Originally Posted by Sox Fan
I have been playing 3.5 doubles the past few years - both USTA and in some club leagues. Have been getting a little bored with doubles and my game seems to have improved a lot so I signed up for a 4.0 league and played my first match tonight. The idea is to push myself a bit and see if I can get to be a solid 4.0.
Lost 1-6, 1-6 to a guy who was like a human backboard.
The good news is all the games were competitive, I don't there there was a love game the whole match and a few deuce games. The last game had, I think, five deuces. Although the score looks awful I did not feel like I didn't belong on the court with the guy. Some observations:
1. Way more of my good first serves came back. Biggest difference from playing 3.5 where I could dominate with my serve.
2. I lost most of the long points. Seemed like long rallies all end up with him eventually hitting deep to my backhand and then me making an error or hitting a short ball.
3. I had some success playing serve and volley and chip/charge on his second serve.
4. Definitely need to work on my backhand and on my return of serve. The rest of my game was pretty solid.
5. Need to get in better shape. Singles involves a he'll of a lot more running than doubles.
Any advice anyone has on making the transition from 3.5 to 4.0 would be appreciated.
The transition from 3.5 to 4.0, similar to the transition from 3.0 to 3.5, is basically just being able to hit a little harder, with slightly better placement, more consistently. If your stroke mechanics are basically ok, then it's just a matter of more court time, more practice, more matchplay. If not, then no strategy or tactics or anything else will make you competitive at higher levels, imho.
Post some videos if you have them.