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Old 11-14-2023, 05:07 AM   #1501
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
World Team Cup, Level 1, Group 1, Round 1
Sri Lanka vs. Canada, Clay

- G. Raychaudhari d. M. Raonic, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
- A. Chandrasekharan d. M. Mallarme, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
- Srivastava/Raychaudhari l. Urazov/Chamberlain, 7-5, 6-1, 6-3
- G. Raychaudhari d. M. Mallarme, 6-1, 6-0, 6-2
- A. Chandrasekharan d. M. Raonic, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3

Sri Lanka defeats Canada, 4-1!!

A comfortable win to open the year; even if Chandraskeharan had lost his first match we still would have been ok. We get Great Britain on clay next; I'm confident of victory there and also confident of defeat in the third round against Australia on an indoor court. If that all plays out, it'll just depend on who we get in the quarterfinal draw, but it's no longer about trying to get into a playoff; at the top, we just want to make it as far into the knockout rounds as we can.
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Old 11-14-2023, 11:19 AM   #1502
ntndeacon
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Algeria won its playoff match vs Thailand to get to level 2. In the group with Chile, Tunisia, and India. Chile Destroyed them in round 1 5-0... As they should... ( much better than Algeria.) But they should stay up and beat India at least, and have a fair shot at Tunisia.

Ecuador is still in in Level 3 in a group with Chinese Taipei, Finland and Belgium. Ecuador took out Belgium in round 1 3-2. I have hopes of a playoff spot for them. But they go as far as Tallado takes them.
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:33 PM   #1503
britrock88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
I'm surprised you haven't talked about Landau yet btw - he looks promising.

He's coming right along. Just turned 24, so feels like a bit of a late bloomer to have recently cracked the top 30 for the first time. Has grabbed some solid Challenger results when eligible and made a few nice runs to 500 SFs and 250 QFs. He's certainly enjoying all the German tournaments in grass season...

I don't run the calculations as precisely as you do, so I don't know what exactly Landau's likely ceiling is, but I sure am glad to be at the tail end of the days when you have to pick and hope for good tourney seeds/results for players in the 50-100 range.
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Old 01-02-2024, 09:55 AM   #1504
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
I've been lazy with updating this, but another game year is almost over so it's time to catch up on what's been happening.

Country Rankings

1. Spain - 2528
2. Austria - 2357
3. Argentina - 2201
4. France - 2185
5. United States - 2153
6. Great Britain - 2119
7. Chile - 2105
8. Sri Lanka - 2041
9. Greece - 1956
10. Russia - 1939

A nice move up from 14th last year and a 261-point gain; we made the semifinals where we lost 3-2 to Spain. A 5-set doubles match could have swung it our way. Austria beat Spain 4-1 in the final, so they are the new standard and gradually closing in on the overall rankings. We've definitely arrived among the elite though, and I'd expect to continue moving up gradually.

We're in Group 3 next year, where we'll be dealing with Argentina (3rd), Great Britain (6th), and Poland (14th). By ranking it's a tough group, in reality not so much. We should win the group comfortably. Argentina is the best but their top player is Alexander Darbello (37th) and they won only one group match last year. Great Britain was in the relegation playoffs after going winless in our group, and Poland is in between the two in terms of their current players.

We're at the point now where we pretty much expect to cruise through the group play, and the knockout rounds are where it will get interesting. One change is that Raychaudhari will no longer be playing doubles; Chandrasekharan has a higher ranking due to some late-season results and will team with Srivastava. Makes sense for our top player to focus soley on singles at this point anyway.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 01-02-2024 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-03-2024, 05:54 PM   #1505
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Year 109 Top Ten Rankings

1. Ene Caballero (28, ESP, 83%, 8.81, -0.22) - 11,790

Both Caballero and Faille are on the borderline of looking a little better or a little worse in terms of how much they've actually declined, but it's clear that time is winning by a larger margin these days. Ene stays on top by virtue of winning Roland Garros and four Masters, but quarterfinal exits at Wimbledon and the US Open demonstrate that he's not dominant by any stretch.

2. Ben Faille (30, FRA, 79%, 8.78, -0.24) - 10,410

Faille has lost thousands of points this year as well. Despite that, he probably had the best year of anyone. Made the final of all four Slams, including winning the Australian and Wimbledon. A group play exit at the Tour Finals and only one Masters title while skipping two others entirely kept him from regaining the top spot. For a 30-year-old, that's pretty darned incredible, and disappointing at the same time.

3. Jan Schleicher (26, AUT, 90%, 8.80, -0.14) - 8,880

Schleicher also suffered from a certain level of management incompetence, skipping two Masters in the middle of the year. He ends strong by winning the WTF, and had two Masters titles and two other finals. Slam results though were a mix of quarterfinals and semifinals, leaving Jan still as the third wheel despite being fully the equal of Faille and Caballero at this point. Having just passed his peak, he likely won't decline as fast as the other two are.

