How can a superior athlete beat a superior tennis player?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Aurellian, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well I said there was missing information... and I was right. In this post and others:

    The "4.5" in the OP sandbagging as a 3.0 is not actually a 4.5

    The "4.5" you beat wasn't a true 4.5

    You probably are currently above the 3.0 ranking, so you are likely sandbagging when you play 3.0 (why if you played a 3.5 "prolly a 4.0" essentially even, would you decide: "3.0 was a good start"?)
     
    #51
  2. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    Hmmm, how should I say this in the nicest way? I've seen Jason play and know that he lost to Nenad 2 and 0 earlier this year. Both are probably low 3.5's right now. Jason definitely isn't a 4.0 or 4.5, as he's a so so player in the over 40 3.5 league at #2 doubles. He would also get worked by most of the 3.5 singles players.

    I haven't seen you play, but I will warn you that you haven't even faced the best 3.0 guy yet. Larry Ladd from Dragonridge is the best 3.0 in that league. If him and Jason play, Larry will win in straight sets.

    And I think you need to be careful about predicting the level of players rated above you. I've seen 4.0 doubles players over 45 who wouldn't beat the above average 3.5 players in a singles match. If you're playing higher rated doubles players and beating them in singles, it doesn't matter much. Now, if you're playing higher rated singles players and beating them, then it might matter.

    If you play out of Canyon Gate, have your pro line up a practice match against Phil Clarke or Michael Buchmiller. They're both benchmarked 3.5s on Canyon Gate's team, both of whom are probably just slightly above average 3.5 players. They'll give you an accurate idea of where you are in the NTRP ratings scale.

    (And, as someone with a similar background to you, I say good luck with your improvement. It shouldn't take you long to get to the 3.5/4.0 level.)
     
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  3. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Aurellian, first of all welcome to tennis...seriously. I didn't grow up playing tennis. I took up tennis the summer I finished high school. I grew up playing basketball, but I was not good enough to play college ball so I took up tennis because I figure I was athletic. I went 3 years before I won a 3.0 tourney match. Tennis is such as skill sport. It's not about being bigger, stronger, fast. But being athlete helps in the development.

    I am 49 now, I have been playing for 31 years and I am a better tennis player now they I was in my "athletic" prime of 26-31. But during that period I did manage to win a couple of 4.0 tourneys.

    Bottom line is to stick with it and keep competing. But you got take away something from every lost. When I lose now, look at why I lost and work on my weaknesses. The beautiful thing about tennis is that you can always get better.

    I have fun Bro!!
     
    #53
  4. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Except for the computer-rated 3.0 he lost to in straight sets, 0 and 2. Nenad Mitrovic
     
    #54
  5. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Maybe, but I feel I have confidently elucidated why I am not (intentionally) sandbagging.

    My first match was against a young athletic 6'4 player of 2.5 years. He said he was a 3.5; after playing more opponents--post joining a team--I realized that he was not the average 3.5. At the time, I could not calibrate his level with any accuracy. I took him at face value not accounting for the fact that most players will not be former small forward collegiate athletes that have that type of movement and court coverage.

    My guess is that a guy that runs down balls and angles them over the net and occasionally hits a hard serve and hard fh who cant serve the ball in more than 1/3rd of the time is 3.0 according to the USTA.

    I assure you that it was not intentional. Add to that the hungry coaches who put extra emphasis on your flaws so that you will crawl back to them at 60 bucks a pop....
     
    #55
  6. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    4.25-4.5 is basically the same as 3.0 though. i.e. Not Pro.
     
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  7. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Ok. Thanks. The data feeds the logic which is sound. But I beat 3.0s with no effort and beat most 3.5s that I face. When I got beat in the same fashion that I beat my opponents I thought something was up. I guess not.

    How long has that dude played for? He said he played Juniors. what's the rule with former college players? if they played NCAA tennis they must be at least a 4.0...

    I think these self ratings are bonk and that its all about match ups and who is on that day.
     
