I got double-bagled! :)

jga111

Hall of Fame
I got double-bagled by a player in a tournament match yesterday.

Normally that would mean a massive gulf in class right?

Well this is the first time I got thrashed and thought there wasn't much in it!

I put the defeat down to a few things other than him being a solid 0.5NTRP higher level (he is 4.0-4.5):

1) Not sharp enough. I played 3 matches in a row before without ANY warm up sessions so had no opportunity to play loose and get rythm/timing in my shots flowing. We didn't even warm up for 10 minutes before he wanted to get into serves. Without a flowing FH I cannot play aggressive, so my shots were containing/consistent shots.

2) Nervous. I always have some nervousness and tightness at the start of the match which normally goes away as soon as I have won a couple of games.

3) I was getting used to his game, so spent 6-9 games just familiarisng myself with the right shot selection for his game.

4) A couple of games with 5/6 deuces, never converted my games/break points which could have had me compete with him a bit longer.

So we shook hands, all good. Played another set for fun (he doesn't play to lose) - by now my FH was flowing, my shot selection was more correct and I wasn't making anymore silly unforced errors - beat him 6-4. Albeit in an uncompetitive context. But he never plays to lose! And I did play very well, passing shots, lobs, etc...

So I just wanted to share with you, that while I got double-bagled, my head is still high. And I know WHY I got double-bagled and I know HOW to improve on it. I am convinced I can play him with a much closer scoreline if I have more experience playing players at his level obviously - but more specifically; 3) won't be an issue as I now know what shots to play when he hits his range, which will implicitly help with 2) which will then help me with 4). I can address 1) by ensuring I have a good hitting session either directly before the game, or a day before.


It's a good reminder for me and everyone else - don't be scared to lose. Losing is alright IF:

- You know WHY you lost.
- You know HOW to improve on it.

Good luck guys!
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
shoukdnt one of the reasons you lost have to do with how your opponent deconstructed your game?
You pointed out everything you struggled with but never analyzed what he did to give you trouble. It takes two to tango.

At least you know it takes you too long to get comfortable. You need to work on starting faster. It shouldn’t take 6-9 games to get a bead on your opponent.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
shoukdnt one of the reasons you lost have to do with how your opponent deconstructed your game?
You pointed out everything you struggled with but never analyzed what he did to give you trouble. It takes two to tango.

At least you know it takes you too long to get comfortable. You need to work on starting faster. It shouldn’t take 6-9 games to get a bead on your opponent.
I never really had a game for him to deconstruct. Once I DID have a game he tried to go to the net more but that suits me.

My biggest issue was that his regular shot was a hard flat angled forehand. My regular FH is TS with extreme SW grip. Often tried to hit back with my regular FH but it wasn't working. So I went to my defence slice and then I had more joy, I'd then keep myself in the rally..

It took me too long to work HIS game out and yes I need to improve on evaluating this a lot quicker.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I got double-bagled by a player in a tournament match yesterday.

Normally that would mean a massive gulf in class right?

Well this is the first time I got thrashed and thought there wasn't much in it!

I put the defeat down to a few things other than him being a solid 0.5NTRP higher level (he is 4.0-4.5):

1) Not sharp enough. I played 3 matches in a row before without ANY warm up sessions so had no opportunity to play loose and get rythm/timing in my shots flowing.
I'm not following your logic: how does lack of warmup in the previous 3 matches affect your next match? You may not have warmed up but you did play 3 entire matches. Are you talking about 3 matches on the same day prior to the 4th where you got double-bageled?

And if no warmup is bad for your game, why didn't you warm up?


We didn't even warm up for 10 minutes before he wanted to get into serves. Without a flowing FH I cannot play aggressive, so my shots were containing/consistent shots.
Why didn't you say that you're not ready for serves yet?

And would that extra few minutes of warmup made a difference in a 0-6 0-6 scoreline? Probably not. The issue lies elsewhere.

2) Nervous. I always have some nervousness and tightness at the start of the match which normally goes away as soon as I have won a couple of games.
Your opponent is likely nervous also but he apparently is dealing with it more efficiently.

