Could you beat either one of these 70 yr olds? (Full match highlights)

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Want to see what the national #1 and #2 ranked 75 year olds look like? Check this out. Jimmy Parker, in the red, had more gold balls than anyone else I know of. Moves like a kid and has a killer drop shot.
I agree with the later posters that guys like Brent Abel, and a lot of the top seniors, would beat most of the 4.5 players out there. I'm a senior whose played these top guys and I can tell you this - for some reason, you never quite get set enough to execute that great game plan you had to pick on their one-handed slice backhand, or their supposed lack of mobility. They dictate the action more than you can imagine.
Why did you take a set off Brent and not the younger 4.5 player(Justin)?
Does it come down to pure foot speed?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Not completely. Someday I'll be the best player in my age group because I'll be the only one still alive.
One thing about getting older. You see your peers with very challenging medical problems and there can be a lot of pain, disability and suffering in the last couple of years or just going through treatment to get better. You never know how long you have. Some insect could bite you and change your life forever. You might get some kind of contamination in a restaurant and your life could change forever. Or you could be in a motor vehicle accident.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
One thing about getting older. You see your peers with very challenging medical problems and there can be a lot of pain, disability and suffering in the last couple of years or just going through treatment to get better. You never know how long you have. Some insect could bite you and change your life forever. You might get some kind of contamination in a restaurant and your life could change forever. Or you could be in a motor vehicle accident.
Yes everyday is a blessing. The saying here today and gone tomorrow is very true.
 

NLBwell

Legend
I was diagnosed with a grave illness a year ago and went through a bunch of stuff including surgery in the fall. I have an attached medical device and an implant and there are a lot of things that I haven't been able to do since then, including tennis. I can run though and I can do some of the strength machines. I have to be very careful with free weights and various other exercises.

But how about this: best 3 out of five sets in Florida in July outdoors?

The hardware is coming out in a few weeks and I suspect that it will take a few months to get my core in shape to start hitting tennis balls. I suspect that it will take about six months to get back to where I was before.
Oh, 3 out of 5 sets in Florida in July outdoors sounds so great. I'm so tired of being cold most of the year up here in the frozen north (though it is pretty nice these 3 months of the year).
I'm just starting back to tennis after almost a year and a half of having the dreaded mono-like disease. Not sure I'll be ready to play a real match anytime soon, but just the thought of getting a real sweat going playing tennis sounds so good right now.
I'm glad you have gotten through your illness, which seems a lot more serious than I went through. I hope you can get back to playing tennis soon. You seem very dedicated to staying in shape despite the problems.
Hope to see you on the tennis courts soon. Aren't you somewhere near New Hampshire or was that another poster?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Oh, 3 out of 5 sets in Florida in July outdoors sounds so great. I'm so tired of being cold most of the year up here in the frozen north (though it is pretty nice these 3 months of the year).
I'm just starting back to tennis after almost a year and a half of having the dreaded mono-like disease. Not sure I'll be ready to play a real match anytime soon, but just the thought of getting a real sweat going playing tennis sounds so good right now.
I'm glad you have gotten through your illness, which seems a lot more serious than I went through. I hope you can get back to playing tennis soon. You seem very dedicated to staying in shape despite the problems.
Hope to see you on the tennis courts soon. Aren't you somewhere near New Hampshire or was that another poster?
No, that's me. I'm in a bit of trepidation over upcoming surgery and the recovery from it and worry about it coming back (one of the marker blood tests showed a level above normal - which isn't conclusive but being above normal is some cause for concern though a scan didn't turn up anything). I'll post a video of my first hit.
 

NLBwell

Legend
Good luck with the surgery and I hope you recover quickly. I'm sure the running you did will help you recover more quickly.
 

webtennis

New User
Guys! I just saw this thread for the first time. Yeah, I know, it's a ***** getting old ;-)

Anyway, look, we all know the NTRP rating system is woefully inaccurate. There are definitely some 4.0 guys who could push me, and definitely some 5.0 guys I could push. But generalizing whether we would beat or would lose to so and so using the NTRP system is going to be a discussion in futility.

A few thoughts in response to many of the posts I've just read ...