    #57
  8. goober

    goober Legend

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    On the lower levels 3.0 and 3.5, superior technique and experience will beat athletic ability. At the higher levels 4.5+ athletic ability and physical fitness will be more important because everyone playing usually has decent technique. On the lower levels you can still succeed in singles with poor technique if you can run all day, are fast and can get (i.e. push) everything back. A runner, triathlete type athlete would likely succeed more at this style than your typical football player. So bottom line is you have to improve your technique and gain match experience. A superior tennis player will almost always beat a superior athlete with poor or average tennis skills unless the tennis player is really out of shape or limited in mobility.
     
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  9. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, and I would add that at lower levels most points are ended by unforced errors rather than winners or forced errors. (Actually this is true for higher levels of rec tennis also, but to a lesser degree.)

    So you can win a lot at lower levels by being really good at keeping the ball in play (i.e. good fitness and movement), without having needing to have very developed strokes. But then not developing your strokes will put a ceiling on how good you can get moving forwards.
     
    #59
  10. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    I can't answer your question on Jason, as I don't know him personally. Self rates are a mixed bag. I've seen self-rated 3.0 players that truly belong in 3.0 and then I've seen self-rated 3.0s who should have started at 3.5 at least. I self-rated and am an example of the latter.

    When I started 3.0, I hadn't played a single competitive tennis match in my life. But I was a fit 30, a former collegiate golfer, an All State pitcher in high school, and dated a collegiate tennis player during undergrad. I didn't take lessons, but bought a ball machine I hit with about six hours a week and went to the weekly clinic. I had a serve well beyond 3.0, but pushed my ground strokes, ran down everything, and had no net game.

    Before I started league, I won a 3.0 tournament in April of my first year and didn't drop more than 2 games in a set. Started league in early May and I lost twice at 3.0 to the best player in the league (once in my second match, one in districts), who was a better pusher than me, but won all four of my matches at sectionals in straight sets. By August, I was good enough to win a 3.5 tournament and make the semis of another 3.5 tourney, losing a match tiebreaker to a guy who got bumped up to 4.0 in January.

    I started taking lessons in September, developed a solid net game, got bumped to benchmark 3.5 status in January, won three 3.5 tournaments (two singles, one doubles) before leagues started and went undefeated in league matches, including districts. I played a 4.0 tournament in late April of that year and went 1-1, beating a 4.0 doubles player in straight sets and losing in straight sets but tiebreakers to one of the better 4.0 singles guys in the league. Played another 4.0 tournament in August and won that one, though all the matches were close. Between the two, I learned not to push my strokes via lessons with my pro, tightened up my court positioning, and got more aggressive in my approaches. Not surprisingly, I was bumped to benchmark 4.0 status the following January.

    Bottom line is that because my learning curve was so steep, I self rated below where I should have (3.0 instead of 3.5), and I was benchmarked both years, my USTA rating was probably half a point below where it should have been for my first two league seasons. I could dominate everyone at my USTA rating level (save the one guy from 3.0, who is now a half point below me) and by the end of the rating year, I was winning tournaments one half point above me. Again, though, my experience is an extreme outlier.

    Once I got to 4.0, my USTA rating started to be more accurate as to my actual playing abilities by the end of the league season. But for 3.0 and 3.5, where the basic name of the game is run stuff down and get it back, it wasn't too accurate.
     
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  11. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I agree. You speak the truth.

    The problem with playing lower level people is that they can't keep a rally going more than a few balls in a row. The balls the coaches hit at you come deep and you can bang them back. The balls lesser ranked players toss at you are ducks with no pace; thus, you must play lesser ranked players to beat them by getting used to their balls. I look much better playing advanced players because I can bang with them, when I play lower level players I revert back to cheap dunks myself. One must master the reduction of the backswing that NB teaches to finish the shortball but the shot is different when you play against a player that barely hits it back.
     
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  12. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Ok. It makes sense now. I get back from the East Coast soon. Would you fancy a hit mate?
     
    #62
  13. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    ^^ the short, slow balls hit by a 3.0 are money shots. These are the shots you crush for winners, not deep hard shots from higher level players
     
    #63
  14. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    For a good player yes, for me no. I can't crush floaters yet but I bang winners from behind the baseline when I unload.
     
