I wish there were more singles play in USTA leagues

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by lethalphorce, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    I feel like the singles players get the short end of the stick in USTA league play. In a typical match, there are 6 doubles players & only 2 singles players. I know on our team, this leads to a lot of guys wanting to play singles, but having to play doubles. It also creates headaches for the captains. Why is it that doubles play dominates USTA?
    Don't get me wrong. . . I like doubles. It's just that the 3:1 ratio of doubles players to singles players on a team seems out of whack.
     
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  2. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I think it's mostly due to court space and getting more people in the matches. If you switch the number of singles and doubles players, that's 6 singles and 1 doubles, or 7 courts required, which is harder to schedule and book. If you make it 4 singles and 1 doubles or 3 singles and 2 doubles, then fewer people get to play in a match.
     
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  3. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Unfortunately, don't tell to the OLD guys. and most of the adults suffer from one or two chronic injuries and doubles is a Welcome relief when you are not able to play singles due to restricted movement. I actually think we should have more doubles than singles.
     
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  4. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    In the Atlanta area, doubles play dominates most tennis opportunities. The ALTA league is huge and is doubles only. USTA and T2 flex league has singles and doubles, but are small in comparison.

    I prefer singles like you, so I've been playing in the handful of flex singles leagues available. But finding hitting partners for singles is tough with most people focused on their ALTA teams. I've been having to learn doubles just to get court time with people.

    I think too many adults just don't like to run so much.
     
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  5. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    What if a match consisted of 2 doubles courts and 2 singles courts. A team would get a point for each court won, plus a point for most games won. So a team could win all 4 courts and most games, and get 5 points. Or, they could win 2 courts and most games for a 3-2 win.

    This scenario would provide for smaller teams since only 6 players would play each night.
     
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  6. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

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    Does the USTA also have a Singles league in your area? We have the last two years and it is slowly growing. A match consists of three individual singles matches. So you really only need 4 or 5 people per team. Our singles league runs at the same time as our mixed doubles league, so it gives people an alternative to Mixed.

    So far it has been a welcome change to our USTA league.
     
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  7. jagmeister

    jagmeister New User

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    In our team most prefer to play doubles. Seems almost every team in our league has 1-2 ringers that play singles and beat the crap out of the rest of us. So most of us (on our team) prefer doubles where we can enjoy a competitive match.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If USTA ran a league of singles only (best 2 court out of 3), I would join. I don't see why this couldn't be done when the adult season ends in June, carrying through to the fall. You wouldn't need that many players to make a team.

    Also, some of the doubles players (like me) might be more willing to have a go. One of the things that is intimidating about singles during the adult league season is that the singles players have been sharpening their singles skills all year around, whereas people like me focus on doubles. We tend to get killed on a singles court.

    It would be a good way to keep my rating at 3.5, 'cause I would surely lose a lot more.
     
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  9. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    Yeah, I see your point.
    I wouldn't mind seeing 4 singles & 2 doubles with total sets won as the tiebreaker. That way you have 4 singles players & 4 doubles players. I would think 6 courts wouldn't be too much more hassle than 5. Most of the indoor places around here have at least 6 courts.


    It makes sense that the older guys/gals would want to play more dubs, but they get that in senior league. Plus, I'm not saying we should get rid of doubles. . . I'd just like to see more singles.


    We don't have that here. . . I wish we did.
     
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  10. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    ^^Senior league doesn't start til OVER 50. I am talking about guys over 35 years of age.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah. Your enthusiasm for running down balls on a concrete court can flag a lot sooner than age 50.

    The other thing is that league tennis is social. Singles is not very social, whereas doubles is. I think that's another reason why many league players find doubles more enjoyable.
     
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  12. AudiOphiLiA

    AudiOphiLiA New User

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    Does the USTA offer singles Flex Leagues in your area?
    Have you tried Ultimate Tennis?
     
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  13. lethalphorce

    lethalphorce New User

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    Hey, I'm 35. . . I'm not ready for the walker yet!

    I can see how this would make sense, but I've made plenty of friends by playing singles. In my experience, singles matches tend to foster more post-match conversation than doubles. Probably due to the fact that you & your opponent are the only 2 people on the court.
     
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  14. Wakenslam

    Wakenslam Rookie

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    If you really like singles then this is the league for you. I think USTA is fine the way it is. ALTA tried a singles/doubles league and it failed because not enough people wanted to play singles.