No question that it's really hard to know for sure how'd you do against me or Al based on this video. Every time I watch myself on video I always think "dang, everything looks so casual". It's not. It's intense. When was the last time you saw yourself on video? It can be somewhat deceiving.

The big difference for the younger guys playing the older guys is starting the point.

Your serve. If you can consistently 1st serve BIG against me, then you're going to get lots of short returns and do some damage. If you're missing that 1st serve and either double faulting too often or putting in a weakish 2nd serve, then yeah, it'll be harder to hold serve.

And when I'm serving, if you can consistently bring a ton of heavy top to your returns, then again, I'm going to have a tough time holding my serve.

The sheer power factor that young guys can bring is the BIG difference between us. At 70, the power factor is pretty much gone. But if a younger guy isn't consistent enough when bringing in power, then it can get tricky for a young gun.

So, you have to be really honest about your consistency when you start the point ... either serving or returning.

If you're not consistent, meaning you can't always control your power, then dial back the power a hair and get consistent. That'll build confidence b/c you'll quickly discover that your perception of the amount of power you need is a little out of whack. You'll be surprised at how a little less power gets the job done better b/c you're so consistent.

The other test on your consistency is when you play a national tournament. Things get a little different out there ;-) At least for awhile until you settle down ...

Why so much slice on the backhand? Bottom line is it's easier to control placement.

I could play a topper all day if I chose to, but my placement consistency would take a hit, and at this age I wouldn't generate enough power to do all that much damage anyway. For sure, if you approach to my backhand, and depending on where you are as I make contact, a topspin drive in certain situations is the right choice. But not always.

If I step up early to make contact with your approach shot, meaning I'm taking a little time away from you getting in, I've then created a bigger target for me to hit into. If I can slice a backhand in there to that bigger target, why not?

Fitness. It doesn't matter what your skill level is or how young/old you are. All things being equal with opponents' skill levels, the fitter player wins.

If stroke technique is important to you, then if you can't move your butt over there after 45 minutes so that you can set up to use that good stroke technique, then yeah, you're eventually going to have to improvise stroke technique.

An stroke improv ain't very funny ;-)

I like to do sprints where I visually lock on an object out in the landscape that I'm sprinting towards. Think about it ...

Golfers have a stationary ball and they don't have to move. Baseball hitters have a moving ball, but they know where home plate is so they don't have to move. But as tennis players ... the ball is moving AND we have to move to get a million different home plates.

So trying to maintain visual contact with a moving tennis ball --- as we're moving --- is a challenge, especially when we get older.

If you don't have visual clarity with that moving ball, if the ball is sort of lurching towards you, then your timing at contact is going to be inconsistent --- not good.

When I do my sprints I visually lock on that object out there and try to move in a way that my head stays as still as possible so that the object out in the landscape isn't jumping up and down. That kind of smooth movement helps you better visually track a moving ball.

So no question, fitness for me is priority #1.

Pro tour. No, I didn't play on the tour.

Yes, I did get an ATP doubles point at a tournament at my home club, the Berkeley TC, when they hosted the California Open back in the day. They may have given me and my partner a WC. I don't remember. But bottom line is we lost 1st round.

So, I was never a good junior player, I was never on the pro tour, and in fact, I didn't really get serious about my tennis until I was in my mid 20s. I did get lucky with having had the chance to work with legendary northern California coach Tom Stow for 18 months when I was in my early 30s. Mr. Stow gave me a foundation that has helped me with any success I've had as a senior player and as a coach. I'm super grateful for Tom Stow.

My suggestion is to enter some tournaments. Get a reality check. See where you game is at. I guarantee you it'll be a wake up call and it'll be different than your regularly scheduled singles or doubles matches you play at the comfy confines of your tennis facility.

And for me, I need to get that reality check pretty often. It keeps me honest about what I need to work on, and in the end, that's what I love to do ... see if I can get 1% better now and then ;-)

If you've read this far then you're a tennis junkie! Good for you ;-)

Make it a great day out there ...

Brent
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
There are definitely some 4.0 guys who could push me, and definitely some 5.0 guys I could push. But generalizing whether we would beat or would lose to so and so using the NTRP system is going to be a discussion in futility.


