Women vs. Men

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by michael_1265, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    I'd always heard, with all other factors equal (age, athleticism, etc), that the head to head difference (singles) between men and women is about 1 NTRP point. Well, I captain a men's 3.0 team, and one of my better players, who is a good 3.0, played a 3.5 women last week, and got spanked. I played with this women in combo last year. She is 30, a triathlete, and is really petite, but she has an aggressive all-court game. I asked him what happened, and he said, "I hit my shots; she just got to everything." I checked her recent match records, and she is dominating at 3.5 #1 singles and doubles. She will most definitely get bumped in November. So, in a way, the 1 point rule is supported in this case. Does any else have head-to-head experience?

    PS: No way I'm playing her anytime soon. I had a bad spring season, and it would be too much for my poor little ego at this point......
     
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  2. nhat8121

    nhat8121 Semi-Pro

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    she's a 4.0 then
     
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  3. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I beat a former D-3 women's conference champion (2 years out of school) from a small school 6-4, 6-4 when I was about a solid 3.5 level.

    When I was about a solid 3.0 level, I used to regularly play against a 3.5 women's singles player who would win 80-90% of her matches each year. First time I played her I won 6-4, 6-4, and then she beat me once shortly after and occasionally won a set off me from there. And over the next couple months the score started to become lop-sided. At about the same time I started to beat low 3.5 male players, I was bageling and breadsticking her every time we played.

    I think at the lower levels the difference is closer than it is at higher levels. One important factor I think between men and women is that I think a man who has a good serve and hits with heavy topspin will fare better against the women because they don't see that type of play as often in the women's leagues, so it throws them off.

    Also, when you say 1 point are you talking like 1 NTRP rating (0.5) or 2 ratings (1.0)? I don't think that 2.5 men are equiv. to 3.5 women or that 3.0 men are equiv. to 4.0 women. I think the difference is 0.5 until the men reach at least solid 3.5, then I could see a strong 3.5 maybe beating a weak 4.5 woman, but don't know for sure. I'm a very weak 4.0 and one time in mixed practice it was me and a 4.5 guy against two 4.5 women and we were destroying them. They felt easier to play against than two strong 3.5 men would be, probably because they didn't have any offensive weapons.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
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  4. Rule26

    Rule26 Rookie

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    The biggest difference that I've observed is when we guys are playing against a higher ranked female and are able to take advantage of powering through our opponent despite their better form and consistency. I have a niece who can retreive and place who will give everyone who plays against her fits unless they can outslug her and she does quite well in shot selection in place and spin, she's higher ranked than her brother who usually looses the first set against her, but seems to come back when he gets his serve warmed up.
     
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  5. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Tennis is about matchups. So you can't say is a men's 3.5 going to beat a women's 3.5. Generally speaking a man would have a better serve, but if having a better serve guaranteed success. Karlovic would be #1 in the world.

    The other thing I've noticed (and this is a generality) is that men rate down and women rate up.
     
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  6. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    for a 3.0 player (guy or girl) one of the biggest weaknesses is consistency. so the 3.0 guy ran into a 4.0 wall of estrogen who could chase down any shots and make him hit one extra ball. that's gonna be tough for anyone.

    in my experiences the difference is usually .5 rating give or take a bit depending on matchup.
     
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  7. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Matchups play a role in tennis, but it is not everything. The NTRP numbers DO mean something. Regardless of how they match up, if you take two players of the same gender whose rating is exactly 0.5 apart (strong 3.0 vs. strong 3.5), then in most cases the higher rated player will win. And there is absolutely a difference between men and women's NTRP ratings, so a strong 3.5 male against strong 3.5 female will almost always yield the male player winning the match. It is a top-down design. A 7.0 female is best in the world and 7.0 male is best in the world. Clearly a 7.0 male would beat a 7.0 female easily. The system works downward from there, and that is why a 3.5 male is better than a 3.5 female, even though the numbers start to converge at the bottom when dealing with 2.5-3.0 beginners.
     
