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View Full Version : Are most 3.0 players lousy servers?


JackB1
07-27-2009, 06:47 AM
I just played some doubles against 3.0's and the main thing I noticed is that none of them could serve worth a lick! Is this typical? I have never played in a league before, so I am wondering if these guys were truly 3.0? Most of them had decent ground strokes, but the serves determined the point about 85% of the time. Also, most points didn't go past 2-3 hits back and forth. Is that typical too?

zebano
07-27-2009, 06:50 AM
The rally length is certainly typical. However serving skill tends to vary wildly until about 4.5. Some people are just content to get it in and others try to make it a weapon.

raiden031
07-27-2009, 06:55 AM
My opinion is that most players below 4.5 have under-developed serves. You will see some good serves at every level, but the lower the level, the less often you see it. I played nine 4.0 matches this year (and lost 8 of them) and only maybe 2 of those opponents had respectable serves.

Yeah most of the 3.0 guys have poor serves, and those that have good serves usually don't stay there for very long.

Whether rallies are short or long has alot to do with the style of players. If you play lobbers and pushers, chances are you'll have longer rallies than if you play people who go for alot. And this can vary among the levels as well. I would bet at higher levels, the points in doubles will converge to being shorter because they have more weapons and close in on the net more.

zapvor
07-27-2009, 07:00 AM
i think i am of the few 3.0s that can serve...because thats what i got my lessons for haha

MesQueUnClub
07-27-2009, 07:10 AM
TW uses this special tool to erase your memory of how you played in the lower levels when you sign up here so that you have no recollection of how bad you sucked when you were at the lower level.
While some others on these forums picked up the racquet, hit their first serve which was obviously an ace at over 100 miles an hour and duly given a 5.0 rating.:)

To answer the OP's question, some 3.0's have a good serve while some others don't. But the consistency is not there. At 3.5 my serves are pretty fast as it was when I was a 3.0 last year, but the consistency is a little better this year. Also I have a 2nd serve now, though it's not very fast, I have a decent service motion to hit it unlike last year I just had a dink for a second serve. So these bring the double fault count down a lot.

And as for the length of rally, there are very few points with more than 3-4 shots.

JoshDragon
07-27-2009, 08:01 AM
I just played some doubles against 3.0's and the main thing I noticed is that none of them could serve worth a lick! Is this typical? I have never played in a league before, so I am wondering if these guys were truly 3.0? Most of them had decent ground strokes, but the serves determined the point about 85% of the time. Also, most points didn't go past 2-3 hits back and forth. Is that typical too?

A 3.0 is basically just a beginner. So it seems normal to me that their serves wouldn't be very strong.

A 3.0's serve wouldn't be very good to me because I'm a 4.5 almost 5.0 but at the same time, my serve probably wouldn't be very good to a 6.5.

zapvor
07-27-2009, 08:06 AM
i have a youtube of my serve in the tips section.

LetFirstServe
07-27-2009, 08:09 AM
Of course they don't. When they do they might have a first serve but second serve isnt there yet. Sometimes when a second serve is acquired it would put a player up .5. Around that level trading breaks are still common.

As said in the post above me 3.0 is basically a beginner. Beginners will have decent groundstrokes because when hitting around thats what is being practiced the most.

JackB1
07-27-2009, 08:15 AM
Of course they don't. When they do they might have a first serve but second serve isnt there yet. Sometimes when a second serve is acquired it would put a player up .5. Around that level trading breaks are still common.

As said in the post above me 3.0 is basically a beginner. Beginners will have decent groundstrokes because when hitting around thats what is being practiced the most.

3.0 according to the USTA ratings is NOT a beginner. I thought it was closer to intermediate? I was just surprised at how bad some of these 3.0's were at serving. Serving is the ONE THING that you can practice by yourself. If you have great solid groundstrokes and then your serve is pitiful, you are really doing yourself a disservice not working on it. A 3.5 is probably a 3.0 with a decent serve :)

gamerx52986
07-27-2009, 08:24 AM
I play in the K-Swiss League at the 3.0 level and wouldn't say that most at my level are lousy servers. If anything its the lack of consistency (mine included) that has us playing at that level. I played high school tennis for 3yrs while taking lessons and playing in junior leagues. Now 40 and just started playing 2 years ago my lack of consistency with strokes is my biggest issue. I can practice serves for hours and get most in with power and accuracy. Come match time, the serve tends to go awry.

LetFirstServe
07-27-2009, 08:27 AM
3.0 according to the USTA ratings is NOT a beginner. I thought it was closer to intermediate?

You are right that properly defined they aren't "beginners" but it could also be a local thing, if there isnt a 2.5 level. Nevertheless that level is in a grey area between "beginner" and "intermediate".

I was just surprised at how bad some of these 3.0's were at serving. Serving is the ONE THING that you can practice by yourself. If you have great solid groundstrokes and then your serve is pitiful, you are really doing yourself a disservice not working on it. A 3.5 is probably a 3.0 with a decent serve :)

I agree 3.5 is like a 3.0 with a decent serve. But who knows, perhaps some of those 3.0s are currently working on their serve but their decent serve is still much to inconsistent to execute in matches so they hit their beginner junk serves.

Steady Eddy
07-27-2009, 08:28 AM
Of course they don't. When they do they might have a first serve but second serve isnt there yet. Sometimes when a second serve is acquired it would put a player up .5. Around that level trading breaks are still common.

About a year ago some beginner insisted on playing me. He's young, and tall, (about 6' 5"), and can hit his serve a ton. He couldn't hit a ground stroke at all. But he was the opposite of what you say, he was only a 3.0, but his serve was the best part of his game.

