To the Doubters

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by michael_1265, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Okay, I'm a 3.5, and as I have posted before, my neighbor down the street is a 4.0 woman. We play once a month or so, two sets, and I typically lose 4 and 2, 3 and 2, etc. Sometimes, I do a little better, and I took a single set from her in the spring, on clay. I've taken a bit of crap from a couple of other 3.5s (who haven't seen her play) questioning the quality and power of my game. Just to set the record straight, let's post this girl's record in 4.0 post-season play this year:

    District playoffs:
    W #1 Singles 4-6, 6-1, 1-0

    Sectionals
    W #1 Singles 6-4, 6-4
    W #3 Doubles 6-1, 6-2
    W #1 Singles 6-2, 6-2
    W #1 Singles 2-6, 6-1, 1-0
    W #1 Singles 6-3, 6-0

    Nationals
    W #1 Singles 6-2, 4-6, 1-0
    W #2 Singles 6-4, 6-3
    W #1 Singles 6-2, 6-2

    National Semis
    L #1 Singles 2-6, 2-6

    Championship Match
    W #2 Singles 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (Her team lost, unfortunately)

    So, in actuality, I have been losing to a 4.5 women, which doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference to me. My point is that the girl can play, she is a beast of a competitor, and my game will benefit greatly from the time I spend on the court with her.
     
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  2. Cobra Tennis

    Cobra Tennis Professional

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    I enjoyed your post and what like to subscribe to your newsletter.
     
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  3. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

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    Quality tennis is quality tennis. Sure ain't hurting your game to play with her.

    His opinions are quite pertinent to our interests, aren't they?
     
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  4. Sim

    Sim Semi-Pro

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    You should make those other 3.5s play her :twisted:
     
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  5. goober

    goober Legend

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    Who was doubting what again?
     
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  6. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    not much to doubt there. she's a 4.5 player who hasn't been bumped up yet. most people think there's about a .5 difference in ability between men and women. so it makes sense she's a break or two ahead of you each set. you're smart to keep playing her. she's a good barometer for you since your results against her are so consistent. next time you play her, try and figure out why she's coming out ahead. or better yet -- just ask her.
     
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  7. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    I'm working on that. In essence, she punishes the mistakes that most 3.5 men don't: Every short ball is punished with either a biting backhand slice or a big topspin forehand approach to my backhand. She rarely misses, so I don't even get the occasional UE that most 3.5 men provide. Her serve is okay, and can be a point of attack for me, but she passes exceptionally well. In summary, she has both firepower and defensive skills. I thought this year might be my breakthrough, and I was close last time, taking her to a tiebreak and punishing her off the ground with my forehand, which is 100% better since I started playing with an old-school Wilson. I'm feeling good about the next round.
     
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  8. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Please clarify the tone of your response so that I can make sure that my reply is appropriate.
     
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  9. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    michael -- that's a sweet stick. looks like the sampras k88 minus the PWS. assuming you hit the sweetspot, any forehand is 100% improved with 13 ounces of graphite plowing through the ball. good luck next time you play your female nemesis.
     
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  10. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    The best way to settle this stuff (if you want to that is) is to post a video of you guys playing a set. These days any halfway decent digital camera can take a pretty good video.

    Other than that what Tennismonkey said seems pretty accurate .. you're a 3.5 and she's a 4.5 (even tho shes rated 4.0) and even taking 0.5 away from her for the male/female difference it's still a 3.5 vs a 4.0

    If I was in your shoes I'd be playing with her 2 or 3 times a week at least !
     
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  11. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Thanks. I got the Wilson for $3.25 at Goodwill, and my stringer used my normal Blue Gear/Pro Supex hybrid. It is the best ball-striking and serving racquet I have ever used. I am looking to split the difference between the Wilson and my Microgel Extreme, in the name of a little more forgiveness. I just picked up a Volkl DNX 10 used from Keithfival, but it has big shoes to fill.
     
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  12. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    In my experience there is a full point difference between men and women's ratings. I am 4.0 and I beat 5.0 girl with pace and athleticism. Something is missing in your game/strategy if you cannot beat +.5 female player?
     
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  13. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Nothing to be ashamed of, losing to a girl. Some of them are pretty amazing, and this one sounds match tough to the nth degree.
     
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  14. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Of course something is missing in my game/strategy:-? If I was a complete player, I think the fun would be gone.

    I am a first year 3.5, and she is more a 4.5 than a 4.0. She has 15 years on me also.......and she plays with a lot of pace, so pace doesn't bother her.

