Can a good rec player hit a SINGLE winner as good as a pro?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tank_job, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    To me, a GOOD rec player can easily be a former college level player, or someone 5.0, and possibly higher.
    Bring one in at 6'5" in shape, I think he can hit some pro level shots.
     
    #51
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,066
    You are stretching it there. Former college players are not really rec players in the spirit of this discussion.
     
    #52
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    As usual, what IS a good rec player?
    A friend of mine, a former No.1 for CalPoly, hasn't played tennis in 3 years, not once. He plays basketball for exercise. At 6'5" and 220 lbs, with hops that allows his elbow to hit the rim.
    Does he qualify as a "good rec" tennis player?
    How about a guy who would normally split with a former No.1 of a Div111 college, going more rounds in A/Open and Q's than this guy did. Does he qualify as "good rec" player, since he's aged about 37 years since his best playing days.
    Rec, to me, means amateur playing only for fun, hardly really practices, and is allowing his game to go whereever it goes, because he doesn't care.
    Would a former pro who quits tennis qualify?
     
    #53
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,066
    A guy at college level who once knew how to hit pro strokes will be able to get the feel back later in life, that is the difference. I haven't biked in years now, but any time I want I can hop on one and go. Quite different for a guy who never knew how to bike.
     
    #54
  5. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    Methinks a good rec player can never hit a single 85 mph ace as good as a pro in his entire lifetime.
     
    #55
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I know some bad rec players, guys who'd lose to pusher 3.5's, who can hit flat first serves well into the 140's.
    They are 6'4" tall, played college football at the QB position, hurt their knees starting in late high school, had full athletic scholarships, and just fooled around with tennis. Being 6'4" and 230 lbs don't hurt serving.
    And once in a while, they actually get a first serve IN. Try returning it, since it goes in one in 12, which one can you pay attention to?
     
    #56
  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,880
    Location:
    San Diego
    There's no way anyone can serve well into the 140's without years of practice and perfecting advanced technique. Especially bad rec players who will lose to a 3.5 pusher. No way. I call b.s.
     
    #57
  8. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,107
    No.

    10nopes.
     
    #58
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Well, YOU haven't seen it, so it must not exist.
    Believe me, there are more than a couple of guys I can recall who hit serves way harder than most top men's players.
    A serve is just a fast swing from a big guy. Big athletic guys can crush the ball.
    Everyone needs tons of tennis practice to get out of 3.5 levels.
    To crush big serves, you don't need tennis practice, you only need to swing fast and allow the rackethead to come past your elbow/hand at impact.
    You know how I always "claim" I have a big serve? My serve is nothing compared to these guys. Maybe 30 mph slower, maybe 20, it's impossible to tell.
    But when I guy serves, and the ball SOUNDS like it's gonna break, and the bounce on the backfence (at 21' behind the baseline) is shoulder high, and the ball richochets back into my court (inside my baseline) within two bounces, it's a pretty big serve.
    OTOH, if you've never seen it, it never happenned....:oops:
     
    #59
  10. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    920
    classic leed
     
    #60
  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Of course, you guys haven't seen everything in life, have you?
    I haven't, but I've seen some weird things in a pretty long sports life.
    And I"ve lived a pretty weird life.
    But to contradict someone just because YOU haven't seen it, well, keep your binders shut, you're better off.
     
    #61
  12. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    901
    Off topic, but I really want to play against JohnnyBlaze sometime.

    I'm sure it'll be a tight match that I'll end up losing.
     
    #62
  13. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    920
    cool story bro
     
    #63
  14. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    515
    I'm a 3.0 C and I played some points with my 5.0 teacher.

    This is the highlight reel and I think some of those shots are "pretty good winners" but I dont really know what "a pro winner" is.

    I almost never hit a full on "flat forehand" so dont expect to see anything 90 mph.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iD6dsekjms
     
    #64
  15. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    i dont see a 5.0 in that video sorry. maybe 4.5
     
    #65
  16. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    515
    He doesnt have an NTRP because he plays "opens" only. If he did decide to play USTA league he would have to self-rate 5.0 minimum seeing as he did play college tennis for TWO Div. 1 teams. He is also a USPTA-1 certified coach who holds a PhD in International Business.

    If there is anyone who is "legit" on the forum, its him.

    He's also taking it really easy on me in this video because he is playing a 3.0 C (me) and if he tries there wouldnt be anything to put on this 'highlight reel' I made to measure my progress.

