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Old 09-20-2022, 10:52 AM   #51
Join Date: Jun 2019
Thomas Christensen crushed Viktors Aukstinaitis 6-2, 6-0 in the 3rd round of the Orange Bowl in a battle of two of Brian's ex-players.

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Old 09-20-2022, 03:48 PM   #52
Brian Swartz
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Yeah nobody ever picked up Aukstinaitis. And some of the top juniors players have been fired as well as their manager had enough. So swat those guys away .
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Old 09-20-2022, 03:55 PM   #53
Brian Swartz
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The Orange Bowl saw the emergence of a new doubles team: Homer Simpson/Stefan Liebenthal. Ugg. Simpson's big juniors year isn't till next season, Liebenthal ranked 11th. But Liebenthal has put some significant effort into doubles, and Prisha/Herena came up just short against them in the semifinals, 7-5, 3-6, 10-8. I've been taking doubles for granted, with good reason, but we got a surprise here.

In singles, it was a pleasant surprise to see Prisha get the upper hand against Fehrang Forrughi for the first time in an epic semifinal, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Forrughi has decided to start over-emphasizing the serve for whatever reason, and Prisha has also caught up in aging; both players are at their physical peaks. The match should have been a loss to be frank; it was quite close, but Forrughi was just 2 of 21 on break points. Yikes.

Prisha then easily blasted Herena aside for the title, which secures his position at #3 in the rankings. Just one more tournament left.
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Old 09-21-2022, 01:56 AM   #54
Brian Swartz
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The Casablanca Cup was .... less successful. Lost in doubles semis again, this time to a different team: Arefyev/Anglert. Again it was a match tiebreak that did us in, 10-7. Frederick Anglert is under new management, and surprisingly took down Prisha in the quarterfinals of singles as well, 6-4, 6-3.

So that's that. Final juniors rankings are Forrughi, Herena, Prisha, Andersen, Frera, Anglert. I won't follow this as closely with McVicker in a couple years who figures to be a little better, but it was a fun adventure and a competitive enough year. Always good to learn new things.

End of the year wrap-up coming soon.
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Old 09-21-2022, 10:14 AM   #55
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
That Just Happened: 593 In Review

1. Sam Marino (26, SMR, 90%, 8.94, -0.02) - 10,765

Marino won the Australian Open again ... and this time added four Masters titles to go along with it: Rome, Paris, Miami, and Shanghai. That was enough to get him to top spot, unseating Roethlisberger. He should be able to compete for a chance to stay there, but it's close enough that he needs to win the AO for a third straight time or it's probable that someone else will take the #1.

2. Fred Roethlisberger (27, DEU, 89%, 8.97, -0.03) - 9,900

Roethlisberger won Cincinatti and Indian Wells, then also the Tour Finals which closed what had been a significant gap with Marino. He's probably on the downside of his career now, but still very much a threat.

3. Felipe Avello (27, CZE, 91%, 8.83, --) - 8,500

Normally winning two Slams as Avello did with RG and USO would be plenty to get to #1. Not in this case. He probably overachieved on that side of things, and also won the Canada Masters, but didn't quite have the consistency needed and did surprisingly poorly at the 250 and 500 tournaments. I expect him to be lower on the first page a year from now.

4. Helmut Nykvist (24, SWE, 94%, 9.01, +0.08) - 6,270

Last year we wondered if Nykvist was ever going to make his move. He was 15th then; the answer is definitely yes. Objectively he's become the best player in the world, though a surprising level of interest devoted to indoor courts complicates that math. Still, with the other contenders at or past their peak, it would not be surprising to see the gifted Swedish phenom take the crown this year.

5. Chris Shank (29, USA, 84%, 8.74, -0.08) - 5,610

Going the other way is Shank, finally starting to feel significant affects of time passing him by.

6. Victor Jensen (28, DEN, 87%, 8.81, -0.12) - 4,755

An even steeper decline for Jensen, last year's #3. He couldn't replicate the success on clay, failing to get past the semifinals at any big tournament.

7. Lazaro Corral (23, ARG, 94%, 8.82) - 4,645

Champion at Monte Carlo and runner-up at Roland Garros, Corral is one of the players who filled the void in the clay season. This is the first we've mentioned him, but it seems unlikely to be the last.

8. Eman Radacanu (24, GBR, 94%, 8.86) - 4,330

Radacanu is more of a hardcourt (and grass, as fits the nationality) player, but also is pushing towards the top along with Corral. Someone has to fill the void, and there are multiple older players who have made the turn to work on doubles.

9. Ken Grimes (28, AUS, 86%, 8.59, -0.19) - 3,805

I think it's safe to say Grimes was fortunate to only slip a couple of spots last year. He was a fun player to watch, but it's over now.

