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Cindysphinx
10-31-2010, 07:10 PM
I signed up for a singles ladder, and it looks like I will have my first match this Thursday. I looked up my first opponent, and of course she is Mystery Woman with no USTA record at all.

I had been told that this particular ladder is pretty strong. Yeah. I'll say. I believe that I am one of only two 3.5 players. Everyone else who is in TennisLink is 4.0. Some are bona fide singles players too, although several are mostly doubles players. Play goes all winter with one match per week, ending in March IIRC.

Well, I guess it's go time. I will show up with a service motion that was recently revised and a new and improved BH. My pro has given me my marching orders: I will hit the ball crosscourt until I want to puke.

I will look on the bright side. No matter how I do, playing 3.5 singles in April will be a breeze.

CHOcobo
10-31-2010, 07:15 PM
good Luck!!

your lucky, i cant even find any type of ladder in my area. not even the usta have anything like that here.

larry10s
11-01-2010, 04:27 AM
I signed up for a singles ladder, and it looks like I will have my first match this Thursday. I looked up my first opponent, and of course she is Mystery Woman with no USTA record at all.

I had been told that this particular ladder is pretty strong. Yeah. I'll say. I believe that I am one of only two 3.5 players. Everyone else who is in TennisLink is 4.0. Some are bona fide singles players too, although several are mostly doubles players. Play goes all winter with one match per week, ending in March IIRC.

Well, I guess it's go time. I will show up with a service motion that was recently revised and a new and improved BH. My pro has given me my marching orders: I will hit the ball crosscourt until I want to puke.

I will look on the bright side. No matter how I do, playing 3.5 singles in April will be a breeze.

this is one of the best things you could have done for your development if you keep it in that perspective.
you will get to return serve alot. hit alot of groundies. play different people with different styles . and you will see what they do (or handle the balls you give them ie shot selection)with the ball in certain situations
and more importantly your wekness will be laid bare because you will see where you fail
great way to learn
oh and by the way
you get used to the tougher type of ball the upper level players hit
and you learn to hit heavier ,smarter shots because you have to,
getting it back wont work

120mphBodyServe
11-01-2010, 05:03 AM
Singles is where the real fun is at.
Hopefully this will inspire you to reduce your involvement in these ridiculous doubles leagues.

Cindysphinx
11-04-2010, 09:20 AM
OK, let's do this thing!

I have my first singles match today. My opponent sounds very nice. She said she is the weakest player in the flight. I told her I would race her to the bottom!

Light a candle for me, 'kay?

JoelDali
11-04-2010, 09:37 AM
Light a candle for me, 'kay?

Good Christmas CD...

http://musicshares.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/smokie-light-a-candle-lossless-1.jpg

Spokewench
11-04-2010, 11:02 AM
OK, let's do this thing!

I have my first singles match today. My opponent sounds very nice. She said she is the weakest player in the flight. I told her I would race her to the bottom!

Light a candle for me, 'kay?

I'm really not a singles player either, but I often play 4.0s in singles to get my game going better. It really zones me in and I play better doubles because of it. Besides, I like singles now that I actually have a forehand that I can sort of rely on, or actually can be a weapon occasionally! Yesterday, for the first time, I beat a 4.0 gal that I usually lose to 6-2 in the first set. Now, that is a progression for me, especially cause it usually takes me a whole set to get in the swing of singles.

Have fun and swing away. You are there to get better so don't worry too much about the winning part just try to improve your game.

skiracer55
11-04-2010, 11:32 AM
Singles is where the real fun is at.


...have fun, you'll definitely learn a lot, and remember...it's just a game. If you win, the WTA probably won't hand you a wild card into the next slam. On the other hand, if you lose, they probably won't throw you in jail, either....

blakesq
11-04-2010, 11:44 AM
as a doubles player, one shot you are not used to even thinking about, is the down the line service return. Its a great shot, especially if you can topspin it away from your opponent.

i am a doubles player. but when i do play singles, i try to remember, keep the ball deep and in the corners.

Cindysphinx
11-04-2010, 01:11 PM
OK, I'm back. I won, 6-2, 6-0. And I learned something:

I am a pusher.

:: hangs head ::

Let's see. I had been told that if I got a lead over this opponent, she would fold like a napkin. I had been told to tame my ridiculous level of aggression and keep it in play. I was told that the match was on clay so I would need to be patient.

I absorbed all of this and came out as tight as a drum, just hoping my opponent would hand me the match. I missed every BH in the warm-up. My opponent, who seemed to have a pair of eyes, immediately leaned on my BH. I made a lot of errors due to nerves and the high bounces, and my ball was flying long and often had side spin. Before I knew it, I had lost my break lead and we were even at 2-2.

Then I actually hit a ball. Nice and heavy. Right up the middle. She couldn't handle it. I settled down some, found my BH, focused on getting more balls in my strike zone and survived.

I have to go fix this tendency to push. Seriously, my ball was a push that landed on the service line. I felt like I was never in good balance or position, and I think I wasn't going wide enough to line up on wide balls properly. The only thing that saved me was that my opponent made so many errors on these mid-court balls.

Next up: The strongest player, the one everyone expects to win the flight.

I have one week to learn to Hit The Ball Already.

Cindysphinx
11-04-2010, 01:22 PM
as a doubles player, one shot you are not used to even thinking about, is the down the line service return. Its a great shot, especially if you can topspin it away from your opponent.

i am a doubles player. but when i do play singles, i try to remember, keep the ball deep and in the corners.

One of the few shots I didn't push was a service return in the deuce court. Just like you say, the topspin drive DTL isn't a shot I am used to doing very often. I need to do that more often.

jdubbs
11-04-2010, 01:42 PM
One of the few shots I didn't push was a service return in the deuce court. Just like you say, the topspin drive DTL isn't a shot I am used to doing very often. I need to do that more often.

Was your opponent a 4.0? Seems like a 4.0 should be able to return shots down the middle.

When I play lesser 4.0's, I wait for them to make the mistake, and that usually works. However, against average to better 4.0's, you have to really dictate the points, move the ball around. Don't get too overconfident, though i'm sure that's not a problem.

FloridaAG
11-04-2010, 01:44 PM
Congratulations on the win and trying to learn from the match. While many would say you overanalyze things, no one can doubt that you try to learn from your matches and improve.

I have a match against a very tough 4.5 tonight against whom I have never one and have to come out super-agressive tonight. Will have to see if I can execute or not.

Cindysphinx
11-04-2010, 02:04 PM
Was your opponent a 4.0? Seems like a 4.0 should be able to return shots down the middle.

When I play lesser 4.0's, I wait for them to make the mistake, and that usually works. However, against average to better 4.0's, you have to really dictate the points, move the ball around. Don't get too overconfident, though i'm sure that's not a problem.

Sorry, I think I misled you.

It's an open ladder. Most of the players are 4.0. This opponent was Mystery Lady, who doesn't play USTA. My guess is that her level was 3.0. That is why the pushing worked.

mlktennis
11-04-2010, 03:08 PM
did you hit all your BH's crosscourt?

Cindysphinx
11-04-2010, 04:02 PM
I did, except for the ones I hit long or into the net or pushed to the T. That accounted for most of them.

My next opponent is a lefty.

Angle Queen
11-04-2010, 04:08 PM
^^

Ugh. I hate playing lefties. Esp, men. Their "kick" serve is just so...in the opposite direction of what I expect. Plus, my usual approach is deep to a rightie's BH...which is usually in the wheel-house of a lefty. Although, I must admit, most lefties have a decent BH...for the very reason I just outlined. So going to their BHs...isn't always the greatest thing either. Just test it out early...and see what happens.

But congrats on your first win, regardless of your opponent's level. And, personally, I've never thought "pushing" was, in and of itself, a bad thing. It's all about figuring out...what your opponent hates.

Continue to keep us posted! I love the stories.

mlktennis
11-04-2010, 04:43 PM
Ok, so you weren't hitting your best... you didn't have to. Some days safe and in is all that is needed. A Win is a Win. Learning to win is a skill just as much as producing a nice topspin backhand.

The fact that you easily won is a good sign- it's easy to play down to your competition and really have things unravel.

athiker
11-04-2010, 04:59 PM
...
I have to go fix this tendency to push. Seriously, my ball was a push that landed on the service line. I felt like I was never in good balance or position, and I think I wasn't going wide enough to line up on wide balls properly. The only thing that saved me was that my opponent made so many errors on these mid-court balls.
...

That's singles. In doubles you trade groundstrokes down through a narrow alley avoiding the net man till you go to the net (an exaggeration, but in general) which allows one to be much more set up. Singles is definitely different than doubles or fed balls...one is almost never in position it seems!...at least against a decent opponent who is always trying to hit it where you ain't (also and exaggeration, but in general).

Someone pointed something out to me just the other day. He mentioned he had the bad habit of timing his getting to a ball just as he needs to swing. He's trying to break that habit, anticipate better and then move quickly to position so he can stop, make small adjustment steps, plant and swing from a better base rather than on the move. Was something for me to think about in my own game...and maybe a good antidote to the feeling you mentioned above. This gets harder as one gets more tired of course!...footwork is the first thing to go. Congrats on the win.

Cindysphinx
11-04-2010, 05:45 PM
Thanks!

Another big difference compared to doubles was I didn't handle being pulled wide very well. I just do not like leaving my whole court open. It doesn't bother me as much in doubles -- my partner is there, plus I feel like the alleys are beckoning.

What should I do when pulled wide? I felt like I should *bust* the ball crosscourt with topspin for a short angled winner, but my internal "You're Off Balance, Don't Do It!" alarm was clanging. So I push it to the T.

Angle Queen
11-04-2010, 06:01 PM
What should I do when pulled wide? I felt like I should *bust* the ball crosscourt with topspin for a short angled winner, but my internal "You're Off Balance, Don't Do It!" alarm was clanging. So I push it to the T.Best thing I can offer here is...resist the temptation to try to get back to mid-court. As best, retreat to about the 1/3 mark. Especially if you've gone back cross-court. Remember, most folks (ladies in particular) are most likely to return again...cross-court. It's soooo hard to change the direction on that ball and take it DTL.

If nothing else, singles WILL improve your footwork and court positioning. :-)

athiker
11-04-2010, 06:54 PM
I think classic strategy when pulled off the court it to put some air under your reply to give you time to regain court position and restart the point. Try your best to get set behind the ball so you can drive it high and deep. Of course if you are there in plenty of time, are pulled wide short and can line up a nice angled winner or tag the near back corner it might be worth the occasional shot...or at least fun to try!

athiker
11-04-2010, 07:04 PM
Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEpI03JQKHw&NR=1

Look at Martin's forehand at the 5 sec mark. He gets pulled wide and not only hits a driving shot but hits it kind of DTL so 1) He has to travel all the way past the hash mark to his ideal recovery spot and 2) he hits a hard driving shot so he has very little time to recover at all so has to hit a bh slice on the run.

I think this whole series is great for singles play.

athiker
11-04-2010, 08:30 PM
Actually this one is better...watch at the 8:30 mark. This shows the "right" way and the clip I posted above shows the "wrong" way to handle getting pulled off court wide (and deep).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4A5xX_vn1I&feature=related

I think the whole thing is good but I'm sure you already know the basics covered in the first part of this video.

PushyPushster
11-05-2010, 05:09 AM
I have to go fix this tendency to push.

Embrace your inner pusher and be sure to give your opponents an opportunity to screw up - they'll take advantage of it more often than you think.

dlk
11-05-2010, 07:38 AM
Embrace your inner pusher and be sure to give your opponents an opportunity to screw up - they'll take advantage of it more often than you think.

I'm confused about "pusher." Is that a type of stroke technique? Or is it what many on these boards refer to a person who sends everything hit to them back? I get the impression that a pusher is not respected, but no to little UEs seems to be a good thing:confused:

bcart1991
11-05-2010, 07:57 AM
A "pusher" is someone who just hits the ball back, not really getting aggressive. They tend to win by attrition rather than by better game.

athiker
11-05-2010, 08:12 AM
Kind of both and yes some use it in kind of a derogatory way...usually by those that just lost to one. :) :twisted: Often it describes someone who doesn't hit a "standard" top spin ground stroke with decent pace. They also don't take a lot of risks so err on the side of keeping the ball in play vs. hitting "winners". Thus they don't make the errors the "winner" hitters make.

I started playing tennis again about 3 years ago and believe I was a certified "pusher". I had no serve other than to simply start the point, not much ground stroke technique, had barely heard of the work "volley" much less knew how to "stick a volley" but I had wheels, athleticism and basic hand/eye coordination developed from other sports.

I would run my butt off to get to the ball and then "push" it back over with not a lot of pace and if it had spin it was probably underspin, side spin or whatever spin happened to come off my racquet as a consequence of just trying to get the ball back over the net. This made it unpredictable for my opponents and they might get frustrated b/c they never knew what kind of ball was coming back, only that it was coming back, and often couldn't get comfortable like they could trading nice topspin rally balls from the baseline. This worked okay against the impatient or players with pretty but inconsistent strokes however was exhausting for me and did not work against either patient or truly skilled opponents.

Since then, I've really come to love playing this game and wanted to compete better against those patient and skilled players I would lose to so I've tried to work on developing better strokes (that also are probably "prettier" in some eyes) and learn point building strategies. I'd love to see a then and now video actually. A big reason I've tried to change my "style" is b/c as I get older its gets rougher on the body, mostly the joints, to be scrambling around on a hard courts for endless point after endless point. Plus I've just enjoyed the learning process...everything from stroke mechanics to court strategy.

I would never denigrate a "pusher" though as it takes athletic skill, touch and determination to pull it off well. Its just a different skill set than the "baseline basher" you also hear about on these boards. I really changed when I ran into a pusher that out pushed me and I realized I had to cut these points shorter so I started coming to the net. I was amazed how well it worked so started trying to learn how to do that better....how to set up that situation better and more often (better serve, better ground strokes, better court tactics), etc.

Finally in doubles you will also hear some older guys called pushers. These are pushers of a different variety. The guys that never seem to move but always get the ball back b/c they are so good at pushing the ball back with a variety of spins and with great location that keeps their opponents constantly off balance so they can't set up and make the "pushers" move. In this case the "pushers" have the other players doing the running!

dlk
11-05-2010, 08:31 AM
Thanks, for responses. I guess I'm close to "pusher," as it is often my strategy; of course, most of my opponents are not patient & make mistakes. The few 4.0 players I've played can outlast me with this "pusher" play. However, I don't just 'dink' the ball back. I have decent pace for a lower level player, and often approach net, attempt winners if there is opportunity, & present a varied shot, while attempting to move my opponent or be unpredictable.

larry10s
11-05-2010, 09:17 AM
Thanks, for responses. I guess I'm close to "pusher," as it is often my strategy; of course, most of my opponents are not patient & make mistakes. The few 4.0 players I've played can outlast me with this "pusher" play. However, I don't just 'dink' the ball back. I have decent pace for a lower level player, and often approach net, attempt winners if there is opportunity, & present a varied shot, while attempting to move my opponent or be unpredictable.

there is a distinction between pusher and counterpuncher
once you stop just floating the ball over or slicing all day
and hit with some pace and hit more than lobs and loopers
you begin to earn some respect and are called a counterpuncher.
from your description you are not a pusher but sound like an all court player in development

dcdoorknob
11-05-2010, 09:20 AM
What should I do when pulled wide? I felt like I should *bust* the ball crosscourt with topspin for a short angled winner, but my internal "You're Off Balance, Don't Do It!" alarm was clanging. So I push it to the T.

Surely there is some middle ground between these 2 options? I think in general it's a good strategy to put some topspin on it, put a little air under the ball and just make sure the ball lands deep crosscourt in that situation.

dlk
11-05-2010, 09:24 AM
there is a distinction between pusher and counterpuncher
once you stop just floating the ball over or slicing all day
and hit with some pace and hit more than lobs and loopers
you begin to earn some respect and are called a counterpuncher.
from your description you are not a pusher but sound like an all court player in development

This is what others' have referred to me as, I just did not know what it meant.

larry10s
11-05-2010, 09:30 AM
cindy when pulled wide yes you can try to out angle the opponent
or hit a winner up the line into the corner .
but you can also
go up the line and follow to net if its short
or hit a looper or floater semi lob to the middle or crosscourt or to the weaker wing if there is a big difference..... this gives you time to repostion and reover.
remember when you are on defense you want to get to neutral
tough to go from defence to winner with no stepd in between unless you are rafa

larry10s
11-05-2010, 09:32 AM
This is what others' have referred to me as, I just did not know what it meant.

the first few posts of this thread should help you
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284

dlk
11-05-2010, 09:40 AM
the first few posts of this thread should help you
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284

OOHHH, yes, this helps, thanks.

larry10s
11-05-2010, 10:10 AM
OOHHH, yes, this helps, thanks.

you are welcome. keep working to be an all courter. i may be biased because thats my style but i beleive it gives you many more options if one plan is not working. you can morph into one on=f the other styles.
an aggressive baseliner could never resort to attacking the net if he was losing the ground stroke rallies.

dizzlmcwizzl
11-05-2010, 12:01 PM
That's singles. In doubles you trade groundstrokes down through a narrow alley avoiding the net man till you go to the net (an exaggeration, but in general) which allows one to be much more set up. Singles is definitely different than doubles or fed balls...one is almost never in position it seems!...

