High level play rating.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by J011yroger, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hey all, enjoy the read, but I am really looking for replies from high level posters, talking about 5.0++ players, I hope that some of the people I like/respect the opinions of would weigh in (Mojo/Craig Clark/etc.), I would hope that if you are replying, you have played at a high level, hit against tour players, (Futures, Challangers, D1 ranked) as well as advanced rec players, or have extensive coaching experience with this level of play.

    Question is, how is a person supposed to know if they are a 5.5 player, if they do not have a ranking. What I have been saying lately is that they cant. My position is that recreational play tops out at 5.0 and if you claim to be higher than that, you need a present or former ranking to back it up. And if you are talking about a former ranking, from some time ago, it should be fairly impressive.

    The reason I am posting this, and have taken my stance (Which is open to change) is that I personally can't tell just by looking at the people play. I have trouble judging the ball speed and ability levels, unless I play the person. Example. I was at a large public park, looking for a hit/pickup game, and I couldn't find anyone around who could thump. So I settled into a seat on a bench and watched two guys playing a match. There were a bunch of people watching, so I chilled, and observed. I had seen both players before, and knew they were of a decent standard, and watching the match figured the lesser player to be a mid 5.0, and the stronger player a weak 5.5.

    Later that day, and again in the future, I hit with the player I thought was a mid 5.0, and was shocked. In actually playing him, he was more a mid 4.5 borderline weak 5.0. Now I am an open level player and I think that NTRP is pretty much bogus, people have told me I am between 4.5 and 6.0 (Note people who told me I am a 6.0 have never played with/against a 6.0 and do not realize that they are delusional.)

    I have a decent amount of tournament experience, I enjoy looking at the pro/open list. (The ATP entry list of the top 500 players in the US.) and seeing how people I have played/hit with are doing. The problem is that I see two factors, as effecting your playing level. Firstly, the size of your game, secondly, your consistency. And that is tough for me to judge. Example, two guys play evenly with each other, one serves 130+ and doubles too much, the other serves 100-110,with good spin and can pick up quarters with his serve. I have played some 5.5-6.0 players, and felt like I was fighting for my life for every point, like I was a mouse running a razzle dazzle pattern against a farmer with a sledgehammer, and then when all was said and done, looked at the score and said "Hey! I didn't do too badly", and then I have played others at the same level, and felt that the guy was equal to me, never challanged me, or overmatched me, felt that I was in every point, in every game, felt that I could hurt him with my weapons, and then when we are done playing looked at the score and said "Wow, I got whipped.". In practice, or hitting, I have never met anyone I have been unable to keep up with, (Now I haven't ever hit with James Blake, but I don't think that is relevant). So I am fairly conviced that you can only tell by the playing.

    So still after all of my prattling on, the question remains, short of playing someone, or them having rankings to point to, how can you tell what level player they are once they get to 5.0ish.

    J
     
    #1
  2. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.

    I agree with you that in truth, it is very difficult to know.

    Recreational play tops out at the 5.0 level for the most part, and frankly the distinction between 5.0 and 5.5 per the NTRP guidelines is, IMO, the 'fuzziest' of all. Further complicating matters is the whole issue of so called 'sand-bagging'. When 5.5's play 4.5, the outcomes are difficult to assess. ;) Should I have re-evaluate my 'true' playing level having just lost 6-2, 6-0?? Or on the other hand, was that Double Bagel I suffered last week nothing less than a Badge of Honor??

    Recall also that in reality precious few folks will ever achieve a 5.0 level of play, much less 5.5 and above. So, practically speaking, it's tougher to find someone to play who you can use as a 'measuring stick' (unless you happen to have convenient access to some good DI players, who are, by definition, 6.0's).

