4.0 still full of pushers

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
4.0 players are just 3.5 players who figured out how not to give away points with errors.
Safe serve, no double faults, not trying to end the point after 2 balls with a baseline cannon
And there are a lot of 4.5 players who are simply 4.0 players who figured out how to beat the other 4.0 players.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I see so many WTA forehands at 3.5 and only ATP forehands at the 4.0 level. That’s really how you can tell the difference. Developing an ATP forehand is critical to advancing to 4.0. And if you have a swing weight under 350 you can forget about going toe to toe with the sandbagging big hitters at 3.9x.
 

1stVolley

Professional
I think it's time to realize that "pusher" includes several different types (and abilities) of players. For example, I play a "pusher" who has extremely accurate groundstrokes both laterally and short-to-long. Yes he generally wins points on your errors, only hitting a winner once in a while--and that winner is usually only a moderately fast shot that succeeds because you're out of position. On the other extreme is the moonballer who wins not with any accurate placement but just soft, high bouncing balls that just ask for overhitting. The only commonality I see is that the "pusher" is very consistent, never overhits and wins on your errant shots. And, I should add, that most pushers don't volley well or don't attempt to volley unless forced to. They don't need to because it's easier to win with other tactics.

The widespread success of pushing shows that it takes a very good NTRP rating to beat that style of playing because good tennis defense requires a higher level of offensive tennis to avoid making too many unforced errors.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
WTA is the big loop?
Yes, the loopy backswing. A WTA forehand will never cut it at 4.0. That’s why a lot of the 4.0 guys at my club could hit through the top level WTA players. For example, one of guys at my club is in his mid-30s and uses an ATP forehand, and he can hit through Svitolina. He has never been on the court with her, but he knows this because he is taller than she is and can bench more.
 

1stVolley

Professional
I see so many WTA forehands at 3.5 and only ATP forehands at the 4.0 level. That’s really how you can tell the difference. Developing an ATP forehand is critical to advancing to 4.0. And if you have a swing weight under 350 you can forget about going toe to toe with the sandbagging big hitters at 3.9x.
I'm not so sure about this ATP forehand claim. I know players with slice forehands and those who "arm" the ball that are solid 4.0. The difference between
Yes, the loopy backswing. A WTA forehand will never cut it at 4.0. That’s why a lot of the 4.0 guys at my club could hit through the top level WTA players. For example, one of guys at my club is in his mid-30s and uses an ATP forehand, and he can hit through Svitolina. He has never been on the court with her, but he knows this because he is taller than she is and can bench more.
I think Del Potro and Shapovolav have loopy (high) forehand backswings but I wouldn't say they are WTA forehands. Also, the difference between 3.5 and 4.0 isn't like night and day.
 

BlueB

Legend
Yes, the loopy backswing. A WTA forehand will never cut it at 4.0. That’s why a lot of the 4.0 guys at my club could hit through the top level WTA players. For example, one of guys at my club is in his mid-30s and uses an ATP forehand, and he can hit through Svitolina. He has never been on the court with her, but he knows this because he is taller than she is and can bench more.
That's some fine trolling, right there!

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

denoted

Rookie
Yes, the loopy backswing. A WTA forehand will never cut it at 4.0. That’s why a lot of the 4.0 guys at my club could hit through the top level WTA players. For example, one of guys at my club is in his mid-30s and uses an ATP forehand, and he can hit through Svitolina. He has never been on the court with her, but he knows this because he is taller than she is and can bench more.
If I may, it sounds like you have a pretty cool club.
 

zipplock

Professional
4.0 players are just 3.5 players who figured out how not to give away points with errors.
Safe serve, no double faults, not trying to end the point after 2 balls with a baseline cannon
My experience is that you just described a 4.5 vs a 4.0. Still tons of players at 4.0, me included, that have a lot of unforced errors and overhit. It's not that the 4.0 can't hit the shot, it's that the decision making and patience is not fully there.
 

