3.5 singles

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Playtennis, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    +1.

    I am a (low) 4.0, as are most ladies with whom I partner. When we play two 3.5s, our goal is to give up no more than three games.

    A double-bagel would be nice, but it is rare. All it takes is a lapse in concentration or a bad patch by one of us and they will get a couple of games.

    Lose to two 3.5 players? I don't think this has happened since I became a 4.0.
     
    #51
  2. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I'm still not convinced it would ever happen but you bring up some good points. Still, overdrive has said he has 4.0 level skills and has beaten 5.5 level players which I maintain would never happen if the 5.5 was breathing. I would give the 5.5 a decent shot of winning if he pulled a Bobby Riggs and played the 4.0 with a frying pan or a baseball bat. With a tennis racquet it is game over and quick.
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Look.

    Overdrive is not a 4.0. This is because he does not have a 4.0 computer rating. He is whatever he is, but he needs to stop placing himself on the USTA rating scale based on nothing.

    So perhaps he could beat 5.0 computer rated players. I have no idea, and unless he has actually played some 5.0 computer-rated players he has no idea either.

    But if he were that good, I suspect his coach would be using him at Singles One instead of sacrificing him with a 0.0 rated partner who cannot fog a mirror.
     
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  4. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    This thread further illustrates how flaky the NTRP rating system is.
     
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  5. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    That has been my point all along.
     
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  6. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    How so? We have someone claiming to be a 4.0 that says they can beat 5.0 and 5.5 players. Until there is any actual proof or a believable indication this is true, many of us don't believe it and thus it has no bearing on the validity of the NTRP rating system.

    Am I saying NTRP is perfect? No, far from it, but let's not indict the system on questionable claims.
     
    #56
  7. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    How so? I don't think NTRP is that flakey myself considering it reasonably accurately rates hundreds of thousands of players across a huge geographic area. Sure there are outliers and anomalies but I don't believe it is possible to define a "perfect" system to accurately rate all players. For starters NTRP assigns a single rating for both doubles and singles when they are clearly different games. I wish the NTRP algorithm would be tweaked to also take into account wins and losses as well as score differentials but I think it is pretty accurate without that change.

    Edited because schmke and I apparently had the same thought at the same time but he's a faster typist.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    #57
  8. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I've seen that a thousand times, I know what it says, and it's 100% wrong if you interpret it to mean almost every match between players 0.5 apart in dynamic rating should be 0 & 0.
     
    #58
  9. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    LOL! You are my new hero!
     
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  10. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I know of ONE example of a 3.5 C player beating a 5.0 C player in a tournament about 6 or 7 years ago and the reason was simple - both players were badly misrated by the computer at the time and both were corrected to 4.5 within 2 years and both have remained there since.
     
    #60
  11. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Not only that, but the theoretical 5.0 to 5.5 players are college players who might rate out to 5.0 to 5.5 in the self-rating guidelines, not actual NTRP rated players. So, he is saying a 4.0 has beaten 5.5s when none fo the players are actually rated in the system. It's a pretty worthless statement from the start.
     
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  12. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    3.5 singles is varied, some try and hit winners all the time, some are backboards everything you hit comes back, unforced errors tells the tale of who wins, one thing I have noticed about 3.5's is the number of people playing in this division is large, if you enter a usta tournament plan on playing on Friday and at least 2 matches on Saturday and Sunday if ya get that far.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    #62
  13. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    This holds true at pretty much every level, especially on the women's side. Examples of each at the pro level: Serena and Wozniacki.
     
    #63
  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    It wouldn't quite be like beating LeBron James, but it would be like beating the players from the Louisville or Duke basketball team (high D-I college is 5.5 except for the one star on the team going to the NBA who would be a 6.0) and struggling agains a JV or lower varsity high school tennis player, depending on the strength of the team, who would be 4.0s.

    I've beaten many 5.5's and lost to many 4.0's, but certainly not in the same time period in my life. I certainly could always tell the difference in the level of play between 4.0s, 5.0s, and 5.5s.
     
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  15. TomT

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    I think you're basically correct (and that .5 differences in NTRP-based ratings mean more the higher you go), but I also think that it can happen that even a 1.0 NTRP difference (at least at levels below 4.0) doesn't necessarily predict bagels or breadsticks. Case in point, mine, I've played a few 4.0s and 4.25s. At my current level of tennis proficiency, I have to admit that they're ALWAYS going to beat me. But here's the curious thing, I'm able to win games off them, sometimes easily, and from time to time I actually entertain the thought, that is I feel like, that I could beat them.

