PDA

View Full Version : My Florida Tennis Advenures By RJ


rallyjunkie
12-30-2008, 03:29 PM
Finally found two matches. First played a high school senior looking for a scholarship. He was 11-2 last year and had a big big game. He blew me out 6-1 in set one. And was leading 5-3. Suddenly the tide turned. Not even sure why. I was ready to lose to the kid, not playing with any passion or intensity. But maybe making three nice winners psyched him out maybe? A topspin roller backhand angle when he was at net, a perfect serve and volley on the deuce court that pulled him wide to the forehand, and a backhand up the line that dropped on the baseline. He never seemed to recover and I won 7-5 then 6-1. THis was on hard.

THen yesterday played a guy who beat me 21-19 two years ago. Total junk baller, tons of spins, slices, crazy spins on high lobs. Tough slice backhand. But i was able to win the first three close games and he got down. Started talking and complaining and making excuses, I didn't warm up enough, the suns in my eye on the one side and can't read the drop shots, worked all day, not playing my best, the TV guy had to come over today, i mean he had every excuse except complimenting my game. So I said, You are playing the same on both sides with the sun, I think it's my game that is affecting you today.

He had no comeback to that and kept complaining so I had to stay intense and so started doing muted fist pumps after hitting winners or big serves. I didn't want to fall asleep and give him sympathy to allow him to get back in it. He was trying all the way but I didn't let him back in and won 6-1 6-0. We will have the rematch on Sat. when he promises he will play better. I just said, We'll see about that. We chatted after once are heads cooled and had some nice tennis talk. but it will be WAR on Sat.

Tennis, it's always an adventure to play new opponents.

Tomorrow Weds at 3) playing this really serious player from NY who has great wheels and our mutual friend says it will be a great match. Tune in for results, it should be interesting, as he dodged me last year and tried to dodge me this year - until I said, Come on man, "Jeff said we'd have a great match, we're similar players, both super consistent, let's do it, let's play a classic match... (then I dropped the bomb) I'm gonna kick your ***." It worked and he finally committed to the match :)

rallyjunkie
01-01-2009, 05:25 AM
anyone want to hear about match #3, a three hour three set WAR on clay?

Rob_C
01-01-2009, 03:27 PM
Sure why not. Did you back up ur words? What level are u BTW??

Okazaki Fragment
01-01-2009, 03:45 PM
Interesting. Post it up, rallyjunkie.

gocard
01-01-2009, 06:42 PM
sounds good! We await your war stories :)

rallyjunkie
01-02-2009, 05:48 AM
Well it was one of the best matches you can hope to play. After the phone tag last year and again last week, and having to play the friendly, Come on man let's just play, I'm a new opponent new challenge for you, I will kick your ***,' he finally agreed and we played the next day. I get there and we greet then he leads me right out to the green clay court at Lakewood Ranch. It's business now. Notice he is taller, appears in great condition, solid both sides in warmup, lefty. Also he takes no volleys or warmup serves or o-heads, just "I'm ready." Bang, he barely misses anything, slice backhand that bites, good at net, good drops and lobs, quick feet, cant hit anything by him, even when he misses it's by an inch or two and he shrieks in disgust like it was a fluke for him to miss anything. Bang he takes the first set 6-2! Shocked. THis guy is a 4.5 maybe even low 5.0, just like me. (Can play 5.0s tough but can't beat em)

Second set I get more consistent and start to flow better, more comfortable, use wrist for spins more. Go up 3-1 and have 0-40 on his serve to go up 4-1 but BLOW THE GAME. No cushion. I hold, 4-2, he ends up getting it back to 4-4. I mean every point is a war, get lazy any time and I lose four straight points like that. Must concentrate and work hard on every shot. Must mix up strategies on every point. If I find a pattern that gets him, like alternating shots to both corners to make him change grips, he adapts and doesn't make the mistake again. Serve and volley to his backhand in deuce court works because I make the perfect c-court volley, but the next time I try it, he slices down the line I let it go and it drops in. Just amazingly tough smart tennis. Got to continuously be creative. I break to go up 5-4, then get broke 5-5. BReak again to go up but he breaks back. DAMN. 6-6. TB goes to 5-5 and I win the next two points. Can't remember how though, one he netted a forehand up the line. I say, **** was right, he said we'd have a great match. Guys responds, Good playing.

Third set. Suffer letdown, kind of feel fortunate to eke out that second set. He goes up 4-1 and 5-2. Feel kind of tired. Then I bear down again. Still beleive I can win this. Came back once in a country tournament five years ago from 3-5 down in third to win 7-5. I start grunting not loud but enough to get a feel of rhythm - very rarely ever grunt when playing patient smart from baseline. But it helps to get me going and hit the spots. He lets out a few cries of anguish after misses, this shows he is feeling pressure. Keep doing it, keep mixing up your patterns and shots and placements. I Get it back to 4-5. On serve. I'm feeling it now. Go up 30-0 after pulling him out wide to his backhand and his foot catches the fence. But he still gets it over and I have to make a forehand volley. I hear the fence foot noise. He suddenly quits, sits down and says he has a cramp. If he risks resuming the match he could be out "five months." But it was an amazing match, the whole way. Three hours. We talked for about 40 minutes after, both amazed and appreciative and respectful of the match and how each other played so tough on every damn point and each other's games. It was tennis at it's best, the ultimate in why we play it. To participate in such an equal balanced match like this.

