Is it too late to become a 5.5-6 NTRP player?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Funkdrummer, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Funkdrummer

    Funkdrummer New User

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    Hi, I've recently joined the TW forums because of my new found love for tennis :p. I am currently 17 and have an addiction to tennis, I am joining a club in May and starting lessons in may as well. Is it too late for me to be a NTRP player with at least a rating of 5.5-6.
     
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  2. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Its never too late until the day you die. If that's your dream, no one can stop you but yourself
     
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  3. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    At age 17 there's no doubt you can reach that goal. You have to dedicate yourself to improving every time you practice and compete.
    The only limitation I see is if you get injured severely enough to keep you off the courts for long periods of time.
    Good luck though.
     
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  4. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Sure, at that age you can make 5.0 if you have reasonable athleticism and decent hand/eye

    If you're a really good athlete you can aim higher for sure.

    Get lessons as early as possible so you 'groove' the right things.

    And good luck! :)
     
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  5. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    5.5-6.0 is tough man. It's very high level tennis. But push at it with all you've got. If you go full out, 5.0 is definitely achievable, and that's great too. Keep going for your dreams, and best of luck.
     
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  6. President

    President Legend

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    5.5 or 6.0 is tough for anyone to reach, no matter how young you start IMO unless you have SERIOUS hours to devote to tennis ,as well as really good guidance and a good amount of natural talent.
     
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  7. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Most likely it is too late. Or you are not good enough of an athlete to ever reach that level. I could be wrong, but that would be the way to bet without more information.

    However, that shouldn't worry you. You have plenty of time to improve your game and there's a lot of good competition at lower levels. If you want competition, playing at 4-5ntrp is going to allow you to play in the most leagues and tournaments.

    Good luck and keep practicing.
     
    #7
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not nearly too late, but you have to make some sacrifices and practice more than just 15 hours a week, sleep well, eat well, be healthy, be a superior athlete...which you would know by now, and devote a minimum of 5 years just to reach 5.0.
    After 5.0, it's more in your head, less on the strokes, so it's different, not a progressive rise in ability at all.
     
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  9. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    Be happy if you can get to 3.5 and don't get injured.
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Have to agree with the last handful of posters, 5.5-6 NTRP is not realistic for most players. Most avid players get to 3.5 to 4.0 at best. Getting to a 4.5/5.0 level would be outstanding. There are many very talented athletes that started as very young kids that make it to the 5.5/6.0 level (Div 1 collegiate) that you aspire to.
     
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  11. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it's a big ask. OP wants to know it it's possible, though, and it is.

    Needs a lot of things to happen though, and 4.5 is probably the most likely outcome
     
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  12. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Funk,

    By joining TW you're automatically a solid 3.5. Post a video of you rallying you'll be 4.5. One point increase in a few months is common in here. Good luck.
     
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  13. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Totally not too late. If you are serious and like to play and practice and you have decent natural ability it's totally doable to reach 5.0. People out here act like 5.0 is some sacred out of reach thing. It's not.

    Now once you get to 5.0 or whatever and above it's just Open level and that can mean many things...then you have college level D1, D2 etc and that can vary a lot -- then future/challenger pro levels etc. Now all that requires a real full commitment and training usually from a young age.

    Can you get to the lower level of college or even pro starting at 17? Probably very unlikely - but it all depends on what kind of athlete you are now and how you pick up the game.

    Just get out there and play and don't worry about your level too much -- enjoy the journey.

    And don't let anyone discourage you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
    #13
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of stumbling blocks, but possibly the biggest is lack of physical ability. By 17, if you had superior physical skills, you would have played junior high and high school team sports.
    Also, you're at an age where it's hard 6 to concentrate on ONE sport, prepare for the future, have a job, look for a g/f, save money for a car, have time to practice 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, recover from said practice, run a bit, lift a bit, and get in great condition without your parents accusing you of sandbagging and wasting away your life.
     
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  15. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    Go for it. For me I took me 3 years to go from 3.0 to 3.5, then another 3 years to get from 3.5 to 4.0 (playing 3 to 4 times a week with lessons here and there). I'm now working my *** off to elevate further. Only time will tell if I can get to 4.5, I take lessons, and each time I hit I'm practicing and fine tuning. My tennis IQ is getting increased day by day as I study film daily.