    Back down to earth now, and reigning in what is probably somewhat delusional thinking on my part, and keeping in mind that they might just be taking it easy on me in some points/games, the bottom line is that I ALWAYS lose to them. Something to ponder: the more I've played any particular higher rated player, then, generally, the more games I take off them.

    I'm a bona fide 3.0 player in the Tennis League Network (TLN). This rating is, I think, somewhat close to what my USTA computer rating would be if I played USTA. That is, I think that TLN and USTA NTRP-based ratings are pretty accurate predictors of relative playing strength, and are pretty close regarding an objective quantitative statement of a player's competitive ability.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
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  16. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    I do not believe I have encountered one. But from videos and descriptions I have read I kind of liken them to cherry pickers or just straight up 3 point shooters that live on the perimeter and do not really play defense or do much else in the game.

    I mean upon first inspection they seem very disarming and possibly annoying, but are very dangerous if you play into their game.

    So I assume that most frustration comes from the feeling of beating yourself not necessarily the opponent dominating you.
     
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  17. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I like your positive attitude, but think it might be a bit unrealistic. I've played several different 4.0s and they're all markedly better than me in the very important areas of mobility and stroke mechanic consistency. I've never played or even seen a 5.0 player in person. I can only imagine how much better such a player might be. That extra step, that slightly better, more solidly consistent preparation and stroke technique, etc., etc. It all adds up to pretty much always crushingly defeating 4.0s. Or so I think.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    #67
  18. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I can only speak for my level, and myself, but I would say that really good pushers in the 3.0 t0 3.5 range (the kind of players that, almost awkwardly, block a lot of stuff back, but do so effectively and, even though they might have odd, as in ugly to me, stroke mechanics, are willing and able to sustain 20+ stroke rallies) just tire somebody like me out.

    They are relentless and completely without regard for the artistic aspects of the game. They play ugly and they win ugly. But in the sense that winning is always more beautiful and desirable than losing as one emphasizes the competitive aspects of the game, then I would have to say that they've found their niche and are doing pretty well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
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  19. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    It depends on how you interpret the word 'typical' which is pretty vague. That is the official USTA party line though which is why I copied and pasted it into this thread.

    I do think one reasonable interpretation of typical would be 'almost every' and I agree with you that I don't think that is the case in real life. Maybe a better statement would be that if a 3.01 played a 3.49, a 6-0, 6-0 match result in favor of the higher rated player is not unlikely to occur.
     
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  20. OrangePower

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    Despite what the USTA says (and yes, I've seen that same quote many times), in my experience a 0 & 0 result is very rare, even when there is a 0.5 difference in NTRP. I think it's mostly because the higher-rated player is going to lose focus and drop a game here and there.

    My own personal experience (4.5): My typical result against 4.0s is something like 3 & 0, or 1 & 3. If it is someone I know, often I will start out very slow because I just don't feel an urgency to play well and I get lazy. Then I will turn it up. If it is someone I don't know, I start out strong, but then lose interest. Maybe I'm mentally weak for not maintaining focus, but I bet I am not unique in this.

    On the flip side, I have beaten other 4.5s bagels and breadsticks... sometimes matches are much closer than the score indicates, and it comes down to focus on the big points, which I have much more of when I am playing another 4.5 in a meaningful match.

    I have played a few 5.0s and have never been bageled; probably because for them playing me is as interesting as for me playing a 4.0 :oops:
     
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  21. JRstriker12

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    FWIW most people equate a counter-puncher with a pusher.

    In my book a pusher is someone who tends to just run and get the ball back with little intention of constructing the point. Just hack slices or moonballs to bait the other person to over-hitting. Once you have a solid transition and net game, this type of player is very beatable.

    In contrast, a counter puncher is extremely consistent, moves well, and hits the ball with the intention of winning the point, not only extracting an error. They may not hit big shots, but they are solid and know how to construct a point. They many not blast you off the court, but they can place the ball well and take advantage of openings. This type of player is tough to beat at all levels.
     
