4.0 Level Match Video and trying to get into 4.5

SoZ

New User

I spent some effort and made this highlights video and hope you can enjoy. I am the righty(Ying) in the enjoy.

I am trying to break into 4.5 level; I started playing tennis 7 years ago and reached 4.0 level in 2-3 years. However, it seems taking forever to move to next level and I just can't break the ceiling.

Any tips for me to work on? Thanks a ton...
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
You look good, and close.
A little more speed..you have plenty of quickness.
Power is what it is, so you advancing depends on mental toughness, strategy, improvisation, and dogged derermination.
Oftentimes, when you are fully stretched, just getting the ball back one more time can make a huge difference.
 

SoZ

New User
You look good, and close.
A little more speed..you have plenty of quickness.
Power is what it is, so you advancing depends on mental toughness, strategy, improvisation, and dogged derermination.
Oftentimes, when you are fully stretched, just getting the ball back one more time can make a huge difference.
Thanks. Yes mental toughness is the one thing I improved slowly over the years and knew I have to hang on there for one more shot. Unlike my opponent in the match who serves and volleys a lot, I knew I have to improve my net game and comes to net when time is right. Currently I mostly stayed on the baseline.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame

I spent some effort and made this highlights video and hope you can enjoy. I am the righty(Ying) in the enjoy.

I am trying to break into 4.5 level; I started playing tennis 7 years ago and reached 4.0 level in 2-3 years. However, it seems taking forever to move to next level and I just can't break the ceiling.

Any tips for me to work on? Thanks a ton...
You have good serve, good serve return, good backhand and FH, move around pretty well. I am not surprised if you get to 4.5 soon.
Your BH can use some more depth.
I dont see you at the net much. Come to the net more often, put pressure on your opponent, shorten the point, save energy.
 
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Gael4

Rookie
You look pretty good. I know nothing about NTRP, but if there is one piece of advice I can give you it is : mind your placement. You are very often in the wrong part of the court, and lose easy points because of this, for example at 3.55. You should stand on the other side of the court when you are on the baseline, and on the same side as your opponent when you are volleying. When you hit a DTL shot, you need to anticipate your next placement and move to the other side of the court, slightly after the middle (not too much to not be wrong footed.

I hope it helps.
 

SoZ

New User
You have good serve, good serve return, good backhand and FH, move around pretty well. I am not surprised if you get to 4.5 soon.
Your BH can use some more depth.
I dont see you at the net much. Come to the net more often, put pressure on your opponent, shorten the point, save energy.
Thanks. My BH is still in defending mode and I am working on it to have more power. The net game is the one thing I am missing and also my focus next.
 

SoZ

New User
You look pretty good. I know nothing about NTRP, but if there is one piece of advice I can give you it is : mind your placement. You are very often in the wrong part of the court, and lose easy points because of this, for example at 3.55. You should stand on the other side of the court when you are on the baseline, and on the same side as your opponent when you are volleying. When you hit a DTL shot, you need to anticipate your next placement and move to the other side of the court, slightly after the middle (not too much to not be wrong footed.

I hope it helps.
Thanks for the movement and anticipation tip. I don't know I need to be the same side while volleying and will try this out for sure.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Cover his dtl passing shot with your positioning, and be ready to lunge forward and center to cover his cc attempt.
 
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Bender

G.O.A.T.
Why is this video sped up?

Good video nonetheless, you look like you've got some good technique.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Thanks. My BH is still in defending mode and I am working on it to have more power. The net game is the one thing I am missing and also my focus next.
I don't think you need much power on BH to get to 4.5. With enough depth and topspin on BH wing, you can trouble any 4.5
 

SoZ

New User
Why is this video sped up?

Good video nonetheless, you look like you've got some good technique.
not sure why you are seeing speed up. The sound is distorted a bit as I tried to reduce the noise from street.
 
