How well will 3.5 success translate into 4.0 success

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by johndagolfer, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Professional

    Apr 2, 2006
    I went 15-1 in 3.5 this year playing singles
    In Combo I have gone 5 - 0 in 7.5 and didn't seem to have any problems playing against the high ranked partner on the opposing side.

    I have a pretty big serve, forehand, with a solid backhand. My biggest weakness is I am slow and even though I have been running(3 miles 2-3 times a week) a lot over the last 1.5 years, I would say my stamina isn't the greatest.

    Is there anything I should particularly focus on in preparing for my bump up?

  2. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Sure, I would look for several 4.0 partners for practice and matches, so you can figure out your weaknesses. Winning everything is actually a double edged sword, because you don't really get a good feel for your mistakes/weaknesses and therefore you don't work on them, thereby stagnating your progress. A bump will definitely be great for you.
  3. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Sep 6, 2011
    id say u would have a winning record at 4.0.

    improve your serve more. remember nadal practices his serve 15 minutes everyday. try to get to skill to finish points from all over the court, especially work on your short ball work.
  4. AceKing

    AceKing New User

    Jul 20, 2010
    I was a 3.5 in 2010. I went 16-1 & got bumped to 4.0.
    This year at 4.0 I went 6-6. I'm a big guy with a big serve & a big FH. Those shots are still weapons for me even at 4.0 (& the few matches I played at 4.5). The difference now is that my weaknesses (my BH) are exploited more at 4.0.
  5. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Oct 18, 2010
    Good question. 4.0's run the gamut from "3.5's who think they are 4.0's" to "sandbagging 4.5's"

    I try to find 4.5's to hit with even though I'm technically a 4.0, though I win about 80% of my social 4.0 matches.

    Most top 4.0's that I've played (guys who are always in finals at tournaments) keep the ball deep with medium to light pace, and run everything down. Your big serve will be bunted back consistently. Your fitness will be at a premium, and if you come in after your shots you will be lobbed or passed mercilessly. They'll also drop shot you a lot.

    The biggest thing about the top 4.0's is that they will change their game/style to beat you. If they see that can't hang with you on the baseline, they'll come in and try to put away volleys. They'll change pace, add slice etc. The best ones never let you get comfortable with your game.

    The best strategies involve getting them out of THEIR comfort zone. Hit the ball hard to the corner with heavy topspin, get them on the run, force a short ball and angle it away. Drop shot, change pace, add slice to your BH if you don't already have it. Make sure you get all serves in, and develop a decent 2nd serve. Make them defensive as much as possible, and play great D yourself. Run everything down.

    Good luck!
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    No way to tell really, at least not for us.
    Some winning 3.5's just play the slow, crab, get it back game.
    Some winning 3.5's hit the heck out of the ball, and just need some consistency to make 4.5.
    Some guys thrive on pressure, and solid competition.
    Some guys wilter when faced with solid competition.
    Rising 3.5's can outright win most matches in 4.0.
    Solid 3.5's might barely play 50/50.
  7. lendl1986

    lendl1986 Rookie

    Jul 8, 2011
    Lake Oswego, OR
    That's a very good 3.5 record, and you will have a winning record at 4.0.

    One thing you will notice: younger opponents, so work on your conditioning.
  8. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

    Apr 1, 2008
    How to get around being slow and play 4.0.

    I'll talk about me and da bro. We built totally different yet the same height. Him 6'1 265 me around 178. Him soft hands, a good first step and slow. Me lousy first step, hands of stone and slow.

    His game is all about attacking and getting to net where his good hands and and quick first step give him the advantage. Mine is about BH and FH wings being equal so I don't have to worry about running around a shot there by giving up court.

    If he has a good day I lose. The nice thing is most 4.0's don't consistently good days. Which means, he goes down 75% of the time. If he sits on the baseline my control and spins turn him into a puddle of sweaty goo. The reverse is true in doubs except the sweat part.

