6'2" guy that hits with no pace. No topspin to speak of. 100% slice backhand. Can direct the ball pretty well, but just uses all my pace. Good court instincts and anticipation. Plays pretty well at the net. Chips back every single serve return. Didn't hit a single double fault. Didn't hit a single ace.
I was trying everything. Huuuuge topspin balls in the extreme corners were winners if I had him running, but that would have been true against any player. If I hit him a short, low mid-court ball he would just chip into my backhand, then rush the net. I wasn't passing well and he was very successful up there. I guess I should have lobbed him more, but my backhand topspin lob isn't amazing. When I was at the net, he would lob me 100% of the time.
The craziest part was his serve return. All that other stuff, I think I could have still gotten the job done. But I think I only had maybe 3 free points off my serve. As in, the guy only failed to return 3 of my serves into the court. That is super unusual. I hit a good kick serve, deep with decent pace with good direction. He was tall with a wide wingspan and able to just dink them back over. Body serves, same deal - dink them back over. It was infuriating. It got in my head, and the double faults began. It just spiraled from there.
I lost 5-7 2-6. Total collapse in the second set. I broke him 4 times in the match, still lost because I couldn't hold serve. I think I lost 3 service games where I was up 40-15. He just got in my head and dismantled me.
I play him again on Friday. I have no idea what to do differently. My teammate overheard him say "that was the most consistent match I have ever played." I can't hope that he'll play worse. I need to figure this out. I'm not in good enough shape to grind him out, TBH. I almost feel like I need to play bigger - more pace on the serve, go for more aces, up the pace on my groundies. But I have been ratcheting all of this back for the last year to gain more consistency. It's definitely "live by the sword, die by the sword" when I play that way - someone is getting swept off the court pretty fast (him if I'm on, me if I'm off).
This is my first singles loss in like 2 months, it's really bothering me.
Last edited by leroy_sunset; 04-27-2013 at 10:20 PM.