Stuck playing in a flex league I'm too good for.....

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Brian11785, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Oh man....I could join you in that thread.

    In the reverse, I cant tell you how many times Ive come out slow and lost the first set badly, only to win the next two more easily. I always ask myself, "why didnt you just do what you did in the last two sets starting one set earlier?" LOL

    Of course, Ive also had some where Ive come out slow in the first set....and just stayed that way:)
     
    #51
  2. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Things just need time to click sometimes.

    That first match was a weird one. After the first set, the guy switched racquets and I think that helped. And we were playing on this CRAZY-fast court (some city court that we went to because a tree had fallen on his homeowner's association court, which we only went to because my courts were flooded from the morning's rain lol.) Which was really fun to play on, but the guy had a better serve than mine, and it really helped him down the stretch.

    Jerry and Nick were the other two guys that were good (Nick being the guy I mentioned playing with outside leagues that also requested to be moved up.) Everyone else, I beat (or should have) beaten pretty easily. That first set against Todd was a choke-joke.
     
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  3. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I agree for the most part in the ultimate ranking, but believe they should automatically bump down the bottom players in the league to compensate for the people the playoff winners that are bumped up. This has clearly happened in the Bay Area. The highest playable division has lost between .5 and 1.0 on the USTA scale in the last 3 years.

    I did get bumped out this fall with a rating of 8.0 and coming in second. I'm unhappy about not winning, but it was against a good player in 3. If I wasn't bumped I wouldn't have played anyway as no one got bumped down and they brought the next set of 2 weaker players in.

    In terms of "playing down", I have recently done this due to improvement in my game. I do go out for every match with the crush the opponent mentality and have not had a single complaint. At first I was playing lightly to be nice, but I think people really prefer just getting beaten.
     
    #53
  4. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    My first week match (green box):

    [​IMG]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqxLpZP04K8

    The guy I played actually wasn't bad. He's a former 3.5 who is playing 3.0 after a shoulder injury. He's been playing left-handed for a while now because of this. His right-hand-dominant 2HBH is better than the forehand of 95% of 3.0s. But he served a double fault reliably about once per service game (the game he won was one of my service games) and seemed to have issues with the considerable wind. Wind is usually my kryptonite, but I played steady and conservatively. Didn't go for many big shots, except for about a half a dozen wind-aided (somewhat guilt-inducing) drop shots.

    In between sets, I did mention during the standard "How long you been playing, etc" conversation about my not being allowed to be bumped up. He seemed sympathetic and told me I was better than most of the 3.5s he played last season when he was bumped down (that season was the first after his injury apparently.) So there's that.

    1 down, 5 to go.
     
    #54
  5. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I'd recommend the Tennis League Network for you, but I don't think it's got a league in the Atlanta area. Don't know for sure though -- you can check it out. As a new TLN member you could self-rate and your rating would be modified (even during seasonal league play), or not, based on your results.

    As for your situation with Ultimate it looks like you're stuck with playing a season at 3.0, after which your results, based on what you've said your current playing level is, should cause them to bump you up a level or two.
    I'd just go for winning each match by as wide a margin as you can. If any of your opponents mention that you seem too good to be playing 3.0, then you can explain your situation to them. No need to be cold about it. You can use it as a conversation starter or ice-breaker, engaging in friendly conversation between points while proceeding to crush them on court.

    I'll be checking out your thread from time to time to see how you're doing. Hope you keep us updated. Post some videos of your playing if possible. Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
    #55
  6. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    That's a lot of three set matches and lop sided scores both ways. Erratic results and not quite ready to close matches out. It would appear to be someone who need another seasonal that level to learn how to close them out consistently in two sets, with consistent scores before moving up a level.

    It's a good feeling to know you're getting better isn't it? Just play another season at 3.0, prove you belong at another level and close the matches out. Those match results don't look convincing. Can't blame UT for to moving you up. I'd destroy 3.0 level players.
     
