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raiden031
06-08-2009, 06:12 AM
I'm wondering what people think of my USTA record at 4.0 this year after having been bumped from 3.0.

Questions are:

1) Was my bump to 4.0 legit or due to a flaw in the system?
2) Will I get bumped down to 3.5 after this year?

My 8.0 mixed captain is hoping that I get bumped down to 3.5 so that we can dominate next year (team came up just short of winning the 8.0 league title this year). She has a couple 4.5W/3.5M pairs, so it would work out perfect for me as far as mixed goes. I don't want to be a 3.5, but lets face it, I'm not playing like a 4.0 player and thats the reality I have to face.

Anyways, here is my record this year, with my opponents' win-loss records to sorta put some context behind these results. I've only counted opponent records of rated matches (ignoring mixed and combo results).

Team 1
#1S - L - 6-0, 6-2 (Opp 3-0)
#2S - L - 7-6, 6-1 (Opp 2-1)
#1S - L - 6-1, 6-3 (Opp 6-2)
#2S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 4-2)

Team 2
#2D - L - 6-2, 6-1 (Opps 6-0/*1-2 , 7-2)
#1S - W - 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (Opp 0-4)
#1S - L - 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (Opp 3-2)
#1S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 9-4/*1-1)

* - Record playing up in 4.5

Statistics:

Sets won / lost - 2 / 14
Tiebreak Sets won / lost - 1 / 1
Bagels received / given - 3 / 1
Breadsticks received / given - 4 / 0

The common theme is that my opponents who beat me easily have all complimented me saying I have all the shots and put some pressure on them, even though it appears to me that none of my shots bother them at all. Either its a long rally that my opponent almost always wins, or I give up a free point by botching a routine shot or service return early in the point.

My whole attitude about my tennis game is starting to change. I'm starting to raise doubts of whether I will ever reach my goals and/or potential in tennis. Its not because I lack fitness. Its not because I lack talent or athletic ability. Its because I don't have the resources needed to get better. I have access to a hitting wall, I have access to a ball machine, I have access to 3.5 hitting partners (who mostly want to just play matches).
I haven't really developed any practice buddies on my 4.0 team so I don't see myself practicing against 4.0s during the off-season. I still see myself relying on 3.5 practice partners to prepare me for the season, as I did last year. I only get maybe a dozen league matches in a year to play against better players and get that experience. I don't have the money to take lessons regularly. I don't have the time to spend as much time on court as needed to get better due to family obligations. A ball machine and hitting wall carried me into 4.0, but its not enough to take me further. I can practice strokes against a ball machine/wall forever but those strokes will still break down in match situation because a ball machine/wall is just feeding balls, and not giving me tough shots that I have to overcome.

Its frustrating when you want to accomplish something, but there are too many obstacles in your way that keep you from even being in a position to put in the effort to accomplish that something. Its different than trying and failing, because at least you know you gave it your best. I don't even have the ability to give it my best.

royer
06-08-2009, 06:32 AM
In my experience, when it comes to computer rankings, it's always a crap-shoot. HAL's in charge, and it's difficult to know exactly what he's going to do ("I'm sorry Dave ...).

Based on your record, I would think that you will be moved down to 3.5. Whatever you do, don't be discouraged by the bump down. Moving from the 3.0 to the 4.0 level is a tough gig. You go from being the hunter to being the hunted in the blink of an eye. Playing at the 3.5 level will allow you to (hopefully) gain some conficence back and hone your game.

From this and other posts I've read from you, I get the feeling that after playing for a year or so at the 3.5 level, you'd be more comfortable with your eventual bump back up to the 4.0 level.

Best of luck to you. Hang in there!

raiden031
06-08-2009, 06:38 AM
From this and other posts I've read from you, I get the feeling that after playing for a year or so at the 3.5 level, you'd be more comfortable with your eventual bump back up to the 4.0 level.


Thats one of the problems, that I don't want to play against 3.5 players anymore. I could stop practicing and still beat most of the 3.5 players, so I don't think another year of that is going to do me any good.

Fedace
06-08-2009, 06:43 AM
Thats one of the problems, that I don't want to play against 3.5 players anymore. I could stop practicing and still beat most of the 3.5 players, so I don't think another year of that is going to do me any good.

It doesn't matter what your rating is. you can still play 4.0 and 4.5 if you want to. 3.5 means, you can play anything you want from 3.5 and up.

raiden031
06-08-2009, 06:47 AM
It doesn't matter what your rating is. you can still play 4.0 and 4.5 if you want to. 3.5 means, you can play anything you want from 3.5 and up.

Yes, but its hard to play up without connections, especially when you have a pathetic tennis link record that shows you can't really compete. I mean I think I've had some bad luck as far as who I've faced, like for instance yesterday I played #2S and lost 3 and 0, and the #1 guy seemed alot weaker so I think the team stacked against us. Plus I faced a couple dominant players.

Fedace
06-08-2009, 07:12 AM
Yes, but its hard to play up without connections, especially when you have a pathetic tennis link record that shows you can't really compete. I mean I think I've had some bad luck as far as who I've faced, like for instance yesterday I played #2S and lost 3 and 0, and the #1 guy seemed alot weaker so I think the team stacked against us. Plus I faced a couple dominant players.

Right the Stacking is a problem in USTA league today. then just file an appeal at the end if you get bumped down.

Cindysphinx
06-08-2009, 07:34 AM
Honestly, I'd be shocked if you were bumped down.

I mean, I don't really Do Math or anything. But my understanding is that the computer cares about how many games you take. Not how many wins you have or sets you win.

By that measure, you're doing great!! You are winning an average of about 5 games per match against what I assume are 4.0 players. That means you are competitive at 4.0. Why would the computer move you down so that you hand out bagels at 3.5?

Now, about these obstacles to improving enough to make it to 4.5 or reach your goals . . .

Yeah, man. It's rough. It's one thing to have all the time and resources in the world to train, practice, take instruction. It's another to have a job and a family that require ridiculous amounts of attention.

I will say this, as someone who is in the second year after a bump. All of it gets better. All of it. You meet more people at the higher level. You figure out the tricks that work at that level. You see small improvements here and there. I feel like I have a totally new tennis orbit now. Yeah, I miss some of my old friends, but there just aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with everyone.

I say keep taking advantage of opportunities to play with people who challenge you and keep looking for the right practice partner. You'll find him, sooner or later.

Perry the Platypus
06-08-2009, 07:40 AM
Raiden - you may or may not get bumped. Looks like most of your opponents have strong records. I would not be surprised to see you maintain your rating. If you do get bumped down, I would be that you are in range to appeal back up.

Fedace - let the stacking issue go man. In many sections stacking simply does not exist - teams under under no expectation to play straight up.

