0 to 5.5 in 5 years starting at age 43?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sureshs, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    It's not impossible, but unless you are a great athlete, incredibly coordinated, and have a lot of time and money (to play and to pay for coaching so your technique is always developing in the right direction), reaching 4.0 or 4.5 is more realistic, and even for that, you have to be a natural.

    It's the playing matches part that is difficult to master. I've taught people to hit consistent top spin forehands from the service line in the first hour of picking up a racket. So they think, "wow, that was just 1 hour, I bet I could be awesome in a year!" But they don't get it. It's like me going to the park and shooting 8 out of 10 free throws and thinking "I play basketball once every 5 years... I must be a natural because pro players have been playing for years and 90 is a pretty good free throw percentage..."

    It's not really like that. Hitting the ball under very controlled conditions is relatively easy to master. But actually playing tennis against a skilled opponent is a totally different thing, the skills to move up the NTRP ladder become exponentially harder. Getting from 2.5 to 4.0 is probably easier than getting from 5.0 to 5.5.

    Or think of boxing, maybe you can shadow box pretty well. But then you get in the ring, you realize technique isn't enough, there's all these things you must know that can only come through experience. How long would it take a 43 year old to become a gold glove level boxer? It may never happen.

    5.5 are generally former college or junior players of note. So another way of looking at it is could a 43 year old guy who never played before become a college level (insert sport here) in 5 years? And tennis is way more demanding in terms of skills than practically ever other sport.

    And movement figures into it, since 5.5 is a performance based designation. If an older guy claims to have 5.5 skills although a fit 4.5 grinder would beat them easily. Nah, ain't buying it, son. Bad knees... long lay off... whatever. No excuses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
    #51
  2. Sgv10sPlyr

    Sgv10sPlyr New User

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    I actually watched her play last summer at that 21 Shoot Out Tournament where anyone with enough money to buy a wild card can pay a game of 21 against the pros. Anyway, after watching her match... I must say that I can't believe she had intentions of turning pro with a low 4.0 rating at best.

    So trying the same thing and actually achieving it are two different stories.
     
    #52
  3. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    another rubbish thread by sureshs ***yawn***
     
    #53
  4. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    elizabeth shue's goal is to earn 1 atp point.

    she didn't start now though...
     
    #54
  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes, I made the whole thing up.

    C'mon, get a life! And also get a copy of the 2009 Tennis Yearbook of the San Diego District Tennis Association (no, it is not online) and take a look.

    Even if I had it in front of me, I would not post his name. Many people looking him up privately is different from ridiculing him publicly on this forum.
     
    #55
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No it is in singles.
     
    #56
  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Interesting. I looked up seedings for men's 5.0, 5.5 and Open on the USTA and did not see his name anywhere.
     
    #57
  8. Jay27

    Jay27 Rookie

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    Whatever........................
     
    #58
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I sent email to the USTA chapter now, asking if they could send me his name since I threw away the yearbook.
     
    #59
  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Hey while searching for local Open players, I came across a Pedace hehehe
     
    #60
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK I was confused - the person with the unusual long name was probably the author of the article.

    I received a reply about the yearbook feature from the USTA chapter: the player is Londo Whittaker. He is a legit 5.5 player in his 40s and is seeded in the USTA. I hope I am not wrong - I sent email again for a clarification, maybe will not get a reply as this is already the right answer.

    NOTE: I AM POSTING HIS NAME DUE TO NUMEROUS REQUESTS TO DO SO. PLEASE DO NOT ABUSE THE USE OF THIS FORUM BY MAKING MALICIOUS REMARKS AGAINST SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE NOTHING TO YOU.

    He has already gone thru a serious health issue. So be respectful.

    To those of you who thought such achievements are impossible - maybe you will be more open-minded from now on.
     
    #61
  12. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    Dude, you caved. The guys are just egging you on because they want to bash and troll or are just curious. I would of just stop opening the post.
     
    #62
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They are bad people
     
    #63
  14. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    Name Gender City State Year End Rating Year End Rating Date Rating Type
    Whittaker, Londo M Carlsbad CA 4.5 12/31/2009 T


    Eh?
     
    #64
  15. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I know a guy from one of my previous teams who started playing tennis in his late 30s and is a computer-rated 4.5 after about 2 years of play. He had collegiate athletic experience and participated in multiple sports as a teen.