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  8. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Raiden,
    You make some good points. One thing about this girl is that she has a heavy topspin game herself, so she is quite comfortable being hit to that way. Her level of fitness is phenomenal; from the first game of a match to the last, she never shows signs of tiring and is constantly "bouncing" with excess energy. I think that factor tips her toward 4.0.
     
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  9. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    The general rule seems to be .5 differencial between men and women, i.e., strong 3.5 man should be competitive with strong 4.0 woman. Then there are the exceptions, as there are with any rule. That's where matchups come into play, and they also can come into play in like gender competition. For instance, some 4.0 men cannot handle a consistent, speedy 3.5 guy who keeps running down the 4.0's superior shots and returning them. Key word = some.

    Keeps the game interesting, eh, wot? :)
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Sounds like she was a solid player, perhaps higher than 3.5. Not too many 3.5 women exhibit what you describe. I'm not at all surprised that she took out a solid 3.0 male player. Cause as I stated, when I was still a 3.0, I was playing competitive matches with a solid 3.5 female player (who definitely is not a 4.0, because she played up and did poorly against 4.0 players).
     
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  11. Atown

    Atown Rookie

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    Very good point!
     
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  12. cak

    cak Professional

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    It doesn't surprise me that a good 3.5 woman could beat a good 3.0 man. It would surprise me if a good 4.0 woman could beat a good 3.5 man. The lower end of the scale, where everyone is a beginner, the differences between men and women is pretty small.

    Back when I was a beginner, on a court with 2.5s it really didn't matter the gender. When we got to 3.0, and played practice matches against the 3.0 men's team the men's team always won the match, but didn't always win the individual courts. And the scores weren't often blowouts. By 3.5 it would look silly the differences are so big.
     
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  13. nhat8121

    nhat8121 Semi-Pro

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    oh so pros are 7.0

    didn't know this...
     
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  14. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    I'm a good 3.0 guy and my wife plays on a 4.0 team (she's definately closer to 4.5 but she's 8 months pregnant so she can get away with it :)) and I find myself competitive with them on the few occasions we've hit together.

    Most of the 3.5 women that I encounter (mixed doubles) aren't really much of a challenge around here.

    The only woman I've really played in singles is my wife and she destroys me. :)
     
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  15. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    Hey, Kos. Used to live and play in the Bluff City and found that the women tended to rate themselves a step high. Most of the good 3.0 ladies played 3.5, the good 3.5s played 4.0, etc. I think 4.5 was the dividing line - ladies there were pretty much at level.

    Where do you play? I missed the hot old place. :)
     
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  16. zebano

    zebano Semi-Pro

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    I've only played one woman, but she's an older (early 50s) 4.0 and I beat her 6-0; 6-1. She is extremely consistent (an a great doubles partner I might add) but just isn't fast enough around the court to cause me problems (she also lacks good passing shots). I'm a strong tournament 3.5 with a heavy topspin baseline game and I like to approach the net.
     
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  17. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    I agree. My wife is a good 4.0, having occasionally been bumped to 4.5. I hover around the 3.5/4.0 boundary. I win easily - typically about 2 & 2.
     
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  18. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    I actually play league in North Central MS. I live in Hernando.

    I play alot of tournies in Memphis though. Play alot at Leftwich, MUS, Wolbretch but mainly in MS.
     
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  19. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Yup, that's why two 3.5's could compete with Fed and do fine...
     
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  20. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you that a 7.0 man is better than a 7.0 woman. However, I don't find the same gap at the 3.0 - 4.0 levels where probably 90% of the world rates out. Add to that the probability that most of those players have self-rated and a lot of them are wrong.

    In any event, I'm just talking about my observations. Doesn't mean I'm right, either.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Could a 3.0 woman beat a 3.0 man? On paper, it should be a tie.