E46luver

Professional
I mean it applies to all levels.
I rarely see a 4.5 with unsound "junk" strokes.
I do see that at 4.0, hence the genesis of this thread.
I see many 4.0 with a dink 2nd serve with zero double faults
A 3.5 will go for it and DF
 

zipplock

Professional
I mean it applies to all levels.
I rarely see a 4.5 with unsound "junk" strokes.
I do see that at 4.0, hence the genesis of this thread.
I see many 4.0 with a dink 2nd serve with zero double faults
A 3.5 will go for it and DF
I'd agree. That's why I think 4.0 is the real transitional level. I see way more variety in 4.0 than 3.5. At 4.5 that variety starts to go away.
 

E46luver

Professional
In my experience, the difference between 3.5 and 4.0 is shot selection & UE
Many 3.5 players have better strokes and bigger serves than 4.0
In my experience, the difference between 4.0 and 4.5 is strokes
 

Crazy Finn

Semi-Pro
Yes, the loopy backswing. A WTA forehand will never cut it at 4.0. That’s why a lot of the 4.0 guys at my club could hit through the top level WTA players. For example, one of guys at my club is in his mid-30s and uses an ATP forehand, and he can hit through Svitolina. He has never been on the court with her, but he knows this because he is taller than she is and can bench more.
Uh huh. That 4.0 would hit some winners, but make 30 unforced errors to Svitolina's 6 and lose 6-2, 6-2.
 

Johnr

Rookie
In my experience, the difference between 3.5 and 4.0 is shot selection & UE
Many 3.5 players have better strokes and bigger serves than 4.0
In my experience, the difference between 4.0 and 4.5 is strokes
One wonders where you play because this is absolutely absurd.
 

denoted

Rookie
Is Svitolina the one who dates Monfils? You can see video of them practicing together on youtube. Assuming your friend is a harder hitter than Monfils, which is likely, he probably was right.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
My experience is that you just described a 4.5 vs a 4.0. Still tons of players at 4.0, me included, that have a lot of unforced errors and overhit. It's not that the 4.0 can't hit the shot, it's that the decision making and patience is not fully there.
This is true at 4.5, 5.0, and all the way into the pro ranks. There will always be those, myself included, who litter up the stats sheet with UEs and winners, and would be a higher level player if better decisions were made and more patience was used. At the higher levels, there's probably less of a tendency to go for broke because of shot tolerance but there are still going to be lots of times when even a pro will go for something they have a much less than 50/50 chance of making. Someone like Dustin Brown comes to mind. When he's on, he's spectacular. When he's not zoned, everyone wonders why he tries what he does.
 

rrortiz5

Rookie
I see so many WTA forehands at 3.5 and only ATP forehands at the 4.0 level. That’s really how you can tell the difference. Developing an ATP forehand is critical to advancing to 4.0. And if you have a swing weight under 350 you can forget about going toe to toe with the sandbagging big hitters at 3.9x.
I wish it was that simple but I respectfully disagree. My league team advanced to summer sectionals in 2019 and faced a player who had an exaggerated “WTA” forehand, hard fast and flat cannons left and right. I lost to him 1,3 and he went on to win his other matches without dropping a set. He was bumped to 4.5 for 2020 season.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
You have to see yourself on video to see how bad your footwork really is. Hint: it's very, very bad. Much worse than you could possibly expect.
This is the ugly truth. How we feel like we play is so far from what we actually look like. It's something amateur players simply won't fully comprehend until we see the full extent of it on film.

Personally that recognition has helped me improve tremendously. Starting with footwork as you've said.
 
I was hitting with my local college ladies team several years ago. A pro doubles (WTA top 50-60 at the time) player was hitting with us, and undoubtedly going easy on us. I didn’t know who she was, but knew from her movement she was special. This was a direct on court comparison to an SEC team, not to mention how much worse I was.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Anyone who thinks 4.0s can hang with female pros just needs to go to a college match and really think about the footwork you see versus the footwork you use. I get tired just watching my local team’s warmups.
Exactly. Just take a look at this Tennis Warehouse video that has Mattak-Sands, and look at how she hits the ball compared to the playtesters.

 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Years ago I watched my 5.0 buddy win a 4.5 tournament playing “teaching pro” style. He had an injured wrist (and actually had to quit playing), so he just opened up his racquet face and “slice pushed” everything high, floaty and deep. Sometimes short and low. His opponents would either over hit and make an error or he’d get into net and put away the volley.