^^^ It seems to me that all singles players must spend some ammount of time as pushers and learn to hit through it.

In doubles if you push accross a sitter, your partner gets blasted and you have to adjust quickly. There is just no room to push in 4.0 + doubles.

Single matches often identify you as the pusher or the pushee. If you are the pushee you either become a pusher yourself, figure out how to beat them or complain about it on TT.

If you are the pusher there is no motivation to change until you are consistenly playing against people that can beat a pusher. Until you findout that this strategy wont work for you there is no reason to be discouraged ... other than drawing the ire of fellow TT posters.

To sum up ... pushing is ok since that is all you needed to win the match. But that pro better start getting you to hit through the ball before you start seeing good 4.0 players.

Spokewench
11-05-2010, 01:09 PM
Cindy: I think the more you play singles you will figure this out; but what I always tell myself when playing singles is to watch my opponent well. The way they are hitting a particular ball gives me some idea of where it will go. It gives you that little bit of anticipation so that you can move well. Watch the opponent, as they hit, split step, watch well, move to the ball and you will be there in good position to hit a better shot.

Hit your shot move towards the middle, as soon as they hit, split step and repeat. This is just crucial when playing singles. If you do this, you will soon realize that you are reading the play better and that you are in the right spot when you need to be there. Little steps around the ball are your friend in singles so remember that as you get close to hitting.

When I am working on singles, I try to work with someone (my pro or a friend) to hit down the middle to me and practice changing the direction of the ball each time. After a while, it becomes second nature. Don't worry if when you start you put a few down the middle back, just keep trying and you will get it.

larry10s
11-05-2010, 01:33 PM
^^^

If you are the pusher there is no motivation to change until you are consistenly playing against people that can beat a pusher. Until you findout that this strategy wont work for you there is no reason to be discouraged.

problem is if you stay in pusher land too long you are way behind getting out of it

Cindysphinx
11-05-2010, 03:30 PM
OK. Next up is the strongest player on the ladder. Let's call her LH. I have done some scouting (my 3.5 team's strongest singles player lost to LH on the ladder today, -0 and -2).

My friend told me that LH yanked her all over the court, came to net and volleyed well, and seemed able to put the ball within an inch of the lines at will. Not good. My friend would be the first to tell you that she doesn't have much variety in her game and basically just patrols the baseline with flat shots, and LH ate that up. My friend said that LH's serve is the least outstanding element of her game.

I had my lesson with my pro, so I told him about LH and how my last match went (he winced at my account of the pushing). We worked on (and hopefully resolved) some things that hurt me in my last match and came up with a plan for LH.

In particular, we fixed up my approach shot. I have been *way* too conservative on my approaches and I've been getting passed at the net. We worked on my hitting several BHs Xcourt and then taking the third ball up the line. When I didn't get enough depth, he passed me easily. When I really got it deep, he didn't.

We also spent some time on what to do when I get pulled wide. His advice was not to view this as a horrible emergency requiring a defensive shot. He said to hit a spinny topspin drive to the crosscourt T, trading angle for angle. What I shouldn't do, he said, was just float a ball back to the center hash.

So. My plan is to approach aggressively or not at all. Hit crosscourt and don't be afraid to go for angles. Try to hit as many quality shots as I can and see what happens. And if I start losing badly, then I will open the toolkit and try being crazy unpredictable (S&V, chip and charge, FH slices, topspin moonballs) and see if I can rattle LH.

Spokewench
11-05-2010, 03:36 PM
This is a good plan Cindy. The problem with approach shots is your opponent has to hit a short shot. I've played people that are really better than me and they don't hardly EVER hit a short shot so hitting that more aggressive approach shot is never even a possibility. Hope it works for you against LH

Cindysphinx
11-05-2010, 03:42 PM
This is a good plan Cindy. The problem with approach shots is your opponent has to hit a short shot. I've played people that are really better than me and they don't hardly EVER hit a short shot so hitting that more aggressive approach shot is never even a possibility. Hope it works for you against LH

My friend (who lacks a net game of any kind, as she cheerfully admits) told me that LH served first, and she held after about seven deuces. Thereafter, LH frequently brought my friend to net and then passed my friend as she backpedaled because she hates being at net so much.

So LH was either bringing her in on purpose -- something she would be unlikely to do to me -- or she was coughing up the occasional short ball. We shall see.

Fun fact. I looked at the season schedule, and my friend plays every one of my opponents the week before I do. I will have a fresh scouting report every time I take the court. Sweet!

mlktennis
11-05-2010, 05:23 PM
You can't read into results too much. Us club players can have signif variation from day to day in quality of play. Some days I'm playing out of my mind and think I finally got this game figured out only to be complete crapolla next time out. Also, matchups are very different. From my experience, just have a general gameplan and go from there. Over thinking in tennis is no good. Good Luck.

Annika
11-06-2010, 10:20 PM
A "pusher" is someone who just hits the ball back, not really getting aggressive. They tend to win by attrition rather than by better game.

This would be my husband, a pusher. I tend to like to try various winning shots like I see on tv. Many times I can do it so what the heck! I'd be bored out of my mind hitting like a pusher. Just not my style.

Tennis_Monk
11-07-2010, 05:07 AM
You can't read into results too much. Us club players can have signif variation from day to day in quality of play. Some days I'm playing out of my mind and think I finally got this game figured out only to be complete crapolla next time out. Also, matchups are very different. From my experience, just have a general gameplan and go from there. Over thinking in tennis is no good. Good Luck.

Very Good suggestion.

Cant focus too much on how my friend played against an opponent iam going to play.

In my opinion, One has to be aware of one's strengths & weakness. Then use that to build a game plan. At a very simplistic level it may come down to

1) i will put my strengths against Opponents weakness
2) I will put my strengths against Opponents strength

Ofcourse it doesnt always work that way. Our opponents can also define how we play. Against a player who doesnt give lot of pace and puts lots of balls in play, One may have to be more careful in shot selection.

If DTL is your shot, work the point till you get an oppurtunity to launch that shot. Sometimes you may have to trick your opponent by staying on the other side and keeping this side of court open so that opponent takes the bait (and then you can hit your DTL).

Sometimes no matter what one does, the opponent is simply better (atleast on that given day). say "well played" and move on to next game.

Spokewench
11-07-2010, 08:09 AM
My friend (who lacks a net game of any kind, as she cheerfully admits) told me that LH served first, and she held after about seven deuces. Thereafter, LH frequently brought my friend to net and then passed my friend as she backpedaled because she hates being at net so much.

So LH was either bringing her in on purpose -- something she would be unlikely to do to me -- or she was coughing up the occasional short ball. We shall see.

Fun fact. I looked at the season schedule, and my friend plays every one of my opponents the week before I do. I will have a fresh scouting report every time I take the court. Sweet!


That is sweet! I'll be looking forward to your report. I'm very pleased my trilevel team is going to Sectionals in January. We were 5-1 in matches locally. THe bad news is that I played horribly yesterday! I had gone to an awards dinner the night before and did not feel well - the food was terrible and it did not agree with me at all! But, I played and the team won so that is a good thing. It was on clay so not something I'm real used to since we usually play fast hard court.

PushyPushster
11-09-2010, 09:07 AM
I'd be bored out of my mind hitting like a pusher. Just not my style.

Sometimes my opponents will just curl up on the court and go to sleep. Boredom is the Pusher's secret weapon. :)

I disagree with the definition several people have given for a Pusher, however. I've got a topspin forehand and can hit with some pace. 90% of my points are won through UE, though, which is probably a good indication of pushing.

MNPlayer
11-09-2010, 10:27 AM
This is a good plan Cindy. The problem with approach shots is your opponent has to hit a short shot. I've played people that are really better than me and they don't hardly EVER hit a short shot so hitting that more aggressive approach shot is never even a possibility. Hope it works for you against LH

Really? I play 4.0 and I've never played anybody who would not give me something short after a few good rally balls. The trick is staying in the rally long enough to take avantage of it.

Spokewench
11-09-2010, 01:42 PM
Really? I play 4.0 and I've never played anybody who would not give me something short after a few good rally balls. The trick is staying in the rally long enough to take avantage of it.

I said when "I play people a lot better than I am." I am a 3.5 - I played a really good 4.5 this summer in tournament - she wiped my clock and NO, she did not ever give me anything short cause she was so much better than I am that there were no "good rally balls".

It is all relative

Cindysphinx
11-10-2010, 09:41 AM
OK, I played LH just now. I lost, -3 and -3.

And I am over the moon about it!

The bottom line is I'm getting really close to figuring out singles. I did a lot of things right. The difference in the match was unforced errors -- I had decided to go for my shots (no more pushing!) and by golly I went for my shots. I missed too many by failing to get all the way around the ball and getting jammed.

In the first set, I started off stupid. I went down 0-4, just kind of spinning the ball up the middle when I wasn't knocking it long. LH was moving me around and doing whatever she wanted. She was enjoying the plate of high soft cheese I was serving up.

Then I figured I would do two thing: Set up and drive my FH as hard as I could, and hit some slice when I was out of position. I started winning points with drop shot/lob combinations, FH slices and big blasts from no-man's land. In particular, I struggled with my BH from the mid-court -- setting up too far away from the ball. I should have punished every one of her serves, but I hit too many long toward the end of the match.

Afterward, I asked LH what I could do better and she said nothing really. She said that she normally hits a lot of moonballs with spin that bounce out of reach on clay, but she said she stopped doing that because I was taking them out of the air. She said I shouldn't run around my BH as much as I did because that's when I tended to get jammed.

The bottom line is that I feel a lot more confident about my singles play these days. If I just make sure not to go for a lot when out of position, I think it will all come together. I think I also need to learn to come to net when my opponent is in trouble -- I missed a lot of chances to finish points.

MNPlayer
11-10-2010, 01:26 PM
OK, I played LH just now. I lost, -3 and -3.

And I am over the moon about it!

The bottom line is I'm getting really close to figuring out singles. I did a lot of things right. The difference in the match was unforced errors -- I had decided to go for my shots (no more pushing!) and by golly I went for my shots. I missed too many by failing to get all the way around the ball and getting jammed.

In the first set, I started off stupid. I went down 0-4, just kind of spinning the ball up the middle when I wasn't knocking it long. LH was moving me around and doing whatever she wanted. She was enjoying the plate of high soft cheese I was serving up.

Then I figured I would do two thing: Set up and drive my FH as hard as I could, and hit some slice when I was out of position. I started winning points with drop shot/lob combinations, FH slices and big blasts from no-man's land. In particular, I struggled with my BH from the mid-court -- setting up too far away from the ball. I should have punished every one of her serves, but I hit too many long toward the end of the match.

Afterward, I asked LH what I could do better and she said nothing really. She said that she normally hits a lot of moonballs with spin that bounce out of reach on clay, but she said she stopped doing that because I was taking them out of the air. She said I shouldn't run around my BH as much as I did because that's when I tended to get jammed.

The bottom line is that I feel a lot more confident about my singles play these days. If I just make sure not to go for a lot when out of position, I think it will all come together. I think I also need to learn to come to net when my opponent is in trouble -- I missed a lot of chances to finish points.

Nice job! That's a competitive score-line. A "signature loss", as described in another thread :)

Topaz
11-10-2010, 04:53 PM
Cindy, I'm so jealous! I wish there were something like that to play in around here!

Good job!

Cindysphinx
11-10-2010, 09:21 PM
Ah, but there is something like that in your neck of the woods. NOVA started a singles league this fall. I only just learned about it. Three singles courts each outing. Each team had just a few players, maybe eight.

Maybe you can join it next fall?

Fun fact. I got a message from another captain today. She said she has played this singles ladder in the past, and she recruited me for the club's team -- the same club where this ladder is played. Maybe news of my less-than-horrible play reached her ears? :)

roundiesee
11-10-2010, 11:58 PM
C -> Keep em coming, and tell us about your next opponent :) BTW have you decided which coach to stick to?

Topaz
11-11-2010, 04:30 AM
Cindy I did play it. Got four matches over 2 months. Your ladder sounds like a singles match every week yes? Much more consistent. Don't get me wrong, many of us were thrilled with the singles league...but there weren't many opportunities to play. Maybe next year when the coordinator isn't throwing everything together at the last moment.

Cindysphinx
11-11-2010, 10:12 AM
C -> Keep em coming, and tell us about your next opponent :) BTW have you decided which coach to stick to?

Nah, still figuring out the coaching thing.

My next opponent was playing on the court next to me. She was wearing a glove on her hitting hand. This is because she cut herself badly and had stitches in her palm.

She used this bloody stump of a hand to serve up a beat-down to a 4.0 computer rated player. Ho boy.

She hits everything very flat. I plan to slice until my arm falls off and serve her lots of topspin also. I will also bring her into net. My theory is that someone who hits flat will have trouble in the mid-court.

Cindysphinx
11-11-2010, 10:13 AM
Cindy I did play it. Got four matches over 2 months. Your ladder sounds like a singles match every week yes? Much more consistent. Don't get me wrong, many of us were thrilled with the singles league...but there weren't many opportunities to play. Maybe next year when the coordinator isn't throwing everything together at the last moment.

It sounds like the teams were too large. If you only need to field three players per outing, then you don't want 8-9 people. On one of the teams, the captain didn't play a single match!

Cindysphinx
11-11-2010, 10:44 AM
One more thing, Topaz.

The history of this ladder was that some lady just up and decided there should be a ladder at this club. She organized it and go the club to go along. She moved away, so the tennis director kept it going. The level has been rising steadily each year as better players join up, according to one of the original members.

My point is that maybe you should call around and find out if there is such a thing at any of the clubs near you (or maybe start one if a club is willing)? It might be tough to find something at night/weekends, though. I think the value of this for the club is that it helps them sell those day slots that often go unused.

Topaz
11-11-2010, 12:44 PM
Actually, I've organized ladders at my clubs before. I now work full time and take classes. I gave neither the time nor the desire to put up with flaky people and I already organize two clinics. I was merely stating that I wish I could partake in something similar. The ladders around here are during the day...doesn't work for me.

roundiesee
11-11-2010, 05:52 PM
Nah, still figuring out the coaching thing.

My next opponent was playing on the court next to me. She was wearing a glove on her hitting hand. This is because she cut herself badly and had stitches in her palm.

She used this bloody stump of a hand to serve up a beat-down to a 4.0 computer rated player. Ho boy.

She hits everything very flat. I plan to slice until my arm falls off and serve her lots of topspin also. I will also bring her into net. My theory is that someone who hits flat will have trouble in the mid-court.

Also, if possible, try to find out which wing she hits flat on; she may be a strong forehand flat-hitter but could have a weak backhand that you can attack/exploit.
Does she volley well? If so you may have to be careful about bringing her in too often; try to mix it up so your drop-shots don't become too predictable.
Good luck! :)

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 07:25 AM
Oh dear. Things are not going well.

I lost my next match -2 and -1.

My opponents was "M", the flat hitter. In the warm-up, I could see that M was the type of player I like to play. Lacked any big shots. Ordinary serve. No overhead. Minimal volleys. Tended to steer the ball into the corners without spin. Weak transitions.

No, the problem wasn't what M did to me. The problem was what I did to me. I could not put a ball in the court. This became evident in the warm-up, when I was hitting and moving so poorly that I felt badly for not giving M a decent warm-up.

Once the match started, I found I couldn't hit shots I normally hit with ease. My BH was flying 10 feet long, and I was missing FHs wide and long. I went into Diagnosis mode, trying to figure out what was wrong. Split step? Check. Watching ball? Check. Recovering? Check. I even tried my Five Shot Remedy -- just hit five consecutive quality shots anywhere in the court -- but I couldn't even do that. My footwork was terrible, I was frequently jammed or reaching, and I couldn't light a fire under myself.

About midway through the first set, I hit a huge FH topspin lob just out of frustration. M bounced it, and it went so high she couldn't reach it. Hmmmm. I hit another. And another. Each time, she bounced it, making no attempt to hit it on the rise, overhead it, or volley it. I won point after point, and M simply conceded this shot. I started winning points and a couple of games, simply hitting topspin lobs as the second shot in the rally and doing it until one bounced over her head.

And then I stopped lobbing.

I decided I didn't want to play the match that way and would rather lose trying to hit my regular shots instead of boring both of us to death with moonballs. I mean, this is supposed to be developmental. What good does it do to hit moonballs that most 4.0 opponents would punish? I can already hit that shot all day; I need to work on the shots I don't yet own.

So I went back to trying to hit quality topspin groundstrokes and slices. And I lost. I played very poorly, much worse than last week.

I simply have to do something about this BH. I am in transition, having had New Pro switch my contact point and grip to a more open racket face, but I haven't mastered it. I can't get enough topspin on my BH without perfect set-up and timing. Which is why my balls frequently flew long. And of course now I can't get a court for a lesson to fix things, and it is too cold for outdoor play. I am stuck with this BH until March, it appears. :(

Ratings come out on Monday. If I am bumped to 4.0, it will be a disaster. No way can I play 4.0 with a BH that is in tatters.