    He might be able to sandbag to 4.5 after a few seasons if that's what he really wanted to do. But hes definitely not a 4.5 lol.
     
    #66
  17. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,561
    [​IMG]

    10characters
     
    #67
  18. Phonco

    Phonco Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    302
    After seeing the video of Sam Querrey playing a 12 year old, I still believe the original question should be possible. In that video the 12 year old is returning Sam Querreys serve over the course of one set. If that's the case, then I don't see why an extremely fit, fully developed, adult athlete (let's say a D1 athlete or even a star from another sport) with remotely decent stroke couldn't just close his eyes and swing for a winner off the serve.

    At 4.5 I believe you'd have some basic if not fairly solid understanding of groundstroke mechanics, so who is to say the 4.5 couldn't just get lucky off of one serve and slap a winner. The power/speed is all provided so all that's left is that lucky connection of position, contact and keeping it in.

    Of course you could say that Querrey was sandbagging his serve against the 12 year old, which is highly likely. However, even then how far would you rate the speed then? 100? Even then, there are some pros who serve at 100 i.e players like Davydenko. So you could therefore say the 12yr old is returning Davydenko esque serves.

    Lastly, if a 12yr old (albeit a good 12yr old) can consistently return a pro serve, I can't see why a rec player can't get lucky.
     
    #68
  19. Phonco

    Phonco Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    302
    After seeing the video of Sam Querrey playing a 12 year old, I still believe the original question should be possible. In that video the 12 year old is returning Sam Querreys serve over the course of one set. If that's the case, then I don't see why an extremely fit, fully developed, adult athlete (let's say a D1 athlete or even a star from another sport) with remotely decent stroke couldn't just close his eyes and swing for a winner off the serve.

    At 4.5 I believe you'd have some basic if not fairly solid understanding of groundstroke mechanics, so who is to say the 4.5 couldn't just get lucky off of one serve and slap a winner. Let's say the pro even tells you the placement as well. The power/speed is all provided so all that's left is that lucky connection of position, contact and keeping it in.

    Of course you could say that Querrey was sandbagging his serve against the 12 year old, which is highly likely. However, even then how far would you rate the speed then? 100? Even then, there are some pros who serve at 100 i.e players like Davydenko. So you could therefore say the 12yr old is returning Davydenko esque serves.

    Lastly, if a 12yr old (albeit a good 12yr old) can consistently return a pro serve, I can't see why a rec player can't get lucky.
     
    #69
  20. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,480
    Location:
    Arkansas
    For a rec player to be able to hit a single winner as good as a pro he/she would have to be hitting the winner off of a pro level groundstroke/volley, etc.

    -SF
     
    #70
  21. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,638
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    This is the correct answer. Yes, rec players CAN hit pro style 90 mph clean winners on rare occasion if they get the timing perfect and take a huge swing. However, they can only do it off a weak floater in the center of the court and cannot do it when facing pro level 75 mph heavy topspin rally balls. So whether you consider hitting pro-style winners off an easy floater that a pro would never actually face the same thing as hitting a winner "as good as a pro" or not is the answer to your question.
     
    #71
  22. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,384
    I'd say yes as long as the basic technique is there. The issue is can you hit it that hard all the time, and keep it in, against someone who's consistently dishing out big pace and spin with good placement.
     
    #72
  23. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    980
    There's no way you're a 3.0! You hit like a 4.0-4.5... If you're indeed a 3.0 you must have big consistency issues.
     
    #73
  24. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182
    I find that people on here are very generous with handing out 4.5 rating.

    I used to play with one guy who was identified as a strong 4.5, he rarely committed UEs - you virtually don't see that random hitting the ball out or placing stupid shots for no reason, knew how to switch between spinning the ball high or flattening it, volleyed and half volleyed successfully 75% of times, 5+ shot rallies were routine if you could hang tight. Playing with him was dreadful and motivating at the same time. You'd feel like real, pro tennis minus the speed and intensity.

    I'm sick of those claiming 4.0, 4.5 that can't manage to keep the ball in after 2 shots.
     
    #74
  25. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,480
    Location:
    Arkansas
    From his videos he looks like a 3.0 to me. He doesn't hit from a balance position very much and bad footwork especially on his backhand side. As well as being more interested in hitting reverse forehand for style over substance. At the time of the videos I would guess he probably could not hit 5 rallying balls in the court in a row.

