Would you say anything to a sandbagger during the match?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by NeverGassed1212, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    Played a match this weekend and was getting destroyed by self rated 4.0. Most people I know consider me to be a solid to strong 4.0 and I played a guy this weekend that was returning my best serves with no problem. He had a big serve (dude was like 6'2''), consistent flat forehand, placement, touch, and volley skills. In his own words his weakness is that he can't hit a flat or topspin backhand, but he had a killer slice that he could place and angle extremely well. I was able to run out to a 4-1 lead and then this guy warmed up or decided to start showing the skills I mentioned above he ran off the next 5 games with ease. I was playing some of my best tennis and he was having no issues. I made a comment during the change over after struggling to hold the first game of the second set, that most people say I barely belong in 4.0 and he is putting me to shame. Then magically his level dropped and even though I was getting tired and not playing as well as I was in the 1st set this guy is making way more errors and not hitting his forehand instead choosing to try to slice back returns. We fight through the heat and I end up winning the 2nd set in a tiebreak, but when we start the 10 point tiebreak for the 3rd set his flat forehands reappear and he takes it comfortably 10-5. I did not know that he was self rated at the time and when I checked later my suspicion of his play in the second set only increased. I now wonder if I wouldn't had said anything if the 2nd set would have shaped up much differently.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
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  2. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    So you lost 6-4, 6-7, 10-5 and you think your opponent was a sandbagger? Sounds like he is the right level. What more do you want from a USTA match other than a tough, close match?

    "Then magically his level dropped and even though I was getting tired and not playing as well"

    Don't you think he was tired as well?

    Also, not having a flat or topspin backhand seems like a rather large weakness that is exploitable. On the whole he sounds like a typical good 4.0.
     
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  3. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    So you lost to a guy in a 3rd set tiebreak which means he is a sandbagger??

    Even Usta says that a 4.49 should beat a 4.01 with a score of 6-0, 6-0. So unless you think you are a 4.49, why shouldn't he beat you?
     
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  4. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    Jinx

    :shock:
     
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  5. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I would not say anything. I don't think I could judge that someone is in fact a sandbagger based on just one match. For example, I know a (computer rated) 4.5 who will on some days play like a 5.0, and on others like a 4.0. Heck, even during the course of a match his consistency will fluctuate. If you happen to play him on an 'on' day you might conclude that he is a sandbagger, but that is definitely not the case. On an 'off' day, you'd wonder how he ever got to 4.5.

    Maybe that's what happened in your case? Have you considered that maybe the guy has not played in a while (hence self rated), and so has not found consistent form yet? Maybe that's why his level fluctuated during the course of the match? And it seems an exaggeration to say that he 'destroyed' you when in fact you had a 4-1 lead in the 1st, and won the 2nd.

    Bottom line, I don't think there is nearly enough evidence to say that the guy is a sandbagger. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but if anything, it sounds like you are looking for reasons to justify your loss.
     
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  6. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I think the match was way over-analyzed. Just my opinion.
     
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  7. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    It sounds to me like you should have spent more time thinking about how to win than if your opponent was a sandbagger. Even if he was it woudn't have done you any good. Most likely he wasn't though as it is very unlikely he would have let you win the second set in that case, especially with a tiebreaker for the 3rd.

    What were you planning on saying if he was?
     
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  8. goober

    goober Legend

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    I think the implication was that guy was in total control of the match but tanking to keep scores close and turning it on when he needed to. There are guys that actually do this to keep from getting bumped. I would not say this guy was one of them based one match. I would have to check out his other matches, check out his team and captain. Are they in contention for playoffs, does the captain have a reputation for tanking matches/sets, ect.
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Maybe your comment freaked him out and he lost his concentration and started playing worse.
     
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  10. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    I spent the whole time trying to beat him, I threw the kitchen sink at this guy and he wasn't phased by anything. I was doing what I consider a good job of mixing up my serving and almost every return was a bullet off the forehand or a great slice off the backhand. I said something to try and get him thinking and it seemed to work because I had no business winning the second set. I was just curious if people would say anything or just keep receiving the beating.
     
