Got The Singles Monkey Off My Back

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, May 18, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, thank Gawd. I finally finally won a singles match against a 3.5 player. Better yet, against a 3.5 singles specialist.

    : yanks monkey off back, strangles him until he is dead dead dead :

    First set was a breeze. I did just what my pro has been telling me: Get to the ball quickly, set up, smack it. This produced short balls, which I smacked for angled winners. I served with Major Slice, which produced an error or short ball. All was well. 6-1.

    Second set started off the same, and I was up 2-0. And then something happened. I started missing some second serves. I started getting to balls a little late. Opponent started giving me a steady diet of balls pushed to the center hash at the baseline. My approach shots sucked. I missed countless volleys. I missed crucial overheads or pushed them. I just could not attack anything. 3-6.

    At the set changeover, I sat down and decided I would rather go down swinging than pushing. Before you knew it, I was behind in the match tiebreak. 0-1. 2-3. 4-6. 7-8. I just could not overtake her.

    I got to 8-8 somehow, and I was serving. I hit a good first serve and got the usual reply: A pushball to the middle of the court, in no-man's land. And that's when it hit me: Play your drop shot! I carefully found my grip, kept my eyes on the ball, stepped into it and hit a 1HBH slice drop shot over to her BH near the net. Much too high over the net, but lots of backspin. She didn't reach it. A burst of applause from my teammates. 9-8.

    For the next point, she served. I decided that I would keep the ball in play for 100 strokes if that is what it took. I rolled balls up the middle. Rolled them to the corners. Hit topspin moonballs. On and on it went. Finally, she missed into the net.

    So I finally have a win in singles. It was three years in the making.

    Cindy -- who was glad that tennis facility has a defibrillator hanging on the wall because she was awfully close to needing it
     
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  2. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    Good stuff and well done. It took guts to play a drop shot (for the first time in the match?) at 8-8 in super tie break!
     
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  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    fed would be proud of you:)
     
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  4. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Good job Cindy!

    Though push balls to the 'T' have been my undoing in more than one match!

    Most importantly, though, what did you wear? ;)
     
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  5. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    topaz i thought you died. how was the move
     
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  6. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    It sucked, and it isn't over yet. Still many, many more boxes to go and stuff to sell. :( Which is translating into a pretty crappy tennis season for me because I'm exhausted to the bone before I even walk out onto the court. If I could, I'd sue my landlord five ways from Sunday, but she waited until my lease was up to pull this crap.

    Uhh, sorry Cindy, didn't mean to rain on your parade there...
     
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  7. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    ouch. thats terrible. i think i read you moved twice this year?
     
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  8. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Wow, dropshot at 8-8. That takes brass huevos for sure.

    Congrats - I felt the same way about my first 4.0 singles win - it took 5 or 6 tries, and I had to take it in a breaker. Down 2-5 in the breaker even.
     
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  9. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    ^^^What he/she said. We guys always say no guts, no glory. So well done, Ms. Sphinx, well done. :)
     
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  10. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    How about that...

    ...you persevered, and you won a singles match. I assume you went out with your homies after the match and celebrated with a few beverages, right? Let me guess...Upside Down Margaritas? Jello Shots? Hop, Skip, and Go Nakeds? Kamikazes? Flaming Absinthe Shots? Melon Balls? Snowshoes? Cornell U. Combats? Jager Bomb Shots? Am I getting warm yet?
     
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  11. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Nice .......
     
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  12. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

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    Congratulations Cindy~ What do you wear? The orange Yonnex?
     
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  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ha! No, I didn't wear a tennis dress. Remember, my theory is that tennis dresses will inspire my opponent to whip the chick in the dress, and I didn't want to wave a red flag in front of a bull. Plus, I'm superstitious. I win a lot in red shirts and black skirts.

    Regarding the drop shot . . . That wasn't the first drop shot of the match. No, no. That was the first BH drop shot I have ever hit in any USTA match.

    And what did I do while she was running for it? I stood there slackjawed. Oy.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Advil.

    I totally forgot my pre-match cocktail of Advil + bananas. I could barely walk when I got home.
     
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  15. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Well since it worked I suppose we're supposed to call it a brilliant decision under pressure instead of a massive brain cramp chokejob in the moment. :D

    Congrats, sounds like a dramatic and fun conclusion to a match.
     
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  16. bodieq

    bodieq Rookie

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    Yes, especially since Federer whiffed his forehand shot on match-point against Nadal in the recent Finals at Madrid...in the tie-break. Very awkward.

    Cindy, great singles win and good staying tough in the match. Was that 3rd a full 3rd set that got to a tie-break? Or did you play a super-10 point tie-break?
     
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  17. TourTenor

    TourTenor Professional

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    Whoa ... nekkid tennis? Excellent distraction!

    Seriously, congratulations on your win!!
     
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  18. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    Congrats! Great recap of match- I got goose bumps just reading about the drop shot. And then the mental toughness to grind out one more shot than op- NO MATTER WHAT!

    All while teammates gasp and cheer in the background.

