Got an Arse Whooping in Bolivia today

I’m in Santa Cruz for the weekend, and I arranged to play again with a guy I had hit with a few months ago.

I had played very poorly against him last time, and I thought maybe this time I might make it closer. I had played him twice, losing 6-0, 6-1, and then again 6-2, 6-1.

When I told him I wanted to play a match, this time he again asked me if I wanted him to play his best. I said yes. He then suggested we bet $1000 on the match. I said ok, but then the deal is he has to win without me winning any games. He backed off on the bet - ‘too risky.’

While we were warming up, I asked him what his best ranking was. He said he has reached about 700 in the world. So that explained why I didn’t do very well last time.

We started the match (on red clay at 8:30am, 88F, bright sun, and very humid) and this time he is just abusing me from the getgo. Every forehand seems to find the corners. His backhand is solid and hurting me too. He doesn’t hit exceptionally hard, using solid smooth strokes with moderate spin, but I felt like I was getting overwhelmed by the quality and accuracy of his shots.

Every time I hit what would normally be a neutral ball against a 5.0 player, he would reply with his next shot wide and deep to the corner seemingly without leaving his comfort zone.

My game was not clicking at all, and I didn’t have much of forehand today. And I couldn’t really serve due to not being able to grip the racquet in the hot humid conditions with sun screen residue on my fingers. But even if I was playing better, I don’t think I could make it that competitive with this guy.
His advice to me during match was not to slice so much on my forehand because my slice was making it too easy on him (good advice, but my drive forehand just wasn’t in the tool box today). He said similar thing about my dink serves, but alas same problem.

He was most impressive on the out-of-structure points. On two occasions when I blasted an overhead but put it in reach of him, he returned a winner passing shot past me - once with a forehand crosscourt block and once with a 2hb dtl.

It turns out he is currently traveling the world as a full-time coach for his student. Hs student is now the top-ranked 14-year-old in South America, who won 5 ITF tournaments in 16s in Europe this year, and is now playing 18s. So my friend is playing points against his pupil everyday and staying in good playing form.

I think this guy today was playing the highest level baseline tennis I’ve ever played against. The guy I played against last month in Ecuador had reached a much better ranking (top 300), but this guy was playing much closer to his top form from his playing days. Also, getting to play the Ecuadorian ex-ATP pro on hard court at least gave a chance to hit my normal forehand, but today on the red clay I felt pretty helpless on most points.

I was able steal a few games, losing 6-1, 6-2. But unlike against my Ecuadorian friend, I never really felt like I was in the match today.

The games that I won were because I took riskier chances on neutral balls, and then charged the net hard behind the approach to earn putaway volleys.
I only won games when I could string a few of these together. Extending points from the baseline was hopeless - I don’t think I won any long points because I just got further behind in the point the longer the rally lasted.
His level was clearly much better today than when I played him back in June.

Anyway, today was one of those humbling tennis days.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
When I told him I wanted to play a match, this time he again asked me if I wanted him to play his best. I said yes. He then suggested we bet $1000 on the match. I said ok, but then the deal is he has to win without me winning any games. He backed off on the bet - ‘too risky.’
This part is most interesting to me.

Were both of you 100% cool, free of animosity while talking about betting? Betting is quite tricky and more challenging than most people can handle, and I'm not surprised that you guys couldn't broke a deal.

For me, I can continue to negotiate and try to find a middle ground where the two sides would feel both risky and doable. But of course I do have "friends" who would only play if they feel 90% favorable. I hate that.
 
This part is most interesting to me.

Were both of you 100% cool, free of animosity while talking about betting? Betting is quite tricky and more challenging than most people can handle, and I'm not surprised that you guys couldn't broke a deal.

For me, I can continue to negotiate and try to find a middle ground where the two sides would feel both risky and doable. But of course I do have "friends" who would only play if they feel 90% favorable. I hate that.
This time the betting talk was not that serious. But he told me afterward that he met a Russian guy in Miami that challenged him to a match and wanted to bet $300 on it. He said ok, kicked the Russian guy’s arse, and pocketed the easy money.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
This time the betting talk was not that serious. But he told me afterward that he met a Russian guy in Miami that challenged him to a match and wanted to bet $300 on it. He said ok, kicked the Russian guy’s arse, and pocketed the easy money.
Sounds like he's one of the "friends" of mine that I mentioned above. They love and would only do easy money matches.


Anyway, do you frequently play with betting? It's addictive. If I play too many bet matches then I'd lose interests in random fun and giggle games.

If it's up to me I'd like to play with small bets all the time (Iunches, beers, party money, etc.). Players stop horsing around and they also show their real level in bet matches.
 

Kevo

Legend
I've only played on red clay a time or two when I was at Newk's many years ago. What I noticed is that hitting through someone on red clay is really hard. Even back then when I was younger and more in shape I quickly gave up on hitting through people for the most part and went to spin and angles to try to create an opening. Also very hard to ace people on serve compared to hard court. I can imagine that his style of play was especially well suited to the clay and you were at a big disadvantage stylistically. Then you have the movement differences to deal with. I'm sure playing on it daily for many years would yield a large advantage against someone who spent most of their time on hard court. Even forgetting to clear your shoes before a point can become a problem if the point lasts long enough.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I’m in Santa Cruz for the weekend, and I arranged to play again with a guy I had hit with a few months ago.