The sheer power factor that young guys can bring is the BIG difference between us. At 70, the power factor is pretty much gone. But if a younger guy isn't consistent enough when bringing in power, then it can get tricky for a young gun.

So, you have to be really honest about your consistency when you start the point ... either serving or returning.

If you're not consistent, meaning you can't always control your power, then dial back the power a hair and get consistent. That'll build confidence b/c you'll quickly discover that your perception of the amount of power you need is a little out of whack. You'll be surprised at how a little less power gets the job done better b/c you're so consistent.

Fitness. It doesn't matter what your skill level is or how young/old you are. All things being equal with opponents' skill levels, the fitter player wins.
Great points!!

Thanks for your detailed response. Very interesting to read.
 
D

Deleted member 120290

Guest
@webtennis
I've always enjoyed your videos and tips.
Although you need not justify yourself, your detailed post is insightful and much appreciated.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Guys! I just saw this thread for the first time. Yeah, I know, it's a ***** getting old ;-)

Anyway, look, we all know the NTRP rating system is woefully inaccurate. There are definitely some 4.0 guys who could push me, and definitely some 5.0 guys I could push. But generalizing whether we would beat or would lose to so and so using the NTRP system is going to be a discussion in futility.

A few thoughts in response to many of the posts I've just read ...

No question that it's really hard to know for sure how'd you do against me or Al based on this video. Every time I watch myself on video I always think "dang, everything looks so casual". It's not. It's intense. When was the last time you saw yourself on video? It can be somewhat deceiving.

The big difference for the younger guys playing the older guys is starting the point.

Your serve. If you can consistently 1st serve BIG against me, then you're going to get lots of short returns and do some damage. If you're missing that 1st serve and either double faulting too often or putting in a weakish 2nd serve, then yeah, it'll be harder to hold serve.

And when I'm serving, if you can consistently bring a ton of heavy top to your returns, then again, I'm going to have a tough time holding my serve.

The sheer power factor that young guys can bring is the BIG difference between us. At 70, the power factor is pretty much gone. But if a younger guy isn't consistent enough when bringing in power, then it can get tricky for a young gun.

So, you have to be really honest about your consistency when you start the point ... either serving or returning.

If you're not consistent, meaning you can't always control your power, then dial back the power a hair and get consistent. That'll build confidence b/c you'll quickly discover that your perception of the amount of power you need is a little out of whack. You'll be surprised at how a little less power gets the job done better b/c you're so consistent.

The other test on your consistency is when you play a national tournament. Things get a little different out there ;-) At least for awhile until you settle down ...

Why so much slice on the backhand? Bottom line is it's easier to control placement.

I could play a topper all day if I chose to, but my placement consistency would take a hit, and at this age I wouldn't generate enough power to do all that much damage anyway. For sure, if you approach to my backhand, and depending on where you are as I make contact, a topspin drive in certain situations is the right choice. But not always.

If I step up early to make contact with your approach shot, meaning I'm taking a little time away from you getting in, I've then created a bigger target for me to hit into. If I can slice a backhand in there to that bigger target, why not?

Fitness. It doesn't matter what your skill level is or how young/old you are. All things being equal with opponents' skill levels, the fitter player wins.

If stroke technique is important to you, then if you can't move your butt over there after 45 minutes so that you can set up to use that good stroke technique, then yeah, you're eventually going to have to improvise stroke technique.

An stroke improv ain't very funny ;-)

I like to do sprints where I visually lock on an object out in the landscape that I'm sprinting towards. Think about it ...

Golfers have a stationary ball and they don't have to move. Baseball hitters have a moving ball, but they know where home plate is so they don't have to move. But as tennis players ... the ball is moving AND we have to move to get a million different home plates.

So trying to maintain visual contact with a moving tennis ball --- as we're moving --- is a challenge, especially when we get older.

If you don't have visual clarity with that moving ball, if the ball is sort of lurching towards you, then your timing at contact is going to be inconsistent --- not good.

When I do my sprints I visually lock on that object out there and try to move in a way that my head stays as still as possible so that the object out in the landscape isn't jumping up and down. That kind of smooth movement helps you better visually track a moving ball.

