist.

10. Alvarez(9.66, 91%, 0-0)

Alvarez is as good as much of the Top 10, but he never got to the point of being better that you need to reach to really break through much higher.

11. Blanco(9.44, 91%, 0-0)
12. Anil Mehul(9.63, 97%, NA)

Ah, there's my hero! More on how his year looks in a bit.

13. Hammerstein(9.80, 97%, 2-2)

No matter how you slice it, his mental game and near-superhuman strength still appear to be a little more than enough to trump Mehul's world's-best baseline skills.

14-16. Becerril, Gorritepe, Kucerovic ... all well past their prime and not really worth delving into here. Total record of 3-4.

17. Gaskell(9.61, 96%, 3-1)
18. Borrman(9.33, 93%, 0-0)
19. Mockler(9.19, 96%, 1-0)
20. Groeneveldt(9.41, 96%, 0-0)

A few other notables:

39. Marcel Bahana(9.69, 99%)

Best of the younger players, just shy of 22 years old, he's powered by the best mental game(4.7) I've yet seen in a big talent. Skill is still not quite there yet but he could be scary good if handled properly. With #3 marsel as his manager, that's quite likely to happen.

64. Chittoor(8.82, 98%)
98. Girish Girsh(8.79, 99%)

Doing well, but as mentioned there's still work to do. Although the ranking gap is still significant, he is very, very close to becoming Sri Lanka's second-best player.

168(J). Prakash Mooljee(4.00, 68%)

Illustration of just how big the gap is to the youngsters.


Analysis

One thing that jumps out right away is the number of older, in-decline players at the top. Alastra's generation was packed but they are on their way out. By my count I would expect 13 of the current Top 20 will be less of a factor at this time next year than they are right now, with a few expected to basically free-fall now. Anil Mehul doesn't appear to have much to worry about from below either. The 17-20 spots reveal Gaskell as the only possible threat and he's aging a little faster along with being a player who depends more heavily on his outstanding athleticism. He got Mehul once last year and it may happen again but in the long-term, not a concern.

Benda and Iglar are the top two, period, with Elder/Almagro/Topolski the next tier. Elder and Almagro are going to be fading steadily though and Topolski has been misused. Hammerstein will probably push ahead of Mehul a bit this year, but really it's only the top two that should be able to consistently beat him. He should be competitive with the Austrian and everyone else as he continues to slowly improve and the rest of existing power structure, at varying rates, crumbles around him. Really Anil is set to benefit just as much from a weak era in the game as from the work that has been put in.

I think by the end of the year Bahana will make some real noise but he's got a lot of ground to make up in the rankings before he can be a consistent threat and he's going to have to start contending with his longevity issues soon(101%). It will be interesting to see in the next couple of years to see if any of the players who are roughly Girsh's contemporaries manage to distinguish themselves. Overall it seems so far that there are a lot of them capable of being good, but how many have a chance to be excellent or great, it's a bit too early to tell at right now.

So at the low end I put Mehul as Top 8 by year's end, but I can see him reaching as high as 4th. Still pretty heady territory regardless. If I had to guess right now I'd say at his career apex he can hit #2 in the world at some point when Benda starts to plummet in a few years, which is rather remarkable -- but I don't think he'll surpass Iglar at any juncture. This is of course an educated guesstimate and I can't state that will happen with any certainty, just my best call from here. He's got probably two years or a little more until he hits peak, with marginal improvements in that timeframe. I'll need to continue to make small adjustments and learn the nuances of managing a player at the very top -- every year there have been new wrinkles. After the Paris doubles run jacked up his doubles ranking, he'll be representing Sri Lanka in that category in the WTC.

Looking at the Head-2-Heads mentioned above, he was just 2-8 against the Top 5, both wins coming against Elder. That accounts for almost half of his losses this season. Against the next five(6-10), the combined mark was only 2-2 -- it's rather remarkable that he didn't play Almagro, Topolski, or Alvarez even once in '39, and has never met David Almagro in his entire career! The #11-20 combined total is 9-7, and by elimination then his record against opponents who are now 21 or lower in the rankings was a sparkling 39-3. That last category won't improve a whole lot; he'll still be vulnerable to those kinds of players at least on clay. To really push through this year as he needs to, Mehul will have to more consistently go deep in the Slams and Masters, which will involve beating players in the Top 20 category more often than the 13-17(43%) composite he put together this year. I'd like to see that up to something more like at least two wins for each loss in 2040.

