70 percent of all rallies last 1 shot (all levels). Strategy implications?

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
There's a huge psychological advantage having a good serve:
- Your opponent will feel "demoralized" when they're struggling returning your serve (sometimes hopeless) => they get tighter on groundstrokes => their level can easily drop from 4.5 to 4.0
Conversely, having a great neutralizing return can be a demoralizing tool against a big server who is used to getting lots of free points from unreturnable serves.

Now, with the service return safely back in play, they have to win their service point starting from the baseline.

This is my strategy against a big server - minimize free points and make them beat me with something else besides their serve. Basically just blocking/chipping back the return, aiming for somewhere halfway between the service line and baseline, and preferably to their BH side. Otherwise, IME, it's very difficult to break a big server if you're giving them a couple of free points per service game...
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
oh definitely agree.

there have been soooo many times in the past where I should have been practicing {serve, wall, sprints, etc,...} and instead will join a 3.0-3.5 doubles group “for fun”.

in winter, if really fiending to hit,... and can’t find anyone (eg friday night!) have even paid for an indoor meetup or something where I know it’s likely 3.0-3.5.

but now i’m more disciplined and stick with whatever goal I set for myself,... but from time to time still succcumb to social tennis.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Once you hit 4.5 as a rec player what goals are there? If you reach 5.0 how many 5.0s are there to hit with(for free)?
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Once you hit 4.5 as a rec player what goals are there? If you reach 5.0 how many 5.0s are there to hit with(for free)?
same as they were in the 3.5's, and 4.0's... beat everyone in the 4.5's...
when making the jumps from 3.0->3.5; 3.5->4.0,... etc...
it seemed like there was "one thing" that i needed to focus on to make the leap..
but the road to 5.0, i need to focus on multiple things (weapons, midcourt/net shots, fitness, mental/focus, etc...)

not sure if i'll ever make 5.0, but even if i get dropped to 4.0, or stay at 4.5, there is always something to improve even if not reflected in an ntrp level change...

(around me in ny, there are plenty of folks at the 5.0 level to hit with... my problem, is i'm not good enough to hit with most of them.... i have a few i do, but i'm like 3rd or 4th or 6th on their autodial... so when they get desperate they call me because they know they can at least work on stuff even if i have no chance of winning a "real" set).
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
same as they were in the 3.5's, and 4.0's... beat everyone in the 4.5's...
when making the jumps from 3.0->3.5; 3.5->4.0,... etc...
it seemed like there was "one thing" that i needed to focus on to make the leap..
but the road to 5.0, i need to focus on multiple things (weapons, midcourt/net shots, fitness, mental/focus, etc...)

not sure if i'll ever make 5.0, but even if i get dropped to 4.0, or stay at 4.5, there is always something to improve even if not reflected in an ntrp level change...

(around me in ny, there are plenty of folks at the 5.0 level to hit with... my problem, is i'm not good enough to hit with most of them.... i have a few i do, but i'm like 3rd or 4th or 6th on their autodial... so when they get desperate they call me because they know they can at least work on stuff even if i have no chance of winning a "real" set).
Will you go for a gold ball in senior tennis when the time comes?
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Will you go for a gold ball in senior tennis when the time comes?
not too familiar with that...
but i imagine i'll have a similar philsophy that i do now... will want to compete as long as i'm healthy/able, and likely not willing to travel too far to do it...
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
There's a huge psychological advantage having a good serve:
- Your opponent will feel "demoralized" when they're struggling returning your serve (sometimes hopeless) => they get tighter on groundstrokes => their level can easily drop from 4.5 to 4.0
- Having a good serve will allow you to feel more confident and dominant => you're more relaxed on your groundstrokes => your level can easily go from 3.5 to 4.0

Of course this doesn't apply to high-level players (D1+).
Ummmm, no. The better you play the better your opponent will play, if you want to lower a 4.5's level you are better off with a 3.5 lady pancake backspin fence painting serve.

J
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
not too familiar with that...
but i imagine i'll have a similar philsophy that i do now... will want to compete as long as i'm healthy/able, and likely not willing to travel too far to do it...
It's like winning a slam. I was told by a gold ball winner you have to win 7 matches. They hold events all over.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
according to this chart: https://www.usta.com/en/home/about-usta/usta-awards/national/national-gold-slam-champions.html
the Men's 45 (who is now 55 presuming he was 45 back then)... is *still* a utr11
so, i'm guessing i won't be good enough to compete.
You are good enough to compete.

You might not be good enough to win the tournament, but you certainly belong in it.

Look up our 4th from the NTC doubles who wasn't VS Babolat. He plays all those tournaments.

