A Singles Ladder? I Must Be Out Of My Mind

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #1
  2. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,236
    Location:
    MN
    good Luck!!

    your lucky, i cant even find any type of ladder in my area. not even the usta have anything like that here.
     
    #2
  3. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    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
     
    #3
  4. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,232
    Location:
    Aiming an ICBM at Portland, Oregon..
    Singles is where the real fun is at.
    Hopefully this will inspire you to reduce your involvement in these ridiculous doubles leagues.
     
    #4
  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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?
     
    #5
  6. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,742
    Good Christmas CD...

    [​IMG]
     
    #6
  7. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    588
    Good Luck Cindy!

    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.
     
    #7
  8. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,034
    Agree...


    ...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....
     
    #8
  9. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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.
     
    #9
  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #10
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #11
  12. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,276
    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.
     
    #12
  13. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,176
    Location:
    Hollywood/Key West, Florida
    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.
     
    #13
  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #14
  15. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    did you hit all your BH's crosscourt?
     
    #15
  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #16
  17. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    On the deuce side, looking to come in
    ^^

    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
    #17
  18. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    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.
     
    #18
  19. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    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.
     
    #19
  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #20
  21. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    On the deuce side, looking to come in
    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. :)
     
    #21
  22. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    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!
     
    #22
  23. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    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.
     
    #23
  24. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    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.
     
    #24
  25. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    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.
     
    #25
  26. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,212
    Location:
    Indy
    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:
     
    #26
  27. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    762
    Location:
    Douglasville, GA
    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.
     
    #27
  28. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    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!
     
    #28
  29. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,212
    Location:
    Indy
    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.
     
    #29
  30. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    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
     
    #30
  31. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    3,572
    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.
     
    #31
  32. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,212
    Location:
    Indy
    This is what others' have referred to me as, I just did not know what it meant.
     
    #32
  33. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    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
     
    #33
  34. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    #34
  35. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,212
    Location:
    Indy
    #35
  36. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    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.
     
    #36
  37. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    DE
    ^^^ 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.
     
    #37
  38. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    588
    Positioning and anticipation in singles

    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.
     
    #38
  39. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    problem is if you stay in pusher land too long you are way behind getting out of it
     
    #39
  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #40
  41. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    588
    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
     
    #41
  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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!
     
    #42
  43. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    418
    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.
     
    #43
  44. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    566
    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.
     
    #44
  45. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,476
    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.
     
    #45
  46. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    588

    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.
     
    #46
  47. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    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.
     
    #47
  48. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    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.
     
    #48
  49. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    588
    Really!

    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
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    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.
     
    #50

Share This Page