Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Thepowerofchoice, Sep 13, 2012.
at the risk of sounding a bit trite, fitness is a part of your tennis skillset, just like your FH or your serve.
if you lost, it was because the opponent was, on the day, the better player.
I think I know what you mean here. I'm not really in shape for 2 sets of my best
tennis, so I can relate.
One match I played a tough ex college player and took the first set 6-3. I wouldn't say
I was really better, but was good enough to take that first one and very tired
from the effort to do it in 98 degr mid day heat. I decided to try and run him
in the second set to even things out a bit, but quickly started losing games.
Staying the course seemed only option though and he finished it 6-0, lol. eeek
3rd set I felt better, but tried to keep running him and fell behind 3-0.
Finally at 5-1, 40-15 he hit the wall of no return:???:
I took the 3rd at 7-5 by the skin my teeth. Tough playing those young guns
I sometimes play a guy who has no strategies nor placements. He just runs down every shot and hit the ball back, cross-court or down the middle, as hard as possible. And he doesn't have errors.
I lose to him almost every time. I usually lead 4-1 or 4-2 (with agressive play), get tired and start losing game after game. Stamina is a very good and dependable weapon. I don't have it.
^^ You get "too tired" 5-6 games into a match? What is that, like 20 minutes or something?
It's definitely not the shape I want to be in BUT.... I was in my 40's against a 27 yr old
steady baseliner ex college player in 98 degr heat. Some of the points and games
went quite long.
I imagine that's an easy matchup for you, but even though I was younger than now,
I didn't have modern strokes yet, which also led to more running.
Also, I'm more of a double player, so the fitness is much different.
Likely if you were watching, you would have picked the other guy as the better player.
You never get tired from 1st set with long points in the heat against a tough baseliner?
Thats good on you if you can do it without cutting pts short with UEs.
Oh...and 6-3 is 9 games, lol.
All the time these days. But, as Timbo mentioned, being in good enough condition to play your best tennis for 3 sets is part of the game. I'm not there yet. Might never be at my age. But I'm giving it a shot. Losing because I'm not fit enough to play my best tennis for 3, or even 2, sets is no consolation.
Real physical fatigue affects everything. Movement, court position, shot preparation and selection, reaction, etc. Most importantly maybe, the will to be tenacious in every point. The desire to win every point.
At this point, in a typical match against an opponent that I would expect to beat or be very competitive with if playing up to speed, I usually get an early lead, then things are about even for a while, then I sort of quietly fade away ... making all sorts of avoidable mistakes by the end of the match.
Sometimes there's something approximating a second wind. I have won 3 set matches. But usually fade well before that.
Maybe, at least in my case, the mental lethargy that accompanies the physical fatigue is the most important aspect of it.
Agree with this. Time to redefine what a 'worse player' means. I believe in tennis a better player never ever lose. One of the fairest game I know which is why I love it. The point system is set up to give as many chances as reasonable to make a come back. Results are pretty honest. If you don't agree with results, time to rethink the thinking.
I totally agreed with you here but the problem is people don't see it as the skill set. My fitness conditioning is on top of my priority list. I train hard to be faster, stronger and more flexible.
I have beaten players that are supposed to have better skill sets and I credit that to my fitness. One thing that kinda bugs me is when people say to me after the tough long match..."That guy that you just beat is a really good player and I can't believe you just won, you are lucky that you are so fit" lol
Fitness is worth at least .5 to 1 in NTRP level.
Don't have it, and you're down quite a bit.
Have it, you can play singles slightly above your skills.
How you deal with being unfit can make up .5 again. By stalling, by shortening points, by gamesmanship.
Sure did...lost to one in the semis earlier this year and I lost in the finals to an asian dude that ran me into the ground about 3 years ago in Bham. That match took like 2 plus hours and the score was 4 and 0.lol On the flip side I've also beaten a lot of guys that were better than me skill wise but I was in better shape. I've gotten in much better shape since march and am now about to play in the finals of a league that I'd previously never gotten out of the first round of the playoffs. So there is something to being in shape.
was it McEnroe who said 'the harder I train, the luckier I seem to get?'
certainly one of the top pros...
