Just lost to someone 1.0 down from me

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Reza, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Reza

    Reza New User

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    Okay, yesterday I had one of the worst matches of my life. I am an NTRP rated 5.0, and I lost yesterday to someone who is between a 3.5 and a 4.0. I am in a league and sometimes we have to play way down. Anyways, I have played this guy twice before and never lost more than a game or two in the six sets we have played. We start and I get off really slow, down 4-0 within five minutes on probably 12 unforced errors. I was playing fine from the baseline, but as soon as I hit an approach, I was either missing badly (and I wasn't really going for that much) or completely mistiming the ball and my approach was barely reaching the service line. I came back to win the first, 7-6, then in the second lost two points on my serve all set (until the tiebreaker), but never broke him, and ended up losing 7-6. For the third set, we just played a tiebreaker, which I lost. Here is the problem: this guy hit nothing but slice and was the consummate pusher---everything came back, but he couldn't really help me. However, with my strokes being as far off as they were (worst I have played in probably 2-3 years) I couldn't finish. So I started hitting just like him, not making errors, but in effect, leveling the playing field for him. What should/could I have done in this situation?
     
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  2. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Assuming that he played the same as he played before when you beat him, congratulate himfor being steady and know that somedays the bear eats you.

    If he wasn't slicing and retreiving before, then maybe that style is difficult for you. It can keep you off balance and throw off your timing if you're not used to it. Was that maybe the trouble with your approach shot ?
     
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  3. Reza

    Reza New User

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    In my assessment, it didn't seem as though he was playing any better/worse. You have to beat him by winning points (getting to net and finishing), not by his errors, this is usually not difficult for me. Maybe it was just a bad day, but I can't help thinking that there should have been a strategy for me that would have worked
     
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  4. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    I would have gone a little easy on approach shots and made sure I got them in, because the guy sounds like he doesn't have any power from the backcourt for passing shots. The other thing you should have done is move him side to side by hitting angles-even if you weren't hitting the ball hard, you'd tire him out and open up opportunites to step in and finish the point or charge the net. The best thing to do when you're noticing your normal gameplan isn't working is to work into a groove during points. Hit him some balls and warm yourself up even though the match has started.
     
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  5. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

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    it doesn't sound like u were doing that badly if u won the first set and only lost 2/3 points on your serve in the next set. I'm guessing u weren't capitalising on his serve.. either u weren't returning well enough or you were losing points in the rallies.

    in such a situation I try and go back to basics.. which for me means concentrating on moving my feet and split stepping and then working on timing my shots.. I'll hit slices on the backhand (which I can usually do even on my worst days) and on my forehand I'll take a shorter swing and give myself a huge margin of error with heavy topspin (this is especially true on the returns which is what fails most when I'm playing poorly).. once I'm timing the ball better I still aim for heavy spin but with much bigger swings and if those are going in then I aim to hit with flatter shots and more angles and rushing the net more with chip and charges on returns/during points.

    occasionally though u have to just accept bad days.. there are days when I play matches when I know I'm going to be lethargic because of lack of sleep/long hard day at work.. u just have to accept that unlike pro players who structure their life to being at the peak for matches, recreational players can't do that.
     
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  6. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    How many matches do you win at the 5.0 level? How did you get that high of a rating? The 5.0 guys I know do not have off days especially against 4.0 level pushers. Maybe you were sick or dehydrated. Play more matches against slicers if you struggle with slice.
     
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  7. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Maybe he read Gilbert's book and found a way to win!
     
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  8. Reza

    Reza New User

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    I generally go 50-50 against other people who are 5.0 (actual rating), win about 80% of the time against a 4.5 and 10% of the time who is 5.0-5.5, but I don't think I would beat many true 5.5s. I normally do not struggle with slice or agianst pushers.
     
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  9. ferreira

    ferreira Rookie

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    Didn't you just "lose it" for that particular day? I've seen a true 5.0 lose to a 4.0. It was close, and the 5.0 was having some trouble with his backhand. But I actually never saw him lose to an under 5.0 again. Anyway, I'm relieved to hear it happens even at the 5.0 level. I'm 4.0, but can lose to a 3.5 as well as eventually beat a 4.5 or give a 5.0 a hard time, given, in the latter case, that my serve hasn't abondoned me as has happened lately. Man, this is a frustrating sport - which makes it all the more challenging. Best regards.
     
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  10. jackzon

    jackzon Rookie

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    I don't want to appear at all unsympathetic, but.....THAT IS THE GREATEST NEWS I'VE HEARD ALL DAY!!!!!!!:D :D :D

    Sorry I have nothing helpful to say but just had to get that out of my system.

