First UTR tournament - totally called it

srimes

Rookie
Played my first UTR tournament, also my first tourny in 4 years. When I signed up I said I'd probably get whooped by a 12 year old kid.
Some times I hate it when I'm right lol.

It was fun. Didn't play as well as I wanted but about as expected given that I haven't been able to practice much at all. At least I have a UTR number now to try an improve. 4.84.
 

nyta2

Professional
Played my first UTR tournament, also my first tourny in 4 years. When I signed up I said I'd probably get whooped by a 12 year old kid.
Some times I hate it when I'm right lol.

It was fun. Didn't play as well as I wanted but about as expected given that I haven't been able to practice much at all. At least I have a UTR number now to try an improve. 4.84.
12y olds (girls & boys) are the worst (for my ego)... the good ones (think nationally ranked utr 7-9) still look like baby, but are good enough to compete/beat ntrp4.5's
 

cha cha

Rookie
No shame in that. It's happened to all of us.
I once almost got double baggeled by Zdeněk Kolář. I didn't dare ask how old he was at that time, but I could barely see him behind the net.
 
Played my first UTR tournament, also my first tourny in 4 years. When I signed up I said I'd probably get whooped by a 12 year old kid.
Some times I hate it when I'm right lol.

It was fun. Didn't play as well as I wanted but about as expected given that I haven't been able to practice much at all. At least I have a UTR number now to try an improve. 4.84.
I lost to Tracy Austin's youngest son when he was 14 [now playing for USC].

I lost to the younger brother of UCLA's Connor Hance when he was 11 [but he was almost 12 :D]
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I lost to this guy:


when I played him in our club tournament in what must have been 2010. I was a 4.0 at the time and about to move up to 4.5, and he was the #2 ranked 14 year old in the nation. Got a bagel and breadstick beatdown. I was a hard hitting 50 year old at the time and most won by overpowering my opponents in USTA. He was pretty short for his age but as fast as greased lightning. I'd hit a shot that my normal opponents wouldn't get within 10 feet of but he was there and just kept getting it back, deep and high. I tried some heavy topspin shots that got up out of his strike zone but he hit them head height and slightly above with a topspin/sidespin combo that even though it often landed short, bounced sideways some unpredictable amount that I couldn't time well enough to hit a putaway on the rise without missing. I didn't have the net game to consistently pressure him when I got there, and he had a **sublime** lob.

I don't think an average 4.5 male of any age could beat the top twelve and thirteen year old girls at our club.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
Haha, great stories, I was beaten by a 14 year old russian girl pre-covid, pure drive hitting the snot out of the ball running me all over the place, she had 2 coaches and her mom watching. I didn't feel humiliated, she was a machine, was a fun experience. I got a handful of games off her serving and volleying.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Kids are more into tournaments than adults so this type of thing is pretty common. There aren’t a lot of UTR events in my area yet but I expect to be beaten down by a kid too whenever I do get a chance to try one.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Went to my very first UTR event last weekend to try and establish a rating and had the complete opposite experience. Picked out something low-key, local, and inexpensive. $30 with about 10 players. "all ages and levels welcome for UTR matchplay".

I showed up and it was all high school freshmen or younger with their parents watching. I'm 34 :-D

Of course that wasn't the worst of it. There were two round robin flights. Group A had some decent players that would have given me a good match. Unfortunately I had no rating when the draws were made, so they put me in Group B. Group B was basically NTRP 3.0-3.5.

I had four one-set matches. 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. Boy did I feel like a chump. Especially hearing the parents yell out "keep fighting!" and "go after his backhand!" when I've just won the last 10 points in a row. A part of me wanted to ease up and make the games more competitive... but I figured it's better to just rip this Band-Aid off quickly and get the hell out of there.

Funniest part was on my way walking back to my car my wife showed up. "Hey I had some time between errands and figured I would stop by to watch you play." "Err.. nothing to see here. Meet you at home" :oops:

So next time I'll be looking a lot closer at the entrants before signing up to a UTR event. Although now that I'm digging in to it, there seems to be a big rift between beginner and advanced play. Lots of high school events in the UTR 4 and below range for $30. Also a good amount of tournament events in the UTR 6-12+ range for $75-$100

I'd really love to find something in-between. After those four matches it says my projected UTR is 3.75. I'm guessing my actual skill level is about UTR 5.5-6.

So do I go back to a high school event and beat down some more teenagers to bump my rating another point? Or do I pay $75 to get demolished at a tournament? Neither sounds like a good option. I don't mind losing badly, but losing the $75 on top makes it hard to justify.
 