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  22. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    That would be much better. 10% of the time or even 5% of the time could be interpreted as "not unlikely", which is much closer to reality. The context of the quote is among a long string of questions about disqualifications and strikes and is meant to convey that if a 0 & 0 match occurs, that is NOT in itself evidence that a person is out of level or sandbagging or whatever and people shouldn't be jumping up and down about it trying to get them DQ'd. That is the correct message. Two people at the same level can have a double bagel match and it's not outside reasonable statistical probability. The way it's worded is horrible and leads people to believe that if you play up, you should get annihilated every match, and that's just simply not the case at all.
     
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  23. gameboy

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    No, it further illustrate why people without an official USTA rating should refrain from describing themselves or their opponents with imaginary NTRP ratings.
     
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  24. DaveInBradenton

    DaveInBradenton Rookie

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    Right you are. I'm 10 months into making a comeback after a 15 year absence from the game. A forum member contacted me and we exchanged emails. He (not me) suggested we get together to hit some balls.

    I jokingly mentioned that I was trying to figure my USTA player rating and that my strokes were 4.0, my agility was 1.0, and my endurance was 1.0. "Do the math." Guess what, after that, he never answered my emails. I know, I know........nobody wants to hit with a duffer.

    FWIW, I recently hit a couple of practice sessions with a player (he asked me) that must be a 4.0 and although I still have mediocre mobility, we had fun and will hit again.

    It's all fun,
    Dave
     
    #74
  25. Maui19

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    I don't know why everyone thinks NTRP ratings are so exact. The variabilities in each of our games from day to day, and the general nature of the NTRP rating categories, ensure that there will be a wide variety in the outcomes in matches on any given day. A mid-level 4.0 may play like a 3.5 one day, and a 4.5 the next.

    To think that any 4.0 will beat any 3.5 on any day simply doesn't take into considerations that vagaries of the system and the way amateur athletes perform day to day.
     
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  26. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Nice strawman.
    Another good one.
     
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  27. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    This is very true. In the reports I do, a given player will often have a 0.4 to 0.5 variance, sometimes more, between their best and worst match and sometimes even consecutive matches. As you say, this is due to just good/bad days but also specific match-ups between styles of play, court/weather conditions, etc.

    While you can compare NTRP levels or even my estimated dynamic ratings to get an indication of who might win a match and by how much, you will see results that can vary quite a bit from what is "expected". The NTRP was not meant to be a predictor of matches but instead is more or less an average of performance over time and is intended to have players play at a level that results in competitive play.

    Note that competitive play does not mean everyone wins 50% of their matches. You will still have players that win more than they lose and vice-versa, but this is because there is still a range within a level. Also, there will be matches that aren't close that are "supposed" to be, but these will be because of the variables discussed above. Correspondingly, a match between players at different levels won't necessarily be a blowout for the same reasons as well as those others have noted (lack of focus, letting up when way ahead, experimenting with different shots/styles when ahead, etc.).
     
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  28. gmatheis

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    You're comparing the wrong numbers ... we're not saying that a 3.5 might not beat a 4.0 due to play styles etc. What people are saying is that when you have a full point difference (like a 3.5 vs a 4.5) or more the higher rated player will never lose to the lower player because their levels are just too far appart.

    So the claim that someone beats 5.5's (meaning he's at least a 5.0 himself)and then loses to 4.0's is a load of bull.
     
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  29. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Yes, the NTRP is all seeing, all knowing. You can still have a decent tennis game without even acknowledging the NTRP even exists.
     
    #79
  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. My partners and I simply will not lose to or be challenged by two 3.0 players. No way.

    The main problem the lower rated players will have is that we will park at the service line and they do not have the passing shots to get the ball by us.
     
    #80
  31. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Way to miss the point...

    Having an official NTRP rating does not make you a better player. It just accurately describes what your level is based on ACTUAL MATCHES played against people with ratings.

    People who throw their own rating based whatever rating that they THINK they are about as useful as saying I am better looking than 78% of the general population. It could be true or it could be totally false, and thus completely meaningless.

    NTRP rating is completely OBJECTIVE. Your own rating is completely SUBJECTIVE. Don't confuse people by mixing them up.

    If you don't have an NTRP, just say so. Don't represent it like you do have an actual rating when you are just pulling it out of your ass. Just say that you are a beginner/intermediate/advanced player.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    #81
  32. athiker

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    USTA ratings can't account for "on" days and "off" days. They also have a hard time accounting for improving or declining players. They are better than nothing though at taking an overall picture to help make tennis fun for those looking to play similar skilled players.