@SoZ, I think you could certainly rate as a NTRP 4.5. The biggest difference I see and have experienced from the 4.0 versus the 4.5 level is the offensive ability of players starts to be more pronounced at the 4.5 level. This more offensive play may exhibit in very different forms- more overall pace, stronger groundstrokes, better serves, or maybe just a more attacking type of style of play from the baseline and / or attacking the net. Of course, there are plenty of 4.5 players who may not have a huge offensive weapon, but they may have a solid overall game and can simply win by being the more consistent player.

So keeping the above in mind, I think you have to decide what type of style do you want to play? From what I can tell from this video, you seem like you move well, you hit a solid ball, and you seem to like to rally. I think you need to use this as a foundation and begin to add a bit more offense but staying congruent to the type of player that you are. Three things come to mind that I think you could focus on to help get you over that hump....

#1 spend some time really practicing your serve- I don't suspect you're going to be able to bomb 100+ mph serves, but your motion and serve looks solid enough that I think you should be able to hit different speeds, spins, and spots with a high degree of consistency (ideally, you should be able to hit a flat, slice, and kick serve to all 3 areas of each service box with some consistency and pace). Your goal should be to get your serve at a level where you are able to get you some free points each service game, whether that be due to a return error or creating a weak return that you can attack and take control of the point immediately. The nice thing about the serve is that it's something you have the greatest control over and can work on completely by yourself. You certainly seem to be doing some of this already, but it's hard to know exactly your level of proficiency from just one video. Regardless, the serve is the most important shot in the game and making a dedicated effort to improve it and make it more of a weapon could really help you get to another level.

#2 continue to work on your net game- and net game does not mean just volleys- for singles play, hitting a good approach shot and getting in proper position will be much more important than the actual volley itself- with your type of game, I envision you being able to work an opponent side to side and maybe getting a short ball that you will want to be able to attack and then follow into the net and hopefully put away a weak pass into the open court (think more like Andre Agassi type of net play versus Pete Sampras). You don't need to try to force yourself into the net, but you need to be comfortable enough that you are willing to take short and mid court balls and follow them into the net to apply a bit more pressure on your opponent. Plus, don't forget to practice your overheads. Get where you can hit your overhead pretty much either direction you want...too many people simply practice overheads by just hitting it back hard to the person feeding them...then they get in a match and they need to be able to hit an overhead to a specific corner, and they make an error because they never really practice it that way.

#3 depth- You did a better job of this later in the video I think, but overall, I felt like you could do a better job of keeping the ball deeper against your opponent (note, I'm referring to baseline rallies and not return of serve since he was serving and volleying some). In general, it seems like you are hitting a lot of balls that are landing around the service line and seems like you could get a bit more net clearance to give you more depth (or hit out on the ball more). More depth will help you be able to stay in control of the baseline rallies better, which I think would suit your game well. Also, there were a few times you hit a ball that simply got you out of position because your shot selection could have been a bit better. Sometimes when you are being put on the run or being pulled wide, it's better to hit a ball that has a bit more arc / air underneath it to give you time to recover back into the court and try to get to the point back to neutral terms- here are some shots you can watch again where your depth could have been better and / or you should have hit a deeper and more neutral ball to allow yourself more time to recover- 1:06, 1:19, 2:05, 2:13, 4:59, 5:53 (return), 6:58 (return). Here were some times where you did a better job of it I thought (1:31, 4:56, 6:25, 9:03, 10:40, 11:19 (return), 11:22, 11:53 (return), 12:56 are a few).

Just my 2 cents. Hope that helps!
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
You look like a solid player who should be at 4.5 and if you are not getting bumped by winning enough matches, you might need to improve the mental and strategic aspects of your game. Read ‘Think to Win’ and ‘Smart Tennis’. Also utilize Wardlaw directionals (google it if you don’t know them) more when you construct points.

The only thing that stands out to me as not being 4.5 caliber is your first serve. It is neither hard enough nor placed well enough to win you one or two easy points (either by service winner or serve+1 shot) per service game. I would start off practicing placing it closer to the sidelines at a high % instead of the middle of the box. Then, work in parallel on adding more pace to the 1st serve with either a flat or slice serve.

