View Full Version : returning to tennis after a 25 year absence

06-14-2005, 03:59 PM
As the title indicates, it's been quite a while since i've played. The last racquet I owned was a Davis Classic. I started working out on a backboard and am now rallying with a guy at the local tennis center. 1st, I could kick my *** for giving up the game for so long. 2nd, in some ways my mind still thinks it's in a 25 year old body. Weird to say the least. It's obvious that I've lost a lot of foot speed but some of my forehands and back hands are showing promise. When I was young, I was about a 5.5 player maybe a little better on a good day a little worse on a bad one. A guy that organizes leagues hit with me and called me a 3-3.5 now. I'm thinking a little charity was involved there. ;)
Anyone out there in my situation? What are you doing to regain your former game? I've gotten to the point where I can see the ball untill it's about 2 feet from my racquet but I'm still making some seriously pathetic returns. It seems that my foot work is in the toilet and foot speed is not where it should be.
There is a 3-3.5 league starting but I really don't have a game together yet.The guy who organizes the leaguse thinks my joining is a good move but I'm not sure. Shoud I stick to training untill fall or start league play?

06-14-2005, 04:02 PM
Why did you leave?

Off the top of my head, Aykhan Mammodov comes to mind. He came back to the game after a long stint too.

Aykhan where are you???

Phil Daddario
06-14-2005, 04:06 PM
I had the same sort of problem, although not as long an absence. :) About ten years for me.

Definitely join the league. I did that after two weeks or so after coming back. While I lost all my first matches (I sunk from a 4.5-5.0 tournament player when younger to a 3.0-3.5 like you), it certainly helped me get back into form. I needed the match experience again.

As for the footwork, I think mine's actually gotten better. I'm certainly not as fast (I'm a little over 40 now, not too old yet), but it's forced me to compensate by really preparing for every ball. Definitely a necessity.

And the results have shown. I came back to tennis three years ago, and dropped down to a 3.0. I'm now able to play in 4.0 leagues, and believe I can only get better.

At times it's hard for me when playing juniors to deal with the topspin. The pace I've adjusted to, but the bounces are certainly tricky when moving back into the game. I certainly never went further than my Eastern grip a long time ago, I'm considering adjusting to a Semi-western to raise the contact zone a little bit.

Good luck with your game. :D



06-14-2005, 04:08 PM
Welcome back!

Defiently join, if you were at that skill, you will rapidly improve =)

06-14-2005, 05:15 PM
I had a 15 year lay off. I say start league play now and train. Competitive play is essential to improving. So what if you are losing. If you were a 5.5 previously you should show rapid improvement.

I was a 3.5 when I stopped. I started playing again just for fun and then decided to get serious after about a a year and a half. I won my 3.5 league in the fall, came in second in the 4.0 league during the winter and then won 4.0 in the spring all in a space of 6 months. Unfortunately I was going to try 4.5s this summer but I got tennis elbow so I am not playing very much tennis. The downside of being older is that injuries are more frequent and take longer to recover from. :(

06-14-2005, 05:30 PM
Thats good u took a long absense. Now you can adopt the modern tennis game.. Most old dudes can't change their old style to new style :)

Phil Daddario
06-14-2005, 05:41 PM
Hey, there's nothing wrong with old style. :)

I actually find better results sticking with my previous game since not many people do it. Everyone has topspin and giant groundies now. People are used to it. I give people flat shots, they're more awkward to hit since they're rarer. I try to move to net too, it works in all levels of play.

Besides, what would you do if there werent the typical crafty old guys in all the tournaments? ;)

On the other hand, I still occasionally wear a headband, have bright, obnoxious colors on all my tennis clothes, and think that the long hair typical of early Agassi and Gerulaitis was cool.

I hear it's even coming back in style. :D

06-15-2005, 09:45 AM
Thats good u took a long absense. Now you can adopt the modern tennis game.. Most old dudes can't change their old style to new style :)

I'm a lefty who had a burning top spin. i'm having a bit of a problem with getting that top spin back.I'm not sure if the racquet is involved there. I almost want to break out my old woodie to see if that's the problem.
I can just imagine taking my old Davis to get restrung and watching the kid's face as I say "premium gut please"