He says he plays every day there, can even play five sets in 103 degrees in summer. He said he has'n't lost in two years, not counting playing top juniors who are nationally ranked and played at Eddie Herr. I also rarely lose practice matches, not one this year at my club in NJ, only lose at USTA 35s in Eastern where you can run into former players who had ATP points. Each of us never took a lesson and started playing serious about 11 years ago at around age 30. Helluva match, wish it was on video. Hope this account does it justice and this was semi interesting to read. Every point just a battle of wills, patience, smarts, courage and endurance.

Rematch is next week! -RJ

gocard
01-02-2009, 11:48 AM
Wow, that was a lot of detail! Good stuff though, sounds exciting! How did you find this guy to play with and did you guys draw a crowd? Too bad he had a cramp though... are you going to continue where you left off next week or start a new match? :) Thanks for the recap.

GPB
01-02-2009, 11:58 AM
That's what tennis is all about. I haven't had the pleasure of playing a match that intense yet, but I'm gunning for it. Thanks for the writeup.

tyro
01-02-2009, 02:10 PM
Thanks for the recap. Very interesting. How did you develop your game to a 4.5 level without lessons? Are strokes more or less orthodox? Did you rely on books, videos, etc.

Just curious. I remember reading in Vince Spadea's autobiography that he didn't take a formal lesson until he hooked up with the USTA in his mid-teens.

--Tyro

rallyjunkie
01-02-2009, 03:15 PM
Gocard: Yeah it was a classic. But i mistyped it, opponent said Good playing, no one was watching, no one else was there except a few courts away.


GBP: Themore you play and learn, It's just a matter of time till you find that perfect foil to match your skills against.


Tyro: Just playing serious for 11 years straight, real leagues and then when ready moved up to real tournaments. Read lots of books and listen to commentators and study top players and pros techniques. Also you must work on conditioning, to be quick and agile, never lose because you get tired. If it happens fix it. Of course hating to lose is very important :twisted:. Start off as a pusher and work your way up, add new shots and weapons. Never give up. Take your losses and always come back. People have said footspeed is the most important thing in tennis. Patience too.

rallyjunkie
01-05-2009, 02:59 PM
Well we had the rematch of that amazing 2-6 7-6 (7-5), 4-5, 30-love retirement 3 HR War which I won on the opponent's retirement with suposed calf cramp.

Once again it was another classic clay court war. I wanted to incorporate some new tactics such as a slice forehand, slow top spin angles to his lefty one hand backhand, and open up the court to force him to hit more running backhand winners with me coming in, and make him hit some running forehand winners.

Again it was neck and neck, again he skipped doing serves and volley and o-heads in warm up. Like last match he jumps out fast and sharp goes up 3-1 and had 30-love on his serve. But I broke back and leveled it at 3-3. I felt my best success came when I was patient and played long points, with a mixture of different shots & spins, tons of variety. Dont be impatient and try to win the point fast with flat shots. Once I established I could win points like this, he would become frustrated at having to hit really slow balls and would miss some surprisingly easy ones. So I kept on doing it. I got up 4-3. But he battles back from deuce and wins game - 4-4. I break again, 5-4 wiht an incredible point at net to clinch it. So tired from it. End up clsoing it out next game. Set point was a slow forehand to the middle of court which he sliced but dumped badly into bottom of net. His worst shot of all four sets.

Set 2: He settles down and wins at love in first game. I win next two to lead 2-1. I then pull him wide to his backhand and hit the backhand cross court that hits the line. But he calls it out. Claims it was WAY so far out no need to show a mark. I saw it good. I;m sure it was. He sits down and says it was so far out it's not even worth playihg anyore. I said I saw it. But offer to give him the damn point. I just want to play. But he doesn't want to play and quits. Come on bro, you got no heart? I questioned his heart.

His belief is gone, he doens't think he can win anymore. I don't think so either. After our heads cool off from the heat of battle, He says my game is like a ball machine, no pace, slow balls which he misses a few and can't believe it. My forehand is just basic topspin. He says he's the one dictating nearly every point but I just get every ball back. But adds I'm a great player and have a game that's right for clay. Would have liked to finish it, I know I would have won but it would have been tough to close it out, he's always battling. Those are the best wins to savor. But basically he's a quitter and I won't be playing him again. Maybe call next year but I doubt his game will be upgraded, it's as good as it could be. Don't see what he can add to it. Slow balls kill his slice.

It Feels good to be the first to beat this guy in "two years." A win is a win, whether he quits or whatever. I have never quit in a match in my life, never faked an injury, even when losing 60 60 you got to keep battling.

Who's Next? That's four took the challenge, four have been beat down, who nex? WHO NEX?? Maybe it's you JACKY in MIAMI! I'm comin to get ya!

