Indiana Pickle and the USTA Chronicles

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Pickle9, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    In honor of the (in)famous J011yroger, i'm starting a blog of my first foray in to the world of USTA tennis.

    First i'll start with a bit about myself and my goals.

    I picked up tennis my last year of high school and played recreational in college. I joined the tennis club at my university and was voted President my senior year. I assure you i was not voted president for my tennis prowess, but rather my ideas and execution of expanding the club and making tennis more enjoyable for everyone, from the competitive players on the club team that participated in USTA tennis on campus to people that just wanted to learn and everyone in between.

    I've made a lot of friends, learned a lot about tennis, and even more about life along the way. Now that i'm a tax-paying, working stiff, tennis is more than a hobby. It is my escape from life. Don't get me wrong, i don't hate my job at all, rather i really like it but that's not to say they're aren't times where i want to kill someone or don't come home with a massive headache. But as my dad told me, "Mike, welcome to the real world."

    Thanks to the help of friends, some of which are active members of this board, i feel i've improved my game to the point where i can compete in tournaments. So here are my goals, short-term, long-term,...:

    1) have fun - the number one reason i play (probably the easiest and hardest thing, subjectively to achieve - "fun" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone). I will say winning does make tennis MORE fun for me.

    2) improve - as i stated above, i feel i've improved but there is always something i think i can do better. i want to be the best i think i can be. i'm not going to win the us open, i may never win an open tournament, i may just be a recreational hack, i just want to be able to look back and say i tried my best.

    3) play usta tournaments

    Past
    none lol

    Future
    11/23 Long Beach 4.0 Singles
    11/26 Alley Pond Open Singles

    (tbd) Rockville Racquet Holiday Tournament



    4) play a usta league
    -Fall 2012 flex league - 3-1 to date (11/14/12)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
    #1
  2. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Re-Cap

    I need to start somewhere so i joined a 4.0 flex league. I figured this to be a simple way to accomplish this. To my understanding, flex leagues and tournaments, the competition is a weaker because player generally play up. As opposed to usta leagues where sandbagging and all other types of shenanigans take place, for whatever reasons.

    So far so good, i'm 3-0 and i'll give a little recap of the matches. Because i won, i'll brag about it and if i had lost i would suppress it and sit on my couch and watch Seinfeld reruns in my stained t-shirt and sweatpants eating cookies & cream ice cream until i was convinced it never happened).

    match 1 - unrated - 6-3 6-3

    Of anyone i have ever met or played, i would say we are the most similar in terms. tall, kind of rangy, about my age. In the first set there were a lot of long rallies, mostly where i kept the ball to his backhand because i felt he couldn't hurt me from there. He didn't serve well, probably gave me 2 games worth of doubles and that was the difference in the set. In the second set he battened down the hatches on serve, although i broke his first 2 service games to take the lead, if felt much closer. He started running around his bh much more and put more air under the ball, so i took this opportunity to take him cross court and forced a few errors from just making him move. The one disappointing thing i took from this match was i failed to close it out on serve at 5-1. I was not getting any free points on serve and really had to grind. This to me shows the most when things get tight at the end. I have no Mariano Rivera to close the door. This number one on my list of things to improve.
     
    #2
  3. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Recap (continued)

    match 2 - unrated - 6-2 6-0

    played an older gentleman that mostly plays doubles at a club. Said he wanted to play some singles. He hit some aggresive shots, but i felt like could get to everything and eventually he would miss. and i did and he did. could definitely tell he was getting more frustrated as the match went on.

    match 3 - 3.5 - 6-3 7-5

    I was looking forward to play him, i lost to him in a holiday club tournament last december. i don't remember the exact score but i'm pretty sure i was bageled in 2nd set, so like 2 & 0. Oddly enough i didn't feel like i was out of my league, but gave him way too much, stupid errors and too many double faults.

    From the warm up, honestly he was better than i remembered him being lol. his fh had a nice kick, his bh looked solid, and his serve was strong. his forehand was a real weapon, and i didn't remember this from last time because i didn't keep enough balls in play to see it. I knew wasn't going to win just waiting for him mess up. When i had the opportunity, i had to take control. i did enough on serve to hold to 4-3. With the help of a couple double faults, i got the break and then served it out.

    From the start of the second set i could see he wasn't just going to let me work over his backhand. anything that i left short or didn't get good direction on was pummeled inside-out, out of reach or leaving me at a serious disadvantage. He still couldn't get anything going on serve so we traded breaks to 3-3, opposite of the first set. Then he held and i for the first time felt some pressure. that being the 3rd set being decided by a super tie breaker and if it came down to his serve vs mine, i was in trouble. i held, then he held again. at 4-5 he had 2 set points, which i was able to make good serves on and escaped. i think he got tight and i got the break with just some bad unforced errors by him. surprisingly i held at love to close it out.