Also, if it requires winning a couple of games to reduce your nervousness and tightness, I suggest a different strategy that will allow you to hit the ground running. Otherwise, every time you start the match down, it will hold you back.

3) I was getting used to his game, so spent 6-9 games just familiarisng myself with the right shot selection for his game.
As with the nerves, he was adjusting to your game as well. It shouldn't take you 9 games to do that unless he's not following any pattern [ie pushes for a few games, then starts ripping winners, then attacks the net, then moonballs, etc. Actually, if he can do that and still win easily, he's just a better player.]

It's a good reminder for me and everyone else - don't be scared to lose. Losing is alright IF:

- You know WHY you lost.
- You know HOW to improve on it.

Good luck guys!
You've got a good start on both the WHY and HOW although I think some of these factors are more in your control than you perceive.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
I'm not following your logic: how does lack of warmup in the previous 3 matches affect your next match? You may not have warmed up but you did play 3 entire matches. Are you talking about 3 matches on the same day prior to the 4th where you got double-bageled?

And if no warmup is bad for your game, why didn't you warm up?




Why didn't you say that you're not ready for serves yet?

And would that extra few minutes of warmup made a difference in a 0-6 0-6 scoreline? Probably not. The issue lies elsewhere.



Your opponent is likely nervous also but he apparently is dealing with it more efficiently.

Also, if it requires winning a couple of games to reduce your nervousness and tightness, I suggest a different strategy that will allow you to hit the ground running. Otherwise, every time you start the match down, it will hold you back.



As with the nerves, he was adjusting to your game as well. It shouldn't take you 9 games to do that unless he's not following any pattern [ie pushes for a few games, then starts ripping winners, then attacks the net, then moonballs, etc. Actually, if he can do that and still win easily, he's just a better player.]



You've got a good start on both the WHY and HOW although I think some of these factors are more in your control than you perceive.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to me.

My TS FH requires smooth timing for it to be effective otherwise it becomes more of a liability. Under match conditions it is tight due to my nerves and therefore doesn’t flow as well as it can. Normally to help it flow under such conditions I hit for maybe an hour or so at least a day or so before a match without pressure so that the timing becomes more ingrained. Due to time constraints and having obligation to play league matches i haven’t had that opportunity.

And yes of course you’re right, absolutely it mustn’t take me 9 games to work someone out. I need to improve here.

He is no doubt a better player but my point is I have seen enough now to know the next we time play I can compete with him.

I lost to a player a similar level 6-1 6-4. We currently have an unfinished match 7-6, 3-4..it shows that half the battle with me is getting to know the players game...

I look forward to to receiving any tips you may have with regards strategy you may have for nervous players like myself...
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I look forward to to receiving any tips you may have with regards strategy you may have for nervous players like myself...
Can you isolate why you're getting nervous? Everyone experiences a little nervousness before a match. The issue if it hinders your performance significantly over an extended period [like 9 games].

Some common reasons:
- Fear of failure
- Disappointing yourself
- Disappointing others
- Spectators
- Expectations

Check out the following:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=patrick+cohn+tennis

 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
In sports, nerves should help you rather than hinder you. All great athletes use that nervous energy and Adrenalin to get the best out of themselves. Need to learn to harness it to hone your focus. We all face pressure, those that can thrive under it will succeed in sports and life.

Maybe reviewing Winning Ugly might be sound advice.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
We didn't even warm up for 10 minutes before he wanted to get into serves. Without a flowing FH I cannot play aggressive, so my shots were containing/consistent shots.
You're not ready to start warming up serves after 8-10 minutes? I hope to never play you.
 

heftylefty

Hall of Fame
First off, thank you for your honesty. While you are anonymous, it's takes a lot of heart you put yourself out here. I can appreciate that.

I've been double beagled in a tournament too, age group, 45s. It was a while ago. What I remembered was the feeling of being rushed. Not by my opponent, but I just "felt" rushed. I didn't try to construct games. I made bad decisions doing games. Not paying attention to the game scores. And the match got away from me.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
First off, thank you for your honesty. While you are anonymous, it's takes a lot of heart you put yourself out here. I can appreciate that.