I'll also be closely watching the Girsh/Chittoor developments. I would hazard a guess at this point that sometime between end of group play in the spring, and the knockout rounds in the fall, Girsh will surpass Chittoor and become the second representative for Sri Lanka in the World Team Cup. A lot could happen there either way though and it's far from certain the switch will happen this year. The sooner the better, as far as I'm concerned.

Next up is the WTC tie against Romania, currently underway, with the Australian Open to follow three weeks later.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:36 PM   #94
Brian Swartz
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World Team Cup Level 2 Group 3 First Round
Sri Lanka vs. Romania(Indoor)

Monday: A. Mehul d. H. Prunea, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0
Tuesday: O. Funar d. A. Chittoor, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Wednesday: O.Kammerer/B. Miklos d. A.Mehul/A. Chittoor, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 13-11
Thursday: A. Mehul d. O. Funar, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1
Friday: A. Chittoor d. H. Prunea, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Sri Lanka defeats Romania 3-2!

There was a lot more drama here than expected, or for that matter more than I desired as well. After a triple-bagel start by Mehul, Chittoor showed up out of match shape as expected and got himself upset. Then in the doubles, I thought it was over when we were up two sets to none and came back to find us serving for the match at 8-7 in the fifth! After saving three break points and also blowing two match points, we were broken only to break again and serve for it at 9-8. This repeated at 10-9, and 11-10, until finally the Romanians held and took the match in an absurd comeback. When you have four chances to serve for it and can't get it done, you bloody well deserve to lose. How utterly ridiculous, an absolutely absurd loss.

Down 2-1 at that point, it was an open question whether we would even win the tie. Other than the second set Mehul was strong again in his second singles match, and by Friday Chittoor was back to a decent level of play and got a solid win in the decider to put us through. Funar is better than we thought -- Romania might well be good enough to stick in Level 2 now, but frankly we should not have lost either of the rubbers that we did. Chittoor probably still wins if he's ready to play, and the doubles loss is just really beyond words. It probably should have been a 5-0 skunking, but at least we got the victory in the tie which is the most important thing in the final analysis.

Sri Lanka is now bumped up a couple of spots to 41st, tying our high from last year at the end of group competition. Israel also went the distance in edging the Slovak Republic 3-2, and we'll get them next, again on an indoor court. That at least is a nice bit of fortune. The winner of that tie will be assured a place in the quarterfinals no matter what happens in the third round.

Three weeks now until the Australian Open. Mehul has enough matches in that he'll skip the 250s in those weeks; that'll result in the loss of 105 points as he made the Brisbane final last year, but it's the best way to set himself up for a deep run in Australia and that's far more important. Girsh will be heading to a loaded tier-1 challenger in Sao Paolo: there are two tier-1s as the only challengers prior to the AO and he needs to get a few matches in. They have almost as strong a field as the 250s: this time of year is crazy with almost everyone scrambling to get in the right amount of tournament play. He won't be in the seeds so he'll have to hope for a decent draw.

At any rate, Girsh's AO debut will be on the cards and Mehul will be looking to improve on last year's career-best 4th-round finish, while Mooljee will be taking an extended break here to train and let things settle out in the junior ranks.
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:14 PM   #95
Tellistto
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
I currently have the #1 junior in the world 11.

Not that he's a superstar but he's been trained well.

I bought VIP and spent one on world 4. Then got a 36yo player after reading your posts and he turned into a 4.7 trainer. Must admit I don't understand the formula for figuring out what a player will be as a trainer.

Anyways, thanks for letting us know about this game.

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Old 08-08-2015, 06:34 PM   #96
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Sounds like you are doing very well!

As far as the trainer formula goes, on the 'Use Experience' screen, look at your skill, service, and doubles abilities. For example, for me Manohar currently has 108 skill, 77 service, 74 doubles.

The formula is 100% of skill, 75% of service, 33% of doubles, then divide that total by 2.3. So in this example:

** Skill: (108 x 1.00) = 108
** Service: (77 x .75) = 57.75
** Doubles: (74 x .33) = 24.42
** Total: (190.17 / 2.3) = 82.683 ...

That's the 'raw' total, to convert it to 'tennis balls', i.e. the 5-point scale, divide by 20. That gives 4.134, so I'd expect him to be a 4.1 if I converted to him to a trainer without any more work.

Hope that helps, but otherwhise glad you found the game enjoyable in any event.