    After the match we spoke a bit, and he said he was on a 3.5 team last year and they went to nationals. nobody was bumped up in the pre-ratings, but they've decided they're going to start a 4.0 team and if i wanted to join. they base out of a club that's 5 minutes away from my house and he's a cool guy so it sounds good to me. I wonder how a 3.5 nationals team will fare moving up to 4.0?
     
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  4. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    In other news, my gf told me she come to grips with the fact that she can't change the way i look so she's going to change the way i dress. apparently jeans and a flannel shirt don't look "professional". 2 trips to the mall and outlets later, i can say that corduroy pants are surprisingly comfortable and jcrew has some really nice, well fitting shirts for my body type.

    match #4 is scheduled for 11/3.

    if we survive the frankenstorm, hopefully i'll get out to practice wed/thurs/fri.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
    #4
  5. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    I enjoy your detailed accounts of matches and tennis chronicle. Over time this is going to be a fun thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
    #5
  6. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks, looks like i haven't said anything too outlandish yet, judging by the number of responses lol
     
    #6
  7. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    entered 4.0 tournament this upcoming weekend. i believe the surface is hard tru, which should interesting since i haven't played on that stuff since march. i don't think it will affect my game.
     
    #7
  8. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Slower, higher bounces. Tougher to play a ball on the rise. Tougher to hit through the court. Respect that a higher % of balls will come back. Rallies will go 1-2 shots longer.
     
    #8
  9. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    #9
  10. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    what happens if i where this tshirt and barricades? will my performance suffer?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
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  11. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like that would help me since I can't hit through a we paper bag

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
    #11
  12. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I stand by Pickle.

    5 Stars.

    [​IMG]
     
    #12
  13. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    withdrew from tournament this weekend because area was hit with 10ft + storm surge.
     
    #13
  14. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Found nemo, among other things, at miller's. amazing shrimp deal. D does not lie.

    [​IMG]
     
    #14
  15. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
    #15
  16. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Did McCauley Culkin join the Taliban?
     
    #16
  17. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    #17
  18. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    J011y hath clutched the hands of God in the form of a Basalt based broom.
     
    #18
  19. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Nope nope, I just take pictures to chronicle the Pickle's slow transition to a hipster.

    Once he falls 100% victim to the taint I will execute him for the good of mankind.

    Pickle is a dear friend of mine, and I am proud to know him, but the day he shows up to play tennis wearing a scarf tied in the European style when it is not below freezing will be his last.

    He will be shot with a silvered .45, and a basalt stake will be driven through his heart.

    J
     
    #19
  20. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    #20
  21. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    #21
  22. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Playing match tomorrow morning. High of 48 tomorrow. Might need that scarf.
     
    #22
  23. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Epic thread is Epic.
     
    #23
  24. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I'll dust off the sniper rifle.

    They are only protected within Williamsburg. Once they cross the boundaries, it is open season.

    J
     
    #24
  25. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Read this thread. It explained your grey sweater. You gf is dressing you.
     
    #25
  26. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Match 4 - unrated - 6-4 3-6 7-10

    Ugh. I lost yesterday. Devastated. Here's my take on what happened:

    It was cold and windy, so we took our time warming up. He's a regular at the park i normally play at but i never really payed attention to how he played. Based on our common matches played and the way i was playing, i put myself as a 10 point favorite. I told Jolly last week about the upcoming match that all i needed to do to win was show up and look good. i was wrong.

    I started well, took a 2-0 lead, but then was broken back to 2-2. Went down a break at 3-4 but got it together to pull out the set 6-4. My game was leaking oil. double faults galore, stupid errors. Even though i won the 1st set, i was starting to get impatient. I hit a few winners, but for the most part made errors when i went for it. seemed to start off well in the 2nd set, went up 2-0, but then was broken 4 straight times and lost the set. the wind was blowing from baseline to baseline and i felt more comfortable playing into the wind. serving was a different story. serving into the wind, i couldn't toss the ball far enough into the court and with the wind, i couldn't get enough spin to keep the ball in box. too many double faults. what makes this even worse was he never did anything off the return so there was absolutely no reason to do anything extra. just couldn't get the ball in the box. As the match went on, points got longer, as i think i was more reluctant to try to end it and just was send it back to his backhand corner. and from there there were too many missed opportunities and errors on balls where i was standing at the service line to hit.

    i take 4 things from this match:

    1) the last time i hit serves was the match last Saturday. i only played 1 time this week due to the storm, but this can't continue. I'm making it a priority to serve at least 3 times a week not counting league or tournament matches. How can i expect something to be effective if i don't use it?

    2) I think i've come a long way with consistency and working points, but i still have a long way to go. too many times i went for something that wasn't there and in a close match, every point counts, i lost too many where i didn't do the best i could do.

    3) disappointed that i couldn't execute the main thing i've been practicing for months, working a point and being patient.