    And your comments about the experience of playing really fine players is spot on. I played great tennis against Oscar Bustos when I hit with him a few years ago, but won only a few games. I've lost to people (purportedly) rated 4.0 (including one guy wearing an A shirt and high top Chuck Taylors (on clay, of course) and had (recent) wins against folks who (according to them) were 5.5's. My pal Tim is (by definition, as the former #1 player in the Mens 30's in our state) a 6.0, and we are pretty closely matched during play, though he (usually) comes out on top when we play practice matches.
    What does it all mean!!??! ;) I've been told by various teaching pros around the country (I travel quite a bit and try to fit in hits whenever I can) that I am anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5. One guy even said I was a 6.0 (he was wearing a leopard print thong and WayFarers, and was dead wrong, but I did play very well that day). The people who know me best and with whom I play regularly say I am 5.0-5.5.

    But in the end, does it really matter? Teaching pros play 4.5 leagues. Are they 'really' 4.5's? ;) Maybe there just plain aren't enough 'real' 5.0's to make a consistent league? I don't know. 3.5's want to play 4.0, and 4.0's want to play with the 5.5's. But when they do, they typically don't have too much fun.

    In the end, the system was NTRP intended to allow tennis players to find appropriate competition and enhance participation. I think it's done that to some degree, although it ultimately may prove no better than the old 'A', 'B', 'C' approach. ;)

    Best,

    CC
     
    #2
  3. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    Aye....check out what the USTA has to say. They have pretty detailed descriptions of the levels up to 5.0 and then the descriptors become shorter and nebulous at 5.0, so evidently they dont have a clear notion of this either. Based on what they say, I would be a 5.5, but I believe myself to be a 5.0 with 5.5 stroke production and 4.5 fitness ;)

    My take is the jump from 4.5 to 5.0 is easily defined and significant. 4.0-4.5 can be pretty hard to distinguish as can 5.0-5.5. Personally I feel the difference between 5.0 and 5.5's is more a matter of how much energy and events these guys do..if they are fit, train, how many times a week they play, how many events making them tourney tuff,. Stuff like that gives a player a big edge over someone who is a good player but just doesnt put the time and training in. At the 5.0's people have well defined and developed strokes although these days you sure dont need to have your toolbox full of tools to be a 5.0 or more. 6.0 is also pretty easy to tell..they've got creds.
    Anywho..thats my take..I think there are too many levels and they can do without the half levels..
     
    #3
  4. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yea, I mean, lets say I play 15 open tourneys this year, play all 4 surface nationals, and get a pretty good ranking, sectionaly and nationally, (You only count your best 6, and I am a streaky guy, so I gotta have a couple of good weeks and put a charge into my ranking.) Then I will be by definition a 6.0 player, but...still play even with the 5.0s that didn't play tournaments...that isn't right.

    I was thinking about this, and I have come to my own conclusion of sorts. 4.5-5.0 is really a quantum leap. That is the big one. The difference between 5.0 and 5.5 is consistency, smarts, and mental toughness. 5.5s miss less, play defence better, and have better shot selection, it is much more rare for a 5.5 player to chose to hit the wrong shot at the wrong time. If you compared a 5.0 and a 5.5 side by side, stroke by stroke, then I doubt you would see much difference.

    I tell all of my students to picture tennis like chess. When you are a 2.5 you only know how to use your pawns, then when you get to 3.0 you can use your rooks too, then 3.5 you get to use the bishop, and 4.0 the knights, then 4.5 the queen, and when you get to 5.0 you can use all of the pieces. When you get to 5.0 you know how to play tennis, and it is your skill and ability that determine where you go from there, and the only thing that can quantify that is past or current rankings.

    In my opinion it takes a big pair to call yourself a 5.5 with out creds. And by creds I mean ATP points, national ranking in open or 35s, or D1 college.

    People (club players) say I am like a 6.0 when I tell them I play tournaments and such, and I reply, "Eh, not really...that NTRP stuff kind of goes out the window once you get to 5.0, or if not out the window then real hazy."

    As far as creds, what do you guys say about the USTA PRO/OPEN list? If you don't know what that is, it is the entry ranking for ATP tournaments for the US, a list of the supposed top 500 players in the US, starting with Andy Roddick, and working its way down. Is anyone on that list by definition a 6.0?