For example, in the MVTA the rule is: "In a local league season, teams are not required to field players in order of strength at any level of league competition within the USTA Missouri Valley Section."

raiden031
06-08-2009, 07:53 AM
By that measure, you're doing great!! You are winning an average of about 5 games per match against what I assume are 4.0 players. That means you are competitive at 4.0. Why would the computer move you down so that you hand out bagels at 3.5?


The standard I use for a competitive match is winning more than half as many games as my opponent.

So 6-3, 6-3 is not competitive (12-6), where 6-3, 6-4 is competitive (12-7). So I consider winning 5 games per match to be pretty weak. I think the only thing that could save my rating would be if my opponents who I was uncompetitive against were near the top of the level. That may or may not be the case, because I don't really know the history of the various players at this level when I look in tennislink.

kylebarendrick
06-08-2009, 07:55 AM
I agree with Cindy - you've won some sets and a match and regularly get 3-4 games in the matches you lose. Looking at your record, I'd expect you to rate out at the low level of the 4.0 range, which is probably where you should be after a double bump. Yeah, it sucks to go from winning all the time to losing regularly, but that is something we should all expect as we move up in levels. Keep fighting for it and you'll see success at 4.0 also.

Cindysphinx
06-08-2009, 09:18 AM
The standard I use for a competitive match is winning more than half as many games as my opponent.

I doubt that is the standard the computer uses! :)

So 6-3, 6-3 is not competitive (12-6), where 6-3, 6-4 is competitive (12-7). So I consider winning 5 games per match to be pretty weak. I think the only thing that could save my rating would be if my opponents who I was uncompetitive against were near the top of the level. That may or may not be the case, because I don't really know the history of the various players at this level when I look in tennislink.

Winning five games per match is not necessarily weak. Against a very strong 4.0, you could win just 2-3 games and still be considered a weak 4.0. The women I have seen bumped down were getting absolutely killed at their level.

For instance, a lady I know was a 3.5. She played three singles matches. She lost them all. She won one game, one game and 3 games. Got bumped down.

The computer needs some evidence that you don't belong at your level. Me, I'm not seeing any.

Nellie
06-08-2009, 09:28 AM
Well, according to the USTA, a high end 4.0 can beat a low end (new) 4.0 by an 0 and 0 score. I think that problem would come if you lost to low end 4.0's (or even better 3.5's playing up) by a lot. There does not seem to be any low end 4.0's on the record, except for the one you beat!

TennisDawg
06-08-2009, 09:32 AM
I'm wondering what people think of my USTA record at 4.0 this year after having been bumped from 3.0.

Questions are:

1) Was my bump to 4.0 legit or due to a flaw in the system?
2) Will I get bumped down to 3.5 after this year?

My 8.0 mixed captain is hoping that I get bumped down to 3.5 so that we can dominate next year (team came up just short of winning the 8.0 league title this year). She has a couple 4.5W/3.5M pairs, so it would work out perfect for me as far as mixed goes. I don't want to be a 3.5, but lets face it, I'm not playing like a 4.0 player and thats the reality I have to face.

Anyways, here is my record this year, with my opponents' win-loss records to sorta put some context behind these results. I've only counted opponent records of rated matches (ignoring mixed and combo results).

Team 1
#1S - L - 6-0, 6-2 (Opp 3-0)
#2S - L - 7-6, 6-1 (Opp 2-1)
#1S - L - 6-1, 6-3 (Opp 6-2)
#2S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 4-2)

Team 2
#2D - L - 6-2, 6-1 (Opps 6-0/*1-2 , 7-2)
#1S - W - 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (Opp 0-4)
#1S - L - 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (Opp 3-2)
#1S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 9-4/*1-1)

* - Record playing up in 4.5

Statistics:

Sets won / lost - 2 / 14
Tiebreak Sets won / lost - 1 / 1
Bagels received / given - 3 / 1
Breadsticks received / given - 4 / 0

The common theme is that my opponents who beat me easily have all complimented me saying I have all the shots and put some pressure on them, even though it appears to me that none of my shots bother them at all. Either its a long rally that my opponent almost always wins, or I give up a free point by botching a routine shot or service return early in the point.

My whole attitude about my tennis game is starting to change. I'm starting to raise doubts of whether I will ever reach my goals and/or potential in tennis. Its not because I lack fitness. Its not because I lack talent or athletic ability. Its because I don't have the resources needed to get better. I have access to a hitting wall, I have access to a ball machine, I have access to 3.5 hitting partners (who mostly want to just play matches).
I haven't really developed any practice buddies on my 4.0 team so I don't see myself practicing against 4.0s during the off-season. I still see myself relying on 3.5 practice partners to prepare me for the season, as I did last year. I only get maybe a dozen league matches in a year to play against better players and get that experience. I don't have the money to take lessons regularly. I don't have the time to spend as much time on court as needed to get better due to family obligations. A ball machine and hitting wall carried me into 4.0, but its not enough to take me further. I can practice strokes against a ball machine/wall forever but those strokes will still break down in match situation because a ball machine/wall is just feeding balls, and not giving me tough shots that I have to overcome.

Its frustrating when you want to accomplish something, but there are too many obstacles in your way that keep you from even being in a position to put in the effort to accomplish that something. Its different than trying and failing, because at least you know you gave it your best. I don't even have the ability to give it my best.

Its not because I lack fitness. Its not because I lack talent or athletic ability. Its because I don't have the resources needed to get better. I have access to a hitting wall, I have access to a ball machine, I have access to 3.5 hitting partners (who mostly want to just play matches).

Seems you do have all the resources when I read the above. Try playing 3.5 players and deliberately handicap your game i.e. play S/V, hit down the middle instead of crosscourt, let your opponent get ahead and comeback. I agree a ball machine can only do so much, but it is still valuable practice. Enter tournaments routinely. You can improve if you work at it. I honestly think drills with partners are mostly a waste of time, you never get the ball placed back correctly crosscourt, downtheline. You're better off playing sets and use that as practice. Try playing out points without the serves, just groundstrokes. Every now and then talk a better player into a match, you may have to indulge him/her a little. Invest in private lessons, then follow it up with the ball machine.

MNPlayer
06-08-2009, 09:57 AM
From your record, I doubt you will be bumped down. I had a pretty bad 3.5 season the first time I played USTA and was not bumped down. I would not look at it as a bad thing if it happens though.

If your region is anything like mine, there is a reasonable overlap between the upper 3.5 and lower 4.0 players. I'm right on the 3.5-4.0 threshold and play competitively at both levels. Most 3.5s are not a big challenge but I got beat badly by a top 3.5 in a tournament semifinal not too long ago. And I'm undefeated in a club 4.0 singles league and USTA 4.0 2nd/3rd doubles so far this season (3-0,4-0). The club league is a little weaker than USTA but not much.

