I've been playing as a hack on and off for about 15 years. This was my first time ever playing organized or indoors. Took me long enough.
It took me awhile to get used to springy Deco Turf and the southpaw I played, but after playing this guy, I'm confident that I will be competitive in a 3.5 league. I looked at the other guys playing on adjacent courts..all older than me, no big serves, no real weapons. The guy I was playing hit maybe 4 balls past me the whole match..most of his points were on my errors. Typical for me. I had many service winners and he could not get to my well struck forehands in the corner. I lost a few service games due to double faults and trying to kill some of his fluttering duck returns and sending them just long.
I felt like I was auditioning for something, and lost the first set from jitters. Then, I got angry with myself and won the next set 6-3, ended the third set in a tie because 2 hours were up (this guy was kinda sucking wind and stalling, mostly sending moon balls to me to catch his breath. I'm used to playing 4 or 5 sets so I wasn't tired, but the moonballing was frustrating me a bit..it's very effective on decoturf, I can imagine how effective it is on clay).
I guess I've been underrating myself, or these guys are all overrated, because he has a winning record in the league.
I just wish it wasn't so damn expensive! If anyone is wondering why tennis is declining is popularity..it's because it's too expensive to become anything other than a weak amateur, at least in cold weather climates. Every league in my area will basically cost you $700 and up for 12 singles matches. I'm doing doing fine financially, but convincing the wife that I should spend that..."can't you just wait for the spring?"
But, I'll never get better if I take 2-3 months off every year.