Battle in The ATL - MEP vs Travler Match Thread

Who ya got?

  • MEP in 2. Youth and fitness prevail. Travler goes down in heap of racquet switching frustration.

  • MEP in 3. Epic 3-hour pusher war ends with Travler choking the overhead on match point.

  • Travler in 3. Forehand slice dropper wears down MEP’s famous wheels.

  • Travler in 2. Travler turns back the clock and S&V’s his way to victory.

  • Everybody wins!


Results are only viewable after voting.

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I was working during the match, but dropped in the night before. Travlerajm was about to leave by the time I made it, but he was gracious enough to hit with me a few mins as did zipplock. It was just light warmup type hitting to let me get some exercise after driving up so far, but worth it to meet the guys and discuss rackets a bit with Travler.
You picked the right guy for racket discussion.

I have played with him twice. He appears to be a defensive player against GSG, but that is not the case when he was playing singles and doubles with us. It depends on the opponent's level - that sounds obvious, but it is very obvious in this case.
 

yossarian

Professional
So we are back to my original post and I didn't realize that you were agreeing with my comment on how the weighted/ heavier racket is more important to top players and not so much at the rec level where players don't face so many heavy hit ball.
Thanks
I guess. But I think people here get so caught up on the whole “heavier is better” bandwagon when the guy I knew played solid D1 tennis with a racquet little more than 11 ounces. I just wanted to point out how it’s not a hard rule
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I think the opposite. I think everyone can learn from watching @GSG . It’s not the fact that he slices that makes him good. He’s one of the smartest strategic competitors I’ve ever run into, of any level, including pros.
His strategy succeeds because of his fitness and control. But yes his drop shots and placement are things which club players can try to incorporate instead of playing a mindless reactive game, which most do.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
His claim to fame is Most Exasperating or Exhausting Player. Not Most Exciting Player. What were you expecting?

That’s the fun part though isn’t it? After tomes of technical advice and determining the perfect ratio of lessons before you play a match on this specific subforum , someone like MEP picks a stock racquet off DSG and proceeds to beat another solid 4.5 playing the same style.

Then we are back to discussing how much of the dog we should pat or the exact angle of the elbow before serving to improve our games and freeze framing our shots next to those of the big 3, while these two are laughing and beating the next beautiful strokes sucker at their levels.
Plenty of fallacies in your post. The guys you think have elegant strokes don't have them at all, when viewed biomechanically and compared with the pros.

And if the elegant strokes guys and these guys are at the same level, what exactly does it prove? You need an elegant stroke guy at a higher level losing to them to make a point.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Observations:

GSG is a tall guy. It is masked by a slight crouch.
GSG's forehand drives are similar to John McEnroe's.
GSG has excellent footwork and recovery.
It looks like GSG uses Conti grip for both forehand and backhand. Always clutching the racquet with just the dominant hand. Never has to get in a ready position with both hands because there is never a need for off hand to change grip... And he has a pendulum take back. Very similar to Mac.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
A player doesn't need to be a pro to know what "feels" right when they are playing. I have always felt the point of customizing racquets is that I don't have to think about them anymore, they "feel" right. It's kind of like taking an excuse off the table.
"Feels right" can be a matter of feel, obtained through feedback from the flex of the racket. That is not the same as the pro concept of feels right, which means performance which maximizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses, and which makes sense only when the technique has been mastered to a great extent.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
It looks like GSG uses Conti grip for both forehand and backhand. And a pendulum take back. Very similar to Mac.
Yes the similarities to Mac just jumped off the screen. His takeback on deep sideways balls and the way he guides them is very Mac.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
why is it so? My theory is that the court appears a lot smaller(1/4th) and the time remains the same. So the ball appears to take forever to cover the 60-70 ft distance...so the eye thinks the ball is traveling and players are moving at 1/4 the speed.
Yeah the same reason why you don't realize how fast the stars are moving when you look up at the sky. Distance has this effect.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
More observations:

GSG comes to the net often behind the ball - not really the definition of pusher.
His face has a certain resemblance to Ivo Karlovic.