But this is unusual, most players learn to rally and still struggle with their serve. Also, some players never develop power on the serve, but use accuracy and spins to get by. Others, (typically, young and tall), unload on the serve right from the get go.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 08:33 AM
3.0 according to the USTA ratings is NOT a beginner. I thought it was closer to intermediate? I was just surprised at how bad some of these 3.0's were at serving. Serving is the ONE THING that you can practice by yourself. If you have great solid groundstrokes and then your serve is pitiful, you are really doing yourself a disservice not working on it. A 3.5 is probably a 3.0 with a decent serve :)

3.0 is most definitely a beginner.

That is because league play doesn't exist at 2.5 and below, for the most part. Most new players sign on as 3.0 for that reason, among others.

In 2009, I played 6.5 ladies combo all the way up to 4.0 ladies doubles (which means I faced players rated 2.5-4.0). The weakest ladies were thrilled to get their serve in any way possible. The 3.0s were good at getting a medium-paced serve in the middle of the box but their second serves were markedly slower. The 3.5s start to vary more in that you see some women with good form on first and second serve, but there is still a lot of flat-first-serve, push-************ stuff. At 4.0, a lot of the ladies are getting some action on their serves, but there are plenty of women who have only one type of serve that they use at all times or women who are content to get it in deep and start the point. And uh, there are some 4.0s who can make me look really bad with their serves!

It's interesting to note the differences. And it can be difficult to know what is coming at you early in a match, 'cause it can be all over the map.

LetFirstServe
07-27-2009, 08:54 AM
About a year ago some beginner insisted on playing me. He's young, and tall, (about 6' 5"), and can hit his serve a ton. He couldn't hit a ground stroke at all. But he was the opposite of what you say, he was only a 3.0, but his serve was the best part of his game.

But this is unusual, most players learn to rally and still struggle with their serve. Also, some players never develop power on the serve, but use accuracy and spins to get by. Others, (typically, young and tall), unload on the serve right from the get go.

Yes, obviously easier to put power and get it in the box at that height without much practice. Those players should do well in 3.0 level. It kind of reminds me in hockey growing up this tall kid couldnt skate well or stickhandle with the puck but could unload his slapshot while most other kids werent strong enough to have one yet.

Perhaps its better to play against a 3.0 that has one decent weapon than a 3.0 pusher.

raiden031
07-27-2009, 09:06 AM
3.0 is most definitely a beginner.

That is because league play doesn't exist at 2.5 and below, for the most part. Most new players sign on as 3.0 for that reason, among others.

If 3.0 is a beginner, it is by accident and not by design. The reason 2.5 leagues are not prevalent is because it is easy to become a 3.0 quickly. 2.5 is really only useful for players who have no athletic background and have to basically start everything from scratch.

3.0 is essentially the gateway between beginner and intermediate. There are some 3.0s who are beginners (who technically should be 2.5 players), and then there are intermediate players who are not quite good enough for 3.5, but can defeat the 2.5ish-3.0 players easily.

JRstriker12
07-27-2009, 09:06 AM
i think i am of the few 3.0s that can serve...because thats what i got my lessons for haha

I counted more DF's than serves the last time you played me :twisted:

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 09:42 AM
If 3.0 is a beginner, it is by accident and not by design. The reason 2.5 leagues are not prevalent is because it is easy to become a 3.0 quickly. 2.5 is really only useful for players who have no athletic background and have to basically start everything from scratch.


Allow me to quibble just a bit :)

This definitely varies by gender. But when I started as a 2.5 in 2005, there were nine 2.5 teams in the flight, and we played 16 team matches.

Just a couple of years later, it is becoming difficult to have enough players and teams to have a 2.5 flight at all. That is not because it is easy to become a 3.0 quickly -- that has always been the case. The reason is that the league eliminated the "play-up" rule. It used to be that no more than a certain percentage of your team could be playing up (40%?). That made it hard for 2.5s to get onto a 3.0 team (and prevented entire teams of 2.5s from playing up). So now most of the 2.5s play up (or just self-rate at 3.0 to increase the chance that they can get onto a 3.0 team).

But you are correct that the "design" of the USTA rating system contemplates that true beginners will start at 2.5. It just doesn't happen that way anymore because USTA bars restrictions on playing up, thereby frustrating its own design.

I think the demise of ladies 2.5 tennis is just awful. I remember that one thing that encouraged me to take the plunge and join a competitive tennis league was the knowledge that the lady across the net would be as horrible as I was. No way was I ready to face 3.0 players who were on the verge of moving up to 3.5. If 3.0 becomes the only means of entry, there are plenty of people who will be intimidated and decide league tennis is not for them.

The dearth of 2.5 women also makes it impossible to sustain a 5.5 combo league, which floods the 6.5 league with players who really don't belong there. Which chases 3.0 and low 3.5 players into 7.5 combo, where they don't necessarily belong.

And so it goes . . . .

raiden031
07-27-2009, 09:55 AM
Allow me to quibble just a bit :)

This definitely varies by gender. But when I started as a 2.5 in 2005, there were nine 2.5 teams in the flight, and we played 16 team matches.

Just a couple of years later, it is becoming difficult to have enough players and teams to have a 2.5 flight at all. That is not because it is easy to become a 3.0 quickly -- that has always been the case. The reason is that the league eliminated the "play-up" rule. It used to be that no more than a certain percentage of your team could be playing up (40%?). That made it hard for 2.5s to get onto a 3.0 team (and prevented entire teams of 2.5s from playing up). So now most of the 2.5s play up (or just self-rate at 3.0 to increase the chance that they can get onto a 3.0 team).