    -SF
     
    #75
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,066
    Neither of the people in the video is a 3.0. 4 to 4.5.
     
    #76
  27. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    i´m sure there are many legit people on this forum. your coach is posting here?
     
    #77
  28. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,667
    Location:
    Here and There
    #78
  29. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    515
    I'm definitely not a 4.5 I can tell you that. I play with 4.0's all the time and I can handle my own. The question is: do I want to be a bottom tier 4.0 or a top tier 3.0? I actually declined to play 3.0 on our "nationals" team this year and elected to play 3.5 adult league as a 3.0 C.

    I will make my way up eventually. It's not a question of "what I can play" really, because I can "play" 5.0, but its not very productive. I'm slowly moving my way up and plan on being at least 4.0 in 2 years. I want to play 4.5/5.0 legit by the time im 35. I'm 28 right now.

    I can definitely rally 5 balls in a row at a substantially high pace. The reason why there are no long rallies in the video is because I cant win long rallies against him and I knew this. Every chance I got, I tried to go on offense and play an amazing shot.

    When you play someone better than you... you have rise to their level and beat them. At legit 5.0 isnt going to "beat himself" by making errors and you are not going to win 65% of your points by long rallying points out with someone much better than you.

    I dont have any videos of me "just rallying" with him, but I assure you, I can pound pretty hard if we're "just rallying". The dynamics of the points at his level are not at all like rallying with him lol. I can "rally" with a college player, but I definitely cant "play points" with them if they're "trying".

    I'm not sure if he posts here but my comment was mainly towards the person questioning his 5.0 rating.

    He would be required to self rate 5.0 minimum or risk being DQ'ed. He has no NTRP, but has an "open" match history (current) and played college for two D1 teams.
     
    #79
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    What do you mean? Pros hit winners off easy sitters in every set.
     
    #80
  31. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,076
    I hit one in my life. I hit a ball so hard from my baseline that my opponent was standing at his baseline and it bounced and hit the fence before he could take one step. It reminded me of those Fernando Gonzales forehands.
    I remember that when I was hitting it, I actually didn't feel that I wanted to hit it hard, it just happened and it was easy. I've never hit one like that shot before or after(in 25+ years of playing).
     
    #81
  32. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    And Andy Murray can top 100 multiple times per match.

    To answer the original question, no. The concept answers the question in itself. A winner hit by a pro is not simply power, angle, spin or placement. It's all four of those at once at a level which the situation deems appropriate. If a rec player had the ability to hit a winner like a professional, even once a month, then they wouldn't be a rec player. To crank a 1HBH up the line like Justine Henin at 90mph requires the utmost in technique, and that is something that unless the player is absolutely lucky in all regards where everything just falls into place, they will never be able to do. We may THINK we can hit shots like the pros from time to time, but we don't. We can hit huge winners at the recreational level, sure. Think about it like this: do you think that Federer would be bothered even remotely by a good D1 college player's winner's potency? Not a chance, as the situation would not even occur. Now let's step down from 6.0 to 4.0. Ask that same question again and it starts to become obvious how inane it is to inflate yourself to the level of being able to occasionally hit like the best in the world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
    #82
  33. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Exactly what I'm getting at.
     
    #83
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Nothing in the title says it has to be a groundstroke.
    Overheads, easy.
    I cited the example of a lunging wide half or low volley. A pro can hit that to me, or a 3.5, don't matter, the ball is out of normal reach.
    Lobs, even pros lob short, so anything around the service line, any strong 4.0 can put away.
     
    #84
  35. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    If we are including shots other than ground strokes, then sure. There are plenty of shots that simply require touch that can be done if given enough tries, like a drop shot/volley.
     
    #85
  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I've seen PeteSamprs shank a few forehands that went in with extreme topspin.
    I've done that a few times too, and they went in usually...
     
    #86
  37. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    I don't think the discussion is about hitting a perfect drop shot winner or a perfect overhead winner. The latter especially would require you to get a pro in such a position where you would be able to approach the net with such ferocity that a lob is their only option.
     
    #87
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,403
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    So, now the question becomes, can a good rec player hit a pro level shot against a pro level player, who's trying?
    Well, I'm a 4.0, they won't let me challenge Federer to a ladder match, will they?
    That answers the question.
     
    #88
  39. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,013
    Missing the obvious here, a drop shot.