All this to say - at this level there are so many players whose games are getting better/worse by the day that you can never tell what you'll run into. If you get bumped down you can play 3.5 and 4.0 which sounds like a good spot for you. Getting beat on all the time is no fun. If you get to play 3.5 at least you'll do some beating too. :)

And your game will get better if you keep playing, don't worry about that. Hitting with a good 3.5 should be a good workout. You don't need to hit with 4.0+ players to get better.

SlapShot
06-08-2009, 10:22 AM
From your record, I doubt you will be bumped down. I had a pretty bad 3.5 season the first time I played USTA and was not bumped down. I would not look at it as a bad thing if it happens though.

If your region is anything like mine, there is a reasonable overlap between the upper 3.5 and lower 4.0 players. I'm right on the 3.5-4.0 threshold and play competitively at both levels. Most 3.5s are not a big challenge but I got beat badly by a top 3.5 in a tournament semifinal not too long ago. And I'm undefeated in a club 4.0 singles league and USTA 4.0 2nd/3rd doubles so far this season (3-0,4-0). The club league is a little weaker than USTA but not much.

All this to say - at this level there are so many players whose games are getting better/worse by the day that you can never tell what you'll run into. If you get bumped down you can play 3.5 and 4.0 which sounds like a good spot for you. Getting beat on all the time is no fun. If you get to play 3.5 at least you'll do some beating too. :)

And your game will get better if you keep playing, don't worry about that. Hitting with a good 3.5 should be a good workout. You don't need to hit with 4.0+ players to get better.

Oddly enough, you and I play in the same section, and I've had different results - I had an abysmal first season at 3.5, and got bumped to 3.0. Was bumped right back up to 3.5 after one match, but have since had a winning record at 4.0, including some dominant wins over 3.5 players (a 6-2, 2-1 match and a 6-0, 6-1 match) and maintain my 3.5 rating.

Was the top 3.5 a tall Indian man with a nice set of strokes and a less-than-stable mental game? ;)

Rabbit
06-08-2009, 10:29 AM
getting bumped down is a monumental task. 2+ games is considered 'competitive' from what I understand. and, if you aren't competitive, depending on what your number is, you may or may not move enough to even be considered.

Topaz
06-08-2009, 12:20 PM
Raiden, considering you got a double bump, I think your expectations are a bit unrealistic. Did you think you could skip an entire *level* (which is full of some really, really good players BTW) and not have some 'growing pains'?

You wanted to be a 4.0, and you are a 4.0. You aren't winning there (*yet*), but that doesn't necessarily mean that you don't belong there. Like others have said, from your scores, it would appear that you are on the lower end of the 4.0 spectrum (which, again, after a double bump, is not enexpected).

Is your motivation to get better and improve? If so, keep playing 4.0. If your motivation is just win all the time, then by all means, appeal down.

Most of the time, when people move a single level, there is an adjustment period before they start winning at that level. It is going to take you longer to improve at the higher levels than it did at 3.0. Just keep going out and playing and see what you can learn at each match, and you'll start getting more and more games, and eventually, you'll start winning.

subaru3169
06-08-2009, 01:31 PM
hang in there.. sometimes, you just need some time to pick yourself up and have the drive and motivation to tell yourself "LETS DO THIS" and to really focus.. many times, i know i will not play well because i've been playing too much and it takes its toll from being burnt out.. but like the others said, you got bumped to 4.0 for a reason so give yourself some time to adjust

Fedace
06-08-2009, 02:23 PM
Raiden, i am not sure why you are so worried about not being able to find another 4.0 team to play with. If you are worried about the tennislink record, just concentrate on being competitive. Also try to get in with one of the best teams in the division.
It seem to me at least in doubles, it is important to have a good partner as good teams do. It is possible to bring your partner's level up but if you are playing 2 very tough guys and your partner is getting picked on all the time, there isn' t too much you can do.

RanchDressing
06-08-2009, 02:49 PM
Don't worry about it so much its just a number. Besides if you get bumped down it should be easier to dominate! :p

Cindysphinx
06-08-2009, 03:30 PM
Raiden, i am not sure why you are so worried about not being able to find another 4.0 team to play with. If you are worried about the tennislink record, just concentrate on being competitive. Also try to get in with one of the best teams in the division.


I think most experienced captains know how to look beyond TennisLink. If someone has a dreadful TennisLink record, then I will ask around about them. If I hear, "Yeah, she's young and fast and strong and serious about improving," I would take the player despite the TennisLink record.

I don't think I agree with the advice to seek out the best team in the division. I mean, if you want to improve you have to play. If you aren't the strongest players, you will ride the bench. That's for singles.

For doubles, it is tricky. I have been the strongest player on a crazy-weak team, and it was a nightmare. I had to play the strongest opponents, yet I had weak partners. Ugh.

Fedace
06-08-2009, 03:38 PM
I think most experienced captains know how to look beyond TennisLink. If someone has a dreadful TennisLink record, then I will ask around about them. If I hear, "Yeah, she's young and fast and strong and serious about improving," I would take the player despite the TennisLink record.

I don't think I agree with the advice to seek out the best team in the division. I mean, if you want to improve you have to play. If you aren't the strongest players, you will ride the bench. That's for singles.

For doubles, it is tricky. I have been the strongest player on a crazy-weak team, and it was a nightmare. I had to play the strongest opponents, yet I had weak partners. Ugh.

WELL said Cindy. You are Wise as usual. All that experience on the courts made you a smart woman,,,indeed.:)

raiden031
06-08-2009, 03:45 PM
Raiden, considering you got a double bump, I think your expectations are a bit unrealistic. Did you think you could skip an entire *level* (which is full of some really, really good players BTW) and not have some 'growing pains'?

You wanted to be a 4.0, and you are a 4.0. You aren't winning there (*yet*), but that doesn't necessarily mean that you don't belong there. Like others have said, from your scores, it would appear that you are on the lower end of the 4.0 spectrum (which, again, after a double bump, is not enexpected).

Is your motivation to get better and improve? If so, keep playing 4.0. If your motivation is just win all the time, then by all means, appeal down.

Most of the time, when people move a single level, there is an adjustment period before they start winning at that level. It is going to take you longer to improve at the higher levels than it did at 3.0. Just keep going out and playing and see what you can learn at each match, and you'll start getting more and more games, and eventually, you'll start winning.

One thing that irks me about this situation (besides embarrasment when I tell my captains the scores of a match), is that after I was recruited onto my one 4.0 team, I reached out to another former teammate who also got bumped 2 levels and brought him on the team as well. This guy is 10 years older than me, and has been playing tennis total for 2 years, and he's dominating at 4.0 singles, whereas I'm getting crushed. Maybe if I didn't have that comparison of someone who has been playing less than me, yet going through the same transition doing so much better than me, then I wouldn't feel this hopeless.