But you are correct that the "design" of the USTA rating system contemplates that true beginners will start at 2.5. It just doesn't happen that way anymore because USTA bars restrictions on playing up, thereby frustrating its own design.

I think the demise of ladies 2.5 tennis is just awful. I remember that one thing that encouraged me to take the plunge and join a competitive tennis league was the knowledge that the lady across the net would be as horrible as I was. No way was I ready to face 3.0 players who were on the verge of moving up to 3.5. If 3.0 becomes the only means of entry, there are plenty of people who will be intimidated and decide league tennis is not for them.

The dearth of 2.5 women also makes it impossible to sustain a 5.5 combo league, which floods the 6.5 league with players who really don't belong there. Which chases 3.0 and low 3.5 players into 7.5 combo, where they don't necessarily belong.

And so it goes . . . .

How does eliminating the play-up rule cause true 2.5s to start self-rating at 3.0? In either case, it will be hard for 2.5s to find a team at 3.0 because they will be weak players at 3.0.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 11:41 AM
How does eliminating the play-up rule cause true 2.5s to start self-rating at 3.0? In either case, it will be hard for 2.5s to find a team at 3.0 because they will be weak players at 3.0.

Say you have two self-rated 2.5 female players. Let's call one Cindy (who is older and wildly erratic) and one Raiden (younger and more athletic. Cindy and Raiden play 2.5 league. Because Raiden is 6 feet tall and is built like a dude, she plays well and is moved to 3.0 the next year. The computer keeps Cindy at 2.5 until she straightens out her FH. Cindy will feel left behind and dissed and will think she is just as good as Raiden, so she will want to play 3.0. Because there is no limit on who plays up, Cindy and Raiden's entire team will want to play 3.0 "for the challenge." They don't need to find a team because they will be their own team.

Without a limit on the number of people playing up, there will be entire teams that are playing up at 3.0. And because people like Cindy are no longer playing 2.5 -- they consider it beneath them -- there will be no 2.5 league at all next year for newcomers. Who will then have to self-rate (or play up) at 3.0.

pmerk34
07-27-2009, 11:51 AM
My opinion is that most players below 4.5 have under-developed serves. You will see some good serves at every level, but the lower the level, the less often you see it. I played nine 4.0 matches this year (and lost 8 of them) and only maybe 2 of those opponents had respectable serves.

Yeah most of the 3.0 guys have poor serves, and those that have good serves usually don't stay there for very long.

Whether rallies are short or long has alot to do with the style of players. If you play lobbers and pushers, chances are you'll have longer rallies than if you play people who go for alot. And this can vary among the levels as well. I would bet at higher levels, the points in doubles will converge to being shorter because they have more weapons and close in on the net more.

Sometime from 3.0-3.5 guys I will see a hard first serve -usually based on the incredible power these lightweight frames generate. They will just throw it up and smack it with all arm. But then they tap the second serves in at literally 20 mph

raiden031
07-27-2009, 11:58 AM
Say you have two self-rated 2.5 female players. Let's call one Cindy (who is older and wildly erratic) and one Raiden (younger and more athletic. Cindy and Raiden play 2.5 league. Because Raiden is 6 feet tall and is built like a dude, she plays well and is moved to 3.0 the next year. The computer keeps Cindy at 2.5 until she straightens out her FH. Cindy will feel left behind and dissed and will think she is just as good as Raiden, so she will want to play 3.0. Because there is no limit on who plays up, Cindy and Raiden's entire team will want to play 3.0 "for the challenge." They don't need to find a team because they will be their own team.

Without a limit on the number of people playing up, there will be entire teams that are playing up at 3.0. And because people like Cindy are no longer playing 2.5 -- they consider it beneath them -- there will be no 2.5 league at all next year for newcomers. Who will then have to self-rate (or play up) at 3.0.

What you're basically saying is that most 2.5s want to play 3.0 even though they are not good enough to even be competitive at 3.0. Really if that is the case, then 2.5 might as well not exist due to lack of interest. Maybe thats how it is with women, because I seldom see men preferring to play at a level where they are getting blown out every match by choice.

Instead I think most men who join usta at 3.0 either 1) have already play enough tennis to be a 3.0, 2) improve from beginner to 3.0 rather quickly, 3) are in over their heads and don't realize they are not good enough to play 3.0, or 4) play in the lowest available level in their area

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 12:13 PM
Raiden,

I think most women view their rating as an assessment of their worth as a human being and therefore love to play up and otherwise find ways of convincing the computer to bump them up.

I think men are the opposite, with one exception: Men don't want to be 2.5. It's embarrassing.

I don't understand why 2.5 isn't the entry level for men. Yes, the men who would be 2.5 would improve quickly, etc. Just because you are a man doesn't mean you aren't a beginner, though.

JRstriker12
07-27-2009, 12:42 PM
Sometime from 3.0-3.5 guys I will see a hard first serve -usually based on the incredible power these lightweight frames generate. They will just throw it up and smack it with all arm. But then they tap the second serves in at literally 20 mph

There's a saying - " You are only as good as your second serve."

I've seen a lot of guys at 3.0 - not so much so at 3.5 - who just smack the crap out of their first serve, but have a first serve percentage of 25%, then dink or double fault.

At the 3.5 level, most guys may not kill you with their serves, but they moderate the power enough to be get a first serve in at least 50% of the time.