    This is what the pure usta experience is about- The thrill of beating that monkey off your back with teammates cheering is priceless.
     
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  19. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Good going! Pretty soon you won't want to be bothered by doubles. Your hostility to animals is a little unsettling, though. You're strangling the monkey, smacking the bee...
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I guess it is acceptable these days to play au naturale.
     
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  21. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    lol i was trying to infer that over the years fed has been easing in that dropper of his ever more effectively
     
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  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I thought you had recently gotten married or something and had some bad dating experiences.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You guys are a hoot!

    Well, I've thought about it, and I know what I need to work on next.

    I need to learn that the mere fact that my opponent's shot is deep up the middle is no reason to moonball it back. I can still attack those balls, and failing to do so will mean I get stuck in Pushball Moonball Hell. I need to get better at putting weight behind my shot in those situations and getting good direction on it.

    Back to work!
     
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  24. nickynu

    nickynu Semi-Pro

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    Well done Cindy but there's no need to strangle the Monkey a light spanking usually is satisfying enough

    Oh come on you were all thinking it. :oops:
     
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  25. all3ofus

    all3ofus New User

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    you go girl!!!
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I told my pro about the match.

    He was underwhelmed with the decision to hit the dropper at 8-8.

    The reason is that I hit the dropper not because it was the right shot but because I was terrified to simply punish the ball with a groundstroke because I had been missing so much. I guess he saw the dropper as a "yip" and low percentage rather than a smart play, and I am not going to win a lot of matches with low percentage yips.

    What a buzz kill.

    So we are going to work on punishing short balls next week.

    :sigh:
     
    #26
  27. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    First and foremost, congrats! Nice win. :)

    As for the deep moonballs, as you improve you will learn to recognize them early and either take them out of the air with nasty approach volleys, or run around to your preferred side and hit an aggressive, but safely struck crosscourt shot, thus introducing your opponent to the joys of running. :) Best, BHBH
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I need a swinging volley off of both sides. Gotta put a stop to that moonballing. I can do it off my FH side, but I tend not to recognize the moonball fast enough.
     
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  29. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    You know, the good old fashioned 'non-swinging' volley works really well too, and is MUCH easier to consistently execute. If you can learn to hit a nice deep skidder you'll finish a bunch of points easily with the second volley at eye level as you'll force 'em to hit 'up'. :) Then you learn to mix in the short volley and that dropper of yours and you're 4.0 in no time. :) BHBH
     
    #29
  30. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    BHBH, I get what you're saying...I do.

    However, and I experienced this in my own match last night...when you're up against a moonballer (who really knows how to moonball, and there's lots of them at 3.5 women's singles), I often find that the ball, as it is coming back down, is too steep of an angle for a traditional volley. Make any sense?

    Now, I'm not hitting a swinging volley on those, either, mind you...I let them bounce. But I came in with regular volleys when my opponent didn't get that moonball deep enough.

    There were a few, too, (she moonballed just about everything that I hit to her BH) that landed short, but the bounce was incredibly high...and I found myself moving forward to be aggressive, but then letting the ball back me back up after the bounce. I suppose either taking it out of the air (even that that awkward angle) is something I need to learn and/or taking the ball early after the bounce.

    There were a few times, when she moonballed off of my serve that I just came in and took a traditional volley. I found it easier then compared to later in the point, too.

    Just adding my own 3.5 musings here...

    Personally, I don't really hit swinging volleys except very rarely, and then usually only on my BH side (two hands).
     
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  31. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Hey Topaz,

    Yes, it absolutely makes sense. I think the 'decison making' part of tennis is one of the toughest to learn and then integrate into actual play. It requires first and foremost very early recognition of the quality and placment (in 3D, not just 2D) space of the incoming ball. Early recognition drives good footwork, and good footwork proper spacing from the ball. I will never forget when I finally 'got' the idea of 'volleying with your feet'. Laver was famously quoted as talking about how the best volleys are hit with your 'feet' and my coach is an absolute stickler for it. When you learn how to recognize the ball early, use your feet quickly and efficiently to get to the ball, and simply use your momentum (and good timing) to place the volley where you like with precious little actual racquet movement, the net game gets not only easier, but a whole lot more fun! :)

    Best, BHBH
     
    #31
  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Topaz, I think you nailed the problem with those moonballs.

    They are coming in with a trajectory that I'm not used to. I'm a doubles player. Most volleys are struck off of balls that are deliberately hit low over the net and when you are in front of the service line. The trajectory is flat. So you turn, step in, keep the right grip, firm wrist . . . good things happen.

    Moonballs are a different animal altogether. You usually get to them deeper in the court, they are dropping straight down, it has no pace, you have less angle to work with. You have more court to cover, and we all know what happens when you try to hit a volley while too far away from the ball (stab volley). This is a very hard volley to hit with enough pace, angle or depth to avoid getting into trouble.

    That's why I think hitting a swinging volley is a better solution. The ball is behaving much like a groundstroke in its trajectory, so I think I will start treating them as such. I can hit the swinging volley with good consistency on the FH side, but I am less secure on the BH side. Gotta work on that.
     
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