(i thiink it was Mac, but he was quoting Gary Player, who got it from someone else..)
Everybody has things they value more.
You value fitness highly and I respect that.
I value technique and strategy higher. It allows me to play well and even beat
guys that a fit 4.0 won't win a game off of them. There are matches that fitness
won't buy the entrance fee but technique and strategy will at least let you
compete for awhile. If the competition is well matched, then it may come down to
fitness or some other weakness relative to the opponent.
I know how you feel, because it feels like a slight when someone says "you
won because..bla..bla...", and it's not just you were a better player, with being a
fit pusher as the worst slight. I often hear it was due to my consistency even
though often times I had twice the clean winners, but I vary my pace, set things
up...not just bash every shot.
But you win some matches for some set of reasons and often those playing or
watching won't fully appreciate why.
Stroke production is only one aspect of the game. Your form/technique is irrelevant if you allow your opponent out-think and/or out-work you.
If that above was for me, you missed....
"You value fitness highly and I respect that.
I value technique and strategy higher. It allows me to play well ."
I was actually addressing Long face.
A 98 degree day can be tough on anyone that isn't used to heat, especially if the humidity is high.
I'm just shy of 40 and my whole game is based on being fitter than my opponent. (I sure as hell ain't gonna win on tennis skill, that's for sure).
Wasn't for you; was for the OP/in general
I do agree with you here but I guess for me staying in shape is easier than having all the right technique and strategy LOL. But I am working on it.
twice, both occasions in separate tournaments. i thought the opponents looked worse overall then me, but they were better where it counted most.
one guy i was up in the 1st 5-2 on, he was boring me to death and so i took too lightly serving out the set. he crawled back and stole the set right as i was losing all my stamina (i had diarrhea twice just before our midday match and was probably deficient in electrolytes with the sun's intensity being such that it was really getting to me--i rarely play tennis at that time of day but this was a tourney). but he definitely was fitter than me on that day.
the other guy was very fit too and again played the most boring game of human backboard that, even when he had me pulled off the court he never came in to the net but always retreated to his baseline. regarding those two players who beat me, i believe the guy i played while i was having diarrhea would probably not beat me if we played again--he's just not skilled enough all around however great a retriever he was. but the other guy i believe could beat me again because in addition to being a solid retriever, his ground strokes were clean technically on both wings.
I really like that quote...may have to steal it
Fitness conditioning never.
Heat conditioning a few times. March in the PWW flying to March in Flordia is a killer.
My bad r24, lol. Guess it does tick me off that I'm not in better shape and
I can't let turning 52 this yr be an excuse. I really wonder where my game
can be if I drop 30lbs and get more fit?
Clearly a sore spot for me right now
but I've dropped 10 and working for more!
sorry, did that twice tonite.
This topic really hits home with me:???:
Just lost to a guy yesterday, he was fresh and I had already been playing for 2-3 hours. ran out of gas towards the end of the set before I could finish him off. I dont know if I would consider fitness a skill, but it can be just as important or even more important than you skill set depending on the occasion. look at the us open final, murray practically won that 5th set on fitness alone.
Fitness is very important!
I usually don't like to run because it makes me lose weight, I have a very high metabolism and already have to eat much more than the average person just to maintain weight.
About a month ago I was hitting w/a younger ball basher I've mentioned before and was giving him a pretty good beating (which only happens sometimes as he can be difficult to play). It looked like he was just gonna give up, but at the 2hr mark I became very tired and couldn't concentrate, hit my targets, stay consistent, or put much of any pressure on him. The roles reversed for the last 30min, which was a totally crappy way to end the session. Usually he has some sort of minor comeback towards the end but this time I just crashed. I just attributed this pattern to being 10 years older than my opponent.
The last few weeks I've been running/sprinting for other reasons but have found that I've been consistently killing the ball basher during our last few sessions and he is not having any comebacks towards the last 10-20 min as he usually does. I'm not feeling tired towards the end and I'm able to stay on the gas and on top of the rallies. It really made a big difference.