    I've played one friend more times than I can count in singles. He beats me, I beat him. Usually its very close but occasionally I beat him badly and occasionally he beats me badly. Heck we've played multiple sets on the same day where we seem to be different players from one set to the next!

    Take the score of a set or two in isolation and it tells almost nothing about our overall similar skill level. You can see that in the pros as well. Scorelines like 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 are not that uncommon.

    Here is Joe Willie's score in the 2nd round of the U.S. Open last year 6–4, 1–6, 6–1, 6–3 Here is Janko Tipsarevic in the 1st round 4–6, 3–6, 6–2, 6–3, 6–2 I'm not sure but I think Janko may have been ranked in the top 10 at that time? And this was a 1st round match-up against some guy I've never heard of. You see it with similarly ranked players as well though.

    Oh, and a "pusher" is anyone that makes less errors than you do. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    #82
  33. athiker

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    To the original question of style to expect I think you are likely to get more variety in 3.5 than 4.0. 3.5 there are still a lot of unconventional strokes where at 4.0 they seem be a little more fundamentally conventional, though slicers are still around. Athletic blocking of shots is less likely to get the job done though.

    Weak backhands are still pretty common in 3.5 where 4.0s usually at least have developed some consistency on the bh side if not great power or placement. These are generalizations of course.

    Volley technique is usually more solid with more power/touch and placement.

    I think a lot of 3.0s could move to 3.5 and 3.5s could move to 4.0 based on strategy alone. First is recognizing their "big" first serve is only going in 15% of the time and taking some MPH off and getting the % up. Second is not "going for it" when in a defensive position but playing a shot to get back to neutral and start over from there.

    Its rare to see a 3.5 player play 3 cross court forehands in a row waiting for a short ball/weak ball opportunity. Most seem to think they have to change ball direction and hit every shot to open court...low %. Its nothing to see pros hit 3 of the same or very similar shots in a row. Probably afraid of being called a pusher!

    I have to say Wardlaws directionals helped me a lot with focus on the court. When I get challenged I usually revert back to that until I get back on track. Hitting solid high % balls cross court or back where then came from. Changing direction on easier balls. I try to follow deep well hit balls to the net as well and low short balls. When I'm in trouble I try to remember to hit loopier balls to give me time to get back into the court and into a neutral position.

    When I played what little tennis I did when I was younger I had no clue about strategy or lower or higher % shots. I'm no great player now but I know I've improved a lot from just a few years ago and recognize what has helped me and is holding some players I see back. Most of all tennis is a lot of fun, and part of the fun is trying to figure out how to get better!...regardless of rating.
     
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  34. OrangePower

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    I agree with you that any player is going to have on and off days, and that as a result you can't make wholescale assumptions about relative skill levels based on a few sets.

    But having said that, a computer-rated NTRP is a pretty good indicator of skill level. A computer rating isn't provided until a player has a decent number of matches under his belt, and accounts for match-to-match variations by averaging over several matches.

    Back to what you were saying, I would concede that there is a small chance that say a legit 4.0 might beat a legit 4.5 on rare occassion, based on style matchups, the 4.0 having a great day, and the 4.5 having a bad day. Possible, but rare.

    But a full 1.0 difference? No way. A computer rated 4.5 just cannot lose to a legit 3.5 no matter what. The 4.5 just has too many options, fallbacks, and plan B's, even on his worst day and the 3.5s best day.
     
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  35. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I think it's time to get some glasses or contacts Cindy.


    I have won 65% of my matches against 'USTA 5.0 computer rated players'

    There were three guys that were wanting to get that spot. The first guy that was picked was the co-captain (no surprise) and me and the other guy were supposed to play a 3 set match for the last spot, but coach just put him on the singles draw anyway. He actually believes that I'm better in doubles (which I disagree and that I'm 6-2 in singles anyway). The other guy didn't play any matches at all. Unofficially, he's the best player on the team. However, I knew how he plays and I was planning on tiring him out to win. He's a baseline grinder like me.

    Anyways, enough babbling for me.
     
    #85
  36. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    So.. the model here is that a 5.0 cannot be beaten by lesser rated players?