    Work hard and find a great instructor.
     
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  16. Cobaine

    Cobaine Rookie

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    Realistically 5.0 is the best you can hope for. Not that there's anything wrong with that. A lot of people on this message board don't realize how difficult it is reach a high level.

    And when I say 5.0, I mean a legit 5.0. Not yah type where you enter a 5.0 tourney in the middle of nowhere and beat another 4.0 who signed up.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For a peek at Cauga's strokes, go to Suresh's thread about rec players.
    Caugas is really good, solid 4.0 rising, and he looks like a great athlete and lefty. I'm surprised, with his consistent easy hitting, he's not better than solid 4.5 levels.
     
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  18. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    I don't think 6.0 is possible but please prove me wrong. Go for it!

    I've never seen anyone over 5.0 that started after 17, I'm sure they exist I've just never seen it.

    It's an insanely high level. My friend was USTA rated 6.0 at 16 yrs old, Div 1 scholarship. At 24 he now humbly rates himself 5.5 because he's busy teaching rather than training to compete.

    Why is 5.5-6.0 your goal?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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  19. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    Thanks LeeD, working so hard on getting to the 4.5 level, I know what needs to get done, just got to get it done, you know what I'm saying? Working hard with various pros and trying to hit with people who can elevate my game!
     
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  20. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    On the Kyrgios/Thiem/Zverev bandwagon!
    OP, 5.5 and 6.0 are some pretty lofty goals. Out of all players who take up tennis (no matter at what age) much less the 1% ever get to that level. I think about it this way:

    3.5-4.0: Anybody can get here with lots of practice and dedication.

    4.5-5.0: Just training and dedication is not enough. You need to be a good athlete or talented ball-striker to play at this level.

    5.5-6.0: You need to be a good athlete AND talented ball-striker AND train hard to get to this level. Few people make it.

    Futures or ATP: You need to be a freak athlete, talented ball-striker, hard worker AND get really lucky to make it here.

    Since I know nothing about your talent and athleticism, I am not going to say making it to 5.5-6.0 is impossible, but it is definitely very difficult. I would suggest not worrying about it. Just play, enjoy it, and see where you can get to.
     
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  21. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    Wants to win cash prizes! Love his ambition though, really do
     
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  22. Funkdrummer

    Funkdrummer New User

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    I've been really working hard to become a decent tennis player lol. So far, I've been conditioning (mostly agility training, lateral movement, cardio and the building of power). I've played hockey and was my HS baseball and badminton until the season ended. The club also provides lessons! Do you guys have any tips for this beginner :p

    And thank you all so much for the support :D
     
    #22
  23. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    Put in 1000+ hours of hitting and hit with people at a higher level and you see crazy good results....
     
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  24. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    LMAO. It wouldn't be so funny if it wasn't so accurate.
     
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  25. Funkdrummer

    Funkdrummer New User

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    Will do! Tbh, I don't really mind if I end up at around 4.0-4.5. I'd honestly feel really accomplished because that's still a pretty high rating imo :p
     
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  26. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    IMO 4.5 is a dam solid player and many club pros make a living at that level. :)
     
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  27. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Just self-rate at 4.5. You'll fit right in around here.
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Cool, finally a GOOD athlete trying to become good at tennis!
    You're doing the right things. Hit with anyone your level or better. Show a positive attitude, even when you're down in spirit.
    Minimum 3 hours on court a day, should be 6 days a week.
    Work on your serves twice a week, no more than 100.
    Hit groundies every day.
    Get a conti grip serve and then learn to volley with it, and hit overheads with it.
    To entice better players, you would have to supply new tennis balls.
    Don't fool around, take it seriously.
    Fool around with your friends if you want.
     
    #28
  29. Funkdrummer

    Funkdrummer New User

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    Thanks for the compliment! But I am no where near a good athlete lol :p
    That advice is great and very helpful thank you so much! I was working on my continental grip topspin serve the other day although it does need some work :p
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Standing long jump distance.
    50 or 100 yard dash time.
    Spider drill on court time.
    Do 8', 6 or 11 seconds, and under 18 seconds and you are a good athlete.
     
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Matt Lin is the best player currently posting here. He mentioned spider drill time of 18 seconds, but not fully trying.
     