 

AnyPUG

Professional
Yeah the same reason why you don't realize how fast the stars are moving when you look up at the sky. Distance has this effect.
Sure, distance has this effect. But, in this case (match on tv vs in person), the camera is closer to the action than the spectators. By distance theory, the video should appear to show more speed and not less.
 

AnyPUG

Professional
I have a tendency to take full cuts at slow balls... so if I played @GSG, I would lose unless you counted my score in home runs...

But kudos to @travlerajm and @GSG for being such good sports! Really enjoyed the build up and execution.
Don't know about the slowness, but it's difficult to take a full cut when the ball is somewhere between the knee and the ankle height and you are running to get to it.
 
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Deleted member 780836

Guest
That particular one was right off the rack from Dick's Sporting Goods of all places.
So you're telling us you didn't bring 6 freshly strung rackets in a matching tennis bag, 2 extra pairs of shoes in case you slide too much and wear them out, and you didn't keep electrolytes, bananas and other items that the pros use during changeovers? Hmmm, interesting.
 

GSG

Rookie
So you're telling us you didn't bring 6 freshly strung rackets in a matching tennis bag, 2 extra pairs of shoes in case you slide too much and wear them out, and you didn't keep electrolytes, bananas and other items that the pros use during changeovers? Hmmm, interesting.
Not only that, it's exceptionally rare that I ever sit down during matches, and 90% of the time I don't eat or drink anything while playing, either.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Plenty of fallacies in your post. The guys you think have elegant strokes don't have them at all, when viewed biomechanically and compared with the pros.

And if the elegant strokes guys and these guys are at the same level, what exactly does it prove? You need an elegant stroke guy at a higher level losing to them to make a point.
i think the point flew right over your head. If you read my post in totality it’s obvious that the “beautiful strokes” reference was being sarcastic.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Not that Matt’s ego needs any more feeding; but he’s a real player. GSG wouldn’t stand a chance.
To my knowledge, I am the only person in the world that has played both GSG and Matt, so I am the only person fully qualified to comment.

This may surprise some people, but GSG played at a higher level yesterday than the level Matt played at against me in the 2019 video he posted in this thread (by higher level, I mean higher ability to win more points). That said, I’ve played against Matt on 4 different days, and Matt on his better days can beat GSG. I would like to see that match.
 

Keizer

Hall of Fame
Just watched — looked like a fun, tactical match. Glad that you guys could make it happen and that other TW members could watch in person. Travler also looks much younger than I expected from reading his posts; didn’t know gorilla tape was also the elixir of youth.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
It looked like the tennis equivalent of young lovers playing the “no you hang up first” game.

Like “here, you end the point”

“No, you end the point”

“Thats ok, you end the point”

“You flew all this way, you end the point”

Etc
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
To my knowledge, I am the only person in the world that has played both GSG and Matt, so I am the only person fully qualified to comment.

This may surprise some people, but GSG played at a higher level yesterday than the level Matt played at against me in the 2019 video he posted in this thread (by higher level, I mean higher ability to win more points). That said, I’ve played against Matt on 4 different days, and Matt on his better days can beat GSG. I would like to see that match.
Actually I think Matt drove up from LA to SF in the early morning the day of that match so yeah, after a 5.5 hour drive, he probably wasn’t playing at his best.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
It's rec tennis. I rarely ever see two guys play rec tennis and both move smoothly and hit clean. Also I have hit with guys who have crap strokes but they win matches because they understand it's a game of %s and they place the ball well and don't miss that much.
Do you watch the other matches on the tennis troll channel? This is simply not true. 4.5s and 5.0s have very good looking games - that's more the rule then the exception.

These guys are very good players - way better then anyone I am even play with (not counting coaches and such).. But its absolutely ugly tennis compared to other guys around 4.5. I'd wager that naive observers would think that these two are beginners or poor tennis players.