Edit: I should add though that a 4.7 is pretty darn good, and should let you come quite close to maxing out your players. The difference is not likely to be all that important between 4.7 and 5.0.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-08-2015 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:57 AM   #97
Brian Swartz
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January

As mentioned before the only tournament was Girsh playing in the Sao Paolo Tier-1 challenger. It was really quite the fitting microcosm of the current stage in his career: he beat 4th-seeded Ivo Montalvo(ARG, 56th), a clay-court specialist, in a tough first-round match 6-4, 7-6(9). American Tommy Day(87th), beat him easily in the next match 3 & 3 however. These are exactly the kinds of players he'll need to get past to take the next step.

A couple of observations are worth noting heading into the AO, which has now begun. Gabriel Alastra and Spasoje Kucerovic have now removed themselves from singles altogether, which will lead to more opportunities for the younger players. It seems their manager is headed towards making Alastra a trainer as soon as possible, or else he just wants a good veteran doubles team. The former is more likely, he has a 4.5 and a 4.9 but Alastra could be made a 5.0 easily. Regardless of the why, Alastra has now essentially resigned any impact on the singles scene.

Also, Amrik Chittoor has now not played any events aside from the WTC in several months. He's in free-fall, and is probably going to be basically useless in the next round for Sri Lanka. This will cause quite a problem as losing to Israel is actually quite likely since he's almost certainly not going to fall far enough for Girsh to take his place until later. His manager, having never discovered what practice tournaments are for, appears to have abandoned the game and my task is going to be more difficult for it. This is a great time to perhaps trumpet the 'Holiday Mode' option which allows for players to enter tournaments as if they weren't human-managed if the manager wants to leave the game, even temporarily. I suspect a lot of managers aren't aware of the option, esp. new ones(I don't even know where it is, but it's in the documentation somewhere).

At any rate, the AO is next on the docket. Mehul is defending a 4th-round result while Girsh makes his debut.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:20 PM   #98
Brian Swartz
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2040 Australian Open

Doubles was interesting: Mehul had to qualify and did so, then lost in the first round; Girsh had a better partner and actually made it to the second round. It was rather humorous to see him matched up in singles against world no. 1 Bjorn Benda to open things up: it started ok but got worse with a bagel to finish off a very predicatable straight-sets defeat. Three straight losses in Slams to start his career and probably a fourth to complete the cycle at the French, but Mehul lost 3 of his first 5 first-rounder so this really doesn't mean anything yet.

As for Anil Mehul, he cruised through the first three rounds, allowing no more than five games in any of them. Then the time came to face the music against Perry Hogue in the fourth round. Hogue had soundly beaten him in both of their previous matches, both coming last year during the best period of his career. He was now on the decline and had overplayed just a hair .... and that probably ended up being the difference as otherwhise he would still be slightly favored on hardcourt. After taking a pair of tiebreaks, Mehul played a miserable third set, lost a tiebreak in the fourth, and barely edge out the win 7-6(2), 7-6(7), 1-6, 6-7(3), 7-5. He was actually outpointed 182-179 but that was mostly due to the middle set. Just a little better on the most important points, this was a match that could have gone either way and was as much as anything a victory for being set up properly.

Pierce Gaskell was knocked out in the third round, Hammerstein overplayed as well and was eliminated in the fourth by Evgeni Topolski. The Russian no. 2 would be Mehul's foil in the quarterfinals. The head-to-head wasn't any better in this matchup, 0-3 lifetime, but they hadn't met at all last year. Two were in Slams, one in a Masters, so all on big stages. This time I thought Mehul had a small edge. He started well, but Topolski fought back. After breaking to serve out the match 5-4 in the third, it looked like it was over. He was broken back, and it went to a tiebreak. Mehul went down a minibreak twice early, but fought back himself, and Topolski cracked at 7-all. A double fault handed Mehul his fourth match point, and he took it for a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(7) win that was more dramatic at the end than it should have been.

In the semis, it was ... guess who? That's right, the force of nature himself, Antonin Iglar. He hadn't lost a set yet, and served up a shocking breadstick to start. Mehul played better after that, but couldn't take advantage of his chances. He dropped nine of 10 break points for the match, and was done in straights 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. It was as tough as any match Iglar would have, as he downed Benda in the final who had survived five-set thrillers over Almagro(8-6 in the fifth!) and Elder(lost the first two sets in tiebreaks before rallying) to get there himself.