    Jackzon (3.5)
     
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  11. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I think that if you were a true 5.0 you wouldn't be on this site crying about getting beat by "someone who is between a 3.5 and a 4.0", because a) it wouldn't happen and b) a 5.0 would have a pretty good idea what he did wrong, and what corrections he has to make in the future.

    You sound like you never played a pusher and 5.0's just do not get beat by pushers because, on the way to becoming a 5.0, they learned how to handle those types of players, who are very common at the 3.5-4.0 level.
     
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  12. Reza

    Reza New User

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    Not to get defensive here, but I am an actual rated 5.0---I play as a 5.0 in a league and...you get the point. I guess the whole issue came down to what much of you were saying: we all learn to win and to beat weaker players even when we don't have our best stuff, but what if nothing is working? Is there a magic bullet? For example sometimes when I am playing tight, I swing out for two or three games, just to loosen up---even if I lose those games, I have gotten the tightness out of my system. Other times I play loopy deep shots. What I was asking is: on that day that you have nothing, what do you do? What is your magic bullet?
     
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  13. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Gosh Reza, that's easy. Get 4 or 5 hundred of your best friends to do a wave around the court.
     
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  14. aahala

    aahala New User

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    There is no magic bullet.

    The scoring of a match begins with the first point, but the match begins before the scoring.

    It was understandable you would expect an easy match given the prior ones. A "4.0" has no possibility of playing at the 5.0 level. But the outcome of a match depends upon the playing level of both your opponent AND yourself. If you end up playing like a 4.0 then you could(and did) lose to one.

    It serves no useful purpose to underestimate your opponent and little downside to overestimate his abilities. So that fact should always be built into your expectations, decide to give maximum effort and attention from the first point, whatever the opponent's level.

    If you enter a match thinking your opponent will be a pushover, you increase the chances you will be the pushee.
     
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  15. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I still feel you are not a true 5.0 myself at least compared to the 5.0 rated players in my area. You sound more 4.5ish playing a 4.0 pusher and just having a bad day. The 5.0's around here would swing out and still beat the pusher with consistency, pace, and placement. They might also bring the pusher to net and then lob or just run him to hell and back. They would also go after whatever side he doesn't slice with if that was bothering them (and I don't see slice truly bothering too many 5.0 players). No way does a 5.0 lose a three set match to a 4.0. Unless they are still hungover from the night before. You might lose one set on a bad night but not two. I have lost like one match to a 3.5 level player in the last 2 years now and I am just 4.0 and have played maybe 100 matches with 3.5's. Maybe you and I are both closer to true 4.5 than we think.
     
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  16. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Maybe you just had a really bad stinkin' day and that is all there is to it.
    Did you step in closer to (or even within) the baseline than you normally do? It seems that you would want to against somebody hitting slow slices as compared to normal topspin groundstrokes.
    This "shortens the court" and those service-line-depth approaches would have gone a little deeper and he would also have less recovery time. It would also allow you to hit more short, angled shots a la Seles to run him a bit.
    Bungalow Bill mentions on another thread about how the footwork is often the culprit for poor play against slow paced shots.
    Anyhoo, I don't think you should worry about it too much since it is just one lower ranked opponent. Sounds like you will play him again sometime. Let us know what happens. Good luck.
     
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  17. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, but from the information you've given and your questions, I don't see you as being a 5.0. Basically, what kevhen said...even on a bad, bad day, a 5.0 is gonna beat a 3.5-4.0, although he may lose a few more games along the way.
     
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  18. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    What's the point...geez.

    Heck the guy might've been playing Gianluca Pozzi, for all we know...
     
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  19. Reza

    Reza New User

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    I don't really understand what the debate is about whether I am 5.0, 4.5, 2.0----that was not the point--I was just trying to give a point of reference, and since that is what I was last rated at, thats what I said. Anyways, what I do know is that I lost 2/3 sets (third set was a tiebreaker only) to someone who I have never lost more than 2 games to in a set, or probably 3 in a match. No matter what I tried, nothing worked, my volleys were off (it seemed like I didn't see the ball until it was at the net), my approaches either missed or landed too short, and the rest of my game was not even up to average. This leveled the playing field. However, given my experience and better strokes I still should have won----easily and I didn't. I was looking for some ideas/insight/solutions to your worst day in years---literally. If you have those, feel free to comment. If you want to know what my ntrp is, I will send you a video of me playing, my match statistics from the last seven years, and a written analysis from Bud Collins. Just let me know
     
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  20. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Maybe your opponent started taking steroids.

    Thanks for the offers, but I don't think I'll be needing the Bud Collins analysis. I already know.
     
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  21. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Just go out and beat this guy the next time and don't look back. As long as you don't start dressing like Bud Collins, you will be fine.
     
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  22. Reza

    Reza New User

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    beat him last night, love and one
     
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  23. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    There you go. Don't worry about the occasional off day. It happens.
     
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