    Trouble is, there are a lot of men sandbaggers at 3.0. Especially in mixed. The most dangerous pair in 7.0 mixed is the 4.0 woman with the 3.0 guy. 'Cause he's not really 3.0, is he?
     
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  22. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Are you saying no gap at all, or that the gap is smaller? I agree that the lower the level, the smaller the gap.
     
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  23. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    It has nothing to do with sandbagging, the scales are not the same.
     
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  24. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    disagree. a 3.0 man would likely win most of the matches with a 3.0 woman. as the NTRP rating gets higher this gap increases because strength and speed which a man has more of comes into play more and more.
     
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  25. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    agreed.

    By virtue of power (and a few other factors), male players generally outplay women players with the same "on paper" rating. No 3.5 and 4.0 female player locally can touch the serve of one of the legit 3.5 players here. Even though the ladies do have decent returns, at the 3.5-4.0 level they cannot handle his heavy 5 feet topspin kick serves at around 85 mph out wide or down the line.
     
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  26. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    "5. Does the NTRP rate men and women on the same scale?

    "A. The NTRP is used to rate both men and women, but men's and women's ratings are not intended to be equivalent. When rating themselves, players should use players of the same gender as reference points. However, for those individuals wishing to compete against players of the opposite gender, the following can be use as a guide. At approximately the 3.5 rating for a man, a woman with a 4.0 rating will be competitive. When a man reaches the 5.0 level or above a woman needs to be approximately 1.0 higher in order to be competitive."

    http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Arc...About_the_National_Tennis_Rating_Program.aspx
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, you're probably right. I am biased by the fact that I played once with a men's 3.0 team. I also had a 3.0 guy as a doubles partner in social doubles against two of my 3.5 teammates.

    The 3.0 guys were so wild I couldn't believe it. My two elderly teammates utterly destroyed me and this 3.0 guy. Maybe these 3.0 guys were the exception, though. My sample size is mighty small . . . .
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The man will go for bigger and bigger serves, become frustrated with the double faults, and start losing points by hitting long. The woman will serve slowly and consistently and emerge the winner. Seen it many times.
     
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  29. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    as others have stated -- at the lower levels the gap is smaller. what is your assessment of say the 3.5 guys or 4.0 guys or 4.5 guys you've come across vs say the same level woman?
     
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  30. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    This seems about right. Good find!
     
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  31. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Cindy- you also have to realize that 3.0 men will vary greatly because I haven't really ever seen any guys playing a 2.5 league. 3.0 men could be total beginners- sure a good 3.0 woman could beat a guy that just started playing.
     
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  32. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    My experience is based on playing on a 9.0 mixed team. I am a strong male 4.0 (14-2 record in adult mens USTA league).

    I can beat the female 4.5s on our mixed team pretty easily, except for a couple of strong 4.5s that I beat but have competitive matches with. we also have two female 5.0 players; both of them beat me but it is competitive.

    We also have some weaker male 4.0 players on the team. They have more varied results against the female 4.5 players.

    So I would say that in the 4.0/4.5/5.0 range, the difference is about .75 of a level. A strong 4.0 male will beat an average to strong 4.5 female and lose to a 5.0. But a strong 4.5 female will beat an average 4.0 male.
     
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  33. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    I find the gap might be smaller on the lower level because of consistency. a women's 3.5 might be able to win against a male 3.5 if the male is not able to keep enough balls in the court. on the other hand, a male 5.5 coule beat a women pro if he serves her off the court.
     
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  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, the guys are stronger, of course. I have never laid eyes on a 4.5 woman, though. I imagine they look something like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ That is Dr. Ivo's sister
     
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  36. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    #36
  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Actually . . .

    Those women look fierce compared to my teammates. I wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley. Notice that not one appears to be eligible for AARP and no one is carrying extra weight.
     