    #56
  7. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    It's all about history. I took a two year hiatus from UT (broke wrist in car accident) and called them when I was ready to sign up again. They had no problem bumping me up 4 levels after they saw my history and listened to me plead my case.

    Have since been bumped up another level and trying my best not to be bumped back down lol.
     
    #57
  8. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it hasn't been too much of an issue so far. Partially, because I've been beating my opponents with consistency. Nothing too flashy or high-quality, even though my first two matches were blowouts. I will look into TLN; thanks for the head's up.

    Yeah, I don't blame UT, based on my on-paper results in their leagues. I just thought trying to get bumped up was worth a shot, based on my LeagueTennis results (having a winning record in 3.5 last season, in particular.)


    Had you been playing at that higher level before the injury, or, did you just get really good in the two years following it? :)

    _ _ _ _

    This week's results:

    [​IMG]

    This guy had lost a one-sided affair last week, so I went in thinking it probably wouldn't be much of a match. But, during the warmup, I was struck by how solid his groundstrokes were, at least compared to my expectations. When the match started, however, it was a different story. He played pretty tight and made a lot of unforced errors. I, for some reason, was playing down as well, but I have at least developed a decent slice for when I get tight and afraid to put pace on no-pace balls.

    He said he'd never played leagues before, so I expect him to get better once he gets a some more match experience under his belt. I was there, a year and a half ago.

    Next week's match is against the guy who trounced (well, almost as badly as I did) this guy last week. Judging from match history, this should be my biggest test of the season.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
    #58
  9. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    I had not previously played at a higher level, but I mistakenly joined the wrong level. It was my first time playing anything other than USTA or ALTA (atlanta league) and was not aware of the difference in NTRP.

    It you continue on the path you are this season, you'll be bumped up 2 levels in no time.
     
    #59
  10. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    This guy was by far the best player I've faced yet. Thankfully, I tend to play to my opponent's level. He was hitting these aggressive forehand chop kill shots on anything up the middle. Really tested my footspeed and my spot-hitting ability (his backhand was suspect, and, like most backspinners/slicers/skidders, didn't like to be sliced himself. Three slices to his backhand in a row and he's gonna make an error.)

    Judging from the people yet to play that I already know, coupled with the match histories of those that I don't, that looks like it should be my toughest test all season.
     
    #60
  11. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Nice work Brian. That is very impressive consistency
     
    #61
  12. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Yes.....looks like you are at a +10 rating...enough to move up two levels.

    Can I "borrow" some of your rating points? I am sitting right at 0 in my rating currently so could use a few extra rating points! Lol
     
    #62
  13. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    That was a tough one. This guy had the best forehand I've ever played against in a league match (and I've played two seasons of 3.5 LeagueTennis.) Told me he and his wife (who apparently is pretty good, "better than me" he says) won a doubles tournament at 3.5 this weekend. He was eating some of my serves for lunch with inside-out return winners. I stayed consistent and began successfully slicing his harder serves and forehands. That ended up being enough to pull off the win.

    I was actually up 5-2 in the first before a minor meltdown. Finally held (or broke, don't remember) at 5-5 and then lost the next game to send it to the tiebreaker. Jumped out to a 4-0 league in the breaker and held on to win it 7-5. This first set was over an hour and a half, and we were playing pretty fast. So many deuce games.

    No breaks for the first six games of the second set. Including one marathon game at 3-2 that went 10 deuces. He eventually held, but I won the next three games to take it.

    Oddly enough, I started a carb-restrictive diet (down six pounds since Monday) this week and was worried that it would affect my energy levels. It didn't. Didn't sense a dip until the above marathon game. And it apparently affected him worse than me, since I won out after that.

    Three more matches in the regular season. One against a guy I've played before and should be able to handle easily, against one guy my opponent today told me I should be able to handle easily, and one guy that is apparently decent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
    #63
  14. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    Finally got my double bagel. Was playing a guy I'd played before....who is actually much better than the guys I beat the first two weeks who took a game off of me. But this guy's disadvantage is that he could hit a consistent ball. Consistent for him is consistent for me. No weird shots to throw off my timing.