Went to my very first UTR event last weekend to try and establish a rating and had the complete opposite experience. Picked out something low-key, local, and inexpensive. $30 with about 10 players. "all ages and levels welcome for UTR matchplay".

I showed up and it was all high school freshmen or younger with their parents watching. I'm 34 :-D

Of course that wasn't the worst of it. There were two round robin flights. Group A had some decent players that would have given me a good match. Unfortunately I had no rating when the draws were made, so they put me in Group B. Group B was basically NTRP 3.0-3.5.

I had four one-set matches. 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. Boy did I feel like a chump. Especially hearing the parents yell out "keep fighting!" and "go after his backhand!" when I've just won the last 10 points in a row. A part of me wanted to ease up and make the games more competitive... but I figured it's better to just rip this Band-Aid off quickly and get the hell out of there.

Funniest part was on my way walking back to my car my wife showed up. "Hey I had some time between errands and figured I would stop by to watch you play." "Err.. nothing to see here. Meet you at home" :oops:

So next time I'll be looking a lot closer at the entrants before signing up to a UTR event. Although now that I'm digging in to it, there seems to be a big rift between beginner and advanced play. Lots of high school events in the UTR 4 and below range for $30. Also a good amount of tournament events in the UTR 6-12+ range for $75-$100

I'd really love to find something in-between. After those four matches it says my projected UTR is 3.75. I'm guessing my actual skill level is about UTR 5.5-6.

So do I go back to a high school event and beat down some more teenagers to bump my rating another point? Or do I pay $75 to get demolished at a tournament? Neither sounds like a good option. I don't mind losing badly, but losing the $75 on top makes it hard to justify.
Ask the TD; maybe there's a middle path.

For example, are there any "staggered entry" draws where you start playing a certain round based on your UTR [ie the higher your UTR, the later in the draw you start playing]?

FWIW, I think you did the right thing by not letting up. If you had, your UTR would take longer to get to where it should be.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
Yes, Ryan, you did the right thing, I let up and tanked my first UTR tournament, I actually played some decent kids, but they were so small, even for their ages, maybe 15-16 year old academy kids that were not over 5 ft 5 inches tall and skinny as could be, I'm 6'4", I had your same feelings, the sheer physical size difference added to my apprehension. But, I let up and let them win, the ones that took it really seriously and were hitting themselves in the thigh after missing shots. I didn't realize the impact on my rating. Anyone reading this, don't ever let up.
 

srimes

Rookie
Ask the TD; maybe there's a middle path.

For example, are there any "staggered entry" draws where you start playing a certain round based on your UTR [ie the higher your UTR, the later in the draw you start playing]?

FWIW, I think you did the right thing by not letting up. If you had, your UTR would take longer to get to where it should be.
Mine was a "compass draw," where everyone gets 3 matches.
You start in "East," which is like a regular bracket.
If you lose the 1st round (like me!) you go to "West," which is the drop bracket in a double elimination tourny.
If you lose the 2nd round you go to "North" or "South," depending on which bracket (east/west) you were in.

This works like additional sorting, working towards competitive matches based on how you do. But if you start out in the wrong group (way better or worse) there isn't much to do about it.
When I signed up there was a place to comment as I was UR, so I said I used to do well in 4.0 USTA tournaments. They put me in group 1 (which was the highest). It was curious that they had a UTR of 5.37 for me going in. I guess that was from my USTA matches several years ago.
 

srimes

Rookie
Yes, Ryan, you did the right thing, I let up and tanked my first UTR tournament, I actually played some decent kids, but they were so small, even for their ages, maybe 15-16 year old academy kids that were not over 5 ft 5 inches tall and skinny as could be, I'm 6'4", I had your same feelings, the sheer physical size difference added to my apprehension. But, I let up and let them win, the ones that took it really seriously and were hitting themselves in the thigh after missing shots. I didn't realize the impact on my rating. Anyone reading this, don't ever let up.
Yeah it's tough. I took the first set 6-4, and after the set he wanted a bathroom break and to go get a band-aid. Can't help but feel some concern for the little guy. Then he comes back and bagels me in the 2nd! :-D
He turned it up and I lost focus, and that was that.
 

RyanRF

Professional
How does my current projected UTR of 3.75 effect my next opponent? If this weekend I get matched against a 4.5 and beat them badly does it hurt their rating, or do the projected numbers not count?
 
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srimes

Rookie
How does my current projected UTR of 3.75 effect my next opponent? If this weekend I get matched against a 4.5 and beat them badly does it hurt their rating, or do the projected numbers not count?
My understanding is that yes, it will hurt theirs (at first) but not as much as it'll help yours, as their verified carries more weight than your projected. Also, in time assuming you move up, the impact will change.