I don't want to play at 3.5 because that is a step backwards and it will only lessen the quality of play around me, but I was trying to find out what the risk might be given my results. I just wish I could get more quality practice outside of usta, instead of only facing better players when it is on the record in a rated match.

GeoffB
06-08-2009, 03:53 PM
I was bumped down from 4.0 to 3.5 last season, though I was a self-rated 4.0. My record was:

L 6-2, 6-1 (vs a pretty strong 4.0, wins about 60%)
L 6-0, 6-1 (vs a very strong 4.0, wins about 80%)
L 7-5, 6-1 (vs a strong 4.0, wins about 60%)
W 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 (vs a 4.0B, recently bumped up from 3.5)
L 6-2, 4-6, 1-6 (vs a middling 4.0)

I thought the win and the last 3 setter might be enough to keep me at 4.0, but I was bumped down anyway

No matter, I kept playing 4.0, and I've had more success this year. So don't worry about it. Keep in mind that the USTA isn't trying to give you a bad grade, they're allowing you to play down.

Good luck!

Fedace
06-08-2009, 03:53 PM
^^^I recommend start learning to play Good Solid doubles. I have a feeling you will be a great 4.0 doubles man. Singles and doubles are 2 diff game. ONce you learn what works in doubles, you will do well.

Fedace
06-08-2009, 03:55 PM
I was bumped down from 4.0 to 3.5 last season, though I was a self-rated 4.0. My record was:

L 6-2, 6-1 (vs a pretty strong 4.0, wins about 60%)
L 6-0, 6-1 (vs a very strong 4.0, wins about 80%)
L 7-5, 6-1 (vs a strong 4.0, wins about 60%)
W 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 (vs a 4.0B, recently bumped up from 3.5)
L 6-2, 4-6, 1-6 (vs a middling 4.0)

I thought the win and the last 3 setter might be enough to keep me at 4.0, but I was bumped down anyway

No matter, I kept playing 4.0, and I've had more success this year. So don't worry about it. Keep in mind that the USTA isn't trying to give you a bad grade, they're allowing you to play down.

Good luck!

what if you made an appeal?? would they have bumped you back up ??:confused:

subaru3169
06-08-2009, 04:13 PM
i'm not sure i understand how this league stuff works.. couple questions

- so lets say a 3.5 player only plays in 4.0 matches, is the person's ranking in the 3.5 or 4.0 category??

- and what's the point of appealing if you can play up??

raiden031
06-08-2009, 04:34 PM
i'm not sure i understand how this league stuff works.. couple questions

- so lets say a 3.5 player only plays in 4.0 matches, is the person's ranking in the 3.5 or 4.0 category??

- and what's the point of appealing if you can play up??

Well if they self-rate at 3.5, then its no different than self-rating at 4.0 as far as their actual rating. If they are computer-rated at 3.5, then their rating from the previous year will start in the 3.5 range, so they might have to play a couple matches solidly at 4.0 before the rating adjusts to put them in 4.0 range, because of the weight from the previous year end rating.

There are market forces in usta leagues that make it hard for some people to play up. Most captains want a winning team, so they are less likely to pick a 3.5 player to be on their team who hasn't proven themselves able to compete. Why pick a 3.5 player when you can find 4.0 players?

If I got moved down to 3.5, I might have trouble finding a 4.0 team next year, (assuming my captain this year won't take me again next year if he's dissatisfied with my performance). It might not sound right, but alot of captains put more credibility in the number next to your name then what your true level might actually be as the league is about to start.

Tenski
06-08-2009, 04:35 PM
Cindy and Topaz got it exactly right Raiden. You're a 4.0 player and that's what the computer should keep you at. Yes, most of your matches are indeed competitive. We in the Mid Atlantic section know what you've done in the past year or so and how good you really are. You sure shouldn't have expected to beat up on 4.0s like you did 3.0s. You were the National (yes, National) 3.0 champion player. You won five matches at the National Championships, featured on the MAS web site and you would be the MAS "Player of the Year" if they had such a title. Your double bump was certainly justified--it's not puinishment, it's a reward for doing great.

Find another team if your captain is going to try and tweak the system by getting you down to 3.5. Come over to NOVA--we've got teams for you.

If you get moved down to 3.5, regardless of how, I'm sending all these posts to the MAS league coordinator. Play at the level you are--4.0.

Tenski

raiden031
06-08-2009, 04:42 PM
Cindy and Topaz got it exactly right Raiden. You're a 4.0 player and that's what the computer should keep you at. Yes, most of your matches are indeed competitive. We in the Mid Atlantic section know what you've done in the past year or so and how good you really are. You sure shouldn't have expected to beat up on 4.0s like you did 3.0s. You were the National (yes, National) 3.0 champion player. You won five matches at the National Championships, featured on the MAS web site and you would be the MAS "Player of the Year" if they had such a title. Your double bump was certainly justified--it's not puinishment, it's a reward for doing great.

Find another team if your captain is going to try and tweak the system by getting you down to 3.5. Come over to NOVA--we've got teams for you.

If you get moved down to 3.5, regardless of how, I'm sending all these posts to the MAS league coordinator. Play at the level you are--4.0.

Tenski

LOL about your last sentence. What would be the purpose in sending my posts to the league coordinator? That would imply I'm breaking some sort of rule by posting this stuff, which I'm not.

MNPlayer
06-09-2009, 05:50 AM
Oddly enough, you and I play in the same section, and I've had different results - I had an abysmal first season at 3.5, and got bumped to 3.0. Was bumped right back up to 3.5 after one match, but have since had a winning record at 4.0, including some dominant wins over 3.5 players (a 6-2, 2-1 match and a 6-0, 6-1 match) and maintain my 3.5 rating.

Was the top 3.5 a tall Indian man with a nice set of strokes and a less-than-stable mental game? ;)

Hey SlapShot, hope to see you on wednesday. I believe our teams are playing.

Yeah, the whole rating thing is a bit of a crapshoot in the short run. It depends on the ratings of the people you play and how you match up. I don't worry about it too much, as I get to play good tennis at 4.0 either way. 4.5 would be fun but I won't feel I'm missing out on a lot until I win more easily at 4.0.