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  11. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    Just take it and learn from it
     
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  12. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    I definitely think this guy should have been able to beat me handily and could easily be playing 4.5. He was in complete control by the end of the first set and I think I was able to run up a quick lead in the 1st due to better prep and warm up. His lack of a flat backhand was not a liability at all as his slice was excellent and he could hit great angles. The guy even hit a volley off a passing shot behind him that was just barely out. Maybe he isn't a sandbagger in the truest malicious sense but he definitely had too much skill for 4.0
     
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  13. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    Think of the possible outcomes:

    1.) eventually he gets bumped and maybe you never see him again, maybe you do if you move up

    2.) you report him and he gets bumped and maybe you never see him again, maybe you do if you move up

    3.) you don't report him, and you personally improve enough to get bumped up, then you never see him again


    I'd choose option 3
     
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  14. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I think you are looking at this from the absolute wrong perspective. It sounds like you got a great match that you could learn a lot from even though you lost. I would much prefer to have matches like this and lose than win easily. Your argument seems to be prefaced on you being a strong 4.0. Is it possible that you are not quite as good as you think?

    I am still lost about what you could have said or done about this. Creating conflict in the match wouldn't really serve any purpose and make you look like a poor loser.
     
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  15. beernutz

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    Get over yourself.
     
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  16. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    I did learn a lot from the loss and on my disappointing loss scale this one is relatively low. I got beat and like I said I had no business even getting the 1 set I did. I have lost matches and been really pissed because I was playing extremely poorly, but no part of me is angry about this one and I have no intention of even filing a complaint. I have had people use the same tactic on me once or twice before to try and get in my head. On the change over I was truly in awe of how this guy had completely deconstructed my game and it did something to him. Whether he tanked intentionally or just lost focus I will never know. I just wanted to start a discussion to see if anyone had experienced anything similar.

    As far as getting over myself I am more than done with that. I really don't think I am anything very special. I said that other people think I am higher than a 4.0 and my opinion of this guy's skills is based on the last couple of years playing 4.0 league, nothing more.
     
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  17. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

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    I've had people say to me, "that's not a X.Y shot," or "if you're still here next year I'm going to complain," but it hasn't affected my play. After hearing it for a while, you just smile it off and let the computer do its thing (I stayed at my self rated rating for two years before getting bumped this year).
     
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  18. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think the OP is implying that the guy was throwing games to make the match competitive when it really wasn't a competitive match. I cannot offer an opinion without seeing the match, but I KNOW this happens. Unfortunately, I was on a 4.0 team a few years ago and we had a young kid just out of a college program playing singles. Our captain and co-captain would occassionally tell the kid to lose a few games because they were afraid he would get DQed. I did not recruit the kid and had nothing to do with his involvment or match performance. He was at least a 4.5 and possibly a 5.0 level player.
     
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  19. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    No, what good would it do?

    I am so used to losing that I dont really feel bad getting beat by a sandbagger when I struggle to beat equally rated opponents :)
     
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  20. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Sandbagging happens. Whether or not this was the case, only the other guy really knows. You may have suspicions, but players run hot and cold during matches all the time.

    Look at it like this though, wouldn't you rather be the player that gets to play against the higher level guy, instead of the player that has to intentionally drop games?
     
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  21. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I played a guy in singles I strongly suspected of tanking a set to me once, but it was nothing like the match described in the OP. Also there was a full 3rd set so he wasn't actually risking that much as far as the match outcome goes.

    First set, the guy was just going for broke every shot, like he just didn't care where the ball landed. No shot selection other than pound the ball as hard as he could. This was 3.0 guys tennis at the time so in an of itself this wasn't something too weird. He made enough to still win some games, but I ended up taking the set 6-4 without doing more than getting a few balls back in play here and there. Average point length was maybe 3 shots.

    2nd set starts and from point one, his whole game completely changed. He's a different player. Now all of a sudden he's in complete control, hitting solid groundstrokes (relative to 3.0 or 3.5 level of course) deep and hardly ever missing. I can't get an edge anywhere and he's just not missing and he moves through the next 2 sets 6-0, 6-2, and all I remember is having to play darn well (for me) to even get those 2 games.

