There’s a well-known witticism that most people learn in middle school or high school. Basically it says, don’t assume because of what it can make out of you and me. If you don’t know the expression, just google it. Week 3 of the FCPTL was proof-positive of the dangers of assuming anything in platform tennis. This past weekend was filled with a bunch of great matches, not all of which went the way one might have assumed. Below is a quick recap of some of the big matches that were played and a preview of some of the key matches for Week 4.

As always, current standings can be found here.

Division 1

D1 newcomer, Darien Town, had debuted strongly in the first two weeks, compiling a 6-2 record in two matches, and looked to possibly even make a run at the division title in their first year. However, missing two of their top players, Darien Town ran into perennially tough Lake Club and suffered a 1-3 defeat, and derailing for now, their early-season momentum. In another minor surprise, the other newcomer, Rowayton 1.2, managed to tie last year’s champions, Rowayton 1.1 with Brendan O’Brien and Rob Ackerman of Rowayton 1.2 pulling off a third -set tiebreaker at the 1 spot to even the match. In the most anticipated match of the week, first-place Wee Burn took on second-place New Canaan Field Club. All 4 matches were tight with the 1 spot featuring New Canaan’s Brad Easterbrook and Harry Demott facing Sebastian Bredberg and Boie Bogardus. Easterbrook-Demott took down a tough 7-5, 7-6 victory, but alas, that was the only point New Canaan FC would earn. With its 3-1 victory, Wee Burn has taken firm grasp of the division lead and look to be the odds-on favorite for the division title.

Featured Match of Week 4: Wilton Y 1.2 vs Lake Club. Both teams are known for the depth of their lineups and the match should come down to a couple key points. As neither team has faced Wee Burn yet, a decisive victory by either team could move that team into prime contention to challenge Wee Burn for the division title.

Division 2

After starting the season 8-0, it looked as if Patterson Club would just roll through Division 2. Well, guess again. Maybe it was the fact that it was their first away match, but nonetheless, Patterson fell 3-1 in an upset to Woodway Country Club. Consequently, the two promotion spots for Division 2 are totally up for grabs. Eight of the 12 teams in the division are within 3 points of each other and this is definitely the division to watch for sheer competitiveness. Roxbury with a 4-0 win over Lake and Stamford Italian Center with a 3-1 victory over Wilton Y also had strong showings and join Woodway and Patterson as the top 4 teams. At least for this week.

Featured Match of Week 4: Patterson Club vs Roxbury. Can Patterson rebound from last week’s defeat and successfully fend off Roxbury? Fortunately for Patterson, the match will be played in the comforts of their home courts; however, Roxbury comes in with the better form and momentum. Clearly a match that all the other division competitors will be eager to see what the outcome is.

Division 3

At the start of last week, Division 3 looks to be the most competitive division for the 2 promotion spots. This past weekend’s matches did little to change that assessment as seven teams remain within 3 points of each other at the top of the standings. With a 4-0 victory over Wee Burn, New Canaan Field Club now stands atop the division and rumor has it that they will be getting reinforcements over the next few weeks. Darien Town is one off New Canaan FC’s pace after its 3-1 win over Woodway, while Greenwich CC inserted itself into the race with a sweep over Darien CC. Last week’s featured match of the week, New Canaan CC vs Wilton Y ended with a not-surprising 2-2 draw. Like Division 2, each week seems to bring about interesting results that predict the division will be a year-long tight race.

Featured Match of Week 4: New Canaan FC vs Burning Tree CC. New Canaan FC seems to be on a mission to regain Division 2 status. Meanwhile Burning Tree is looking to regain its past status in the league and get back to Division 2 after falling to Division 4. If New Canaan FC is able to bring out some of their big guns, they should have the edge against Burning Tree; however, nothing should be taken for granted.

Division 4

Bragging rights were clearly up for grabs when Wilton Y 4.1 played Wilton Y 4.2 this past weekend. In a match that was tighter than the final score (2 matches were 3-setters and a third went to a tiebreaker), Wilton Y 4.1 swept their brethen 4-0. While the sweep pushes Wilton Y 4.1 into first place, it also puts Wilton Y 4.2 in last place. Must be true that all’s fair in love and paddle. New Canaan Town, Patterson and Wilton Riding Club also swept this past week to stay close with Wilton Y 4.1. After three weeks, this division is starting to divide themselves into two-tiers, one fighting for promotion and the other trying to avoid relegation, which should make for two interesting races in this division.

Featured Match of Week 4: Wilton Y 4.1 vs Patterson. Wilton Y 4.1 faces a tough Patterson team that just got promoted to Division 4. This match should be a good gauge of Patterson’s standing in D4 as a win would firmly establish them as a contender for another promotion. On the other hand, another win by Wilton Y 4.1 should keep them atop the division and firmly in control of their own destiny.

Division 5

Roxbury continues to roll along and posted its third sweep in a row with a 4-0 defeat of Middlesex. Roxbury remains the only team in the entire FCPTL to have an unblemished record and a chance to match Aspetuck’s unprecedented record of 44-0 from last year. Wilton Y beat Wilton Riding Club 4-0 to stay 1 game behind Roxbury in the loss column with one fewer match played. In last week’s featured match of the week, New Canaan CC 5.1, who just missed out on promotion last year, suffered a disappointing 3-1 loss to Rowayton and will have some work to do to catch up to Roxbury and Wilton Y.

Featured Match of Week 4: Wilton Riding Club vs New Canaan FC. It’s only week 4 and you’d think it’s might be too early for teams to worry about relegation but as noted early, never assume anything. Currently, occupying two of the three bottom spots in the division, neither Wilton Riding Club and New Canaan FC can afford to stumble this week if they want to avoid thoughts of relegation. A sweep by either team would give the victor some breathing room, while the loser would be under the gun to pick up points the rest of the season in order to avoid relegation.

Division 6

Aspetuck Valley and Darien Town continue to dominate the league. While Darien Town took a 3-1 victory over Woodway, Aspetuck Valley swept Stamford Yacht to forge a first-place tie with Darien, each sporting 11-1 record. Middlesex and Wee Burn defeated Milbrook and Tokeneke respectively to stay within striking distance of the two top teams, but for now, it’s looking like a runaway at the top.

Featured Match of Week 4: Middlesex vs Aspetuck Valley. If Middlesex with an 8-4 record is to have any hopes of promotion to Division 5, this match against 11-1 Aspetuck Valley is crucial. While a victory would be ideal, anything less than a 2-2 draw would put a crimp in Middlesex’s hopes. Given Aspetuck’s recent track record, this might be a tall order for Middlesex. However, it’s paddle tennis and anything can happen. Remember: never assume.

Division 7

D7 is shaping up to a highly competitive and entertaining division. After the matches last week, 6 teams remain within 3 points of each other at the top of the standings. In the featured match, Lake Club 7.1 and Weston Field Club entered their match with undefeated records and played to a 2-2 tie. It was a match that could have gone either way as seen at the 2 spot, which went 3-sets with Lake Club winning the last 2 sets, both in tiebreakers. It will be interesting to see how this division plays out as the scores indicate that most matches have been well-contested.

Featured Match of Week 4: Roxbury vs Weston Field Club. Two of the division’s top teams square off in a key battle for divisional standing. A win by either team will solidify their position atop the standings. Weston FC will have to travel a fair bit to play at Roxbury’s courts and as we’ve seen in other matches, home court can be definitely be a factor.
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David Lee