Say you win in a close match, 6-4 6-3. Their rating immediately drops to 4.3, and they don't play any more for a little while. You keep competing and quickly get a verified rating of 6. Their rating goes up to 4.9.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Another weekend, another UTR day vs juniors...

It's really strange to play against them, but I'm catching on. Watching them hitting is impressive. Excellent technique, topspin, net clearance, and consistency off both sides. I'm jealous. They 'beat' me in the warmup (fewer errors). The match is a totally different story though.

It's like they only know how to rally, and only have experience playing other kids that just rally. Very easy to take them out of their comfort zone by coming to net or pulling them forwards with short slices. If I play their game I lose. If I mix it up they don't know any other way to play.

On other courts I'd frequently see 10+ ball rallies. Wild.

I look forward to raising my UTR to match up against better players. Hopefully that won't 'price me out' of these $10-$20 events and forced me into $75+ tournaments
 
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Injured Again

Hall of Fame
@RyanRF Same experience here. I've run a singles group for the better part of the last decade and often we'd have high level juniors of the other members join us. Not the highest level juniors but high school boys and girls who were highly competitive in local, county, and state competition, so roughly equivalent to adult 4.5 men and upper 4.5 women. As an aggressive player, the most striking thing to me was that it is darned hard to hit a ball clean by them on the first strike. Shots that my regular opponents couldn't get within ten feet of were tough gets but they'd at least get some strings on them. They are great side-to-side movers but like you noticed aren't so great moving forwards and especially forwards AND sideways. Change of pace and depth was my best weapon against them, and even though I do it poorly, it was often good enough to get me a ball I could take a good swing at.

One boy played pretty regularly for the better part of six months and at the start had minimal ability to be effective coming forward. Because I knew his dad well, his son asked me for some pointers about how to play against someone like me. We worked on his short game and he got tougher and tougher. The last set we ever played went to a tiebreak and I think due to some luck, I squeaked it out. A few weeks later, he won state in AA in **doubles** and I got a nice email thanking me for pushing him in that way. Against his tennis peers, all he did was rally from the baseline. Old man tennis strikes again!
 

taylor15

Professional
Played my first UTR tournament, also my first tourny in 4 years. When I signed up I said I'd probably get whooped by a 12 year old kid.
Some times I hate it when I'm right lol.

It was fun. Didn't play as well as I wanted but about as expected given that I haven't been able to practice much at all. At least I have a UTR number now to try an improve. 4.84.
Did you have no UTR prior to the tournament? How were you able to enter, I feel like the ones I find around here are all for UTR verified players
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
Did you have no UTR prior to the tournament? How were you able to enter, I feel like the ones I find around here are all for UTR verified players
You can usually directly communicate with the organizer and work something out, describe your ability etc., after all one of the goals is to make money when hosting a UTR tournament while providing competition for all, if there is space for more players, and you've played usta, something could be calculated.
 

taylor15

Professional
You can usually directly communicate with the organizer and work something out, describe your ability etc., after all one of the goals is to make money when hosting a UTR tournament while providing competition for all, if there is space for more players, and you've played usta, something could be calculated.
Awesome, thanks! I have a NTRP and also have other tournament results. I’ll reach out to one of the tournaments I’m interested in.
 

Moon Shooter

New User
I am looking to play in a UTR event too. I think I would rather lose to some good children, rather then beat up on kids and be the 225 pound grown man fist pumping with a plastic first place trophy on a platform with crying 8 year olds.

I'm hoping as an unrated player I would be able to play in a tougher section and not get stuck with the very young kids who are just learning.

In chess (which has a great rating system) you can always play in higher sections you just can't play in lower sections. So I would rather err on playing in the higher sections than the lower. If the ratings work well then as long as I win a few games (even if I don't win any matches) I should still get a rating that is just as valid as one where I win all the matches in a lower section.
 

RyanRF

Professional
I am looking to play in a UTR event too. I think I would rather lose to some good children, rather then beat up on kids and be the 225 pound grown man fist pumping with a plastic first place trophy on a platform with crying 8 year olds.

I'm hoping as an unrated player I would be able to play in a tougher section and not get stuck with the very young kids who are just learning.

In chess (which has a great rating system) you can always play in higher sections you just can't play in lower sections. So I would rather err on playing in the higher sections than the lower. If the ratings work well then as long as I win a few games (even if I don't win any matches) I should still get a rating that is just as valid as one where I win all the matches in a lower section.
If you are starting from scratch try taking to the organizer of your first event ahead of time. Let them know your tennis background. Otherwise they will just treat your non-rating as a zero and put you with the lowest players.
 
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