A couple of earlier posts of mine on other threads might help you to think your way and win more matches. All the best.
ISome issues to think about and improve are:

- Can you locate both 1st and 2nd serves accurately hopefully with at least a couple of spins (flat and slice for 1st, kick and top-slice for 2nd)? If so, do you change your serve locations and patterns to either setup favorable serve+1 shots or serve more to your opponent’s weaknesses? Do you serve to different locations and spins with new balls vs old balls or on hot days vs cold days? Do you think about these things?
- Do you return from different spots (close, further away, to the middle, wide) depending in your opponent‘s serve strengths and your favorite return+1 patterns? Do you change them as the match progresses and then balls get old? Do you spend much time thinking about adjustments to make on Return stance and patterns to disrupt the server‘s rhythm especially late in a set.
- Do you play with different tactics when you face counterpunchers, junkers/pushers, aggressive baseliners and serve-volleyers? Do you test if the opponent does well against slice, has good vertical up/down movement, can hit well on the run, can hit passes or lobs under pressure etc.
- Do you have good recovery footwork after wide shots, short-ball shots etc and have your ever done a lot of drills to improve this?
- If you play mostly doubles, do you play with the net guy signaling serve location and intentional poaches when your team serves? If the doubles opponents are returning well, are you comfortable playing Australian formation and I-formation using poach/stay signals? Do you serve-and-volley and chip/charge or at least come to the net as soon as you can?

Ex-college players with a lot of match experience as juniors think about all these things and then set up point patterns in their favor that leverage their strengths and maximize their opponent‘s weaknesses. They make the opponent run and play defense and look like they are having an easy time anticipating correctly every ball. They also have better footwork developed at a young age. When they play doubles, they can use signals and locate serves accurately and depend on their net partners a lot to help them hold serve with pre-planned intentional poaches. To beat these guys, an adult rec player has to work actively on improving their strategy and tactics during match play as they will never catch up on the 1000s of matches an advanced player might have played as a junior to develop situational awareness.

Something to think about if you’ve been stuck at 4.0 for a few years.
 
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socallefty

Hall of Fame
I keep notes on all my matches and all my frequent opponents on what works well and what doesn’t work well and brief notes on what my playing style, serving and returning strategy should be for future matches. My strategy also changes slightly depending on the conditions (hot/cold, humidity level, surface, wind) against each opponent. Here’s how I develop strategy against an opponent I’ve played before enough times to know their game and have an idea of what works well and what doesn’t. In pre-match prep, I think of the following numbered topics and have given examples to illustrate the kind of questions to ask and prepare answers for:

1). What style was best to win more points?
- Is keeping him at baseline better? If so, are long rallies and forcing errors better? Or do I need to play BL rallies more aggressively and make him move to force errors or hit more winners?
- If baseline style is better, do I do better when I take the ball early or if I stand well back?
- Do I do better when I go to the net often?
- Do I do better if I bring him to net or make him play in midcourt with angled slices?

2). Does he like it when I play one style or when I change styles and give more variety?
- Some opponents hate if you play one way throughout the match that plays on their weakness. Others adjust quickly and make you adjust after a few games to a different tactic.
- When balls are new, what works. When balls are old, what works. Is he fit or does he get fatigued faster than me?
- What should be my strategy early in the match and late in the match depending on answers above?

3). What are my strengths? What point patterns work well for me? What are my weaknesses?
- Do I like FHs, BHs, Inside-FHs? Do I like hitting on the run? Do I like finishing short balls? Do I like hitting low balls or high balls? Which shots help me force more errors?
- What serve+1 patterns do I like on deuce and on ad? What return+1 patterns work on deuce/ad?
- Do I make more errors off low balls or heavy topspin? Do I make more errors off BHs or FHs?