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  15. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    I split the year between San Diego and Vegas. When I get back to Vegas for an extended period of time, I'll look you up.
     
    #65
  16. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    HAHA Whos ranking these guys youre playing? Ray Charles? Youre not a legit 3.0 and they arent legit 4.5s if this keeps happening
     
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  17. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    I feel for you, boss.

    I'm in a 3.0/3.5 ladder. Heard about this one gent who was steamrolling through the ladder; played him (a gent in his late 50s, Biff Tanner doppleganger.) Monster serve, got everything back, could redirect to any angle he wanted, was hitting lines like he had a $400/day habit, did not make any errors. I'm like this ***** ain't no 3.5!

    I lost but the only way I kept it competitive was because I was the better athletic. I made him earn that win for sure.

    Turns out he was a college 4.5 player....hadn't played in over 10 years, was bumped down, getting back into it. What are you gonna do?

    Learn from the loss, stay humble. But excited because there's plenty of ways to improve! And only by playing better players will you realize what you need work on.
     
    #67
  18. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Thanks hun! MUAH...
     
    #68
  19. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Roger that.
     
    #69
  20. fleabitten

    fleabitten Semi-Pro

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    :) So true. It's almost like you have to take away at least a .5 on this forum to get close(r) to the truth.
     
    #70
  21. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    You are probably fast, so, you get to the ball probably too soon against
    most 3.0 players.

    Work on your footwork, it you really want to get better.
    (this takes a lot of time and effort)
     
    #71
  22. MisterP

    MisterP Semi-Pro

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    Interesting. I think this is something I have struggled with, and didn't even realize it. I am routinely over-running shots (coach says so) and I didn't think about it in terms of athletic ability but that makes sense. Up until a year ago I only ever played soccer, so the concept that I need to stop my runs a yard short of where the ball is going to be is foreign. My body tells me to get TO the ball, which isn't where you want to be in tennis. Consequently I have a lot of yellow fuzz at the bottom of my racket, near the dampener.

    It's not a problem when I am warming up (not being pushed around the court), but it gets pretty bad when I'm in tough match situations. I will sometimes fudge a put-away just because I've gotten fearful of hitting into the net on weak approaches and I end up dinking it back and getting passed or lobbed.
     
    #72
  23. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I'm like you buddy; similar styles, stronger FHs then most (if not all of my opponents) etc.

    To me, what you could do is:
    a) Keep improving your shots, starting with the FHs. More fluent/relaxed/going more through the ball, less misses. I look even at matches as practices for my weapons.

    b) Improve your movement (springier, lower position etc Are you sure you are doing that?).

    c) Try to develop a strong BH. It pays dividends when your BH beats your opponents FHs + that you won't have to run around it so much.

    d) Serve and return, like someone else is saying here- basically what is it called first strike tennis.

    Good luck, really 1/2 in tennis is very young :) Have some patience and don't give up on your strengths, keep practicing them, like Federer said.
     
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  24. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Yes to the first one (be careful not to be close, especially on the FH, while on the BH not to hit too early if you are 1H BH).

    As for the second it happens to me as well; we need to learn to master our nerves/emotions.

    One thing that helps (mainly from a book called Inner game of tennis) is try just to watch the ball as you are about to hit it (its striations if you can). Don't think about the technique during the shot (analyse it after) and after your hit, stay with the shot (your whole body on the 1h BH), by mainly keeping your chin down (looking at the contact point). You are supposed to hear if the ball hits the net, not see it! ("See" with your ...shoulder).

    That improves the stats of your shots and for (at least) it provides another benefit: it relaxes me (maybe by not worrying about the net, the opponent so much) and as a result the shot is also harder and smoother...

    Just thought you might not have heard this minor tip...

    GL!
     
    #74
  25. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    OP, by accident, I had a chance to watch a bit of your match yesterday. I didn't introduce myself because you were mid-match and I didn't want to distract you and/or make you nervous, but assuming you were wearing green shorts, I think it was you. If not, disregard what I post.