I've been double beagled in a tournament too, age group, 45s. It was a while ago. What I remembered was the feeling of being rushed. Not by my opponent, but I just "felt" rushed. I didn't try to construct games. I made bad decisions doing games. Not paying attention to the game scores. And the match got away from me.
I know exactly how you feel. When I tried to reconstruct the match after, it was a blur. There were entire games that I couldn't recall. That either happens when I'm in the zone or in the tank.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
You're not ready to start warming up serves after 8-10 minutes? I hope to never play you.
You think the pros only warm up 10 minutes for a match? Even they have a hitting session beforehand ON the day. Don't be so naive.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
I know exactly how you feel. When I tried to reconstruct the match after, it was a blur. There were entire games that I couldn't recall. That either happens when I'm in the zone or in the tank.
One of my strengths is analysing where I go wrong - of course it takes some effort to correct it
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Can you isolate why you're getting nervous? Everyone experiences a little nervousness before a match. The issue if it hinders your performance significantly over an extended period [like 9 games].

Some common reasons:
- Fear of failure
- Disappointing yourself
- Disappointing others
- Spectators
- Expectations

Check out the following:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=patrick+cohn+tennis

Excellent question. To be honest I don't know the answer to that.

I had a league match the other day, with another top player (not quite as good as the guy I lost to here). It was a continuation of a match from a previous day where I lost the first set 7-6 and finished with me 4-3 up on the second. Recommencing, we hit a tie break, and I had 3 set points. I choked.

Played another set (so non-competitive). I won 6-1.

I really need to learn how to play my aggressive tennis in heated situations. I guess this is what it comes down to. In the mean time, my serve is improving hour by hour ( I cracked the pronation, wrist snap, 2nd serve, etc). So I have a lot of positives to take.

Your question - great question thanks, need some soul searching!
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
You think the pros only warm up 10 minutes for a match? Even they have a hitting session beforehand ON the day. Don't be so naive.
Nope. I do my warmup before I step on the court with my opponent. When I take the court with my opponent I'm must getting used to the balls, court and trying to see what I can glean about the opponent's game.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Nope. I do my warmup before I step on the court with my opponent. When I take the court with my opponent I'm must getting used to the balls, court and trying to see what I can glean about the opponent's game.
Most competitive players are already warmed before the warm up. I have played players matches (level 4.5-5 NTRP) where they have already hit for 2 hours.

My point was that I hadn't hit loose forehands for days, so there was only so much I could try during the 10 min 'warm up'.

You can go days without hitting and then hit loose for 10 mins before a match? Good for you! Not me :)
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Playing the same guy next in the tournament, a year on.

My serve hasn’t improved since, with my latest change only literally weeks ago. But the rest of my game has! :)

Will do my best to avoid the double double-bagel!
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Playing the same guy next in the tournament, a year on.

My serve hasn’t improved since, with my latest change only literally weeks ago. But the rest of my game has! :)

Will do my best to avoid the double double-bagel!
Hopefully your groundstrokes are more resilient. Having to have perfect timing and hours of warmup to play well isn't a recipe for much success as there will be plenty of times you don't have a court or time to get in a good long warmup.

And TBH I like playing guys that really are dependent on their topspin groundies as their sole strategy, Played one today. Lost the first set 3-6 and realized that hitting moderate paced waist high groundies to this guy was not the way to go. Ditto flat serves to his forehand were a bad idea.

So I just worked on changing things up. Low slice to moonball, short followed by deep, stay back, come in. Switched to mostly slice serves. Threw in some second serves as first serves. Totally threw him off and he imploded in a myriad of errors. Took the second set 6-3 before time ran out on the court.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Hopefully your groundstrokes are more resilient. Having to have perfect timing and hours of warmup to play well isn't a recipe for much success as there will be plenty of times you don't have a court or time to get in a good long warmup.

And TBH I like playing guys that really are dependent on their topspin groundies as their sole strategy, Played one today. