4.0 still full of pushers

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

I'm sure at the top of 4.0 (borderline 4.5 guys) there are some guys that hit lots of winners. Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
 
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I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

Curious what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
In the current state of tennis, counterpunching is king even at the highest levels.
 
im that 4.0 guy that looks like a 5.0 in warm up but is a hot mess in games. A lot of it is lack of game play experience. I think one of the biggest factors at 4.0 is your level of competitiveness. Some guys I hit with are 4.5-5 because every point is a huge deal to them and losing a game\set/match is everything. For me I play not to lose instead of dying to win.

If that makes any sense...
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
Yep, but they aren't floating the ball over the net at 40 mph with 10 feet of net clearance.
Thank you. as stated in a different thread, if *this* is what it takes to be rated a 4.0, then no thanks...i'll happily miss winners while crafting interesting points and remain 3.5...

The problem/challenge is, i'm coming to the realization that it *seems* like most league tennis matches I play (3.5 and 4.0, all courts singles/doubles), are at least half or greater of these types of players...so I'm finding myself being less interested in playing league matches, and more interested in playing people who will actually hit the ball with some pace and/or do interesting things, mix their shots, drive winners, drop/lob me, etc...I'll happily lose matches like this any time...

trading 40 mph floaters on *every* shot in order to 'win' is simply not interesting to me. I get bored within about 5 mins of this, and all I can think about is where the cold beer is...
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Thank you. as stated in a different thread, if *this* is what it takes to be rated a 4.0, then no thanks...i'll happily miss winners while crafting interesting points and remain 3.5...

The problem/challenge is, i'm coming to the realization that it *seems* like most league tennis matches I play (3.5 and 4.0, all courts singles/doubles), are at least half or greater of these types of players...so I'm finding myself being less interested in playing league matches, and more interested in playing people who will actually hit the ball with some pace and/or do interesting things, mix their shots, drive winners, drop/lob me, etc...I'll happily lose matches like this any time...

trading 40 mph floaters on *every* shot in order to 'win' is simply not interesting to me. I get bored within about 5 mins of this, and all I can think about is where the cold beer is...
Well, if playing against a pusher bores you then just end the game quickly by beating them with your aggressive play ;)
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
Multiple Grand Slams and/or Master 1000s titles. Even then most your matches will have more unforced errors than winners.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Consistency wins. Footwork & stroke production lead to consistency. 4.0s are better at it than 3.5s, and 4.5s are better at it than 4.0s, and 5.0s are better at it than 4.5s. At no level are there guys just hitting as hard as they can on every shot and winning. To a 3.5, a 4.5 looks like he is hitting winners all the time because his footwork and stroke production allows him to play at a level only imagined by the 3.5, but in reality, if he plays someone at his level, the one who keeps the ball in more will win, just like every other level of the game.
 

boilerfan

New User
Consistency wins. Footwork & stroke production lead to consistency. 4.0s are better at it than 3.5s, and 4.5s are better at it than 4.0s, and 5.0s are better at it than 4.5s. At no level are there guys just hitting as hard as they can on every shot and winning. To a 3.5, a 4.5 looks like he is hitting winners all the time because his footwork and stroke production allows him to play at a level only imagined by the 3.5, but in reality, if he plays someone at his level, the one who keeps the ball in more will win, just like every other level of the game.
Exactly. Every level is just a better version of the previous level. Style of play seems to be a bell curve with a small percentage of guys that hit with highly aggressive power, a small percentage that has found a way to win as a junk baller, and then everything in between. And some guys that would be considered a pusher at 1 level would be considered aggressive at the lower levels because of the defensive skills of the opponent. 4.5 singles is definately mostly about defense and consistency. 5.0 singles is pretty mixed still, but offensive skills tend to be at the point where the play is aggressive, especially since 5.5's now play a lot of the 5.0 singles matches. At that point players can tend to start to hit more winners than unforced errors, so if you just want to bang from the baseline, you need to work yourself up to being a D1 quality player :) Below that, consistency wins
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
Well, if playing against a pusher bores you then just end the game quickly by beating them with your aggressive play ;)
I actually agree with you, but that's not what I was trying to describe ... looks like I didn't do a good job of it so here goes:

I'm talking about getting bored playing against that style of play (40 mph, 10 ft over the net, down the middle forever)...*win or lose*. I get that folks complain about playing against it when they lose...heck, I'm one of them and happy to admit it. But the fact is, to me, playing against that style and *winning* is equally boring to me...**whether I use pace, or whether I dink right along with them**...either is boring to me. I think this is what many folks don't seem to understand.

