Originally Posted by mightyrick
I played baseball (was a pitcher) in my early youth, played a lot of basketball (although I sucked), played table tennis very extensively (was pretty good), and then a friend suggested I play tennis.
I play because I love it, it is fun, it is a great workout, it is very competitive, tons of tennis courts around, and there are endless opponents/tournaments/pick up games available.
I've never had a coach. I don't have an NTRP goal. I'll bump to 4.0 probably in a few months. I expect I'll get to 4.5 in a few years and then top out. That's fine.
From a competitive perspective, I'd like to one day be able to enter the Open draw of any USTA local tournament and not be embarassed in the first round.
I don't know how old you are, or what your game looks like, but, the men's open division includes current high level D1 players and even top 200 ATP ranked players. IMO, unless you are already a 4.5-5.0 level player now, it's probably not realistic for you to become competitive in the men's open division. However, based on your self description, if you devote sufficient time, effort and high quality coaching on your game, it is possible for you to reach the 4.5 level in a few years.