10. Sebastian Toma (28, URU, 86%, 8.56, -0.11) - 3,720

Only a year removed from being placed 4th, Toma is one of those who has seen the writing on the wall and started working on doubles. Had a couple of strong over-achieving seasons though.

11. Ljubidrag Kusic (23, DEU, 96%, 8.83)

One of the next-up is definitely Germany's latest offering. Kusic offers a good and versatile brand of tennis, with technical skills approaching the point where he could become a big factor.

After Ljubidrag there are a number of other players who could fill in. Further down is Australia's Daniel Landon (23, 8.65), a very powerful player if somewhat lacking in dedication who figures to be relevant soon. But there are many possibles, and we'll see who rises to the occasion.
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Old 09-21-2022, 10:26 AM   #56
Brian Swartz
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852. Tomaz Hoza (41, CZE, 58%, 6.15, -0.17)

Hoza has reached the point where he's really struggling to compete at the futures level. We could well see him reduced to the indignity of playing Amateurs, although perhaps not as his doubles ranking is still holding ok. On the trainer side, up another 0.06 to 4.96. Service and doubles are now maxed out, so it's just a case of pushing skill as high as he can now.

UNR. Prakash Prisha (18, IND, 101%, 7.07, +1.27)

This was the last big growth year for Prisha; he reached physical peak a few months ago. I think I jumped the gun in saying I tried to play futures too quickly; he'll be heading back out to that level, and I think he just had a particularly bad luck in the competition for the tournament he played. At the time he was already significantly better than Hoza, who was still getting quality futures results.

In any case, it's going to be some bad weeks of training while he establishes a ranking. I think I need to balance that out better when McVicker reaches this stage, and get him some results before he leaves the junior ranks. The outlook for Prakash this year is to move through the lower levels of futures as quickly as possible, getting up to more quality competition and pushing in the direction of challengers.

71 (J). Bart McVicker (16, USA, 85%, 4.77, +1.09)

88 (J). Timmy Tilleman (16, BEL, 74%, 3.95, +1.13)

McVicker and Tilleman now face what I always find to be the most challenging year of juniors to handle well. They've advanced past the bottom tiers, but the final-year juniors monopolize the top tiers, so they'll play as many decent JG3s as they can find, maybe some JG2 later in the year, and try to be as prepared as possible for their big year that follows. McVicker may find himself out there in an Amateur or two late in the year, depending on how the schedule works out.

Manager Ranking

Prisha's exploits pushed me up to 3.5k points, nearly doubling the total from a year ago, and 98th in the rankings. That's almost the midpoint of current active managers. I'll be hard-pressed to do more than just maintain that level this year, now that he's back at the bottom of a larger pile as it were with turning professional. But bigger things are coming.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 09-21-2022 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 09-23-2022, 09:48 PM   #57
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
New information has come to light. Some people on the discord did some number-crunching on trainers, and it turns out that there's a strong diminishing returns mechanic. Short version; above 4.5 trainer ability you don't get much benefit, and it probably helps less the further up you go/ There's still *some*, but most of the difference between a 4.0 and a 5.0 trainer, which is what I tested, is in the 4.0-4.5 range, not spread out so the 4.5-5.0 increase doesn't do a whole lot (maybe 2% gain out of the 13-14% for the whole range).

What this means is that it's not really worth pushing players to their max as trainers in many cases. I'm going to turn Hoza into a trainer ASAP now, which will open up a player slot and give me a trainer in the 'good' category.
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:44 PM   #58
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Manoj Datar has become a trainer, age almost 42 and trainer ability of 4.96. My first quality trainer on this world. That will help Prisha immediately as he needs regular training, and it won't be longer before McVicker and Tilleman regularly benefit. So now I have an opening on the roster again, and Aldercreutz is merely a backup trainer.

Meanwhile, Prakash Prisha did indeed suffer from poor training sessions to start the year - still is to a lesser degree. He's played five FT3 events, winning four and making the final in the fifth, and is moving up to the FT2 tier. Based on this, I want Bart McVicker to have 2-3 futures titles in the bag before he finishes up his final junior year, so he can have smoother, better ride upwards. That's probably going to involve sending him out on those events after the junior USO next year, and skipping the last two JGAs. McVicker is staying on track with looking similar, but better as compared to Prisha.
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Old 09-27-2022, 06:59 PM   #59
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006

Here's a fun fact about how the game works, for helping optimize player preparation. Note Prisha's form on the left is 15.9, but only 13.9 on the right 'detail panel'. This is because the summary on the right updates everything at the start of the day. That's when the match result is calculated, etc. But on the right, it shows the 'in real time' form.