Topaz
11-24-2010, 07:43 AM
Cindy you can practice by shadow swinging and working on developing your kinesthetic muscle memory. It is best if you have a space where you can also do this and see yourself at the same time...our basement has a sliding glass door that works for this once it is dark out.

And good for you for using this match to work on weaknesses and not just strengths!

rufusbgood
11-24-2010, 08:27 AM
And then I stopped lobbing.

I decided I didn't want to play the match that way and would rather lose trying to hit my regular shots instead of boring both of us to death with moonballs. I mean, this is supposed to be developmental. What good does it do to hit moonballs that most 4.0 opponents would punish? I can already hit that shot all day; I need to work on the shots I don't yet own.

So I went back to trying to hit quality topspin groundstrokes and slices. And I lost. I played very poorly, much worse than last week.



I disagree with your decision making. Hitting the same boring shot over and over wins tennis matches. You're on a tennis ladder. Your objective is to move up which means finding a way to win. The time to "work on the shots I don't yet own" is during practice, not matches.

BTW, what is your racquet setup (racquet, string, tension)? It sounds like you need help in the stringing dept.

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 09:18 AM
You're on a tennis ladder. Your objective is to move up which means finding a way to win. The time to "work on the shots I don't yet own" is during practice, not matches.

Nah. My objective is to develop my singles game and my groundstrokes. I won't push to get a W. And I won't hit endless moonballs to get a W. What would I have learned by doing that? If I had been playing on hard courts or a facility with a low ceiling, I couldn't have lobbed so successfully. Then what?

You know, after the match, my opponent said, "Boy, if I could hit lobs like that I would never hit anything else!" And I thought to myself, "If I just hit lobs like that, I'd never be able to hit anything else."


BTW, what is your racquet setup (racquet, string, tension)? It sounds like you need help in the stringing dept.

My racket set up is a gut hybrid. The problem is not my racket. It is my BH mechanics and overall footwork.

ian2
11-24-2010, 10:08 AM
Ratings come out on Monday. If I am bumped to 4.0, it will be a disaster. No way can I play 4.0 with a BH that is in tatters.

The line between 3.5 and 4.0 is an imaginary one. If it turns out that you did well enough to get bumped up to 4.0 you will adjust. As for specific shots, they come and go, not only at recreational level but at the highest pro level as well, queue in Fed's forehand. Anyway, my guess is the problem in that particular match was not so much with BH but with footwork. Maybe you were just tired or didn't sleep well the night before? It also sounds like you seriously underestimated your opponent... could it be that she had something to do with you struggling?

rufusbgood
11-24-2010, 11:35 AM
And I won't hit endless moonballs to get a W. What would I have learned by doing that?

If you had continued to hit moonballs any number of things could have happened. One possibility is that your opponent would make the necessary adjustment to get them back. And you might find yourself gradually adjusting the trajectory on a shot that is working for you to make it more aggressive. So that what may have started as a moonball could come to resemble a high looping topspin drive. Instead you basically tanked the match.

I'd be interested in more detail on your racquet setup:
1. Name of the racquet you use.
2. Name of the string you use.
3. Tension racquet is strung at.
4. How long since the last re-string.

Having a racquet that is too loose or a string job that is too lively is going to make you reluctant to swing freely. It's going to make you tentative and in a match situation tentative is not what you want.

In general, if I give you a racquet strung too tight you are going to be hitting a lot of short balls and you will have to knock yourself out to get any kind of depth on your shots. Sounds to me like you have the opposite problem. The ball is sailing on you.

Jim A
11-24-2010, 11:36 AM
Cindy, kudos for using the ladder for what is there for; practice. I'm playing in a winter ladder and using it to get back into the swing of things. I hit only 2nd serves for the most part, allowing myself 5 1st serves for the match. Also if I miss a 1st, I have to go for it on the 2nd as well.

My only goal is to work off the rust and be a better and ready player when the season kicks off again in 5 months. I can handle a couple losses in a ladder if it means I'm running on all cylinders come then....

good luck and keep it up..and remember..the people on the other side of the net are likely trying to decipher your game as well

EKnee08
11-24-2010, 12:11 PM
Cindy, kudos for using the ladder for what is there for; practice. I'm playing in a winter ladder and using it to get back into the swing of things. I hit only 2nd serves for the most part, allowing myself 5 1st serves for the match. Also if I miss a 1st, I have to go for it on the 2nd as well.

My only goal is to work off the rust and be a better and ready player when the season kicks off again in 5 months. I can handle a couple losses in a ladder if it means I'm running on all cylinders come then....

good luck and keep it up..and remember..the people on the other side of the net are likely trying to decipher your game as well

Very good point. Its only a ladder and not a tournament. This is a good opportunity to practice and improve your game. Cindy, you have the right atittude! Keep it up!


I had an interesting recent personal experience which goes to show you that people take these ladders too seriously.

By way of background, I am probably a 4.0 this point, having declined from 5.0 due to deteriorating knees and age (close to 50). The biggest reason for this though is mobility. I am now 2 years removed from microsurgery on one knee and probably could use the same surgery on the other knee.
My doctor advised against playing singles and playing on hardcourts. However, last year's winter doubles league fell apart and so I decided to play in my old singles ladder from 3 years ago. I committed myself not to get crazy out there and go after balls that although I could return were not a good idea from the perspective of my long-term physical health . I would use the matches for exercise and to keep up a groove.

Everyone in the league has been very nice and many of the old guys are still there. However, some guys take it way too seriously and winning their matches by a large margin is the only important thing to them. (These ladders place a premium on the percentage of games won rather than just winning the match).

A few weeks ago I played a nice guy who remembered me from years ago. Before the match, he asked me where I have been and I told him my deal. I should point out that he is one of the best players there (still a 5.0 in his mid 50s) and has touch as well as power. His technique and movement are no question superior to mine.

We had a nice warmup and in the warmup it was clear that he was the better player. However, as soon as the match started, he drop shotted me at least 2-3 points every game.(He has great touch). He blew me out. I understand that the idea is to exploit weaknesses: be it movement or a weak backhand, 2nd serve, etc. It wasn't necessary. He would still beat me and easily.

The drop shotting significantly reduced the enjoyment of the match. I went after some of the drops but not at full speed. I do not think it was in the spirit of the occassion.

I never forgot what an old coach used to tell me-when you are playing a practice match, especially a weaker opponent, hope for them to play their best, for it will make you play better as well and be more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 12:27 PM
If you had continued to hit moonballs any number of things could have happened. One possibility is that your opponent would make the necessary adjustment to get them back. And you might find yourself gradually adjusting the trajectory on a shot that is working for you to make it more aggressive. So that what may have started as a moonball could come to resemble a high looping topspin drive. Instead you basically tanked the match.

Well, I strongly disagree that I tanked the match. I played every point as hard as I could in a manner consistent with my game plan and goals. Had my usual strokes showed up, I would likely have won.

Yes, I could have tried to hit the sorts of moonballs that I would hit in 8.0 mixed doubles (lower, respecting the guy's footwork and powerful overhead).

But really, why? I mean, I do have a game plan I am supposed to be executing, according to my pro:

Step One: Play to her BH until she proves she can beat me with it, remembering that many players this level have solid BHs so don't be surprised if this doesn't work.

Step Two: Take my strength to her strength. So that's FH Xcourt, BH DTL.

Step Three: Topspin FH sharp angle, then go behind her 1-2 times, then hit to open court and approach.

I never got past Step One, really. I did have some real fun with Step Three in the second set, but I kept missing the open court shot.

I'd be interested in more detail on your racquet setup:
1. Name of the racquet you use.
2. Name of the string you use.
3. Tension racquet is strung at.
4. How long since the last re-string.


Babolat Aeropro, purchased in 2006.
Hybrid of gut on the mains and Proline II on the crosses.
Tension = 58.
Restrung in March 2010. I play them until they break, which I was told was one of the advantages of this sort of stringing -- it won't go soft prior to breaking and will play reasonably well.

My rackets seem to behave properly in lessons, clinics and practice sessions. Methinks the problem yesterday was Operator Error.

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 12:28 PM
Cindy, kudos for using the ladder for what is there for; practice. I'm playing in a winter ladder and using it to get back into the swing of things. I hit only 2nd serves for the most part, allowing myself 5 1st serves for the match. Also if I miss a 1st, I have to go for it on the 2nd as well.

My only goal is to work off the rust and be a better and ready player when the season kicks off again in 5 months. I can handle a couple losses in a ladder if it means I'm running on all cylinders come then....

good luck and keep it up..and remember..the people on the other side of the net are likely trying to decipher your game as well

Why do you have this rule about first serves? Do you tend to get into trouble by blasting first serves and missing?

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 12:36 PM
Anyway, my guess is the problem in that particular match was not so much with BH but with footwork. Maybe you were just tired or didn't sleep well the night before? It also sounds like you seriously underestimated your opponent... could it be that she had something to do with you struggling?

Yeah, it was the footwork. It is always the footwork, of course. But in the past, I hit my BH with a fairly closed racket face. It had a lot of spin and wasn't very penetrating. I considered this to be a good thing -- I was more consistent and could make up for my lack of penetration with decent angles. And it was awesome for doubles because topspin gives net players fits.

New Pro (who was tasked with turning me into a singles player) wants the BH to be more penetrating, which is less spinny (or more accurately, spin generated by the racket path rather than the racket face). This works OK in a lesson when I am not under pressure (and even then I miss more than I used to). But if I am on the run or being hurried or off balance, then it becomes hard to control the racket path well enough to get topspin, so the ball sails. And heaven help me if I am hitting off my back foot.

I do believe that if one is going to spend $$$ on lessons, one should do what the pro suggests. And if one is going to make a change, one has to stick with it more than three weeks. So I will hang in there. I really miss my old BH, though . . . .

As for the reason I might have had poor footwork, I'm not going to make excuses about diet, sleep, fatigue or any of that stuff.

rufusbgood
11-24-2010, 01:00 PM
Cindy,

I don't know much about game plans. I play instinctively. I look for a weakness and I try to exploit it. I found myself playing a league match against a guy who was hurting me with his forehand. So I hit everything to his backhand which always came back as a deep paceless floater. And the two of us went at it like that for an hour and a half. Me hitting inside out topspin forehands, him hitting deep paceless floaters. My attitude was: If you're going to bore me to death with that crappy backhand, I'm going to bore you to death with inside out forehands. The match was totally lacking in variety or imagination. Nevertheless, it was a battle, a long and exhausting battle. And emerging the victor was satisfying.

Regarding your strings. You are way overdue for a re-string. Just on the basis of how often you play and the number of months since it was last done. And don't kid yourself about that set up being good at holding tension. There is no such thing as a polyester string that holds tension well. A full bed of natural gut? Now that's another story. Then you might have a case.

MNPlayer
11-24-2010, 01:08 PM
I play gut-poly hybrid setups until they break, which usually takes a couple months for me. I use gut on the crosses. It does seem to maintain tension way, way better, and last way longer than synthetic. I haven't noticed the deadening that happens with all-poly but maybe its an illusion.

As you said, I doubt strings or rackets are your problem. It's pretty unlikely your equipment is a major issue unless you're playing with woodies.

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 02:54 PM
Rufusbgood,

Believe me, I will exploit a weakness, and I am not too proud to lob. I have turned around doubles matches with that one shot. A lot of 3.5 women have never seen topspin lobs and simply have no idea what to do, so it totally works.

But when you're playing for development, you have to play for development. No matter what. I mean, we all know people who take lessons to learn this or that shot, and then the minute they fall behind they throw the shot in the trash and go back to whatever it is they know.

Maybe it sounds weird to deliberately go away from a winning shot, but I need to become a well-rounded player and I won't do that if I hit 100 lobs in a row.

I have another match next week. I hope I can find some footwork before than.

rufusbgood
11-24-2010, 03:25 PM
I do believe that if one is going to spend $$$ on lessons, one should do what the pro suggests.

One parting thought/shot:

If one is willing to spend $$$ on lessons, and leagues, and court time, why skimp in the stringing dept? Don't get me wrong. I realize you are using at least a partial set of natural gut each time you re-string so I'm not saying you're using cheap string. But by leaving the string in the racquet for over six months you're trying to drive your expenditure for stringing into the pennies per day vicinity. You are probably spending 8-10 times as much on balls than you spend on stringing. Do yourself a favor. At least re-string as many times in a year as you play in a week.

duketennisgal
11-24-2010, 05:40 PM
Maybe I'm wrong here but in order to be considered a really good singles player you should be able to win even if you are having a bad day.

Some days one shot just isn't going to be working for you, in that case you have to adjust to be able to win. If that means lobbing every ball to win the point than that seems like the right strategy. It just proves you are a smart player.

It's very rare that you see a one dimensional 4.5+ club player. Those players are able to adjust to play how they need to in order to win.

You already admitted that your entire game was off, do you really think you got any better by continuing to miss the entire match? If you had continued lobbing things could of turned around, you might have started feeling more confident if you got up in the match and then you may have started hitting your other shots better.

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 05:48 PM
My failure to string is not due to cost. It is simply due to the fact that my rackets feel fine in all other settings besides this match. If they start performing poorly in lessons or practices, I will reconsider.

Duketennisgirl, I did try different things. I tried slices. I tried running around my BH. I tried just keeping it in play. I added extra spin to my serve. I tried hitting behind her. And most of all, I tried to fix my footwork.

I wasn't willing to toss my lessons aside and push or lob to win this match. Other days may be different because the match may be more important. I identified the weakness, which is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether exploiting it was the best thing for my improvement is another question.

I mean, consider this. I play doubles and I am comfortable coming to net. How did I get that way? Well, there were lots of matches when I came to net even though I knew I could win the match by staying back. As a result, I can come to net. Meanwhile, my friends who tended to stay back for fear of losing a point still don't know how to come in.

I'm not a "good singles play," not even close. But if I do what I am supposed to do instead of bailing out just to win points/games/matches now, I think it will pay off and I will get there.

Jim A
11-24-2010, 05:50 PM
Cindy, I only do that for the time being with regards to serves because:

1. I'm rusty so my goal is to play points, work on my footwork and get the game back in line. My 1st serve isn't great but can get me some points, free points don't help me achieve the goal. I'd rather know I can get out of a 15-40 jam with my strokes if needed later in the year than relying on a couple bombs down the T

2. It gives me confidence in my 2nd knowing I can hit it in almost any situation. I work on getting it deep in the box, and mixing up a bit of topspin and/or slice options...

Ken Honecker
11-25-2010, 01:46 AM
I'm with Cindy on this playing with the strings ya got. Maybe some really, really, good players can tell the difference but I've played a ton of tennis over they years and never blamed my strings for bad things the ball did. Heck when I got back into tennis last year I hauled out my old Comp I that I strung last in the early 80's and hacked away. My balls weren't sailing but if I'm to believe some of the people on here my strings must have been at about 10 pounds rather than the 57 I had them strung with originally. When I purchased a Becker 11 MId which one would think would be tighter than a 25 year old string job I didn't notice any amazing difference.

I really think too many posters are over thinking this whole racket thing. If you make proper contact the ball behaves properly and it doesn't matter if you are using a woodie, a frying pan, or a custom leaded marvel.

rufusbgood
11-25-2010, 09:43 AM
Ken,

I have old racquets sitting in my closet too and yes, I can pull them out and hit with them quite well even though they haven't been strung in 15 yrs or more. That's not the point. Cindy isn't playing with an old wooden racquet that's been sitting in the closet. She is playing with a fairly recent graphite racquet with a 100 sq in string face and it's strung in part with polyester string. When polyester strings go, the tell-tale sign of their having gone is that shots tend to sail. So, when you start to notice this, it's your cue to have your racquet re-strung. Cindy has announced that she intends to play these strings until they break. That is not a wise strategy. Yes, it will certainly make tennis playing ever so slightly less expensive but in addition to reducing the quality of her play it's an invitation to develop tennis elbow.

gameboy
11-25-2010, 10:56 AM
I wouldn't worry about the strings too much. If it was a full poly job, I would agree with rufus that you need to restring, but with a gut hybrid, it is fine.

Since you are not a string breaker, I would just go with a full gut job if you restring it (17 gauge if you want bit more spin). That way, there is really no reason to restring before it breaks.

Cindysphinx
12-03-2010, 02:08 PM
OMG. I won another one! And I don't think I have ever been more stoked about a tennis match!!!!!!!!

Opponent was rumored to be really good -- good enough to perhaps win the ladder. I was warned that she would hit the ball hard to the corners and run me, and she would crash the net. In warm-up I could see she was fast but hit your basic flat 3.5/4.0 ball.

She was also as nice and friendly as could be before, during and after warm-up. We chatted about our kids and discovered we had much in common. I figured I had made a new friend.

I served first, and as usual, it was SOS ("Starting Off Stupid"). Errors, DFs. I lost my serve in a flash.