I get no joy out of driving across town to just trade endless moonballs with someone, nor is there much interesting to me about playing serve, dink, put-away all night...win or lose. I lost to a friend the other day 3 and 2...one of the most fun matches i've played in a long time, even in losing, and it was because of the interesting play, variety of shots, and offense/defense, and problem solving going on both sides of the court...
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Consistency wins. Footwork & stroke production lead to consistency. 4.0s are better at it than 3.5s, and 4.5s are better at it than 4.0s, and 5.0s are better at it than 4.5s. At no level are there guys just hitting as hard as they can on every shot and winning. To a 3.5, a 4.5 looks like he is hitting winners all the time because his footwork and stroke production allows him to play at a level only imagined by the 3.5, but in reality, if he plays someone at his level, the one who keeps the ball in more will win, just like every other level of the game.
Good point. The big difference is at 3.5 you will hardly see any winners in a match, at 4.0 you will see some and a 4.5 you will see more than 4.0. Not to say there are no errors at each level but at 3.0 and 3.5 there are almost no winners and all errors. Same goes with aces on serves. Hard to ace someone with a 40 mph serve unless they are in a wheelchair.
 

NastyWinners

Professional
I mean, there is a certain amount of players that "push" the ball in 4.0 but their strokes are way more refined, and when need be can take advantage of a short ball. As many have pointed out, consistency wins and each player is out there to win.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
I actually agree with you, but that's not what I was trying to describe ... looks like I didn't do a good job of it so here goes:

I'm talking about getting bored playing against that style of play (40 mph, 10 ft over the net, down the middle forever)...*win or lose*. I get that folks complain about playing against it when they lose...heck, I'm one of them and happy to admit it. But the fact is, to me, playing against that style and *winning* is equally boring to me...**whether I use pace, or whether I dink right along with them**...either is boring to me. I think this is what many folks don't seem to understand.

I get no joy out of driving across town to just trade endless moonballs with someone, nor is there much interesting to me about playing serve, dink, put-away all night...win or lose. I lost to a friend the other day 3 and 2...one of the most fun matches i've played in a long time, even in losing, and it was because of the interesting play, variety of shots, and offense/defense, and problem solving going on both sides of the court...
I understand what you’re saying. There are players who I really enjoy playing against bc, for example, they hit flat, paced shots that I can handle and because we are both fast we can have some really good rallies that are exciting, leaving us out of breath from hitting heavy shots and going “blow for blow” so to speak. Then there are those players who might hit high, spinny balls that are hard to attack. They don’t go for lines or anything but it’s hard for me to pounce on such a ball. Are those guys enjoyable to play? Definitely not as much, but if you can’t beat those guys you won’t move to the next level (4.0) and get to face players who will make you improve even further. Tennis is all about making your opponent uncomfortable, so saying that you only like playing players who you feel comfortable with just doesn’t make sense to me...
 

thehustler

Semi-Pro
I'm a 4.0/borderline low 4.5 player. I've had days, very randomly where I hit a ton of winners. I mean like 40 to 50 winners. Days where I'm just on, the ball is a basketball and the court is an ocean where I can't miss. Most of the time I hit a few winners a match as I'm more looking to force my opponent into mistakes. More often than not points are won on errors and not winners. I prefer to construct a point and if I hit a winner that's awesome, but if I can force my opponent to hit the back fence or the net I'm equally as happy because I won the point. Some players require you to out-hit them, to use more pace and crack winners. Some you can get away with softer shots, slices, angles and so forth. I find it's best to mix all of that in. If someone can't generate pace then take pace off your shots. If their footwork is sloppy then hit it back at them. If they struggle with high balls then put more spin on your shots and make them uncomfortable. Tennis and sports in particular are about finding a way to beat your opponent. It's never about playing a specific way or doing this or that to make your opponent think you're playing 'the right way', it's about beating them.