    I lose badly against folks who have the knack of wrong footing. I'll also lose to speedy players who rarely give a short ball and hit with light to medium pace. If I can't get through their D I have to serve and volley, which, is one big random number generator.

    If you are playing 4.0 with bad foot speed and glaring a difference between the wings your weaker side will get picked on relentlessly.
  9. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2006
    How can you say he'll have a winning record at 4.0 just because he has a winning record in singles at 3.5?

    With that record at 3.5, he's probably basically a middle of the road 4.0, which means a lot of tight matches that could go either way, plus running in to a few 4.4999999 players (basically 4.5) in singles.

    He'll probably be very competitive, but it could be real easy to say go 8-8 or 7-9 or 9-7 in his first year.

    In my experience, you might get away with being slow in 4.0 dubs, but it won't work against the better singles players at 4.0. While you may hit harder than most of these guys, a good deal of them are quick and very consistent off of both sides, keep the ball deep, and come with a game plan to attack your weakness. Best put your running shoes on.
  10. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2006
    If movement is your main problem, you may want to re-think how you are training. While running 3 miles a few times a week is a good way to build a strong aerobic foundation, running for 3 miles at a constant pace may not make you that much faster on the court since tennis is not played at a constant pace and movement is more side-to-side than moving constantly forward.

    You may want to look into interval training and sprint and agility training. Also look for footwork drills that help change of direction, acceleration, and deceleration.

    Remember tennis is played in short burst of high intensity with a short recovery time between points. Movement is mostly side to side with an occasional sprint forward or backwards. Most points don't last more than 30 seconds, so train that way - work hard (sprints, footwork/ agility drills) for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat 5 -10 times.
  11. goober

    goober Legend

    Jun 9, 2004
    Impossible to say of course. Just as anecdotal evidence I know a guy that was 10-0 at 3.5 singles and never dropped a set. He got bumped to 4.0. He was not good enough to beat out the top 2 singles players on his team so he was a back up. He went 0-2 singles and 2-3 in doubles.
  12. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

    Jan 8, 2007
    Reading Rafa's new book, he speaks to not doing much in the way of distance running, since that is not the kind of athleticism required to succeed in tennis. That said, running "2-3 miles" says nothing about your pace. Are these 6:35 miles, or 7:05, or something different? Those the times expected of healthy D1 athletes, so there for comparison, but plodding away around the local track at low speed isn't going to do much for your game of tennis (not that there is anything wrong with such a workout in a general health sense, but 4.0 tennis is the subject.)

    I play 4.0 guys all the time in singles and everyone has a 'pretty big serve' at that level. Less of a serve usually means you can't compete above 3.0 - 3.5. So say a guy like me blocks back your best serve, deep, or slices it back deep to your BH ... then works you corner to corner to exploit your lack of speed. Mix in spins, a dropper to the ad side finally, hauling you in .. then my options are open. What is your reply?

    As for the first serve, cool. But you are going to be measured by your second serve. And if you are seeing double because you are being run around to exploit said lack of speed and stamina, just how many first serves are you going to get in.

    A fellow 4.0 player with speed (counter puncher) can out steady you, not feed you mistakes. Or run you around. What will you bring to the court to win? Success at 3.5 is no lock to do well at 4.0. I beat every 3.5 I play as I can go with Plan A, or Plan B, and so on. They have one plan.
  13. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Mar 24, 2010
    When I went form 3.5 to 4.0 with similar 3.5 results I found the following ...

    I could out hit 3.5s and they eventually would wilt. However, decent 4.0's do not mind pace, in fact many like it. these players are good at taking your pace and moving you around.

    My 1st 2 years at 4.0 I was hovering around a .500 winning percentage. I had trouble against established 4.0's but not so much against new 4.0's like myself.

    Then two things happened ... I started to emphasize control over power and 20% of the league was bumped up. Amazingly, with better control my winning percentage went to 80% and I helped our team earn a trip to sectionals.

    This past year I began to add pace back into my game while maintaining the control. This year I had a better win rate, also played in sectionals and earned the 4.5 early start bump-up.

