At what age group level do 4.0-4.5 players become competitive?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by goober, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. goober

    goober Legend

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    I was thinking about entering some age group tourneys but waiting until I am older so I would be at least competitive. Right now I would still have to play in the 30s or 35s where I am sure I would get demolished since there are a lot 5.0s in that division. I think the 40s still may be tough, may be 45s or even 50s?
     
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  2. Indy Tennis

    Indy Tennis Semi-Pro

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    The guys who still play in the older age brackets are all serious about their game. It doesn't get any easier.
     
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  3. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well assuming I keep improving I am hoping it will get easier. I can beat 2 guys who regularly play in the 50s age group right now. They don't dominate their age group but they usually win about half their matches.
     
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  4. Sagittar

    Sagittar Hall of Fame

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    yeah but you're not 50 !! :D
     
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  5. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I have to agree that it doesn't get easier. But why not go ahead and start playing age groups now and take the beatings ? That's a quick way to improve and maybe you'll close the gap by the time you're playing in the 40's....
     
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  6. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    What exactly do you mean by "competitive"?

    I have a friend that is a strong 4.5 rated player that played college tennis at a small Division 1 school, but certainly wasn't (and isn't) otherworldly with his play... just a solid baseliner compared to most other 4.5-5.0 players. Anyway, in his first year of the 35 and over division, he played about 12 tournaments, including the National Clay Court Championship. He made it to the semifinals of several small tournaments and won a round at the National tournament. At the end of the year, he ended up in the top 10 of our section and top 40 in the national rankings. I consider that competitive.

    I just entered my first year of eligibility for the 35s division this year, and I am hoping to follow in his footsteps. I'm a 4.5 also with similar experience and game style as him, but of course, I expect to improve as well (and have a goal of being a computer rated 5.0 again before I'm 40).

    Anyway, from what I have seen and heard from others that have a lot of experience in the age group tournaments, there are very few "easy" wins to be had because most of the people who play in these tournaments are very serious about their games and have a lot of experience. This is in contrast to many of the Open tournaments I've played where you might get an easy 1st or 2nd round match against an inexperienced junior or person playing up too many levels from time to time. (I got a top 30 Open ranking in my section a few years ago by playing a bunch of tournaments and feeding off of juniors in the early rounds that couldn't handle junk. I usually got my ass kicked when I got up against a good player, but there were enough match wins to be had to get a decent ranking. However, I've heard that isn't that case too often in the age group categories.) On the other hand, I've seen some of the top 35s players in the country, and although they are very, very solid, I've seen few that scare the crap out of me with power... so at least I feel like I will be "in" most matches.
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    Competitive to me means winning about half your matches. Around here there are some easy first round age group matches because there are usually some 4.0s and even some 3.5s that will enter them regularly. I don't know why they do this since they often will get a seeded opponent with a double bagel exit.
     
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  8. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Just play dude, just play. You are never going to have to play James Blake. The other guy will never have a cape and a big red S on his chest. Go in and take your lumps. Playing better and worse players is critical, and tournaments are a great way to do that. If you lose, you lose, if you win, you play again. Sometimes you get a T-Shirt. It is almost always worth the money, and tournaments are great places to meet other players. If you get whipped, don't be discouraged, the guy who just beat the tar out of you has had someone do the same to him. Seriously re-read what you just wrote...you are telling me that you are afraid of not being competitive so you are going to not play tournaments for TEN YEARS until the competition softens up? That is absurd. If you keep doing what you are doing for ten years, maybe you will be competitive when you get to be 50, and maybe you wont. If you play 35s and bust your tail for a year, you will be able to tread water, if you play 35s for ten years and bust your tail, you will dominate 45s. I tell all of my students, the reason that I am a better player than them is because I practice more, and harder, and that they are all welcome to come down and watch me practice. When I am in between lessons, I take serves, after I am done teaching I am playing. If you want to be competitive in 35s, you can be, it is just a question of how hard you want to work, and how much time you have to devote. In my opinion waiting around for everyone else to get older and slower is a poor strategy. Then again I am a punk kid, who wont be playing 35s for another 11 years so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    J
     
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  9. goober

    goober Legend

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    Actually I am playing a ton of tournaments right now just NTRP ones not Age group ones.
     