    J
     
    #4
  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,443
    I agree with everything that has been said in this thread. If you don't have cred, then you are 5.0 tops. And many 4.5 players call themselves 5.0, when in reality, they have never played at what i consider a true 5.0 level.

    I 5.0 guy I used to hit with regularly played some National tournaments one year and ended up ranked in the top 300 in the US. On a good day he was a 5.5, but I'd still call him a strong 5.0. In other words, even the entry rankings don't mean much once you get past the first 200.
     
    #5
  6. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yea, I have played/hit with guys in the high 100s to mid 200s on the entry list, and it wasn't like I was getting humiliated.
     
    #6
  7. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.
    The thing is this: if you have a state, sectional, or national ranking, then you ARE a 6.0 BY DEFINITION. This creates a strange reality, where there may be 5.0's and certainly many 5.5's who are every bit as good as you, but don't play enough tournaments to get the 'credentials'. I think Mojo alluded to this fact.

    Thus my ealier comments. The ranking system breaks down a bit at these stratospheric heights of the game. I once had a VERY good hitting partner who ultimately became a teaching pro after he relocated to California. He told me a story about how he had been invited to join a USTA league where most of his fellow pros were participating. He declined graciously, but later said to me, 'for the love of God, I competed successfully in the Orange Bowl....how can I show up with a straight face to play the 4.5's?'

    I think there are a bunch of people who should ask themselves the same question. ;)

    CC
     
    #7
  8. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yea, I kind of see 5.5 as a step back...Rec play tops out at 5.0 and if you play tournaments or college and are ranked, then you are by def 6.0, and when you stop playing tournaments/college, then you get to call yourself 5.5...so the ability gap between a 5.0 and a 6.0 is vastly smaller than that of a 3.0 to a 4.0 to a 5.0.
     
    #8
  9. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Agreed. A good 5.0 won't surrender many games to a 4.0. On the other hand, many good 5.0's (and certainly 5.5's) will give many a 6.0 all they care to handle. The real 'Quantum Leap' occurs at the 6.0 to 7.0 level. ;) CC
     
    #9
  10. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    The High Country of Colorado
    "Yup." I pretty much agree with all posted above. IMO, the problem is with trying to use the NTRP to "really" rate someone. If the player isn't playing tourneys to get ranked/rated, the ETRPS system is a much better way to distinguish a player's ability/ranking.

    I am a 5.0. One of my regular hits is a 5.5, and I have yet to get a single set off him. (I've pressed him to tie-breakers and 7-5 sets ... but he always seems to have a "reserve" I simply do not have....)

    - KK
     
    #10
  11. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I missed the boat on that 7.0 level thing so I will have to take your word for it :)

    J
     
    #11
  12. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.

    Don't I wish!! ;)

    I've played some 'former 7.0's' and they are incredibly good, even now. A big part of it is their ability to compete for ever darned point and uncanny shot selection/court sense.

    CC
     
    #12
  13. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    USTA attempted to clear it up by publishing this "Elite player guideline." In terms of skills, there is an exponential rise usually between the recreational, then college level, and pro level players if you look at reaction time, footwork, hand-eye coordination, etc. And as Craig mentioned, they hardly ever let a ball slip by :(

    http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/usta/doc/content/doc_13_7372.pdf

    The really weird thing I saw was when Cecil Mamiit (a pro-player) had a 4.5 rating one year after playing some league players in open tournaments. The algorithm that USTA used seems to have been geared for the lower NTRPs more than higher levels (besides the there have been some definite ratings abuse lately that has clouded the NTRP levels).

    And then there is Leticia McCaig, a former WTA top 100 pro, Fed Cup player for Venezuela, #1 WTA pro player for Venezuela, who happened to self-rate 3.5 to partner herself with students in tournaments (and then in league matches). She was most recently NTRP rated 4.5 until USTA gathered enough evidence and bumped her back up to 6.0, where she should have been despite her injury (she wiped out 4.5 women singles player 6-0, 6-0 in less than 30 minutes).