4). What are his weaknesses? What are his strengths?
- Does he like FHs or BHs, low or high balls? Hitting on the run or from middle? Does he move well up/down? Does he smash well off lobs? Does he volley well? Does he do better against slice passes or topspin passes?
- What does he like to do to me to force errors? What point patterns does he use to open up space that he can take advantage of or take away my time?

5). Where should I serve?
- On both 1st and 2nd, you should think about whether wide, body or middle works best on ad/deuce and also what spins (flat, top slice, slice, kick) work best based on what you are capable of hitting. Also, think about whether you should keep hitting the same patterns or if you want to vary more on one side or the other?
- Also, do some serves work better with new balls, but not well with old balls? What is the serve plan with old balls?
- For example, some opponents give me patterns I like if I serve flat to the FH, but kill me if I serve kick to the FH. Alternately, they may slice flat serves to BH well, but may give me short balls with kick to the BH.
- Some opponents stand in the same place for returns. Others move around and you should think about which serves work best when they stand in different places - close, far, shading to FH/BH etc.

6). Where should I stand to return? What kind of returns work best?
- Ask similar questions to the ones above, but from your return perspective. What returns win you the most points with new and old balls and on ad/deuce?
- What kind of serves do you want to get and what don’t you want to get? Is there a way you can stand (close, far, leaving space on FH/BH) which causes your opponent to give you the serves you like and set up the returns you like?

Based on thinking about the answers to these questions, come up with a game plan of how you are going to play the match in terms of Playing Style for each set (with new/old balls), preferred point patterns, serving strategy and returning strategy for 1st/2nd serves and ad/deuce courts. Now, sit down a few hours before the match and visualize playing these point patterns, serving with these locations/spins, return positions/preferred returns, hitting your strong shots, what you are going to execute on break points against you and for you, how you’ll play a tiebreaker (usually more aggressively or more conservatively depending on your nature). Have graphic images in your mind of you playing each of these scenarios. Your last visualization should be you imagining winning break points, set points and the match point. Check your equipment, hydrate/eat well and now you are ready for the match.

The more prepared you are, the more self-belief you will have against an opponent. Maybe, the opponent is detail-oriented and prepares like this against you and you want to be more prepared than him. A famous basketball coach once said ‘If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail‘. Lastly, you usually have to play more aggressively and take more risks to beat a better player as staying in your comfort zone hasn’t allowed you to win in the past - so, be around the outer limits of your comfort zone when you come up with your game strategy. If you are too conservative, you likely will not win. Have fun on the court and treat losses and victories with good sportsmanship!
 

nyta2

Semi-Pro

I spent some effort and made this highlights video and hope you can enjoy. I am the righty(Ying) in the enjoy.

I am trying to break into 4.5 level; I started playing tennis 7 years ago and reached 4.0 level in 2-3 years. However, it seems taking forever to move to next level and I just can't break the ceiling.

Any tips for me to work on? Thanks a ton...
what's your current training plan?
 

SoZ

New User
@SoZ, I think you could certainly rate as a NTRP 4.5. The biggest difference I see and have experienced from the 4.0 versus the 4.5 level is the offensive ability of players starts to be more pronounced at the 4.5 level. This more offensive play may exhibit in very different forms- more overall pace, stronger groundstrokes, better serves, or maybe just a more attacking type of style of play from the baseline and / or attacking the net. Of course, there are plenty of 4.5 players who may not have a huge offensive weapon, but they may have a solid overall game and can simply win by being the more consistent player.

So keeping the above in mind, I think you have to decide what type of style do you want to play? From what I can tell from this video, you seem like you move well, you hit a solid ball, and you seem to like to rally. I think you need to use this as a foundation and begin to add a bit more offense but staying congruent to the type of player that you are. Three things come to mind that I think you could focus on to help get you over that hump....