    He was a computer rated 3.0, but my take was that he was on a team that won their flight and went to playoffs year after year, and despite improving over time he didn't want to get bumped and miss out on that rec tennis glory.

    This OP description though leaves me very unconvinced. He could easily just be a guy who just undergoes fluctuations in confidence and level of play (which could also explain why he's a 4.0) rather than a tanker. He's self rated so he also could be just starting to play tennis again after a layoff which could also explain the fluctuations in play. A real tanker wouldn't need to let it get that close at all. 6-4, 7-5 is like never going to generate a strike, no need to let it go to a TB.
     
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  22. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Sandbagging to remain on your 3.0 team....does it get any lower than that? LOL.
     
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  23. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    I like playing higher level guys and I left the match knowing I played just about as good as I can, but the other guy was just better. It was just weird during the match when I am hitting sitter second serves and winning points where I couldn't win a point off my best first serves. I didn't understand it during the match, but I just kept fighting. If anything the heat was an x factor and I think he underestimated my conditioning since I am more on the sporty fat side and I almost snuck it out. After the match I told him he played great and his forehand pushing me 5 ft behind the baseline followed by his short angled backhand slice was a vicious combo. It wasn't until later when I saw he was self rated did I start to think maybe he was spotting me a few games.
     
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  24. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I hear about people dropping games purposely to preserve their rating on this board, but I have never seen it or heard about it in real life. I think the more likely explanation for these is that a new self rate will either be out of shape, out of practice, or a relative beginner, and thus will be more inconsistent than a computer-rated player.

    I do like how the sandbaggers at every level are described as Federer-like.

    And I really like this phrase, sporty fat. I think that describes 90% of recreational tennis players. I don't escape this phrase either.
     
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  25. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I wish I was sporty fat, but I am just sadly fat.

    I have actually talked to some people that actively throw games to keep their ratings. In almost all these cases they were borderline guys who it probably didn't matter. A real 5.0 player or even strong 4.5 player would not waste his time playing at a 4.0 level and would frankly have to do more than drop a game here or there.
     
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  26. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Say "Thank you"?

    The guy gave you a great match, and things to think about if you want to get better. You should be thanking him.

    It sounds more like a sandbagger complaining about a bigger sandbagger.
     
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  27. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Last year I played only 4 matches at 3.5 on a new team and lost them all (2 matches I lost in 3rd set tiebreaks). I would chalk the losses up to poor partner selection by my captain, bad luck, and obviously not getting the job done. It was a tough season.

    In doubles, I regularly play with 4.0 guys at my club and hold my own. I would rate myself as a high-level 3.5 at doubles. I am in pretty bad shape, so 3.5 singles is tough unless I am blasting a lot of winners (it happens, but not often enough).

    USTA bumped me down to 3.0 this season because I went 0-4 last year. At first I was a little sore, then mostly just incredulous. I would play up, but there's only one 3.5 18+ team at my club, and they aren't accepting new players (they go to sectionals most years). So I am a 3.0C this season.

    Undefeated so far, and I don't see myself losing a match. The guys I play against must think I am the biggest sandbagger ever. So basically, I am that guy.
     
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  28. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    Like I said in one of my replies, the guy did not come off as malicious so sandbagging may not be the right term but I think he could be playing below his level. I didn't yell at the guy and would say my tone was more puzzled amazement than anything. I have had my fair share of losses but the turn of events in the second set just puzzled me.
     
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  29. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I really don't get why you would consider yelling at him.

    Are the USTA ratings based on how badly someone can beat you?
    I'm in the San Jose area as well. What team do you play for?
     
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  30. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    I am just saying that I didn't yell at him or say it in anger because I think that is how it may be perceived. I am on a couple of different teams, usually I play out of Sunnyvale.
     
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  31. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Yes. That can be a problem at times.
     