So no question, fitness for me is priority #1.

Pro tour. No, I didn't play on the tour.

Yes, I did get an ATP doubles point at a tournament at my home club, the Berkeley TC, when they hosted the California Open back in the day. They may have given me and my partner a WC. I don't remember. But bottom line is we lost 1st round.

So, I was never a good junior player, I was never on the pro tour, and in fact, I didn't really get serious about my tennis until I was in my mid 20s. I did get lucky with having had the chance to work with legendary northern California coach Tom Stow for 18 months when I was in my early 30s. Mr. Stow gave me a foundation that has helped me with any success I've had as a senior player and as a coach. I'm super grateful for Tom Stow.

My suggestion is to enter some tournaments. Get a reality check. See where you game is at. I guarantee you it'll be a wake up call and it'll be different than your regularly scheduled singles or doubles matches you play at the comfy confines of your tennis facility.

And for me, I need to get that reality check pretty often. It keeps me honest about what I need to work on, and in the end, that's what I love to do ... see if I can get 1% better now and then ;-)

If you've read this far then you're a tennis junkie! Good for you ;-)

Make it a great day out there ...

Brent
Fantastic post. :)
 

pabletion

Hall of Fame
On a good day, very easily, crushed.

On a normal day. Yes. Dont see where they could hurt me at all.

On a bad day........................................................................ anything can happen, with me and my head, at least.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
On a good day, very easily, crushed.

On a normal day. Yes. Dont see where they could hurt me at all.

On a bad day........................................................................ anything can happen, with me and my head, at least.
These are the kind of guys that will give fits to players that don't know how to play tennis.

Another way of putting this is, if you have trouble playing a pusher, these guys will crush you. They have the consistency of a pusher, 50 years of match experience, and lots shots and strategies they can choose from and go back and forth between. And quite frankly, the MAJORITY of tennis players have no idea how to play tennis. They just to out and hit the ball and hope for the best. And these guys will beat a player like that pretty much every time.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Those guys play better than 99% of tt posters, myself included. To play like that at 70+ is very impressive. It's easy to say stuff about a video as it makes things look very differently.
 

Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
These are the kind of guys that will give fits to players that don't know how to play tennis.

Another way of putting this is, if you have trouble playing a pusher, these guys will crush you. They have the consistency of a pusher, 50 years of match experience, and lots shots and strategies they can choose from and go back and forth between. And quite frankly, the MAJORITY of tennis players have no idea how to play tennis. They just to out and hit the ball and hope for the best. And these guys will beat a player like that pretty much every time.
Like golfers at a driving range practice only hitting their driver as far as they can, tennis players stand behind the baseline and blast forehands at each other. Golfers don't care about chipping, pitching, and putting, and tennis players don't care about volleys, OHs, drop shots, or half volleys.

Yes, they should enter tournaments or play leagues and see if they're really close to making a big splash in the tennis world. But why don't instructors explain this? They act like all the student needs to know is the right form, and then they'll automatically be competitive. If the students don't know where they're trying to go, how can they get there?
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
But why don't instructors explain this? They act like all the student needs to know is the right form, and then they'll automatically be competitive. If the students don't know where they're trying to go, how can they get there?
How do you know instructors don’t explain this? How many instructors have you included in your sample size?
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
That is a very small sample size to draw a conclusion from. And how do you know the instructors don’t explain this? Have you watched these 5 instructors over a period of time? Tennis is taught in progressions. Maybe the instructor hadn’t reached that progression with the student yet because the student wasn’t ready for it.
 
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Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
That is a very small sample size to draw a conclusion from. And how do you know the instructors don’t explain this? Have you watched these 5 instructors over a period of time? Tennis is taught in progressions. Maybe the instructor hadn’t reached that progression with the student yet because the student wasn’t ready for it.
You're right. That could be, and maybe that's changed since the era I took lessons, (80s and 90s, not in the last 20 years), and that could have changed. But as another post said, 'Most people don't know how to play tennis', not that they don't know how to hit a ball, but what they're trying to accomplish, for example, are they on defense or offense?