But most of the time 4.5 players IRL look like they are extremely good at tennis. In fact for people who have not seen high level tennis up close - a 4.5/5.0 with a clean game will actually look like how they imagine a pro does when viewed IRL

I am not saying those guys I linked are much better then these 4.5s. What I am saying is that to a naive observer they appear to play much much better tennis.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Actually I think Matt drove up from LA to SF in the early morning the day of that match so yeah, after a 5.5 hour drive, he probably wasn’t playing at his best.
Matt is going to beat him down 6-0, 6-0 after that kinda talk. LMAO. Don't be giving people pity points. haha.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I think I like trav’s description of his matches in South America more than watching one of his videos. The hyperbole and the detailed description of the racquet customization along with the many excuses are at least entertaining.

Watching a video of any rec player with unconventional technique especially if they are junkballers is tough for me to watch for more than a few minutes as it just looks aesthetically ugly with no redeeming entertainment value. Heck, I don’t even like watching matches of pros with ugly technique like Medvedev or Gulbis and I can typically only watch their matches if I am interested in watching their opponent beat up on them.

I guess a lot of fans of these MEP videos want to believe that they also can follow in GSG’s footsteps and become a 4.5 player with totally unconventional technique. There are not too many advanced players who look like GSG because it is very difficult to follow his example - meanwhile just about every other 4.5+ player has conventional textbook technique and it is a lot easier path to take, but it needs guidance from a coach and a lot of practice. Success in real life usually needs a lot more perspiration and hard work rather than inspiration.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
I guess a lot of fans of these MEP videos want to believe that they also can follow in GSG’s footsteps and become a 4.5 player with totally unconventional technique. There are not too many advanced players who look like GSG because it is very difficult to follow his example -
The GSG serve is really really tough to watch.

But a 40 year old stuck at 3.5 for many years might have a better chance of breaking into 4.0 by practicing that type of high percentage, unattackable serve versus practicing a conventional serve that gives away more free points.

Of course no Coach in the universe will ever teach that effective GSG serve.
 

Curious

Legend
It's rec tennis. I rarely ever see two guys play rec tennis and both move smoothly and hit clean. Also I have hit with guys who have crap strokes but they win matches because they understand it's a game of %s and they place the ball well and don't miss that much.
GSG may always win but he will never feel this pleasure! :p


 
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Deleted member 780836

Guest
GSG may always win but he will never feel this pleasure! :p


I enjoy your videos that you post here curious. What ntrp or utr level do you play at? Your serves and groundstrokes look great. Always great to see people who work hard on their technique.

Edit: If you are ever in Atlanta, we would love to see you vs GSG.
 

Curious

Legend
I enjoy your videos that you post here curious. What ntrp or utr level do you play at? Your serves and groundstrokes look great. Always great to see people who work hard on their technique.
Sorry about the illusion!:D
Probably 3.5
I’m in Australia. No NTRP here and I have no tournament experience to have UTR.
 

yossarian

Professional
I enjoy your videos that you post here curious. What ntrp or utr level do you play at? Your serves and groundstrokes look great. Always great to see people who work hard on their technique.

Edit: If you are ever in Atlanta, we would love to see you vs GSG.
Who cares. He has fun playing and that’s all that matters

the fixation on this forum here with winning and being better than others on the internet in general is hilarious. These are grown men playing a sport as a hobby
 

Dragy

Legend
I guess a lot of fans of these MEP videos want to believe that they also can follow in GSG’s footsteps and become a 4.5 player with totally unconventional technique. There are not too many advanced players who look like GSG because it is very difficult to follow his example - meanwhile just about every other 4.5+ player has conventional textbook technique and it is a lot easier path to take, but it needs guidance from a coach and a lot of practice. Success in real life usually needs a lot more perspiration and hard work rather than inspiration.
I doubt any 3.5 hacker believes he can get to 4.5 like GSG. But the guy gives them enough excuse to not consider working on techniques, as well as fuels their forum posting poking on those trying.
 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Who cares. He has fun playing and that’s all that matters

the fixation on this forum here with winning and being better than others on the internet in general is hilarious. These are grown men playing a sport as a hobby
"grown men"? ... take that back. You have just insulted us. 8-B

If our behavior here is classified as "grown men" ... we will go more childish ... and that might just break the internet.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
So, @trav

I doubt any 3.5 hacker believes he can get to 4.5 like GSG. But the guy gives them enough excuse to not consider working on techniques, as well as fuels their forum posting poking on those trying.
I thought we were all poking fun at each other no matter the reason ... oops ... oh crap. 8-B
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I think I like trav’s description of his matches in South America more than watching one of his videos. The hyperbole and the detailed description of the racquet customization along with the many excuses are at least entertaining.