Then I decided to implement what my newest pro taught me in our first private lesson yesterday. He wanted me to focus on timing the start of my forward swing when the ball reaches its apex. He also wanted me to be sure to bring my racket under the ball on BH and FH, and don't be shy about rolling the ball deep up the middle.

I settled down by rolling the ball up the middle. Not huge moonballs, just quality deep topspin drives that pushed her back. She started missing and getting frustrated. Hmmm, it was working. I wondered what would happen if I actually tried to aim and hit short topspin angles. Answer: Outright angled winners, forced errors as she approached on the run, or a sitter I could steer to the open court.

Soon I was serving at 4-2, 30-all. I won the point and moved to the ad side. I thought I announced the score as 40-30. I won the point. My opponent then said I had announced the score incorrectly as 30-40 and said it should be deuce. I said I didn't recall that, but I make a lot of mistakes with scoring so I was willing to take her word for it that I misspoke.

I apologized and offered to play a let. She said no, I won the points so they should count. I said I didn't want there to be any hard feelings and was willing to play a let given that my score error misled her. She declined in a huff and snatched the balls from me.

OK, fine. Whatever. I would just focus on my game. She started serving to stay in the set at 2-5, and soon I had set point. I came to net and hit The Worst Drop Volley Ever. She retrieved it at net and tried to lob my BH. I decided that no way no how was that ball coming back, so I hit the hardest BH overhead I possibly could and struck it perfectly.

It nailed her in the face.

I apologized profusely, but she said nothing and was visibly angry.

From that point forward, she did not speak to me for the remainder of the match. She changed ends on the side away from the benches and stood waiting for me to finish sipping my water. She announced the score loudly in a voice dripping with disdain. She clearly hated me, my ancestors and my descendants.

Oh, well. Nothing to do but keep hitting those angles and spinning the crap out of the ball. Finally, I was serving for the set at 5-1. She started taking huge cuts at the ball and knocking them into the back of the bubble. Match over. She began gathering her things before I reached the net to shake, left the bubble without reporting the score, got into her car and left.

And I couldn't be more delighted. 'Cause I am officially a singles player!!

Totai
12-03-2010, 02:43 PM
I signed up for a singles ladder, and it looks like I will have my first match this Thursday. I looked up my first opponent, and of course she is Mystery Woman with no USTA record at all.

I had been told that this particular ladder is pretty strong. Yeah. I'll say. I believe that I am one of only two 3.5 players. Everyone else who is in TennisLink is 4.0. Some are bona fide singles players too, although several are mostly doubles players. Play goes all winter with one match per week, ending in March IIRC.

Well, I guess it's go time. I will show up with a service motion that was recently revised and a new and improved BH. My pro has given me my marching orders: I will hit the ball crosscourt until I want to puke.

I will look on the bright side. No matter how I do, playing 3.5 singles in April will be a breeze.

Dont be scared, the more you play opponents that can kick your butt, the better you can get

Bud
12-03-2010, 03:11 PM
OMG. I won another one! And I don't think I have ever been more stoked about a tennis match!!!!!!!!

Opponent was rumored to be really good -- good enough to perhaps win the ladder. I was warned that she would hit the ball hard to the corners and run me, and she would crash the net. In warm-up I could see she was fast but hit your basic flat 3.5/4.0 ball.

She was also as nice and friendly as could be before, during and after warm-up. We chatted about our kids and discovered we had much in common. I figured I had made a new friend.

I served first, and as usual, it was SOS ("Starting Off Stupid"). Errors, DFs. I lost my serve in a flash.

Then I decided to implement what my newest pro taught me in our first private lesson yesterday. He wanted me to focus on timing the start of my forward swing when the ball reaches its apex. He also wanted me to be sure to bring my racket under the ball on BH and FH, and don't be shy about rolling the ball deep up the middle.

I settled down by rolling the ball up the middle. Not huge moonballs, just quality deep topspin drives that pushed her back. She started missing and getting frustrated. Hmmm, it was working. I wondered what would happen if I actually tried to aim and hit short topspin angles. Answer: Outright angled winners, forced errors as she approached on the run, or a sitter I could steer to the open court.

Soon I was serving at 4-2, 30-all. I won the point and moved to the ad side. I thought I announced the score as 40-30. I won the point. My opponent then said I had announced the score incorrectly as 30-40 and said it should be deuce. I said I didn't recall that, but I make a lot of mistakes with scoring so I was willing to take her word for it that I misspoke.

I apologized and offered to play a let. She said no, I won the points so they should count. I said I didn't want there to be any hard feelings and was willing to play a let given that my score error misled her. She declined in a huff and snatched the balls from me.

OK, fine. Whatever. I would just focus on my game. She started serving to stay in the set at 2-5, and soon I had set point. I came to net and hit The Worst Drop Volley Ever. She retrieved it at net and tried to lob my BH. I decided that no way no how was that ball coming back, so I hit the hardest BH overhead I possibly could and struck it perfectly.

It nailed her in the face.

I apologized profusely, but she said nothing and was visibly angry.

From that point forward, she did not speak to me for the remainder of the match. She changed ends on the side away from the benches and stood waiting for me to finish sipping my water. She announced the score loudly in a voice dripping with disdain. She clearly hated me, my ancestors and my descendants.

Oh, well. Nothing to do but keep hitting those angles and spinning the crap out of the ball. Finally, I was serving for the set at 5-1. She started taking huge cuts at the ball and knocking them into the back of the bubble. Match over. She began gathering her things before I reached the net to shake, left the bubble without reporting the score, got into her car and left.

And I couldn't be more delighted. 'Cause I am officially a singles player!!

Congratulations! :)

Topaz
12-03-2010, 03:34 PM
Omg...I gasped out loud when I read you nailed her in the face! Well done on the match!

ssgator80
12-03-2010, 03:52 PM
Omg...I gasped out loud when I read you nailed her in the face!

I did too. Nice win.

AtomicForehand
12-03-2010, 03:57 PM
Heh heh. WTG, Cindy. I enjoy reading about your adventures on court.

athiker
12-04-2010, 11:07 AM
Nicely done...congrats. I don't think the bad sports understand the secret joy they give their opponents when their opponents beat them. I guess they wouldn't b/c their whole world involves just one person...them.

Angle Queen
12-04-2010, 11:44 AM
... so I hit the hardest BH overhead I possibly could and struck it perfectly.

It nailed her in the face.Hammer time.

At least that's what me and mine call it.

Serves (or overheads) her right. LOL.

Congrats on the win. Keep it up.

dizzlmcwizzl
12-04-2010, 12:15 PM
That is a wilson tatoo ... when you leave the reverse imprint of the ball on her forehead .... nicely done

Cindysphinx
12-05-2010, 02:37 PM
I asked around, and I learned she is *not* the really good player who might win the ladder. In fact, she hasn't won yet. Ah well.

I also learned that she behaved like a rude spoiled loser in one of her other losses too. So I guess it was nothing personal, and that's just the way she rolls.

Got another match Tuesday, and my spies tell me I have a shot.

gameboy
12-05-2010, 07:35 PM
I don't get how people can get angry by getting hit with a backhand overhead. No mere club player can aim a BH overhead with any accuracy.

MrCLEAN
12-06-2010, 05:53 AM
Heh heh. WTG, Cindy. I enjoy reading about your adventures on court.

I do too! I think she should start a blog or something, the stories are that good. :)

Cindysphinx
12-07-2010, 10:17 AM
Had another match today. The scouting report on my opponent was that she was very inconsistent and I should win easily.

Which is always the kiss of death, isn't it?

Anyway, this opponent was charming, funny and a delight to play. She said her theory of this ladder is that she could never get stronger players to hit with her normally, but she can force them to play her if she is willing to pay the ladder fee!

Early on, I could see she was going to struggle. She didn't like topspin and said so in the warm-up She made tactical errors, like changing the direction of the ball at the wrong time or missing short balls. She DF a lot. Soon I was up 4-0.

And I stopped going for my shots. I wasn't doing anything with the ball, I stopped trusting my BH, my balls were starting to land short. I wasn't even picking a target with my serve. She won a game, breaking me due to my stupid errors and a couple of sweet shots of hers.

It felt like smelling salts. I cleaned up my act and won the match 6-1, 6-1.

I guess there was some progress. I didn't DF much or maybe at all. I wasn't really nervous. But I didn't play all out -- I didn't come to net, I didn't go for winners. I just hung around until she missed. Blech. It feels like an opportunity wasted, but I couldn't make myself go for my shots even at 5-1. Coward.

Next up is an experienced 4.0 who happens to be a teammate of mine. If I just show up and roll the ball around, she will kill me.

sureshs
12-07-2010, 10:27 AM
I decided that no way no how was that ball coming back, so I hit the hardest BH overhead I possibly could and struck it perfectly.


Commentators always say that the BH overhead smash is the most difficult shot. I don't know if that is true, but they always say that.

Power Player
12-07-2010, 10:39 AM
This is my favorite Cindy thread. I enjoy reading this type of stuff. I had a Proline hybrid myself, and that string does die regardless of your crosses. You probably do not need poly if you have not restrung since March, it does make a difference.

I would play this ladder and then restring when finished. See how it works for you. You play a fair amount of tennis so only stringing 1-2 times a year is not a great option.

Nice work on reading your opponents and controlling ball spin and placement. That is a great way to approach a match. The rest just comes with experience really.

spiderman123
12-07-2010, 11:08 AM
She was also as nice and friendly as could be before, during and after warm-up. We chatted about our kids and discovered we had much in common. I figured I had made a new friend.

.
.

Soon I was serving at 4-2, 30-all. I won the point and moved to the ad side. I thought I announced the score as 40-30. I won the point. My opponent then said I had announced the score incorrectly as 30-40 and said it should be deuce. I said I didn't recall that, but I make a lot of mistakes with scoring so I was willing to take her word for it that I misspoke.

I apologized and offered to play a let. She said no, I won the points so they should count. I said I didn't want there to be any hard feelings and was willing to play a let given that my score error misled her. She declined in a huff and snatched the balls from me.

OK, fine. Whatever.
.
.
.

It nailed her in the face.

I apologized profusely, but she said nothing and was visibly angry.

From that point forward, she did not speak to me for the remainder of the match.
.
.
.

She began gathering her things before I reached the net to shake, left the bubble without reporting the score, got into her car and left.




Women's tennis surely is more fun than what they get credit for.

rufusbgood
12-07-2010, 12:38 PM
You play a fair amount of tennis so only stringing 1-2 times a year is not a great option.

I'm guessing she plays about 8 hrs/wk. Basic rule of thumb is to re-string after 40 hrs of play. She is closing in on 10 times that.

Cindysphinx
12-07-2010, 12:41 PM
I'm gonna string, I'm gonna string!! It's just not a good week to be without both of my rackets.

Seriously, I was hitting very well with these same rackets in social dubs on Saturday and a lesson on Monday.

It's operator error.

rufusbgood
12-07-2010, 01:51 PM
I'm gonna string, I'm gonna string!! It's just not a good week to be without both of my rackets.



So do one at a time.

In fact, send it to me. I'm curious to see what you've been playing with.
I will re-string it for free.

Here's my address:

Precision Racquet Stringing
PO Box 486
Franklin Square NY 11010

Cindysphinx
12-07-2010, 02:21 PM
I don't think I can send off my rackets, but maybe I could take a picture. I have this new Droid phone, so maybe I will learn to take and upload a pic?

You'll be disappointed, though. It's just a beat up APD with frayed strings and a grimy overgrip . . .

rufusbgood
12-07-2010, 02:58 PM
No, no Cindy. I know what your racquet looks like. I mean I want to test the string bed to see how loose it's gotten. And I'd like to string it because if you can't tell the difference between new strings and old strings it makes me wonder at the skill level of your stringer. Oh, and just send one please, so you can compare.

Everybody else here, raise your hand if you think Cindy deserves a free stringing for the most entertaining posts on TW.

MrCLEAN
12-07-2010, 06:55 PM
http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:forums.corvetteforum.com/get/images/smilies/seeya.gif

AtomicForehand
12-07-2010, 07:22 PM
I think she does! But maybe she doesn't trust that she'll get her racquet back. You could kind of understand that.

rufusbgood
12-07-2010, 08:20 PM
C'mon, we're all friends here. Do I look like a racquet kidnapper to you? What if I said Jolly had been to my house? Would Jolly associate with racquet kidnappers? Huh? Jolly? I think not!

Power Player
12-08-2010, 07:30 AM
I am now patiently waiting for a Joel Dali jpeg post.

smoothtennis
12-08-2010, 08:06 AM
I am now patiently waiting for a Joel Dali jpeg post.

LOL!!! :mrgreen:

JoelDali
12-08-2010, 08:36 AM
http://www.lanl.gov/news/albums/security/Mail_Pkg_BombInd.sized.jpg

AtomicForehand
12-08-2010, 08:55 AM
http://www.lanl.gov/news/albums/security/Mail_Pkg_BombInd.sized.jpg


WIN

10 char

rufusbgood
12-08-2010, 10:42 AM
On recess from my first day of jury duty. Needed a laugh. Good job.

JoelDali
12-08-2010, 11:04 AM
Well its either funny or its not. I'm glad you scored a chuckle.

Looks like the ban hammer is coming on me, I'm getting tons of hate mail today and my posts being reported.

Goodbye TT, time to move on...sad face.

gameboy
12-08-2010, 12:01 PM
Cindy, I would only ship your racquet out to rufus if he promises to string it with a full VS.

rufusbgood
12-08-2010, 10:34 PM
Cindy, I would only ship your racquet out to rufus if he promises to string it with a full VS.

Personally, I think a full set of gut makes a lot of sense especially if she's going to insist on stringing that racquet at 58 lbs. One of the reasons I want to see the racquet is that I don't think a gut/poly hybrid at 58 makes any sense unless it was strung on a lockout machine. The whole point of doing a gut/poly hybrid is that it would allow her to drop the tension and get a larger sweetspot without sacrificing any control. But, it doesn't seem that anyone bothered to drop the tension. So, if this was done on a constant pull machine, I'd expect her to end up with a racquet that feels like a board. Fine for doubles perhaps since she'd probably never hit a volley long, but terrible for singles.

My own recommendation would be gut/fluoro at 53 lbs.

skraggle
12-09-2010, 12:40 AM
Rufus said he would count my life savings for me, so I sent it off to:

Precision Cash Counting
PO Box 486
Franklin Square NY 11010

That was four years ago.

Cindysphinx
12-09-2010, 04:30 AM
Personally, I think a full set of gut makes a lot of sense especially if she's going to insist on stringing that racquet at 58 lbs. One of the reasons I want to see the racquet is that I don't think a gut/poly hybrid at 58 makes any sense unless it was strung on a lockout machine. The whole point of doing a gut/poly hybrid is that it would allow her to drop the tension and get a larger sweetspot without sacrificing any control. But, it doesn't seem that anyone bothered to drop the tension. So, if this was done on a constant pull machine, I'd expect her to end up with a racquet that feels like a board. Fine for doubles perhaps since she'd probably never hit a volley long, but terrible for singles.

My own recommendation would be gut/fluoro at 53 lbs.

We are way above my pay grade at this point! :)

My old pro strung my rackets at the club. They have a shiny machine there. I have no idea what kind of machine it is. He chose 58 because . . . I have no idea. I know that his general take on these things is that control is more important for players like me than power.

He made the decision to use the gut on the mains, FWIW. I think the rackets feel terrific, so I figure that's good enough for me.

I may switch to full gut after I use up my poly inventory. Which will probably be a couple of years from now!

dlk
12-09-2010, 04:37 AM
We are way above my pay grade at this point! :)

My old pro strung my rackets at the club. They have a shiny machine there. I have no idea what kind of machine it is. He chose 58 because . . . I have no idea. I know that his general take on these things is that control is more important for players like me than power.

He made the decision to use the gut on the mains, FWIW. I think the rackets feel terrific, so I figure that's good enough for me.

I may switch to full gut after I use up my poly inventory. Which will probably be a couple of years from now!

What will gut do for your game? Stringing is one of my biggest questions in tennis. I just tell the stringer to string at recommended level, & take advice from sales person on what string to try.

Cindysphinx
12-09-2010, 04:43 AM
^I will never know until I try. My pro didn't think I'd feel much difference between the current set-up and all gut to justify the extra cost, however.

Maui19
12-09-2010, 05:41 AM
Well its either funny or its not. I'm glad you scored a chuckle.

Looks like the ban hammer is coming on me, I'm getting tons of hate mail today and my posts being reported.

Goodbye TT, time to move on...sad face.

I sure hope not.

There is a sure way to stop email complaints. Uncheck the profile option that allows other members to email you!

crystal_clear
12-09-2010, 11:08 AM
I really enjoy reading Cindy's match reports and I admire how Cindy works all the way to improve her game.

mauricem
12-09-2010, 01:57 PM
Well its either funny or its not. I'm glad you scored a chuckle.

Looks like the ban hammer is coming on me, I'm getting tons of hate mail today and my posts being reported.