    It appears that they also adjusted Cecil Mamiit to 5.5 :-D

    Anyway, that should be a good indication of how many "elite" players have self-rated poorly, or tanked matches to get down to 4.5. :sad:
     
    #13
  14. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.

    Love it! ;)

    I used to play mixed doubles tourneys with Shawn Foltz, a former Top 50 WTA'er (actually, I think her highest ranking was 52 or so, not that it really matters much at those heights of the game). When Shawn moved to finish her doctorate she signed up for a ratings clinic and was pronounced a 4.5! :confused: Yeah, right. Shawn was an INCREDIBLE player. Just goes to show you how accurate the ratings clinics are, now doesn't it?

    And Cecil Mammit? Heaven's Sake!!! That guy is still like what, 30 years old? I bet a lot of people pretty much know their money is wasted when they enter a tourney with him in the draw, even at the 5.5 level!! :(

    I'm not sure what would work better than our current system, but it certainly does have its pitfalls!!

    CC
     
    #14
  15. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.
    I just want to add that while I do not know Cecil Mammit personally (though I did meet him once very briefly at the Memphis Indoor Tournament many years back) I understand from people who DO know him that he is just a great guy. I am certain he was NOT sand-bagging. Rather, I suspect he was caught in the 'ratings game' as was Shawn. Best, CC
     
    #15
  16. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Sorry.......just in case you didn't read it in another thread, allow me to post the thoughts of one my close pals who is a teaching pro on these matters. I think it drives the point home well!

    "I competed successfully in The Orange Bowl, how can I show up to play the 4.5's with a straight face??" :confused:

    Best,

    CC
     
    #16
  17. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,165
    #17
  18. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    Cecil wasn't the one who "self-rated." The computer had assigned him the rating after he encountered league players in an open tournament. That's why the NTRP computer algorithm is really screwed at the higher levels. There is an exponential nature even within the levels at the higher NTRPs, while the lower levels are more linear.

    Leticia McCaig on the otherhand, did self-rate poorly.

    Although, if you're not practicing at the highest level, it is possible to drop off. But not from 6.0 to 3.5 like Leticia did. She was cheating, pure and simple. I heard she finally got suspended for 6 months.
     
    #18
  19. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.
     
    #19
  20. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    This topic brings up a bigger problem.

    With the influx of Div 1. and Div 2. college players to USTA, 4.5 has really become more like a weapons race.

    Which then screws up the ratings at lower levels.

    And it's happening at the bottom too. I've seen 2.5 players that should have self-rated 3.5.

    It's really screwing up tennis for beginners, many who just quit because they get so frustrated.
     
    #20
  21. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hey, I am a top 10 in my section, national tournament caliber open player, and I regularly get asked to play in 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and open leagues. the captain of a 3.5 team told me he made it to sectionals last year, and if I played that they would def make it to nationals. I was like, dude, I would be embarassed to say I owned a 3.5 trophy, and a 4.5 trophy would be a paperweight to me. Let someone who worked hard to get to that level have the trophy.

    I tell these league players that I would rather get whooped by the #1 player from pepperdine than bagel some 3.5 guy.

    I would consider the 5.5/open league, but I would have to meet the guys and see what they are like.

    J
     
    #21
  22. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    The High Country of Colorado
    I agree with J011yroger. I have never played an NTRP Tourney.

    When the "new" USTA system came out -- replacing the A, B and C tourneys -- I chose to simply play Open tourneys. (I was already playing "A" tennis.)

    We had "trophy hunters" back in the A, B, C days. The NTRP just created more "levels" in which to collect their "iron". Phooey!

    At 45 I returned to tennis after 20 years "off". I've played Age Group tourneys ever since. (Some of my buddies keep telling me how much fun it is to play the NTRP 4.5s ... how the HS and College kids cannot handle the variety of spins we regularly employ.) I just chuckle ... and call them "Trophy Hunters."