#1 spend some time really practicing your serve- I don't suspect you're going to be able to bomb 100+ mph serves, but your motion and serve looks solid enough that I think you should be able to hit different speeds, spins, and spots with a high degree of consistency (ideally, you should be able to hit a flat, slice, and kick serve to all 3 areas of each service box with some consistency and pace). Your goal should be to get your serve at a level where you are able to get you some free points each service game, whether that be due to a return error or creating a weak return that you can attack and take control of the point immediately. The nice thing about the serve is that it's something you have the greatest control over and can work on completely by yourself. You certainly seem to be doing some of this already, but it's hard to know exactly your level of proficiency from just one video. Regardless, the serve is the most important shot in the game and making a dedicated effort to improve it and make it more of a weapon could really help you get to another level.

#2 continue to work on your net game- and net game does not mean just volleys- for singles play, hitting a good approach shot and getting in proper position will be much more important than the actual volley itself- with your type of game, I envision you being able to work an opponent side to side and maybe getting a short ball that you will want to be able to attack and then follow into the net and hopefully put away a weak pass into the open court (think more like Andre Agassi type of net play versus Pete Sampras). You don't need to try to force yourself into the net, but you need to be comfortable enough that you are willing to take short and mid court balls and follow them into the net to apply a bit more pressure on your opponent. Plus, don't forget to practice your overheads. Get where you can hit your overhead pretty much either direction you want...too many people simply practice overheads by just hitting it back hard to the person feeding them...then they get in a match and they need to be able to hit an overhead to a specific corner, and they make an error because they never really practice it that way.

#3 depth- You did a better job of this later in the video I think, but overall, I felt like you could do a better job of keeping the ball deeper against your opponent (note, I'm referring to baseline rallies and not return of serve since he was serving and volleying some). In general, it seems like you are hitting a lot of balls that are landing around the service line and seems like you could get a bit more net clearance to give you more depth (or hit out on the ball more). More depth will help you be able to stay in control of the baseline rallies better, which I think would suit your game well. Also, there were a few times you hit a ball that simply got you out of position because your shot selection could have been a bit better. Sometimes when you are being put on the run or being pulled wide, it's better to hit a ball that has a bit more arc / air underneath it to give you time to recover back into the court and try to get to the point back to neutral terms- here are some shots you can watch again where your depth could have been better and / or you should have hit a deeper and more neutral ball to allow yourself more time to recover- 1:06, 1:19, 2:05, 2:13, 4:59, 5:53 (return), 6:58 (return). Here were some times where you did a better job of it I thought (1:31, 4:56, 6:25, 9:03, 10:40, 11:19 (return), 11:22, 11:53 (return), 12:56 are a few).

Just my 2 cents. Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for the detailed analysis of my game!

I think my style will be the one with solid game and be consistent to outplay opponents as I don't have strong weapon in my arsena. I am trying to improve all aspects so they won't become my apparent weakness. Also for each aspect, I will also try to show some aggressiveness and can attack when the situation is right. Probably defense and then attack is my preferred game plan.

1. For my serve, I have been trying to correct my power chain to get more pace so I don't have to defend my 1st serve due to lack of pace for 4.5 level. I don't think I can reach bomb serve either so I have been working with placement a bit and am able to place the serve to a degree. But my serve lacks variety in spin. I can't do kick serve yet (I tried and injured myself last year). Other serves I know how to do it but during match I didn't intentionly use them and always fell back to a mix betten flat and slice serves. Serve is No.1 thing that I can work on and I 'd like to get into the zone that have some easy points and less pressure of defending my serve game.

2. Net games: This is more of a mental challenge or bad habit to me. In doubles, I can be agressive at net and poach/volley OK. However, I start getting panic or rushed in singles the moment I got close to nets. Thus due to the comfortness of staying in baselines, I miss a lot of opportnities when I pull opponent wide open but I didn't come to net to end the point. I have been starting ball machine drills to practice come to nets and reminds myself about net games during matches and hope I can make some progress in this front.

3. Depth of defending shots: I think this is in related with my stroke technique. My racquet drop tends to not lower enough for more top spin and also follow through immediately after contact is not foward enough so I didn't get enough net clearance for deeper balls. I will defintely try to working on that.