Rob_C
01-06-2009, 05:46 AM
U said this guy plays, and beats, Nat'l ranked jrs??? And he ups and quits like that in the middle of the match???? B/C he couldnt deal with your game????

This guy hasnt lost in 2 yrs?????

He must either not play very much, or is very selective with his opponents.


IDK.

Edit. Ok, just re-read your original post. So he only 'loses' to Nat'l ranked jrs. Dubious claim if u ask me. Especially considering the quitting part.

rallyjunkie
01-06-2009, 04:29 PM
Yeah he clearly is very selective. It took about five attempts by phone - starting last year when I was down here - to cut through the 'Well I have matches scheduled for every day and I dont' play on weekends.' Finally had to say 'Cmon man it's always a thrill to play a new style a new challenge. Tell your friends you have a special new player to play they will understand.' Still it wasn't enough, I had to add one more zinger, "I will kick your ***."

That was the phrase that finally got the match going. He said, "That's what I want to hear."

You know how tennis is, a lot of good but pampered players don't want to risk playing the unknown opponent. I have never been like that though. In hockey playing days I'd fight any one :)

PS Got two more matches. The 61 60 guy wants a rematch. And another good player at Payne park in Sarasota returned a call. He beat me four years ago in a set 6-3.

nickarnold2000
01-08-2009, 10:06 PM
This guy puts way too much emphasis on "winning". If you do this then you end up putting too much pressure on yourself to win all the time. A much better way(attitude) is to value "improving your game" and then the winning will take care of its self.

onehandbh
01-09-2009, 12:04 AM
This guy puts way too much emphasis on "winning". If you do this then you end up putting too much pressure on yourself to win all the time. A

Maybe competition and winning is what he enjoys.

A much better way(attitude) is to value "improving your game" and then the winning will take care of its self.

Better for you perhaps, but he may get more pleasure out of just winning
and competing. The winning doesn't automatically take care of itself.
It's not a given. Just look at the pro tour.

aphex
01-09-2009, 04:38 AM
His belief is gone, he doens't think he can win anymore. I don't think so either. After our heads cool off from the heat of battle, He says my game is like a ball machine, no pace, slow balls which he misses a few and can't believe it. My forehand is just basic topspin. He says he's the one dictating nearly every point but I just get every ball back.

nice write-up rallyjunkie!

couple of questions though...

he's an upper 4.5 and can't put away no pace, slow balls?? weird...

also, i've seen many guys who started tennis at some point later in life, most of them WITH lessons...not one of them has proper technique, which in turn restricts their ability---so basically you started a decade ago, at age 30, having had no lessons and you are a 4.5-5.0? are you self-rating by any chance?

mikeler
01-09-2009, 05:46 AM
Thanks for the recap. Very interesting. How did you develop your game to a 4.5 level without lessons? Are strokes more or less orthodox? Did you rely on books, videos, etc.

Just curious. I remember reading in Vince Spadea's autobiography that he didn't take a formal lesson until he hooked up with the USTA in his mid-teens.

--Tyro


I played Spadea when I was 14 years old. After the 6-0, 6-0 beating he gave me, I'd have a hard time believing he had no formal training then!

mikeler
01-09-2009, 05:50 AM
nice write-up rallyjunkie!

couple of questions though...

he's an upper 4.5 and can't put away no pace, slow balls?? weird...

also, i've seen many guys who started tennis at some point later in life, most of them WITH lessons...not one of them has proper technique, which in turn restricts their ability---so basically you started a decade ago, at age 30, having had no lessons and you are a 4.5-5.0? are you self-rating by any chance?


If you can give 4.5-5.0 players a ball with no pace AND deep, some of them will have trouble with it. I play one strong 5.0 player who beats me most of the time. The only way I can beat him is to hit floating slices deep and looping topspin deep. Once I start hitting with pace, I'm toast against him. There are a few other players I play against where this strategy also works. There are also a few other players that I would never use this against, because they love having time and can run me all over the place if I give it to them.

aphex
01-09-2009, 06:07 AM
If you can give 4.5-5.0 players a ball with no pace AND deep, some of them will have trouble with it. I play one strong 5.0 player who beats me most of the time. The only way I can beat him is to hit floating slices deep and looping topspin deep. Once I start hitting with pace, I'm toast against him. There are a few other players I play against where this strategy also works. There are also a few other players that I would never use this against, because they love having time and can run me all over the place if I give it to them.

ok man, i guess our experiences are different-i've never encountered a 5.0 (or what i perceive to be 5.0) who has trouble with slow, floating slices...

mikeler
01-09-2009, 08:03 AM
I play mostly on clay, so I can retrieve aggressive shots off my junk balls a little more easily. Unlike a pusher, I'll use this style to wait for a short ball and then I go into an offensive mode. One thing I can say for sure is that almost all players prefer pace hit to them.

nickarnold2000
01-09-2009, 10:39 AM
Maybe competition and winning is what he enjoys.



