Advice for an underdog, playing club championships

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Xzebetz, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Xzebetz

    Xzebetz New User

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    So I am playing the championships in my club in level B (we have A, B, C) and just saw my draw. In the first round I drawed former champion from 2007 and 2010, who's also head couch in another club. So I will get my hands full.

    Never played him before and have never seen him play either.

    Any advice on how to approach a game like this?

    I know its impossible to come up with technical and tactical advice, but just in general. tips and advice on how to approach a player who's on paper a better player.

    Thanks :)
     
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  2. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Congratulations on your playoff match. I don't have any advice, just a request. Get some video of it, and post it in this thread. It's always fun and informative to see videos of TT posters.
     
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  3. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    A 3.0 is a head coach? Anyway, just have fun and hang in there. Anything can happen in tennis.
     
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  4. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    days before the match - scout him. watch him play matches, or talk 2 ppl who have played him. ask them what his strengths and weaknesses are. what kind of players does he beat? what kind of players does he lose 2? use it to form a strategy with plays that u will try - eg serve wide, draw the short return, hit behind him. slice return to fh, bh approach. that sort of thing. u need 2 be thinkin about this stuff days before the match. if u try and work it out durin the first set then the match will be over b4 u have a chance to use anything u learn

    on the day, before the match - warm up properly. five minutes b4 the match with ur opponent doesnt cut it. get a buddy to come down to the courts an hr before the match. hit with him for half an hour - warm up ur groundstrokes, serve, volleys, everything. then go grab a drink, a snack and have a shower in the change rooms before he shows up

    durin the official warmup - test his shots. drill shots straight at him - which way does he move, fh or bh? check this for groundstrokes and volleys. throw him bh slice, fh slice, flat shots, topspin. what does he like? what does he struggle with? move him from side 2 side and forward and back. what is his mobility like? what shots does he hit good on the run, what does he struggle with? when he is out of position, does he prefer 2 go DTL or crosscourt? how are his overheads?

    durin the match - play smart. dont go out there and overreach urself, tryin to blast winners at every opportunity. but at the same time dont be afraid 2 take risks when u have an opening. when u are playing a guy significantly better than u, u aint gunna win if you just play within urself and do % tennis. when u get a favourable ball on ur strong side, have the confidence 2 go for it. u have nothing 2 lose - so play like it

    main thing 2 concentrate on is tryin to play ur best shots against his worst shots. so mix up ur positioning - make him hit the harder wide serve in the ad court, even if he aces u a little bit. make him play bh crosscourt 2 ur fh. etc etc. dont be reactive - be proactive. look 4 opportunities to drill that fh at his 1hbh. if he's a baseliner look 4 chances 2 bring him to the net. if he hates slice and lack of pace, hit it every time u can. force him 2 play the shots he hates and u will get errors. matches are won and lost by errors

    if u dont really care about bein sportin, do everythin u can 2 disrupt his rhythm. move around on his first serve. take ages between points. do the djokovic bounce on ur serve. ask him the score when he is about 2 toss. query line calls at every opportunity. chatter constantly 2 him between points and change of ends. pretend ur carryin a slight injury on ur favoured side, it will encourage him 2 hit to it

    personally wouldnt recommend the last paragraph tho. kinda dirty tactics tbh

    most of all, stay loose and have fun. remember - he is expected 2 win this match. all the pressure is on him. every point u win is a bonus, so just enjoy it
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
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  5. Xzebetz

    Xzebetz New User

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    Well, we don't use the same rating system as the US, but yeah. Seems odd that a coach can play it this level, and he's won it twice. Would be more fair if the club said he had to play level A, also due to he already won it twice. Maybe its a small club he's coaching and he isn't a A player. Hopefully.
     
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  6. Xzebetz

    Xzebetz New User

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    Thanks, Ill see if its possible. :)
     
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  7. Xzebetz

    Xzebetz New User

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    Awesome! Thanks. :)

    I'm definately going to practice and hour before so I'm warm and tuned my strokes for the game.

    And I'm one of those players trying to blast winners on every shot. It's getting better, but I need to remember that and be patient.
     