    - KK
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
    #22
  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hey, I, at the tender age of 24, do not claim to be above throwing junk. More for the element of surprise than because I am good at it, but throwing junk can be extremely effective if you have the big steam to back it up/contrast with. I find it is one of those things where the less you do it, the better it works.

    J
     
    #23
  24. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.

    Amen. One of the ways I've 'upped' my game is by using LOTS of variety. European players and South Americans are great at this because they typically grew up on clay, where it is mandatory for any real success. I like to vary the pace, spin, depth, and even strategy (ie mixing in s/v w/ staying back and attacking short balls). It seems to perplex many 'power players' who will become VERY frustrated when not allowed to hit balls waist to chest high, ie their 'comfort zone'. When robbed of pace, many will almost immediately start over-hitting. I think there is FAR too much emphasis placed on power nowadays. ;) CC
     
    #24
  25. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    No No...you are still required to hit the balls between waist and chest high to me with top and pace, I just now have the liberty of deciding to, or not to blast them back.

    lol

    J
     
    #25
  26. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    I like that term ... trophy hunters.

    League play which is pretty bad now.

    Unfortunately, the 5.5 ranks have been mostly wiped out because of all the sand bagging 4.5 players.

    I believe that many of the players that decided to "game the system" are doing it because they are not able to compete on an even playing field. Open tournaments are fun because they require you to be at the top of your level.
     
    #26
  27. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,013
    Location:
    In the moment.
    OK, fair enough. ;) Actually I too MUCH prefer the 'power players' to the wiley junk-ballers. CC
     
    #27
  28. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,033
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    J,

    My friend "V" hit with you last week. I asked him if he was tennis2006 but haven't heard the reply yet. And yes, his scouting report indeed support your love of midlevel balls with pace and top :)

    The measure of how good you are is who you beat, how many times AND the network of won and losses among a collection of players. Recreational players are obsessed about NTRP ratings, much like men obsessing about the length of the you know what.

    As far as competition is concerned. I do truly believe that you make a distinction between a friendly competition and real, honest competition, which is war on the tennis court. I think that it is possible to be a 5.0 a treat it as a dedicated but still recreational activity. Anything above that requires a dedication of resources that goes beyond what most normal people with jobs and responsibilities other than tennis, can allocate to. Now, if you were higher and now you are semi-retired, you can backslide down to say a 5.5/6.0 but these former pros are in a different category.
     
    #28
  29. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I would love to get a hit in with ya. People say I am not gracefull enough to play tennis, and I tell them that I am not, I just hit the snot out of the ball and hope for the best.

    J
     
    #29
  30. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Ya, he is tennis2006, I have hit with him twice, and planning to again sunday. He has a nice clean game, and plays smart. When we hit, I find myself being lured into playing at his speed instead of mine, something I plan on working on.

    We gotta get together and hit some balls, I just got a new cellphone, so I will e-mail you the new number. Hopefully V's scouting report didn't reveal too much, although I don't think it would much matter, it isn't too much of a secret what I am trying to do out there.

    J
     
    #30
  31. johnkidd

    johnkidd Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    725
    I agree with the comments about better players not playing enough for rankings. I was ranked in my district one year (#6) because I plaed enought tournaments and got to two quarters and two semis. There was no way I was the 6th best player in that district. I also agree with the premise on how much you are able to play and train determines what level you play at.
     
    #31
  32. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,479
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Basically, the NTRP rating system is only in place for the leagues and tournaments by ability level. So in other words, up to 4.5-5.0. There really arent local 5.5 or 6.0 team tennis leagues and tournaments, haha... so I agree with the original post- that beyond this players are judged on ones achievements, results, and rankings in tournaments. People at the 5.5+ level are playing tough college tennis, stepping into the Futures and then Challenger pro tournaments, and then you have the top 100 known name pro players at the big events. You dont hear people saying "Oh yeah Roger Federer yeah that guy is definitely a high level/strong 7.0 player, and that Ben Becker guy, yeah he is maybe a solid to weak 6.5". Lol! I think the whole NTRP thing is to foster competitive matches between players of similar ability. This isnt the goal for 5.5+ players who are all very good/improving, and competing to win, and so its all open entry or based upon past results to qualify.
     
