Really a 4.0?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Centryx, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Centryx

    Centryx Semi-Pro

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    Ok is it just me or are more and more people saying they are a 3.5/4.0 when they really aren't.

    I am just wondering what skills/abilities do you all think are a a neccessity for someone who rates themselves a 3.5/4.0? (multiple serves?can go crosscourt with backhand/forehand consistently) I am asking this because recently I have been hitting/playing matches with alot of different people who self rate themselves as 3.5's and 4.0's but aren't very good. I rate myself a 3.5/4.0 (played in high school, never a great singles player but really enjoy doubles) and I am soundly beating on the guys I have been hitting with. Do you find that most people overrate themselves? Or is the NTRP rating system more of a bell curve where most players would throw themselves in the middle?

    thanks in advance
     
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  2. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    You can't blame them. They are just going by the USTA definitions which are a joke when compared to actual level of play you see in leagues.

    Self rating should be taken with a grain of salt. You do not know what you rating is just by how you look on the court. You only know your rating when you have actually played sufficient number of USTA matches.
     
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  3. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    A 4.0 is someone that can consistently beat 3.5s and consistently loses to 4.5s. How's that for a definition?
     
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  4. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    When someone says "yeah, I'm about a 3.5 to 4.0" they usually don't really have any idea what they are talking about. Those people are the ones that over-rate themselves.

    However, if you can go into TennisLink and see that a player has a 3.5 or 4.0 computer generated rating, then they have earned it through play against other players, so it's more legitimate. That's not to say that there aren't vast differences even within those ranges. I've hammered players 6-0, 6-0 who had the same rating as me, but they were either on the other end of the spectrum or just had a bad match-up in playing style.

    As for the bell-curve part of your question, this is true. The ratings do follow a curve, and within the USTA League, 3.5 has the highest number of participants in the rating system. Here are the 2009 numbers after the controversial year-end ratings recalculation:

    [​IMG]

    The USTA changed the formula and bumped up a lot of regular tournament and league players that were sandbagging down, but 3.5 is still the highest percentage of players.

    As for player characteristics for each level, I hate getting into that game. Basically, results are all that matter to me when it comes to ratings.

    Best example I've ever seen was a local guy a few years ago. Never played high school or college tennis, and just started playing the game in his mid-20s. His strokes looked like crap and he often played in running shoes. Most people who saw him thought he was just a weekend hack. However, I watched him take his ugly strokes and hustle to beat a top 20 ranked, 5.0 rated player in one of the national 35 and over tournaments in straight sets. While fundamentals count, it really doesn't matter how nice your stroke production is. The guy I'm talking about had ugly strokes that you'd associate with a 3.5, but probably had the talent and athletic ability to play 6.0+ level tennis if he had received the right coaching when he was younger.

    For a real ratings comparison, all that matters is who you can consistently beat in actual tournaments or league matches.
     
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  5. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    THIS (+ 10 char).
     
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  6. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    It doesn't take long reading these threads to realize that...it's probably more of the opposite. The biggest complaint here seems to be that a lot of folks who self-rate...sandbag.

    I'm a benchmark 3.5 and realistically consider myself in the top half of that NTRP so I think I have decent credentials to evaluate other 3.5s. Prior to USTA's Big Bump late last year, I rarely paid any attention to the self-raters. But this year, with all the focus on "B"s, "C"s and "S"s, I'm inclined to think older self-rates, underrate...some more so than others but still, they're erring on the side of less is more. Younger self-rates, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more optimistic (egotistic?) in their numerations.

    Regardless, I think The System tends to work itself out. Seriously underrated or mis-rated folks have grievances filed...or get automatically DQed. The ones who were fudging just a bit, probably fly under the radar...until year's end...or merely stay put and have a computer-rating confirm their own estimations.

    Until you play "official" matches (either sanctioned tournaments or leagues)...and for at least a season (or more)...you'll never really know what you are. And keep in mind, just "hitting" with someone is never really the same as match play where something other than who picks up the bar tab...is on the line.

    In the end, it's just a number. Practice and play with the people you have fun with.
     
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  7. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, it depends. If you are posting on a Forum, folks inflate, if they are playing on a league team they underrate.
     