Better for you perhaps, but he may get more pleasure out of just winning
and competing. The winning doesn't automatically take care of itself.
It's not a given. Just look at the pro tour.
Don't get me wrong - I also want to win every match I play but ON COURT if you start thinking about the consequences of not winning, you're probably toast! I also try to keep an emotionaly even keel and not take anything personally for the same reasons.
Look what happened to this guy - he now doesn't want to play RJ again because he doesn't want to lose. No nothing is a given but I always put myself in the best position to win and if it doesn't happen then I look to practise harder and try again next time. By the way, I absolutely love high level competion.

rallyjunkie
01-09-2009, 01:40 PM
Yeah it sounds odd that a solid upper 4.5 player would get frustrated from slow topspin forehands to his lefty slice backhand. But he became tentative because I could run down everything he hits and he only has a slice. He just can put the ball away from there. Then he'd panic because then I'd hit one down the line to his forehand and sometimes attack, and if I didn't I'd then go back wide to his backhand and make him hit the winner - and he didn't like being in that position. So he began to panic. He definitely has a weird game and a very tough one - if you are not patient and very concentrated. You have to really be creative, like i said before, many other tactics would work but he'd quickly adapt and force you to come up with some new idea. and if i went to the net at the wrong time, he'd never miss a pass it seemed. So I think I figured out his complex game and he fell apart mentally basically. he didn't know what to do.

My game is unique too. A lot of people used to think I was nothing but a pusher with no weapons. back then it was true. But I worked at it. a lot of very good players have said my quickness is amazing, I'm the quickest player they've ever played. a former world class senior player who played Newk and Laver and all them, Pancho, Mac, told me that too, he said I was as quick as Rosewall but he could do more when he got to the ball. Since 97 I've been addicted to the sport. Three or four days a week in summer constantly hitting and trying to get better, watching the pros, reading, making little adjustments. Used to use all kinds of different rackets, different sizes, brands, oversize, sampras wilson pro staff, volkl, wilson, head, i'd have four different sticks in my bag. play with wood too. this helped my hands I believe. Now I use Volkl Tour 8. I think playing hockey in college and HS helped, when you will hit and get hit and fight just about anyone inhockey, tennis seems easier.

I was playing national public parks at NY three years ago and i made QF. And the college coach of my opponent was there watching, he knew an older guy from FL who was also there who I know. He said after he could just tell I didn't play as a kid. Which kind of annoyed me. I win the match 64 63 and hear that :) I feel like a real flowing tennis player, but guess I don't really look like it against another top player. Against weaker opposition feel like Federer sometimes )

Whatever, winning ugly is the way to go, it's a great book by BG. SO far it's working down here in FL, unbeaten. But two touch matches coming this weekend! But still wiating to play the first TW opponent.

tyro
01-09-2009, 04:00 PM
I played Spadea when I was 14 years old. After the 6-0, 6-0 beating he gave me, I'd have a hard time believing he had no formal training then!

It's in his autobiography (Break Point), but I have to admit, it's hard to believe. His father was an amateur tennis nut who devised a training program for him--read books, fed him balls constantly, etc. So I guess it's possible.

mikeler
01-09-2009, 04:46 PM
Yeah it sounds odd that a solid upper 4.5 player would get frustrated from slow topspin forehands to his lefty slice backhand. But he became tentative because I could run down everything he hits and he only has a slice. He just can put the ball away from there. Then he'd panic because then I'd hit one down the line to his forehand and sometimes attack, and if I didn't I'd then go back wide to his backhand and make him hit the winner - and he didn't like being in that position. So he began to panic. He definitely has a weird game and a very tough one - if you are not patient and very concentrated. You have to really be creative, like i said before, many other tactics would work but he'd quickly adapt and force you to come up with some new idea. and if i went to the net at the wrong time, he'd never miss a pass it seemed. So I think I figured out his complex game and he fell apart mentally basically. he didn't know what to do.

My game is unique too. A lot of people used to think I was nothing but a pusher with no weapons. back then it was true. But I worked at it. a lot of very good players have said my quickness is amazing, I'm the quickest player they've ever played. a former world class senior player who played Newk and Laver and all them, Pancho, Mac, told me that too, he said I was as quick as Rosewall but he could do more when he got to the ball. Since 97 I've been addicted to the sport. Three or four days a week in summer constantly hitting and trying to get better, watching the pros, reading, making little adjustments. Used to use all kinds of different rackets, different sizes, brands, oversize, sampras wilson pro staff, volkl, wilson, head, i'd have four different sticks in my bag. play with wood too. this helped my hands I believe. Now I use Volkl Tour 8. I think playing hockey in college and HS helped, when you will hit and get hit and fight just about anyone inhockey, tennis seems easier.

I was playing national public parks at NY three years ago and i made QF. And the college coach of my opponent was there watching, he knew an older guy from FL who was also there who I know. He said after he could just tell I didn't play as a kid. Which kind of annoyed me. I win the match 64 63 and hear that :) I feel like a real flowing tennis player, but guess I don't really look like it against another top player. Against weaker opposition feel like Federer sometimes )

Whatever, winning ugly is the way to go, it's a great book by BG. SO far it's working down here in FL, unbeaten. But two touch matches coming this weekend! But still wiating to play the first TW opponent.


