So yesterday, I lost to a crafty older player...

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Fuji, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Definitely, I totally forgot to mention it as I forgot you guys in the states have .5 divisions. My bad!

    Yeah, the top end 4.5 is quite a gap from me.

    -Fuji
     
    #51
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My current 4.0 bud, another lefty, has beaten me bagels, I've beaten him bagels, but most of our sets are close.
    My old regular practice partner, a No2 for CCSF, and the following year, No.1 at SFState, usually split sets, but he's beaten me bagels, and I've beaten him breadsticks.
    I can lose badly to anyone near my level, and I can sometimes win against much better players.
    It just depends who's missing by a foot, and who's hitting those shots IN time after time.
     
    #52
  3. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    It doesn't have to be an old fart. My friend, who I played almost every day for years, was a high level open player. While (back in our 20's) I looked great, with long flowing strokes, huge serve, etc. but was inconsistent, he didn't look like a good tennis player - soft serve, short strokes, etc.

    What he enjoyed doing was putting the ball to where the opponent could just barely get to it (even if he could put it out of the opponent's reach), running him around the court, torturing the opponent, and finally breaking his opponent's will. Of course, the opponent would be thinking, "how could I lose to this pusher guy," while my friend would be intenionally keeping him in the match to torture him some more.
     
    #53
  4. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    so if i understood fuji correctly -- he basically played in a tourney composed of 4.0 to 4.5 players. and he played a guy who would be on the upper end of the 4.5 scale.

    humbling but no shame in losing to a guy with that much experience and control. wouldn't be surprised if your opponent played university or higher tennis in his younger years too.
     
    #54
  5. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If the guy has been club champion "a few times" he's one hell of a player. That means he has beaten everyone at your club who had the balls to sign up for the tournament. I'm surprised you have never seen him play--you must have miles of courts at your club and thousands of members. It may be time for you to break away from the bar and the social mx'ed with the housewives and watch this guy's matches to learn the game. Tournament players watch a lot of their competitors matches--that's one of the nice things of participating in tournaments and that's how a lot of learning is done--consider it a free lesson.
     
    #55
  6. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Definitely! I don't know a lot of people from my club because we are quite large, and I play at pretty dead times. Either early morning or late night. A lot of the top end guys play during prime time which I try to avoid. :razz:

    I definitely do have to start watching these Guys more though. It's a project I plan on working on this winter! :)

    -Fuji
     
    #56
  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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  8. SuperJimmy

    SuperJimmy Rookie

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    The warm-up sounds pretty messed up. Sure you should be warm prior to the match, but that 5-minute time is definitely not the time for him to be running you ragged and attempting drop volleys. What he was trying to do was take you out of the game mentally before you even start and it looks like it probably worked. I've encountered people that do this, I don't even try to run for a ball if they pull that garbage. I'll either give them an equally annoying shot back or go for a winner/drop shot on the FEED and give them "the eye" letting them know I can be a d-bag as well if they want to go there and play that game.

    Now onto the match...

    Usually people with that kind of out wide serve with no pace are a lot more predictable/readable on the toss. I think you should be standing like 1/2 way between the service line and baseline to return the serve. You cut off the angle and also take away time from him to react to your return so he doesn't get those easy volleys.

    If he's able to direct your serves DTL (I'm assuming your serves were out wide?) in the corner perfectly, then probably you should only be going for down the T and body serves only. Also if you're hitting ground strokes from ankle level, I think you were still probably in the mindset of hitting with younger players that give more pace and depth. When you hit with those guys enough, it becomes second nature and can be hard to adjust. On occasion, I will stand like 3 feet behind the baseline returning a 3.5 women's serve and then realize I am not hitting with a 5.0 guy. In cases like this, "no-man's land" between the service box and baseline might as well be the baseline for you and you should play points from there instead and look to move in. Did you try moonballing? To hit the shots you say he was hitting, they are a lot harder to execute on a moonball. Would have been interesting to see how he reacts to those type of shots. What was your strategy on ground strokes? Try to move him from side to side? That gives him some more sharper angles to play with. Sometimes hitting down the middle works wonders against an opponent as well.

    The thing is, when people think of having fun playing tennis, it usually doesn't involve crafty senior spin doctors. So it's very easy to lose motivation/joy in playing a match when you know you have to play someone like this. And when your motivation goes, a lot of things go along with it...legs, stroke, will to fight, etc. This is where they get you! Gotta keep the head strong and figure out how to wear gramps down and have him begging for an oxygen tank.
     
    #58
  9. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    We're only hearing one side of the story about the warm-up. There is a convention to how tournament players warm-up that is very fixed. I've described it in the past, the hot-tub awaits, so I won't reiterate it here. The kid went jogging to warm-up his lungs while the club champ was ready annoying "the player" right off. After that he probably didn't feel any obligation to teach him the fundamentals of how the big boys do it. I would recommend watching how tournament players warm-up or watch TV. Maybe the kid started up at the net like the housewives do and it went down-hill from there. I don't know I wasn't there.

    No offense to Fuji, he's a nice kid but you got to do your homework about these things. Watch a real tournament sometime closely or find a pro who was out on the tour for about five years who knows the ropes. I remember at one of my first tournaments, my opponent questioned a call so I said "Take two", my coach on the sideline nearly died of embarrassment.

    G'luck
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
    #59
  10. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Very good advice! Thanks a lot for the tips!

    I definitely was trying to hit him side to side in hopes to wear to him out, I never really thought to play the middle well. I definitely wasn't in the strongest mind set as it pretty well shows. In retrospect it gave him more to work with like you said.

    -Fuji
     
    #60
  11. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Haha of course! I definitely don't take any offence to your advice.

    I didn't start at the net, I started at the baseline, just so you know haha! As for the run before the warm up, I figure it did no harm because I did it while he was still setting up his gear. I didn't mean to offend anyone, but I'll be doing it well before in advance in the future. Lesson learned on my part.

    I definitely still have lots to learn, and I hope I'm able to pick up on it soon. :)

    Thanks for all your tips Tom.

    -Fuji
     
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  12. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I know two guys that will sit on the court and do stretches before we play. We aren't paying for court time, but if we agreed to play at 5pm, they show up at 4:55, we talk for a few minutes, then they sit and stretch for 10 minutes while I was there and warmed-up and ready at 5.... gets annoying. I know that isn't what you did Fuji, I just think people should do their own warm-up/jogging/stretching/rituals on their own time... but then that's just my mindset.....

    ...I'm the kind of player that for league play, if its a home match I check to see if there is an unused court and I get there early to drop balls/hit serves to get good and loose (and also so I don't have to show my opponent my serve in warm-up), or if its an away match I look for a public court nearby to do the same... I'd do the same for tourneys, but you can never be sure when you are gonna be called on a court that just opened. I guess I do it often for pickup games too if I know my friend I'm playing that day is the kind of guy who hits back and forth for 2-3 minutes and then asks if I'm ready. I dunno... I guess I'm just raring to go and go hard from the start... Type A personality curse.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
    #62
  13. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Speaking of crafty older players, Brent Abel has some videos in his Youtube account of US National singles finals for the 60-yo group. I am going to guess that there are many people here who *think* they could easily beat these guys but would probably lose quite convincingly.

    2011 USA 60s Hardcourt Singles Finals
     
    #63
  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Larry Turville used to be the coach at Rice University.
     
    #64
  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I watched the first 4 minutes. They suck.
     
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  16. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    The tall guy is super solid IMO. He's definitely a good player.

    -Fuji
     
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  17. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I didn't have to watch any of it, it's the finals of the 60's Nationals at Mission Hills. It's a Catagory 1 Tournament. To be in the finals you have to be one of the best players on the planet in the 60's.

    Suresh, how did you do in the last National Senior Age Group tournament you played in?
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am not a senior yet, and when I become one, I will try to avoid other seniors as much as possible.

    I watched only 4 minutes as I said. Most of it was dominated by slow walking and simple errors. I just couldn't watch any more.
     
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  19. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Hate to break it to you, but if you're over 30 Suresh and play in National Category I tournaments, you're playing in the Seniors.