    #7
  8. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Head coach or not, I don't think anyone qualified to teach professionally should be competing in the B category. Sheez.

    And for advice on the match... just have fun. It's tennis, it's a game.
     
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  9. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Don't assume you'll lose the match before it's been played. Throw expectations on paper out the window. Once the ball is in play that stuff doesn't matter, it only matters who gets it done. Who knows, maybe you'll be a bad matchup for him? Make him play, make him earn it, don't give him anything for free. Just go out there and try your best until the final point is played.
     
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  10. Xzebetz

    Xzebetz New User

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    Thanks for all the advice, it was very useful. I'll give a short summary.

    Couldnt get any on video as one requested and I didn't get the opportunity to scout him, since he doesn't play regularly at our club.

    I arrived at the club 45 minutes earlier, but didn't have a hitting partner. So I just began warming up my serve, since I expected this to be very important. I felt pretty good and focused on being loose and relaxed.

    During warm-up he didn't show any weaknesses, but he wasn't really a hardhitter.
    He won the coin toss and chose to serve.

    Since I knew nothing of him, my tactic was to go out and blow him away. Agressive play and try to dictate the game.
    First game was kind of stressed, both of us needed to get some kind of rythm or feeling and he held serve.
    My turn to serve and I was quite nervous and didn't want him to break me. But I took my time and was loose and relaxed and held my serve quite easy. At 1-1 he served again and I got a better hold on him, and just bombed away. Stressing him and it started to work as I came a bit closer to breaking him, but he won the game at 40-30 (I think), but I felt better.
    1-2 I kept on stressing him and hammering my forehand at him and held serve, but it was clearer that he didn't like my aggressive play and he was surprised that he actually had to work hard for it. I held my serve and was beginning to overpower him.
    2-2 he was serving and i kept at my tactic. All or nothing and hammered away. I had some unforced errors, but I still had more winners and forcing him to make errors. To my surprise I actually broke him.
    3-2, I was starting to think to much about me being in front, which I didn't expect. Still kept at my tactic and it worked. Held my serve and suddenly up with a break!
    4-2 and starting to get a bit tense and nervous. Thinking to much about a potential victory and he held serve.
    4-3, awful point. Tense at my serve and thinking to much. My serve was on somekind of downward spiral and got worse and worse. 2 double faults and he broke back.
    4-4, trying to get a grip. a bit more nerves and had a breakpoint. Then something weird happened. It was as if mentally broke. Instead of breaking him and serving for the set, he kept his servegame and was suddenly up 5-4.
    4-5 and was about to throw a 4-2 lead away. I was struggling mentally which instantly affected my game. Nervous, spraying shot more and more. He broke me and won first set 6-4.
    Second set was awful. Instantly down 3-0, but managed to break him to 1-3. At 1-4 I held serve and came back to 2-4.

    Lost the match 6-4 6-2.

    Looking back I could have played smarter and not only trying to overpower him. He was good, but not better than me by far. I should have been a bit more patient and making him run more, instead of being so aggressive. But overall I'm okay with it. I played a good match and I probably would have had a better result if my serve was more consistent. Don't know if I could have beat him, but 6 - 2 in second set is not an acurate picture of the game. Losing first set broke me a bit and my serve was so weak also. At match point I double faulted so....

    I need to focus on my serve. If I improve that I'll be more effective.
     
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  11. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Well those are respectable scores, I don't know about a pro-playing in the B's--maybe if the tourney is in Newport Beach, Kali. I'm guessing that would be the equivalent of 3.5/4.0, it's a rather archaic classification system today. Maybe if he were 70 years old or coaching in Dismal Seepage, Ohio--you must be pretty good and he hadn't seen your game before.
     
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  12. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Ha. This just struck me as funny because its the complete opposite of my approach. Maybe next time go out there and just stick with your normal plan A high percentage tennis and then look for weaknesses that you can attack. If he shows that he can hit winners off of your rally pace balls then you need to start going for more but to start out with play your best shots.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    That made for a good laugh.
     
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