dominated in the 3.0s..struggling in the 3.5s

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by fire_eaters, May 25, 2010.

  1. fire_eaters

    fire_eaters New User

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Hey everyone, im a 21 year old 3.5 player. I recently got bumped up to 3.5 after dominating the 3.0s all last year. I loved it. occasionally i would face a tough opponent that would take a set off me (maybe) but other than that i won a lot. But its been totally different for me in the 3.5s..i FINALLY won my first singles match last week in the 3.5s 7-5 6-4. it wasnt easy though. ive played about 7 singles matches so far and that was the first one i won. its so frustrating right now..ive come to realize that these 3.5s that im playing pick on my one-handed backhand almost immediately. My forehand is nasty..so they tend to stay away from that but i just cant seem to find the same consistency and power with my backhand. What i did in the 3.0s was slice it..i have a very good biting slice, and the guys back then would miss hit my slice all the time. but in the 3.5s they just lift it right up and send it back no problem. im thinking about switching to and trying to learn a two-handed backhand...it seems like its easier to direct the ball with a two-handed and it seems more powerful as well. if i had that along with my slice i feel id be very tough to beat. But i dont know...I feel so frustrated because my forehand is so strong and i can overpower almost anyone i play, but they pick up on that quick and just hit to my backhand. And ive been WORKING on my backhand for so long and i just cant seem to find the same power and consistency like on my forehand i misshit it all the time and shank it into the net or off the court..it SUCKS lol If anyone has any advice id be happy to listen.
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,206
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Real 3.5's have tons of tournament match experience. Coming from 3.0, you have basically NO match experience.
    2hbh can help, but very susceptible to hard low slices. And mostly takes away an all court game.
    Try it. Top 200 mens, at least 150 have 2hbh's. But not for the reason you listed. They hit 2hbh because they learned it as little kids, too weak for 1hbh, and rather than changing over like Sampras, just kept it and worked on other shots....AND the 2hbh, of course.
     
    #2
  3. Jracer77

    Jracer77 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    239
    You just got bumped up from 3.0 and you're talking like this....LOL. Are you related to that Jollyrancher dude? :)
     
    #3
  4. bodieq

    bodieq Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    164
    Just sounds like you need to keep with it, and learn to adjust to your new 3.5 division. (Of course if you have actual deficiencies in your stroke-mechanics itself, you might want to think about lessons and work with someone to correct that).

    Heres' the thing...strengths/weapons at one level all of a sudden become just average and/or possibly considered a weakness at the next level when you get bumped-up. It's just the way it is. I think everyone who's gets bumped-up to the next rating-level realizes this in form or another. Even your awesome forehand that you mentioned is probably considered a weak shot at the 4.0 or 4.5 level. It's just how it is.

    ...But hopefully you get working and keep playing and you'll adapt to your new division. Plus it sounds like you're very motivated to improve, so that's good.
     
    #4
  5. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I feel you pain. If I practice against a 3.5 player, I can win alot of bagel and breadstick sets. Yet in 2 years as a 4.0 singles player, I'm like 2-13. Pretty pathetic. Being on the low end really sucks. But you have to realize that alot of times the singles players are the best players on a given team. I get put at #1 singles alot in USTA matches, and no matter how weak the opposing team is, they tend to have a strong singles guy that gives me trouble.
     
    #5
  6. fire_eaters

    fire_eaters New User

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    yeah thats how i feel! too good to be a 3.0..but too bad to be a 3.5:???:
     
    #6
  7. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    807
    well you can dominate at 3.0 with one weapon against quite a few people because its the entryway into League tennis for most

    I did very well last year at 3.0 and moved up, had my first competition in 10+ months the other day and lost a tough semi with only some light hitting before that it..

    What I noticed is that there is just a lot more consistency. @ 3.0 I could hit a few deep balls and win the point, now everyone hits like that...a few times I thought I put away a volley only to watch them run it down and hit another solid shot.

    If you did nothing but hit forehands at 3.0 you sort of missed the point to work on things during matches etc.