    You've got a great tournament future ahead of you playing down, I think you'll find out why they invented five year increment age divisions. On the other hand, I heard tale that Tom Brown, when he was in his fifties, played Jimmy Connors head to head and was able to take a set off him. How are you doing against ranked juniors?
     
    #69
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am not doing anything against them :)

    I am all for them.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    TomBrown was one of my hitting partners in 1978. I never heard this, but he's not talkative anyways. I doubt a serious Connors would give him more than a couple games. He hit like Rosewall. Meaning, no winners, sidespin both sides, decent movement but better anticipation, no serve, low return of serve, nice deep shots.
     
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  22. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Probably a sandbagger,,playing below skill level


    :)
     
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  23. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Yeah just wanted to update on this:

    Suresh, I believe it was you who posted this, but it turns out the player I lost to is a very dedicated senior who is very serious about his game. He's on court for 2-3 hours a day with pro coaching pretty much all the time. Plus he puts in crazy hours for fitness from what I've heard.

    So yeah, he gets a ton of court time and he's really good to start with so it definitely explains a lot!

    -Fuji
     
    #73
  24. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    little surprised he would be at 4.0, I would have thought his consistency as a major weapon would have pushed him at least to 4.5...

    those 60s guys are very solid, Sureshs, I don't think you realise the 'slowing down' effect of video, especially amateur video.
     
    #74
  25. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    It's easy to see how you got your post count up. When you get up to 25,000 does TW give you a can of Penn's?
     
    #75
  26. sundaypunch

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    25,000 posts...............and three good ones, lol.
     
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  27. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I always wonder about you when I see posts like this. You argue things like if people should make contact out in front on a forehand, just things I would expect you to know since you obviously love the game and play a lot.

    And then you are saying these guys suck, and it just is a shame because you should be able to see the game better by this point,.

    Posts like this just make you look like you have no idea what you are talking about, yet you argue over basic common technique with veracity.

    I wish you and Cheetah could play and video it. It would answer a lot of questions.
     
    #77
  28. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    " I lost to a crafty older player... " this is it.
    You lost - you did by yourself...
    I do not think you could win at all. However losing a match in 23 minutes means that you probaply set a record by the number of unforsed errors.

    Ask yourself - How long were the points?
    One shot or may be 5 shots...
    How many serves you have returned?
    How many double errors you did?

    Double bagles ussually takes ~ 40 minutes or longer, never 20 minutes.

    What I would do in such situation - Try to extend the game time.

    Find the way to play points longer.
    Etablish consistancy of your serve (firts serve in)

    Face the truth - you cannot play the way you think you can.
    You only can play at your real level, not at the desired level.
     
    #78
  29. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    How many tournaments did you win in 4.0?
    Have USTA bumped you up to 4.0 or you just decides that you are good enough?
     
    #79
  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    We are playing this Sunday!

    But I don't have/use cameras. I don't even take cameras on vacation. I prefer to experience the moment and leave other things to memory.

    I did say that I watched only the first 4 minutes. I know the level of these people. There was a coach here who used to play all the 60s tournaments and reach the quarters or semis. He then got an offer from Newks and moved, and now he is coaching a college team in Wisconsin. He and I have played singles and doubles against each other, and sometimes I used to win, and sometimes he used to. He would ask me to warm him up before tournaments.

    Let me watch some more of the video and get back.
     
    #80
  31. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Dude you need to crack out on some Brent Abel youtube tennis pron. (webtennis I think)

    It will help you back get the respect back for the elderly tennis players.
     
    #81
  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK I forced myself to watch 10 minutes of it now.

    I agree with the others that the tall guy is decent. I was unfairly biased by the other guy. His level is certainly low.
     
    #82
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I told you that this must be the case! As I said in that post, older players like him practice more than the pros and have more time to hit the gym. Now you tell me he is paying for a couple of hours of coaching every day - implies he is financially in a good place.

    So you have a guy who puts in as much time as the pros, pays for lessons, keeps himself fit, doesn't need to work, and has been playing many decades. And he is not 90.