    There are 4.0 and 4.5 women that I can beat handily. Her game makes her more difficult.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Seems both of you are correct. A 1. level is nearly matched, but it depends which player is match tough, and which takes the match seriously. A out of sorts 3.5 man will almost always lose to a 4.5 woman.
    A match tough 3.5 with some shots, beside fetching and pushing, should beat almost any 4.5 woman.
    If nothing else, the 3.5 should have a serve that puts the woman on the defensive, and then he can stand in and go for a punishing forcing shot to start most of his service points.
    However, if he pushes pancake serves in, then maybe not..:cry:
     
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  16. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

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    A lot of generalization here, along with a healthy dose of hedging... Well if we were to generalize (and keep machismo in check), the truth is that an average 4.5 woman will beat an average 3.5 man 90% of the time. Now we can argue what "average" is ;)

    OP, you've got a good thing going... good for your game I mean. Screw the doubters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
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  17. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    I'd say my first serve is 7.5-8/10 as compared to the average 3.5 man. My best serve is the heater up the Tee, and even when I stripe it (I'm 6'4"), at least 70% come back. My second serve is probably a 7/10, with decent spin and depth. Here is how the points go: Unless I hit out on my groundies, they all come back. When I force the issue and take the net, the approach had better be good. Her serving is just good enough to keep me back and I need to learn how to attack it. Maybe the biggest issue is fitness. She recovers from long rallies quickly, but my 46 year old self does not. Again, I am working on it. In summary, her game matches up well against me in almost every way.

    One of my 4.0 friends told me last year, when he saw us playing, "The 4.0 guys are smart enough to not do what you're doing."
     
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  18. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this 100%.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As a C player back in '76, my regular monthly practice partners included several A women's, or Open, maybe 5.5's, including one girl who had WON the CanadianOpen in the ProWomen's division that year.
    The reason I was a good practice partner was that I was left handed, had a strong overall game, but very inconsistent, as most 2nd year players tend to be. I could hit Open level first serves, 3 in 10, solid B level 2nd serves (don't doublefault), and hit hard groundies with a developing net game.
    My male practice partners included the then current #2 at CityCollege of SF, the No's 1 & 2 of MissionHigh, and the highest level pickup games at GoldenGatePark in SanFrancisco.
    I didn't say I could win matches against even the lower level A girls, but I certainly won at least half the practice sets, given I'd get a huge frowning if I blasted my fastest serves or came to net too often. I'd think nerves and determination would be the biggest factors in "who would win".
    That year, I won a big draw (over 128 entries) C tourney and actually went multiple rounds in the fall A/Open Men's tourneys.
     
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  20. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I'm a 3.5 guy, and while I haven't played many singles sets vs. 4.5 women, my impression is that I wouldn't be able to beat very many of them very often at all. 4.0 is a different story, but even against most of them that I know, I feel things could go either way.

    I think the ntrp difference may well be between 0.5 and 1.0, but I think its alot closer to .5 than 1, just based on my own experience.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I can think of several winning "3.5's" who'd get pummelled by even a 4.0 middling lady.
    And I know a few (OK, less) that would hold their own against 4.5 women AND 4.0 men....cherry pickers and guys ready to move up, but haven't played the necessary tournaments.
    And I know myself, having never played a tourney, so 3.5, playing pretty even with 5.0 women, winning a 128 draw C, and going more than 2 rounds in A/OPEN's, that same year. I didn't enter B's (4.5's), because I was still techniically a 3.5, but I could enter A/Opens in the Open division.
    You need SOME weapons, because a retriever 3.5 WILL get beat by every 4.5 woman and most 4.0's.
    As a generality, most women are more consistent than the equivilent level men. Men can hit harder, often try to, and produce more winners AND more losers.
     
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  22. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Generally I do not think this is true. Especially if the player is a legitimate 3.5 ... not a self rate or someone that has improved so dramatically that he has essentially moved into the next level and is waiting for the computer to catch up.

    However, even a legitimate 3.5 that is at the very top of the 3.5 band should not beat legitimate 4.5 women. They are simply to consistent for 3.5 men and they are not intimidated by power, especially erratic power.

    Now if you put a rising 3.5 man against a falling 4.5 woman to the point where the difference is closer to a 1/2 level then you have a shot. When the difference approaches 1/2 level you then start to see the greater strength of the men overcoming the better skill of the women.
     
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  23. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    lulz you lose to a girl.
     