J
 
Without getting caught up in the month, the op is basically correct. Even pro average rally is low. Off clay, average rally is probably between 3 and 5 shots. And, most rec players like to practice rally shots. But, the most important shot in tennis is the serve, 2nd most important is the ROServe, and we can debate the 3rd most important. I personally think the FH is the 3rd most important because that's the most aggressive shot for most pros and rec players. If you play serve and volley, your 3rd most important shot is probably your volley. It makes a lot of sense to work on your serve and return a lot. Then maybe your FH. I also think that for 4.5 level and below, players should work a lot on going attacking the net. I don't think 4.5 level and below players are as good as pros on hitting passing shots or offensive lobs. If you are roughly equal in skill to an opponent, I think hitting an aggressive approach shot and moving in to net puts you statistically in command of the point. Yea, you'll get passed some and lobbed some but you'll win a high percentage.
 
The serve can be great, but do we get more points if we ace by hitting 120 miles an hour vs 80 miles an hour? 80-90 mph is all that's needed to ace or get return error at 4 or 4.5 level if you get the placement right.
A better ground game can make you win more in case you miss your 1st serve or when you get tired deep in the second set or 3rd.
I agree, an 85 mph serve with good spin and placement can be a weapon at 4.5 level and below. I've stood courtside and watched pros hit 85 mph serves and they are still going faster and moving more than average 4.5 level 1st serve in general. I concede you will occasionally see a really good server at 4.5 level that can consistently hit bigger than 85 mph but all in all, an 85 mph serve that you can place is a great goal for rec players.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
Conversely, having a great neutralizing return can be a demoralizing tool against a big server who is used to getting lots of free points from unreturnable serves.

Now, with the service return safely back in play, they have to win their service point starting from the baseline.

This is my strategy against a big server - minimize free points and make them beat me with something else besides their serve. Basically just blocking/chipping back the return, aiming for somewhere halfway between the service line and baseline, and preferably to their BH side. Otherwise, IME, it's very difficult to break a big server if you're giving them a couple of free points per service game...
Agreed 100%.
It's easier to beat really big servers than players with consistent ground shots. The returner can 'determine' the pace of the incoming serves to certain extent - just adjust the return position.

How do top 3 servers with below average GS compare against top 3 baseline players without a big serve?
Ivo, Isner and Anderson have 18-42 record against Murray, Wawrinka and Nishikori - the top players known for consistent ground shots.
(excluded 3 ATGs, and excluded Cilic and Delpo because both of them have relatively big serves)
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
I agree, an 85 mph serve with good spin and placement can be a weapon at 4.5 level and below. I've stood courtside and watched pros hit 85 mph serves and they are still going faster and moving more than average 4.5 level 1st serve in general. I concede you will occasionally see a really good server at 4.5 level that can consistently hit bigger than 85 mph but all in all, an 85 mph serve that you can place is a great goal for rec players.
Can rec players really afford the cost of owning a 110+ mph serve? I'm sure a lot more conditioning and strengthening that cost time and money is needed.
I serve in 70-80 range with self taught physical conditioning routine, and one thing that keeps coming to my mind is whether I can rally afford to own a bigger serve - and I don't think I can.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I agree, an 85 mph serve with good spin and placement can be a weapon at 4.5 level and below. I've stood courtside and watched pros hit 85 mph serves and they are still going faster and moving more than average 4.5 level 1st serve in general. I concede you will occasionally see a really good server at 4.5 level that can consistently hit bigger than 85 mph but all in all, an 85 mph serve that you can place is a great goal for rec players.
gosh i hope so, cuz i can't serve big :p
according to sony sensor:
* flat: 95ish
* topslice: 85ish
* heavy slice: 75ish
* kicker: 55ish
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
It's easier to beat really big servers than players with consistent ground shots.
Sometimes you run into someone with both - then it's a tough road :)

I occasionally hit with a middle-age ex-D1 guy who has a big serve and big FH.

He takes my chip return of serve and most of the time dictates the point with his FH.

That forces me to be more aggressive on the return (either better placement of the slice return to the far BH corner, or mix in more deep topspin returns to keep him on his toes), which results in more errors on my part. Tough to find the right balance!
 
according to this chart: https://www.usta.com/en/home/about-usta/usta-awards/national/national-gold-slam-champions.html
the Men's 45 (who is now 55 presuming he was 45 back then)... is *still* a utr11
so, i'm guessing i won't be good enough to compete.
The very best players in the O50s are right around utr12 - Motevassel and Filippeschi, for example. But the *average* player in a national tournament draw in the 50s is probably around utr9, maybe 8.5. Just for perspective.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
Sometimes you run into someone with both - then it's a tough road :)
I occasionally hit with a middle-age ex-D1 guy who has a big serve and big FH.
someone with both is a different territory - that's the territory we want to be in. but, the point I was making earlier was that if someone has only one big ticket item, big serve is easier(comparatively speaking in general) to deal with than a big fh.
 
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