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  8. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Well said. I would expand that slightly and say that people posting on the TW forum who don't play USTA league or tournaments tend to overrate themselves. It is really hard to know what you actually should be rated without playing people who are actually rated at that level and looking at the results.
     
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  9. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    And everyone who beats them are sandbaggers. Even if the sandbaggers played for 30-40 yrs. Supposed 3.5 players who can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
     
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  10. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    3.5/4.0 players are your average club level players.

    5.0s still aren't great players in the grand scheme of things. Decent, but not great.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, a good 3.0 can enter and play in 4.5 tourneys, they just lose in the first round.
    Does that make them a 3.0? Or 3.5? Or 4.5?
    My case, I haven't play a tourney in over 28 years. Last tourney, went 4 rounds in a Q for the TransAmericaProATP tourney in SF Ca.
    I rate myself a falling 4.0.
    I've lost about 30% of my physical skills thru the years. Now 61. Yesterday, threw a regulation NFL football, with about 4 lbs of air, well over 50 yards on repeated tries. Can still standing longjump first try around 6'6".
    Which just about makes me a falling 4.0.
     
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  12. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    When you can no longer do this and chew gum..........falling 3.5
     
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  13. goober

    goober Legend

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    NTRP rating are just a number defined by the enviroment (i.e. the group of players that you are playing with).

    The USTA certainly has the most well defined, consistent rating system. But many private clubs and local rec leagues also use NTRP rating system for their tennis leagues and tourneys. These groups usually don't have a computer formula and people are moved up or down based on how they did at a particular league the prior season. People will often find the the NTRP levels at private clubs and rec leagues are different from USTA ratings. That doesn't make them any less valid. If you spend all your time playing at a private club, the only rating that matters is the one the club gives you. Maybe it is different from a USTA league rating and maybe it is not. Does it really matter?

    Self raters are a completely different thing altogether. If they haven't had any competitive experience well of course their ratings are going to be all over the place- usually too high. Most people think they are better than they actually are until they face real competition- not the weekend hack crowd.
    Getting hung up whether a person is a "real" 3.5 or 4.0 is a waste of time. If you are soundly beating these self raters- step away from the weekend hack crowd and start playing in leagues and tournaments. You will find the level of player that you seek.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah. I'm a 3.5. But if I were looking for a clinic at a private club, i would say I was a 4.0. This would avoid my being stuck in a clinic with a bunch of 3.0s who claim to be 3.5s.

    As a captain, I have never once had a self-rated player come to me and claim to be a 3.5 when they are really a 4.0. Doesn't happen.

    What happens is that ladies read the descriptions and conclude that they should self-rate 1-2 levels higher than where the computer would put them. So ladies think they are 4.0 when they are 3.5 at best.
     
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  15. 10ACE

    10ACE Professional

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    HAHA your posts are always so humorous- never read one where I isn't incorporated- well done- funny stuff
     
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  16. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

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    guys normally underate unless they have big egos, gals almost always over rate...ive not seen a gal ever honestly rate.
     
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  17. kelawai

    kelawai Rookie

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    Intermediate players think they can hit a few ball over the net and like to show off they are good.

    Advance players says they are so so player and beat the @#%$ out of everyone and smile when they walk to the baseline.
     
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  18. beststringer

    beststringer Rookie

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    to me, it means you have a good second serve. esp. in doubles. let me try to quantify it.

    1. 1 or fewer double fault in a set.
    2. can get 1 to 2 free points from first serves per game.
     
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  19. beststringer

    beststringer Rookie

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    there are some ex-college 4.0s so it's hard to say.
     
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  20. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Never met a 4.0 that played Div 1. NAIA or Div 2, yes.
     
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  21. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    Agree with Goober; 4.0 is as 4.0 does, etc., etc., etc.
     
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  22. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    i've met a dozen or so ex-division III players who are no better than 3.5 or 4.0 usta league players. there's a lot of small colleges out there. don't think i've run into any division II or NAIA players who aren't at least 4.5 players though.
     