    I am finishing off the season this week, with scheduled matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.
     
    #64
  15. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    I'm due to start a flex league this week and at first glance, was a little pissed off at the level of competition (looks like it'll be low judging by the opponents history's). But, anything can happen and I haven't played a match in 8 months, so I don't want to get too cocky. I'll try and follow your lead here and just take care of business!
     
    #65
  16. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    My advice is that it is a lot easier to win ugly, even against less tough opponents. Just say steady and don't try to wow anyone with your shotmaking. If you're steamrolling anyway, flashiness, even if successful, might do nothing but **** off your opponents.

    [​IMG]

    Had back-to-back matches to finish the season. Pretty routine. Was up 5-2 in the second set against K before a mini-choke set in. Ended up losing the next four games before winning one at 5-6 to send it to the tiebreaker. Won that 7-0.

    I should be the 1 seed in the city playoffs. The only person that could catch me is this first-season player, who, if he has a better ranking than mine, means he'll be bumped up without being able to play playoffs due to too high a point differential in his first season of playing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
    #66
  17. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Good results Brian!

    Youll get to move up next season for sure....maybe 2 levels?
     
    #67
  18. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    And this request still stands! LOL
     
    #68
  19. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. Yeah, I will be bumped up. To 3.5 I assume. But taking some lumps in 4.0 would be a learning experience.
     
    #69
  20. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Do you have the minus levels in your area?

    Some areas do and some dont..... (i.e. 3.5-, 3.5, 4.0-, 4.0, 4.5-, 4.5)
     
    #70
  21. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    So I'm in the finals of the city playoffs as the 1-seed.

    Lost my first set of the season in the semis. Wind and concentration lapse. Was able to recover to go up 3-0 in the third and never really looked back.

    Haven't decided if I'm playing the Summer league (this would be 3.5.)
     
    #71
  22. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    Me:
    Hits two-handed on both sides;
    Pretty even on both sides: a little flatter backhand and more consistent forehand.
    Hits three times as many service return winners as aces.
    Hardest-working player in 3.0/3.5; prefers to hug the baseline, but ends up scrambling to retreive most of the match against bigger hitters.
    My opponent:
    Slices 95% of his backhands.
    Has a forehand I noticed in the warmup had a pretty late contact point. If fed up the middle, he can dictate play with it; if it's a sitter up the middle, it's getting crushed for a winner.
    This match up** sound familiar?

    This was easily my most hard-fought match of the season.
    This guy was in 3.5 last season, injured himself midway through the season. He played a couple of matches after that, but his rating ended up so low that he got bumped down. He is a solid 3.5 player in actuality (as you'd expect to be true of someone in the 3.0 city finals.)
    He really wasn't going for too much for a set and a half. I was playing well and was up a set , 4-2 and (I think) 30-0. Then all of a sudden, with nothing to lose (I guess), he starts crushing forehands. And not missing. 4-2 quickly turned into 5-7 and I knew I was in trouble.
    I resolved to not hit him a forehand the entire third set. His backhand slice was respectable and accurate, but he wasn't going to hit any winners with it unless I was way out of position. Sure enough, I forgot the deuce court existed (except when he was in the ad alley), and it worked. Sure he got some forehands, but they were so infrequent that he had little rhythm and/or felt the urgency to hit winners on every one because he knew he may not get another one in the rally. Even working with just half the court, I was able to outlast him most points for a 6-3 third set win. The win ended up being a lot more satisfying after losing then regaining all the momentum going into the the third.
    I asked him at the end of the match if he was a Steffi Graf fan.

    ** To slightly screw up the analogy, I was a little quicker around the court than he was. If that were true of Seles relative to Graf, she'd have never lost to her.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
    #72

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