Thanks again for the nice analysis.
 

Gael4

Rookie
I don't think you need to hit your serve harder to begin with. Simply hit wide and ont the T to begin with, only serve body to keep your opponent guessing
 

SoZ

New User
You look like a solid player who should be at 4.5 and if you are not getting bumped by winning enough matches, you might need to improve the mental and strategic aspects of your game. Read ‘Think to Win’ and ‘Smart Tennis’. Also utilize Wardlaw directionals (google it if you don’t know them) more when you construct points.

The only thing that stands out to me as not being 4.5 caliber is your first serve. It is neither hard enough nor placed well enough to win you one or two easy points (either by service winner or serve+1 shot) per service game. I would start off practicing placing it closer to the sidelines at a high % instead of the middle of the box. Then, work in parallel on adding more pace to the 1st serve with either a flat or slice serve.

A couple of earlier posts of mine on other threads might help you to think your way and win more matches. All the best.
I live in rural upstate NY without USTA league so I have no official USTA rating. I benched my rating based on few matches that I played every time I was travelling to large cities and played with those guys with official ratings.

I will put on more efforts to improve my serves next till I can earn some cheap points by combination of placement and spin variety. Thanks very much!
 

SoZ

New User
what's your current training plan?
On top of better serve placement and variety, net game, stroke improvement, I plan to do more HIIT drills during winter time to get my physical endurance up. I will also start some daily excise to improve core strength.
 

SoZ

New User
I don't think you need to hit your serve harder to begin with. Simply hit wide and ont the T to begin with, only serve body to keep your opponent guessing
Yes. I just want to get my serve pace decent so they can't attack my serve due to lack of pace.
 

nyta2

Semi-Pro
On top of better serve placement and variety, net game, stroke improvement, I plan to do more HIIT drills during winter time to get my physical endurance up. I will also start some daily excise to improve core strength.
what are you actually doing now? if you've just been "planning to" or "will start" for the last 7y, i can see when it's taking a while :)
for example, over the summer, each week, i was:
* drilling strokes 6h (~3d)
* match play 4h (~2d)
* serving 5h (~5d)
and do you have a plan for your practices, and a plan for your matches?
but in general my point is you need to be deliberate about what and how you're practicing.
 

SoZ

New User
what are you actually doing now? if you've just been "planning to" or "will start" for the last 7y, i can see when it's taking a while :)
for example, over the summer, each week, i was:
* drilling strokes 6h (~3d)
* match play 4h (~2d)
* serving 5h (~5d)
and do you have a plan for your practices, and a plan for your matches?
but in general my point is you need to be deliberate about what and how you're practicing.
I don't count my hours yet. IN this summer and fall, I play 2-3 singles a week (4~6h), 1-2 doubles (2-4h), Drills (~4h), Serve (about 1 hour, only serve one basket during drill time). Winter is here so it is a good time for Cardio.
 

SoZ

New User
what are you actually doing now? if you've just been "planning to" or "will start" for the last 7y, i can see when it's taking a while :)
for example, over the summer, each week, i was:
* drilling strokes 6h (~3d)
* match play 4h (~2d)
* serving 5h (~5d)
and do you have a plan for your practices, and a plan for your matches?
but in general my point is you need to be deliberate about what and how you're practicing.
This year 's drill plan is to get my BH strong enough so it is not a weakness at least and I think progress is made. No match plan except trying to play to opponent's weakness in mind.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I think you are talking about more top spin and higher net clearance to get depth, right?
More topspin and higher net clearance will help. Early prep , good footwork also help.
Where are you in NY? I am upstate NY too. Maybe we can hit sometime.
 

