Held my own against a 4.5

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by musicalmedic81, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. musicalmedic81

    musicalmedic81 Semi-Pro

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    Maybe nothing to brag about, but I havent stepped on a court in almost 5years, and I never actually rated myself back when i used to play regularly. Ive always loved to play, but Ive never played any tournaments or had any lessons, just for fun.

    Theres a guy i work with who claimed that He's a 4.5 level player, we've talked about playing eachother but very jokingly cause i was sure that i would get killed, 6-1 6-2 if I was lucky. So we played last night. My serve is pretty bad, I never was very good at it and never had anyone really show me some proper technique. I can hit a pretty good slice serve down the middle about 50% of the time. So he got a lot of second serves from me. Anyway, I ended up doing much better than i anticipated. The first set started out BAD. I double faulted to lose serve on the first game, he aced me 3 times and then a service winner on the game point of the second game. After breaking me again, he was up 3-0, then I actually broke him twice to get back on serve. We went to 4-4, he broke me again then served out the first set to win it 6-4.

    By this point my legs were already tired due to not having been on the court in so long. In the second set, he was making a lot of errors, so I started pulling a roddick and just hit it back to him until he netted it. I could also tell that my untrained, un orthodox style was throwing him off cause he is used to playing real tennis players. Anyway, most of the baseline rallys went his way unless he made an error, i hit a couple of good forehand winners, my backhand sucks and usually just floats back to him or goes long. I ended up losing the second set 7-5.

    It actually was a pretty competitive match, there were lots of rallys that could have gone either way. I have a feeling that if I had a good serve and a better backhand, I probably could have atleast taken a set off him if not beaten him. Just thought I would share that story.

    Im really not even sure what it takes to be considered a 4.5, somebody wanna fill me in?
     
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  2. gdsballer

    gdsballer Rookie

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    on tennis.com, there's place where you can look up ntrp ratings and a description of them, not exactly sure where it is
     
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  3. goober

    goober Legend

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    No offense, but your friend at work can claim any level he wants, but unless he has been playing USTA matches and has an official rating I would be somewhat skeptical unless he was a college player or high level junior before.

    Case in point I met a guy who said he was 4.5-5.0 and a tennis instructor. I thought I was going to get double bageled. I don't know who he was teaching but he had awkward strokes and I easily beat him 6-0, 6-2. I would say that >90% recreational players who have not played USTA over rate themselves.
     
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  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    You can read the NTRP guidelines for each level but they are pretty worthless imo. The only real way is to play in a USTA event and win some matches at the 4.5 level.
     
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  5. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    You posted on March 20th that you were in your mid-20s and hadn't played since you were 12 or 13. You said you didn't even own a racquet at that time.

    Ipso facto, no way in hell your friend is a 4.5.
     
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  6. EZRA

    EZRA Rookie

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    Musicalmedic: A 4.5 player would routinely take advantage a weak serve... wouldn't throw unforced errors as much as your friend did (as what you've said). And if your friend was really a 4.5, he would be very capable of serving towards your backhand throughout the whole match and kill your floating returns on the third shot (volley).

    I agree with beernutz, your friend isn't a 4.5 ... I doubt he's even a 4.0
     
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  7. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    I'd agree. I met some guy at the courts one time that said he was a 5.0. I agreed to play a set with him and bageled him in that set. He asked if I was a pro, lol. I told him I play in a 4.0 USTA League and he felt kind of embarassed. :p
     
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  8. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    I agree with all the folks who posted a reply. Based on the way you described the match, your friend might even be a 3.5! Sure, the USTA has a published guideline that is supposed to help players assess their skill level. It's funny though because it all depends on the player's confidence level or the lack thereof. The over confident ones could easily rate themselves higher (in some cases, even 2 levels higher!) and those who are not so confident might rate themselves a level lower. In league play, a lot of captains would advise an un-rated player who is just starting to play leagues at least one level lower than what they can assess themselves. This is not to suggest the captains are cheating. You just can't tell how a recreational player would do in an "official" league match against other established league players. Although the computer ratings are sometimes adeptly managed by some players, for the vast majority, it is still an acceptable barometer for a player's skill level. As they say, the player's track record will speak for itself. What do you guys think?
     
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  9. musicalmedic81

    musicalmedic81 Semi-Pro

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    you guys are probably right, this guy is the type that would hype himself up more than he is. Until today, I really didnt even know what a 4.5 was, Ive always just played for fun and never officially. He could have told me he was a 7.0 and I wouldnt have known the difference so he was prolly just humoring himself.

    Oh, and beernutz, to respond to your bit of skepticizm, Its true that I havent played an actual tennis match since I was 12 or 13, but up to about 5 years ago, I would still go out and hit occasionally. Im 26 now. Ive got a little more time on my hands now that all my school is over with, so I joined this forum, got some tips on what kind of racket I should buy, ordered a Head Liquid Metal MP off of ****, now Ive been hitting again for a week or so. Sorry for any confusion there.
     
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  10. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I would say that only 5.0 players and above tend to rate themselves accurately. It's not an ego thing, it's just that the chances that you've been around tennis long enough to make solid and knowledgable assessments goes way up when you're a 5.0. Again, you have to become good at tennis before you realize how bad you are.
     
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  11. guynamedsean

    guynamedsean Rookie

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    If money is not too tight, find a pro that you can take some lessons from. If you do not learn proper strokes and footwork your game will never mature. Even better would be a pro that teaches at a club becuase you may meet some tennis friends.

    After you have learned enough to consistantly hit deep with power and develop a real consistant second serve (preferably overhand rather than underhand lol) then ask your pro about leagues you can join in your area. There is most likely a USTA league in your area. This is important becuase you need other real tennis players to play tennis with or its all pretty pointless.

    I know this sounds expensive but once you are decent enough to play in the leauge drop the coach. You can still go to his group clinics for like 10 bucks usually. Plus you meet alot of players at these anyway. If you make enough friends that play, you can drop the clinics and the leauges all together. The clinics and leagues are pretty cheap thoug.

    If you don't do this you will be nothing more than the occasional hack. This is what alot of people that get off to a late start have to do. I am glad you are picking up the game. Best wishes.
     
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  12. musicalmedic81

    musicalmedic81 Semi-Pro

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    thanks guynamedshawn, and the rest of you too, all of your responses have been helpful, Next time I see mr "4.5" I'll be a little less naive thanks to the information you all have provided me with. I guess you could say I got Punk'd lol. Id love to get myself involved in some lessons so Im going to check that out soon.
     
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  13. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Hey don't let me dampen your enthusiasm about tennis. I think it is great that you held your own with anybody who has been playing regularly after you had such a long layoff.

    It is just that I sometimes hit with the 4.5s at my club and I know how good they are and how hard most of them work to be as good as they are. Many of them play tennis four or more times a week and many are ex-college or junior college players. Anybody, not just me, who has hit with real, honest-to-god, card-carrying, USTA league-playing 4.5s and knows how good they are would look on your story with skepticism.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
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  14. musicalmedic81

    musicalmedic81 Semi-Pro

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    Understood:-D
     
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  15. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Real 5.0s know they are 5.0. But that doesn't help you tell the difference between them and people who read the NTRP guidelines, and say "Hey I can do all that stuff, I must be a 5.0"

    If you can find a way to tell the difference between them, without actually wasting a hitting session on an "Internet 5.0" please, please, please tell me.

    If someone says they are 5.5 I ask what they are/were ranked, or what college they played for. If they give the "um, well..." answer, I just write them off.

    But there are some solid 5.0 players out there who are strictly recreational players, and there are a whole lot of 4.0s that think they are 5.0.

    J
     
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