    You've got a solid 3.0 game right now and you could probably play low line 3.5 doubles. I have a difficult time believing that you're beating 3.5 singles players consistently, as your serve isn't strong enough to give those guys much of a problem and they would attack your backhand. Not a chance you're beating true 4.0 guys; most likely, these cats are overrating themselves when they tell you their level or they're doubles players who have been hanging onto that 4.0 rating despite probably needed to be bumped down because of age and lack of mobility. Personally, I'd ask the players you face for their names so you can look them up on TennisLink. If they don't have a rating there, I wouldn't take what they say with any value.

    That said, for how little you've played, you're definitely going to do well at 3.0 and I think you'll probably find yourself bumped up to 3.5 by the end of the year.

    Here's what I like about your game.

    Not unexpectedly, you move well for anything under a 4.0 player. Your opponent played with pretty slow pace, but even on those shots where he was able to challenge your footwork, you got to them with enough time to prepare. You'll move better than 98% of the 3.0s you face, though if you advance to districts and/or sectionals, you may face a younger opponent who moves equally as well or better.

    After reading your OP about "banging" forehands and hitting "James Blake winners," I was a bit worried that you were the normal 3.0 who saw Roger Federer in the mirror and tried to blast every shot. Thankfully, in person you have a very controlled game and rarely try to bite off too much from each shot; I watched you play five games or so, and only once did I see you try to do too much with a shot. At 3.0, where the name of the game is let the other guy make an error, you are doing this well. An exception to this is your first serve, but I'll get to that down below.

    I like your composure on the court as well. You talk to your opponent a bit too much for my liking between points, but I tend to be very conservative about on-court chatter so that's more about me and less about you. You didn't appear to get down on yourself when you made a bad shot, and you seemed to be engaging in constructive self-dialogue. That's a good trait to have in 3.0, where you will naturally make far more errors than winners; I see more mental meltdowns from 3.0s than any other level, and it's because they're unrealistically expecting perfection when they are at an elementary level. You will win some matches against players with better strokes simply because you stay calm, move on between points, and just play.

    Here's What I Would Improve On

    Your serve, which you already know. There are two major points to this. First, you're trying to go for way too much from your first serve. In your OP, you said you gave your opponent the "heat" and aced him five times. And I suspect that's common when you get on a roll with your serve, because you serve it very flat and with large pace for a 3.0 level opponent to handle. But you're only getting it in about 20% (or less) of the time and it places way too much pressure on your second serve, which you push at least partially because of that. Take some speed off your first serve, try to get it in 50% (or more) of the time, and you'll take pressure off your second serve and place more of it on your opponent because he'll be returning first serves instead of pushed second serves.

    Second, you have a reverse pinpoint stance, which has to be corrected for you to improve. You start out in a solid platform stance, but instead of bringing your right foot to your left before you jump, you actually bring your left foot back to your right. It screws up your timing, takes you away from the baseline, robs your serve of explosiveness from your legs, and ensures that you can't put much spin on the ball because your body opens up way too soon. It would be like taking a step back towards the catcher while trying to hit a pitch; or, because you're a football player, it would be like backpedaling away from a tackler while he was moving into you to make the tackle. You're not increasing force in your serve, but rather decreasing it. And killing the angles on your contact point as well. You can correct this either by staying in your platform stance or moving towards a true pinpoint stance where the right foot moves up to the left. But never should you feel your left foot moving off the ground and back towards your right during the preparation part of your serve.

    You push your backhand, which is fine for 3.0 tennis, but you'll need to work on it to continue improving. You hit it decent enough to play at the low 3.5 level against many players, but the average to better ones will run around your backhand and move you around with their inside out forehands. This isn't a huge deal, where 3.5 and 3.0 players rarely have backhands that produce winners without huge breakdowns as well. Get with a pro, keep working on it, and you'll improve it in no time.

    I don't know if you won or not yesterday, but I strongly suspect you did. If so, good luck in the Finals of the tournament today or whenever you play.
     
    #75
  26. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I didn't read all the posts, but something did jump out at me from the opening post. I think you are making this way too personal. Tennis is not football or MMA. Because of the mano-a-mano aspect of tennis, people who played tough contact sports tend to get too wrapped up in the ego contest and pay too little attention to the actual game.