    You'll play a lot more different styles now and have to figure out what strengths of yours can be useful. A 2hbh isn't the answer, likely you need to learn how to create points, hit 6-7 shots to win it and have faith to either stay with the plan or the courage to change midstream...

    a drill I've started to use comes from the AthleticDNA channel on youtube where they are working feeding balls for a defensive shot, absorbing it with the legs, and then hitting one inside the court...it incorporates footwork, adjustments, stroke mechanics etc all in one...
     
    #7
  8. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,372
    Stay encouraged and stick with it. The bump up, even by half a point is a big step and may require a year or so to adjust. Take it from me. I also had a strong forehand and a weak backhand as a starting 3.5 and it took me about a year at 3.5 until I was able to win most of my matches. I really worked on making that backhand consistent enough to keep me in points and it payed off. I just got bumped to 4.0 this year.

    If you've always hit a one-hander, stick with it. Get some professional advice on how to make it a solid stroke. Also think about adding a one-handed top-spin shot to that.

    Remember, your backhand doesn't have to be as good as your forehand, you just have to be able to move the ball around and keep it in play long enough so you can unleash your forehand and put the opponent on the defensive.

    Another thought is, most 3.5's have one weak wing. So keep going after their weak side (usually the backhand) when you get a forehand.

    Also, if they keep going to the backhand side, step around that backhand and hit an inside-out forehand. Try to hit a looping ball to their backhand side and if it goes above waist height, odds are your opponent may cough up a short ball you can attack.
     
    #8
  9. tyro

    tyro New User

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    I'm in Raiden's shoes. I think it just takes more time than we wish--or expect--to upgrade our games to the next level.

    It is indeed frustrating, but stick with it, and you'll look back in a few years and chuckle at how "bad" you were when you were dominating at 3.0.

    Tyro

    http://tenniswire.wordpress.com
     
    #9
  10. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,092
    Location:
    I wish i knew
    Really good advice
     
    #10
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    Man, I remember the bump from 2.5 to 3.0.

    Oh, I was God's gift to 2.5 tennis, I was. I could run down anything my opponents could hit -- remember, no one was hitting the ball hard -- and I could push like a maestro.

    Then I was bumped to 3.0. My new opponents could run as well as I could, but some had actual technique. I lost my only singles match -1 and -0. I lost all of my other matches that year. The team went 0-11 and rarely won an individual match.

    I decided tennis wasn't going to be much fun if I kept getting to balls and knocking them out, so I started taking lessons to get a few actual strokes.

    Maybe just work hard on all aspects of your game and take as much instruction as you can manage? Don't worry, you'll get there.
     
    #11
  12. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    Pretty much every time you get bumped up you are going to face better opponents that can handle your best shot and exploit your weaknesses. When you get to 4.0 and then 4.5 it will be the same thing. Basically you have to learn how to adapt to the new level of play. At the 3.5 level you can win a ton of games just by getting the ball back. Shore up your backhand so it is consistent. It does not have to be a weapon. Even a slice BH if it is consistent and deep will be fine. You do need to learn how hit some topspin and and flat shots with it though. Going to a 2HBH is a big change. Don't do it unless you are willing to spend a good 6 months to a year before you get comfortable with it.

    You're 21- you have a lot of time to get better. Patience grasshopper :)
     
    #12
  13. fire_eaters

    fire_eaters New User

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    thanks guys..this is all really great advice.
     
    #13
  14. harleywilson

    harleywilson Rookie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Georgia
    Not that it is helpful but my record is far better at 3.5 than it was at 3.0. The extra pace seems to help me. I would think a low slice would kill most 3.5's. It killed me. I just got the bump to 4.0 and played my first match there. It wasn't pretty
     
    #14
  15. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,720
    What solar system is this happening in?
     
    #15
  16. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    Dude we are talking real 3.5s here. No pansie 3.5 hack jobs. They live and die 3.5 USTA tennis. Tons of tournament match play is a given.
     