Iglar moved up to third, a hair behind Elder and added a second Slam trophy to his case. He simply has no peer on hardcourts right now. If he plays well, he's going to win and that's the end of it. In making the final, Benda -- who had never gone past the quarters at this, his weakest Slam -- extended his lead over the field to an astonishing 4,000 points. It's a gap that is nearly of Gorritepe proportions, and Iglar's chase has begun in earnest. The question is, can the Czech prodigy do enough on clay to significantly narrow the gap?

Mehul is now up to a new career high at 11th, and only 120 points out of 10th. Attention turns back now to the World Team Cup. The second round of group play is now under way, with Chittoor in worse shape to compete than ever ... Getting the two wins over Hogue and Topolski was huge though. Aside from not beating either one before, it's a second straight Slam semifinal, and those are exactly the kinds of matches he needs to win to have a successful year. It was the kind of quality that could see him reach the Top 5 if he can sustain it.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:54 PM   #99
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
World Team Cup Level 2 Group 3 Second Round
Sri Lanka(1-0) vs. Israel(1-0), Indoor

Monday: A. Mehul d. A. Kuttab, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0
Tuesday: U. Naybet d. A. Chittoor, 6-3, 7-6(12), 7-5
Wednesday: A. Mehul/A. Chittoor d. A. Kuttab/U. Naybet, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
Thursday: A. Mehul d. U. Naybet, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3
Friday: A. Chittoor d. A. Kuttab, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4

Sri Lanka defeats Israel, 4-1!

Well, this tie was quite surprising. Playing indoors was an advantadge but not a huge one against the Israelis. Chittoor losing his first singles match was unsurprising, but he did well to put up a good fight being so out of match shape. When the doubles went our way easily for the 2-1 lead, it was pretty much over because there's no way Mehul was going to lose to anyone Israel has, and Chittoor rebounded by the end of the week for a nice win. Israel really only has one player good enough to play at Level 2 competition, and that did them in.

Romania edged the Slovak Republic 3-2, and we now have nothing to worry about. We are in the quarterfinals and will also finish atop the group no matter what happens. The winner of the Romania-Israel tie could equal us if we somehow lose to the Slovakians, but even in that case we'd own the tiebreaker against either.

Sri Lanka is now up to 35th, easily our best placing to date. It's a big load off my mind to have qualified for the knockout stages. Even if Chittoor hasn't slid far enough to let Girsh in the competition by the last group match, he will assuredly have done so(barring some super-bizarre turn of events) by the fall, and the Mehul/Girsh tandem that will take us through the next several years will finally be formed.

In the meantime, Prakash Mooljee easily rammed his way through a surprisingly weak field to get double titles in his latest Tier-4 event. He's up to 150th now in juniors. I'm in no hurry to move him up to Tier-3's, because he's been getting drilled in practice events lately. He seems to be in that rare 'sweet spot', getting a lot of matches in during tournament weeks, and able to then take a month or even more off for beneficial practice sessions against more advanced players. I'm going to ride that train as long as I can.

Girsh will be heading to a tier-2 challenger in Bergamo in a couple of weeks, it'll be a strong field there most likely but he's set to lose more points than he gains the next few months anyway. Right now that's pretty irrelevant for him; he'll start moving up when he's good enough to beat the better challenger players(33-100 approx. in the rankings) more consistently, and until then it can't be rushed; there's little point in doing anything but maximizing his training. It'll come when it comes. Mehul has about a month off, and will probably play in the Dubai 500 before the Masters in Indian Wells and Miami finish off the first quarter of the year. Overall, it's a pretty dry period coming up the next few weeks in terms of action on the court.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 08-12-2015 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:30 AM   #100
britrock88
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: WI via ND via NC
Aside: I dropped Delacave and picked up a 30yo Peruvian who was ~75th in singles and ~50th in doubles. I enjoy that he's still a choice for WTC matches, so I figured I'll retire him when he slips out of the selection for that. 2 years later, he's ~125th and ~50th, with a trainer potential slightly better than 4.6, and is still a WTC participant, so I'm enjoying his twilight years.

What I'm wondering is this--once I have a trainer in the fold, how does that trainer work in conjuction with practice sessions? I know practice sessions lead to manager points which help to hire players, so that's one advantage there. But trainers yield more consistent results in development, as far as I'm aware. Are trainers the way to maximize practice after getting bounced out of tourneys early? Or are they worth more than that?

Last edited by britrock88 : 08-13-2015 at 10:31 AM.
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