    #32
  33. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,397
    I like the idea of not having any half ratings. Do away with 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 I say.
     
    #33
  34. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yea, Open/A/B/C would be very nice.

    But the thread topic wasn't NTRPs of 1.0-4.5, I was talking about 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0. And how to distinguish between them in the current system. Because in real life, once you get to 5.0 all that ntrp stuff gets real hazy, if it doesn't go out the window.

    Thankfully I don't live in leaguesville, so I don't really have to deal with sandbaggers and so forth. That is the beautiful thing about open, anyone can play, and whoever is on the other side of the net, you whoop his ass, and don't worry about if he is sandbagging, or if he belongs at this level. The only thing I have to deal with are 4.0s/4.5s who say/think they are 5.0s/5.5s. But usually I can guilt them into paying for the court time if I call them on it :).
     
    #34
  35. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,261
    Why would anyone attempt to self-rate at a 5.5 or higher NTRP rating? By far and away, DNTRP ratings are based on adult league and senior league play results and you just don't find many 5.5 leagues. These are your open tournament players and it is where many college players, former pros and and teaching pros play. Since tournament play no longer is considered as a basis for DNTRP ratings, self-ratings gonvern and they will swing wildly. I suppose the tournaments will now be used to solely dictate seedings based on state, sectional and national rankings and standings. But around here, the open division comes after 4.5. There just aren't enough higher level players to have a 5.0 or 5.5 level. But the open level always draws a great crowd of spectators.
     
    #35
  36. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Not talking about a USTA Rating, just people who say. "Yea, I play 5.0" that want to play you, and then you meet up with them, and they cannot even return your normal rally ball.

    There are 5.5/Open leagues here, and there are a couple of teams (Maybe 5), so that is the only reason you would self rate 5.5.

    J
     
    #36
  37. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    The High Country of Colorado
    Ohhh! (I didn't understand your OP either.)

    But, MAN!!!, did you just bring back memories...! I remember when I'd moved to a new town in the early 80s, I told everyone I met I was a tennis player and was trying to get "connected" to the local tennis scene. Occasionally, someone would volunteer to play me....

    Once -- and this really happened -- a guy showed-up with a T-2000 in a PRESS, and a can of mis-matched tennis balls, including one very-old-and-dirty Dunlop, and one Tretorn which barely had a cover left on the rubber. (That was a miserable hour and a half....)

    After that experience I stopped being so "open" about who I hit with. I'd warn whomever offered to play, "This might seem rude, but I don't want to waste time for either of us. I play "A" and "Open" tournaments, and I was a scholarship player in college. Do you still want to hit with me?" (I think that helped cut down on the "Gomers" wanting to play me....)

    Now I run our Town's Ladder, so I hit with any and all who inquire ... encourage them to play on the Ladder ... and even give them an idea of which "third" of the ladder I believe they'll "fit". They (almost always) appreciate knowing their are plenty of good folks with whom to hit ... at their level.

    - KK
     
    #37
  38. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    KK,

    I was giving a lesson on a public court, and one of my buddies was hanging out waiting for me to get done, and this guy comes up to him asking if he knows me, if I am any good, like he wants to play me.

    So my buddie says "I don't know man, J hits a pretty big ball." to which the guy replies "Wow, I didn't even know they came in different sizes!"