Another example and good reason to get in better shape:
I played 4 sets of doubles yesterday. In the 3rd set we got new opponents and won 6-4. The next set we were up 4-1 and could have easily beaten them. However my partner that day is not in great shape and has been known to crash pretty badly when he gets tired, and thats exactly what he did at 4-1. His specialty is playing the net, I set him up for easy putaways but he started hitting the easiest volleys out, popped sitting volleys back instead of putting them away, and even started pushing incoming lobs UP instead of hitting an overhead! The vast majority of short balls and putaways I worked for he just threw away and we lost the next 5 games and the set! :evil: One of the opponents is a friend and in pretty good shape. He played better and better as my partner played worse. The difference in fitness level was enough to turn an easy victory into a loss.
Well...that and extra days rest over DJ!
Absolutely, this is a track game! You can win, kill a guy then start losing if not in shape.
When I got back into it, I played this guy who was basically just a returner, not a shot maker, it was like super hot and humid, I was beat after 20 minutes, dead, and I couldn't even serve, so he beat me easy because I was in hideous shape and the heat.
Nope, but I've been the player that beats the better player because I out last and out think them (come to think of it, that's a lot of my matches).
Are you a baseliner involved in long rallies?
If you can't get in shape, you might want to experiment with a more aggresive game and try to end points quicker.
65 isn't old anymore, so I do believe you can get in shape
Generally, since I am a power player and keep the rallies short, no. Once however, when it was 104 degrees in Houston (and therefore quite humid) I did get beaten by a marathon runner in 3 long sets. Still irritated I didn't beat that guy, all these years later.
Hi Mick. No, I like to come in on anything I can. But at my level of competition that can require even more energy than just hanging around the baseline, because nobody really hits or places the ball very well. So, I generally play very aggressively, and win most of the points, until the physical and mental lethargy begins -- at which point I move just enough to get balls back, and that hasn't generally been enough for me to win most matches.
It's not the age factor so much as a health issue, a byproduct of which was some leg problems. But the more I play (without, for me, overdoing it) the better I feel and the longer I can play. Maybe doing wind sprints and jumping exercises will help also.
Sorry to hear about your leg problems, I know to a degree lately how frustrating that can be, I've suffered on and off recently from two ruptured or torn Plantaris muscles, so I get "well", then jet it and it feels like a knife in my leg.
One thing that always worked for me was to jog, just jog and work up to 5 miles, once at 5 miles I only have to keep doing it twice a month or so and I'm in "shape".
Sprints are great, they build a different muscle, the one we use in Tennis. Good luck man.
Sure have taken loads of defeats due to fitness levels. 20 years or so since I struck a ball untill I took it up again last year. Excelled at the game though as a junior, packed it in at 16, took it up again at 26, packed it in again at 27, back playing now at 46 and ive taken loads of defeats from players i would consider have lesser skills than me but I do agree fitness levels are right up there in importance with skill levels.
I played 4 veteran tournaments this year in and lost in early rounds in all. Always the same pattern, start well, might even take an early lead say 4-2 or so but sure as rain is rain i drop away into tennis oblivion.
Weird thing is I let myself off the hook while playing saying im just a returning player and shouldnt really be competing with these guys. Knocking up I always feel stronger than my opponent in stroke technique etc but ultimately there is so much more to the game for me to relearn.
Back in the gym now in an effort to improve things, looking forward to next season and a tournament in november.
Us tennis players sure have big egos and im no exception!
when someone is fit they can consistently makes you hit another ball, which you may or may not be used to. which in turn creates pressure and may make you hit riskier shots that can lead to unforced errors. i believe fitness and speed go hand in hand and the phrase "speed kills", definitely applies in tennis.
If you have to eat LOTS more than normal, chances are you don't have a high metabolism. You have food absorption problems. Your body isn't taking in what you eat, so you have to eat much more to compensate.
I really don't know what you should do to compensate, other than slow down disgestion with veggies, protein, and fats.
It's also plausible that he has tapeworms inside.
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