I'd say that 95% of 3.0's have pretty lousy serves. If you are a 3.0 with a strong serve, then you prob have huge holes in other parts of your game (groundstrokes).

pmerk34
07-27-2009, 12:57 PM
There's a saying - " You are only as good as your second serve."

I've seen a lot of guys at 3.0 - not so much so at 3.5 - who just smack the crap out of their first serve, but have a first serve percentage of 25%, then dink or double fault.

At the 3.5 level, most guys may not kill you with their serves, but they moderate the power enough to be get a first serve in at least 50% of the time.

I'd say that 95% of 3.0's have pretty lousy serves. If you are a 3.0 with a strong serve, then you prob have huge holes in other parts of your game (groundstrokes).


I forgot that part - they almost never get it in.

I remember reading something discouraging once: Your second serve should be swung at just as hard as your first serve only with more spin.

Ouch - I ain't that good.

zapvor
07-27-2009, 06:05 PM
I counted more DF's than serves the last time you played me :twisted:

yea. i was serving really bad that night:(

michael_1265
07-27-2009, 06:30 PM
3.0 is most definitely a beginner.



I disagree that a 3.0 is by definition a beginner. Yes, there are some beginners, but the range of abilities is huge. I am a 3.0, bumping up against 3.5 (I play 7.0 mixed in the fall, and win 50%+), and there are still 3.0s who are legitimately rated and who beat me solidly. Conversely, I have seen a few without a serve and with little in the way of groundstrokes. I have friends who are true beginners, and if I were to play them, it would be 6-0 all day long, just like it would be if I were to play a 4.0 or 4.5.

OrangePower
07-27-2009, 06:46 PM
Are most 3.0 players lousy servers?

Yes.

Because even with just a decent serve but no other real strengths, you could win enough matches at the 3.0 level to get bumped up pretty quickly. After all, half of the games in a match are your service games (singles that is), and with a decent serve you'd be able to hold serve pretty routinely against a 3.0 returner.

RedWeb
07-27-2009, 07:13 PM
My serve carried me from 3.0 to 3.5 four months after I first picked up a racket (literally). After I moved to 3.5 my ground strokes kept me from winning a match in my first 13 outtings, although many were close. Many people watching me while I was 3.0 said my serve was 4.0+ caliber. So I guess its possible that some people are just naturally better than others when it comes to serving.

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 03:44 AM
I disagree that a 3.0 is by definition a beginner. Yes, there are some beginners, but the range of abilities is huge. I am a 3.0, bumping up against 3.5 (I play 7.0 mixed in the fall, and win 50%+), and there are still 3.0s who are legitimately rated and who beat me solidly. Conversely, I have seen a few without a serve and with little in the way of groundstrokes. I have friends who are true beginners, and if I were to play them, it would be 6-0 all day long, just like it would be if I were to play a 4.0 or 4.5.

Yeah, you're right. I guess I should phrase it differently.

Male beginners can be found at 3.0. Now *that* is definitely true.

topher.juan
07-28-2009, 05:53 AM
I remember reading something discouraging once: Your second serve should be swung at just as hard as your first serve only with more spin.
If not faster.. if my racquet head speed is not at least as fast as my first serve I know I need to take a moment to regroup; hitting a 2nd with slower head speed is a sign you're losing confidence, subconsciously just trying to get it in, and that never wins matches. If I'm going down, I'm going down swingin'! ;)

seleswannabe
07-28-2009, 08:03 AM
My experience is that yes, most 3.0 are lousy servers. If they are decent to good they are probably going to get bumped to 3.5.

Grover Sparkman
07-28-2009, 08:47 AM
I'm a 3.0, but I probably serve as well as most in a 3.5 or 4.0 range (I'm pretty mediocre at most everything else, though). I play with a good friend pretty frequently who finished 2nd in his 4.0 flight, and I can ace him pretty frequently and hold serve regularly.

But, I win a lot of my matches in 3.0 on my serve, because I serve better than most 3.0's.

Now if I could just get to where I can sustain a long rally, I'd be good.

Spyre
07-28-2009, 09:03 AM
My dad is around 3.0, and his serves are actually really good. His technique is interesting, but he has good spin and pace. I think it just comes back to what types of hits those players practice.

damazing
07-28-2009, 09:28 AM
I've played in a couple 3.0 leagues this year and my observations are that those people that have good serves, i.e. produce winners, no double faults, no weak second serves have pretty good games overall. The fact that they are 3.0 usually shows in that they may have a few weak areas of their game whether it's in the net play, backhands, or overall consistency. My guess is that many of them may get moved up to 3.5 in the next year.

The majority of the players I've played against at 3.0 though have weak serves.

On the mixed side, I've noticed that having a solid, consistent serve is rarer for the women. I've played many opponents that serve loopy dinks over the net. The women may have great ground strokes (usually on the backhand side) and still have a weak serve.

coloskier
07-28-2009, 11:40 AM
Usually the only difference between a 3.0 and a 3.5 player is the 3.5 player has a better serve. The other strokes are the same.

RedWeb
07-28-2009, 12:24 PM
Usually the only difference between a 3.0 and a 3.5 player is the 3.5 player has a better serve. The other strokes are the same.

Respectfully, but strongly, disagree with this statement. A good 3.5 player will toast a good 3.0 player (as it should be).

raiden031
07-28-2009, 01:03 PM
Respectfully, but strongly, disagree with this statement. A good 3.5 player will toast a good 3.0 player (as it should be).

I agree to strongly disagree. There aren't all that many 3.5s with good serves either. Its more about overall consistency than anything.