The loss I'm referring to was in a more recent tournament. The match with the tall Indian guy was pretty close. The physical description of the guy that beat me in the last tournament could not be more different and he beat me 6-0, 6-3. :)

tfm1973
06-09-2009, 06:00 AM
The match with the tall Indian guy was pretty close.

um i believe they prefer to be called "native americans". especially if they have names like Runs with Racquets or Thunder Backhand or Paints the Lines.

oh unless you meant someone from India the country. then please carry on. nothing to see here. :)

MNPlayer
06-09-2009, 07:20 AM
um i believe they prefer to be called "native americans". especially if they have names like Runs with Racquets or Thunder Backhand or Paints the Lines.

oh unless you meant someone from India the country. then please carry on. nothing to see here. :)

His first name is Vijay. I'll let you guess where he is from. :)

GeoffB
06-09-2009, 07:36 AM
what if you made an appeal?? would they have bumped you back up ??:confused:

Hard to say - maybe. I'm not 100% sure how the computer rating system works, but I *think* they consider the strength of your opponent and the set scores, not just the W-L. My only win last season was over a guy who had just been bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0, so I probably didn't score a ton of points. The bad losses in my first two matches also probably factored heavily into lowering my rating.

Eh, maybe I was right on the cusp, and would have been bumped up through appeal. I decided against it, mainly because it didn't really affect me. My 3.5 rating doesn't prevent me from playing 4.0 league or tournaments, so I decided to work on my game in the off season and give it another try at 4.0. I figured that my 3.5 would be an insurance policy - if I continued to lose badly, I'd go down to 3.5 for a while. So there was almost nothing to gain by appealing...

Almost. It does feel just a little better to have 4.0C next to your name. After working hard and competing, it's dispiriting to get bumped down, no matter how you look at it.

Topaz
06-09-2009, 08:20 AM
One thing that irks me about this situation (besides embarrasment when I tell my captains the scores of a match), is that after I was recruited onto my one 4.0 team, I reached out to another former teammate who also got bumped 2 levels and brought him on the team as well. This guy is 10 years older than me, and has been playing tennis total for 2 years, and he's dominating at 4.0 singles, whereas I'm getting crushed. Maybe if I didn't have that comparison of someone who has been playing less than me, yet going through the same transition doing so much better than me, then I wouldn't feel this hopeless.

I don't want to play at 3.5 because that is a step backwards and it will only lessen the quality of play around me, but I was trying to find out what the risk might be given my results. I just wish I could get more quality practice outside of usta, instead of only facing better players when it is on the record in a rated match.


Ah, I hear 'ya on the reporting a 'bad' score thing.

But you know what? If playing tennis is truly what you want to do and what you love (at least to some degree!) then you have to find a way to get past the 'Tennislink' curse. You know...when you're in the middle of a match and you are more worried about what score is going to go up on Tennislink than the next point. Been there...done that!

Though, I really don't think you have anything to worry about. I know you don't think those scores are competitive, but they will be competitive enough for you to keep your 4.0 IMO.

Try to find that 'zone' where you just go out and play. Just...play. Sounds simple, but we all know how simple it isn't. It isn't about how that other guy is doing (btw, he may be older, but experience makes a big difference, too) or who is going to want you on their team. I really don't get the feeling that 'winning' is the only reason you're on the court, but it sounds like you get wrapped up in the 'other' stuff real easily. I do, too, at times.

I told myself at the beginning of this season, when I was playing a singles spot on a team for the first time, that the worst that could happen is I lose (a lot) and get bumped down to 3.0. But even then, at 3.0, I still get to play tennis!!!

You need to figure out what your motivation and focus is and then go from there (again, all my opinion...take it for what it is worth).

As far as getting more practice outside of USTA...well, I think you know how to do that. Find a pro, find some people, get a clinic together where you all have the same goals. Take lessons. Play tournaments. Join Flexleague (if they have it up there). Yes, it takes time and it takes money, so you will have to decide if the results are worth it or not.

Topaz
06-09-2009, 08:23 AM
Come over to NOVA--we've got teams for you.

If you get moved down to 3.5, regardless of how, I'm sending all these posts to the MAS league coordinator. Play at the level you are--4.0.

Tenski

Ok Tenski...you're starting to freak me out! WHO ARE YOUUUUU???? ;)

SlapShot
06-09-2009, 08:50 AM
Hey SlapShot, hope to see you on wednesday. I believe our teams are playing.

Yeah, the whole rating thing is a bit of a crapshoot in the short run. It depends on the ratings of the people you play and how you match up. I don't worry about it too much, as I get to play good tennis at 4.0 either way. 4.5 would be fun but I won't feel I'm missing out on a lot until I win more easily at 4.0.

The loss I'm referring to was in a more recent tournament. The match with the tall Indian guy was pretty close. The physical description of the guy that beat me in the last tournament could not be more different and he beat me 6-0, 6-3. :)

I will be present - playing #1 dubs with another Indian fella. ;)

That wouldn't have been one of the Chads that was a self-rated 3.5, was it?

raiden031
06-09-2009, 08:52 AM
Ok Tenski...you're starting to freak me out! WHO ARE YOUUUUU???? ;)

And this person always refers to themselves as 'we', as if its some group of usta personnel who just lurk on the message board and report everything they read of interest back to the organization. If he/she/they know who we are, then they must spend time looking up tennislink results after people post things on this board. I don't get this person's purpose here.

MNPlayer
06-09-2009, 09:25 AM
I will be present - playing #1 dubs with another Indian fella. ;)

That wouldn't have been one of the Chads that was a self-rated 3.5, was it?

Nope, it was a guy that's ranked fairly high in the 3.5s so he's been around for a while. From what others have told me, he's on and off with injuries, but played really well against me. Check out my tennislink if you want the name. I'm not sure if it is a good idea to post people's names on here too much although I would not mind.

See you wednesday. I'll probably be playing 3rd again.

Sorry for highjacking the thread, Raiden.

Cindysphinx
06-09-2009, 11:29 AM
And this person always refers to themselves as 'we', as if its some group of usta personnel who just lurk on the message board and report everything they read of interest back to the organization. If he/she/they know who we are, then they must spend time looking up tennislink results after people post things on this board. I don't get this person's purpose here.

I've no idea who Tenski is, but I love a good mystery. I say he/she is just a tennis nut like the rest of us, with an orbit more in NOVA than DC or MD. I think he/she comes in peace and is an overall Good Egg, based on what I've seen.

It would be nice to get a gender and level for Tenski, just so I don't have to keep typing "he/she" all the time.

Cindy

OrangePower
06-09-2009, 05:05 PM
Raiden, based on your opponents' records, I don't think you will be bumped down. They look to be mostly very strong 4.0, and a strong 4.0 would be expected by the computer to beat a relatively low 4.0 by those kinds of margins.

amarone
06-10-2009, 04:24 AM
Hard to say - maybe. I'm not 100% sure how the computer rating system works, but I *think* they consider the strength of your opponent and the set scores, not just the W-L. Mostly right - the only difference is that they do not consider the W-L at all.

raiden031
06-10-2009, 04:47 AM
Ah, I hear 'ya on the reporting a 'bad' score thing.