    I enjoy singles and doubles about equally but the fact is that most recreational players in the U.S. prefer doubles.
     
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  15. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    I don't, I hate dubs
     
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  16. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    ^^^^^^^

    me too. It's why I don't do leagues
     
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  17. thejuice

    thejuice Hall of Fame

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    I don't like it either. I play it (like someone else said) because it's one of the only ways to get court time.
     
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  18. North

    North Professional

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    I wish that would occur everywhere. If it did, I might consider playing USTA league again, especially after the big bump-up (1st thing USTA has done right). One of the problems with leagues as they are (for me) is getting stuck having to play doubles. It has taken me quite a while to find a bunch of people who want to play singles, but has been worth it. Alas - no Ultimate Tennis in my area or I would definitely join that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
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  19. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Same here. I am a decent doubles player, but I don't enjoy playing doubles. Plus, doubles exposes my two biggest weaknesses; volleying and returning serve. Singles is just more...enjoyable. You can play the strategy you want in singles. Doubles is just serve and volley, poach, and play at the net 90% of the time.
     
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  20. Panic492

    Panic492 Rookie

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    I live in SC, we just started a USTA singles league season (in it's 2nd or 3rd year). There are 9 or 10 teams in our division, 3 lines play. Playoffs...
     
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  21. robby c

    robby c Semi-Pro

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    In South Carolina we've had the Singles League the last two years in the Fall, at the same time as the Combo Season.
    I like the idea of having it as an alternative to Mixed in the summer.
    Robby C
     
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  22. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    Yes we are very sharp! That's all we do is play singles remember? :twisted:
     
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  23. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Well, I'm not sharp, for the very reason that there are no singles to play all the other months of the year! :( I did play in a singles league last year, but it was a daytime league, and I only got two matches in because of work.

    I ran a singles flight at my club once, and that seemed to work well...I might do it again, just to keep the singles matches going through the winter.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Topaz, can non-members do this flight?

    If so, I might show up and give everyone someone who is easy to beat.
     
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  25. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Yes, but it would be an awfully long trek for you.
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Darn. I'll keep looking, I guess . . .
     
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  27. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Do what I did...approach your club director (no, I was not a member at the time) with a list of ladies, ask what they can do for you. They *want* people on their courts. I had two courts each for one hour, and I would cycle us through.
     
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  28. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    man, i would enjoy that kind of singles play. Currently i play with friends, or drill, the only option with other players is social doubles, i just cannot bring myself to do that more than once every few months.
     
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  29. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    To the OP - do they have Flex leagues in your area? Probably the best way to do a USTA league with singles only.

    I know it's not USTA, but if you are proactive and talk to alot of the people that want to play singles but end up playing doubles, you could create your own tennis ladder using tennis engine or something like that.

    At least in my area, there are a few local singles ladders/leagues or singles leagues hosted at clubs which are open to non-members.
     
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  30. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    Are you in the Upstate? As far as I know, we don't have enough ppl to have a singles USTA League, I was told.

    So...um this Freedom Tennis does have a singles league. In fact an active USTA player runs it. You call who your scheduled to play and set up a match anytime, day or night, in that week. They use USTA rules; call in the scores. No subs allowed. Even have a banquet.

    My husband did it this summer and he had a great time. Hoping they do it in the Fall too. There needs to be an alternative to USTA if we don't want to join a Tennis Club and pay a hefty membership nor go out of town to play matches. Flex hasn't worked here I've been told. I was able to join "independent teams" who played in the USTA League. Just not a clubby person, esp financially.
     
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  31. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    SC here too. Singles flex league with teams of at least three. Nice way to get 'yer singles fix. Doesn't count towards NTRP ratings, but we will have a state tourney this year for singles.

    If you don't have a singles flex in your section, talk to your coordinator and get one started!
     
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  32. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    Doubles is an old mans game. Don't flame me for saying this. I will pick up doubles in a few years. I enjoy playing singles a lot and when I can't move very well and learn to volley better I will switch to doubles. I guess its better than golf :)

    Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason we don't produce the best singles players in the world. I struggle to find people to play singles at my club.

    The worst part is more people cheer the damn doubles players in a USTA match and the singles player is all alone battling with no support.

    The other odd thing all these doubles players don't watch doubles. We have ATP pro's come over to my club to practice for one of the tournaments and no one really watches the Doubles players practice but the watch the singles players.
     
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  33. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Don't take this personally or anything but . . .

