Open I wish... I played NTRP 3.5 Anyway, rainy weekend so I got to watch all of the men's and women's finals at Roland Garros. To all you open players... wow very inspiring level of play, especially the Kyle Anderson vrs Joe Lankelma marathon. Alright onto my Rant. I thought I was a 3.5 with a good serve, good forehand a backhand that I can get in the court and above average volleying skills. Was I ever wrong. By definition all shots made by 3.5s suck, but... In doubles my partner and I ate a bagel then a breadstick. It would have been two bagels except I had an awesome service game down 5-0 in the second set. The worst part was that I didn't volley well, and specifically I didn't hit approach volleys well which I have done in the past. Good: Serves were all in and placed well. Bad: Serves didn't create errors, I only got about 75% of my service returns back in play & away from the net man. Ugly: Net approaches were terrible, they hit dipping topspin shots and I couldn't handle it. In singles, my first round match was against an old guy who didn't have any power; 12 year old girls would complain about his lack of pace. The first set I chipped and charged and won easily 6-1. The second set I decided to make sure my ground game was working... big mistake I had to go back to chip and charge and won 6-4. In the next round I played a friend who is better than me. I tried to play my S&V game... no dice. My volleys were in, my serves were in but if I hit out wide I got passed; if I hit up the middle he'd give me increasingly difficult shots until I was out of position and got passed. I tried to resort to my "big" forehand and all that did was miss. Down 5-1 I resorted to getting everything back and hitting 3/4 shots to his backhand. All of a sudden my backhand was the best part of my game and I reeled off 3 games in a row. I lost a tight one to lose the set 6-4. Set two was almost identical. Instead of sticking with what worked I tried to tee off on short balls and missed, my forehand was atrocious. Down 5-1 I played only to get every ball in and I won another three games. The Good: Second serves were place-able and really kicked high. Backhand was almost 100% consistently in and deep enough (past the service line). I won most backhand crosscourt rallies (huzzah for the 1hbh topspin). The Bad: The forehand misfired a lot and always missed when I tried to ratchet up the power. My flat serve was MIA. Volleys weren't good enough to pressure an opponent who moves well. The Ugly: Mental game. I love to hit winners and I tried to even after proving another approach worked better. Cliff Notes: pushing works and I should push more often.