Biggest Improvement Possible

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MurrayMyInspiration, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. What is the greatest improvement possible in tennis, that you have seen happen or know of.

    What I mean is can a 20 year old 4.0 player decide to train hard and improve and win ATP points?

    Has there ever been a 5.0 27 year old ex college player that decided to return to the sport and won a Futures Event?

    These are just examples.
    Anything like this you know of?

    Only similar thing I know is that TonLars was a 5.5 out of college I think and he trained very hard for last like 5 years and is very close to an ATP point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2013
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  2. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

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    [Cue Leed rant on ratings and past glories]
     
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  3. For sure! Do you think a 4.5 at 18 can make the top 700 ATP? Is that achievable in your eyes?
     
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  4. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    It's still early in California. Give him time.
     
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  5. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

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    I'm sure there would be examples out there. A heck of a lot of practice, good coaching (including mental coaching) and a massive slab of talent and self-belief, and probably at least some transference of skills and physical attributes from other sports played growing up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
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  6. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Ion Tiriac switched from hockey - where he played on the Rumanian Olympic Team to tennis at a later age.
    However, if you are already 20 and only a 4.0, you will not win a futures tournament no matter how much you practice unless you are an Olympic-quality athlete.
    There are many things that are far easier to learn as a child than as an adult. Tennis is one of them.
     
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  7. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Unless that 4.5 is some sort of prodigy who started playing tennis at 16 and immediately advanced to 4.5, I'd say no way. Pretty sure that the top 700 were all at least 5.5ish at age 18.
     
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  8. What about winning matches at a Futures Main Draw? Is that possible?
     
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  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Similar (or slightly less likely) in possibility to joining the Space Program.
     
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  10. Ok this one then. A 20 year old 5.0 to win matches at Futures Events? I.e get at least 10 ATP points?
     
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  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, in a few keystrokes I can find the few (, the proud) people who have succeeded in joining the Space Program, how many inhabitants in the Modern history of this planet have accomplished what you are describing?
     
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  12. Ton Lars is within touching distance of pretty much this!
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I don't deny that it is technically possible and maybe has actually happened before. But the numbers are going to be small, very small. Hence why I chose to speak of it in a similarly "very small numbers" sort of way.

    To put it another way, we all agree, practicing an activity is the key to excellence. If you are at a level of intermediate expertise (on your way to mastery) at an age well above the vast majority of your competitors, you need to make up for that. Most 20 year olds are starting to think about having a life, career, maybe a family etc. Are you prepared to put in the hours that someone of your current skill level is acheiving at the age of 14 or15 can? Especially a 15 year old who is at an academy where school is done after practice, drills and lessons are over?

    I don't know.
     
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  14. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I wonder what John Isner was at 18? Certainly not regarded as a future pro prospect.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Everyone is different.
    If you haven't trashed your body by 20, you should be good till 32.
    If you trashed your body by 20, you might have already peaked.
    If your mind starts to wander towards marriage and accumulation of a black Beemer and white Mercedes, your window is closing fast.
    Some people mature early. I"m sure you have seen examples of football lineman who look aged by the 10th year reunion.
    And some guys, around age 35, still get carded every trip to a bar.
     
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  16. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I'm a 20 year old 4.5 and my goal is to be a competitive open level player when I'm 30 (5.5 ish player) and I thought that was pushing it.
     
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  17. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Good question. I still imagine he was around a 5.5 at 18 though.
     
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  18. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Here's what Isner's collegetennis profile says about his pre-college career:

    Before Georgia -2003 Junior National Championships Doubles winner and Singles quarterfinalist -2002 National Clay Court Doubles Finalist and Junior National Doubles Finalist

    Maybe didn't look like a top 20 player, but hardly a nobody. I'm guessing that would make him at worst a strong 5.5 at age 18.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    BBob....
    You have the size, quickness, and physical skills.
    BUT, are you waiting too long to achieve your goal?
    With your strokes, you should make A/Open within 2 years, IF you play 5 days a week, 3 hours a day, against your peers or better players.
    WORK on approach shots, low volleys, and court positioning. You already have adaquate strokes.
     
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  20. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Lee. Low volleys are starting to get better as I'm practicing them every day now along with my slice approach.

    As for the OP: How athletic are you? That really does play a big part in how fast you will improve as someone has already said. A top varsity basketball player in high school I knew was able to make the #3 singles spot after only two years of heavy playing. Guy was a big time athlete and competitor and was able to catch onto the game quick. He could also push me in a 100m race even though I was one of the faster track kids in school. He didn't even have proper running form he was just a freak of nature athlete
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
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  21. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I don't think Tony was a 4.0 at 20 years old though
     
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  22. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    This is certainly doable if you have a tremendous dedication to it. I've known one guy who did this.
    However, a 20 year old 4.0 going to 6.5 is not going to be done. Actually, there is probably a better chance if the 20 year old has never played tennis before. Perhaps he is a freak of nature and can pick up the game that quickly (one in millions). If the person is a 4.0 at 20, he is not a freak of nature.
     
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  23. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    The only player I have heard of who had serious tennis success without being a top junior or even playing in college is Andrew Lake, who is a serious athlete (D-1 scholarship basketball player) and eventually got ATP points and won many senior tour events:

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/20...0_1_men-s-35s-atp-tour-lauderdale-tennis-club

    However, I get the feeling that he did not play but could have won junior events. For example, I remember reading that he was the New York state high school tennis champion even though he spent most of his time playing basketball and soccer.
     
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  24. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah this guy is a perfect example of what I was talking about. You have to be a crazy good athlete to have tennis success at the top level if you're not like a 5.5 player at 18 years old
     
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  25. No he was 5.5 at like 21 22 or something I think. A 5.5 after he finished college if I am right.
     
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  26. Go for ATP point!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2013
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