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  10. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    That is cool, but the same still applies. Play it, try it. There is no point in planning out what tournaments you are gonna play in 10 years. Next year maybe, think 2 years ahead if you need this years to be a stepping stone. (As in I need to play X,Y,Z, tournaments this year, to achieve this ranking, so I can play these tournaments next year.). You sound like a serious player, write a list of goals, and things you need to work on to get to where you want to be, then get after it. If you want to be competitive in 35s then play 35s and see where you come up short, and hit the practice courts.

    J
     
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  11. goober

    goober Legend

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    Uh well sure if I were your age, single and could devote a large time to tennis that might be a plan. But when you are my age with 3 kids under 5, a full time job that takes about 50-55 hours/wk of your time and you get to only play 2-3 times a week for about 1.5 hours it is not going to happen like you say. My level will never get to 5.0 with my current situation which is not going to change any time soon, so I don't see myself being competitive in the 30/35 age group. Kapeesh?
     
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  12. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Yea, I dig what you were saying, I guess I was just thinking that when you get to 45s you will be playing the same people as you would be playing now if you were playing 35s, and they are most likely gonna feel the same about, and put the same amount of effort into it. So I kind of figured you had some type of plan you wanted to institute to close the gap. Do what makes you happy, that is always the bottom line. If you want to ask a question or want to hear an opinion, that is why we are here. But remember that even though sometimes it helps to hear things from different perspectives, free advice is worth what it costs!
     
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  13. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    Get out there are start playing now; in your own age group (and level).

    If you're worried about being competitive today, then maybe you're not the 4.0-4.5 player you think you are. Perhaps get into a 3.5 league (Or ladder) and start getting match tough.
     
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  14. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    A 4.5 can win some tournaments in the 50's. However, the guys who are top 5 or so in my section are legitimate 5.0's who are teaching pros. If you have superior fitness, an excellent attitude, and catch them in their second match of the day, you have a shot.

    (Conversely, at 50, I also won a couple of 4.5 tournaments.)
     
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  15. goober

    goober Legend

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    I have a computer rating and I played full year of USTA tournament play last year. I have a very good idea of what rating I am.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2007
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  16. goober

    goober Legend

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    You are in Southern California right? The scene is probably a little more competitive out there but that does give me some perspective.
     
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  17. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I'm in New England.
     
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  18. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    I'm in Middle States & in the 45 & up age divisions, I've found that there are very few sub_4.5 players. I play one National event a year for the joy of it, and you will see as you get older that maintaining your fitness level becomes key. Enjoy the age groups, it is a reason to look forward to being the "young Gun" in the age group once more.
     
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  19. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    play the opens along with ur age group...but maybe not in the same tourney unless ur a glutton for punishment.
     
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  20. sms2157

    sms2157 Guest

    At any age

    I am a solid 4.0 player and just turned 50 this month. I have played in the 45's for the past two years and have had a lot of fun. There are very few easy matches (excpet if you count the ones against me). I am competitive with most of the players and have reached #14 in middle states which is great for me but more a product of playing a lot of matches. There are some really talented National Level players in our area & I am just happy to win a game and learn from these guys but against most of the others I have a chance to win if I play my best. The more important part is I get to play agaiinst good players that are serious about there games and at new clubs that I otherwise wouldn't play at.

    My suggestion is to play as many as you can and challenge yourself to get better not worry about the wins & losses.

    good luck
     
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  21. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    Maybe they enter just to have fun? You know, that is one reason why people play tennis, right? :confused:
     
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  22. goober

    goober Legend

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    I guess if your idea of fun is paying $35 to lose a match in less than an hour is fun- go for it.
     
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  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    $35? Most open tourneys by me are $50+ some $65-$75. Then again court time is usually 50-60/hour.

    J
     
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  24. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    $35 is definitely less than paying a teaching pro ... and if you ask nicely, you get good advise on how to improve usually :-D
     
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