Cindysphinx
07-28-2009, 01:14 PM
On the ladies side, the difference between a 3.0 and a 3.5 serve is mainly that the 3.5 is better at placing her serve. I find a lot of 3.0 serves go right up the middle of the box every time.

Klaus
07-28-2009, 03:47 PM
I have been playing for one year, with almost no experience before (high school, one semester, Jack Kramer wooden racquet, eight group lessons).

I self-rated at 3.0, and after one year, have a medium-paced first serve that is about 85 percent reliable. Admittedly, my second serve is meager, since I almost never need it, and often, my opponents cannot return it because of a tricky slice I place on it. While I have miles to go before I am a "threat" to anybody, the matches I play for the most part, are 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, in my favor against 3.0 guys.

The reason being the serve. Yes, I do have a wicked, deep forehand on occasion, but it is the serve that earns me victories against those in my level.

I noticed that an earlier poster had played high school league tennis, etc. and had a lot of previous experience--that in no way qualifies for 3.0 level. He should be 3.5 at least. Sandbagger!

Klaus

gamerx52986
07-28-2009, 04:18 PM
I have been playing for one year, with almost no experience before (high school, one semester, Jack Kramer wooden racquet, eight group lessons).

I self-rated at 3.0, and after one year, have a medium-paced first serve that is about 85 percent reliable. Admittedly, my second serve is meager, since I almost never need it, and often, my opponents cannot return it because of a tricky slice I place on it. While I have miles to go before I am a "threat" to anybody, the matches I play for the most part, are 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, in my favor against 3.0 guys.

The reason being the serve. Yes, I do have a wicked, deep forehand on occasion, but it is the serve that earns me victories against those in my level.

I noticed that an earlier poster had played high school league tennis, etc. and had a lot of previous experience--that in no way qualifies for 3.0 level. He should be 3.5 at least. Sandbagger!

Klaus

Klaus...I would be the poster that you so nicely called a sandbagger. I actually went through the time to get myself rated before playing in my current league and was found to be a 3.0 level player. I guess stepping away from the game for 20 years takes some getting used to. For what its worth I just finished my summer league with a 4-3 record which was only good enough for fifth in my division of 11 players. If I was sandbagging, I would have went 7-0 and blew everybody away which from the way I'm currently playing isn't going to happen.

pmerk34
07-28-2009, 04:27 PM
I have been playing for one year, with almost no experience before (high school, one semester, Jack Kramer wooden racquet, eight group lessons).

I self-rated at 3.0, and after one year, have a medium-paced first serve that is about 85 percent reliable. Admittedly, my second serve is meager, since I almost never need it, and often, my opponents cannot return it because of a tricky slice I place on it. While I have miles to go before I am a "threat" to anybody, the matches I play for the most part, are 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, in my favor against 3.0 guys.

The reason being the serve. Yes, I do have a wicked, deep forehand on occasion, but it is the serve that earns me victories against those in my level.

I noticed that an earlier poster had played high school league tennis, etc. and had a lot of previous experience--that in no way qualifies for 3.0 level. He should be 3.5 at least. Sandbagger!

Klaus

If you are beating guys 6-1 6-2 then you need to move up to 3.5

RedWeb
07-28-2009, 04:45 PM
I agree to strongly disagree. There aren't all that many 3.5s with good serves either. Its more about overall consistency than anything.

Raiden,

I wasn't saying that 3.5 have "good" serves (although that is relative term). The original quote was "Usually the only difference between a 3.0 and a 3.5 player is the 3.5 player has a better serve. The other strokes are the same." I was saying that, on average, that 3.5 player has a lot more in their bag (including more defined and proper strokes) than a 3.0.

I'd also say that, to me anyway, consistency is about the most important aspect of stroke production, so you can't say a 3.0 and 3.5 strokes are about the same with only the consistency being different.

You don't beat a player 6-2, 6-2 or worse (which is what a 3.5 should consistently do to a 3.0 at the same relative level ie: 3.60 vs 3.10 dynamic) just because your serve is the only thing better. If I played the myself from 2.5 years ago the current me would kick my former ***. :shock: :-?

HitItHarder
07-29-2009, 09:14 AM
I think part of the problem with beginner guys rating at a 3.0 is that the NTRP Guidelines say a person with athletic ability or competitive experience in other sports should anticipate rapid development and not self-rate below a 3.0.

I am very new to tennis, having played approximately one year. When I first started playing I took some lessons and was told by my pro that I should self-rate as a 2.5. Apparently I was really bad (I probably still am - just better then how bad I was in the beginning). However, I am only 35, fit, athletic, and I have played sports all my life. When I read the NTRP guidelines when I was self rating, I asked the pro if he was really sure I was a 2.5. He said yes -- huge blow to the ego there -- so I self-rated at that level.

However, there are very few 2.5 in my area, so I ended up playing on a 3.0 in USTA league play as there were no teams at 2.5. I ended up doing ok, won a few matches, lost a few more, but usually in split sets. I was always competitive (other than the one singles match I would rather forget). What I found was that most beginner men in my area self rate as 3.0 because they consider it a little embarrassing to be a 2.5 beginner because it means you aren't athletic.

However, if these same guys were rated by a teaching professional I think many more would be in that 2.5 category.

As for the serves, in my area in S.C., the 3.0 is probably the broadest range of skills out there. Very few have strong serves and those that do have a low first serve percentage. However, once you get to the 3.5 level everyone is pretty good with consistent serves and groundstrokes. The pace may not be that great, but the consistency is there.

Jim A
07-29-2009, 10:30 AM
a lot of 3.0's will focus on the serve and it can win a lot of points quickly at that level

the problem is a 3.0 with a quality serve likely hasn't worked that much on the other aspects of his game when he's bumped.