I play with a certain group of players. Styles are all pretty similar so it comes down to the mental game more than anybody else. If it's windy I'll put more spin on my shots, especially to keep the ball in and sometimes that wind will help kick that ball up higher resulting in a tougher shot. If my opponent is smacking the ball hard I'll take pace off of it and use angles to move them around and make them generate their own pace while on the run. It may backfire sometimes, but most of the time it's an error for them as they overhit or they hit a weak ball that sets up my next shot. Some guys S&V and I love a target, so I'll use passing shots and lob them as well, especially if the sun is out. There are players better than me that force me out of my comfort zone and to expand my game, which is great. If it wasn't for those guys I wouldn't be where I'm at right now and I wouldn't be willing to do better. Take it in stride, there's opponents of all types and styles, enjoy playing them because they'll teach you a lot about how to play them and a lot about your game as well.
 

letplaytennis

Semi-Pro
Yup, completely agree with OP.

My regular hitting partner and I always draw a crowd when we play, afterwards are asked if we played college, and if our ranking is 5.0+. We laugh wen someone thinks we're about 4.5, but it's a nice compliment to get.

We joined a 4.0 league. His first match he won 6-1, 6-1. Every shot made was a lob, a slice, or flat forehand, with absolutely no backhand. More like a 3.0 than even a 3.5.

This is why it's so difficult to find good competition when you're 4.0+.
 

Ft.S

Semi-Pro
I feel so lucky and appreciate that in our area the 4.0 ranks are competitive with few pushers (players who just get the ball back waiting for opponents mistakes). We just finished the winter season, it was the most fun I had in league tennis for 3.5 yrs :p
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
OP are you talking about tournaments? Because yes, tournament level 4.0 play is about league level 3.5 play.

With that said, you are a 3.5 for a reason. And that reason is that you can’t win enough. By all means, play the style of tennis that is fun for you. But if you cannot keep the ball in play long enough or “hit winners” against these supposed weak moon ballers, then you are of no use to a 4.0 team, and you need to play 3.5 and enjoy your time anyway. If you really can hit winners against these weak moon ball players so often that you get bored, then you won’t have to play 4.0 very long anyway and you’ll be moving up to 4.5. You only need 3 matches to be bump eligible. So just go blow out a few 4.0 moon ballers 1 and 1 and move on up. However, if you can’t do this because you are not good enough, please stay in 3.5 league and quit wasting other players’ time. They don’t want to clear their schedule and drive across town to play a guy who keeps hitting the back fence.
 
4.0 in Dallas can be a mixed bag, there is the constant churn of the slow but consistent 3.5 getting bumped up to 4.0 and then there is the freshly home from college starting their career in town early twenties singles sandbaggers from division 2 or 3 college players or division 1 talents who didn't need or want the scholarship to college recruited to play 4.0. Then, there are the teams that consist of 4.5 players who just finished losing 2 seasons in a row, every match, at the 4.5 level, on purpose, to get bumped down to 4.0 and then win everything. So, in some areas 4.0 is this great ocean of variable levels of tennis.
 
Yep, but they aren't floating the ball over the net at 40 mph with 10 feet of net clearance.
But they might be floating it at 50mph with 8' of clearance. Then at the next level, 60mph at 6' of clearance. etc.

It sounds like you expected to cross the Rubicon where everything changes dramatically. it doesn't. But as you improve, you will face stiffer and stiffer competition. If 4.0 isn't good enough, enter a 4.5 tournament.
 
Thank you. as stated in a different thread, if *this* is what it takes to be rated a 4.0, then no thanks...i'll happily miss winners while crafting interesting points and remain 3.5...

The problem/challenge is, i'm coming to the realization that it *seems* like most league tennis matches I play (3.5 and 4.0, all courts singles/doubles), are at least half or greater of these types of players...so I'm finding myself being less interested in playing league matches, and more interested in playing people who will actually hit the ball with some pace and/or do interesting things, mix their shots, drive winners, drop/lob me, etc...I'll happily lose matches like this any time...

trading 40 mph floaters on *every* shot in order to 'win' is simply not interesting to me. I get bored within about 5 mins of this, and all I can think about is where the cold beer is...
When I see the phrase "actually hit the ball", what comes to mind immediately is the person writing it likes pace and has a problem dealing with pushers and no-pace.