The thing that impresses me is your ability to think. I had a great coach in high school who taught me how to construct points and I get compliments on that aspect of my game. The fact that you have figured this out on your own is great. I'm in Orlando, but I don't have time to play while you are down here. Maybe somebody else will take up the challenge.

mikeler
01-09-2009, 04:50 PM
It's in his autobiography (Break Point), but I have to admit, it's hard to believe. His father was an amateur tennis nut who devised a training program for him--read books, fed him balls constantly, etc. So I guess it's possible.


If his Dad was a good player, then I can buy his assertion. Basically Daddy was good enough to be his coach up until a certain point.

When I played him, I think he was up on me 4-0 or 5-0 in the 1st, when the racket slipped out of his hand on a serve and smashed to pieces. I'd never seen that before. He was an odd guy and was kicking my butt so I kind of snickered to myself that he broke a racket. Two games later, the only time in my life this has happened, my racket slipped out of my hand on a serve and broke. Karma is a biatch!

rallyjunkie
01-09-2009, 05:50 PM
Being a creative mind helps in tennis. Hearing Patrick McEnroe say it on TV about how important variety is, and not hitting every shot the same speed and same way. It's like boxing, you don't always throw the same punches, they will know what's coming you have to set up and trick the opponent. A lot of players around the 4.5 and 4.0 level don't do this, they just hit every ball the same way. Even if it's very hard shots you can get in a groove on it.

and the fact this guy was more comfortable at the baseline, though he would come in more than a few times, but I can pass well, and to make the early passes forced him to stay back where his slice backhand could be broken down. the early passes were key.

It's all part of why tennis is the best sport. to be in a close tough match and to figure out a way to win is a high. just watched Hrbaty beat Safin in Hopman cup what a wonderful match, Hrbaty wanted it more, Safin just cannot seem to be able to win any important matches, since he won Australina 3-4 yrs ago. This loss will hurt his confidence.

Spadea is an awesome player he is still going strong at 34-35. Such longevity and love for the sport. His book was GREAT. A must read.

mikeler
01-09-2009, 06:30 PM
I am fortunate in that I can play any style I want. I'm not stubborn, I just do what it takes that day to win. Sometimes that means I have to hit the crap out of the ball. Other times I dink it or charge the net. I can never understand those guys that just hit the crap out of the ball no matter what. The beauty of the game comes from the variety of ways to play it.

I played 3 number 1 seeds the summer I played Spadea. He was the 3rd one I played as a junior. I did not win a game against any of those guys, but I was more impressed by the first 2 guys and not as much by Spadea. When I saw him pop up on the tour years later, I was surprised.

rallyjunkie
01-10-2009, 02:38 PM
Mikeler you must have a similar game, to be able to play all those dimensions.
We'd probably have a classic four hour marathon )

There was this one african american guy the complete opposite of us, he'd come down for our 4.0 league every Sat. with his Nike outfits and shoes, looked great, quick, good shape, loved the game, but he'd lose every single damn match like 6-2 6-0. It was sad. I felt sorry for the guy. He'd leave right after shaking hands, no anger no excuses, just every time walk off by himself. Same thing every weekend. Come out bang the hell out of the ball, hit half of them out and just give away every match. he did this for two years. Same thing, same scores, losses to same players, really likeable guy too, then just walk off head down. Never made any adjustments just same exact strategy every single time. with the same result. I mean losing to TOTAL PUSHERS with a windmill serve. THe guy was a good athlete too, quick, good tennis body, really good wheels, he could be so good if he had a good tennis mind, or taught by a better coach - his form looked like he had learned from somone. It's like he just wanted to look like Agassi and play that style, win or lose, without paying his dues to get to taht level. name was damien hughes i think. potential unfulfilled. He'd have so much more success if tried to play like us.

rallyjunkie
01-10-2009, 02:57 PM
the 55s guy I beat last week 61 60 wanted the rematch and we had it today. And he definitely had his A game, as he totally used junk from both sides, biting slices from the backhand and forehand slices, with deadly droppers from both sides. No groove no rhythm could I get. He jumped out 3-0. I had never played such a total junkballer. Couldn't get nothing going. And there was a Harley Davidson festival in the Payne Park in Sarasota FL next to us, Harley roaring by us constantly, hundreds of them, live music playing about 100 yards away. And people watching some doubles league match next to us. SO many distractions.

Boom, he wins set 6-3. and goes up 2-0 in the second. Holy **** I"m going to lose to this 55s player begins to seap into my mind. His junk is tough to handle and then he can hit out and make some unbeleivable shots when I least expected it. This match is DEEP TROUBLE. also at end of first set, this old former winner of Monte Carlo Lorne Main from Canada, a senior world champion, who is in his 70s starts sweeping our court. I go up and tap him with my racquet kind of hard, to say we are still playng. he acknowledges but then continues to sweep - trying to annoy me no doubt. Becuase i challenged him a few yrs ago after he acted like he thought he and his friends though he could beat me. We never played even after I offered to bet his friends. But this match is now verging on tennis nightmare. so many negatives going on.