Goodbye TT, time to move on...sad face.

http://studio4560.com.au/no.jpg

JoelDali
12-09-2010, 02:02 PM
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/files/08-20/078589792-noooo.jpg

I'll never forget you...I'll be right........here....

http://madamenoire.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/the-notebook.jpg

rufusbgood
12-09-2010, 03:51 PM
What will gut do for your game? Stringing is one of my biggest questions in tennis. I just tell the stringer to string at recommended level, & take advice from sales person on what string to try.

For someone who doesn't break strings, natural gut offers the longest playing life, meaning it doesn't go dead as quickly as synthetics. And it holds tension better than synthetics. It offers more feel and more comfort and the sense of holding the ball on the strings longer particularly at the net.

Nevertheless, if you've been playing with a typical synthetic gut and have your racquet re-strung with a full set of a high quality gut at triple or quadruple the price, chances are you are not going to walk out on the court and experience a revelation or see your game move up a half level. When the gut breaks though and you reach into your bag for your back up racquet with the synthetic gut in it, you will hit a few balls and realize it feels like cheap, plastic crap.

dlk
12-09-2010, 03:53 PM
^^^Thanks. Good post/info.

rufusbgood
12-09-2010, 04:04 PM
We are way above my pay grade at this point! :)



Que?

It costs $5 to send a racquet by Priority Mail.
I hope you're not thinking that I expect you to provide the string.
Heck, I'll even pick up the return postage.

BTW, if it would make you more comfortable, I can ship it to a male
friend/relative/colleague/neighbor of yours. Preferably a business
address so it doesn't sit out in the cold all day.

Cindysphinx
12-23-2010, 03:20 PM
OK, I had another match. I lost, -2 and -4.

The opponent was a 4.0 teammate. She's a singles player all the way. She went 5-2 in the 4.0 singles league this fall, including two wins at Districts. Doesn't come to net, doesn't volley or hit overheads, gets everything back. Very fast. Solid off of both sides.

Based on that, I formulated a game plan. I would take my FH crosscourt to hers, using lots of topspin to hit the side T, knowing she likely wouldn't approach. I would also sneak into net if I got it high to her BH.

So of course I did none of those things.

No, it was SOS ("Starting Off Stupid") yet again. I made a series of heinous, inexcusable errors and fell behind 0-4. I just couldn't figure out what to do to put more than couple of consecutive balls in the court.

And then I figured it out. My mistake was that I was trying to take the very first ball in the rally and do something special with it. I decided to just get the rally started with one deep ball and see what she gave me to work with.

I quickly discovered that she loved to hit her FH crosscourt, but my FH was much better. I started running "plays." I would take the first ball up the middle deep. She would invariably hit to my FH. I would then topspin the next ball off the side T to her FH. She would run over to get it, leaving the whole court open. She would hit it crosscourt and recover. So I would hit another ball right back to the T. I would repeat this until she missed or the court was so wide open I could hit an easy winner down the line. Bonus: This started to make her a little tired.

The other play I started to run was I would wait for a ball that I was confident I could lob and then spin the crap out of it high and deep. I would sneak into the net. My reward was an easy put-away.

I lost the first set, and we stayed on serve in the second set until 4-4. Then I made a couple of dumb mistakes on her serve and then made more mistakes to lose my serve.

Still, I think I am finally getting it. Singles points are kind of like when you drive and you are sitting at a red light. When it changes to green, you don't stomp on the gas. No, you calmly and slowly accelerate. In singles, I usually won the point when I simply started the point off neutral and waited for the type of ball I like to hit -- Xcourt FH. Also helpful was when I was in trouble was to simply hit a ball that allowed me to re-start the point instead of going for the impossible winner.

For the next matches, I still need to clean up my BH because I have no idea what I should do with it and am very tentative. Ironically, I lost some crucial points by backing off of easy mid-court balls when I should have just thumped them.

And I *really* need to stop hesitating about coming to net. I did not miss an overhead or volley until mid-way through the second set, and I only missed two the whole match.

I seriously need to figure out how to serve with fewer DFs. I am hitting 1-2 DFs per service game, partly because I am not used to serving when I am so winded!

Afterward, my teammate said that I need to hit that topspin lob and sneak in way more often. She said it surprised her every time. I felt OK about hitting that lob this time because I felt like I was doing it strategically rather than just lobbing because I can.

OrangePower
12-23-2010, 08:34 PM
(snip snip)
we stayed on serve in the second set until 4-4
(more snipping)
I seriously need to figure out how to serve with fewer DFs. I am hitting 1-2 DFs per service game
(lots more snipped)

Just curious - how much is it an advantage to be serving in ladies 3.5/4.0 singles tennis?

If both of you were holding serve until 4-4, then seems like serving is an overall advantage. Even though you were DF a lot. Are you getting a lot of free points off your serve?

In general do you find yourself holding serve more often than not? And why?

From my very limited exposure to women's tennis (a bit of mixed play with 4.0/4.5 ladies), I have not seen many that have a serve that is a weapon, but maybe this is more the case with women who play mostly singles?

Cindysphinx
12-23-2010, 09:52 PM
I haven't played anyone whose serve I thought was really good. Like, today's opponent hit the same basic serve to the middle of the box, with some ability to go for placement sometimes. On her second serve, it was so slow that I stood over toward my Bh and hit all FH returns. In other words, when I miss the return it is because I am trying to go for a lot off of a weak serve.

As for me, I found that when I hit a good serve, I got a short reply or a miss into the net. For me, a "good" serve was one that had a lot of slice or bounced high to her BH. I can't aim my serve at all these days (too cold for practice), so I can never be sure where it is going. I hit a lot of ad courts serves wide to her BH, but I wasn't really aiming. That's just how it went today.

Pro says he is going to work with me on getting a kicker so I get more net clearance on my second serve. Most of my DFs were into the net. He promised I would have the kicker by April. :)

Game-Set-MATCH!!!
12-24-2010, 05:20 AM
[QUOTE=Cindysphinx;5273943]I haven't played anyone whose serve I thought was really good. Like, today's opponent hit the same basic serve to the middle of the box, with some ability to go for placement sometimes. On her second serve, it was so slow that I stood over toward my Bh and hit all FH returns. In other words, when I miss the return it is because I am trying to go for a lot off of a weak serve.

As for me, I found that when I hit a good serve, I got a short reply or a miss into the net. For me, a "good" serve was one that had a lot of slice or bounced high to her BH. I can't aim my serve at all these days (too cold for practice), so I can never be sure where it is going. I hit a lot of ad courts serves wide to her BH, but I wasn't really aiming. That's just how it went today.

Pro says he is going to work with me on getting a kicker so I get more net clearance on my second serve. Most of my DFs were into the net. He promised I would have the kicker by April. :)[/QUOTEI

If your with the right coach , you should learn a kick serve in a week or so. I am around a 4.5 so i know this from experince. My coach told me to toss above my nose hit up and pronate down. Good Luck! Sounds Like you have been playing good tennis acording to all of the posts ahead of mine! Cheers

Topaz
12-24-2010, 06:25 AM
^^^pronate down? On a kicker?

waves2ya
12-24-2010, 06:35 AM
Dispassionate stroke self diagnosis key to improvement and winning matches...

Serve DF's into the net for someone who knows how to serve (that's you) almost always a toss too low Ms. Sphinx...

Topaz
12-24-2010, 06:54 AM
^^^or she's dropping her head too soon.

SweetH2O
12-24-2010, 07:03 AM
She should just make a contract with herself to allow only one DF per set, like she did with her doubles partner a while back.

Not so easy when you are the one with the serving yips, is it? :)

Game-Set-MATCH!!!
12-24-2010, 09:54 AM
^^^or she's dropping her head too soon.

yeah now i agree with you. Sorry i posted that comment at like 5:00 this mroning and forgot to add something

Cindysphinx
12-24-2010, 11:36 AM
Toss too far out in front.

Slow racket head speed due to nerves.

Tossing arm coming down too soon.

Yeah, I have it all.

Larrysümmers
12-24-2010, 11:48 AM
Toss too far out in front.

Slow racket head speed due to nerves.

Tossing arm coming down too soon.

Yeah, I have it all.

i think this will be the hardest to overcome. it was the hardest for me anyways.

Sherlock
12-24-2010, 04:10 PM
My problem has always been the tossing arm coming down too soon. I rarely get nervous playing tennis, I just love it too much :o Congrats on figuring some things out Cindy. I think you'll find that as long as your body can handle it, singles is much more fun.

NLBwell
12-24-2010, 08:15 PM
Slow racket head speed due to nerves.



That's the nice thing about a kick serve. You get more margin for error (more spin) when you swing harder. Therefore, it forces you to up ther racket head speed on crucial points, which helps eliminate nerves (body/mind connection).

Larrysümmers
12-24-2010, 08:31 PM
That's the nice thing about a kick serve. You get more margin for error (more spin) when you swing harder. Therefore, it forces you to up ther racket head speed on crucial points, which helps eliminate nerves (body/mind connection).

man, idk. when i firststarted kicking the ball in instead of slices for 2nd services. i would get nervous and and bad things happen. although, now it isnt bad because i am more confident in it so i swing faster than i do a first serve, and it is muchhh better. i think once you get over the nerves and realize that you can hit it hard, then things come together very nicely

NLBwell
12-25-2010, 10:37 PM
man, idk. when i firststarted kicking the ball in instead of slices for 2nd services. i would get nervous and and bad things happen. although, now it isnt bad because i am more confident in it so i swing faster than i do a first serve, and it is muchhh better. i think once you get over the nerves and realize that you can hit it hard, then things come together very nicely

Agree, you do have to get proficient and confident in the kick serve first. Like any stroke it will break down when you are still learning it.

athiker
12-29-2010, 07:16 AM
I seriously need to figure out how to serve with fewer DFs. I am hitting 1-2 DFs per service game, partly because I am not used to serving when I am so winded!


Pro says he is going to work with me on getting a kicker so I get more net clearance on my second serve. Most of my DFs were into the net. He promised I would have the kicker by April. :)

Toss too far out in front.

Slow racket head speed due to nerves.

Tossing arm coming down too soon.

Yeah, I have it all.

One more thing to add to the list...when winded think about more knee bend.

Yeah, I've read all the stuff about 120 mph serves while on one's knees and thus using no legs, but still...think bend the knees more when tired (actually probably just gets one bending them the same as when not tired!) and you will be hitting up on the ball more as you rise to it, at least vs less bend, and should get better net clearance.

Same for basketball when one starts hitting the rim short after getting tired...gotta bend the knees more to get the ball there.




...................................

Cindysphinx
01-06-2011, 01:31 PM
Tomorrow I play another match. And this one is gonna get interesting fast.

My opponent is a 4.0. She is the Queen of Lob Queens. I am told she will hit 1-2 medium-paced groundies and she will then start lobbing everything.

My 4.0 teammate friend just lost to this lady. She said that each lob gets deeper and deeper until finally the last one bounces so high that you run out of real estate. She said this opponent will under no circumstances come to net, and she said the opponent gets winded easily (which simply increases the extent to which she will lob).

My teammate, bless her heart, does not play the net, lacks an overhead, cannot hit on the rise, cannot hit a swinging volley, and has no drop shot. She said she lost by trying to do all of those shots and missing.

I have a lesson that morning, followed by the match.

Any ideas on what I should try to learn in my lesson and what tactics I should employ?

Several people told me that I should be able to win this match with my net play, but I am not so sure . . .

esgee48
01-06-2011, 06:51 PM
I would try hitting sharp angled groundstrokes to move her from side to side. Hit them low, hit them high to disrupt her timing. Come into the net on short balls for put aways. Move her forwards and backwards. Sounds like your team mate knew what to do, just could not execute the shots.

Cindysphinx
01-06-2011, 07:09 PM
I need to be careful. There are a lot of shots I don't have also.

It is hard to lob well off of low slices, but I don't yet trust my slice.

It would be great to hit drop shots, but this is not possible off of lobs, and I don't have a reliable drop shot.

What I can do is hit swinging volleys and (maybe) overheads. The thing with my overhead is that even if I miss a few early, it gets better the more often I hit it in a match. So I will look for chances to come in.

What I will need to decide early is whether I can win lob wars. If she is mostly a pusher, I doubt she will have Serious Topspin on those lobs of hers, so maybe I can bother her by putting good topspin on mine.

I'll be interested to see what my pro says . . . .

North
01-07-2011, 06:56 AM
Is she bothered by those moonball type lobs? Many pushers cannot handle those. Other than that I would run her ragged and be a stickler for time between points, games, etc.

Also - how does she do when drawn to the net and then lobbed by her opponent?

magmasilk
01-07-2011, 07:29 AM
My opponent is a 4.0. She is the Queen of Lob Queens. I am told she will hit 1-2 medium-paced groundies and she will then start lobbing everything ...

Any ideas on what I should try to learn in my lesson and what tactics I should employ?


Perhaps hit short (ideally slice) and try to entice her to be overly aggressive ... at the very lease she may tire from moving fwd and back?

Also, I think out lobbing a lob queen might be playing into her strengths unless are committed to grinding her down with your superior stamina.

Alternatively you can try being very aggressive; she will probably give you slow balls you can setup for and really go after. You probably won't win but you can work on hitting winners.

Cindysphinx
01-07-2011, 11:38 AM
Good lord. What a nightmare.

I showed up for my lesson, hoping to fix my serve (so many DFs lately!!) and work on overheads/swinging volleys/other tactics. My pro sees me standing there and realizes he has forgotten I was supposed to have a lesson. He has no time for me, so no lesson.

I go the match with my hideous mess of a serve. Sure enough, I can't put a serve in the box to save my life. I DF'd at least once every game, often twice. Not to mention how I wasn't able to actually achieve anything with a serve that normally gives people a lot of trouble.

Anyway. We get started, and sure enough her strokes are a mess. She is a pusher, her lobs do not have topspin, and she struggles with transition and net play.

We start playing, and I figured it out. I would hit my regular shots, but when I got a ball I could lob I would try to spin it deep and follow it in, stopping at the service line. Sure enough, this worked! I was able to hit overhead and volley winners almost every time. When I lost points, it was DFs or the many times I should have taken one of her lobs out of the air but bounced it like an idiot instead.

Despite all of the DFs, I win the first set 6-4.

[Allow me to pause and bask in that for just a minute. It wasn't so long ago I couldn't beat a 3.5, and now I won a set over a computer-rated 4.0 -- and I did it without a serve. I'm getting the hang of this!]

The second set was a problem for me. I started trying to take more balls as swinging volleys, but I missed too many. I didn't hit my approaches hard enough, and I was too hesitant in moving forward -- literally moving forward for lobs and changing my mind, only to see it bounce over my head!! Very dumb indeed. She won the second set 1-6, with 12 minutes to go in our 2-hour block of time.

We go sip some water, and we have the following conversation:

Me: OK, we'd better get the tiebreak started.

Opponent: What tiebreak?

Me: A 10-point tiebreak because we split sets. The ladder rules say that when there's less than 20 minutes left you play a tiebreak, and you play the third set out when there's more than 20 minutes.

Opponent: No, the rules say that we have to agree, and I don't agree to play a tiebreak. I want to play a third set.

Me: If we start a third set, we will never finish in 12 minutes. So let's do a tiebreak so we can finish the match. Besides, I think the rules require us to play the tiebreak. Won't they kick us off the court when time is up?

Opponent: Yes, they'll kick us off. Let's just start the third set anyway.

Me: Well, I guess I'll have to check the rules when I get home, because I thought the tiebreak was mandatory. But if you are refusing to play a tiebreak, then I see no point in starting a third set. I guess I will gather my things and leave. I do think that if you were going to insist on a third set, you might have said something at the outset rather than bringing it up now. And I can tell you if the situation were reversed I would play the tiebreak because I like to finish matches whenever possible. So. Goodbye.

***********

So I go home and check the rules, and sure enough the decision is left to the players, although players are advised to play the tiebreak when time is short, as I said. Which means she gets the W.

And I will complain to the organizer that the rules for this ladder are stupid and should be changed to require the players to agree on the tiebreak issue before play begins, and to *require* the tiebreak when time is short. Or if they cannot agree, then they should have to come back and play the third set another time.

lethalphorce
01-07-2011, 02:59 PM
Me: Well, I guess I'll have to check the rules when I get home, because I thought the tiebreak was mandatory. But if you are refusing to play a tiebreak, then I see no point in starting a third set. I guess I will gather my things and leave. I do think that if you were going to insist on a third set, you might have said something at the outset rather than bringing it up now. And I can tell you if the situation were reversed I would play the tiebreak because I like to finish matches whenever possible. So. Goodbye.

***********

So I go home and check the rules, and sure enough the decision is left to the players, although players are advised to play the tiebreak when time is short, as I said. Which means she gets the W.

And I will complain to the organizer that the rules for this ladder are stupid and should be changed to require the players to agree on the tiebreak issue before play begins, and to *require* the tiebreak when time is short. Or if they cannot agree, then they should have to come back and play the third set another time.

I agree that she should have played the TB. . . but Cindy, why would you just forfeit the match like that? That seems a bit unsportsmanlike to just up & leave. She was within her rights to choose to play the 3rd set. If I were you, I wouldn't like the decision, but I would have played out the match.