    Watching a couple of 3.5 or 4.0 people play singles is deadly dull. Ho boy. Both of them standing on the baseline forever, trying to outlast the other. Neither coming to net, neither forcing the action. At least one is a pusher, maybe both. It's torture.

    With the doubles players, the points are shorter, aggression is rewarded, and the pushers tend to lose. Much more interesting, that.
     
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  34. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    Playing singles is much better than watching it. Guess it's like watching golf. :shock:
     
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  35. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    Why would you assume that they are 3.5 or 4.0 singles and they are also pushers? The point I was making is that the doubles player has someone to support, his/her partner. Singles player is out there all alone and the support goes a long way.

    I don't go as a spectator to watch matches If I want to watch good tennis I turn on Tennis Channel.
     
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  36. Panic492

    Panic492 Rookie

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    I am in Greenville. We are in the middle of our USTA singles league. There is
    3.o through 4.5. There will be an overlap of 2 matches or so with combo.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hey, someone asked why spectators seem to be more interested in doubles than singles.

    Why would I assume that 3.5/4.0 players are pushers? Because pushing doesn't work well at higher levels.
     
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  38. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I won't flame you but I will say that if you think dubs is an old man's game, go play with some 4.5+ doubles players. You may not run as much total as in singles, but it is FAST, and you will get plenty o' work on your reaction time.

    I grew up playing singles, and now play a mix of singles and doubles. Doubles for me tends to be fast, because both my partner and I hit the ball hard and charge. Points are over in a hurry, and the ball moves a heap faster than in most singles matches.
     
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  39. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Hmmm..... why wait to learn to volley better later when you can only play dubs? Having a good volley and approach shot translates well to singles.

    -As for why we don't produce better pros - it's not the focus on doubles. I guarrantee the juniors are playing plenty of singles. Pros don't come out of USTA adult recreational leagues or the hackers league at your club If you are 18 and a 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0 you are already too late - you missed to boat to the ATP/WTA tour - at 5.0/5.5, you might be able to get a gig in WTT though...

    -Just a thought...- Seeing as 6 out of the 8 players for any USTA league match are "damn doubles players", maybe if you didn't look at them with contempt, they would be more willing to support you??? Last person I'd cheer on is some singles player who has that attitude.

    -Just for the record, I've cheered on teammates from #1 singles to #3 dubs.

    -Why is that the worse part? Maybe the doubles players have more friends come to support them as there are 4 people on the court instead of 2?

    -There's a massive gap between the pros and USTA league play. You can't make the comparison. Just because I play some 4.0 doubles it doesn't mean I only have to watch dubs when Rafa's playing. However - I'd watch the Brian Bros over some of the singles players outside the top 30.
     
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  40. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    -I'm working on a better volley I do play both singles and doubles but my point is there is too much emphasis on doubles.

    -I know pro's don't come out of USTA but they come out of Kids who if you notice idolize their parents every move. If their parents play a lot of doubles guess what they are going to play. Every pro started with their parents taking them to the Tennis court while they play. They don't spring out of junior single tournaments all of sudden.

    -"damn doubles players" is a poor choice of words. A little bit of attitude is good for a singles players they don't need to be jerks to other but its more of a confidence thing.

    -I have had world top 3 double players (#1 high) (Mahesh Bhupati) in my club practicing and some random top 100 singles player in my club and none of the guys in my who play doubles all the time knew who he was or watched him practice his doubles skills they were watching some random single guy.

    Next time when your doubles buddies talk about pro tennis observe carefully none of them watch doubles they will talk about singles matches. Maybe in their mind they wish they could play singles but their bodies won't let them. I'm not saying doubles is bad. I play both singles and doubles. But I feel there is too much emphasis on doubles give the singles guys some props too.
     
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  41. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    The juniors who have any chance of being pros are getting one-on-one instruction and playing singles, and sometimes doubles in juniors tournaments. Just because dad or mom like to get out to hit with friends on sunday morning, or they choose to put the whole family (Dad, Mom, Sister, Bother) on a single court does not mean the USA is retarding the development of players in our country. IMHO - I think we have bigger problems, such as producing players who can play on clay and construct a point outside of a fast hard court. Also alot of kids idolize pro players - so if dad or mom's knees aren't singles worthy, they don't have to risk ACL surgery so junior can go on tour.

    You can be confident, but maybe if you spread the love around it will come back? Maybe you're just on a strange team, but there should be some support regardless of where you play in the line-up.