    #16
  17. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I thought I would paste this into here. This is from the USTA NorCal Rating Key. Just stick with it and keep playing tournaments. .

    What Does That Rating Number Mean?
    2.0? 2.5? 3.0? 3.5? 4.0? 4.5? 5.0? 5.5?


    A rating is a skill level. Each rating represents a range of skill level, not an exact level. There are 50 different levels within each rating. This means that not all players in one level have the same skills and are equally competitive on the courts.
    Here is an example that applies to all skill levels:
    Not all 3.5s are equal.
    A 3.5 rating is any rating from 3.01 to 3.50. One 3.5 player may be a 3.49, about to move into 4.0 territory, another may have just come up from the 3.0 level and is a 3.01.
    This also means that if a 3.5 player wins all his matches, he is not necessarily a 4.0. That 3.49 will probably beat a 3.01 and that does not make him a 4.0. He should beat weaker players. If he consistently beats other 3.49 players, he will most likely generate a higher rating. If he loses to other 3.49 players, his rating will drop, but it may not drop enough to put him into the 3.0 level.
     
    #17
  18. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,720
    In my region the avg 3.5 tourney attracts about 2 or 3 guys. Where's there are 100+ league 3.5 players.

    So, your analogy is, well, quite bogus.
     
    #18
  19. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    In the wild world of LeeD
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,206
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    "in the wild world of LeeD"
    Most 3.5's I play against in doubles have been that level for at least 5 years, have basically peaked in their tennis abilities, and will never get better even if they play 5 days a week (which most do), and 5 hours a day (which none can).
    Anyone less just doesn't stand a chance to hold anywhere near his own. A new 3.5, like maybe for a couple of season, has no experience, cannot handle the heavy tops and slices, the short angles, the dipping shots, the body shots, cannot volley well enough, and doesn't have nearly an overhead AND a serve (might have one or the other). Just too many liabilities to play against real 4.0's.
    Just like I, ME ME ME, have too many liabilities to be competitive against real 4.5's.
     
    #20
  21. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    And you also told me about a year ago that the Cal men's team was loaded with 3.5-4.5 players and that they play at 5.0 doubles level.
     
    #21
  22. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,720
    Seasoned 3.5 tournament match tough players.

    LOL

    I'm not a 3.5, but I watch my buddy that captains (2) 3.5 teams.
    and NONE of these guys play tournaments.

    I just looked up the last 5 3.5 tournaments on TL in my section to make sure I'm not BSing here, and most had 2 players draws.

    Show me a section where there is a high tournament 3.5 player to 3.5 league player ratio: Registered league players VS Tournament players.

    I bet 3-5%% of league players play in 3.5 tourneys consistently.

    And, finally, I dunno why I'm arguing about this, but I guess I get the truth bug in me when I see injustice and mistruths on tt.
     
    #22
  23. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,212
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    I think this means the ranking system in your area is actually working. There should be a clear delineation with each .5 step up in the ratings
     
    #23
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,206
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Woodrow....
    As usual, you have the facts WRONG....
    I said the CalBerkely's JV team, that's JV, like JuniorVarsity team, has 4-4.5 singles players who play doubles for Cal's JV team.
    You mixed up the fact that I, ME ME ME, play 4.0 singles but can compete quite adaquately in 5.0 doubles.
    Get your facts straight, please.
     
    #24
  25. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    587
    Location:
    Miami, FL

    You sound like one of my friends who thinks his FH is godly simply because he can crank it up with a lot of pace. Overpowering your opponent is not the KEY here. Learn to control the points with your forehand by placing them. Maybe you have an excellent CC forehand and an excellent DTL forehand but how is your inside-out FH? A lot of people who think they have amazing FH's have a pretty pathetic inside-out FH because their footwork isn't that great when hitting that shot.
    At a 3.5 level if your FH is as good as you say it is you should be able to control the points with your FH. Try to construct the point with your FH not just pound the ball as hard as you can.
     
    #25

Share This Page