View Full Version : Has anyone ever done this?

01-26-2010, 08:19 PM
Have 2 different NTRP ratings? One right handed and one left handed? Is it possible?

01-27-2010, 04:48 AM
Yes, but not at the same time. There's a man at our club who was a 4.5 right handed player. His rotator cuff got all messed up, so he started playing 3.0 left handed. Said he had to beg to be allowed to start over at 3.0, and was told "if we ever see the racquet in your right hand, you're going straight back to 4.5."

01-27-2010, 06:39 AM
Not in the USTA, but I did something similar last summer. Our local club has leagues at various levels. I had been playing in the top level (called "5.5" but really a strong 4.0 - 4.5 USTA level). Last Spring between the time that I signed up for the league and the time that the matches started, I got a bad case of tennis elbow. Since I had already paid the league fee but couldn't play, I emailed the league director and had him drop me to the lowest level (called "3.0" but generally well below a USTA 3.0 level - the league playoff champion was a USTA 3.0 with a losing record) to play left handed since I would not be able to play right handed for the duration of the league season.

Despite never having even so much as hit a single shot left handed, I went out to the wall and figured out how to hit forehands with an extreme western grip for topspin, block back one handed backhands, and hit overhand serves towards the correct box. I ended the season 4-3 and made the league playoffs, winning matches based mostly on superior fitness and being able to somewhat consistently spin soft forehands to the middle of the court. It was fun, although I hope to never have to do it again.

01-27-2010, 12:34 PM
Have 2 different NTRP ratings? One right handed and one left handed? Is it possible?

Ive been in non-USTA events where someone tryed this. (or in a ladder, they try to have two spots in the ladder, one for righty and one for their lefty persona......)

I dont agree though it's kind of silly.

If I forget to bring the right shoes with me and I have to play in sandals or I pull out a wooden racquet with violin string in it, I still lose the match and it's not a good excuse to say I wasnt prepared, that's just part of the game.

I can also play injured and among people who are competitive it'd understood that if you bring an injury into the match that is no excuse, your result stands. (it's bad manners to use it as an excuse and take anything away from your opponent)

So playing lefty (if you are righty) I think is the same decision. Who asked you to play lefty? That's part of your decision making process on how have decided to play that match.

I had a tennis teaching pro friend once who did that. He usually told everyone he was 4.5 or 5.0, and in this ladder he played a 3.5 guy that was pretty dominant in 3.5 but had a weird sort of game.

He decided it was no fun to clobber him so he played lefty in the first set. Lost the set, then switched back in the second set and just barely won that. Then he was so tired from the bad footwork that playing lefty gave him that he actually lost the match.

So just because he decided to play lefty, the match didnt really count for any standings change or anything, it's almost as if it didnt exist.

(which is the case for anything I guess, when one person does something stupid or plays very poorly for that day, is that really an excuse, or do you give credit to the other guy for not being so foolish and sticking to his game???)

01-27-2010, 01:16 PM
I've never heard of it in USTA, but I think it would be pretty cool to do... and I admire people who can play (even badly) with their non-dominant hand.

I can see it being useful as in the example of someone who has an injury that prevents them from playing with their dominant hand for a long time (or forever). For those of us that love the game, learning to play with the non-dominant hand even badly is better than the alternative of giving up the game.

Also there might even be a benefit to your 'regular' game from playing non-dominant. To a certain extent, we have a comfort zone and a set of skills that we rely on predominantly when playing. But when you are playing non-dominant, you might have to learn new ways to win points and be successful, because obviously you can't rely on your regular game. So maybe this means increased fitness, playing a different style of game, being more observant of the opponent and their weaknesses, etc.

But this is all theory for me since I am about a -1.5 with my left hand :-)

01-27-2010, 07:18 PM
I play at a 4.5 level (right-handed) but I'm interested in trying out lefty. It would be fun, although very frustrating, because I would know how to hit the shot and expect to be able to hit it but not be able to at the level I'm used to.

It's an intriguing idea to consider and I may give it a go sometime soon. I like a challenge. :)

01-27-2010, 09:15 PM
I am a 5.0 right handed and a 4.0 left handed. I was forced to play left handed for a while because of tennis elbow. My groundstrokes are actually very good with my left hand. I can hit nice deep shots consistently. The problem is my serve is pretty lame and the footwork when you play lefty is totally different from when you play righty. I keep feeling like I am almost about to roll/twist my ankle so I have to be very careful when I move.

01-28-2010, 05:30 AM
I play at a 4.5 level (right-handed) but I'm interested in trying out lefty. It would be fun, although very frustrating, because I would know how to hit the shot and expect to be able to hit it but not be able to at the level I'm used to.

It's an intriguing idea to consider and I may give it a go sometime soon. I like a challenge. :)

It's frustrating, but in a way, it's not because your expectations for yourself are much lower, too. The thing that was most difficult at first was adjusting to the speed, since you are playing against a much lower level opponent. In the first match I played lefty, when the opponent hit the ball I would get to the spot where it was coming quickly and then have to wait for it because his shots didn't have any pace on them at all. I felt like I was dancing around the spot the ball would eventually land a lot of the time. You actually have to adjust to slow your own speed and reaction time to the pace of the play at a lower level.

06-02-2010, 11:22 PM
I recommend learning with the opposite hand, especially if you are prone to any type of injury. You can hit around opposite handed with your friends if they are way below your level and it makes it pretty even. It really saves on your arm/shoulder.

I'd also recommend it to any teaching pros. I am one myself and learned how to feed left handed. So instead of having stress on my arm every day, it let me rest it for however long I didn't play a match.

It's also very good for teaching pros because you are put in the shoes of the beginner once again. You realize it's not as easy as you thought, and you also learn what is important to think about and teach first. It is very unique to be in a position where you know so much about playing yet can't execute the strokes.

I haven't had to use it in a match and hopefully I won't have to, but I guess it doesn't hurt to be prepared!

06-03-2010, 05:55 PM
I once played with a guy who claimed he was number one singles at U of Kansas when was left handed but an injury forced him to play right handed.

I think he was full of shiz (with a z) because I could never find his existance on the kansas tennis web site and he played stupidly. Not bad strokes but bad decision after bad decision. I would think if you were formerly that good at least you would attempt to play correctly.

06-06-2010, 09:33 AM
I am right handed and have two hnded backhand. This would be a good way to train your left hand when I am using my backhand. I have done this against a wall practicing left handed and just hitting left handed forehands as a way to train me in getting better left hand dexterity to use on my backhand.