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  23. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    I have played people from D1-D3 as I coach college tennis and played at the D1 level. Many of the D1 players I have played against are 5.5, but a couple were as low as 3.5 since they played on a weak D1 team and they played about 20 years ago. In the northeast except for the top couple of teams, D3 tennis is better than D2 tennis. I have seen many 5.0 D3 players, but there are obviously many that are 3.0 as well. My D3 team consists of a 5.0 and 4 guys at a 4.5 level and a 4.0 who start. We are not ranked right now, but have played in nationals. As for the D2 programs, most of the top scholarship players on each team are 4.5-5.5 but the rest are 4.0.
     
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  24. MarcDunn1989

    MarcDunn1989 New User

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    I think it depends on where you are from as well, i think a lot of players from Florida, california, and texas are going to be more "true" to their actual level given by usta.
     
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  25. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    A few years ago I was on a 4.0 team... one of my teammates played Div 1. I think it was for Cal or UCLA, don't remember exactly. This guy was a legit 4.0.

    He was also 76 at the time :)
     
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  26. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    I get it. We get teaching pros playing 4.0 now who are older, ailing, or sandbagging.
     
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  27. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    I was thinking the same thing...

    I used to hit with a 4.0 rated player a few years ago that played for Stanford in the late '60s when Dick Gould was first hired as the coach there. Most guys that played at top D-I schools like that have to get old and blow out a hip or knee before they drop to 4.0.

    However, there are some crappy Division I programs out there also, so I'm sure there are some young legitimate 4.0s ex-D-I guys floating around. Come to think of it, I can probably name schools or even some specific players, but I don't want to be mean... :)
     
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  28. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I agree with many of the replies here. you'll find out where you stand if you play in a legit league. I think the USTA leagues are a little tougher than some of the "local" leagues, where the rules are a bit more slack. I'd advise play "down" a tick, and see if you win more than 50%. If you're winning more than half the time, consider moving up. You want to keep challenging yourself, week to week.
     
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  29. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I could have probably played 3.5, but chose 4.0 because I wanted to play better players and eventually move up to 4.5.

    I win about 50% my matches playing at 4.0 so I think I'm well rated. It'd be fun sometimes to dominate 3.5 players and have a shot at winning a tournament, but that's not the goal.

    My goal is to move up to 4.5...and I've got a long ways to go, but that makes the challenge fun!
     
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  30. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Just played mixed doubles with a 24 year old former DIvision 1 #1 player who was a self-rated 4.0. Best '4.0' I have ever seen!!! Would beat most 5.0 players. Not sure how she got away with that...
     
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  31. retlod

    retlod Professional

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    I consider myself a 4.0 player with 4.0 skills and 4.0 weaknesses. I've played in a couple of leagues and a USTA sanctioned tournament against other 4.0's and I fit right in.

    My first serve gets me 1-2 points per game off of aces, return errors, or sitter returns. I hit high-kicking topspin second serves and will occasionally throw in a slice. Most days, I aim for one half of the service box or the other. On good days I aim for thirds.

    I have a strong topspin forehand that I can hit crosscourt or inside-out for winners, sometimes from as far back as the baseline, but definitely when I'm inside it. I do well against players who aren't used to lots of topspin. My 2HBH is shaky, so I rarely attack with it and mostly hit it crosscourt to be safe. I can also hide it pretty well by running around balls that aren't hit too fast. On low backhands I hit one handers with a lot of slice. I struggle against players who can consistently hit groundstrokes to my BH side as I will hit one onto the net or give them an easy short ball. I never push.

    I'm an average volleyer at best and will sometimes dump one into the net. My half volleys often turn into sitters for my opponent.

    My footwork is average, as is my court speed, but I'm 6'6" so I have a good reach.

    On the mental side, I'm starting to adapt my game to attack my opponents' weaknesses, I feel very little pressure, and I have a short memory for my own dumb mistakes.
     
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  32. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I'd like to play 4.5 at my club because I win about 70% of my 4.0 matches, and the low end 4.0's who push and dink drive me crazy and I hate playing them (and yes, I beat them usually). And the club sets me up with them on the ladder, so its kind of a waste of time.

    I like to play guys with pace, and even if I lose at 4.5, I would have more fun at it.

    Actual USTA tourneys, though, I'm a 4.0. Lots of pace, but just not consistent enough to be a true 4.5.
     