Cindysphinx
01-07-2011, 04:29 PM
I agree that she should have played the TB. . . but Cindy, why would you just forfeit the match like that? That seems a bit unsportsmanlike to just up & leave. She was within her rights to choose to play the 3rd set. If I were you, I wouldn't like the decision, but I would have played out the match.

Nope, sorry. I don't waste my time.

If she is not willing to make a good faith attempt to play a match to its conclusion given the time constraints placed upon us in the manner recommended by the organizers, then I am done. I mean, if we don't agree on the format, then what would we be playing in that last 10 minutes? She wins a point and says 15-love, and then I say, no, it's 1-0?

I think she pulled a fast one, sort of. A little fast one (really, who cares?), but a fast one nonetheless.

At the end, she said something about how this had happened to her before and she had lost the match that time. "This" had happened before to her? So she knew there can be an issue about what the match format will be but opted to say nothing until she was sure she was ahead on games? Me, I would never do that.

I dunno. If I know there can be confusion, I feel obligated to clarify it with my opponent. If I know they have misunderstood a rule, I don't take advantage of it. If I am ahead and time is running out, I play at a normal pace rather than stall. If there's only five minutes left, I wouldn't take a five minute bathroom break even though the rules allow it.

Anyway, my main gripe is with the organizers. Their rules are insane -- there has to be a default on all scoring questions, with the players able to change it if both agree. Having no default position on how split sets are handled (and having nothing in the rules on when this should be decided) is poor management.

Eh, whatever.

OrangePower
01-07-2011, 05:04 PM
Nope, sorry. I don't waste my time.

If she is not willing to make a good faith attempt to play a match to its conclusion given the time constraints placed upon us in the manner recommended by the organizers, then I am done. I mean, if we don't agree on the format, then what would we be playing in that last 10 minutes? She wins a point and says 15-love, and then I say, no, it's 1-0?

I think she pulled a fast one, sort of. A little fast one (really, who cares?), but a fast one nonetheless.

At the end, she said something about how this had happened to her before and she had lost the match that time. "This" had happened before to her? So she knew there can be an issue about what the match format will be but opted to say nothing until she was sure she was ahead on games? Me, I would never do that.

I dunno. If I know there can be confusion, I feel obligated to clarify it with my opponent. If I know they have misunderstood a rule, I don't take advantage of it. If I am ahead and time is running out, I play at a normal pace rather than stall. If there's only five minutes left, I wouldn't take a five minute bathroom break even though the rules allow it.

Anyway, my main gripe is with the organizers. Their rules are insane -- there has to be a default on all scoring questions, with the players able to change it if both agree. Having no default position on how split sets are handled (and having nothing in the rules on when this should be decided) is poor management.

Eh, whatever.

It's an unfortunate situation, but I think both you and your opponent are equally at fault for letting it get to that point.

Since the league rules leaves the decision to the players, the players should agree prior to the start of play what they will do in the event of it being 1 set all. You could even make your mutual up-front decision conditional on the amount time remaining at the start of the 3rd set / tiebreak.

One or both of you should have brought this question up before starting the match.

But I agree that the league rules should be tighter.

MrCLEAN
01-07-2011, 07:07 PM
Shame it ended that way, but if nothing else, I'm sure that in future matches, you'll get it talked out before the match starts. For the life of me, based on your description, I can't understand how she's rated 4.0.

Cindysphinx
01-07-2011, 08:14 PM
As I said, I wrote to the head pro who runs the ladder. The upshot of my message was to let him know what happened and advocate a rules change.

He wrote back a nice note, as you might imagine. He said that, believe it or not, he hasn't had this issue come up before. He said he liked my suggestions for a rule change. He also said he was going to speak to my opponent about it.

Eh, whatever.

As for why she is a 4.0 if she plays that way . . . Hey, it works against most players 4.0 and below because it is difficult to judge which balls you should come in on, and it is difficult to judge an overhead when you are running forward. Hitting effectively on the rise, baseline overheads, swinging volleys . . .those aren' in the toolbox at my level.

They would have been had my pro not stood me up this morning. Geez the match was supposed to be next week, but I agreed to play it today figuring I would have been coming in off of a lesson on how to beat this lady!

MrCLEAN
01-07-2011, 08:32 PM
I just meant after reading this...

her strokes are a mess. She is a pusher, her lobs do not have topspin, and she struggles with transition and net play

I was left wondering how she wins? Does she win much against 4.0 competition?

Back to your match, you know what they say, if you can win a set, you can win a match. Sounds like you were picking off her lobs pretty well in the first set. Get your serve straight, and you should be beating her fairly easily I'd say.

Cindysphinx
01-07-2011, 09:49 PM
I just meant after reading this...



I was left wondering how she wins? Does she win much against 4.0 competition?

Back to your match, you know what they say, if you can win a set, you can win a match. Sounds like you were picking off her lobs pretty well in the first set. Get your serve straight, and you should be beating her fairly easily I'd say.



Will do!

Fun fact. Chances are good that we will meet again in the consolation playoff. By then I will have a serve, I promise you that!

Ken Honecker
01-08-2011, 01:29 AM
Where did your serve go? Are you trying to change something?

Dags
01-08-2011, 03:12 AM
I think she pulled a fast one, sort of. A little fast one (really, who cares?), but a fast one nonetheless.

If you read back the exchange as you typed it out and put yourself in your opponents shoes, it actually comes across like you're the one trying to pull a fast one. Having won the first set you've just been run over in the second, and (now we know what the rules are) you're trying to force her into a tie-break, which is probably the best chances of you winning at this point.

Now we obviously know that it was a case of you not fully understanding the rules and a lack of communication between the pair of you before the match started, and there's obviously the chance that what you've typed doesn't reflect the nature of the conversation exactly. But before you're too harsh on her, perhaps think back to how you'd have seen things if you were her. Could there be a post on another internet forum along the lines of:

'After losing the first set 6-4, I worked out that her game plan was to attack the net and hit swinging volleys, so I changed my shots and she started missing them! I took the second set 6-1, and felt I was back in control on the game. We go sip some water, and we have the following conversation:

<insert conversation from above>

I knew I was right about the rules, and it was obvious that she was trying to railroad me into a tiebreak as she thought it was her best chance of winning. If she had brought this up before the match I would have agreed, but it looked like she was angle-shooting. And then she packed her bag and stormed off - talk about unsporting!'

Cindysphinx
01-08-2011, 07:48 AM
If you read back the exchange as you typed it out and put yourself in your opponents shoes, it actually comes across like you're the one trying to pull a fast one. Having won the first set you've just been run over in the second, and (now we know what the rules are) you're trying to force her into a tie-break, which is probably the best chances of you winning at this point.

Now we obviously know that it was a case of you not fully understanding the rules and a lack of communication between the pair of you before the match started, and there's obviously the chance that what you've typed doesn't reflect the nature of the conversation exactly. But before you're too harsh on her, perhaps think back to how you'd have seen things if you were her. Could there be a post on another internet forum along the lines of:

'After losing the first set 6-4, I worked out that her game plan was to attack the net and hit swinging volleys, so I changed my shots and she started missing them! I took the second set 6-1, and felt I was back in control on the game. We go sip some water, and we have the following conversation:

<insert conversation from above>

I knew I was right about the rules, and it was obvious that she was trying to railroad me into a tiebreak as she thought it was her best chance of winning. If she had brought this up before the match I would have agreed, but it looked like she was angle-shooting. And then she packed her bag and stormed off - talk about unsporting!'

: shrug:

I thought the rules required a tiebreak if less than 20 minutes were left. She apparently knew we needed to agree, but didn't raise the issue. Why didn't she raise it if she believed we needed to agree? Gamesmanship, obviously.

As I said, had our roles been reversed, I definitely would have played a tiebreak, for two reasons. First, that is what the organizers of the event contemplate (and that is what everyone else I have played and talked to seems to be doing). Second and more importantly, if someone can whip me in a 10-point tiebreak in 12 minutes, I figure they deserve to win.

Dags
01-08-2011, 08:56 AM
I thought the rules required a tiebreak if less than 20 minutes were left. She apparently knew we needed to agree, but didn't raise the issue. Why didn't she raise it if she believed we needed to agree? Gamesmanship, obviously.
You've played a few matches in this ladder now. Did any of your previous opponents raise the issue of a third set/tie-break before the match? My suspicion is not, otherwise you would have been alerted to the rule. If that is the case, does that make them all guilty of gamesmanship? Or is it just a case that in this league, people are accustomed to discussing the situation only as it arises (no matter how badly organised that may be)?

You were the one who was there and so know exactly how things played out, but from what you've written in this thread it sounds harsh to say that gamesmanship is obvious here.

At least it's a situation that won't arise again, at least in your matches and hopefully everyone else's if the rules are amended.

Cindysphinx
01-08-2011, 09:19 AM
You've played a few matches in this ladder now. Did any of your previous opponents raise the issue of a third set/tie-break before the match? My suspicion is not, otherwise you would have been alerted to the rule. If that is the case, does that make them all guilty of gamesmanship? Or is it just a case that in this league, people are accustomed to discussing the situation only as it arises (no matter how badly organised that may be)?

You were the one who was there and so know exactly how things played out, but from what you've written in this thread it sounds harsh to say that gamesmanship is obvious here.

At least it's a situation that won't arise again, at least in your matches and hopefully everyone else's if the rules are amended.

Yes, I've played a few matches. Now that I think back on it, a couple of my opponents did say something about the format as we took the court, although I am not sure how many of the six previous opponents did. It was like this: "So we play a tiebreak if we're down to 20 minutes, right?" "Yeah, that's what I remember." This did not strike me as especially meaningful, as I saw it as the same sort of thing as when opponents in USTA matches have said, "Hey, we don't do no-ad scoring in league matches, right?" Just confirming what everyone already knows.

But yes, now I know that some people Are Not To Be Trusted To Do The Right Thing. I don't think she did the right thing under the circumstances, *because if she wanted to deviate from the recommendation, she should have said this at the beginning of the match.* I was ignorant of the rules, as I believed the organizers recommendation carried more weight with the players than it did. I was wrong about that. Live and learn.

Ken, I have no idea what happened with my serve. I have changed nothing. In December, I was literally holding serve with four swings of the racket. In January, my DFs are in the double-digits. Something is way off, and I just have to hang on until I can figure it out.

magmasilk
01-08-2011, 07:06 PM
I think Dags has a point. It isn't obvious from the events presented in the thread that there is obvious gamesmanship or even who was "right" ...

If the general presumption is that the match will be 3 set with the winner decided by games if the third set isn't completed then any change mid-match is probably unfair. I had a recent match, mid 10-point tie-break, the opponents suggested we play to 7-points because we were short on time ... we agreed (and won) but i think it was the other team trying to gain an advantage (however marginal).

In this thread, the opponent is ahead 10 games to 5, is it fair to change to a tie-break when she is winning? With 2 hours, i think it is fair to presume it should be 3 sets match. She couldn't know before the match that she would be ahead with a few minutes after 2 sets so where would be the gamesmanship.

And a 10-pt tie break isn't a perfect substitute for a third set. As was discussed (and later shown statistically) when ATP went to match tie-break ... the lower seeds (underdog) has a better chance to win. This also does not even factor "games won" as in the case here.

Cindysphinx
01-08-2011, 09:36 PM
If the general presumption is that the match will be 3 set with the winner decided by games if the third set isn't completed then any change mid-match is probably unfair.

That is not the presumption.

The recommendation is that there will be three sets (if split sets). The recommendation is that the format of the third set be based on the amount of time remaining, with 20 minutes being the cut-off.

Say there had been 21 minutes remaining when the second set was concluded. It would be wrong and unfair of me at that point to insist on a tiebreak, IMHO. If either player does not wish to follow the organizer's recommendation, I think it is incumbent on them to speak up at the beginning of the match.

Others can disagree, I understand your arguments, and that is fine. We should have handled the match differently from the outset, and failing to do so left me vulnerable to her having two bites at the apple (being allowed to know the score before deciding whether she will abide by the recommendation). I suppose I also had two bites at the apple, but I didn't in reality because I would never have wished to win the match in that way. I would have played the tiebreak had I been ahead and would have won fair and square.

arche3
01-08-2011, 11:05 PM
That is not the presumption.

The recommendation is that there will be three sets (if split sets). The recommendation is that the format of the third set be based on the amount of time remaining, with 20 minutes being the cut-off.

Say there had been 21 minutes remaining when the second set was concluded. It would be wrong and unfair of me at that point to insist on a tiebreak, IMHO. If either player does not wish to follow the organizer's recommendation, I think it is incumbent on them to speak up at the beginning of the match.

Others can disagree, I understand your arguments, and that is fine. We should have handled the match differently from the outset, and failing to do so left me vulnerable to her having two bites at the apple (being allowed to know the score before deciding whether she will abide by the recommendation). I suppose I also had two bites at the apple, but I didn't in reality because I would never have wished to win the match in that way. I would have played the tiebreak had I been ahead and would have won fair and square.

IMHO....Seems to me Cindy you are as much at fault as she is. If there is even any fault at all. I don't really see anything wrong with what happened. She didn't want to lose and neither did you. But you were the one to pick up your toys and leave. I would of played a 3rd set if my opponent insisted on it even if I prefer a tie break in this instance. time remaining not withstanding. Its not the tournament or clubs role to police adults playing a friendly match. There has to be some personal responsibility in these instances. You and her both had a right to play either a 3rd set or tie break and you were both technically right according to the ladder rules. Just because you were unsure of the rules does not make her wrong.

She did win more games than you. And you each won a set. so at the final unofficial tally from my perspective you were beat anyways. And by you walking off you basically quite so you can have a reason to not feel bad about losing. Learn from your mistakes on the court and move on. Get better. I have had opponents in friendly practice matches that leave right before the last few games if they realize they will most likely lose just so they don't have to tell the other guys at the club they lost. Don't become one of them. Love the game and learn from the battles on court. Become a better player and fill the voids in your game and these situations won't matter to you anymore. Or don't...

Cindysphinx
01-09-2011, 06:15 AM
Yes, she won more games. Yes, under the rules, she won the match. Yes, I should have lost the second set. Yes, I should have watched my back better by knowing the rules and not assuming she would abide by the recommendation. None of that is in dispute.

Two players cannot play a third set if they cannot agree on a format. I guess I could have sat on the bench for 12 minutes to avoid leaving, but the one thing I could not do is play a third set if we couldn't agree on a format. And I certainly could not start a third set if I genuinely (but incorrectly) believed the rules required the tiebreak, as doing so would have waived my right to play the tiebreak.

The only legitimate question in my mind is whether this lady handled it properly given that she knew something I didn't know. What is that something? That something is that she knew she wasn't going to abide by the organizers' recommended format.

That is my gripe. If she knew that, it was incumbent upon her to say something at the start of the match. That is what a fair person would have done, IMHO.

I understand the opposite viewpoint, but what I am not hearing from many of you is, "I would have handled it exactly the way she did." I don't think many of you would. I think you would have walked on the court and said, "I don't like the recommendation regarding split sets. Let's decide how we will handle it if we split sets."

FWIW, I don't feel bad about losing. I took a set off of a 4.0. I made progress in my goal of developing instincts for coming to net in singles. So. Onward to the next match.

Cindysphinx
01-09-2011, 09:27 AM
You know what? I have changed my mind.

I was mulling this some more, trying to piece it all together. One of the things I like to do in tennis is assume the best about opponents. If someone makes a bad call, it is best to just assume they made an innocent mistake or maybe their call was correct and I was wrong. Otherwise, you will drive yourself nuts, right?

So what is the most innocent explanation for how this opponent handled this issue?

I captain. Because of that, I am very familiar with match administration. People who do not captain often do not know much about match administration. And some people just are not very good at interpreting and applying rules. I have seen this among my players, where they will be way off base on some issue of match administration due to inexperience, failure to understand the rules, forgetfulness or what have you. It doesn't make them evil -- they just didn't understand or didn't think it through.

In this case, this woman perhaps just doesn't understand match administration principles very well. She said "this" had happened to her before, which caused her to lose a match in this ladder. Her response, apparently, was to assume that is how things should work -- you come to your agreement about the third set after the first two sets, not at the beginning of the match, she thinks. It would perhaps not have occurred to her that if you try to reach an agreement after you split sets, you might wind up with a stalemate over the format of the third set, which is what happened in our match.

To me, that is daft. If you've been burned by this bizarro rule (as I now have), you don't resolve to just hope the stalemate works to your advantage next time. You instead resolve to make sure there is a clear understanding before the match begins, as one goal of match administration ought to be to have a smooth match in which there is no confusion about how the match is to be played.

That she came to a different conclusion about how the issue should be handled -- even one I think is a bit daft -- does not make her evil. A little dim, maybe. But perhaps not necessarily evil.

So. I will make sure I get agreements up front with my opponents in case there is anyone else out there who might wish to handle things as she did. I will pester the coordinator to change this rule for next season, 'cause it really is terrible. I read it again, and it says that the players should play a 10-point tiebreak if less than 20 minutes remain to decide the *second* or third set. Huh? If I win the first set 7-6 and 19 minutes remain, we are to play a second set 10-point match tiebreak?