I had played very poorly against him last time, and I thought maybe this time I might make it closer. I had played him twice, losing 6-0, 6-1, and then again 6-2, 6-1.

When I told him I wanted to play a match, this time he again asked me if I wanted him to play his best. I said yes. He then suggested we bet $1000 on the match. I said ok, but then the deal is he has to win without me winning any games. He backed off on the bet - ‘too risky.’

While we were warming up, I asked him what his best ranking was. He said he has reached about 700 in the world. So that explained why I didn’t do very well last time.

We started the match (on red clay at 8:30am, 88F, bright sun, and very humid) and this time he is just abusing me from the getgo. Every forehand seems to find the corners. His backhand is solid and hurting me too. He doesn’t hit exceptionally hard, using solid smooth strokes with moderate spin, but I felt like I was getting overwhelmed by the quality and accuracy of his shots.

Every time I hit what would normally be a neutral ball against a 5.0 player, he would reply with his next shot wide and deep to the corner seemingly without leaving his comfort zone.

My game was not clicking at all, and I didn’t have much of forehand today. And I couldn’t really serve due to not being able to grip the racquet in the hot humid conditions with sun screen residue on my fingers. But even if I was playing better, I don’t think I could make it that competitive with this guy.
His advice to me during match was not to slice so much on my forehand because my slice was making it too easy on him (good advice, but my drive forehand just wasn’t in the tool box today). He said similar thing about my dink serves, but alas same problem.

He was most impressive on the out-of-structure points. On two occasions when I blasted an overhead but put it in reach of him, he returned a winner passing shot past me - once with a forehand crosscourt block and once with a 2hb dtl.

It turns out he is currently traveling the world as a full-time coach for his student. Hs student is now the top-ranked 14-year-old in South America, who won 5 ITF tournaments in 16s in Europe this year, and is now playing 18s. So my friend is playing points against his pupil everyday and staying in good playing form.

I think this guy today was playing the highest level baseline tennis I’ve ever played against. The guy I played against last month in Ecuador had reached a much better ranking (top 300), but this guy was playing much closer to his top form from his playing days. Also, getting to play the Ecuadorian ex-ATP pro on hard court at least gave a chance to hit my normal forehand, but today on the red clay I felt pretty helpless on most points.

I was able steal a few games, losing 6-1, 6-2. But unlike against my Ecuadorian friend, I never really felt like I was in the match today.

The games that I won were because I took riskier chances on neutral balls, and then charged the net hard behind the approach to earn putaway volleys.
I only won games when I could string a few of these together. Extending points from the baseline was hopeless - I don’t think I won any long points because I just got further behind in the point the longer the rally lasted.
His level was clearly much better today than when I played him back in June.

Anyway, today was one of those humbling tennis days.
What did he do with your moonball approach play? Did he just easily pass you?
 
What did he do with your moonball approach play? Did he just easily pass you?
I think I got so intimidated in the first few games by how well he could command his forehand that I was scared to try it. In hindsight, it probably would have been worth a try, because he was backing up sometimes on the moonballs, and even if he ripped it well and on target, I still would have had chances to make a volley play on shots hit from deep behind baseline, with better odds to win the point than when I stayed back and let him crush it to my forehand corner.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I've only played on red clay a time or two when I was at Newk's many years ago. What I noticed is that hitting through someone on red clay is really hard. Even back then when I was younger and more in shape I quickly gave up on hitting through people for the most part and went to spin and angles to try to create an opening. Also very hard to ace people on serve compared to hard court. I can imagine that his style of play was especially well suited to the clay and you were at a big disadvantage stylistically. Then you have the movement differences to deal with. I'm sure playing on it daily for many years would yield a large advantage against someone who spent most of their time on hard court. Even forgetting to clear your shoes before a point can become a problem if the point lasts long enough.
Yes very hard to hit through and ace alot, specially if its dry, soft and slow red clay.

Pusher/defensive player's dream court.
 

rogerroger917

Hall of Fame
Yes very hard to hit through and ace alot, specially if its dry, soft and slow red clay.

Pusher/defensive player's dream court.
When I am on this surface I just hit it harder. It only works though if you have a really solid forehand. Like atp level. Against regular rec players it works. If you are at the atp level.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

FiReFTW

Legend
When I am on this surface I just hit it harder. It only works though if you have a really solid forehand. Like atp level. Against regular rec players it works. If you are at the atp level.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
Also depends on their speed, if they are slow its more likely, but if they are very fast and athletic its near impossible from behind the baseline, unless you get a ball inside the baseline and further, or unless you have an atp forehand like you said lol.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I think it’s much easier if you have a personal apparel line contract. Against an U12 girl. Really likely to hit through, though a bit tough to hit her, as she’s likely a small target, no margin for error.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Next time try:
Holding up your hand everytime he's about to serve and make him restart his motion
Return serve from the road at the back of the court
Wear all chartreuse to throw off his ball tracking
Take 90 seconds to serve
Juice up on Dr Fuentes secret sauce so much that you have a healthy green glow
And when you're about to lose anyway, feign an injury and claim the moral victory
 
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