    I cannot emphasize that the biggest difference I found between 3.5 and 4.0 was that 4.0's have better control and they do not struggle as much with pace.
  14. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

    Jun 18, 2008
    In my area (rural/blue collar) there are lots of 3.5s that like to win or are stuck on bad teams that are really solid 4.0s. There are also some 3.5 guys that got bumped to 4.0 last year because their team did well at the regionals. It's not uncommon at all here for a strong 3.5 on a weak team or a sandbagger to crush one of these bumped up "4.0s" 0 and 0. But if you're 15-1 you should do OK. It's an imaginary line in some places.
  15. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

    Jun 18, 2010
    15-1 says you are already a 4.0 player. it's just where on the spectrum of 4.0 you are.

    if you won most of your matches with bagels and breadsticks and in straight sets - then you will most likely be at least a middle of the pack 4.0.

    if you eeked out a bunch of 3 set wins or had close sets that went to tiebreak -- you will most likely be a lower end 4.0.

    if you think you are slow, 3/4 of the singles players you will run into at 4.0 will be grinders/counterpunchers/counterpushers. they will all have wheels to run down all of your hardest hit shots. they'll block back all your best serves. and they'll move you around with slow to medium paced shots.

    1/4 of the guys you'll face at 4.0 will be guys like you who want to bash the ball and play big boy tennis. only difference is they will likely hit harder and more consistently and will likely have better court movement.

    but the best predictor is going to be how you won your 15 singles matches and how you lost that 1 match.
  16. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Professional

    Apr 2, 2006
    Thanks Monkey!

    I definitely think I am going to stick with doubles my first year in 4.0 unless I can really pickup my fitness training this early winter and fall.

    As for my matches the 1 match I loss was my first time playing someone who sliced off of both sides and who was extreme fast. I kind of killed myself that match with 40 UE. Even with all the errors I lost 10-8 in the third.

    The rest of the matches I won giving away no more than 5 games in all but 2 matches. The one match that went to a tie break in the first set I settled down the second set and won 6 - 1
  17. Todd6060

    Todd6060 New User

    May 26, 2009
    My record at 3.5 was 11-3. My record at 4.0 is 4-24 (and I'm still computer rated 4.0).

    I was able to win 3.5 matches with placement at consistency, but that's not good enough at 4.0 as everyone can do that plus they hit with more pace and spin than I do. It forces me to go for more and then my consistency is gone.
  18. snark

    snark Rookie

    Nov 13, 2004
    I was 12:1 at 3.5 first half of last year. After getting bumped up to 4.0, I was 7:3 in the second half of the year. Depends a lot on your playing style of course.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  19. snark

    snark Rookie

    Nov 13, 2004
    Frankly, the scores mean little. I was winning most matches with a close score at 3.5. After moving up to 4.0 I am still winning well over 50% of matches, and most of them with a close score. The difference is that at 3.5 I usually felt that I can come back if necessary, while at 4.0 the scores better reflect what is going on in the match.
  20. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

    Dec 4, 2010
    Not Fantasy Land
    This. This. THIS.

    Trust me, rallying with 4.0s isn't difficult, nor is getting yourself on offense. The problem that many players tend to have, is that they will get a short ball, and blow it from there. If you hit the short ball and retreat to the baseline, you lost your opportunity, and basically ruined your effort to get on offense. If you hit the short ball long or into the net, you blew it. If you get a putaway and miss, you lose the point regardless. Anybody can stroke baseline winners when given the opportunity, however if you make errors going for too much, or go for a winner too early, it's going to end up counterproductive. The easier way is to get yourself on offense, and finish the point smoothly. Honestly, at 4.0 level, you won't even need to hit very hard shots if you set the point up well.
  21. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

    Sep 27, 2011
    3.5 to 4.0

    Continue to improve your best shots. Work hard on your weaknesses. Work to become more aggressive--find ways to win the point, rather than wait for
    your opponent to give it to you. Play against stronger players. Have fun!

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