Ernie Schoop and his son, Chris, were ranked No. 1 in 2004 in the United States Tennis Association’s Senior Father & Son Division. The Palisadian pair played four tournaments on four different surfaces, reaching the finals of the National Indoors in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, finishing fifth at the National Hardcourts in Newport Beach, finishing fourth at the National Grass Courts in Locust Valley, New York, and finishing fifth at the National Clay Court championships in Sarasota, Florida. ‘We were actually shocked that we were ranked No. 1 because we didn’t win one tournament all year,’ Chris said. ‘Also, we’d lost to five teams ranked below us. We assume that the rankings are now decided by the number of points you accumulate in each tournament. Based on that, we played all four tournaments and did consistently well in each one, so we had more points than any other team at year’s end.’ The last time the Schoops were ranked atop their division was in 1996, when they won both the National Hardcourts and National Grass Court titles. ‘In a way, we feel bad that we are ranked above the teams that had direct wins over us,’ Chris added. ‘I think what the USTA is trying to do is encourage people to play more tournaments by basing it only on points accumulated.’ The younger Schoop said would be their last year in the Senior Father and Son Division (where the father has to be 60 or over). Next year, they will move up to the Super Senior Father and Son, where the father has to be 70 or older. ‘We are looking forward to that because the teams in our current division seem to get stronger and younger every year,’ Chris said. ‘It’ll be nice to finally be the new ‘younger guys’ in our division.’
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