    J
     
    #38
  39. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    LOL :grin:

    Some of what you guys are saying brings back some (painful) memories of hitting with wannabees. But I also had a bad habit of encouraging them to practice more so that they'll eventually catch up, which is probably how I ended up being an instructor :confused:

    Anyway, NTRP is indeed broken at the higher level. If they would set Roger Federer to 8.0, and nearly all the top ten to 7.5, then the algorithm stands a chance of working. But the present algorithm doesn't know how to handle the minute differences of the advanced players.
     
    #39
  40. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
    hahaha. you shouldl definitely play him. and post a video.
     
    #40
  41. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Looking to get a sports camcorder probably at the end of the month, then video will be forthcoming.

    Didn't see any point in buying one till the outdoor season started.

    J
     
    #41
  42. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I agree. And maybe it tops out at 4.5.
    I rarely underestimate people, but I have overestimated people sometimes. You're right -- it's all about how you play in a match. If you watch a guy ranked 1000 in the world just hitting with a guy ranked 50 in the world, it's tough to tell who's better.
    I actually think 5.0 to 6.0 is tougher. Or maybe even 5.5 to 6.0. In the beginning, it's really just a matter of time spent on court, but as you get better, it's much more than that. You can be stuck in 5.0 land forever no matter how often you play.
    Cecil would only lose a handful of games in 4 or 5 rounds against 5.5 opponents, if that. And only because he's not trying.

    I don't know. At my peak, I was probably a strong 5.5. I agree the NTRP rating is elusive, but maybe mostly because people lie about their rating so much, contributing to the noise and confusion. And I agree that a 5.5 will almost invariably have played seriously as a junior or in college, even if it was a lower level college. To me, the 6.0 player is a rock solid open level player, like top 50 in So Cal, maybe top 10 in a less competitive region. Maybe he's still playing at a top d-2 school, or a really good d-1 school.

    But put up an ad on Craigslist and you'll be amazed by how many 5.5 players there are. Some have never even played a tournament. Their tennis skill is mostly kept a secret.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
    #42
  43. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
    so you are saying they are 5.5 but just have been hiding? if they truly are 5.5 why wouldnt they have played tournment, and its on CL looking for partners? i would think by that level theyd have regular partners,etc
     
    #43
  44. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I was being sarcastic. What you'll find out is that is that all these 5.5 players are really 3.5 to 4.0 players, and even after you smoke them 0 and 0, they'll just say they're rusty and say they want a rematch (insert future date here) when they're good again.
     
    #44
  45. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
    ahhhhh ok. thats what i thought. you got me!
     
    #45
  46. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I have played/beaten rusty 5.5 players, there is no way to confuse them with a 3.5-4.0 player, when you beat a rusty 5.5 even if the score is lopsided, you know you got away with one.

    When I get a 3.5-4.0 player who claims to be 5.0/5.5 and wants a rematch where "Hopefully they will play better" I always say "No prob, gimme a call when you are ready, but if you lose, lunch is on you"

    On the other hand, if someone really is a good player, and just having an off day, I am really sympathetic, because I know what it is like. On a bad day I would get laughed off of a 4.0 league team, on a good day people come up to me and ask if I play on tour.

    Hopefully after this year of tournaments I wont be so streaky, and random parts of my game wont just decide to go on vacation, or call in sick, or worse, no call no show. It is a bummer that I am probably gonna have to play 20+ tournaments this year to get enough wins to finish in the top 10 of my section when I had originally planned to play only 10-15. Playing tourneys every weekend kind of kills practice time, which really hurts improvement.