4. Jason Abercrombie (26, AUS, 90%, 8.67, +0.03) - 6,000

Abercrombie essentially stayed at the same plateau he's been on for a few years now from a theoretical point of view, but he joins the Top 4 on the strength of a surprise run to win the US Open ... after losing in the third round of the middle two Slams. Four-set wins over Mankaba and Faille got him the trophy. It remains to be seen how long the inertia of his ranking will keep him here, but he has superior competition both above and below.

5. Iljia Starkov (25, RUS, 93%, 8.94, +0.02) - 5,895

Starkov nearly doubled his points total, and slashed his ranking in half from 10th last year, the second year in a row he's managed that. While he didn't really get any better, the top competition all regressing makes Iljia the world's best player, even though it's still very much within the margin of rounding error. This should be his year; he won't need much to push Abercrombie aside, and he should be able to take a 'first among equals' spot alongside Schleicher, Faille, and Caballero. I also expect another modest improvement in his game.

6. Kabo Mankaba (27, ZAF, 89%, 8.72, -0.03) - 5,755

Mankaba added nearly a thousand points, yet narrowly slipped a spot from 5th, showing how much more competitive it is getting. I'm not sure if Kabo will be able get past #5; like Schleicher, his best tennis is probably behind him now.

7. Alvin Fant (26, USA, 90%, 8.60, +0.02) - 4,645

Fant is yet another list of players to add to the peaked category. A modest addition of several hundred points moved Alvin up one spot in the rankings, but he's got a big target on his back. He's done better than I expected, but this is really as far as he's going to go.

8. Jorg Weltsch (25, DEU, 91%, 8.64, -0.13 ) - 4,205

Weltsch demonstrated this season just how far you can go by mastering the 500-level events. His fast-moving career would seem to be about to come to a crashing halt. He made the semis of the Tour Finals on the basis of tiebreakers; a 3-way tie with himself, Abercrombie, and Starkov all winning one of three matches in the round-robin. Other than that, a SF at Cincinatti and a few QF were all he had to show for himself, along with 3 500 titles and one final.

9. Girish Raychaudhari (23, SRI, 96%, 8.80, +0.14) - 3,725

10. Renke von dem Knesebeck (23, AUT, 96%, 8.78, +0.13) - 3,620

Raychaudhari and Knesebeck continue to basically be a matched set. They've reached the point where only Starkov can definitively be said to be better than they are; there was a lot of flip-flopping of positions although the Austrian is overall slightly better and had the upper hand more often than not. A few mistakes I made didn't help that. Still, Girish nearly had the #8 spot at the end of the year, 200 points exactly behind Weltsch before the ranking bug reared it's ugly head once more.

Analysis

Three more players dropped out of the Top 10 this year; Przalowik and Banqueria were long-term members, while Sachse had a shorter stay. We've reached a point of unrivaled chaos in my experience. Starkov has a small edge over five basically equally-matched players; Caballero, Faille, Schleicher, Raychaudhari, and Knesebeck. I expect things to have sorted things out a year from now, but at the moment in any given event any of those six could come out on top without it being all that surprising. For the next few months at least and probably longer, the smallest of edges will be significant.

The average rating slips from 8.79 to 8.75, and may well drop further. Only three players are clearly still improving, the rest falling and some of them fast. It's time for Starkov, Raychaudhari, and Knesebeck to gradually seize power, and for the next generation - who, exactly?? - to gradually kick the others out.
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Old 01-03-2024, 07:00 PM   #1506
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Year 109 Rankings, 11+

13. Olivier Pitteaux (24, FRA, 95%, 8.84, +0.08)

In fairness, you have to add Pitteaux to that group of six challengers already listed in the Top 10, and make it seven. He's actually #2 by a hair over most of the rest in my calculation, but again not even close to the margin of rounding error there. Olivier improved his serve this year, and is up +5 in the rankings. He's only 105 points behind Knesebeck; I don't remember a time when a player this far down in the rankings had 3500 points before. It's so competitive right now with all of these equally matched players, with the situation constantly shifting.

15. Leo Mac Si (21, ESP, 99%, 8.65, --)

Mac Si was noted last year as the lone face of the next generation worth mentioning at that point; he was 53rd, so he's definitely said hello in a big way. Overall, I think he's a half-step better than either Raychaudhari or Knesebeck, and he's not very far off the pace. A runner-up finish at the Madrid Masters definitely was eye-opening. Leo is unquestionably the next standard-bearer after the current group ... and at the rate he's going,possibly during their prime as well. Very good power, excellent endurance, speed and mentality are only relatively weaknesses; they're solid enough and after another year of improving his technique, he's going to be a definite problem esp. on clay.

