Huge gap from 4.0 to 4.5 singles?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Hokiez, May 2, 2009.

  1. Hokiez

    Hokiez Rookie

    Mar 14, 2007
    Anybody else found this? I went 8-1 last year at 4.0 singles (only defeat was from a guy who went 12-0 and I went down 11-9 in a third set TB) and am 5-0 so far this year with only one challenging match, yet against the 4.5 singles players in the area (we have a non USTA league where I get the chance to play 4.5's and 5.0's), they seem to be more than just 1 more level above me. I would figure I should go ~0.500 given my record at 4.0. Perhaps it's due to the lack of a 5.0 league that everyone bumps down and the best players play singles so it's really 5.0 players.

    This the same in other areas? Does the NTRP system just fall apart at the higher levels?
  2. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

    Dec 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    4.5 players are just that much more sound then a 4.0, typically at the 4.5 level they have an almost flawless game and you will find little weakness. they will hit with some pretty darn good pace off both ends and place there serves well. expect to play alot points, 4.5 you see alot more point construction then at the 4.0 level.
  3. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

    Jan 31, 2009
    Depending on what part of the country you are some 5.0 plus players play in lower levels because there aren't enough players at the higher levels to hold tournaments, leauges etc. Specially in non usta events where you just self rate.
  4. Grover Sparkman

    Grover Sparkman Rookie

    Apr 24, 2009
    I was mesmerized watching two 4.5 players play in a tournament a couple weeks ago. It was far and away the most impressive tennis I'd ever seen outside of a professional tournament.
  5. Hokiez

    Hokiez Rookie

    Mar 14, 2007
    Agree with the above, it just seems as though the gap is larger than normal. My own experience:

    Started playing 3.5 in 2006 - went 5-3 in singles, got bumped to 4.0
    2007 - 2-1 in singles, 3-1 in doubles
    2008 - 8-1 in singles, 1-1 in doubles
    2009 - 5-0 so far

    I'm thinking more it's the lack of a 5.0 leagues that leads to the discrepency. The 5.0's keep themselves at 4.5 and being the "best", they play the 2 singles spots on their 4.5 teams. At every other step, you have functioning leagues above and below the level but above 4.5 is a desert.
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    4.5's usually are much more consistent, even thos their actual strokes might not be any better, stronger, or better looking.
    But really depends on your kind of game. Some 4.0's have big games that wins points against even 5.5's. Those can do well when they're on, and of course, lose badly when they're not atop their game.
    Other 4.0's are because they're consistent and persistent, those usually not having much chance against a motivated 4.5.....and no chance to WIN points against higher levels.
    And of course, a rising 4.0 against a fading 4.5 equals somewhat =, so not much diff overall......
  7. jbetti

    jbetti New User

    Sep 15, 2008
    I think whatever level you stop seeing many players in a given area.. the level below that will be loaded.

    In my area right now, there are a ton of 4.0 players and only a handful of active 4.5 players (there are a few more that rarely play), so a lot of the top 4.0's should really be 4.5's, but they're doing what they can to not get bumped up... because then they won't have as many people to play with. I'm a 4.0, and not even a top 4.0, and I've beaten some 4.5's in sets and even a 5.0 in a set once (not often).

    As a result of the strong 4.0's the biggest jump around here is probably between 3.5 and 4.0.
  8. volleyman

    volleyman Semi-Pro

    Aug 13, 2004
    Durham, NC
    I just moved up from 4.0 to 4.5 this year. The biggest differences are speed/anticipation and bad errors.

    At the 4.5 level, your opponents simply get to more balls in a position to do something with them, either because they are faster, or because they anticipate better. Shots that forced weak replies at 4.0 are now more like rally balls, and shots that were winners now come back. End result, you have to hit more and better shots to win points.

    It also means your opponents will have more chances to go offensive on you, because they have more time to set up. So you end up sprinting for more shots that land near the lines.

    You also get fewer bad errors. At 4.0, if you toss up a short lob, or hit a weak shot that sits up at mid court, and there's a chance that your opponent will put that ball long, or in the net. At 4.5, that chance shrinks to almost zero.
  9. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

    Dec 29, 2008
    in my area I'm just amazed at the consistency at which the 4.5's play, there's a fair amount of appealing down since there are limited 5.0's in comparison..

    i hit with one this evening for about 45min, he would just get it back to us consistently no matter what and if we tried to hit a good shot or approach would just hit the proper response and go back on the offensive in no time...even on 2 on 1's...
  10. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

    Dec 27, 2005
    Where I live there are *tons* of 4.0 men, a good volume amount of 4.5s, and a fair # of 5.0s (plenty of former college players).

    What is clear to me is there is a large gap between the lowest 4.0 and the lowest 4.5. On the surface what OP wrote doesn't surprise me - especially if taken to that literal extreme. It isn't that apparent if you compare at the top end of those ratings though.

    The difference might not be visible by watching a particular shot or sequence of shots - but becomes crystal clear when watching actual match play and results.

  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW
    You nailed it...

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