    J
     
    #46
  47. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I've been burned by Craigslist so much. Finally, this guy responds, says he was a highly ranked junior in Asia, just getting over an injury, willing to hit. I was elated. I don't get to hit with players that good normally. We go out there, first thing I notice is he's hitting a continental forehand. Guy was about 26 or so. Bad day. I was really annoyed but I was nice. He kept apologizing, saying he needs to get his "mojo" back. A few weeks later he wrote me saying he had his mojo back, he was ready to play. But you can tell in about 2 minutes if a player is good or if he was ever good. Hit with a guy who used to play serious D-1 tennis. I could tell he was good on the first heavy ball he hit. He was rusty as hell, but I could tell he once played at a much higher level than I'd ever played at.
    After about a 7 month layoff, went to play with a friend who I knew wasn't a strong player, so took my ball basket with the intention of asking my friend to feed me some balls at the end of the hit and giggle. My timing was so off that I was just cranking flat forehands. I was actually getting really lucky. I was killing forehands and they were all going in. Some guys were watching and they asked me if I was a pro. Hahaha! What beginners like them don't realize is that if I were playing good, and actually had some control and footwork going, I would NOT be hitting that hard. I was hitting that hard because I couldn't do anything else. I'm just beginning to be able to hit a nice ball in corners. Hitting out like I was that day was a desperation thing. Plus, I was getting lucky. Good players hit nice, deep, consistent balls, they don't swing like idiots. Still working on getting that back.
     
    #47
  48. Solat

    Solat Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,242
    this is an interesting thread, it is so hard to perceive your own game by watching others play. I am a club pro, i watch people play all day, i watch decent standard guys knocking balls around, hitting big shots and the like and i wonder how good they are compared to me. I cannot picture hitting the ball particularly harder then them, looks like some big serving from side on, but i had the chance to hit with 3 guys and make up a dubs when i had a lesson cancel. I was a little concerned coz i hadnt had a decent hit for 6 weeks. Once i was on court it was like slo mo, i didnt have to split step on returns, i had time to change grips between ebh & swfh (which i can't do at my normal level) on the return of serve. Poached far to easily, hit about 4 clean winners thru the middle off groundies, all without playing that well. Its strange to know that you look better then these types of players when you get on court.

    Back to the OP, its all in the head after a certain level, who plays smarter, whether its the big winner off the right ball or the repitition of deep balls into a bh corner its using what you own to out do what they own, which isn't necessary at lower levels. But also its the double fault ona big point, the risky dtl stroke or loss of fitness deep in the third that can cost.
     
    #48
  49. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,165
    I've experienced that too, but I was the one who underestimated the
    other guy. I saw this guy standing really far from the wall hitting flat
    ground strokes and letting the ball bounce twice before hitting it. Looked
    really smooth, but from just glancing over at him hitting the ball I had no
    idea he was a pro. Somebody asked him to play doubles with us since we
    needed a fourth. The guy's groundstrokes were penetrating. The 1st
    serve was easily 120. Also he closed the net SUPER fast and crushed
    volleys. Very balanced and in control on lunging volleys. I definitely
    couldn't hit the ball through this guy. Forced some errors every once
    in a while with my serve though.
     
    #49
  50. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,183
    Hi,

    I was rated NTRP 5.0-5.5 and truthfully I'm not sure what that means either. It's actually been a detriment to me in some respects. My competitive days are pretty much long behind me now and I play now to just enjoy and help others enjoy tennis. However, my rating prevents me from even being able to sign up for alot of things or even use the automatic game finder with people below 4.75. Anyhow enough about that, now to your question.

    How can you tell what rating you are? What does that number mean?

    In reality it's just a ball park estimation. There is a huge variance throughout the scale even at the 3.0-4.0. level. It all depends on how scrutinizing the coach is judging you.

    I'd like to think your tennis is more a game of peers. If you play with a certain group of fellows, you'll be classified about 'thier' skill level. If you hit with the big guns of the club, you'll be in thier circle and be put in that 'category'. Also, it depends on what leagues you participate in, A, B, C's etc. If your invited to play on the Men's 'A' team at your club, you're an 'A' player or A2,B1,B2...etc...the list goes on from there.

    So reality, when you reach a high enough level, NTRP ratings really mean nothing. At that level you throw numbers out the window and you look at styles. You're like player A will give player B problem because of a hard serve and solid ground game...or player B will give player A problem because of speed and a crafty net game.

    You're reputation is more important then your NTRP rating after you go beyond the 5.0 level.

    I hope this helped.
     
    #50

Share This Page