I am a dedicated newbie to the game of tennis with more weaknesses than one can count in my game. I am 32 and a former Ivy League 2nd string football player with a year and ½ of tennis under my belt. I played a sandbagger in my 3.0 league yesterday who kicked my butt. He played juniors 15 (or so) years ago and made EVERY shot he needed to make….the dink and dunk short balls and backhand high overheads that normally damn players that I play were no match for him; he was by no means in shape but got to my short balls and put them away. He was a player of at least ten years in the game. I know this because I have been to Boleterri’s and Harry Hopman’s and drilled with such players. My guess is that he is a weaponless 4.25-4.5 and has been baggling dudes in our league. He cleaned my clock 6-3, 6-1 yesterday. I gave up a little in the second set as I realized that I was outskilled and overmatched and wanted to save myself for my tournament the next day. If I would have tried I may have one another game, but the defeat would still have undoubtedly occurred. The loss still stings. I even tried some psych on him and switched from my Ivy League persona to my LE dictatorial persona to no avail. He was a New Yorker and was not cowed by me. I think he found it amusing. That being said, the match was closer than what it appeared. I hit four to five James Blake type winners on him and made some spectacular acrobatic put aways. I still can’t serve, but I aced him five times when I gave him the heat. He never aced me or hit winners on me. He just smiled, put on his hard hat, and beat me routinely five times for every one great shot I made. I even short underhand served him once and he pounded it for a winner. I now know how Spartacus must have felt like when his band faced the Roman legions. Any advice on how to beat him? I am faster, stronger, and more athletic but it seems to matter nil. The one thing I have going for me is that when I bang forehand to forehand I have yet to encounter anyone but the young pro at Hopman’s that could hit it back, but I need pace to hit that shot and he did not give it to me.