And I will make it my mission in life to *destroy* this woman in the consolation round.

OrangePower
01-09-2011, 12:49 PM
One thing we can all learn from this experience: prior to the start of the match, it's always a good idea to discuss with your opponent what happens if you split sets. Even if you're playing in a league where the rules are unambiguous, don't assume your opponent knows the rules. Discuss up front, and there will be no bad feelings later.

I always ask my opponent up front, mostly because I play in several leagues and can never remember which one says what :-)

Topaz
01-09-2011, 06:44 PM
Jeez Cindy, I was thinking of you and this thread in my match tonight.

My partner and I went down 2-6 in the first set (in our defense, it is her first match back since having a baby, and I thought she did awesome!).

We switched sides (I'm slowing turning into an ad court player), and we hung in there tough, but ran out of time at 6-6. Was a fun match though.

I thought of you the moment I realized my watch...and the clock, which we could barely see three courts away, did not match! Not even close! My trusty watch was 15 minutes behind! And I wondered if there was going to be stalling if we won the second set in time to start the tiebreak. And then I thought of this thread. And then I thought 'Topaz, get your mind back in the match!' ;)

Too much TW? Perhaps, perhaps...but I have noticed that most players these days do actually mention at the start of the match, 'hey, we play a 10 pt tiebreak if we split, right' or something to that effect...what with all the different time limits and formats around here, it isn't a bad idea to agree before the match even starts.

I think I will start doing that from now on.

Maui19
01-10-2011, 04:06 AM
Cindy, I think you come off as fair and balanced in all of your threads, except this one. I think you were wrong about the rule, and the other woman was within her rights to want to play a set (if I'm reading this correctly). The rule seems flawed, but it is the rule and you have to deal with it as is.

Anyway, your tournament life seems more interesting than mine. In my leagues, we just play. ;)

Cindysphinx
01-10-2011, 08:32 AM
You know, I don't tend to discuss the match format before the match starts. One reason is that it kind of comes off sounding a bit pretentious, ya know? "Harumph, harumph, I am the Queen Of The Rulebook and I am about to educate everyone about the rules."

But as you all say, there can be good reasons to just clarify the key points. I already clarify with my opponents that: (1) They are the right opponents, and (2) We will be using X as our timekeeping device. I make those clarifications precisely because I have had bad experiences with those issues before.

So now I guess I will have to review a third thing: Match format.

Hey, Topaz. Yes, it would have been interesting to see what your opponents would have done had you needed to play a tiebreak quickly. Some folks stall (read: Cheat) and some don't.

jhick
01-10-2011, 08:55 AM
I've read through a lot of this thread, and have a question. Cindy, if you would have started a third set, you most likely wouldn't complete it within 20 minutes, so how would you determine the winner of the match when time runs out?

In a non USTA doubles league I used to be in, the rules were if there were less than 15 minutes we would start a 10 pt (super) tiebreak. If not we would start a 3rd set, and then when the game ended, if there was less than 10 minutes, a traditional tiebreak up to 7 if one of the teams was not ahead by 2 or more games. If one team was up by 2 or more games, they would be considered the winner. Eventually the league went from 1 1/2 to 2 hours and this become less of a problem since most teams were able to fit in 3 sets in that amount of time.

I do recall some teams tended to stall sometimes when we had the 1 1/2 hr period, which I thought was kind of unsportsmanlike.

From my experience in USTA tennis, most clubs allow the teams to play out the 3rd set TB, even if they go over the time allotment. Although I recall one time playing a mixed match where one of our teams had to finish their match on another date.

Cindysphinx
01-10-2011, 09:02 AM
I've read through a lot of this thread, and have a question. Cindy, if you would have started a third set, you most likely wouldn't complete it within 20 minutes, so how would you determine the winner of the match when time runs out?

The rule for this ladder stink. There is nothing in them that would answer your question.

The rules say no match can end in a tie, and if players split sets then the one with the most games wins. But there is no sudden death provision or anything else if a match is at 4-6, 6-4 when the two hours is up.

In my situation, say I ran off a quick lead of 3-0 when time lapsed. That would mean I won 10 games and she won 10 games. Then what? There's nothing in the rules.

Or maybe the third set wouldn't count unless fully completed. If you only have 12 minutes, it is a waste of time to begin a full third set. Again, the rules don't address this.

It is amazing to me that some head pro thought this weird half-page of bullet point guidelines was sufficient to run a tennis ladder. Oh, well. It's the only game in town . . .

athiker
01-10-2011, 12:00 PM
Just for reference here is the copy/paste rules from our ladder (this is a points based ladder):

If a match is tied after two sets, do we play a full third set, or a third set tie-break?

In the interest of time, if either player prefers to play a 10 point tie-break instead of a full third set, you should play a tie-break. If both players agree to a full set (my preference), then you can play the full set. The way that the scoring works, you will usually get more points for playing a full third set.

If we play a full third set, and it is tied at 6-6, do we play a tie-break to determine the winner or a play on until someone wins by two?

During the regular season, you should play a tie-break at 6-6 in the third. In the playoffs, you should play it out until someone wins by two games.

How do I enter the score for a 3rd set tie-break?

If you choose to play a third set tie-break instead of a full third set, the score should be entered as 1-0 (e.g. 6-4, 4-6, 1-0).

**In practice, in my matches, we have always been able to play a 3rd set. Its nice to have the rule spelled out but yet give some flexibility.

Cindysphinx
01-10-2011, 12:17 PM
^Anything can work, so long as there is a default in case the players cannot agree.

jhick
01-10-2011, 12:40 PM
Just for reference here is the copy/paste rules from our ladder (this is a points based ladder):

If a match is tied after two sets, do we play a full third set, or a third set tie-break?

In the interest of time, if either player prefers to play a 10 point tie-break instead of a full third set, you should play a tie-break. If both players agree to a full set (my preference), then you can play the full set. The way that the scoring works, you will usually get more points for playing a full third set.

If we play a full third set, and it is tied at 6-6, do we play a tie-break to determine the winner or a play on until someone wins by two?

During the regular season, you should play a tie-break at 6-6 in the third. In the playoffs, you should play it out until someone wins by two games.

How do I enter the score for a 3rd set tie-break?

If you choose to play a third set tie-break instead of a full third set, the score should be entered as 1-0 (e.g. 6-4, 4-6, 1-0).

**In practice, in my matches, we have always been able to play a 3rd set. Its nice to have the rule spelled out but yet give some flexibility.
This works fine assuming no time constraints.

OrangePower
01-10-2011, 01:32 PM
If we play a full third set, and it is tied at 6-6, do we play a tie-break to determine the winner or a play on until someone wins by two?

During the regular season, you should play a tie-break at 6-6 in the third. In the playoffs, you should play it out until someone wins by two games.

Very cool - not common these days to see a set played out until someone wins by two games.

Have you actually had to do this?

athiker
01-11-2011, 09:50 PM
No, unfortunately in the ladder playoffs late last year I lost the 2nd set of the match in a tiebreaker so never even got to a third set. I haven't heard of it happening either but I've only played the ladder twice.

The local compass draw does 2 out of 3 sets...strongly encourages no 3rd set tiebreaker but does allow if both agree...but they do use set tiebreaks...don't see anything about playing out the 3rd set by 2 games.

I have played this way with friends just for kicks...longest got to 10-8.

North
01-12-2011, 08:26 AM
I do recall some teams tended to stall sometimes when we had the 1 1/2 hr period, which I thought was kind of unsportsmanlike.

Only "some" teams? At an indoor club I belong to there are league matches year round - lots of league matches. You can watch the matches from the waiting area above so I have seen the end of a lot of timed matches while waiting to start playing. I have noticed stalling, by the team who stands to benefit by letting the clock run out, the majority (ie: more than half) of times. I talked to a few of the pros at the club, to verify this, and they notice it as well. It does not always seem to be apparent to the other team on the court but you can, as an outside observer, definitely see the stalling team really slowing everything down. Very unsportsmanlike.

Cindysphinx
01-12-2011, 09:40 AM
Only "some" teams? At an indoor club I belong to there are league matches year round - lots of league matches. You can watch the matches from the waiting area above so I have seen the end of a lot of timed matches while waiting to start playing. I have noticed stalling, by the team who stands to benefit by letting the clock run out, the majority (ie: more than half) of times. I talked to a few of the pros at the club, to verify this, and they notice it as well. It does not always seem to be apparent to the other team on the court but you can, as an outside observer, definitely see the stalling team really slowing everything down. Very unsportsmanlike.

Oh, it's apparent to the trailing team when you're being stalled. You just don't have a remedy.

I hate stalling. It's cheating, plain and simple. You see a lot less of it in our league because it is hard to stall out a 2-hour match. I saw more of it when our matches were 90 minutes.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 11:35 AM
Ok, this is getting ridiculous.

I played another match today. I lost the first set 4-6. I won the second set 6-3. Because of what happened in my last match where we split sets, I had made sure we agreed we would play a tiebreak if less than 20 minutes remained, and a third set if more time remained.

We had 30 minutes, so we were going to play a third set. I was ahead on games, so I was sitting pretty. To beat me, she was going to habe to take six games off me in 30 mintes.

Now, I never stall, so I didn't stall. All I needed to do was hang with her. I didn't take any chances to aggressively finish points. I just kept it in play, and we timed out at 2-5 in the second set.

We go to report the scores, and both of us say we won. She says she won more games. I say that an incomplete set does not count.

The director of tennis is standing there and he pulls out the rules. Which say nothing about how an incomplete third set is to be handled. So I left, with no resolution.

This is bogus. This ladder has existed for years, yet no one can be bothered to write clear rules?

I woould have played the third set completely differently had there been any rule saying what should happen. Whatever. I am going to give the director of tennis a piece of my mind as soon as I get the chance.

OrangePower
01-21-2011, 11:53 AM
Now, I never stall, so I didn't stall. All I needed to do was hang with her. I didn't take any chances to aggressively finish points. I just kept it in play, and we timed out at 2-5 in the second set.

I woould have played the third set completely differently had there been any rule saying what should happen.

All this time-management related strategy is too hard - I'm glad I don't play any timed matches. It seems to me that because of the time limit, being ahead, and thinking you'd win unless you lost the third set, you started playing not-to-lose rather than playing to win. Seems a pity to change what was working for you in the second set because of time-strategy thinking.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 01:01 PM
Yes, true of course. What was working and why decide to change it?

Opponent was elderly and played a lot of short slice and droppers. Her movement was poor. She tended to cover the crosscourt and leave the line open. And she would make you pay for tentative volleys or overheads.

In the first set, I tried to rally crosscourt but I couldn't wrongfoot her. I was massaging my passing shots too.

In the second set, I resolved to attack every single ball and hit nothing up the middle. I won lots of points with my BH DTL and FH DTL. I have never had to do so much footwork in my life, especially off of the low slices. I came inwhen she was on the run.

This was exhausting, especially following a private lesson this morning and with doubles match coming tonight. I didn't wish to spend the energy to play another set in that fashion, especially since I figured I had the thing won.

My back hurts. I hope this is temporary . . . .

jhick
01-21-2011, 01:29 PM
The rules in your ladder need to be spelled out more clearly.

That said, if I split sets with someone and was down by a break or more in the 3rd set I would have expected a loss. You split the 1st two sets and were behind in the 3rd. I don't really understand the mindset where the 3rd set doesn't count unless you completely finish it.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 01:35 PM
The rules in your ladder need to be spelled out more clearly.

That said, if I split sets with someone and was down by a break or more in the 3rd set I would have expected a loss. You split the 1st two sets and were behind in the 3rd. I don't really understand the mindset where the 3rd set doesn't count unless you completely finish it.

In a usta match, you play a tiebreak if you split sets

If do not complete the match tiebreak, you disregard it and you add up the games in the two completed sets.

That is the mindset. Had the rules not been silent on this point there would have been no confusion, of course.

gameboy
01-21-2011, 01:49 PM
If I were in that situation, I would have given the match to the opponent. She did win more games.

In the end, we are just out there to have fun. She won more games and it would have been nice of you (and lowest stress overall) to just give her the match. It is not like this is life or death.

And if you are going to play by USTA rule, you should have stuck to the USTA rule and played the tie-breaker for the third set. You can't just cherry pick rules that are favorable to you. Those kind of people annoy me and I try to avoid them.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 02:05 PM
If I were in that situation, I would have given the match to the opponent. She did win more games.

In the end, we are just out there to have fun. She won more games and it would have been nice of you (and lowest stress overall) to just give her the match. It is not like this is life or death.

And if you are going to play by USTA rule, you should have stuck to the USTA rule and played the tie-breaker for the third set. You can't just cherry pick rules that are favorable to you. Those kind of people annoy me and I try to avoid them.
Ah,don't you see? The lame and stupid rules required us to agree on the format. So before the match started, we agreed to play the third set -- which is what the lame and stupid rules recommend.

Once we split sets, neither of us wished to change our deal because a deal is a deal. To do otherwise would be gamesmanship.

Can I concede the match? Sure. I have no intention to lawyer up over this.

I will not concede it, though. I want this drooling moron of a tennis director to recognize that his rules are not ok. Once my opponent is declared the winner, I will make nice with her, of course. And if idiot tennis director says we need to return to finish the set, I may forfeit, just to be cool about it.

jhick
01-21-2011, 02:06 PM
In a usta match, you play a tiebreak if you split sets

If do not complete the match tiebreak, you disregard it and you add up the games in the two completed sets.

That is the mindset. Had the rules not been silent on this point there would have been no confusion, of course.
Only one time (in my 15 yrs of USTA matches) do I recall this situation happening and it was because players from both teams were going to show up late. The captains agreed to start the match late and they only finished one set. The subsequent set was played at a later date.

I am unaware of the USTA rule of counting total games from if you do not get a tiebreaker in. But in this case, you weren't playing a tiebreaker, but instead decided to start a third set. Totally discounting the 3rd set does not seem fair to your opponent.

gameboy
01-21-2011, 02:10 PM
I will not concede it, though. I want this drooling moron of a tennis director to recognize that his rules are not ok. Once my opponent is declared the winner, I will make nice with her, of course. And if idiot tennis director says we need to return to finish the set, I may forfeit, just to be cool about it.

Cindy, I would suggest that the "moron" probably did not know that his rules are not ok because nobody else had any problems with it. Especially if it is "fun" league, most people will work this sort of things out themselves.

Obviously, it is up to you on how far you want to push on this, but if I was your opponent, I would avoid you like a plague in the future. Seriously, is winning (what is really just a meaningless match) or being "right" that important that you have to get this person ****ed off and you have to "make nice" later?

Tennis Truth
01-21-2011, 02:24 PM
Agree that lack of clear rules are the main problem.

Timed matches do cause problems and require some modifications to tennis rules.

However, I have never heard of a timed match rule that would say that the result of 30 minutes of play, and seven games, should be totally ignored when determining the match result. Kind of goes again the rule that "all points played in good faith shall stand."

If you are going to count total games in determining the winner, why do you only count games from a completed set, and completely ignore other games?

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 02:26 PM
My opponent should not have a problem with me if I express my frustration with the rules to the fellow who wrote them.

Like I said, I don't care about the W. I don't like playing competitive tennis where the rules are this ambiguous.

OrangePower
01-21-2011, 02:30 PM
...
This was exhausting, especially following a private lesson this morning and with doubles match coming tonight. I didn't wish to spend the energy to play another set in that fashion, especially since I figured I had the thing won.

My back hurts. I hope this is temporary . . . .

I'm impressed. Tennis three times a day - lesson, ladder singles match, doubles match. That's a whole week's worth for me! No wonder your back hurts. I would need a stretcher at this point :-)

gameboy
01-21-2011, 02:58 PM
Cindy, you didn't just express your frustration to the coach, you reported that you won the match when your opponent clearly deserved to win the match.

You could have graciously given the match to your opponent and then have a conversations about clarifying the rules with the coach, but you chose the most hostile way to go about it. You should expect that your opponent is not very happy with you.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 03:21 PM
Cindy, you didn't just express your frustration to the coach, you reported that you won the match when your opponent clearly deserved to win the match.

You could have graciously given the match to your opponent and then have a conversations about clarifying the rules with the coach, but you chose the most hostile way to go about it. You should expect that your opponent is not very happy with you.

Gameboy, I think you are perhaps misunderstanding what occurred once the match concluded.

My opponent and I cheerfully walked to the main desk (I say cheerfully because each of us thought we had won). We had not discussed who won the match. Really, who finishes a match and, thinking they won, says, "I won!!" We talked about how her shoulder is hurting because she fell down skiing last week, but she plans to ice it and see if it gets better without seeing a doctor.

So we get to the desk, and I say the scores are 4-6, 6-3, so I won on games. She says oh, wow, I think if you add it up it is something like me winning by two games because of the score in the third set. I say something like the guidelines don't say an incomplete third set counts. She says she didn't know that. We turn to the tennis director who is standing right there. He pulls out the rules and starts reading them and says, "Oh, you're right. They don't say anything about incomplete third sets." Long pause while he reads them again and again.