As @nytennisaddict wrote, "pushers are the gatekeepers of 4.0". Maybe it's like the sound barrier: much wind resistance just before breaking it and the rush of quiet just after. Certainly the higher the level you play, the less of what you describe above will be occurring.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

I'm sure at the top of 4.0 (borderline 4.5 guys) there are some guys that hit lots of winners. Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
It has been said that pushers are the gatekeepers of 4.5 tennis :)
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
OP are you talking about tournaments? Because yes, tournament level 4.0 play is about league level 3.5 play.

With that said, you are a 3.5 for a reason. And that reason is that you can’t win enough. By all means, play the style of tennis that is fun for you. But if you cannot keep the ball in play long enough or “hit winners” against these supposed weak moon ballers, then you are of no use to a 4.0 team, and you need to play 3.5 and enjoy your time anyway. If you really can hit winners against these weak moon ball players so often that you get bored, then you won’t have to play 4.0 very long anyway and you’ll be moving up to 4.5. You only need 3 matches to be bump eligible. So just go blow out a few 4.0 moon ballers 1 and 1 and move on up. However, if you can’t do this because you are not good enough, please stay in 3.5 league and quit wasting other players’ time. They don’t want to clear their schedule and drive across town to play a guy who keeps hitting the back fence.
I'm talking about USTA sanctioned tournaments. In my experience around here the tournaments are as tough as the USTA leagues if not tougher. Leagues are joke until cities/sectionals, out of the 15 or so teams only 2-3 actually have more than 1-2 good players. After the first round or two of tournaments the competition is usually stiff.

I'm not a 3.5, wouldn't mind it though. I won 4 USTA tournaments (one major zone) in 2018 and my team made it to TX sectionals last year in 3.5 (lost in semis) and I got bumped to 4.0 with a 17-6 overall singles record (mixed 3.5 and 4.0 play). I lost my first round in the 4.0 tournament this past weekend (7-10 in 3rd set tiebreak) and won the next 3 rounds to win the 4.0 consolation. I'd say I'm an average 4.0 player (UTR 6).
 
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I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

I'm sure at the top of 4.0 (borderline 4.5 guys) there are some guys that hit lots of winners. Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
I think the reason why you might be seeing a lot of what you are thinking of as pushers at the 4.0 level is because the "pusher" wants to win and realizes she/he doesn't have to take a lot of risk to beat the error-prone opponent, so decides to push instead of hitting riskier shots. It makes sense, if you care about winning, why not hit the low-risk, high-reward shot, over the high-risk, high-reward shot? Now, there are some pure pushers in 4.0, but a lot of the time, 4.0 "pushers" are pushing, but they have a lot more shots in their arsenals that they are choosing not to use.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
I think the reason why you might be seeing a lot of what you are thinking of as pushers at the 4.0 level is because the "pusher" wants to win and realizes she/he doesn't have to take a lot of risk to beat the error-prone opponent, so decides to push instead of hitting riskier shots. It makes sense, if you care about winning, why not hit the low-risk, high-reward shot, over the high-risk, high-reward shot? Now, there are some pure pushers in 4.0, but a lot of the time, 4.0 "pushers" are pushing, but they have a lot more shots in their arsenals that they are choosing not to use.
I think you're spot on, when matches get tight people don't want to make unforced errors and default to keeping the ball in especially if they see it's working.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
Santiago Giraldo just hit a 58mph serve at the Houston tourney and won the point. His first serve is usually under 100mph.

His opponent can serve 130 but is losing.

Pushing wins at all levels
 

Raindogs

Hall of Fame
I make sure I hit the first 4 balls safely into the court and then start playing aggressively.

If my opponent is consistent enough to weather those first 4 shots then they are rewarded by seeing a magical transformation into my sweet power game.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
Not fun to play a pusher?? Some of my most enjoyable matches was running the pusher ragged from corner to corner and finishing the points with a relaxed stroke to the open court :D

If that's not fun, maybe you're in the wrong sport 8-B
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

I'm sure at the top of 4.0 (borderline 4.5 guys) there are some guys that hit lots of winners. Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
4.5 is when the guys hit out and 5.0

Yes 4.0 is like 3.5 but the players are more consistent and crafty
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Santiago Giraldo just hit a 58mph serve at the Houston tourney and won the point. His first serve is usually under 100mph.