    I don't really see where the singles players don't get any love. In general the singles players tend to be the stronger players on the team overall. I've seen where some captains who will pay the USTA/court fees for strong singles players. If that isn't love, I don't know what is???

    As for doubles players watching singles - of course they pay attention to Pro singles more than Pro doubles. The best players in the world on the pro tour mainly play singles. On top of that - most media coverage of pro tournaments highlight singles. I still wouldn't dis them too hard. Who knows, maybe 10 years ago they were mainly singles players.
     
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  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Statement: "There is too much emphasis on doubles."

    My question: "Emphasis by whom?"

    If people enjoy doubles, why shouldn't they play doubles? Give the people what they want. There are various singles ladders and events. If those are popular, you can bet supply will meet demand sooner or later.
     
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  43. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    3 Doubles and 2 Singles in USTA league matches is more emphasis on doubles. That 6 doubles players to 2 singles players hence the ratio 3:1 which was mentioned in the first post.

    The title of of this post is I wish there were more singles play in USTA leagues not The Joy of Doubles (as we get old and cant move )
     
    #43
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If more people want to play doubles than singles, then it makes sense to have more doubles slots.

    On the womens teams in my area, I think most captains would agree with me that it is harder to find someone willing to play singles than doubles.

    That said, this thread is about the feeling of some that they wish there were more opportunities for singles. That is not the same as saying what you added to the discussion, which basically translates as "Doubles sucks."
     
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  45. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    I didn't say it someone already did

    That's the point of this thread.
     
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  46. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    We are fortunate to have a formal USTA singles league as well as a few Flex Leagues. Plus, most clubs have a singles ladder...and the "pick up" matches at Byrd Park (of Arthur Ashe fame) can be brutal.

    Yes, indeed, we're lucky here in the Richmond metro area.

    In my younger days, I much more enjoyed playing singles. These days, at 45, even without any nagging injuries (knock on wood), I find myself preferring doubles. I personally find it to be the more challenging -- technically, strategically and mentally, if not necessarily physically. I was much more of a pusher as a singles player. Now, I play more of an attacking style and use a wide variety of shots.

    Good luck finding some more/better singles opportunities.
     
    #46
  47. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    I think it boils down to court time availability. In northern climates - you're lucky to get 5 courts for one timeslot at 9PM during the winter.

    Personally I don't give a hoot about leagues, but found signing up for a team is one way to get court time when it isn't otherwise available. Leagues are just a practice opportunity for me.

    If I need to work on my baseline game - I'll opt for singles if that's available, or at least request a challenge match for it. Otherwise I'll work on serves, returns, and volleys in dubs.

    When life tosses you lemons - make lemonade!

    Regardless, it is what you make it,
    K_I
     
    #47
  48. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    That is probably why I have a dislike for doubles, growing up I was forced to play doubles due to a shortage of courts. But out here in California with perfect weather round the year and abundance of courts. I would rather play singles when I can.
     
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  49. luvn10is

    luvn10is New User

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    2 lines of singles in USTA now but next year...?

    I have what might turn out to be bad news for USTA singles players. Back this past winter I received an email survey from USTA asking how they could make the leagues better. It asked all kinds of general questions, crossing the lines from seniors to combo to juniors. One of the questions was whether adult singles should be cut from 2 lines to 1.

    I voted no, leave it at 2 lines. My team is deep in singles players and it's one of the main reason we always make it to playoffs each season. Most other ladies teams have 1 good singles player and the rest of the team draws straws to see who's gonna play that second line. In May USTA Atlanta sent out another email saying that due to overwhelming response of the survey they were switching the format to 4 lines of dubs and 1 singles. A week later they rescinded it because they weren't going to have Tennislink ready to accept the new format in time for the summer season. They told us they would try again this winter.

    Usually, when USTA is thinking of making a nationwide change they use us Atlantans as guinea pigs because we have the largest metropolitan membership. They tested that 3rd set match tiebreak here before instituting it countrywide. It worked well but because the other leagues here play 3-sets we revolted and they moved us back to playing out the 3rd set. If this 1 line of singles has any kind of success here it will be coming to your league real soon. If that's not what you want, get ready to rally the troops. Nothing makes the USTA get their act together faster than a bunch of letters from a bunch of teams threatening to pull their membership.
     
    #49
  50. jgn1013

    jgn1013 Semi-Pro

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    ^^^Is that really true? Can't believe they would only make 1 singles match line. I hope they don't cause i'll just stick w. Kswiss sgls instead.
     
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