Watching a video of any rec player with unconventional technique especially if they are junkballers is tough for me to watch for more than a few minutes as it just looks aesthetically ugly with no redeeming entertainment value. Heck, I don’t even like watching matches of pros with ugly technique like Medvedev or Gulbis and I can typically only watch their matches if I am interested in watching their opponent beat up on them.

I guess a lot of fans of these MEP videos want to believe that they also can follow in GSG’s footsteps and become a 4.5 player with totally unconventional technique. There are not too many advanced players who look like GSG because it is very difficult to follow his example - meanwhile just about every other 4.5+ player has conventional textbook technique and it is a lot easier path to take, but it needs guidance from a coach and a lot of practice. Success in real life usually needs a lot more perspiration and hard work rather than inspiration.
If you can find an example of hyperbole, I’ll be interested to know. Everything I post is 100% strange but true.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
To my knowledge, I am the only person in the world that has played both GSG and Matt, so I am the only person fully qualified to comment.

This may surprise some people, but GSG played at a higher level yesterday than the level Matt played at against me in the 2019 video he posted in this thread (by higher level, I mean higher ability to win more points). That said, I’ve played against Matt on 4 different days, and Matt on his better days can beat GSG. I would like to see that match.
You are the most qualified based on that, and I observed a few things that I feel tend to support GSG in this matchup. Against Max, you tended to "feed the animal" so to speak, and give him quite a few balls that didn't challenge his movement and were high in his strike zone. Max seems to handle the chest high ball exceptionally well. Now I only watched about half of that one match of Max, but he didn't seem near as strong in the other areas of his game. WHile his serve was pretty energetic, I don't see it giving GSG too much problem and instead of getting something chest high past the svc line that Max seems to favor, I expect GSG would give him a steady diet of soft low skidding slices on a diagonal path, that don't work into the better part of what I saw Max do in your vid. Bringing him in on a diagonal would tend to play into GSG's strengths of slicing away, passing deeper CC, as well as lobbing just over his reach.

GSG's serve is likely deceptively quick, but more important, it stays sort of low and short. This greatly limits the power for doing damage or the rtn putaway and will challenge your patience. I think top players would generate moderate good power and challenge him at his feet or cross court, looking to finish on the 2nd look they get. They could also hit some good drop shots that would be tough even though GSG is often following is serve. For most players, this is a tall order to execute well against GSG's short low slice serve as he moves in.

Not picking a winner, but think GSG's game creates far more demanding court positions than people realize and positions that most have not used all that often. Max does play a lot of doubles I think and that would be a big plus here. I'm sure I missed it, but I didn't see any comments on GSG's near total lack of UEs....which is a major issue against any rec player.
 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
You are the most qualified based on that, and I observed a few things that I feel tend to support GSG in this matchup. Against Max, you tended to "feed the animal" so to speak, and give him quite a few balls that didn't challenge his movement and were high in his strike zone. Max seems to handle the chest high ball exceptionally well. Now I only watched about half of that one match of Max, but he didn't seem near as strong in the other areas of his game. WHile his serve was pretty energetic, I don't see it giving GSG too much problem and instead of getting something chest high past the svc line that Max seems to favor, I expect GSG would give him a steady diet of soft low skidding slices on a diagonal path, that don't work into the better part of what I saw Max do in your vid. Bringing him in on a diagonal would tend to play into GSG's strengths of slicing away, passing deeper CC, as well as lobbing just over his reach.

