Originally Posted by BudFox
I appreciate the responses.
I'd like to refine my plea. I was not attempting to rationalize my losses or make excuses. I accept the players I'm losing to are better than I am - I promise my ego is not THAT inflated. My intention was to identify the weakness(es) in my game and see if anyone had tips for how to improve in any of these areas.
LuckyR mentioned handling the pace better as an option. What I am looking for specifically is advice on HOW to do this.
Well, that is a multifaceted issue. From simple to complex: first, even within the match itself, you are going to become accustomed to the faster pace as you hit every shot, it will increase what your muscle memory "feels" is the average pace of a shot, which is what drives your stroke prep speed.
Second, since you know about it ahead of time, you could practice faster pace, if you knew you were going to play someone who hits hard. It can be as simple as standing 2 long paces closer to the net than you normally do to rally. Of course you could also practice with better competition.
Over time, even if you have Modern strokes, you should develop a slice to deal with situations with less prep time. That will also help your returns and approaches, BTW.
In addition, also over time, your eye/brain combo will start to "predict" where shots are going before they are struck, so you can start your stroke earlier, therefore blunting the effect of more pace.