    #31
  32. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Seems like you have a good attitude.

    Here are my big 2 pieces of advice.
    1) Take conditioning and fitness seriously, and avoid major injuries. Listen to your body and don't ignore small injuries. One serious injury can set you back years.

    2) Take video of your play. What you think you are doing and what you are actually doing might not be the same thing. Video is great at exposing us to the truth.

    You don't have to take video all the time or put it up online, but use it. Video analysis of form and play is IMO the most important change in learning tennis I've seen.
     
    #32
  33. Funkdrummer

    Funkdrummer New User

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    Video analysis was something I never thought of :p Although I do see your point, analyzing faults in form and technique would eventually transition into better playing eh? :p
     
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  34. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    You'd be surprised at how often people will tell you about their technique and be totally wrong. They actually believe they are doing some technical move when they are doing something completely different. Seeing yourself on video can be a shocking and humbling experience, but it is the best way to identify flaws early and eliminate them.
     
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  35. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Here's my advice: don't worry about NTRP. It is absolutely irrelevant unless you're playing league. No, you will not become a pro tour level player, but just keep playing, have fun, enjoy the game because it's a game you can play the rest of your life.
     
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  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    THen No, it is not possible.
     
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  37. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Althea Gibson won her first tournament a year after learning tennis. I don't know much about you, so, of course, it's possible.

    But at the same time it's possible that you might not be able to achieve that no matter how hard you worked. Working at tennis is important for progress. But to get to certain levels you need to be gifted to a certain degree, IMO.
     
    #37
  38. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    Two issues:
    1. Time
    2. Money

    The reason juniors get so good, so fast, is because they don't have to worry about either of these problems. No jobs, oodles of time after school, and Bank of Mom and Dad financing the whole thing.
     
    #38
  39. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    I have seen one example of a player here in Sydney who didn't take up tennis till he left school at 18 and is American college standard. Probably not very top college standard but he's an excellent player and I was shocked to find out that he had started playing tennis so late in life because I just assumed he must of played his whole life because his technique is so good.

    I met him when he was about 25 so I don't know fast the progression was from starting out to his current standard. But I do know he was coached intensively from the moment he started, became obsessed with tennis and played all the time, and he's a good natural athlete with very good hand-eye coordination.

    He's also obsessed with technique (he's now a full-time coach) and his technique is beautiful. Even though he's not very tall his serve is his big weapon. Beautiful simple motion, also has a great kicker. Good volleys, doesn't mind coming to the net. Elegant one-handed backhand. Big forehand also but this shot can break down in long rallies.

    In match play though his tactics and point construction are poor and I feel that this is because he's taken up tennis at such a late age. He hits really hard with low margins and if you make him play enough shots he makes errors because he doesn't know how to open up the court to set up an easy winner. Instead he just tries to blast through people and if this doesn't work he has no plan B.

    Anyway OP it is possible. Give it your best shot but make sure you get lots of coaching because without good technique high level tennis is very very difficult.
     
    #39
  40. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    he has a point here. Although I do think about NTRP in general terms. What's more complementing to any tennis player is:

    1. Hitting forehands and backhands that sound like thunder
    2. Receiving compliments about your play from your peers and other tennis player at your club or public courts.

    If you stay focused, and keep working your game - you'll get what I listed above.

    Someone else mentioned video analysis. I think this is also cluth!
     
    #40
  41. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Did you play at a high varsity level for any of those sports?

    One important skill to learn for tennis strokes is to keep your head still during your forward swing. Hopefully this is a habit that you have already developed for baseball (and, perhaps, hockey). Federer and Nadal provide great examples of this. Once they have started the forward swing phase of their groundstrokes, their eyes are glued to the expected contact point. They keep their gaze there with the their head kept very still until their follow-thru is nearly completed. Even on volleys and serves, the head and eyes are kept fairly quiet during the forward or upward phase.

    Badminton and tennis have a lot of similarities as well as a lot of differences. When switching from badminton to tennis, it is important to learn what these are. It may take your body/muscle memory a little while to easily develop this. Once you do, you should find that skills from these 2 sports will help you with the other rather than detract or confuse.