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  24. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, ok, well you weren't actually playing at anywhere near a 3.5 level it sounds like, no matter your self-rating was at the time.
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I didn't win my first C tourney, with a 64 draw, so I was a real C or 3.5.
    And then, I'd mostly lose to the #2 for CCSF and both the high schoolers....embarrassing for this at the time 27 year old.
     
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  26. rjw

    rjw Professional

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    I say that if you can't beat her then marry her.....then use her to play doubles against your other botard 3.5 friends
     
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  27. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    That would be problematic, unless I can get some kind of Mormon thing going....
     
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  28. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Video..........that would likely completely destroy the image I have in my head that I have been holding onto, the image of me playing tennis in which I don't move like a pregnant Emu. I don't think I am ready to lose my delusions.

    Seriously, the video is probably a good idea.
     
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  29. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Good luck playing her next time!

    I've actually been whipped by a few females in mixed doubles, more then I'd like to admit. My lady and I signed up for drop in 9.0 doubles a while ago, and It was a 5.0 lady and a 4.0 male. The male was easy to play, but the lady was crazy! She hit some wicked shots that were just too hard to handle in doubles! (Her passing shots were some of the best I've seen!!!)

    I'd suggest you'd play her as much as possible! Nothing wrong with her as a normal hitting partner if you can have the chance! :D

    -Fuji
     
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  30. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Glove down.

    I'll step in here. I've hit with the OP and have been a teammate of the "friend" although I've never had the pleasure to lose to him or her personally in a USTA-sanctioned match of any kind. :p

    Mike, I'll play either a warm-up set with you/then video thee & she -- or vice versa (if that's more advantageous to you). Just to clarify things: I'm a legit 3.5W...the OP is a legit 3.5M. The "Friend" is a certified 4.0W -- likely to be a 4.5W at season's end.

    Screw The Doubters.

    You've Got Game. She's Got Game.

    I'm willing to go down -love and -love to either of you just to prove a point. BUT. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't go down without a fight. Of any kind. To either gender.

    This Debate will never be resolved til USTA does away with the whole "gender" thing. An NTRP is an NTRP.
     
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  31. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Well, the grad student in me (as I am one at the moment) really would love to set up a real experiment. Randomly select 100 3.5 men and 100 4.5 women (all legitly computer rated). We could go ahead and pull from the pool of people participating in singles leagues of some sort. Have them play each other in singles, 100 matches (again, randomly paired would be best, but obviously making some adjustments for location would be necessary). I'm betting the 4.5 women would win a resounding majority of those matches.

    I think the same experiment with 3.5 guys and 4.0 women would be more interesting, I'm not really that sure how it would go. We could also do the same thing with 3.5 guy pairs playing 4.0 women pairs in doubles for that matter.
     
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  32. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Thanks, dc.

    I'm much more of a doubles player. I'm hoping I'd adjudicate the 3.5W better in a doubles match-up.

    I'd even be willing to do a bit of an experiment with said OP and friend...and me and her "friend" (he's a legit/or better 4.0). That'd be fun!

    But I'm with you. I think the real difference is on the 0.5-1.0 depending on the individuals involved. It's all a crap shoot. Just like any typical USTA match. :p

    Mike, can you set it up for an Oct Sunday morning?
     
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  33. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    It depends on what kind of game the man plays. A 3.5 pusher probably wouldn't bother a 4.5 woman, because a 4.5 woman makes a lot less errors than a 3.5 man.

    A 3.5 blaster may not win but I suspect he'd have a better chance, because even at 4.5 she may not be used to that sort of hitting. He'd be able to win points the same way he wins them normally.

    I'm a S&V player and the odd occasion I've played against women I've found it relatively easy, because few female opponents attack the net and they're not used to it. They tend to be good defensive lobbers, but their unfamiliarity with players at the net means their passing shots often suck - which means picking the lob is relatively easy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
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  34. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    repeat post
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
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  35. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    That's a great idea. I'm on it.

    I played John D tonight at the club. I was off a step, and when that happens playing him, it gets ugly fast. My typical 2 and 2 loss turns to 0 and 1. Bob and Claudia were on the court next to me, and Bob called over, "And you actually paid for that beating?" Ugh.
     
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  36. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    the 4.5 woman in both singles and doubles should win the vast majority of the time versus 3.5 guys. would be a fun experiment though - almost a Battle of the Sexes 2011.

    never heard this before but it looks like yannick noah and justine henin also played.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-R0qR_Q6Aw
     
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  37. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Those "battle of the sex" matches are just a show for the fans, if the guys took them seriously the women would be lucky to walk away with a single game.