I find a great difference among most 3.5's and the 3.0's I often play..the 3.5's have considerably more consistency in their strokes and footwork is often significantly better. A 3.5 also has a deeper serve and a bit more placement

I try to counter this by working on things during my matches. Last night I hit all 2nd serves and didn't allow myself to go for a winner prior to the 5th stroke, often just hitting down the middle, fh, bh, bh or similar.

to start the 2nd set I hit 1st serves and it led to 2 service winners, an ace and a short ball putaway....great..but better for me to work on approach shots, backhands, volleys then going for the bagel and went back to the plan where I had to hit good solid strokes and wait it out

coloskier
07-29-2009, 11:24 AM
Respectfully, but strongly, disagree with this statement. A good 3.5 player will toast a good 3.0 player (as it should be).

I totally agree, but usually it is because they have a better serve that the 3.0 player can't tee off on, whereas the 3.5 player can tee off on the 3.0 players serve.

lostinamerica
07-31-2009, 08:28 AM
In general, most 3.0s are lousy tennis players. They have little to no spin on their serve and if they do it is extremely bad technique.

I am not here to bash 3.0s because they are the seeds of the future higher levels. Yet, the question as to whether a 3.0 has a lousy serve is a bit silly. 3.0s are still learning where to stand and getting aces or high kicking serves is preposterous. Unless, you are nationals, this rarely happens and those players are usually 4.0.

I have a friend who played 3.0 nationals a few years ago and he said he confronted kick serves and serve & volleyers. He is probably a mid to lower level 4.0 player and he got beat. His team thought their group of ringers would just walk through everyone and they got beat 5-0.

Klaus
07-31-2009, 08:52 AM
3.0s are lousy tennis players? :cry: That is an uncalled for and an inaccurate generalization. I am deeply offended by your remark. I have found in my short time on the courts that there is a wide range of talent in this category, and while some of the guys I play are not as skilled as others, some are quite proficient. I usually can serve one or more aces per match if I am loose, and find that my topspin forehand at its best is unreturnable to some. It has been said that I really am a 3.5, but I am still learning movement, playing the net and footwork, and am a work in progress. Presently, I am still a 3.0, and have no designs to jump ahead before I am qualified. Am I learning and progressing, yes! Am I a lousy tennis player, no. How very dare you! Good day. K

lostinamerica
07-31-2009, 10:52 AM
3.0s are lousy tennis players? :cry: That is an uncalled for and an inaccurate generalization. I am deeply offended by your remark. I have found in my short time on the courts that there is a wide range of talent in this category, and while some of the guys I play are not as skilled as others, some are quite proficient. I usually can serve one or more aces per match if I am loose, and find that my topspin forehand at its best is unreturnable to some. It has been said that I really am a 3.5, but I am still learning movement, playing the net and footwork, and am a work in progress. Presently, I am still a 3.0, and have no designs to jump ahead before I am qualified. Am I learning and progressing, yes! Am I a lousy tennis player, no. How very dare you! Good day. K

If I offended you, I apologize but I suspect as you improve and move up the ranks, then you will understand what I was saying. A 5.0 looks pretty lousy compared to a world class player but as a 3.0 you will be in awe. I am a pretty average 4.5 and a decent 5.0 will think I am pretty lousy. It is a matter of perspective but if you are a 3.0, then you are still just learning crawl.

r2473
07-31-2009, 11:03 AM
Are most 3.0 players lousy?

No. They all are.

conditionZero
07-31-2009, 11:15 AM
If I offended you, I apologize but I suspect as you improve and move up the ranks, then you will understand what I was saying. A 5.0 looks pretty lousy compared to a world class player but as a 3.0 you will be in awe. I am a pretty average 4.5 and a decent 5.0 will think I am pretty lousy. It is a matter of perspective but if you are a 3.0, then you are still just learning crawl.

As a 3.0, 'just learning to crawl', I agree with lostinamerica on both posts. Not only do I not take offense at being called 'lousy', but I actually assumed that goes without saying. It's a very accurate generalization. If I was good, I wouldn't be a 3.0.

As he says, it's a matter of perspectve. When my group refers to someone in our level as being good we're talking only in comparison to the rest of us. I watch a 4.0 player and think, "damn he's good", but compared to a 6.0 he's a chump. I really can't understand someone being offended by someone else stating the obvious. We can sit back and say "so-and-so sucks 'cause he's never made it past the 2nd round in a slam", but obviously he only sucks when we compare him to a handful of the best tennis players in the world.

Maybe 'lousy' isn't the kindest choice of words, but it's still pretty much true.

Note: I also find it odd when a higher level player looks down on a lower level player because of his lack of ability for the same reasons. In my experience it's not common, but I definitely see it. Especially when some guy gets bumped up to 3.5 and his head gets bumped up to a 5.5. I always want to tell those guys "you still suck, you just suck less than the 3.0's, get over yourself".

Cindysphinx
07-31-2009, 11:19 AM
Hey, we all suck. We aren't good enough at this to make a living at it, so we are all lousy.

Anyone who wants to claim they are not lousy should raise a hand so we can all tell them they are lousy. :)

conditionZero
07-31-2009, 11:20 AM
No. They all are.

I guess that would be another way to put it.

conditionZero
07-31-2009, 11:24 AM
Hey, we all suck. We aren't good enough at this to make a living at it, so we are all lousy.