But you know what? If playing tennis is truly what you want to do and what you love (at least to some degree!) then you have to find a way to get past the 'Tennislink' curse. You know...when you're in the middle of a match and you are more worried about what score is going to go up on Tennislink than the next point. Been there...done that!

Though, I really don't think you have anything to worry about. I know you don't think those scores are competitive, but they will be competitive enough for you to keep your 4.0 IMO.

Try to find that 'zone' where you just go out and play. Just...play. Sounds simple, but we all know how simple it isn't. It isn't about how that other guy is doing (btw, he may be older, but experience makes a big difference, too) or who is going to want you on their team. I really don't get the feeling that 'winning' is the only reason you're on the court, but it sounds like you get wrapped up in the 'other' stuff real easily. I do, too, at times.

I told myself at the beginning of this season, when I was playing a singles spot on a team for the first time, that the worst that could happen is I lose (a lot) and get bumped down to 3.0. But even then, at 3.0, I still get to play tennis!!!

You need to figure out what your motivation and focus is and then go from there (again, all my opinion...take it for what it is worth).

As far as getting more practice outside of USTA...well, I think you know how to do that. Find a pro, find some people, get a clinic together where you all have the same goals. Take lessons. Play tournaments. Join Flexleague (if they have it up there). Yes, it takes time and it takes money, so you will have to decide if the results are worth it or not.

I should emphasize that its not that I'm too focused on winning, but I'm really focused on seeing progress. I sorta have the belief that simply getting more experience against these players will make me better and improve my competitiveness against them, but at the same time I have this fear that the only way I will become competitive against them is to greatly increase my time spent practicing. This is scary because my ability to spend time practicing is getting shorter and shorter as family obligations start dominating my life. In addition, finding the quality practice needed to improve at higher levels is getting more difficult as well. As I stated earlier, I could do alot with a hitting wall and ball machine to get me where I am, but now I feel like those are not enough to get me much further.

Cindysphinx
06-10-2009, 06:23 AM
I should emphasize that its not that I'm too focused on winning, but I'm really focused on seeing progress.

I totally get this, and it is not at all irrational.

We will all plateau. All of us. Ideally, we will plateau at a level that makes us feel good about our tennis and bears some relationship to our natural abilities. I can sure see how a young, fit guy would be a bit spooked about the idea of being a low 4.0 for the rest of what will be a long tennis life.

That said, we all have to be realistic. Progress depends on three things: Instruction, practice, and fitness. Those three things boil down to Time and Money, both of which are in short supply for someone in a position like Raiden's.

I think the answer, for now, is to re-think what "progress" means. Raiden has been on a rise that cannot be matched by most of us here. Starts at 3.0, doesn't get bumped and so gets a 3.0 computer rating, dominates league for an entire year, dominates in the playoffs, dominates in nationals. All the while presumably improving strokes, gaining confidence and comfort, and adding new strategies.

All of a sudden, the progress seems to stop.

Well, it hasn't stopped, I think. It just looks different. I would guess 2007 Raiden couldn't take a game off of these 4.0 players, but 2009 Raiden is competitive. And 2010 Raiden will win more games still. And that will be due to very small, incremental improvements that may not be apparent to anyone but Raiden.

Maybe the thing to do is set some new, incremental goals that still amount to "progress" but are things that will be slight changes you can make on your own? I don't know your game well enough to say what those things might be. I'll bet if you target one thing at a time (say, your BH or your second serve or whatever needs work the most), you will make progress on that one thing. That will give you the feeling that you are still making progress, and it will in fact be real progress.

Cindy -- who figured it wouldn't be a good idea to mention that the plateau is eventually followed by a slow, unavoidable slide downward :)

Xisbum
06-10-2009, 07:02 AM
Raiden, my experience with the USTA computer was a long time ago, but back then it considered a 2-2 loss "competitive." I was bumped to 4.0, played nothing but doubles and lost every match for 2 years. The best I did the first year was a couple of 2-2 losses, and the computer kept me at 4.0 while moving down some of my partners. I asked the local coordinator why I wasn't moved back down, and he said you were competitive even though you never won. Overall records indicated that you were consistently the strongest member of your teams.

The 2-2 losses improved somewhat the next year to 3-3, an occasional 3-4. Cindy's right; improvement comes in slower increments the higher up you get in the food chain.

Hang in there, kid. :-)

JHBKLYN
06-13-2009, 02:43 PM
I followed your progress and I think your double bump up gave you a false illusion that you belong at the 4.0 level - belonging meaning able to win on a consistent basis. Dominating a 3.0 league is not the same as dominating a 3.5 league and there's a difference between 3.5 and 4.0 singles players. I know it feels great to get bumped up 2 levels but the results show that the computer was incorrect. Looking at your scores, you have a lot of lopsided sets against you and that's not a good sign.

I think it would have been better if you got a regular bump up to 3.5 and see whether you can dominate that level before going directly to 4.0. Besides, at 3.5, you can play both 3.5 and 4.0 and it would've been a great opportunity to see if you can go to Nationals at the 3.5 level. Good luck to the rest of the season!

raiden031
07-02-2009, 07:21 AM
UPDATE:

So here is the latest stats on my performance at 4.0. Not a whole lot has changed, I played one additional match and most of my opponents still have winning records. One thing I do know that I forget to mention is that my year-end rating to start the season was 3.60.

Has anyone's opinions changed on whether I will stay at the same level or be bumped down? I will revive this thread in 5 months when new ratings come out to see who guessed right and who didn't.

Team 1
#1S - L - 6-0, 6-2 (Opp 7-0)
#2S - L - 7-6, 6-1 (Opp 4-2)
#1S - L - 6-1, 6-3 (Opp 9-4)
#2S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 7-3)

Team 2
#2D - L - 6-2, 6-1 (Opps 7-4/*1-4 , 9-5)
#1S - W - 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (Opp 0-7)
#1S - L - 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (Opp 3-4)
#1S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 14-5/*1-1)
#1S - L - 6-1, 6-1 (Opp 5-3)

* - Record playing up in 4.5

My Statistics:

Matches - (won/lost) - 1 / 8
Sets - (won/lost) - 2 / 16
Games - (won/lost) - 42 / 102
Tiebreak Sets - (won/lost) - 1 / 1
Bagels - (received/given) - 3 / 1
Breadsticks - (received/given) - 4 / 0

JavierLW
07-02-2009, 07:56 AM
UPDATE:

So here is the latest stats on my performance at 4.0. Not a whole lot has changed, I played one additional match and most of my opponents still have winning records. One thing I do know that I forget to mention is that my year-end rating to start the season was 3.60.

Has anyone's opinions changed on whether I will stay at the same level or be bumped down? I will revive this thread in 5 months when new ratings come out to see who guessed right and who didn't.