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  32. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    Maybe I am just misinterpreting the whole point of your thread. The USTA has rules for how to deal with people sandbagging which doesn't include being confronted by the opponent. The guy may be sandbagging and may not be but his match against you should not be the gauge nor should you be the judge.

    This area has a lot of self rated players who are probably not at level. I think there are some who are intentionally playing under their rating and other who just don't know USTA ratings. None of them are behaving "maliciously" though unless you have a different view of the importance of a tennis match than I do.
     
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  33. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    When I was on the Mens 4.5 Pro Tour I was accused of being a reverse sandblaster. They said I was a 3.5 and self rated wrong. Then I GOATed them in 3rd dubs.
     
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  34. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Warning: this post contains humblebrag
     
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  35. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    OP: everyone here is trying to tell you that you're just being a sore loser -- but it's OK. We all are from time to time. I have been a sore loser many times, but I'm learning how to control that and learn from match losses. It's a part of playing tennis that most of us go through and learning how to cope with it is what makes us a better player.

    For those of us who take tennis more seriously than others, sometimes its a blow to our ego when we lose. But as others have told you, remember that any time you're playing a "competitive match" then know that you and your opponent are close enough to each other's skill level to make it a fair fight.

    Next time you get double-bageled, then go ahead and call shenanigans -- but not to the face of your opponent, that's still rude. That's what internet forums are for! :)
     
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  36. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    The same thing happened to me last year and I pretty much had the same excuses. While there might have been an error, I clearly was not at the top of the level. I just looked at the TLS website which had me rated as a 4.05 which for the most part looks accurate relative to the others I saw on the list. This happened to a few other guys on the list who are all now doing very well at 4.0. This is because they are strong 4.0s not because they are sandbagging. If they are actually weak 4.5s instead then they will get bumped back.

    My case was slightly different as I got in shape over the last year and now am better than this rating. I also got irritated when I saw I was a 4.0 and joined a couple of teams to prove how silly the rating was. I'm kind of regretting that choice as I really don't enjoy playing 4.0 matches both for the quality of play and the off the court BS, but am honoring my commitments to the teams.
     
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  37. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    And how great the internet is. This thread mainly exists due to the fact that I was bored at work with a computer in front of me. Good times
     
    #37
  38. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    True story...when I got back into tennis in 2009 I was asked to join a 3.5 team. I had no idea about NTRP levels. Coach put me at #1 singles and I was destroying this fat fuchen clown in our first match and he stormed off the court to go complain to his captain. I really had no idea I was embarrassing myself. O Captain my Captain totally lured me into epic sandbaggery. Legit.
     
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  39. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    ^^dealing with this right now but at a level higher. Not sure how to handle it, but I'm sure I'm racking up some strikes with Usta.
     
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  40. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    I've played many USTA tourneys and flex league. For many reasons, the USTA's NTRP ratings of players is often wrong. Basically too many players get classified as 4.0. That category has too wide a range of players. The system they use is pretty flawed. You just have to live with it.
     
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  41. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I think this is subjective. "Often" isn't how I view it, I see it as more of an "occasional" issue.

    However, the 4.0 and 3.5 levels are certainly a mixed bag. Not sure what could be done to avoid that. Couldn't imagine why you would. The bulk of players are mediocre/average. They get put together as either low-mediocre or high-mediocre.
     
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  42. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    I wouldn't say anything but think - "damn, this guy's a better sandbagger than me!"
     
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  43. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    4.0 is a huge section of tennis abilities. Its not even close to crazy to imagine that this guy is a 4.0 specifically because of his inability to keep up that level of play, or gets lured in and duffs your floater serves after looking for more pace. If he had the skills mentally and physically to double bagel you and was playing your level, yeah I'd be frustrated.

    As for you not being able to put a dent in his game, sometimes peoples games jut don't match up well and as you played better you were likely playing right into his strengths and because you couldn't change that up and beat him, is probably why you're a 4.0 and not a 4.5.

    Obviously I wasn't there and maybe it was just ridiculous but you were too caught up in his game it sounds like.
     
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  44. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Rising 4.0 for the win.
     
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