    But that's pros ... so it's a little different.
     
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  38. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Ok, so we've established that your neighbor is a sandbagger, and that a 4.5 woman beats a 3.5 man. Nothing new to see here. At the 3.5-4.5 level, Male NTRP = Female NTRP - 0.75. So your neighbor is equivalent to a 3.75 male and therefore should beat you by a break or two per set.

    And there's nothing wrong with playing against (and losing to) a woman that's better than you.
     
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  39. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    fixed that for you.
     
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  40. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    To provide an update to this thread:

    My neighbor, of course, got bumped to 4.5, and last time I checked she is 4-1 in singles. She may be headed towards "forced retirement" as a 5.0 with nobody to play with.

    My 3.5 record spots me as average in my rating, maybe a tick above the 50th percentile, but just.

    We have not played lately, but I'm hoping to get some sets after the spring season ends. I’ve been working on an open stance, semi-Western forehand that may help my chances against her.........
     
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  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    HOW you hit the ball has little chance to improve your record.
    WHERE you hit the ball, and what you do after that, determiines how well you fare against a superior player.
    You will not beat her with your new forehand. You will win points against her with wide placement shots and moving to net position, ready for angled volleys and overhead putaways.
     
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  42. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Did you get your new stick to impress this lady? Was the head size larger than before? LOL

    Hey, there's no shame in losing to a woman, don't be so defensive.
     
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  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This is a little off topic, but here goes anywhere.

    I have a 4.0 singles specialist on my 4.0 team. She never loses. I have had the pleasure of watching her play. She is delightful on and off the court, and she is God's gift to my little team. I think she will be bumped up for next year.

    The weird thing is . . . I don't understand how she wins so much.

    She just . . . she doesn't hit big topspin or massive power. She is my age and is fit, but her speed is not a huge weapon. She doesn't have crazy variety, but she has all the shots. She doesn't have a weaker wing, although I would hate dealing with her slice BH so I would play her FH for that reason alone.

    So how come she is a dominant 4.0 singles player, whereas I cannot even consider my singles game to be at a 3.5 level?

    Singles is weird. It is possible to accomplish a lot while not looking like you're accomplishing a lot.
     
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  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Don't have to look good to play well.
    That recent thread of double bagels in an open tourney, opponent had a weak serve, barely moved on any groundies, and won easily.
    Confidence is one factor. They know they can deal with almost any ball, and know the likely direction and depth of the return....experience.
    Smarts can beat brawn, if the starts align.
    Brawn can beat smarts, same scenario.
     
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  45. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    Its been well documented BY ME.... that no guy that is a singles player would lose to a female of the same rating.......nor should a guy lose to a female a rating above........if you are a serious competitor.....this doesnt happen......

    I would never allow a woman beat me if we were that close in rating. Thats right....ALLOW. My pride would not let me.

    Who are you gonna lose to next....the 2 ft 6 in 245lb dwarf with a purple hat and clown socks on??? You have to set some sort of guidline
     
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  46. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Well, if you're in the neighborhood, I'd be happy to play a couple of sets. The purple hat has to go, though, as my home courts have a dress code......
     
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  47. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Agree 100%. But having a new weapon, a forehand that I can hit with a better margin than my flat shot, is a definite advantage. Plus, hitting open allows me to set up quicker.
     
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  48. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    This is why I love the game, Cindy. The complexities are such that there are a lot of different ways to win. I mean, how else could you rationalize Brad Gilbert ever winning a professional tennis match?

    I have been beaten in USTA singles my several players who could not hit with the same pace and quality that I could, and my only singles win came against a guy who should have hit me off the court. Go figure........
     
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  49. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Hey, I have two 4.5 women just on my Cul-De-Sac, so I have no illusions about this issue.

    And the new stick? I found I couldn't keep up with a hard-hitting friend with my DNX10. The 18g poly @ 30lbs, though, that was the best equipment move I have ever made.
     
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  50. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    A match tough 3.5 with some shots, beside fetching and pushing, should beat almost any 4.5 woman.
    If nothing else, the 3.5 should have a serve that puts the woman on the defensive, and then he can stand in and go for a punishing forcing shot to start most of his service points.
    However, if he pushes pancake serves in, then maybe not..:cry:[/QUOTE]

    I dont think thats true. A 4.5 woman will have much greater consistency. They could win the match by just denfending and waiting for the errors to pile up.
     
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