Team 1
#1S - L - 6-0, 6-2 (Opp 7-0)
#2S - L - 7-6, 6-1 (Opp 4-2)
#1S - L - 6-1, 6-3 (Opp 9-4)
#2S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 7-3)

Team 2
#2D - L - 6-2, 6-1 (Opps 7-4/*1-4 , 9-5)
#1S - W - 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (Opp 0-7)
#1S - L - 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (Opp 3-4)
#1S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 14-5/*1-1)
#1S - L - 6-1, 6-1 (Opp 5-3)

* - Record playing up in 4.5

My Statistics:

Matches - (won/lost) - 1 / 8
Sets - (won/lost) - 2 / 16
Games - (won/lost) - 42 / 102
Tiebreak Sets - (won/lost) - 1 / 1
Bagels - (received/given) - 3 / 1
Breadsticks - (received/given) - 4 / 0

Still hard to tell, most of those statistics are meaningless because we dont know the actual rating of any of your opponents. Did you at least check to make sure they have 4.0 ratings? (and not 3.5 ratings)

If I had to guess though I would say you are not. The times you get whooped it's by successful 4.0 players, and the few times that you win, it's to players who are not successful themselves. And sometimes it's "closer" and those seem to be to average players.

That's how it's supposed to work...

It doesnt matter though. If you do get moved down that does nothing for you. And if you dont get moved down you will likely complain more, unless you finally go find another team that uses you properly. (I dont care what level you are at, if most people get stuck at #1 singles and they dont belong there they cant gleem anything from their results there)

How do you know your year end rating? Do they give you that when you win nationals? If you get moved down far enough you might fall into appeal territory (if you dont play in the playoffs), Im not sure how long you have to wait for that after getting a benchmark.

Hokiez
07-02-2009, 09:11 AM
There was a bit of sloppy code last year that would allow you to see your exact year end ranking. It's fixed though so don't expect it again.

JavierLW
07-02-2009, 09:25 AM
There was a bit of sloppy code last year that would allow you to see your exact year end ranking. It's fixed though so don't expect it again.

Oh ya, I forgot about that. I missed out on that one. (and I wasnt sure if I would have to try to appeal or not to do it, I wasnt too keen on attempting that)

Cindysphinx
07-02-2009, 09:29 AM
I'm with Javier, although I wouldn't characterize your remarks as "complaining."

I guess the way I look at it is to imagine that you were a 3.5 who was playing up and achieved those results. I would expect someone with those results to be bumped up to 4.0. So why would the computer bump you down?

Honestly, I hope it doesn't bump you down. I think you make a mighty fine 4.0, and you will have a better season next year.

Cindy -- feeling all comfortable because she is confident she won't be bumped up or down

tfm1973
07-02-2009, 09:34 AM
raiden -- i've hit with you twice now and both times i'm convinced you are where you are supposed to be = 4.0 player. you're stronger than the strong 3.5's i've hit with because you have more weapons, hit the ball harder, hit with more spin and generally cover more court than they do. the bad news is that against an average to strong 4.0 - they have exactly the same skills AND more experience.

i figure you just need more experience and match play. if you get bumped down and play 3.5 you will likely remain a strong 3.5 for the rest of your life because you will never figure out how to compete and win at the higher levels. so take your lumps now at 4.0 and keep improving so you can dish out some punishment in the future.

raiden031
07-02-2009, 11:39 AM
I'm with Javier, although I wouldn't characterize your remarks as "complaining."

I guess the way I look at it is to imagine that you were a 3.5 who was playing up and achieved those results. I would expect someone with those results to be bumped up to 4.0. So why would the computer bump you down?

Honestly, I hope it doesn't bump you down. I think you make a mighty fine 4.0, and you will have a better season next year.

Cindy -- feeling all comfortable because she is confident she won't be bumped up or down

I've seen people play up at 4.0 and win matches and still not get moved up. Maybe it has to do with them playing competitively at 3.5 at the same time, which pulls their rating back down.

raiden031
07-02-2009, 11:57 AM
raiden -- i've hit with you twice now and both times i'm convinced you are where you are supposed to be = 4.0 player. you're stronger than the strong 3.5's i've hit with because you have more weapons, hit the ball harder, hit with more spin and generally cover more court than they do. the bad news is that against an average to strong 4.0 - they have exactly the same skills AND more experience.

i figure you just need more experience and match play. if you get bumped down and play 3.5 you will likely remain a strong 3.5 for the rest of your life because you will never figure out how to compete and win at the higher levels. so take your lumps now at 4.0 and keep improving so you can dish out some punishment in the future.

I appreciate the re-assurance from you, and I agree that I have the skills for 4.0 play, even if it doesn't yet produce results. But I'm trying to focus objectively on the scores of the matches I've played, which is all USTA knows. Don't get me wrong, I want to be at 4.0, but feel like I need to be prepared for the possible bump down as well. The only good that comes out of the bump down is that I will be a solid contributor on an 8.0 mixed team with a 4.5W partner, that just narrowly missed the league title this year. But there is more growing if I remain at 4.0.

KFwinds
07-02-2009, 12:24 PM
I don't know how consistent things are around the country, but the district coordinator in my area (Northern IL) has told my captain on more than one occasion that if a player gets at least 2 or 3 games in a set from another player, it is considered "competitive". (Even if not to the losing player...) ;)

Also, again, as a public service announcement to all those who have mentioned win/loss records: the computer does NOT factor this criteria into ratings. At all. It only calculates the number of games that you win from a particular opponent vs. the number of games you are "supposed" to win based on their dynamic rating.

Based on the scores you posted raiden, I would be very surprised if you got bumped down. I think you would probably have to go an entire season without getting more than 1-2 games off anyone to get dropped.

Tennisman912
07-03-2009, 06:37 PM
Raiden031,

I think Cindy is on the right track and that as long as you are improving incrementally and gaining experience, you are on the right track and the rating will take care of itself. As others have said, I have seen some pretty funny things happen by the computer, including many people get bumped who IMHO should not have, some who have been undefeated for years and not been bumped and so on.

I find it interesting many of your matches are at 1st singles where I would expect you to be playing the best singles player the other team has (assuming no stacking). If that is the case, someone who was a 3.0 playing a good 4.0 should be losing badly as that is a very big jump, IF they were a 3.0 prior to being bumped (I am not saying you should not have been a 3.0 before the bump as I have not seen you play).