    Why would he not be better than those who play 2 hours a week?

    A couple of weeks ago I showed up at the club at 1 pm, and a guy in his early 70s says I am sorry I cannot hit with you, as I have been playing since 7 am (before that is not allowed due to zoning restrictions).
     
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  34. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    OP, meet Roy Hobbs.
     
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  35. Avles

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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Both players seemed to be very fit. The other guy's serves were not impressive and some of his strokes seem to be hit with a wobbly hand and a racket face angle which appeared to launch the ball in an unintended direction. Could it be due to pressure from the better player?
     
    #86
  37. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    This is exactly the point I was making. Many people here will watch the video and immediately think the guys play at a lower level than actual. It's not impressive to most to see someone hit solid shots with precision as opposed to bashing the ball.
     
    #87
  38. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Sorry, I totally missed your posts here, I didn't get emails about them.

    I play in Canada, we don't have USTA. We use a different system for our tournaments then you do, to my understanding. It's done by points, so once you have a certain number of points you are automatically bumped up. This was a private club tournament, where points were not taken into account into the rankings. Generally everyone played at their league level however. Basically if you have a 4 in front of your level, you played in 4.0, if you play 5.X league, you play in 5.0 and Open is Open.

    -Fuji
     
    #88
  39. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    To be fair those 60s guys in the finals are playing their 4th-5th tourney match in 4-5 days and every day in 90F or higher heat. Not even ATP pros play at their best under those conditions.
     
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  40. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Points were very short, usually over in 5 shots or less. He came in off everything he could and was hitting put away's very well. I returned serves as well as I could, but he did get quite a few aces and unreturnables from the angles he was dishing out.

    Lots of unforced errors from me being rushed off the ground, and a few more doubles then I'd like to admit LOL! Just bad play on my end, and well above average play on his end.

    I don't really get your last comment about playing at the real level, as I play at 4.0 in league with solid results. Thank you for the tips and comments however! I'll definitely try to work on extending points with him next time we end up playing.

    Just wanted to add, my league started up recently and I won the first match 9-2 in less then 45 minutes. It was a good win on my part, and I really worked on implementing the advice posted here. I started to take my time between points and it REALLY helped me keep focused and close out the win.

    -Fuji
     
    #90
  41. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    To the gentlemen above discussing the 60s national, one of those players played in 3 of the 4 grand slams( Larry Turville) the other played in college.
     
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  42. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I know, right?

    You just have to watch them for a minute to see the quality

    this place...
     
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  43. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Many posters here are in their teens and early 20's. They don't want to believe that they could lose to old guys hitting like that. When they did lose, they would be complaining about the "pusher".

    Obviously this is not practical, but I would love to see a match between these old guys and the 4.0's / 4.5's that think they can beat them.
     
    #93
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see a lot of stuff being written about why they must be good, but not about why the video does not show it. The second guy in particular does not have a smooth swing and jabs at the ball with no top spin. Why not just look at what is there instead of making up excuses?
     
    #94
  45. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Because in tennis you do not get style points--it's a competition, not a performance like ballet. The player who wins the last point wins and gets to go to the bar. You do whatever you got to do to win and not anymore.
     
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  46. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Or,,,maybe he played Art Hobbs:

    Art Hobbs, Tennis Professional - Art brings 20 years of experience to Arbutus Ridge having taught tennis in Texas, North Carolina, Singapore, as well as in British Columbia at the Oak Bay Recreation Center, Panorama Recreation Center, and Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club. Art has a Bachelor’s Degree from *******ern State University where he was named an Academic All American. Art competed internationally as a Davis Cup player for Signapore and as a Davis Cup coach for Malaysia. Currently Art is the number one ranked 45+ singles player in Singapore where he has owned and operated “The Claycourts” for the last eleven years.

    Phone: 250.634.2007 | Email: Art Hobbs
     
    #96
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is true for the 2.5 level also. Why do you mention it in this context? Am I supposed to appreciate some 2.5 level video and say that the players are like the pros but they are just showing up badly in the video because they are doing just what it takes to win and nothing more?
     
    #97
  48. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    yup.......
     
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