It was an eye opening experience. I understood the game a lot better after watching him.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Years ago I watched my 5.0 buddy win a 4.5 tournament playing “teaching pro” style. He had an injured wrist (and actually had to quit playing), so he just opened up his racquet face and “slice pushed” everything high, floaty and deep. Sometimes short and low. His opponents would either over hit and make an error or he’d get into net and put away the volley.

It was an eye opening experience. I understood the game a lot better after watching him.
Control > Power.

At least for 90% of rec players.
 

Bigfoot Fault

New User
This is the ugly truth. How we feel like we play is so far from what we actually look like. It's something amateur players simply won't fully comprehend until we see the full extent of it on film.

Personally that recognition has helped me improve tremendously. Starting with footwork as you've said.
This really is so true. What we think we're doing and what video will show us actually doing are two very different things.

Coincidentally, I filmed myself today wth my phone and inadvertently proved this for myself.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Exactly. Just take a look at this Tennis Warehouse video that has Mattak-Sands, and look at how she hits the ball compared to the playtesters.

I like her forehand. It is decidedly unlike the "modern" forehand in that her wrist generally maintains a constant angle through the forward swing to contact rather than incorporating a lag for more racquethead speed. This is the way I would teach a forehand, and I wish that I had learned to hit it this way from the beginning. Simple. Clean. Accurate.
 

ttbrowne

Hall of Fame
The 4.0 singles I've seen are exactly what you talked about but with one difference...the 4.0 players are more mobile. They can get to more balls and get them back. Hardly any offense. Mostly defense.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
The 4.0 singles I've seen are exactly what you talked about but with one difference...the 4.0 players are more mobile. They can get to more balls and get them back. Hardly any offense. Mostly defense.
I see both ways. Less mobile guys that used to be 4.5-5.0 before they lost their wheels and very mobile guys moving up from 3.5. The former will outhit you and the latter will outrun you.
 

Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
Years ago I watched my 5.0 buddy win a 4.5 tournament playing “teaching pro” style. He had an injured wrist (and actually had to quit playing), so he just opened up his racquet face and “slice pushed” everything high, floaty and deep. Sometimes short and low. His opponents would either over hit and make an error or he’d get into net and put away the volley.

It was an eye opening experience. I understood the game a lot better after watching him.
Wow!! But suppose someone looked at him doing that? Would they ever guess he was a 4.5? People, even raters, overestimate power.
 

Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
He is around UTR11 apparently, and got violated.

lol at 4.0 players taking a game off a WTA pro.

They would have a tough time getting to 30 in any game.

Some people here are really delusional.
True. But some maybe don't understand what it's like to play someone who's good? They should enter a tournaments. Eventually you get trounced by some nobody and you understand that you're not near an elite level of tennis.

Here's what it's like: they hit a deep, hard shot and you return it deep. This happens a few more times until you hit one sort of shot, and...goodbye. This happens point after point. Nothing amazing. Just very consistent deep shots with good pace and they never mess up putting away your short ball. It's really humbling.
 

Crazy Finn

Semi-Pro
You don’t understand. Some of the mid 30s 4.0 guys at my club can bench more than her. I think when you factor that in, they can definitely beat her.
Ability to Bench ≠ Ability to win. A 4.0 guy would be lucky to get to 30 in a game. It's not all about strength, it's about pace, control, constructing points.

A D1 woman would do just fine against ANY 4.0 dude, I've seen it in person. An ATP player, let alone a top one? Yeah.... sure....
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
True. But some maybe don't understand what it's like to play someone who's good? They should enter a tournaments. Eventually you get trounced by some nobody and you understand that you're not near an elite level of tennis.

Here's what it's like: they hit a deep, hard shot and you return it deep. This happens a few more times until you hit one sort of shot, and...goodbye. This happens point after point. Nothing amazing. Just very consistent deep shots with good pace and they never mess up putting away your short ball. It's really humbling.
This is the reality. My best shot can look as good as a lot of 4.5 players best shot. But I can't hit it with the consistency that they can. Shot tolerance is a key difference with better players, not how hard they hit or how big their serve is. They just always get the ball back deep until you screw up. So you can feel like you are in the match but you just aren't winning any games.
 
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