Originally Posted by double barrels
your passion for tennis and improving is remarkable.
I completely respect your goal...
I too am trying to get that 1 ATP point, however, my goal is to get it in doubles. If I succeed in singles, that will just be a bonus.
Earlier this year I would consider myself a solid 4.5 player, now I would like to think I am an average 5.0 singles and doubles player (at least in the atlanta area).
I will be 24 before the end of the year, so my singles time is running short, however doubles has many many years before I even peak.
What do you suggest as far as starting the process of tournaments?
I currently play USTA, ALTA (atlanta league) and Ultimate Tennis (flex league).
I plan on trying to enter some ITF tournaments by the end of spring/start of summer, any suggestions on how to go about that?
i would say stick with playing open tournaments as much as you can. i never played any ITF tournaments, but i assume they are the same. being in atlanta i am sure they are no shortages of good tournaments with good competition. i think on of the things that has held me back a lot is the pressure that comes along with playing tournaments. i frequently get in pressure situations and will allow myself to tighten up and lose crucial points. the more tournaments you play the better you will become at winning in pressure situations. it is also a good idea to play down a level a few times to get the feeling of winning and how to do it.
another thing that you have to focus on is increasing the number and quality of hitting/practicing partners. you will only become as good as the hitting partners you play against. also try and have a mix of them, a few lefties, serve and volleyers, baseliners, guys with big serves, basically try and prepare yourself for different playing styles. a problem i see myself running into frequently is when i play some college kid that beats me pretty handily doesnt have any need for me as a practice partner, since he plays daily with kids just as good as him. whenever i play a tournament i will always ask the guy after the match where he lives and usually exchange numbers to practice later. ultimate tennis is also good for this. however, i have noticed lately that i have been able to beat my practice partners more than before. as you get better the pool of players to practice with will get smaller and smaller.
theres really not any great advice i could give, especially since my results havent been the greatest. being in so cal with the competition as good as it is the only thing that i can do is work on fitness and practice. however, practice smart. practice tactics and strategy along with shots. ill assume your strokes are pretty good. usually at the higher levels ppl all have very good strokes. it comes down to how well you can execute, how smart and where you are hitting your shots, can you find and exploit your opponnents weakness better than him to you, can you outlast your opponent, who performs better under pressure and so on.
good luck on getting your points, but just enjoy the ride. i am fully aware ill never make any money playing tennis, but just getting to go to some of these events and play guys that are that much better than me is fun. i like the atmosphere and the chance to pull off an upset against some top players. also, try and not get frustrated. i let this happen to me in the beginning, but eventually tried to use every match as a learning experience.