We got bumped off the court and moved our stuff two courts over. my opponent forgot to bring the thirdball. then had to go back again a second time to get his towel. plus he's talking about how hard it was to play in these circumstances with distractions, but I'm the one who is down 26 02! He's rubbing it in.

I changed my tshirt from green to light beige and suddenly I swear, Im like wow i like this new shirt from OP. Then I fixed my black socks to cover the white ones underneath. I swear I felt so much better all the sudden, with how i felt because of the new shirt and sock re-arrangement. And i won the game from 30-all huge game , it's now 1-2. But he wins next 3-1 him. not sure how it all began to turn around. maybe just loosened up and felt more relaxed and comfortable from the new shirt and starting hitting better placements out wide and deeper which he began to miss. the harder I hit too he preferred that. 3-3 then I go up 4-3 I feel great. then about this time ZZ Top takes the stage live and they are a great group. this helps too. but he wins to make it 4-4. I break again to go up 5-4. Then hold to win the set. And I won the last two game pretty easy.

we play out the third and I win 6-0. I guess he tired and couldn't keep up his level, and i loosened up. Really not sure how it turned around exactly. but this win is a very pleasing one.

Tomorrow is a match vs. a guy who beat this guy in two hard sets last year in a USTA toutney. I played this guy like three years ago with a stiff neck and he beat me 6-3. We'll see, should be a good one...

Now 5-0 in Florida - against stiff competition.

mikeler
01-10-2009, 05:08 PM
It's sad those people who have so much potential but just keep losing the same way over and over. They can never figure out how to play the game. I can get somebody to kick your butt if you want to come up to Orlando. Unfortunately, that is not me. I'm still recovering from an elbow injury so I'm at a 4.5 level now and not my usual 5.0.

Okazaki Fragment
01-10-2009, 05:41 PM
Some of us would rather lose pretty than win ugly. What's wrong with that?

rallyjunkie
01-11-2009, 04:30 AM
Orlando is a little far, though no one from TW seems to be from this area of Tampa/Bradenton/Sarasota, I'm getting matches from people I'm meeting and already know.

Fragment, it's fine if that is your pleasure just to try and play that way. go for it. but their is more joy in using your style and mind to figure out different ways to succeed. first it's a pleasure just to hit the ball and feel it on the sweet spot, get it over the net. then the next step is to win points, that is a rush especially the great rally where amazing shots are hit from both players. then to win matches is a greater feeling of high/ of accomplishment. then even higher is to win a tournament.

But I know a very good player who just likes to hit, to feel the ball on his strings, that's his joy, his high, he says. But then again I noticed he started playing USTA Eastern tourneys this year after about a seven year hiatus!

ryangoring
01-11-2009, 06:16 AM
Man RJ I know how you feel, I live over on the other coast, Daytona Beach. I dont think there is any one on here lives here.
I am, one day, going to Orlando and play or maybe be coached by another TWer. Great guy and will kick any ***! I'm a 3.5-4.0 player, now with a comeback,that once played competitively back home in Barbados on the junior circuit. Just out for the fun and now my son is playing. But for kicks and giggles I would like to come down to that neck of the woods to have a game with you. Right now I'm a memeber of the USTA center here and the courts are clay.
Anywho I catch up with you and your exploits later.

nickarnold2000
01-11-2009, 10:28 AM
Some of us would rather lose pretty than win ugly. What's wrong with that?
Because you still lose. You can also win with pretty strokes but you also need the skill, experience (and patience) to deal with pushers and junk ball artists. I used to have trouble with these sorts of players but now that my game has evolved to the point where I'm confident in my ability and all court game - it's not a problem now.

Okazaki Fragment
01-11-2009, 10:56 AM
Because you still lose. You can also win with pretty strokes but you also need the skill, experience (and patience) to deal with pushers and junk ball artists. I used to have trouble with these sorts of players but now that my game has evolved to the point where I'm confident in my ability and all court game - it's not a problem now.

Winning isn't everything. If you go watch a local tournament, who will you remember? An average looking player who won a couple of matches or a guy with really good looking strokes who lost in the first round (He looked so good, how did he lose?!).

This applies to the very top level of tennis as well. Look at Sampras and Edberg. Sampras was a winner, won tons more important matches than Edberg. But look at the favorite player thread on TW. Who really wins? The guy with the good looking tennis game.

rallyjunkie
01-11-2009, 12:12 PM
Right on Fragment, my favorite player of all time to watch is Marcelo Rios. He didn't win any slams but his game was the most beaufiful ever to watch when he was at his most confident, arrogant, flowing best. with the Chilean supporters singing and waving the flags, just incredible theater.