    Its really not that big a deal. 99% of adult players do not work on their strokes for 3 hours a day like any serious tennis players should do. This is why 4.0 adults get crushed by 14 year olds who have been playing for a year or two.
     
    #65
  16. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Thanks for the information. Now, it is without a doubt, as I said, impressive that he has reached a 4.5 level at that age and in that amount of time. He must be a good athlete and a great student of the game. However, he is not indeed a 5.5 as indicated. As I suspected, He played in a few "5.5" tournaments, and the people he played against were other computer-rated 4.5 players, or un-rated players. His league records show that he has done some winning and losing at the 4.5 level, so he is likely a mid-level-solid or lower 4.5 approximately. That is excellent progress, but at the same time the article you mentioned was misleading to all of us. Not surprised, and now we know the facts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #66
  17. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    Says the guy who didn't recycle his yearbook when done with it.
     
    #67
  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    M5.5NS NTRP Men's 5.5 Singles

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Published on 11/30/2009 at 12:23 PM.
    This list includes 11 eligible players.




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Show Eligible Players Ineligible Players
    Order List By: Rank Name District Section --- Choose a Range ------------------------------------ 1-11

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Print Record

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rank Name City State
    1 Garcia, Juan San Diego CA
    2 Ojdanic, Nikola San Diego CA
    3 Franey, Lance P. La Mesa CA
    4 Sinkoff, Jason Solana Beach CA
    5 Foronda, Jayner E. San Diego CA
    6 Basinger, Chad R. San Diego CA
    7 Barksdale, Keith San Diego CA
    8 Zezula, Jack E. San Diego CA
    9 Zavar, Kourosh San Diego CA
    10 Whittaker, Londo Carlsbad CA
    11 Warren, Spencer James Escondido CA


    M5.5NS NTRP Men's 5.5 Singles

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Whittaker, Londo Print Record



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rank: 10 Overall Record: 4 - 4 Residence: Carlsbad, CA

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    80th BALBOA OPEN MAUREEN CONNOLLY BRINKER MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT - 651861809 07/24/2009

    Rnd Result Opponent Rank Score
    16 Win ***ami, Dave 12 6-7; 7-6; 7-6
    Q Loss Garcia, Juan 1 6-2; 6-1
    93rd LA JOLLA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS - 651813509 06/19/2009

    Rnd Result Opponent Rank Score
    32 Loss Dyer, John K. 8 7-5; 6-3
    11th PACIFIC BEACH TENNIS CLUB TOURNAMENT - 651811909 04/04/2009

    Rnd Result Opponent Rank Score
    16 Win Ballez, Danny 12 4-6; 6-4; 6-3
    Q Win Zezula, Jack E. 8 1-6; 7-5; 1-3 Ret (inj)
    S Win Foster, Blake C. 12 6-2; 7-6
    F Loss Basinger, Chad R. 6 6-4; 6-0
    21st PENINSULA TENNIS CLUB TOURNAMENT - 651810609 02/28/2009

    Rnd Result Opponent Rank Score
    Q Loss Foronda, Jayner E. 5 2-6; 6-2; 6-3
     
    #68
  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I left it on the table after dinner in a restaurant. It is up to them to recycle.
     
    #69
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But he is ranked 10th in the 5.5s. Can that be just a 4.5?
     
    #70
  21. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Why would a bunch of 4.5s be playing 5.5 singles draws? He got beaten quite soundly by a couple of 5.0s. The dude is definitely a 4.5 with his tennislink results.
     
    #71
  22. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Londo is 4.5. I saw a 60+ yr old at a Futures once, he vrought wooden racquets out to the court. He looked about a 3.5 player. But since he is in the ITF website for playing a Futures tournament, he is not a 6.0 player, but rather a 3.5 that entered.
     
    #72
  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think I get what you are saying TonLars. He is not a real 5.5 but a 4.5 who hangs with them. That is why I found it surprising in the first place. He also seems to be the CEO of a food company, so it is unlikely he has time for too much tennis.
     
    #73
  24. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    Did you tip extra for doing that?
     
    #74
  25. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Yes... again he played against all 4.5's or unrateds in every 5.5 tournament. The few 5.0's he has played he got handled. 5.5's dont play 5.5 tournaments, they play opens or futures

    Not your fault though you just read the article, and now we know!
     
    #75
  26. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    He does not hang with them. He can't even win a set against a 5.0 player!
     