Anyone who wants to claim they are not lousy should raise a hand so we can all tell them they are lousy. :)

Thanks for the offer, but I have the 30 minute drive home after my mixed doubles matches with my wife to hear how lousy I am.

raiden031
07-31-2009, 11:26 AM
If I offended you, I apologize but I suspect as you improve and move up the ranks, then you will understand what I was saying. A 5.0 looks pretty lousy compared to a world class player but as a 3.0 you will be in awe. I am a pretty average 4.5 and a decent 5.0 will think I am pretty lousy. It is a matter of perspective but if you are a 3.0, then you are still just learning crawl.

Yeah its all about how we preceive ourselves. When you are at the top of your level and winning most of your matches, you will feel like a good player. If you are at the bottom of your level and losing most of your matches, you will feel like a lousy player. I know this because I've been on both ends.

But the reality is that you have to look at where you fit in across the broad spectrum to know if you are a lousy player. I'm better than 75% of league players (~4.0), but I feel like a pretty lousy player because I am on the lower end and lose most of the time at that level. But being better than 75% of league players is still a pretty good accomplishment. 3.0 players are in the bottom 25% of league players (Probably over 50% of players are in the 3.5 range).

So yeah 3.0 is bad no matter how you look at it. I was a 3.0 two to three years ago and I knew I was bad, but also believed that I had potential to get better which is what mattered. Everyone's gotta start somewhere and there are no short cuts. You gotta practice and play matches and you will become a good player if you do things right.

snowpuppy
07-31-2009, 11:30 AM
3.0 player is like a 3.5 in the raw. Having just move from 3.0 play to 3.5 play yes consistency is big. Does 3.0 have crappy serves? most of the time. It is necessarily weak just that they lack the ability to hold. If you don't have a good enough serve to bail you out of points then it falls to your ground game. 3.5 still drop service game just not as much as 3.0's where their hold is like a break in 3.5. So if you are claiming an awesome serve that gets you easy holds at the 3.0 level you shouldn't be there.

OrangePower
07-31-2009, 11:46 AM
Yeah its all about how we preceive ourselves.

True. I suck. I'm a lousy player. I can beat most 4.0s and I lose to most average 4.5... and it makes no difference because in my mind, I can play far better than I ever can on the court. So no matter how well or badly I'm doing on the court, I feel like I could/should be playing better... in other words, that I suck :neutral:

tenniscoach07
07-31-2009, 12:19 PM
i think the way you guys are putting it lousy is not quite right..... remember we all do this for fun and we don't get paid to play. at one point we all were 3.0 players and if we play long enough we will be back down to 3.0 (if we play into our 70's). when i started 10 years ago i didn't think i was lousy just not enough practice and learning the game. there is a reason for different levels of play to try to even the playing field. my wife and kids play and i don't think they are lousy and the adults and children i teach aren't lousy. i just get excited seeing people out on the courts and enjoying our sport. ...... just my 2 cents worth

conditionZero
07-31-2009, 12:42 PM
i think the way you guys are putting it lousy is not quite right..... remember we all do this for fun and we don't get paid to play. at one point we all were 3.0 players and if we play long enough we will be back down to 3.0 (if we play into our 70's). when i started 10 years ago i didn't think i was lousy just not enough practice and learning the game. there is a reason for different levels of play to try to even the playing field. my wife and kids play and i don't think they are lousy and the adults and children i teach aren't lousy. i just get excited seeing people out on the courts and enjoying our sport. ...... just my 2 cents worth

Does everyone get a trophy????

Klaus
07-31-2009, 01:07 PM
To all of the "lousy" generalists,

Upon clarification, I understand your viewpoints. I guess I do not agree with your nomenclature. Yes, I am inexperienced, progreessing all the time, and play 4-5 times per week including lessons. I do not think of myself as a "lousy" tennis player.

I guess it's all relative. I never felt lousy even when my doubles partner and I lost 5 out of 7 matches. I was responsible for carrying him, as he was nervous and either hit into the net, or out (of the court) during matches. We were both rated at 3.0, but I never thought any less of him, or thought of him as a "lousy" player. Just on his way, and improving all the time.

I guess if you think of yourself as lousy, then you'll play that way.

Last night, my singles opponent commented that I rarely make any unforced errors, but keep the ball in play until he makes a mistake. I do as I have been taught: look for weaknesses, find out what they do not like and then do that, hit where they aren't and keep the ball in play until they make a mistake or I can put it away.

I do not ever think of myself as a lousy tennis player, just a good, progressing student. I will let you know when I reach my summit. Inexperience does not always mean lousy.

Good day.

Klaus

conditionZero
07-31-2009, 01:17 PM
A positive attitude is great, but I don't think being realistic with myself is going to make me play worse. On the contrary, accepting the fact that I suck makes me more willing to accept advice and not get frustrated when I lose. It also makes me more determined to improve.

Whether you use the term "beginning player", "impoving player", "novice player", or "crappy player", it still basically means the same thing.

And by the way, if I lose 5 out of 7 matches, I feel pretty lousy. That's just me, though.

OrangePower
07-31-2009, 01:57 PM
I guess if you think of yourself as lousy, then you'll play that way.


-1


On the contrary, accepting the fact that I suck makes me more willing to accept advice and not get frustrated when I lose. It also makes me more determined to improve.


+1

Thinking of myself as lousy (and lousy to me means not playing to my full potential) gives me the motivation to keep improving.

Klaus
07-31-2009, 02:18 PM
It's no wonder why "The Inner Gane of Tennis" is/has been such a popular book. I read it and realized I pretty much already apply the mental approach suggested in the book.