I'd rather watch a tape of Rios play than Nadal, Federer, Sampras, McEnroe, Borg, Agassi any. Rios was pure magic out there.

rallyjunkie
01-11-2009, 01:52 PM
Aphex, I was rated at 4.0 about seven yrs ago. We went to nationals in 04 for 4.0 and i got bumped up to 4.5. I have beaten other 4.5s and play somewhat competitive with some 5.0s, my past opponents in a 35s was 5.0 and he beat 63 64. does that make me 5.0 that i could compete with him? on this day against this particular styled opponent, I guess so.

rallyjunkie
01-11-2009, 02:03 PM
Well I finally was defeated. I played this guy three years ago and he beat me 6-3. rematch was today. two other guys from the park were there and said as we started, he beats everyone here, and easily too. SO let's see.

Yeah he's tough, tricky, consistent, moves well and places it well. every point is a battle he never gives a free point never, everything must be earned. and weak nothing balls I hit will be put away or put on the sideline. But I gut out an early lead to 3-1. Of course he battles back to 4-4. I hold to go up 5-4. every game is a battle. I get a set point, and second serve which I slice wide to his backhand. but he gets it and wins the point, cant remember how. we end up in a TB and he goes up 6-1 and wins it 7-3. We stepped on the court at 11 and the first set is over at 12:46. unbelievable. sometimes I get stronger after losing a close first set but not today, letdown kills me as does his killer play. 6-0.

great performance the guy is a helluva player. Later tells me he beat some guy Yorke Allen who played #3 at Duke who once beat Andy Roddick when he was 16 or 15. Allen quit. ANd he siad he also beat some guy who won a gold ball at 35s Bill or Dan Leblanc. won first set then made him quit in the second set complaining about the court and bounces. this guy has a killer game for a guy 55 yrs old. 76 60 doesn't feel so bad after hearing about his best wins. I even had the set point. but never felt comfortable really, every point was a war. gotta get used to this level tennis. we will have a rematch. Maybe my legs lacked a little jump from 3 sets yesterday. $10 payed up.

nickarnold2000
01-11-2009, 08:38 PM
Winning isn't everything. If you go watch a local tournament, who will you remember? An average looking player who won a couple of matches or a guy with really good looking strokes who lost in the first round (He looked so good, how did he lose?!).

This applies to the very top level of tennis as well. Look at Sampras and Edberg. Sampras was a winner, won tons more important matches than Edberg. But look at the favorite player thread on TW. Who really wins? The guy with the good looking tennis game.
If you have nice looking strokes - great - all the power to you(me)! For me, I will do whatever is necessary to stay alive in a tournament(short of cheating and bad sportmanship, of course); all strategies apply.
"Who really wins?" In my mind, it's the guy who gets the last ball over the net and into the opposing court! The book "Winning Ugly" should be required reading for everybody.

mikeler
01-12-2009, 06:14 AM
Well I finally was defeated. I played this guy three years ago and he beat me 6-3. rematch was today. two other guys from the park were there and said as we started, he beats everyone here, and easily too. SO let's see.

Yeah he's tough, tricky, consistent, moves well and places it well. every point is a battle he never gives a free point never, everything must be earned. and weak nothing balls I hit will be put away or put on the sideline. But I gut out an early lead to 3-1. Of course he battles back to 4-4. I hold to go up 5-4. every game is a battle. I get a set point, and second serve which I slice wide to his backhand. but he gets it and wins the point, cant remember how. we end up in a TB and he goes up 6-1 and wins it 7-3. We stepped on the court at 11 and the first set is over at 12:46. unbelievable. sometimes I get stronger after losing a close first set but not today, letdown kills me as does his killer play. 6-0.

great performance the guy is a helluva player. Later tells me he beat some guy Yorke Allen who played #3 at Duke who once beat Andy Roddick when he was 16 or 15. Allen quit. ANd he siad he also beat some guy who won a gold ball at 35s Bill or Dan Leblanc. won first set then made him quit in the second set complaining about the court and bounces. this guy has a killer game for a guy 55 yrs old. 76 60 doesn't feel so bad after hearing about his best wins. I even had the set point. but never felt comfortable really, every point was a war. gotta get used to this level tennis. we will have a rematch. Maybe my legs lacked a little jump from 3 sets yesterday. $10 payed up.


That sounds like a 5.5 guy I used to play. He would make maybe 5 unforced errors per set. It was so tough to win every point. I'm pretty fit, but I was always tired after playing him even though I'd lose 6-2, 6-2 most of the time. This guy beat James Blake when Blake was 13 or 14.

beernutz
01-12-2009, 12:31 PM
Winning isn't everything. If you go watch a local tournament, who will you remember? An average looking player who won a couple of matches or a guy with really good looking strokes who lost in the first round (He looked so good, how did he lose?!).

This applies to the very top level of tennis as well. Look at Sampras and Edberg. Sampras was a winner, won tons more important matches than Edberg. But look at the favorite player thread on TW. Who really wins? The guy with the good looking tennis game.