His opponent can serve 130 but is losing.

Pushing wins at all levels
Santiago ain't no pusher. No one who monsters returns like that is a pusher.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
58?? Was it underhand?!
Nope. And it wasn't an anomaly either, in the bit I was watching he also hit 62 and 65 in perfect conditions.

Couple years ago in IW I saw Svitolina hit a 56mph second but that was during a mini tornado lol. Never thought I would see another pro serve that slow but a guy going 58 in good conditions is relatively a lot slower.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Nope. And it wasn't an anomaly either, in the bit I was watching he also hit 62 and 65 in perfect conditions.

Couple years ago in IW I saw Svitolina hit a 56mph second but that was during a mini tornado lol. Never thought I would see another pro serve that slow but a guy going 58 in good conditions is relatively a lot slower.
Interesting!

He actually is known for incredibly huge returns. Hits a lot of them well over 100mph. I think there's a video on youtube. Guess he thought Klahn wasn't worth hitting a big serve against.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

I'm sure at the top of 4.0 (borderline 4.5 guys) there are some guys that hit lots of winners. Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
Well, lots of 4.0 guys don't hit the ball huge. they get to 4.0 by being consistent and having some smarts about strategy. and You get to 4.5 by being consistent and having controlled Power. If you get to 4.5, you have to hit your spots with some good power.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I'm always amused when people play up because they think they'll do better at a higher level where people play "real" tennis. What they don't realize is that when many of those higher level opponents realize they like pace they'll give them a steady diet of paceless shots and junk. Of course, being a higher level, these opponents are even better at it than the "pushers" they were trying to escape.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I got bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 this year and played in a few tournaments since the beginning of the year. I was expecting 4.0 to be a lot different than 3.5. My observations about 3.5 are that there are 2 main types of players. The guy that tries to hit everything for a winner and misses 70% of them and the guy that dinks the ball 30 mph a mile over the net and can't hit 5 winners in a match.

To my surprise 4.0 is pretty much more of the same with just a little more pace and consistency. Lots of guys pushing the ball rarely hitting offensive shots. The pace is now more medium pace than a really slow moon ball but still completely defensive. I also played one guy that had really good fast top spin strokes on both sides. If you saw him just hitting you'd guess he was a 4.5 but during match play he couldn't handle a mix of shots including a slice to his backhand or a short ball where he sprayed his approach long. My last match this weekend I played a really good counter puncher. Once I figured out he couldn't generate his own pace/winners I started feeding him slow shots and he lost the match trying to hit winners himself when I provided no pace.

I'm sure at the top of 4.0 (borderline 4.5 guys) there are some guys that hit lots of winners. Curious for the majority (average players) what level you have to get to before people start playing tennis where winning is based more on winners/forced errors than waiting for unforced errors, is it 4.5, 5.0?
USTA 4.0 guys Stink and that is the Truth...............Feel it
 

dblsplayer

Rookie
Thank you. as stated in a different thread, if *this* is what it takes to be rated a 4.0, then no thanks...i'll happily miss winners while crafting interesting points and remain 3.5...

The problem/challenge is, i'm coming to the realization that it *seems* like most league tennis matches I play (3.5 and 4.0, all courts singles/doubles), are at least half or greater of these types of players...so I'm finding myself being less interested in playing league matches, and more interested in playing people who will actually hit the ball with some pace and/or do interesting things, mix their shots, drive winners, drop/lob me, etc...I'll happily lose matches like this any time...

trading 40 mph floaters on *every* shot in order to 'win' is simply not interesting to me. I get bored within about 5 mins of this, and all I can think about is where the cold beer is...
a pusher can also be described as, the guy who gets the ball back every time. Hit a better ball
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Hah, I just realized, there’s a catch 22 - you will keep facing pushers in competitive play as long as they bother you, and as soon as they stop bothering you, you’ll stop facing them!
Nah you'll just face them at a higher level. There is no freedom from pushers at any level. It's just that benchmark changes as you improve.
 
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