    4) need to add what to do once i have control of a point to the list of things to improve. hitting cross court backhands 3-4 times in row form the service line can't be a good thing. from that position i think there are a lot of options but i need to develop them.

    Jolly showed me the proper way to deal with a loss yesterday, so i have that going for me. also from these 4 matches, i've realized that the longer the point goes, the more likely it is that i'll win it. have to figure out how to use this to my advantage.

    In other news, bought a pair of vapor 9's off of the bay for $60. Felt my game raise .5 ntrp points just from wearing them around the house today.
     
    #26
  27. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    The main reasons why you lost are:

    Your family

    Your society.

    All of humanity.

    Get rid of them, and you'll never lose.
     
    #27
  28. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    one more thing

    Ask, no beg Tony the stringer to teach you how to hit topspin.
     
    #28
  29. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    I am not worthy.
     
    #29
  30. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I'll write you a letter of introduction, drenched in Aqua Velva.
     
    #30
  31. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Drove through slush blobs to get to work today. Life's not fair. If i knew the world would come to this, i would have voted from Romney.
     
    #31
  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    To address #4 - been there. Go down the line on your approaches..both backhand and forehand. get this automatic and then you can get crazy and switch it up later.
     
    #32
  33. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    And if that doesn't work, I will await once more with beer, wings, glorious bewbage, and Wild Turkey 101.

    J
     
    #33
  34. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This actually is a better solution for pretty much everything.

    Advantage - jo11y
     
    #34
  35. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Is that what Sandy did to your courts?

    Buy a Bluetooth and you can keep sweeping while you're yakking to your Old Lady: "Yes, I'll stop and buy you some <redacted> (women's hygiene products) on the way home. No, Jolly and I don't go to strip joints after tennis. No, that wasn't beer on my breath; Gatorade came out with a new flavor."
     
    #35
  36. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    #winning

    J
     
    #36
  37. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    You did vote for Romney, I changed your vote for you.
     
    #37
  38. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    This was a jive highschool, who's courts were in dubious condition but out of harm's way after we attempted to play in two parks both of which were closed and locked due to fallen trees and power lines.

    J
     
    #38
  39. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    P.S. tonight's training was supplemented with beer, wings, and sub-optimal bewbage.

    J
     
    #39
  40. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    ah we were just seated in the wrong section...
     
    #40
  41. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Giving an update for anyone who gives a poop.

    Met my weekly goal of serving three times this week. Seemed to put together a nice little weekly regimen of tennis. Looks like I'll get 3 days on indoor courts during the week after work on top of my weekend warrior tribulations.

    Looking to play two tournaments back to back at the end of the month: a 4.0 and an open.

    Off to hit indoors with dennis. Training to bring home that 4.0 puppy urinal block for Dali!
     
    #41
  42. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Received email from LBTC that they were severely damaged by the storm but are currently cleaning up and rebuilding. They expect to be operational in 6-8 weeks. in the meantime, they are running their tournaments at a nearby club.

    Withdrew from Huntington open so i could register for 4.0 LBTC tournament because they are on the same weekend, LBTC will be on hard court and historically have had bigger draws. That and it is 15 min drive as opposed to a 45 min drive.

    Trying to schedule last 2 flex league matches for saturday afternoon and tuesday night.
     
    #42
  43. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    I'm thinking of following up No Shave November with Mullet December.

    Yay or Nay?

    Didn't get last 2 matches scheduled, one of the dudes didn't play a single match. That's basically giving the USTA $30 for NOTHING, although it could be argued i paid $30 for list of phone numbers and emails lol.
     
    #43
  44. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    First match is tonight at 9:30. Kind of anxious. Opponent is rated 3.5 but from the looks of it has won a few 3.5 tournaments and went at least a couple of rounds in 4.0

    Hit yesterday and this morning for a bit. Going to pull a Dennis and take nap because I usually go to bed after 10pm. Nervous about having such a late start.
     
    #44
  45. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Been waiting all night for the results. Tennis Channel has nothing yet.
     
    #45
  46. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Oh sorry Joelsie. Opponent withdrew so on to semis on sunday at 6pm.

    Ended up playing practice sets with a friend. made masterful bh drop volley, not quite 4.5 class but it did raise an eyebrow from pork block on treadmill looking down on courts from fitness center. lost first set 6-3 and was up 5-2 and had 3 set points and double faulted on each one. fail. couldn't finish due to time constraints. left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Met up with Jolly to commiserate afterwards at applebees.

    [​IMG]

    Glad i was there to see this spectacle. black hostess was definitely jealous.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
    #46
  47. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Pics or it never ever happened.
     
    #47
  48. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Got goated hard tonight. Fox "News" reporting I'm not allowed within 100' of a tennis court.
     
    #48
  49. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Even though you lost I would still Bro GOAT you.
     
    #49
  50. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Well better than being on "America's Most Wanted" :shock:
     
    #50

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