    #76
  27. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I guess it could be possible but you'd have to factor in a lot of different things. Natural talent/athletic ability and time would things I'd have to consider. If you're independently wealthy and take as many lessons, watch as many matches and play as many matches day in an day out, you might be able to get there in 5 years.
     
    #77
  28. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    Official USTA Rating in RED
    1 Garcia, Juan San Diego CA – 5.0
    2 Ojdanic, Nikola San Diego CA - 5.0
    3 Franey, Lance P. La Mesa CA – 4.5
    4 Sinkoff, Jason Solana Beach CA – 5.0
    5 Foronda, Jayner E. San Diego CA – 4.5
    6 Basinger, Chad R. San Diego CA – 5.0
    7 Barksdale, Keith San Diego CA – 4.5
    8 Zezula, Jack E. San Diego CA – 4.5
    9 Zavar, Kourosh San Diego CA – 4.5
    10 Whittaker, Londo Carlsbad CA – 4.5
    11 Warren, Spencer James Escondido CA – 4.5

    If I (a USTA 3.5) start playing in 4.5/5.0 tourneys against other 3.5s what does that make me?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #78
  29. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I don't think it is possible in singles. I played a 68 year old formal davis cup player with flawless record in his day. He knows guys like Cliff Drysdale, Rod Laver and played against them in his day. And i was cleaning his clock,,,no disrespect intended, of course. Sorry about that...
     
    #79
  30. Tennisman912

    Tennisman912 Semi-Pro

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    There is a good reason sureshs is on many ignore lists, including mine. This thread is just another example of why. While I consider myself an optimist and that almost anything is possible, as others have said, the chances of someone starting at 43 and making it to the 5.5 level is about the chances of your winning the lottery. I am reminded of the newer commercial where the little kid says “the chances of this happening are the same as you being mauled by a polar bear and another bear in the same day.” Fitting here as well.

    Of course this is obvious to any with much tennis experience, especially the advanced players (like TonLars) who know by experience how good a true 5.5 player is. Most never even get to hit with a player of that caliber. Should we be surprised by the attempted distortion of the truth by someone who has a history of being delusional?

    Good tennis

    TM
     
    #80
  31. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    ^^I forbid you to talk about Suresh in that manner..
     
    #81
  32. Jay27

    Jay27 Rookie

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    There...that wasn't so difficult. And, thank you. I appreciate it (I think we all do). Now, can you produce the article? That is the last piece of the pie (for me). I'd love to read it for inspiration!

    I hope you understand that the reasons why you (the OP) got these types of responses was because it sounds very unrealistic. Even the thought of being a 5.5 player at that age in 4 or 5 years, starting from scratch, seems absolutely unbelievable. To me it seemed as if you were trying to get a rise out of the community by posting something over the top. Now, if only we had the article...??? Come up with that, and I'll eat my words bro...then I'll come out to Calli and beat ya in a best of 5 set match...LOL...:)
     
    #82
  33. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I think I remember reading a small article in Tennis mag. a few months ago that she claimed she was a 4.5 player, and that she was still planning to become a pro.
     
    #83
  34. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    I have a friend that is a legit 4.5. He has played all his life, he is 46 now, and joined a league after several years of not playing. He won several matches in a row quite easily. I asked him if he was going to play at the 5.0 level and he laughed and said, "no way". He claimed he doesn't have the time to work on fitness AND tennis AND play matches that would require him to be competetive at that level. He claimed you will find very few men in their 40's that are competetive at that level due to the time and fitness required.

    I find it hard to believe a guy in his late 40's could sustain that level for long much less even get there in the first place. But, who knows there are some very talented people out there.
     
    #84
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No I always give 15% (on the total bill including tax)
     
    #85
  36. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    I feel as though you have completely wasted our time.
     
    #86
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Are you making a point for or against someone becoming a 5.5 in his 40s in 5 years?
     
    #87
  38. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Of course this is exaggerated. Tennis is a sport that requires a ton of skill. But its not golf or pool. It's not a pure skill sport by any stretch. The athleticism he is giving up at 48 is going to make it nearly impossible to beat 5.5 who are often 20-30 years younger.
     
    #88
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What do you expect from this board?
     
    #89
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No love here whatsoever.
     