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  38. Hokiez

    Hokiez Rookie

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    I've seen a few matches in a local league (non USTA)

    Mens 4.5 vs. #1 college player and former top 200 USTA player - woman won 10-7 after being down 7-3
    Mens 4.0 vs. different #1 college player and top 600 USTA player (20'ish) - woman won 10-8

    I'd say there is more than 1 level difference at the higher levels sinc both of the women would be 5.5-6.5. Agreed that at the lower levels, it is pretty even since power doesn't win points, fewer unforced errors do.
     
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  39. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I think when men and women are rated the same - the man is probably a stronger player because of the physical nature of the game - they hit harder. If there's more of a gap, then this can equal out because the female player might be more consistent or have more variety of shots. But I disagree that men rate down and women up. I have found that women tend to under-estimate their ratings so they win more. Men often want more of a challenge and care less about their egos. I'm female BTW. I prefer to play better players including men, but then I love pace and have a reasonably heavy serve, and no fear or much of an ego apparently.
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    AARP is scary. I have started receiving offers from them, and from their endorsed companies. I am still 5 years away from the minimal age requirement but they insist on reminding me prematurely.
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe this is regional, but the opposite is true around here.

    I know women who are biting their fingernails already hoping to be bumped from 3.0 to 3.5 in November. When you are bumped up, your female friends congratulate you. I had a doubles partner who appealed *up* from 3.0 to 3.5 because the disappointment was too much when I was bumped up but she wasn't. I know another woman who was near tears when the bump didn't come. I know another woman is perhaps 60 years old and used to be a 3.5 but was bumped down and has been struggling for years to get back to 3.5. Not to mention the women who flatly refuse to play their level because they consider it beneath them.

    For a lot of women, whatever the computer says has a significant impact on their self esteem. In this way, the USTA is a lot like their bathroom scale. :)
     
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  42. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    Likewise in Atlanta. There is much more of a sandbagging issue in the men's leagues than the women's.
     
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  43. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I was still probably a 5.0 or a 5.5 when I was ten yrs out of college. I played a friend's friend: a bona fide 5.0 woman who had played juniors and some college tennis. We rallied and did drills for about a half-hour. It was fun and challenging. Even though I was a teaching pro at the time, I'd have done that for free. Good time. I would have played mixed with her, if I were into mixed.

    So....we ended up with enough time to play a set. I was up 4-0 in about ten minutes.
    I switched to lefty. I won 6-1.

    It's just a different world when you involve a return and a serve.....and scoring.

    Maybe less so at other levels. My buddy is a tournament 3.5 and he plays close with his wife (4.5, college player, late 1980s). They have a great time together.
     
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  44. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I looked up stats in my area a while ago and it seems the women playing up at a higher level than their rating often tend to outnumber men doing the same. That seems to imply that women generally prefer a higher rating and men prefer a lower rating.
     
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  45. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    On the whole, this is also true with movies and television shows.
     
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  46. deltox

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    its different here were we play

    im a high 3.0-low 3.5 player and i can easily beat any of our 4.0 womens players at our club.

    its not that they have any lesser form or skill but lack so much power and i hit with a ton of spin and serve hard. without the spin and serve i would most likely get dismantled.

    The womens game in our area is not lacking in any aspect expect even in mixed doubles a male can attack most women's first serves as hard as they can a mans second serve if not harder.
     
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  47. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    This is true in my area as well. Women "play up" in huge numbers, and men work hard to stay at their level and not get bumped up. For the women, half of the 3.5 level is made up of 3.0's and half of the 4.0 level is 3.5's. It's really gotten out of hand the last 3 years. The overall league standings are very lopsided as a result. If someone can compete at a higher level, no one minds if they play up. But many of the women who play up don't even do that well at their own level. I don't understand that mentality. If you are losing half your matches at the 3.5 level and getting annihilated at 4.0, why play 4.0? :confused:
     
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  48. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Just curious, what is the name of your planet?
     
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  49. TsongaEatingAPineappleLol

    TsongaEatingAPineappleLol Banned

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    Men are dominant and women can't hold.
     
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  50. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I am saying that the lower the level, the lower the gap, if any.
     
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