    I'm not talking anything about USTA levels for anyone but my own experience. I don't even accept the ratings system, so I have no business to post on anyone else's behalf.
    Only that I know that I beat these players. Unless if I show this on video, and HIS/HER USTA tournament records, you won't believe me. It's fine.
     
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  37. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I'm not a 4.0. I've been labeled that by other people. I don't even accept the ratings system.

    Check the previous posts.
     
    #87
  38. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Are they 5.0 like how you are 4.0?

    Unless you have verifiable results, you can spare us on how you can beat 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0 players. It is about as valid as "I beat Fed". It could be true or false, who knows?
     
    #88
  39. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Read the post above.
     
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  40. Overdrive

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    I've seen this happen before.

    This is not a diamond in the rough mate.
     
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  41. Overdrive

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    I'm not rated, but I can beat USTA 4.0-5.0 computer rated players.

    I'm not going to go into specifics because my testimony is just is skewed is the next person's.

    Honestly, my style is baseline grinding. I'm starting to develop into an all-court game by working out more.
     
    #91
  42. athiker

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    I think I would agree, I don't see a legit 4.5 ever losing to a legit 3.5 either. Or a 4.0 to a 3.0 or a 5.0 to a 4.0. I think players of overall similar skill level can have some pretty big variances in scores, but I don't see players of truly different skill levels jumping up to beat a computer rated full level higher player on pretty much any given day. A half level yes.

    There are some big upsets in the pros occasionally but I'm not sure one could call the players a full level apart. And in the Janko and Tsonga scores above both Janko and Tsonga did prevail in the end.

    My point was more variance in scores of similar level players and not looking at a small sample size to judge. I've seen comments on the board where someone will say if so-and-so beat you 6-1, 6-2 he is clearly the superior player. Yes on that day, but not necessarily overall. I had a USTA singles match once that was literally 0-6, 6-0 that I won in a 3rd set tiebreak!...crazy. If I had turned my ankle after the first set and withdrawn anyone watching would've thought the guy was way better than me. In reality we each just had a bad set with close games that all broke one way!
     
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  43. dcdoorknob

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    I'm a 3.5. I would definitely agree that, on a (really) good day, I might be able to possibly beat some 4.0s I know, but I would never have chance against a true 4.5.
     
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  44. OrangePower

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    Ok, let's take you at your word. To summarize, you have no actual NTRP rating, but, you have a winning record against 5.0C players. Fair enough.
    In this case, in all likelyhood were you to play in USTA sanctioned competition and get similar results, you'd end up with a 5.0C rating.

    There is no way you should ever lose to a 4.0C computer rated player.

    If you do lose to a 4.0C player, then either something is extremely fishy with that player's rating (i.e. it is being deliberately manipulated to keep it low), or else you are a complete basket-case on the court.

    Seriously, there is no way a 5.0C or equivalent player would ever lose to a legit 4.0C player.

    One more thing, you say you don't accept the rating system... well the thing is, at least in terms of a computer rating (not the self rating guidelines rubbish), it is completely results-based. Whether or not you accept it, there is nothing subjective about it; your rating is completely based on the results you get against other rated players.
     
    #94
  45. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Completely agree.

    Some strange results that I have had over the last couple of years (all against other 4.5 players):

    - Beat a player 6-0, 6-0 (I think the only time I've handed out a double bagel at level). In the same season (maybe 6 weeks later), lost to him in 3 sets.

    - Won a match 6-0, 0-6, 6-1

    - Lost to a guy 3-6, 2-6, then 2 months later beat him 6-1, 6-1
     
    #95
  46. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I know that people manipulate their ratings, but I didn't realize that. If he was supposed to be or not, he was a good player.

    Hmm... If I ever find a match where a 5.0C plays a 4.0C, I'll film it and post it here.

    Okay, the ratings is statistical? Okay then.
    Thanks for the clarification. :)
     
    #96
  47. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    [​IMG]
     
    #97
  48. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Please name one of these 5.0C computer rated players you have beaten. Any one will do.
     
    #98
  49. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Jolly! LOL.
     
    #99
  50. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? That's a rhetorical question as I already know the answer. What I am saying for way too many times is that legitimately rated 5.5C players will never lose to legitimately rated 4.0C players. I find it very hard to believe that 5.0C players would either but I would like to see evidence of it happening before I believed it. Show me the money as it were.

    Why can't you post those tournament records? You could shut everyone here who doubts you with one post.
     

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