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  33. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    I am a professional race car driver. Well, I drive along side them and can hang, so that means I am just the same.

    NOT.

    Don't tell me you hang with "5.0's" during rallies and that you can now claim to be a 5.0, lol. If you don't play league and haven't had any professional lessons, then you're def. a weekend warrior at best. And if weekend warriors had numbers, I'd rate them as 11.25/3!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
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  34. arnz

    arnz Professional

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    Are you annoyed because you are beating these people easily?

    If you are soundly beating guys in the 4.0 levels (even though you think they are inflated ratings) then move up even more to 4.5

    Problem solved
     
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  35. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    My strokes stink, but I win about 2/3 of my league matches at the 4.0 level, so I guess that makes me a 4.0.

    I can hit hard first serves, but not very consistently. I try to hit kick second serves, but I'm lucky if they are good enough to keep people from attacking them. My groundstrokes are too short and too flat. I can put away sitters on the forehand side, but not often on the backhand. I can play consistently if I push, but not if I try to hit with moderate pace. My volleys are inconsistent at best. My best weapon is my serve return, which I play inside the baseline and try to attack first and second. Overall, if you watch me play (and you can, in fact, by searching for 4.0 #1 singles on this site), you would not think that I am a 4.0.

    But I win (I don't dominate, but I win, and against more than just the bottom of the barrel league players). And that's the point, isn't it?
     
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  36. WhiteGorilla

    WhiteGorilla New User

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    Wow, that sounded EXACTLY like my game lol, especially the part where I can play consistently only by pushing, but trying to hit with some pace doesn't last too long.
     
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  37. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Yeah, never believe self-raters. Just go by USTA results or how your fair against computer rated 4.0s.

    I think the fastest way to know where you stand is to try out for a 4.0 team esp. a good team.
     
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  38. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, if they don't want you, you may not be a 4.0.
     
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  39. AlexDK09

    AlexDK09 Guest

    In the Netherlands, you cannot self-rate, so I'm still stuck at the 3.0 rating while I play 3.5/4.0 tournaments. But when I sign up for a league I'll be in a 3.0 team though.
     
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  40. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    I am 4.0 hopefully getting bumped up this year. I will trade names to view results, but I'm not just putting my name on the boards. Got to be another way haha.
     
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  41. Holdfast44ID

    Holdfast44ID Rookie

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    Do you guys think Ivan Lendl is a 4.0 because he hasn't played in years? Or does he get an "honorary" Open-level rating, regardless? Sometimes I feel like these 4-4.5 level players (who never had or will have the talent beyond that) kinda diss those guys who were Open or higher in the past when it comes to real talent/skill, but have to "play" at the 4-4.5 level later on due to age, fitness, injuries, taking off a few years, whatever. Sometimes, I think those guys feel like they are in a no win situation. They get called sandbaggers because they still show some of the old skills (whip some awesome forehands, hit 120 MPH aces, etc), but perhaps just not as consistently as in the past, when they play that level. Then players say they are sandbagging. However, they are not quite good enough to hang at the upper levels. They can "hit" fine with the Open guys, but playing matches is a different matter.
     
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  42. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    We will welcome Lendl to play on our 4.0 Senior team. Have to play dubs.
     
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  43. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    That's ridonculous. No way is Lendl a 4.0 no matter how long it has been since he played. He might play like a 4.5 for 5 minutes while warming up, but he'll be up to a very high level rather quickly.
     
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  44. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Long as he plays dubs, he is a good 4.0 in our district.
     
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  45. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    I don't really fall into either of these categories, and yet I'm a DII college player who has a winning record with 5.0 players (albeit only 3-1, but that's still .750). Not a great means of judging level.

    Played a (legit) 4.5 earlier this week with the BEST 1st serve I've ever seen a rated 4.5 player hit (haven't played enough truly rated players to make comparison for everyone else, but I digress). His second serve was no slouch either, but he still double faulted enough for me to scrap with a win.
     
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  46. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    You must live in Florida :)
     
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  47. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Nah, that's why Ivan is a 4.0. Come up north and play a lil platform tennis w/paddles and needled out balls.
     
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