    Put another way, you're out there thinking, this guy is nothing, I can't believe I am losing to him. He's thinking, bend my knees, watch the ball, hit to the corner, watch for the lob, etc.


    Below at least the 4.5 level, strategy is way overrated. Studying your opponent for weakness,etc is overrated. They will all have major weaknesses or they would be 4.5 or better. Their serves will be either weak or inconsistent, their groundstrokes will be weak and inconsistent, their volleying skills will be rudimentary, they will have trouble on overheads beyond the service line, they will not have a mastery of spin, they will hit with poor depth, etc etc. If you hit the ball back and keep it in play and don't try to do too much, you should win. Remember, there are no style points in tennis.
     
    #76
  27. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    ^^^^^^^^^
    Retro: An exceptionally well written and insightful summary of the difference between players at the 3.0/3.5 level and those at 4.5 and up. I hope you don't mind if I paraphrase this to my students.
     
    #77
  28. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Realistically, this is it.

    Athleticism only truly comes into play at the margins. When players are of similar skill, the more athletic should generally win. But when skill is noticeably different, the skilled player will generally win.

    The upside to being unskilled/new and athletic is that you have a higher ceiling. Skills can be learned quicker when you are naturally coordinated with eye hand & balance/strength.
     
    #78
  29. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I saw a 4.0 marathon runner almost beat a 5.5 player in Houston. It was over 100 degrees that day and, of course, very humid. It was a one day tournament (between representatives from different companies), so it was the 3rd or 4th match of the tournament for both players. The 5.5 had beaten me in the first round 7-5 in the 3rd set, so he had played over 2 hours just in the first round and then a long difficult match in his second match. The marathon runner had an easy draw of 3.5-type players (there was no seeding) and then wore out a very good player.
    Even with that, the better player did win in 3 long sets despite being completely exhausted from the oppressive heat. I was very proud of him for winning (even though he beat me) because it didn't seem fair that a far less skilled player should win purely because of the heat and the luck of the draw.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
    #79
  30. dizzlmcwizzl

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    He played 4 best-of-3 set matches in one day with 100+ degree heat in Texas:confused:
     
    #80
  31. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Well, it becomes different when people enter a kamikaze event like this with multiple best of 3 set matches in one day. Certainly, fitness is a much bigger factor there. After 9-12 sets in any given day, the edge is surely goin to shift to the fitter player...who is less likely to die.

    I think most of us are referring to a normal scenario of 1 match on any given day.
     
    #81
  32. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Since our usual tournaments were 3 days - Fri night through Sunday, if someone played doubles and singles, it wasn't uncommon for people to two singles and two doubles matches in a day.
    The heat was pretty rare that day, though. Houston, unlike a lot of placed in Texas, usually stays in the 90's due to the humidity. Temperatures in the 100s don't happen there often.
     
    #82
  33. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    In my opinion much of the game through various intermediate levels can hinge more on technique and shot execution than outright fitness. For that you need to have reasonably proper stroke technique that minimizes errors, has a lot of control and at least decent power. I think the best for improving that in a short period of time is regular private lessons with pros who are good at teaching technique.
     
    #83
  34. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    That 5.5 had some hangy downy thingy's. What did he really have to prove?? I don't see how it was worth the risk, but fair play to him!!
     
    #84
  35. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I have a friend who was a soccer pro. Extremely fast. Loves to play tennis. Problem is he thinks his strokes are fine and doesn't take lessons. As a result I double bagel him and it's really not that fun.

    If he took lessons and fixed his strokes, he could become a solid player. Unfortunately with no backhand, it just makes it too easy for me.

    My answer would be : take lessons. get better at tennis.
     
    #85
  36. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    I didn't realize Ivy League schools still had football teams. Maybe you should have challenged him to a game of chess?

    Welcome to tennis, a game of strategy and skill. Contrary to popular belief, in tennis, the superior player always wins (even if he's a pusher). It's not like figure skating or gymnastics. You don't get style points for hitting James Blake forehands, and nobody cares if you have a high opinion of your own athletic ability. That just makes it more fun for the septuagenarians who are going to slice and lob you to death when you get bumped up to 3.5. Those guys are going to strut back home and brag to their shriveled up wives "Yeah baby, I still got it."