    I've hit drop shots for winners that were equal to what pros do. And i've seen plenty of ATP matches up close. I'll get a bit lucky from time to time and disguise it well, get the right trajectory with side or backspin and drop it in the right spot. Done.
     
    #89
  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    So what do you call him, when a league 4.0-4.5 player hits shots as good or better than a pro? (besides sandbagger, lol)
    I've seen it done many times thru the years.
    Seems some of you only remember the best of the best shots that top pros
    hit. I've been to many Pro events and hit with several top pros...They make
    a lot of avg and even poor shots as well.
    I think the OP just specified winner...not a 124 mph Fh.
     
    #90
  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,066
    Depends on if he is a "bottom-up" 4.5 or a "top-down" 4.5 (one who was much higher once). Also, who is he playing against? Against another 4.5? That really does not say much. It also depends on what shot is being discussed. Yesterday I hit a backhand approach shot with under and side spin while moving forward and it landed deep on the forehand side and moved left quite a bit. I am sure I have seen pros hit about similar ones. That is because that shot does not showcase what a pro can do.

    The shots we are talking about are stuff like Nadal's inside-out forehand which shoots like a bullet out wide. Federer's serve. Federer's backhand cross court top spin which bounced near the side line and and turned and went into the were the opponent had his water bottles. Fernando Gonzalez's forehand winners. The Doctor's serve. The Djokovic DTL backhand out of nowhere.
     
    #91
  42. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    ^^^ Thank you. The point is a pro quality shot, not just a shot that would be a winner against anyone.
     
    #92
  43. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,760
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    If the point of this thread is to simply ask if a recreational player can hit a cross-court winner like Nadal. Or if a recreational player can hit a serve like Federer. Or if a recreational player can hit a DTL backhand like Djokovic...

    ... then this thread is a complete fail. Is it not obvious that recreational players cannot do this?

    I mean hell, only Nadal himself can hit a winner like Nadal. Who here is going to hit an 80mph forehand at 4000rpm from the middle of the court to the opponent's corner? Who here is going to hit a 120mph kick serve that hits the T and jumps 8 feet? Who here is going to take a 130mph serve to the backhand and drive it down the line for a 100mph winner?

    The answer should be blatantly obvious. What is the point?
     
    #93
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Well you have a divided room here. IMO we have folks here who understand that
    pros are not superhuman, and then those who think they are like a superhero or
    something, lol.

    Sure we have radar and other ways to measure shot speeds. Not sure what you
    mean by rec player, but for me that means not a instructor, open level, or touring pro.
    Outside that group I've seen many hit pro level shots and some could do it quite
    often! I had one 4.0 partner back in the day who had the best kick I've seen on court
    and that includes pro and college players. He also had a monster Fh that was hit or miss
    by a few inches and very impressive. Not saying it was better than
    every Pros Fh, but better than most when he made it. He didn't volley, Bh, or volley
    well at all though....so very rec imo. Back then I had my 1 hand Bh clocked at
    89mph at the net, which would be at least 5% low. Clocked a few Fhs in the
    90's and I was only playing 4.0 & 4.5 back then.
    I've mentioned before a player on one of my league teams that won a fast serve
    contest (measured on the pro court with court radar system)
    with a pair of serves in the high 130s (137 avg if I remember right)
    That is pro quality by any definition. Plenty of male pros can't hit high 130s.
    Even fewer of them were doing it back then, so he far exceeded the avg pro server
    at the time...very much a rec player though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
    #94
  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,066
    Yes that is the point. Otherwise can rec players sometimes do what the pros do? Of course. I am sure I can hang with Usain Bolt as he walks to the cafetaria. Or hit a shot equal to the slowest shot that Nadal has hit in his life.
     
    #95
  46. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Not really based on the OP.
    He said hit a winner like a pro...not... hit the best shot, of the best pros,
    in the toughest of circumstance, which is what you describe.
     
    #96
  47. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,092
    let it go, some people understand, and some do not, and you will not be able to convince either group they might be mistaken...
     
    #97
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Well, half of why we come on here is to debate these issues...and time to time
    I do learn something.... but

    you are right...rarely is anyone's mind changed. :)
     
    #98
  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,066
    I would say you cannot even hit a single winner like a person two NTRP half-levels above you
     
    #99
  50. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    442
    People sometimes forget there are lot of rec players that are incredibly athletic and talented individuals. With their limited amount of time being able to practice they can be still very impressive what they do and how they play.
     

Share This Page