I also agree with you that 2 and 2 is not competitive, no matter what the computer thinks. I personally don’t think most of these scores are all that competitive IMHO (other than the 3 setters, your great 3 set win and your tiebreaker set) i.e. 1 and 1, 0 and 3, 2 and 1, 0 and 2, etc. But these results should be expected in you first season after a bump from 3-4.0 as 3.0 is pretty weak overall IMHO (and no offense as we have all been there at one time or another). It is overly optimistic to expect to be competitive after such a change (in the beginning). The fact you are winning some games in most matches is a good sign as far as I am concerned. But I think is to your benefit to be bumped down which I think has a reasonable chance to happen (sorry, I know not what you want to hear). Then you can continue to play 4.0 working to improve your overall game while also being a better 3.5 who should win consistently and is expected to win. Those matches where you are expected to win are good for your long-term development. Also, if you start playing more doubles (don’t know you aspirations), it is also good for your development to be the much stronger player and learn to win when your opponents try to keep the ball away from you and to your weaker partner. That experience is invaluable and is important to moving up. The higher levels are littered with those who have higher-level strokes than they are competitive at because they just don’t play smart enough against better players, even though they seem to have good strokes. Learn how to play first and then as your skills improve, you have maximum opportunity to take advantage of those strokes and you will go far.

Granted, the bump down on the surface seems like an ego blow (if you let it be) but realistically, no one can go from legit 3.0 to 4.0 and be competitive and win consistently, especially in one season. They are very different games.

As far as I am concerned, you are ahead of the game. As much as we want to go straight to the top, it takes time, it takes gaining experience and it takes some patience (yes, I don’t like that either). But I don’t think you will have much trouble finding a 4.0 team even if you get bumped down. Attitude, working on your game and constantly wanting to improve (not a given with many) mean a lot to a coach. And you will have the pick of any 3.5 team you want as everyone will want you. One or maybe a couple of seasons of 3.5 will help your game much more than you think. If you are bumped down, I think you will agree with that in a few years.

Remember, many would be happy just to get bumped to 4.0 ever as they have been stuck at 3.5 or whatever for years. Keep playing as much 4.0 as you can. Just another opinion and never give up and stop fighting on the court. Best of luck.

TM

goober
07-03-2009, 07:55 PM
i figure you just need more experience and match play. if you get bumped down and play 3.5 you will likely remain a strong 3.5 for the rest of your life because you will never figure out how to compete and win at the higher levels. so take your lumps now at 4.0 and keep improving so you can dish out some punishment in the future.

I found that a very funny line:) Wow one bump down and you are set for life at that level.

Raiden - make it a priority to find 4.0-4.5 practice partners. Make it easy for them- pay for the courts, be available when they want to play and try to get as many as you can. Use Craigslist, tennisoplis, ect. if you have to.

OrangePower
07-03-2009, 08:35 PM
Raiden, based on your results, my best guess is that you will be on the 'bubble' - somewhere between 3.45 and 3.55. So you might stay 4.0 but be able to successfully appeal down, or you might get bumped down but be able to successfully appeal up. So really that puts you in a good situation - your choice of whether to be 3.5 or 4.0.

So the question for you is, if that's what ends up happening, what would your choice be? And if you get bumped down, would you appeal up?

raiden031
07-04-2009, 04:35 AM
I find it interesting many of your matches are at 1st singles where I would expect you to be playing the best singles player the other team has (assuming no stacking). If that is the case, someone who was a 3.0 playing a good 4.0 should be losing badly as that is a very big jump, IF they were a 3.0 prior to being bumped (I am not saying you should not have been a 3.0 before the bump as I have not seen you play).


I definitely did not belong at 3.0 prior to the bump, although I was computer-rated at 3.0. I mean I went 6-0 at Nationals, and all of my opponents got bumped up to 3.5, and I did not lose a set in singles at Nationals. Plus in a 3.5 tourney, there was a guy who got bumped from 3.5 to 4.0, and I beat him in straight sets. Another buddy of mine got bumped from 3.5 to 4.0 (but appealed back down), and I have beaten him the last 2 times we've played. I know that I am at least as good as the typical 3.5-4.0 bump up, but I think the difference is that most of these guys play doubles in their first year at 4.0, whereas I went right to singles, which is a more difficult leap.

raiden031
07-04-2009, 04:44 AM
Raiden, based on your results, my best guess is that you will be on the 'bubble' - somewhere between 3.45 and 3.55. So you might stay 4.0 but be able to successfully appeal down, or you might get bumped down but be able to successfully appeal up. So really that puts you in a good situation - your choice of whether to be 3.5 or 4.0.

So the question for you is, if that's what ends up happening, what would your choice be? And if you get bumped down, would you appeal up?

It is really a hard choice for me. If I felt like I could be competitive at 4.0, I wouldn't dream of playing down at 3.5, but since I'm so far showing not to be very competitive at 4.0, I would consider playing at 3.5. It will probably come down to who wants me on their team at either level.

OrangePower
07-04-2009, 10:27 AM
It is really a hard choice for me. If I felt like I could be competitive at 4.0, I wouldn't dream of playing down at 3.5, but since I'm so far showing not to be very competitive at 4.0, I would consider playing at 3.5. It will probably come down to who wants me on their team at either level.

That makes sense. I think I might be in a similar situation after this season - I'm 14-2 playing 4.0 and will likely end up on the 4.0/4.5 bubble. Assuming I have a choice, I'd play 4.5 next year if there's a team that will have me, and that would be my preference. But I'd rather play 4.0 than not get any matches at all.

Tennisman912
07-04-2009, 11:42 AM
Raiden031,

Hey, if you were computer rated at 3.0 and not self-rated and then killed everyone as you did, good. You took advantage of your opportunity so kudos for that. I wasn’t trying to imply you were a sandbagger as I assumed you had a computer rating. As the computer didn’t rate you up during the season (as you must have been killing people locally most likely if you were undefeated at nationals) then that is the USTA’s fault. I am sure you had plenty of complaints about your level during the season.

Regarding the guy who got bumped from 3.5 to 4.0 and then appealed back down, he obviously didn’t belong in 4.0 so in reality you were just beating a good 3.5 IMHO (but a good win nonetheless). I also don’t necessarily agree that the leap to singles is more difficult, just different. There are many crafty doubles guys lurking in 4.0 who you might think would be weak but take full advantage of years of experience and frustrate many with better strokes, especially those who don’t fully understand doubles. They are really two different games.

As someone who seems more interested in singles than doubles however, I would play as much 4.0 as you can to work on improving your skills to be competitive at 4.0. It will realistically take a few years to be a top dog again but that is ok (unless you are 1 in a million who will put a lot of time and practice into your game which is difficult as we all age as you know). And if you are bumped down, you can play both and just keep practicing with as many 4.0s as you can. Then your 3.5 matches will seem more and more like waffle ball, especially as you improve. Maybe set up some 3.5 singles matches with the best in your area to see where you stand. No matter what happens, I am confident you will make the best of it.

Congrats on your success. As you are learning the journey never ends and once you start doing well, you want to keep raising the bar. Keep playing, practicing and improving and soon you will be dominating in 4.0.

Best of luck

TM