Some guys think they're at pro levels, and imagine they'll win the first tournament they enter. I know this, because a few times I've drawn these guys in the first round. They're shocked at their loss, especially to a pusher like me. (You know that scene in Caddyshack where Bill Murray is saying, "Former greenskeeper, he's out of nowhere...", they think that will be them but in tennis, "Out of nowhere, now in the final of the U.S. Open...".)
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
You're right. That could be, and maybe that's changed since the era I took lessons, (80s and 90s, not in the last 20 years), and that could have changed. But as another post said, 'Most people don't know how to play tennis', not that they don't know how to hit a ball, but what they're trying to accomplish, for example, are they on defense or offense?

Some guys think they're at pro levels, and imagine they'll win the first tournament they enter. I know this, because a few times I've drawn these guys in the first round. They're shocked at their loss, especially to a pusher like me. (You know that scene in Caddyshack where Bill Murray is saying, "Former greenskeeper, he's out of nowhere...", they think that will be them but in tennis, "Out of nowhere, now in the final of the U.S. Open...".)
Most instructors know what their students are capable of. When it comes to adult learners, most are not in the physical shape required to do combo drills that work on the point construction and movement skills. The combo drills require a lot of moving and out of shape adults wouldn’t gain much from the drills if they get winded after one 5 ball combo. Most adult learners aren’t willing to put in the time to get their bodies into that kind of shape either so the instructor can only work with them on stroke technique and mechanics.
 
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webtennis

New User
On a good day, very easily, crushed.

On a normal day. Yes. Dont see where they could hurt me at all.

On a bad day........................................................................ anything can happen, with me and my head, at least.
You're right about a normal day. None of the older guys could actually 'hurt you'. It'd be up to you how much hurt you experience. Meaning, unforced errors. Younger guys should be able to be quicker and have better stamina ... right? So, the only way you don't get the "W" is if you miss too often. Dial back the power a hair, get waaaay more consistent, and you'll rarely, if ever, get crushed ...
 

webtennis

New User
These are the kind of guys that will give fits to players that don't know how to play tennis.

Another way of putting this is, if you have trouble playing a pusher, these guys will crush you. They have the consistency of a pusher, 50 years of match experience, and lots shots and strategies they can choose from and go back and forth between. And quite frankly, the MAJORITY of tennis players have no idea how to play tennis. They just to out and hit the ball and hope for the best. And these guys will beat a player like that pretty much every time.
Make sure your definition of a pusher isn't just a guy who rarely brings in a ton of power. Guys who don't hit the ball big BUT frequently put themselves in court positions that constantly force you to have to go for winners, yeah, that's not really a pusher.
 

webtennis

New User
Those guys play better than 99% of tt posters, myself included. To play like that at 70+ is very impressive. It's easy to say stuff about a video as it makes things look very differently.
For sure, video can be misleading. Hunt down a top national level senior player at 60+, ask them to play a few sets, and see how much you feel rushed. The video doesn't give the viewer that dynamic of being rushed.
 

webtennis

New User
Like golfers at a driving range practice only hitting their driver as far as they can, tennis players stand behind the baseline and blast forehands at each other. Golfers don't care about chipping, pitching, and putting, and tennis players don't care about volleys, OHs, drop shots, or half volleys.

Yes, they should enter tournaments or play leagues and see if they're really close to making a big splash in the tennis world. But why don't instructors explain this? They act like all the student needs to know is the right form, and then they'll automatically be competitive. If the students don't know where they're trying to go, how can they get there?
You're right about a pretty good percentage of teaching pros who primarily teach stroke technique. I wish more teaching pros would watch a student play a set against a same level opponent as their student. Improvement is usually NOT about stroke technique, but instead, helping students with shot choice and court positioning. No question that some players have major technique flaws that need attention, but the real challenge for pros should be figuring out shot choice and court positioning for their students. That's what wins matches ...
 
D

Deleted member 120290

Guest
Thanks. How do I get notified when there's a discussion I'm involved in?
In the very upper right hand corner, there is "Alerts" which shows you the "Likes" and replies you received.
Below "Alerts" there is also "Watch Thread" which will send you an email when there is an activity in the thread.
 

steve s

Professional
I could play a topper all day if I chose to, but my placement consistency would take a hit,
Getting ready to play my first tournament in years a senior one. My OHB topspin stroke is a work in progress. I find it easier to keep the ball deep with the low to high swing, than hitting the slice.