In professional tennis the winner is the player with more money and/or tournaments in the bank, and Sampras wins there handily. I'll take effective tennis over pretty tennis any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

mikeler
01-12-2009, 12:37 PM
I can't stand losing. I'll play anyway I can to avoid it.

rallyjunkie
01-12-2009, 12:51 PM
yeah that's a good comeback. I never heard the guy who plays pretty tennis say, I'd rather go home with my head down and my tail between my legs just as long as I played pretty tennis, that's the most important thing.

i think it's just a rationalization for failing to get the job done. all practice is to learn how to hit the shots to help you to win the match.

why play a match if you don't care who wins? just hit or hit at the wall. or do shadow tennising by yourself. and imagine you are hitting perfect shots.

mikeler
01-12-2009, 01:27 PM
Yep, why keep score?

nickarnold2000
01-12-2009, 07:49 PM
Well, Sampras had/has a beautiful game and he also won everything(as does Fed) so my hat's off to him/them. For the rest of us mortals, however, use what you have to the best of your ability to win.

rallyjunkie
01-18-2009, 05:21 AM
Another match yesterday, some trouble with a total spin doctor, crazy trick shots, drop shots, chops that produce lobs that bounce towards the net, like my friend said, "it's not even tennis"

but found a way to prevail 46 60 60.

now 6-1 in FL vs. all comers

rallyjunkie
01-26-2009, 07:42 PM
me and a friend from KY were hitting and these two dudes were next to us, with good games. We both are singles guys but what the heck we challenged them to a mtch of dubs. So after the usual pleasantries we met the next day at 11 and got down to business. Turns out they are from Rochester and play for a4.5 team, a lefty and a righty.

there was no gamesmanship, just good fair tennis. we won 61 63 but having to make many big shots. a fun win.

they wanted rematch next day at 10:30. my friend is a trickster, though I only know him from tennis for about 3 weeks here, he complained about the earliness of the hour, he usually wakes at 11, and then in the warmup sat down, complaining he wasn't feeling well. then when we started, he's playing lights out from the start. we were at 4-4 down 0-40 on my serve but saved it. and broke the lefty at love to win the set. they had to leave after that. fun stuff. if anyone wants to do some dubs in Brandenton area, lets do it.

rallyjunkie
02-22-2009, 04:30 PM
Back down in FL for two more weeks so played a USTA tourney at St. Petersburg Tennis Club. Drew #2 seed in first round yesterday. Guy was a hard hitter, didn't take his sweat pants off and won first set 6-1. Second set it became a war, he isup 5-4 I'm serving to stay in it but fall down 0-30. On the brink of death. But a forehand down the line passing shot turns the tide and I win the game and the next two to take the set 7-5. I'm shocked.

Third set - the guy finally takes his sweat pants off - and I go up two breaks! 3-0! But my serve is not strong today,1st serve % must be 25%. He gets it back to 4-4! I break him to go up 5-4 and serve for the match. But my serve chokes me again and lose at LOVE! Lose the next two close games.
Tough tough loss. I will blame it on my serve - which I changed last week to be more like Roddick but I failed to use my left (I'm righty) to help sway my serve motion. Also didn't play on clay for a month, just hard court. Oh well. The other guy was good. I should have won but that's the way it goes.

Played consolation today and won first 8-1. default in the second. then the consolation final I won 8-0 to pocket the $15 prize money :)

St. Petersburg Tennis Club is an old time place where lots of greats have played, which they have signs hung up showing their names - LAver, Sampras, Courier, Agassi, Frueling, Sharapova, Rosewall, Navratilova, Ashe, you name em they probably played here.

There were some incredible playres in the open including Alex Bose #1 in Florida who plays like Santoro, Oliver Alber, Milos something. These guys looked like ATP players.

If anyone is a 4.5 who is up in north jersey this spring summer, and would like to play, give me ashout thereisnojoybutcalm@yahoo.com

Cheers and hapy hitting,
RJ

mikeler
02-23-2009, 06:19 AM
I played the #2 guy in Florida a few years ago. Not sure what his ranking is now. I've never been so happy to win just 1 game in a match. That was the only time I've played in an Open tournament. The guy I lost to got beat in the quarterfinals which showed how strong the tournament was.

rallyjunkie
02-24-2009, 08:42 PM
some of these guys are amazing. you kill yourself for an hour to get one or two game and you get nothing but two bagels. i was in the 40s. the guy who beat me lost in SF in three sets, the guy who beat him lost in finals 60 60! the winner was once #350 in world and is now #8 ITF. he really didn't look that spectacular though in the warmup.

just wish it was possible to buy or steal or osmosisize Agassi's game now for just a year, while he snowboards in Idaho, all that tennis game being wasted on the ski slopes :)

mikeler
02-25-2009, 05:20 AM
My warm up with the guy lasted 15 minutes. I did not make one error in the warm up, so I had this false belief that I could hang with the guy. The match lasted 30 minutes and I was exhausted b/c it was just 30 minutes of running sideline to sideline. The guy could get his kick serve to hit the line on my backhand side probably 8 times out of 10. The one game I won was because I hit a few big serves and was able to ace him on game point.

The guy who won the tournament was #1 at FSU. I watched him play a 5.0 player for about a set. He made two forced errors in the first set, netting 2 huge serves. It was pretty impressive to see that kind of consistency.

Caloi
02-25-2009, 08:42 AM
Interesting stories. I enjoyed reading them.