    In all seriousness, you're a beginner. You don't know anything about the game or the rating system. You need to lose the attitude. As someone else mentioned, stop thinking about your opponents and start thinking about your game. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What natural abilities or tendencies do you have that you can build a game around?

    Are you an aggressive player? A counter-puncher? Do you have the patience and stamina to chase balls down for hours? What weaknesses do you have? Can you strengthen them? Hide them?

    Find a good coach and find two groups of players to hit with:

    1) Old guys who will teach you the game of doubles. Strategy, court positioning, tactics for different situations, etc.

    2) Consistent players who like to hit and can give you a steady stream of solid balls to groove your strokes on.

    The good news is that you can probably improve quickly if you're dedicated. However, keep in mind that nobody gets paid to play league tennis. There are no groupies waiting courtside. You do not have a future on the pro tour. Instead of focusing on winning every match, try to have fun. Meet some cool people to hang out with. Enjoy yourself out there. It's a hobby after all!
     
    #86
  37. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Easier said then done, the relaxing part! Even after years I play way worse on points then I rally. I know that everyone says the same, but I'm a headcase.

    Anyhow, gl to the OP!
     
    #87
  38. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    all that being said, IF a high level athlete starts playing tennis and develops a game based on pushing and eliciting errors, he could go quite far. u can beat a lot of people if u run around for 3hrs and shovel everything back high and deep
     
    #88
  39. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Well said! This should be an article in Tennis Magazine. Tennis Warehouse should give you a pair of shoes for contributing this stuff--or at least one of their $3.00 TW t-shirts.
     
    #89
  40. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I actually know 2 guys exactly like this who were college athletes who picked up tennis in their 30s and 40s. One guy became a decent 5.0 player who was a top player in the 35s where I grew up and the other is a solid 4.5 in his late 40s. Their strokes are far from text book, but dealing with balls that are consistently within a foot from the baseline close to the corners with limited pace is not easy over the length of a match.
     
    #90
  41. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    Lol true

    Didn't he say he was a backup/bench player on an Ivy League football team? Unless we are talking about Stanford as Ivy League, the footballs programs are generally pretty bad (no offense). So saying you are a backup on a bad football team and then saying that you are a better athlete than everyone here is pretty funny. I don't think the OP realizes the range of people that are on TT forum: there are the non athletic, older guys all the way to the super athletic open level players who played college tennis.
     
    #91
  42. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    My friend, you appear to be describing a very solid tennis player---one who may have skills quite a bit superior to yours at this moment. The fact that he has no big weapons doesn't mean he can't be a very good player. The fact that you are in superior athletic condition is obviously not nearly enough to make up for the talent disparity. What you need to do is simple to explain, less simple to do. You need to get better. Add more variety to your game, develop more offensive weapons, improve your lob and your drop shots and your volleys, etc. At some point, yes, your raw athletic ability may make the difference, but not until you have significantly closed the wide difference in talent levels.

    Lots of 4.5 players can be 60 years old, 50 pounds overweight, and have bad knees, but regardless, when they play 3.5 players, whatever their age and style of play, they virtually NEVER lose. The talent difference is too great. Build your game---then come back for this guy.
     
    #92
  43. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Hey Spinny,

    Au contraire mon frere. I would bet you that Harvard has more players in NFL camps this year than UNLV. Ivy League Sports, aside from football, are exceptionally competitive and usually boast the best athletes in their respective sports--especially in the less popular sports like lacrosse, tennis, fencing, etc.

    There are always one or two players on the field that will play on Sundays--that being said, I agree, that the average dude playing linebacker at Dartmouth isn't the same caliber of specimen that plays Mike at Texas.

    But even a DIII wideout from Harvey Mudd is likely in the top 10% of all US males in athletic ability. So--and no offense meant--any DI (lowly Ivy or stupendous PAC-12)-athlete is much better than you are your kids will ever be. Moreover, the distinction between top 10% and top 1% is remarkable..

