An Interesting Experience at Jr. Orange Bowl

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by db10s, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Let me start off by saying this: I lost by a lot.... It was one of those things where you kind of are left standing there saying to yourself "what just happened?"
    Here's my list of dumb excuses and whatnot.

    I didn't play with the intensity that I usually do.... My first serve was good but my second was mediocre at best. Another issue I had was staying in the rally, the speed of the hard courts was throwing me off. I let him get in my head to much. He is a fast paced player who will serve even if he has only one ball, and continued to yell at me for taking my 90 seconds on the changeovers (I never take that long, I only took that long in order to make him upset... ) and also for wanting a ball in my pocket on my first serve. He continued to act like he had no clue how to speak english... I later found out he was swearing perfecting fine in english on the other side (away from where the ref was). It was an interesting match, not something I would like to see again, but I know I will play more people like him.... Overall it was a good learning experience.

    Comments, tips, constructive criticism, etc... are welcome, and I want to hear what you have to say.
     
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  2. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Good job of post match analysis. You are well on your way. You know exactly what went wrong. What did you know about the opponent going in? Had you seen him play? Did you ask around about him? What was the game plan? Did you follow it? If you know nothing about a player you can formulate a game plan during the warm-up or use a generic game plan and make adjustments based on what is going on. You need to focus on your game plan and have a clear understanding of what is going on in the match. If it becomes about his antics and you react emotionally to them you cannot play well.
     
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  3. Chemist

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    Congratulations for playing the Orange Bowl! Your opponent may be a much better player or he might just have an unbelievable day. Did somebody your coach or your parent track the match? If they did, you would know much better how you lost. If he had 20 more winners and 30 more forced errors and hit many aces, then you get beat by a much better player. If you lost by committing too many unforced errors, then you should feel better and you would have a chance of beating him next time by working on more consistent attacks. You did notice your two weaknesses: weak 2nd serves and staying in a point. You can work on your 2nd serves by adding more spins, speed, and better ball placement. You may improve your fitness, hitting harder (and changing pace and/or spin), keeping balls deep or better angles to win more long rallies. You will be playing more foreign players in ITF or ATP, so just need to get used to your opponent speaking the language you don't understand or doing things that are abnormal in US. You may need to hurry up and get ready when he is serving, but when you serve, take your time bouncing balls more and toss and catch balls 3-4 times and use your towel between every point to get him frustrated (this is legal). Hope this helps a little.
     
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  4. Chemist

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    Great tips! It's really tough to play a guy who we never saw or never heard about. I agree its so important to make adjustment to a game plan based on what the opponent does and try best to stay calm to recognize his playing style and weakness - is he an aggressor or a really good pusher; where he likes to serve, T or outwide, which side is weaker, fore hand or back hand; he hates the net.... Yes mental toughness is key....
     
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  5. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I started to figure him out in the second set, but by then, it was to late.
     
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  6. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    He liked to come into the net, but he would miss more at the net, so I tried to lure him in with drop shots, and let him hit them long... Also, if I were more aggressive on returns I could have done better, because when I was, I would win points. Another strategy I experimented with was serve and volley. That worked pretty well for me when I was able to get my first serve where I wanted it.
     
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  7. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the feedback.
     
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  8. Chemist

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    Looks like he is a very good player who is capable of dictating many if not most points in this match. You would have made it closer with hard grinding, willing to hit balls hard, keep them deep, 20-30-40 even 50 times to win a point - play like Rafael. Very few junior has the patience to play a 4 hr match.
     
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  9. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    I've got the fitness to play a 4 hr match... Patience, maybe not. I think getting the ball deep was an issue though.
     
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  10. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    What I also noticed was when I got into a 10+ ball rally, I would almost always win the point.... But I think I got too excited and went for risky shots, which I'm able to make, but couldn't execute. My focus was also lacking, and I wasn't able to get in the "zone".
     
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  11. Chemist

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    It's great that you tried different things to get a much closer 2nd set. It's really hard to win a point with a drop shot especially on hard court. A short and angled slice, a shot that many refer it as "Federer slice" may be a better way of pulling a baseline player to his uncomfortable place, the net. You can pass him or even use top spin lob. It's a good idea to attack your opponent's 2nd serves; and yes, serve and volley can still work in today's powerful game. If you can win more points doing so than staying back, do it more. One tip for reducing unforced errors is to hit a short ball as an approach rather than an out right winner.
     
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  12. db10s

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    I pretty much used short balls to push him deep and allow me to be ready.
     
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  13. Chemist

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    Haha, you actually played really well! You could win points serving and volleying and you won most of these long rallies. But your opponent is very good attacking short balls and attacking your 2nd serves. So, I guess your "right" game plan may be (1) to have a higher percentage 1st serve; (2) attack his 2nd serves; (3) keep balls deep and have the patience to get the balls back 20-30 times; (4) surprise him with serve and volley 1-2 times each serving game; (5) pull him to the net with Federer slices - he will likely slice down the line and you would hit cross court forehand passing shot; and (6) attack only short balls, if the ball is too short or stay low, hit approach shot with lots of spin and depth and finish the point at the net.
     
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