RiverRat

Semi-Pro
Jesus, you've gotten so much advice your head must be spinning. Who to listen to? I'll make two observations. First, there seems to be little variation in spin or pace anywhere in your game. Second, court positioning, coupled with rehearsed mid-court finishing is absent. I see you try the same drop shot that so many try, who don't know what else to do. Try to incorporate volleying and short angles where you step into the court to finish your points. You have good strokes but you need to play points, including defense and offense.
 
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SoZ

New User
Jesus, you've gotten so much advice your head must be spinning. Who to listen to? I'll make two observations. First, there seems to be little variation in spin or pace anywhere in your game. Second, court positioning, coupled with rehearsed mid-court finishing is absent. I see you try the same drop shot that so many try, who don't know what else to do. Try to incorporate volleying and short angles where you step into the court to finish your points. You have good strokes but you need to play points, including defense and offense.
Thanks. Point construction is crucial. I am still playing with my instinct but not my brain yet.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
Everyone is saying it but I'll be happy to reiterate it. The depth of both of your forehand and backhand are what is probably holding you back. You can hit the same pace ball but you need to arc it a little higher and get it midway through the box at least if not within 5 feet of the baseline. This is crucial against better players because it prevents them from being able to step into the court and hit short angles to end points. The easiest way to achieve better net clearance without messing up your forehand motion is to get better right knee bend and explode upwards right before contact. It should allow you to use your existing motion without having to retool anything.
 

SoZ

New User
Everyone is saying it but I'll be happy to reiterate it. The depth of both of your forehand and backhand are what is probably holding you back. You can hit the same pace ball but you need to arc it a little higher and get it midway through the box at least if not within 5 feet of the baseline. This is crucial against better players because it prevents them from being able to step into the court and hit short angles to end points. The easiest way to achieve better net clearance without messing up your forehand motion is to get better right knee bend and explode upwards right before contact. It should allow you to use your existing motion without having to retool anything.
Thanks and definitely going to try this out!
 

RiverRat

Semi-Pro
Thanks. Point construction is crucial. I am still playing with my instinct but not my brain yet.
Point construction should be mostly instinctual. There are certain patterns you should rehearse to the point that they are instinctual. "Thinking" on the court is not like thinking in a classroom. It's more recognition and then execution. Don't feel obligated to respond to my post. Give it some "thought," which you're not on the court. Good luck. It sounds as if your practice is disciplined. Now discipline your game.
 

Gael4

Rookie
Thanks and definitely going to try this out!
I talked about your positioning, but your opponent is very often poorly positioned too, you need to exploit those mistakes. For example at 1:03 you could have hit cross court (high percentage shot) and he would have struggled to get to it.
It all sounds complicated but it's pretty simple : prioritize cross court unless your opponent is out of position and always try to be on the right spot yourself.
 

SoZ

New User
I talked about your positioning, but your opponent is very often poorly positioned too, you need to exploit those mistakes. For example at 1:03 you could have hit cross court (high percentage shot) and he would have struggled to get to it.
It all sounds complicated but it's pretty simple : prioritize cross court unless your opponent is out of position and always try to be on the right spot yourself.
I agree. At the particular case here, I was trying to his backhand as that is his weaker side and I have been trying to target his backhand all the time if possible.
 

WildVolley

Legend
I talked about your positioning, but your opponent is very often poorly positioned too, you need to exploit those mistakes. For example at 1:03 you could have hit cross court (high percentage shot) and he would have struggled to get to it.
It all sounds complicated but it's pretty simple : prioritize cross court unless your opponent is out of position and always try to be on the right spot yourself.
I watched a little and agree. I saw a number of points when SoZ was pulled wide and he went down the line instead of back cross court. This opened up the court and the opponent took advantage of it.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
i have set up to hit with @SoZ tonight. We might play a set or two. I have the advantage of having watch his match. So i am going to lay it out, how many games do you think i can get from him.
+ Serve: SoZ wins. My serve sucks. Most 3.5s serve better than I.
+Serve return: SoZ have a small edge. I have a decent serve return, but not as aggressive as his.
+FH: He wins. Very aggressive FH, flat, penetrating.
+BH: I think I have a small edge, due to its depth and topspin. He hits BH harder.
+Movement: Draw. He moves very well. I think i move pretty well too.
+ Volley: I win. From video, it looks like he doesnt come to the net very often. I hope its because he is not comfie up there. I play quite a bit of double lately.
For now, my plan is stay away from his FH, it seems dangerous. Simple.
 