At that point I said, "I have to pick up my kid in a few minutes. You guys can get it sorted out, OK? So long as we go by what's written in the guidelines, I'm OK with it. Bye, opponent."

Tell me, what is wrong with that? Why should I concede the match when the tennis director hasn't even opined, and I may well be correct?

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 03:24 PM
I'm impressed. Tennis three times a day - lesson, ladder singles match, doubles match. That's a whole week's worth for me! No wonder your back hurts. I would need a stretcher at this point :-)

Yeah, I'm pretty unhappy about, as is my husband.

What happened is that I joined a senior's team. Captain said, "Can you play the night match on Jan. 21? I might be short." I said yeah, sure.

Then I hear nothing.

Last night, I saw the match on my calendar and wrote to her, assuming that since I hadn't heard anything further that she had found someone else to play.

She replied that my name had fallen off the distribution list, so I hadn't received the line-up and she hadn't noticed my failure to confirm.

So. I will unload the dishwasher and try to spruce the place up before I leave for tennis. Again.

gameboy
01-21-2011, 03:31 PM
Cindy, if it was me, I would have reported the full match score 4-6, 6-3, 5-2 and said, since my opponent won more games, she should win and say goodbye, since there is no clear rule on incompleted third set (and you are interpreting USTA rule to your advantage which really should not be applied).

After that, I would have talked to the coach about incomplete sets and whether or not there should be clearer rules added.

The fact that you assumed you won from the beginning put your opponent in a defensive stance. You may think it was not big deal, but again, if I was your opponent, you would not be very high on my "want to play with" list.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2011, 04:23 PM
Cindy, if it was me, I would have reported the full match score 4-6, 6-3, 5-2 and said, since my opponent won more games, she should win and say goodbye, since there is no clear rule on incompleted third set (and you are interpreting USTA rule to your advantage which really should not be applied).

After that, I would have talked to the coach about incomplete sets and whether or not there should be clearer rules added.

The fact that you assumed you won from the beginning put your opponent in a defensive stance. You may think it was not big deal, but again, if I was your opponent, you would not be very high on my "want to play with" list.

OK. I think we are splitting hairs, and you would have to be there to maybe have the full picture. Again, in USTA if a match tiebreak set is not completed, you do not report it at all. It is as though it never happened. If you were my opponent and had a big problem with how I reported the score, I wouldn't sweat it. I clearly didn't try to pull a fast one.

Anyway, want some more rules/format weirdness?

The rules say that no player may use a sub to play a match more than twice.

WTF? I can have a ringer show up and play a match? Does this match count in the standings? The rules are silent.

I was talking to the tennis director while I waited for my opponent to arrive. I asked him about the playoffs. The rules are silent about the format. He said, "Um, I don't know. I think I will split the flight into two groups and we will play another round robin."

I am surprised that this has not been decided. But I am also surprised that I have to play an additional 5-6 matches beyond the 14 I already need to play.

Oh, my poor aching back. Any of you gentleman want to show up and sub in for me? There is nothing in the rules saying that my sub must be a female . . .

magmasilk
01-21-2011, 06:18 PM
Again, in USTA if a match tiebreak set is not completed, you do not report it at all. It is as though it never happened.

That is different from NOVA USTA leagues. For full 3rd set and more than four games played and ahead by 2 games then it counts. For third set tie-break if ahead by 1 pt then it counts. This seems more fair to me.

http://homecourttennis.com/rulesregs.html#individual

Dags
01-22-2011, 06:54 AM
All I needed to do was hang with her. I didn't take any chances to aggressively finish points. I just kept it in play, and we timed out at 2-5 in the second set.

Boo, bad Cindy! Earlier in the thread you wrote this:

My objective is to develop my singles game and my groundstrokes. I won't push to get a W. And I won't hit endless moonballs to get a W. What would I have learned by doing that?

What happened to that mentality? Crush those winners! Next match report, we want to hear how you were spanking the ball all over the court! Worst case scenario is that it's a very short match and you get to rest your back.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2011, 11:26 AM
I can tell you the final outcome.

I wrote to my opponent. The substance of my e-mail can be condensed to:

1. You are awesome in your awesomeness.

2. Sorry I had to run away after the match; here's why.

3. Let's agree that you won.

She wrote back to me today to say:

1. You are awesome in your awesomeness.

2. Tennis director has not decided who won. Assistant pro opined that it should be decided on games won. Tennis Director said he wants to think it over more anyway.

I wrote her to say I would write to Tennis Director and tell him I concur with that resolution.

So I wrote to him, and I assume that is it. I will wait until the end of the season to express my opinion on how the format rules stink and should be revised to be 2 sets and a 10-point tiebreak.

Next up: Another 4.0, a lady who has beaten me twice in doubles. :sigh:

And yes, I will keep on playing my game the way I am supposed to play it, Dags!!!

Cindy -- whose back feels fine now

Cindysphinx
02-03-2011, 01:53 PM
Had another match today. And oh, what a beating I took! -0 and -2. And I am thrilled I won any games at all.

Opponents was a very nice 4.0 Japanese lady. Just a delight in every way. My new BFF. Why am I mentioning that she is Japanese? Hold that thought.

I had asked a friend of mine beforehand how this lady plays. My friend said, and I quote: "She has that Asian spin."

Um. I beg your pardon? What does someone's race have to do with their tennis? I know plenty of Asian players who play with spin and plenty who do not. What a weird way to characterize someone's game. I was rather taken aback.

Now I get it.

This lady ate me alive with her slice. But it wasn't your garden variety slice. I know how to handle that: Move forward and get down.

No, her slice had all sorts of bizarro sidespin and backspin. Her serve had reverse spin (!), meaning that it sliced to the left instead of to the right, even though she was a righty.

So we start the match, and I figure I will just take my FH to her FH and my FH will be better. Um, no. She had way more racket head speed than I did. Plus she could slice off of her FH. And she could drive her BH. And she could do that crazy spin slice off of her BH.

None -- and I mean none -- of my tricks were working. If I got her on the ropes, my reward was some sort of angled spin shot that fouled up my approach shot. If I backed her up, my reward was a successful drop shot from behind the baseline (!). I tried my deep topspin lobs (nope, her topspin lob was even better than mine). I tried my short topspin lob that confuses a lot of people because it comes straight down when they are moving forward -- nope, she could actually volley drop shot winners.

I tried crushing her serve. No, too many errors. I tried taking the net. No, passing shots were too good, not to mention the lobs. I was uncomfortable the whole match, feeling constantly jammed or reaching. And then it was over.

Now, I said she was super-nice, so she coached me on how to play my next opponent, who is a baseline basher. She actually taught me how to hit these slice shots the way she does. It turns out that she uses a SW grip on *all* of her shots. That explains the peculiar action on her serve and odd spin on her groundies.

So we rallied and sure enough, I was able to hit some slice sidespin that even gave her trouble. In gratitude, I promised her I would come out tomorrow hitting these crazy slices in my next match against the basher and that I would e-mail her to tell her if it worked.

corbind
02-07-2012, 03:16 PM
Cindy, I always enjoy your posts and think you are one of the best writers. I'm laughing as I type the because I'm often reading TT post as I'm falling asleep. Yet I find some interesting ones and then I'm a half hour past bed time!

Cindysphinx
02-07-2012, 04:22 PM
Thanks, Corbind!

That singles ladder was a year ago. All I can say is I'm glad I quit singles! :)

user92626
02-07-2012, 04:41 PM
Cindy, why did you quit?

I love singles, and I can't find friendly singles where I live. It's always stupid doubles that someone is always off, either physically or mentally.

Cindysphinx
02-07-2012, 07:03 PM
Cindy, why did you quit?

I love singles, and I can't find friendly singles where I live. It's always stupid doubles that someone is always off, either physically or mentally.A couple of reasons.

First, I am old. I am in good shape, but not good enough to avoid paying a price for running around on hard courts for hours. The risk of injury for someone my age in singles is too high. I cite as examples the teammate who is returning from Achilles surgery and the teammate coming back from knee surgery. Singles isn't worth it.

Second, singles involves a lot of defending. Read pushing. Watching two 4.0 women playing singles is really dull. In doubles, there is much less defending and far more attacking. This suits my game and disposition better. Because I have less court to cover, I can set up on more balls and give them a ride.

Third, I find singles kind of dull. It is mostly a rally and then an error. Groundies, groundies, groundies. No poaches, formations, few volleys and overheads or ridiculous angles.

This is not to diss singles players in general. It's just not for me. Because I don't enjoy it, it is not worth the risk.

chatt_town
02-07-2012, 09:18 PM
That will work all day long especially in women's tennis as most aren't coming to net. I even use it against men who don't ever come in. :)


I think classic strategy when pulled off the court it to put some air under your reply to give you time to regain court position and restart the point. Try your best to get set behind the ball so you can drive it high and deep. Of course if you are there in plenty of time, are pulled wide short and can line up a nice angled winner or tag the near back corner it might be worth the occasional shot...or at least fun to try!

Caesar
02-13-2012, 03:16 PM
Third, I find singles kind of dull. It is mostly a rally and then an error. Groundies, groundies, groundies. No poaches, formations, few volleys and overheads or ridiculous angles.
If that's how you choose to play, it is.

There is nothing stopping you from playing S&V in singles. Lots of people do.

Cindysphinx
02-13-2012, 08:50 PM
If that's how you choose to play, it is.

There is nothing stopping you from playing S&V in singles. Lots of people do.

There is something preventing me from playing S&V in singles. It is called "my opponent."

Let's get real. People do not serve and volley in singles as Plan A. Pro men and women do not. Beginners do not. 4.0s do not. I do not agree that lots of league players S&V.

I know only one female player who serves and volleys in singles as Plan A. She is very good at it. Still, she lost all of her 4.0 matches, most of her 3.5 matches, and even lost to a 3.0. There is just too much court to cover by yourself, most rec women do not have strong enough serves, and eventually opponents figure you out.

OrangePower
02-13-2012, 09:30 PM
Let's get real. People do not serve and volley in singles as Plan A. Pro men and women do not. Beginners do not. 4.0s do not. I do not agree that lots of league players S&V.


I don't know about female players, but based on personal experience there's a good percentage of 4.5 male singles players who S&V. Not a majority, but nevertheless a significant percentage. When I played 4.0 a few years ago, I came across a good number of S&Vs there are well.

Using pros as a counter example is not appropriate. Pros these days can rip off passing shots from anywhere on the court. This is not typical of players at our level. Lets face it, our passing shots are certainly no better than those of the pros of yesteryear, when S&V was the norm.

S&V isn't for everyone at the league level, but there are many for whom it's a great strategy.

Caesar
02-13-2012, 10:59 PM
There is something preventing me from playing S&V in singles. It is called "my opponent."

Let's get real. People do not serve and volley in singles as Plan A. Pro men and women do not. Beginners do not. 4.0s do not. I do not agree that lots of league players S&V.

I know only one female player who serves and volleys in singles as Plan A. She is very good at it. Still, she lost all of her 4.0 matches, most of her 3.5 matches, and even lost to a 3.0. There is just too much court to cover by yourself, most rec women do not have strong enough serves, and eventually opponents figure you out.
I play S&V in 4.5 singles and hold my own quite competently. And I am nothing spectacular as a player.

OrangePower is right. Players at our level don't have phenomenal passing shots. If you play smart tactically - approach at the right time, position yourself well at the net, hit smart approach shots then it is just as good a tactic as any other.

The reason a lot of people don't S&V at the rec level (or S&V and get burned consistently) is because they don't really know how to play S&V properly. Not because it's a fundamentally unsound strategy.

corbind
02-14-2012, 02:47 AM
...S&V in singles. Lots of people do.

...based on personal experience there's a good percentage of 4.5 male singles players who S&V. Not a majority, but nevertheless a significant percentage...

S&V isn't for everyone at the league level, but there are many for whom it's a great strategy.

Last year I played 56 times almost all doubles. But I look at the courts around me and see the singles players and I just don't see what you guys are seeing. I'm a 4.5 and I S/V even on my second serves at least in doubles. In singles I'm still going to the net because that's my forte. If I play groundstrokes against a baseliner I'll lose.

I get SO excited when I see people S/V or just coming to the net in general. It's like a lost art. Orange, you said a "significant percentage" men's 4.5 singles S/V. Could you take a stab at the percentage? I see less than 10% being S/V players -- we can call it 5-10% even at that decent 4.5 level. It's just baseline bashers. It gets worse.

Even in my matches last year in the 4.5 men's doubles, I still see a majority of 1 up 1 back formation. If I had to I'd guess only 15% serve and volley in a game that should be determined and battled at the net. Thanks for listening to this commercial. Now back to Cindy's thread... :)

Cindysphinx
02-14-2012, 06:00 AM
It doesn't surprise me that there is more S&V in men's 4.5 than women's 2.5-4.0. There is more S&V in the men's pro game than the women's also.

What the good net players do in singles at 3.5/4.0 is come to net opportunistically, anticipating when a defensive shot is coming. If you hit a ball that makes your opponent run a bit, you close the net. That takes away her ability to play defense.

Even in doubles, it is often a better play to stay back on the serve. Unless you have a very strong serve, it is tough to bother most opponents at 4.0. Many 4.0 women play 8.0 mixed, so my serve (which is not half bad) isn't strong enough to S&V for two sets.

OrangePower
02-14-2012, 11:17 AM
Last year I played 56 times almost all doubles. But I look at the courts around me and see the singles players and I just don't see what you guys are seeing. I'm a 4.5 and I S/V even on my second serves at least in doubles. In singles I'm still going to the net because that's my forte. If I play groundstrokes against a baseliner I'll lose.

I get SO excited when I see people S/V or just coming to the net in general. It's like a lost art. Orange, you said a "significant percentage" men's 4.5 singles S/V. Could you take a stab at the percentage? I see less than 10% being S/V players -- we can call it 5-10% even at that decent 4.5 level. It's just baseline bashers. It gets worse.

Even in my matches last year in the 4.5 men's doubles, I still see a majority of 1 up 1 back formation. If I had to I'd guess only 15% serve and volley in a game that should be determined and battled at the net. Thanks for listening to this commercial. Now back to Cindy's thread... :)

First off, for context, I play in NorCal where it's all hardcourt. If you play mostly on clay I would expect the amount of S&V to be far less.

Anyway, in 4.5 singles I would say around 25% of the players I come across are S&V players. And by that I mean will follow 50%+ of serves to the net.

In doubles, the % is much higher - probably 75% of 4.5 dubs players will follow most of their serves to the net, including second serves.

Somewhat off topic, but if anything in 4.5 dubs it's more important to follow 2nd serve to the net than 1st serve. If you have a strong 1st you can count on getting free points on it (or easy put aways for your partner at net), but on 2nd serve you should expect most 4.5s to consistently make a decent crosscourt return. If you're not following your 2nd to net, you opponent will take the net following the return and you will be under a lot of pressure from the get-go.

Caesar
02-14-2012, 06:57 PM
I play mostly on synthetic grass, which as a surface is often low-bouncing and always skidding. If I'm not on carpet, I'm on hardcourt - so S&V is popular.

I would say that the percentages I observe are similar to OP. I also think that there are an awful lot of other people who would be more effective if they developed a good S&V game. They have most of the tools, just not the experience / tactical knowledge / confidence to implement them.

corbind
02-15-2012, 12:42 AM
Anyway, in 4.5 singles I would say around 25% of the players I come across are S&V players. And by that I mean will follow 50%+ of serves to the net.

In doubles, the % is much higher - probably 75% of 4.5 dubs players will follow most of their serves to the net, including second serves.


Orange, I'm moving to California!

For reference, I played 49 times outdoor hard court and 7 indoor and only one of those carpet (rest rubber). I would so enjoy playing against net chargers. Here in Chicagoland you'd think there must be a Union Card and City Permit to S/V. Maybe that explains the vast difference in my experience here vs. NorCal. ;)

corbind
02-15-2012, 12:52 AM
What the good net players do in singles at 3.5/4.0 is come to net opportunistically, anticipating when a defensive shot is coming. If you hit a ball that makes your opponent run a bit, you close the net. That takes away her ability to play defense.

As a net monger, I laugh but then immediately cringe when I see a base basher have to come up to a short ball around the no-man's land, hit the ball, then (OMG) retreat back to the baseline. In my head I'm saying "you have GOT to be kidding me" because, I'd be salivating to follow my shot in. But the baseliner knows his best shots are, well, from the baseline so can go back to safety.


Even in doubles, it is often a better play to stay back on the serve. Unless you have a very strong serve, it is tough to bother most opponents at 4.0. Many 4.0 women play 8.0 mixed, so my serve (which is not half bad) isn't strong enough to S&V for two sets.

For sure. At the higher levels, I'd say you ability to come in on your serve boils down not so much on how good your serve is. It matters if

- your opponent can pass you
- your opponent can hit to your feet well
- you are good at volleying (including half volleys)

I don't have a great serve and I come in on 90% of them. I'd say 33-50% of my serves are returned to me which often land near my feet.