    And Stanford is not Ivy, it's Pac 12.

    I never said I am a better athlete--whatever that means--than everyone on TT. I said I am a better athlete than you and likely 90% of the dudes I will face playing club tennis:) And I am not even THAT athletic to be frank.

    My original query was to solicit advice on how to beat a truly superior tennis player. Unfortunately, for me, I will not be able to do so with my limited repertoire.
     
    #93
  44. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Which brings us back to the original point of my post:

    I concur that I played a vastly superior player--one whose tennis skills were, as I surmised, at least .5 and possibly a full point ahead of me.

    Your larger point is astute and buttresses my original argument: I am a low level 3.5 and the dude I played was a low level 4.0.

    After playing more matches, both at my level and above, I am convinced that my original thesis is accurate.

    The theory of this argument was engaging for a moment though!
     
    #94
  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I would think, if you really WERE a superior athlete, you can learn the strokes in no time, and in 3 years of experience be able to play competitively in A/Open or 5.5 levels.
    Don't need no frickin tactics, just crush the ball into any corner, run like the wind, and with your god given athletic talent, never miss.
    Kinda like jungle ball in basketball. Just dribble to the hole, elevate and dunk.
     
    #95
  46. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    No.

    .......
     
    #96
  47. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh really?
    While I was not a gifted athlete, I got from first day beginner to going 3 rounds in a A/Open tourney (32 man draw, PleasantonOpen) by the beginning of my 4th year. I was not a gifted athlete.
    A real superior athlete, one who really could run, change directions, be 6'3" tall, have good eyesight, have great reflexes, and maybe taken a lesson or two, should learn faster...ya dink?
    I'd broken my legs 3 times, 2 needing surgery and multiple pins, separated my left shoulder (me lefty) twice, and broken both collar bones by the time I started tennis.
    I took up tennis about a month after being in a leg cast for 13 months. My left leg was the size of my arms, and of course, I didn't run for 2 full years after I started tennis.
    A "superior" athlete would have less obstacles to overcome.
     
    #97
  48. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Roger that. I like your style of first strike tennis...These cats on here are yapping about strategy and consistency and ...yes yes, more 70 a pop lessons...I am a big fan of strategy too--spent two months at the Naval War College studying it-- but a very astute if inarticulate quote that I have often taken to heart is: everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

    if some dude starts wacking forehands at you and serving so hard you can barely get a read on the ball..all the strategy--and lessons-- in the world won't save you at our level. I'm not that strong, but I am sure there is someone out there that is.
     
    #98
  49. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Lee, Brother, I love ya. Do you work in IT or Medical Research?

    You have a point. I had the honor of sitting next to Nick Boleteri on a three hour flight and he stated the following. ***I am sure that some will disagree (and some more for the socio-economic implications than sound logic)***NB said that the era of country club tennis will be over in a decade or two. He said--I kid you not--that his next wave of "colored" players will resemble Kobe more than Roger and soon you will see 6'4 dudes that have nfl type lateral speed, 400 pound bench presses, that are not "head cases"" and will be very quick, very fast, very "nimble", and very strong.

    i see a few of these types but they don't quite have it together upstairs. I think in ten years or so they finally will.

    Essentially, the American version of a taller, faster, stronger Ferrer.

    He stated that the reason why the EEs women dominate is because they want it more and failure in EE does not mean a career as a financial analyst at some off Wall Street firm but mom back to 10 hour days at the factory and six people to a two room flat in a kvartal.

    I dunno maybe.
     
    #99
  50. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    The player you're discussing has three losses this year in 3.0 league play, including the one I predicted to Larry Ladd in straight sets. No way is he a 4.0. Quite frankly, he's not much more than a low 3.5 right now, at best, and he'll be lucky to get bumped out of 3.0 at his current rate.

    I'd suggest your sample size is way too small to be predicting an oppnent's NTRP rating. People play far differently in practice matches than they do when it really matters. League and tournament results matter, though I've found that tournament-only players in Vegas tend to underperform relative to league players at the same rating.
     

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