SoZ

New User
i have set up to hit with @SoZ tonight. We might play a set or two. I have the advantage of having watch his match. So i am going to lay it out, how many games do you think i can get from him.
+ Serve: SoZ wins. My serve sucks. Most 3.5s serve better than I.
+Serve return: SoZ have a small edge. I have a decent serve return, but not as aggressive as his.
+FH: He wins. Very aggressive FH, flat, penetrating.
+BH: I think I have a small edge, due to its depth and topspin. He hits BH harder.
+Movement: Draw. He moves very well. I think i move pretty well too.
+ Volley: I win. From video, it looks like he doesnt come to the net very often. I hope its because he is not comfie up there. I play quite a bit of double lately.
For now, my plan is stay away from his FH, it seems dangerous. Simple.
Man, I am watching this thread too and now I knnw your plan
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
i have set up to hit with @SoZ tonight. We might play a set or two. I have the advantage of having watch his match. So i am going to lay it out, how many games do you think i can get from him.
+ Serve: SoZ wins. My serve sucks. Most 3.5s serve better than I.
+Serve return: SoZ have a small edge. I have a decent serve return, but not as aggressive as his.
+FH: He wins. Very aggressive FH, flat, penetrating.
+BH: I think I have a small edge, due to its depth and topspin. He hits BH harder.
+Movement: Draw. He moves very well. I think i move pretty well too.
+ Volley: I win. From video, it looks like he doesnt come to the net very often. I hope its because he is not comfie up there. I play quite a bit of double lately.
For now, my plan is stay away from his FH, it seems dangerous. Simple.

Keep it simple. Increase your energy level somehow. Focus on hitting as many balls back as possible. Keep pressing on that very aspect. I guarantee you'll win.

(4.5 and below is crap level. It's won by running alot and by becoming the last shot hitter. Remember my words).
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
That lefty's serve is beautiful. I know that's not you but felt it was worth the mention. Good luck with your journey, wish I could help!
 
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SoZ

New User
That lefty's serve is beautiful. I know that's not you but felt it was worth the mention. Good luck with your journey, wish I could help!
Yes. His serve got monster spin and huge weapon of him. It is always intense to try to return his serves.
 

ttbrowne

Hall of Fame
If you are playing a match based on style, I would give him a 9.5. (Figure skating score)
Because those matches aren't based on where you hit the ball, if you get it in, and if you know where to be on the court after you hit your shot.
 

SoZ

New User
i have set up to hit with @SoZ tonight. We might play a set or two. I have the advantage of having watch his match. So i am going to lay it out, how many games do you think i can get from him.
+ Serve: SoZ wins. My serve sucks. Most 3.5s serve better than I.
+Serve return: SoZ have a small edge. I have a decent serve return, but not as aggressive as his.
+FH: He wins. Very aggressive FH, flat, penetrating.
+BH: I think I have a small edge, due to its depth and topspin. He hits BH harder.
+Movement: Draw. He moves very well. I think i move pretty well too.
+ Volley: I win. From video, it looks like he doesnt come to the net very often. I hope its because he is not comfie up there. I play quite a bit of double lately.
For now, my plan is stay away from his FH, it seems dangerous. Simple.
Here are some highlights that ptuanminh and I played. It was really cold night and our tennis bags were covered with frost in the end. The ball is not bouncing either.

We had a fun time and our game style are quite similar. It was a close match are we were tied in the end. I lost many points when Minh attacked my backhands.

 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
It was not a great idea haha. temperature was 32F (0C). the balls were pretty much dead after 30 minutes. we need better weather.
 
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