Could you added any keys, to why you get better control with the slice.

Since I have you here, do any of the top seniors hit a offensive OHB???

Thanks Brent
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
@webtennis
I've always enjoyed your videos and tips.
Although you need not justify yourself, your detailed post is insightful and much appreciated.
Fantastic post. :)
Yep...superb post by Brent @webtennis . Brent/Tom Avery/Lance Goodell...I am a fanboy of all those guys and love their videos, having taken up tennis late in life myself and rapidly nearing 50. I love watching older guys play tennis at a high level, playing a style that is efficient and practical.

That post by Brent is just not a mere response to posts in this thread, but fantastic advice to anyone wanting to play better and get better at Tennis. It should be pinned at the top if this sub-forum is really about Tips and Instruction.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Maybe, but coaches who have taught and played everyday for decades are not really recreational players.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
Maybe, but coaches who have taught and played everyday for decades are not really recreational players.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
Some people have posted for decades and can’t spell every day, clearly amateurs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

webtennis

New User
Getting ready to play my first tournament in years a senior one. My OHB topspin stroke is a work in progress. I find it easier to keep the ball deep with the low to high swing, than hitting the slice.

Could you added any keys, to why you get better control with the slice.

Since I have you here, do any of the top seniors hit a offensive OHB???

Thanks Brent
Hey Steve. For me, but maybe not for you, my slice has better control. If your topspin backhand has better control, then that’s your answer.

There’s not a hard and fast rule for any of this stuff. What’s works for me might not be the best for you. I’d love to drive a big monster topper backhand like Stanimal, but that’s not in the cards for me.

I played a ton of baseball as a kid. Though I play righty tennis, I hit lefty in baseball. It just feels way more natural for me with the slice as a rally ball.

Passing shot? For sure. A medium topper that has some dip very often is the right choice for me. Hope this helps.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
@webtennis

What is the best way to develop your tennis game in your opinion? And by tennis game I mean your general gameplay, tactics, decision making.. so you actually know what you are doing and use aproaches and tactics to win points, instead of just to hit and place the ball at some random spot, basically just hit the ball and try to outhit someone.

Ive been playing tennis for 1 year and 10 months now, and I notice that most of the time I don't have a general idea or tactical aproach to my points, I just try to hit in the open court, or something like that, apart from a few times when I do have some "idea" like to slice my serve wide from deuce and attack the net and then have an open court to place the volley at, but in general I think this aspect is quite missing from my game.

Do you think someone needs to specifically work on these things, or do these things develop in time as you play a ton of matches?
 

ronwest

New User
Hey Steve. For me, but maybe not for you, my slice has better control. If your topspin backhand has better control, then that’s your answer.

There’s not a hard and fast rule for any of this stuff. What’s works for me might not be the best for you. I’d love to drive a big monster topper backhand like Stanimal, but that’s not in the cards for me.

I played a ton of baseball as a kid. Though I play righty tennis, I hit lefty in baseball. It just feels way more natural for me with the slice as a rally ball.

Passing shot? For sure. A medium topper that has some dip very often is the right choice for me. Hope this helps.
FYI for most of the posters here: check out Brent's YouTube channel in depth. He has an excellent slice backhand that he can hit with great variety. This shot of his is a scalpel. Deep, short, drive, floater and dropper all off the same backswing. Sheer pace is not the only way to draw our opponents into making errors...
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
https://myutr.com/players/896813 utr8, solidly a 4.5
conversion chart for your convenience: https://myutr.com/media/UTR_Player_Range.pdf

side note:
with the advent of tls, tr, utr...
i wonder how many folks have claimed "i'm high X NTRP level" only to find out they weren't
i've had a few folks say, oh, yeah, i'm "high X", only to find out they were just about to get bumped down
Thanks for the chart. I can confidently say i am a 4.5 now hehe

And glad they kept the 16.5 ranking out there for anomalies like Sureshs and TTPS and all the future 360 servers
 
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