GSG's serve is likely deceptively quick, but more important, it stays sort of low and short. This greatly limits the power for doing damage or the rtn putaway and will challenge your patience. I think top players would generate moderate good power and challenge him at his feet or cross court, looking to finish on the 2nd look they get. They could also hit some good drop shots that would be tough even though GSG is often following is serve. For most players, this is a tall order to execute well against GSG's short low slice serve as he moves in.

Not picking a winner, but think GSG's game creates far more demanding court positions than people realize and positions that most have not used all that often. Max does play a lot of doubles I think and that would be a big plus here. I'm sure I missed it, but I didn't see any comments on GSG's near total lack of UEs....which is a major issue against any rec player.
@navigator 's (and Trav's) problem (Nav's own comment) was Max's first strike tennis. I think it would all come down to if Max can still play his first strike game "good enough" against what MEP is sending over the net. There is a thresold of player where MEP's unconventional low UE game quits working ... but that threshold is called "really good offense" or "really good grinder".

Just guessing ... MEP can't force Max to move more than Nav ... but good chance MEP 's more unconventional ball keeps it low in strike zone. Those 1st strike players figure it out ... MEP probably would enjoy their 1st match more than the 2nd.

@MaxTennis ... how did I do?
 
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ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Again, thanks to everyone that made this happen. Watched quite a bit more than usual out of respect for Ben and Andrew, but as much as I absolutely hate playing these style quality players, I can only watch so much before I want to reach into the screen and add pace! Of course, if it was actually me adding pace, I would most likely add pace and hit the back fence or put it soundly in the net, and that is part of the lesson for me watching dogmatic consistent calm controlled shots like this. Just played a playoff match against a doubles team with two player with this style, but way less inconsistent, and that was frustrating and tough enough.

Will watch more though. Need to find the takeaways I might blend in. Cheers all.

Flip off winning ugly with losing pretty.
My mantra. lol.
 

MaxTennis

Professional
You are the most qualified based on that, and I observed a few things that I feel tend to support GSG in this matchup. Against Max, you tended to "feed the animal" so to speak, and give him quite a few balls that didn't challenge his movement and were high in his strike zone. Max seems to handle the chest high ball exceptionally well. Now I only watched about half of that one match of Max, but he didn't seem near as strong in the other areas of his game. WHile his serve was pretty energetic, I don't see it giving GSG too much problem and instead of getting something chest high past the svc line that Max seems to favor, I expect GSG would give him a steady diet of soft low skidding slices on a diagonal path, that don't work into the better part of what I saw Max do in your vid. Bringing him in on a diagonal would tend to play into GSG's strengths of slicing away, passing deeper CC, as well as lobbing just over his reach.

GSG's serve is likely deceptively quick, but more important, it stays sort of low and short. This greatly limits the power for doing damage or the rtn putaway and will challenge your patience. I think top players would generate moderate good power and challenge him at his feet or cross court, looking to finish on the 2nd look they get. They could also hit some good drop shots that would be tough even though GSG is often following is serve. For most players, this is a tall order to execute well against GSG's short low slice serve as he moves in.

Not picking a winner, but think GSG's game creates far more demanding court positions than people realize and positions that most have not used all that often. Max does play a lot of doubles I think and that would be a big plus here. I'm sure I missed it, but I didn't see any comments on GSG's near total lack of UEs....which is a major issue against any rec player.
Honestly I just played like crap that day lol
 

MaxTennis

Professional
@navigator 's (and Trav's) problem (Nav's own comment) was Max's first strike tennis. I think it would all come down to if Max can still play his first strike game "good enough" against what MEP is sending over the net. There is a thresold of player where MEP's unconventional low UE game quits working ... but that threshold is called "really good offense" or "really good grinder".

Just guessing ... MEP can't force Max to move more than Nav ... but good chance MEP 's more unconventional ball keeps it low in strike zone. Those 1st strike players figure it out ... MEP probably would enjoy their 1st match more than the 2nd.

@MaxTennis ... how did I do?
Yeah this sounds about right.
 
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