18. Stanislav Mukarovsky (24, SVK, 95%, 8.53, -0.01)

Up from 26th, Mukarovsky had some notable upsets this year but didn't actually get any better. Perhaps he is still investing effort in doubles, where he is ranked 40th. That would be unfortunate. Stanislav is a quality player, but it makes his future unclear - I'm not sure he wouldn't be better off going all-in on doubles at this point, but he definitely should choose one or the other.

19. Simeun Despotovic (25, SRB, 92%, 8.53, +0.10)

Leaning even further into his serve wasn't the best choice for Despotovic, but it did help him some. He continues to alternate between improving his ranking or his ability, never both in the same year; up just one spot from 20th. It's looking like the teens will be his peak, as there's maybe one year of improvement left and that's all.

22. Vladislav Bartnev (25, RUS, 94%, 8.47, --)

Bartnev emerged from Challengers early in the year, and had mostly underwhelming results on the pro tour; home-country wins at the Kremlin and St. Petersburg 250s were notable exceptions. A serve-heavy player with good to very good athleticism, esp. in movement, and an excellent mental game, Vladislav looks like a borderline Top-10 talent. Fant is a good comparison perhaps.

23. Scott Fielder (24, USA, 94%, 8.54, +0.19)

A much bigger-jump in ability than results for Fielder this past year; just +3 from 26th. Baseline play is still a liability but he's strong just about everywhere else. I figure Scott to make a significant move, and Top 10 is not yet out of the question for him.

24. Luke Ayriss (25, USA, 92%, 8.46, -0.03)

We are decidedly unimpressed with Ayriss' lack of development, and he's basically running out of time now. Might eventually make the Top 20, but even that is uncertain.

26. Alfred Landau (24, DEU, 95%, 8.37, --)

Landau is another new player from Germany. He's a prototypical all-around solid player, but there's nothing about him that stands out which makes him decidedly second-tier. Alfred has at least two more years to improve, probably closer to three; I'd put him in the borderline Top 10 category, low teens at worst, at his peak. He'll make a little bit of noise but won't threaten the top contenders.

28. Sergiu Eliade (24, ROU, 94%, 8.37, --)

Eliade is a similar talent to Landau, speed is merely average, but pretty good mental ability. Sergiu has expended quite a bit of effort into doubles though which is a drawback. He'll burn out a little more quickly than Landau, and I don't expect him above around 15th.

31. Jack Gigg (22, MAL, 97%, 8.06, --)

It's not every day you see a notable tennis player from Malta. Gigg is an extreme clay-focused player which has helped him push up further than he deserves; he's also emphasized serving heavily. There's quite a bit to like about him, and I guess by default he takes the #2 spot in the next generation behind Leo Mac Si. Good athleticism, excellent speed, mentality and endurance are both pretty good; he's aging fast but I'm going to say he probably makes the Top 10. Lot of work to do to get there, and we'll see if he can make it happen.

Analysis

We definitely are short on young up-and-coming players, rather a bunch of peaked, declining, or second-tier talents on this list. There's a couple of 20-year-olds in the 70s that we'll probably end up seeing eventually, but it really looks thin. I'm leaning more and more towards Leo Mac Si having an extended stay at #1 in the future.


34. Aparna Chandrasekharan (28, SRI, 88%, 8.08, +0.14)

Chandrasekharan was hanging out at 31st until recently getting hit with the ranking bug. But near the border has been his fate either way; he's at his peak right now, vacillating between 4.8-4.9 skill and 3.5-3.6 serve on a regular basis. I think the decline begins this year if it hasn't already; 27th is the best he's done and it probably stays that way. He's still done well for how he started. Three of the four Slams this year found him in the 3rd round, and there's really not anything else to be expected. Eventually he'll go trainer, but his singles days are not done yet.

607. Sushant Srivastava (32, SRI, 77%, 6.77, +0.10)

Srivastava is about to turn 33, and we'll keep him out there as a help in the WTC doubles for another year or two; then he'll go away and we'll bring in another junior. He's slipped some in doubles, but still credible at 88th.

1575. Ram Mayuri (18, SRI, 91%, 6.06, +1.13)

Mr. Mayuri didn't do as well in juniors as he could have, hanging out in the high 20s or low 30s most of this year. He just was that little bit too much behind the curve to really break out and challenge the top players, even though he did have some close matches against them when given the opportunity. Now Ram is a pro; he's spent the last few months building up in Amateurs. 2nd round, semifinalist, and champion in his past three. He'll have at least a couple more I think, as he's not quite ready to make the jump to futures, but in a few months he will be. I still see him as a future Top 10 player but beyond that I'm not sure; he's no Raychaudhari, but we'll see what we can make of him.

25(M). Manager Ranking - 12.7k.

A more modest gain of just about a thousand points and +3 in the rankings this year. I'm gradually moving up through the second-tier managers.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 01-03-2024 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 02-02-2024, 10:27 AM   #1507
ntndeacon
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My guy Tallando is actually seeded in a 250 event for the first time! He's at Gstad as the 5 seed.
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