    A couple of the grips for these 2 sports are somewhat similar, but quite a few are different. For both, your grip should be fairly relaxed most of the time -- many novice & intermediate players grip the racket a bit too tightly for both sports. For badminton, however, the racket grip is more in the fingers whereas, for tennis, it is more in the palm of the hand.

    I have taught a number of intermediate/advanced badminton players to play tennis. Badminton players tend to pick up volleys and the overhead (smash) more easily than groundtrokes. Both sports use the core/torso, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm and wrist in a similar manner on overhead shots. There are some differences, but I'll mention them if you request it. Badminton players can take that overhead motion to learn a basic tennis serve motion. Of course, you will need to learn to develop a good service toss for tennis. Also a bit more coil, shoulder tilt and racket head drop is needed for a tennis serve. Various swing paths and arm/racket variations are needed to develop a variety of spin serves as well.

    The footwork for badminton and tennis are quite a bit different as you may have already learned. The kinetic chain for strokes is sometimes different as well. For tennis, nearly all strokes will require a full kinetic chain sequence. Knees are bent to utilize leg power. This is transferred to rotations of the hips, core, and torso and then to the shoulder and various parts of the arm (elbow, forearm, wrist, hand). Badminton, OTOH, utilizes a full kinetic chain only when there is time to do so. Quite often, badminton replies are so quick that the lower body components play a much lesser role -- sometimes badminton replies use primarily the shoulder and arm components (and sometimes the core/torso). Tennis grounstrokes (and other strokes) should almost always employ a full kinetic chain.
     
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  42. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    If you're ultra-talented/athletic and willing to put in 30 hours per week over the next 5 years practicing and playing tournaments, it's attainable, IMO.

    However, what is the end-game? Boasting rights? Making a living?
     
    #42
  43. Tennis_tennis

    Tennis_tennis New User

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    BUddy

    You are not too late at all.
    I am 37, started playing tennis first time in 2009 Jan, I am very close to 4.5.
    Just keep on playing , hard work and dedication.
    you will be fine.

    People here may laugh at me.. by hearing my comments.. MY aim is to also become a 5.5 still.
    I am working on to reach there, I know its hard. but nothing is impossible.
    I stay positive, work out, stay fit and fast for tennis.
    Good luck
     
    #43
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    SAnomoly has a very important question OP needs to answer.
    Those sports, were you starting varsity and one of the stars?
     
    #44
  45. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    +1

    It always makes me smile to hear a 17 year old worrying if he is too old to do something. At 17, you are still a child. You can achieve almost anything you want so long in life as you are prepared to work hard. In tennis, or in some other field. Just remember the journey is more important (and more fun, if you choose it to be so) than the destination.
     
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  46. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    Superior athlete and lots of time. One and a half to two years for 4.5 then its all about tourney results.

    I dished out bagels and bread sticks to a 9th grader one summer the next summer he was taking me down casually 2 and 2. Which is a jump from lower 3.5 to lower mid 4.5.
     
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  47. caugas

    caugas Semi-Pro

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    I have a hard time thinking you can get to 4.5 without instruction, this is just my opinion. To get to 4.5 you need to be a student of the game to understand spins, angles and touch. You just can't hit your way to 4.5 with hours and hours on the court, just my 2 cents. don't blast me!
     
    #47
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of guesswork at level.
    Very few high school players can hang in men's 4.5. MattLin might, but not until he was 17 or 18. His vids of himself at 14 and 15 shows good hitting for sure, but cannot hang even at 4.0.
    Most high school players are just too weak. Some are going thru growth spurts, other's just too small.
    Yes, the top BlueChips might hang with 5.0, but they have been playing tennis for over 10 years and have steady instruction, support crew, and financial bliss.
    While in high school, nobody can get the tournament experience to play well day in and day out, especially against smarter, more experienced players.
     
    #48
  49. Cobaine

    Cobaine Rookie

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    You have it backwards. 5.0's might be able to hang with top Blue Chips.

    Top Blue Chips play futures. Which is a leaps and bounds beyond 5.0.
     
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Top BlueChip 18 year old's play Futures, Challenger's and Q's. And they can do well, but I graduated high school at 16.
    Very few 16 year old's can go even 3 rounds in the above tourneys.
    I mentioned a couple Q's I played in. Every win was default or a win against a high schooler, or someone in the first freshman year.
     
    #50

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