If simply being a positive and successful 3.0 makes me a "crappy, lousy" player in your book, so be it.

It's a slippery slope to think oneself is lousy and crappy, and then dig oneself out of that hole of frustration to improve. At least the therapists are kept busy with their pockets full.

conditionZero
07-31-2009, 02:44 PM
It's no wonder why "The Inner Gane of Tennis" is/has been such a popular book. I read it and realized I pretty much already apply the mental approach suggested in the book.

If simply being a positive and successful 3.0 makes me a "crappy, lousy" player in your book, so be it.

It's a slippery slope to think oneself is lousy and crappy, and then dig oneself out of that hole of frustration to improve. At least the therapists are kept busy with their pockets full.

Huh?
--------

Klaus
07-31-2009, 02:46 PM
I refer you to your very own quote! Good day!

OrangePower
07-31-2009, 02:58 PM
It's no wonder why "The Inner Gane of Tennis" is/has been such a popular book. I read it and realized I pretty much already apply the mental approach suggested in the book.

If simply being a positive and successful 3.0 makes me a "crappy, lousy" player in your book, so be it.

No, nothing to do with you, it's just that we are all crappy, lousy players, regardless of level :-)

It's a slippery slope to think oneself is lousy and crappy, and then dig oneself out of that hole of frustration to improve. At least the therapists are kept busy with their pockets full.

To each his own. I find it motivating to recognize my crappiness and use that as incentive to improve. Maybe others would find this depressing to the point of needing therapy (you?). Every person is different.

Rhinosaur
08-06-2009, 07:34 AM
Most? Maybe. But not all.

For example, me.

I play tennis for exercise. I only have one friend who can hit groundstrokes with me (not that I'm good, but because he's the only one that plays on a semi-regular basis).

So, most of the time I'm on the court I'm serving out of my hopper. Will hit about 300-350 serves a session.

It's funny that most people see me serve and say, "Wow, nice serve!" But if they ever saw my backhand they'd laugh at me.

I've tried to mix in one night a week against the ball machine, and now I'm joining some leagues where I play once a week...but I work on my serve WAY more than my groundstrokes.

smiley74
08-06-2009, 08:22 AM
I think there are two types of 3.0 players. I am a 3.0 player after playing 10 months. I took a year off due to injury and other issues. However, I consider myself a player that can improve (due to athleticism, amount I can play; ability to afford lessons).

Here are the two types as I see it:

1) A player like myself. New to the game. Ability to improve.

2. A player that either due to age; lack of athleticism; injury; lack of time; and/or lack of finances has peaked at the 3.0 level. These players are what I call veteran 3.0 players. They are solid and consistent and can do most things at a sufficient level that will win matches on a regular basis. They know they will alway be 3.0s. They love the game and have accepted that this is the highest level they can attain.

I would not say that a veteran 3.0 player is lousy. They are solid at the skills required for their level.

In fact, the people in category 1 (myself included) often lose to these players (and think we should have crushed them). The veteran 3.0s are solid, reliable, and consistent. No fireworks but they seem to get the job done.

The 3.0s in category one tend to have much more athleticism; better strokes; and more time. But, we are also inconsistent; commit to many errors; and lack patience.

So, my point is, it is offensive to call all 3.0 players lousy when that may be the highest level a person can attain. Whether they are 60 years old and just picking up the game; have kids and can't play more than once a week; or have an old injury. They still try hard and try to be the best they can be at that level. That's really all one can ever ask for.......

Steady Eddy
08-06-2009, 08:26 AM
So, my point is, it is offensive to call all 3.0 players lousy when that may be the highest level a person can attain. Whether they are 60 years old and just picking up the game; have kids and can't play more than once a week; or have an old injury. They still try hard and try to be the best they can be at that level. That's really all one can ever ask for.......
As long as whoever is calling them "lousy" remembers that to another set of players, he's lousy.

newtk
08-10-2009, 05:29 AM
I just played my first USTA tournament at 3.0 last weekend so I'm no expert on it but my observations:

I served faster than either of the guys I played and when the ball was in I won the point. I too end up practicing serves mostly.

The first guy I beat 6-2, 6-0. Mostly quick points 1-2 hits. Serve was working better than expected. My shots felt tentative and in slow motion. I was careful and thoughtful. He kept hitting to my forehand. He double faulted the match. I woke up later that night feeling sorry for him.

2nd match 12 hours later. Guy was small, very friendly, weak serve, shots always in, got to everything, not much pace, points long, temps hot. He watched my first match the night before cheering for me? My first serves started about 50%, then 40%, then 20%. I kept hitting my first serve anyway even though it seldom went in. One service game went add in, deuce, add out, deuce over and over. I could hardly move after losing that struggle. After 1.5 hours he beat me 6-0, 6-2. The last couple of games I decided to just hit the ball and get to net while hitting loopy 2nd serves. I figured I would feel better trying to hit my groundstrokes hard, dictate the points and lose than running down his lobs and lose after another 1/2 hour. This guy was seeded #1.

Lessons for 3.0

It doesn't matter how fast you serve unless you can control it well.

Trust yourself and hit your shots. Even if you lose, it feels better.

Pay close attention to how he is beating you and change your game.

Don't play long points with 36 year old jocks if you are 53 and out of shape.

It was fun regardless!!!

Bud
08-10-2009, 08:10 AM
The rally length is certainly typical. However serving skill tends to vary wildly until about 4.5. Some people are just content to get it in and others try to make it a weapon.

Even some 4.5 players have patty cake serves. I don't think I've ever seen a 5.0 or above who couldn't serve with regular pace and consistency.