So in this case, I actually have a performance penalty because my form isn't high enough. I've traditionally thought that the number on the left was the 'accurate' one, and so I would be up at 15.9, and not get hit with that penalty.

In terms of applying this, it's always best then to never be below 15, even at the very start of a week. Otherwhise there's an experience penalty like I have here. Also, if you're using experience to train and want it to affect a particular match, you need to do that before the day changes to the day of the match. On the match day, it's too late. It's also important to remember this idea when trying to set up a top player for the optimal form zone (20-25) in a big tournament.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 09-27-2022 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 09-27-2022, 07:15 PM   #60
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Optimally, I'd like a new player in 3-4 years to replace Hoza. If I don't find the right young talent, I do have a VIPGen to use in this world. In the meantime though, I'm losing points every week that I don't have someone. So I've decided to bring in a new player - my goal was to find someone reasonable close to their peak, the best available, and just milk them for everything I can get in the interim.

Introducing then, Johnny Black of Italy. Strange name for an Italian if you ask me. Black has only been unmanaged for about a half-year, and was the most expensive option in the 21-23 age bracket at 746 points. There were a couple big names that came open recently including Chris Shank, but he's over the hill and was snatched up by another manager anyway.

Age: 23y 3w (97%)
Aging Factor: 100%
Skill: 4.7
Service: 3.4
Strength: 4.6
Speed: 1.4
Mentality: 2.3
Home Adv: 2.8
Endurance: 3.3

You can see why he's a free agent; speed is bad, mentality is subpar, endurance is solid but definitely not good enough for a top player. Excellent power, and at least reasonably well-trained to this point. Black is currently ranked 96th in singles, so he's an above-average Challenger by ranking. His rating by my formula comes out to 8.09. I think he has a chance to become a Top-30 player, but if so he'll likely be a marginal one. Still he should be improving for most if not all of the timeframe I'll be managing him.

In any case, the goal here is to milk him for everything I can get out of him, he should definitely be a profitable player while I work up the other ones, and keep my eye out regularly for a youngster special enough to be a replacement. Esp. as we get closer to the target date for a new youth in a few years. Black should also give me some more information on how good you need to be in this world to be successful in Challengers/graduate from them, and I can use that to fine-tune my approach with Prisha, McVicker, and Tilleman as they push upwards.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 09-27-2022 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:27 AM   #61
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
That Just Happened: 594 In Review

1. Sam Marino (27, SMR, 88%, 8.91, -0.03) - 13,140

This was Marino's year, but probably it shouldn't have been. Definitely more than a bit of luck to accomplishments. Won three Slams, two Masters, and the Tour Finals to turn what was expected to be a chaotic year into a clear reign for him. He's now sitting on exactly one full year at the top spot, but is getting up there enough in age that I think he will lose it by the end of the next year.

2. Ljubidrag Kusic (24, DEU, 94%, 8.97, +0.14) - 8,630

Winner at Miami and Shanghai, Kusic is the top challenger despite not making it to a Slam final. Did manage runner-up at the Tour Finals however.
He was 11th last year, and I had him tied for 6th overall at that point - I expected a move up, but ... not this. Now he's the favorite to be the top player on tour for the next couple of years. Definitely putting in the work to improve, and it's showing.

As this world goes, we appear to be at the onset of a weak era. There's not a great deal of top talent, though there is some, coming up right away. Not as much as is leaving.

3. Fred Roethlisberger (28, DEU, 87%, 8.96, -0.01) - 7,710

Recently under new management, it's possible Roethlisberger may switch to doubles. I wouldn't do it just yet if I was him though. He can contend for at least one more year - it was a somewhat disappointing campaign but he won Indian Wells with losses in the final of the Australian and USO to Marino. Very possible he could reverse those results this year, actually grading out a bit better than the #1.

4. Eman Radacanu (25, GBR, 93%, 8.88, +0.02) - 7,660

Up-and-down year highlighted by a run to the Wimbledon final. It's surprising Radacanu hasn't won there yet. Up from 8th a year ago, and the next two years figure to be his best. For that to happen, a bit more consistency needs to be forthcoming.

5. Helmut Nykvist (25, SWE, 92%, 8.98, -0.03) - 6,560

By a nose, Nykvist is theoretically still the world's top player on paper. Due to moderate levels of mismanagement and a strange affinity for indoor courts at the expense of more important surfaces, that has definitely not panned out as he slips a spot from 4th while coming into what should be his prime. It seems likely the Swede is destined to be a relative disappointment.

6. Lazaro Corral (25, ARG, 93%, 8.85, +0.03) - 6,325

Corral is a clay specialist and showed it with trophies at Roland Garros and Monte Carlo; the only player not named Marino to win a Slam this year. On the other hand, there were too many early losses in other events for a player of his abilities, even with the clay focus. If he's more consistent this year he could easily move up a spot or two.