    #90
  41. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    With all due respect, I don't think the lottery comparison was the best. I mean there are lotteries all the time and people do win them. That would imply that there is indeed a small group of people that start at age 43 and progress to 5.5 in 5 years. If that was the case, that would make the story about a single individual accomplishing this very plausible.
     
    #91
  42. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I don't think it is possible in your 40's. Body just breaks down way too much
     
    #92
  43. Jracer77

    Jracer77 Rookie

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    From tennislink it looks like he didn't improve at all from 2006 until now so I guess his mind boggling improvement from nothing to solid 4.5 occurred in his first year. I suppose there are some people that might actually believe that.
     
    #93
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That in itself is interesting. He started playing 4.5 as soon as he started competing. In the article, he said he should have started at 4.0 in retrospect. But 0 to 4.5 in 1 year or even 2 years is nothing to be sneezed at.
     
    #94
  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Speak for yourself. I am getting younger each day.
     
    #95
  46. Dream_On

    Dream_On Rookie

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    There is no way that is possible unless you are an ex pro at another sport, maybe squash or something and you have the motor skills required.
     
    #96
  47. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Bingo...

    ...now you're seeing some of the anomalies in USTA rankings generally, and NTRP rankings specifically. The facts are pretty straightforward, if you go to Tennis Link and look up the results for the 80th edition of the Balboa tournament. Whittaker and his partner got to the finals of the 4.5 MD and he won a round in the Men's 5.5 singles draw. He has the above ranking, 11th, in Men's 5.5...but the USTA officially ranks him as a 4.5! Why is that?

    You tell me. Is it because he plays 4.5 mixed, and therefore he only gets credit for the lowest level NTRP he plays in (you can't play in multiple NTRP levels in the same event in the same tournament)? Possible, but then why is it that the #1 ranked player in the Men's 5.5 is "only" ranked 5.0? Dunno, but it doesn't have to make sense according to me, it only has to make sense according to the USTA, so ask them.

    Where does the whole concept of NTRP originate? Essentially, it comes from the stock descriptions of shotmaking and match play skills that have been around since God was in short pants. For example, here is the description of a 5.0 player:

    "Has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or exceptional consistency around which a game may be structured. Can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys and overhead smashes and has good depth and spin on most second serves."

    So when we think of a 5.0 player, we automatically assume that those are the kind of strokes and strategies he or she brings to the court, when in reality a 5.0 ranking merely means that the player has a commensurate win/loss record in the 5.0 division, regardless of whether he or she has any of the above strokes or strategies or, on the other hand, beats opponents using a broom, as Bobby Riggs used to...and trust me, Riggs was at least a 5.0 in his lifetime win/loss record.

    Oddly enough, the description of the 5.5 player is curiously generic, and devoid of the above specifics about strokes and strategies:

    "Has developed power and/or consistency as a major weapon. Can vary strategies and styles of play in a competitive situation and hit dependable shots in a stress situation."

    What does that mean, exactly? "Has developed consistency as a major weapon" could translate to "He or she is a super pusher who, additionally, is a former sub-30 10K competitor who can run the legs off any opponent in the 5.5s."

    So do I think that Whittaker, or anybody else, can, with the above mentioned pedigree, attain a ranking in the 5.5 division...but still be "ranked" a 4.5? Yep, I sure do. Do I think he "has developed power and/or consistency as a major weapon"? I have no clue...anybody have a video?
     
    #97
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Certainly, within 5 years of serious tennis, a trained, athletic 48 year old can enter and win a few rounds in 5.5 or Open tourneys.
    Does that make him a legitimate 5.5? I don't think so. Even if he actually beats a ranked 5.5, it doesn't put him anywhere near the top of Div1 or real top Open players who have a chance to actually play and compete at Q or lower round tourneys.
    Luck of the draw is lots of effect, as is luck of your opponents.
    You guys think just being ranked in 5.5's would mean you really are a 5.5.
    I don't think so.
     
    #98
  49. Jay27

    Jay27 Rookie

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    What could you possibly expect?

    Bull...

    The truth.
     
    #99
  50. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    I'm a 4.5 and have won 5.5 tournaments. In fact I've rarely seen anyone above 4.5 in 5.5 draws. There aren't that many 5.5s out there and they all play in the open divisions. They really should stop having 5.5 divisions in tournaments. Most 5.0s play in the open divisions and even I play open now and do alright as a 4.5 . If I continued to look for and play in any 5.5 division available I would most likely be ranked high in the 5.5s
     

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