7. Sinisa Kumric (26, CRO, 90%, 8.71, --) - 5,445

Kumric wasn't in last year's rundown, and at his age is a bit of a surprise. Doesn't really have the technical skill to hang with the others, but made enough of a clay focus to reach the RG final and win the Rome Masters. I'm expecting a short stay in the Top 10, but it could possibly last another year.

8. Felipe Avello (28, CHI, 89%, 8.85, +0.02) - 5,195

It's a fickle sport. Avello got slightly better if anything ... and tumbled from #2 to #8. His playing ability should have him in between I think, and I expect to see him inch back up some.

9. Victor Jensen (29, DNM, 85%, 8.73, -0.08) - 3,760

Jensen has accepted the verdict of time, and begun a doubles focus.

10. Chris Shank (30, USA, 82%, 8.55, -0.19) - 3,210

Ditto for Shank, who really fell off a cliff this year. These two are clearly about to go away.

11. Daniel Landon (24, AUS, 95%, 8.83, +0.18)

Landon will be taking one of those spots almost for sure. Got himself an honorable mention last year, and then made major steps to improve. Should be Top 5 at a minimum eventually.

One more spot will likely be taken by a veteran such as Barend Mollendorff or Arnaud Boyette, or perhaps rising Canadian Liam Mitchell (16th, 8.78).
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:47 AM   #62
Brian Swartz
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97. Johnny Black (23, ITA, 97%, 8.07, -0.02)

Down a hair since I hired him, but that's just a bit of aging which technique hasn't quite counterbalanced yet. Black's two Challenger events since taking him on are a QF in CH2, and SF in CH3. I think he's definitely still at the point of playing low-level Challengers until he can consistently win them. For his career, he has 18 futures ... but no Challengers yet. That's a goal to shoot for, along with general improvement of rating and ranking.

237. Prakash Prisha (19, IND, 101%, 7.65, +0.58)

A healthy improvement this year but the days of 1+ gains are over. Prisha will find it harder and harder to improve from here on out, diminishing returns and the fact that aging has nothing more to give him. On the court, a sparkling 49-2 record with 8 trophies from 10 futures events has him honored with a position as #2 singles for India in the World Team Cup this year. Only the very best futures players consider themselves his superior, and not for long.

Prakash will push up into the Challenger ranks soon, but I'm in no particular hurry on that. He's about a year from equaling Black's current abilities, and probably three years from being ready for the top Challenger events.

14(J). Bart McVicker (17, USA, 94%, 6.09, +1.32)

Time for McVicker's run at juniors glory. A comparison to Prisha is instructive I think; Prakash was 5.80 at this point, even though he was 10 weeks older. Partly due to having a better start and partly due to his speed - now at 5.0 - Bart is definitely ahead of the game by comparison. We'll see how that translates against the rest of the competition this year, but my projection of him as being the better player of the two is holding so far.

20(J). Tim Tilleman (17, BEL, 83%, 5.04, +1.09)

Tilleman looks like he's way off the pace, but most of that is down to his slower aging factor. If he was at McVicker's aging, he would be in the vicinity of 5.7 ... and that's without taking into account that he would have had higher endurance and therefore better improvements in skill & service along the way than he's had. Not as good as the other players still, but in the long-term the gap will not be as high as it appears to be at present.

For this year, he'll help McVicker as doubles partner, and probably get in some amateur events at the end of the year. He won't be good enough to compete with the top juniors, or take the jump directly to futures most likely.

Manager Ranking

Overall I lost about 100 points this year, and slipped one spot to 99th. Pretty much breaking even. I was down more than that before purchasing Black, who has already paid for himself. Definitely looking like things are on the rebound and expecting the gains to resume in the coming year.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 09-30-2022 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 10-01-2022, 09:30 PM   #63
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Update on Prakash Prisha; he's jumped into the Challengers tier faster than I intended. He's the #2 singles for India in the WTC. They're currently in Level 3, and he won three of his first four rubbers, each of which gives 25 points - the same as a FT2 singles title. That boosted him up inside the Top 200 faster than I intended, but I'll take it - the more WTC action he can get, the better he'll be. Bart McVicker looks like he'll get a lot of work in the junior WTC for the United States - they could well be junior world champions this year with two top-ten players.
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:32 AM   #64
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Heads up; I'm discontinuing this thread. I do intend to keep the other one going, at least for the time being, but I just can't justify the time required to play well in this world. It would have been fun to see how my guys, and others to come, did at the top against the other top managers, but there's too much of a choosing between handling the more important matters of real life, or else not paying enough attention here to manage well.
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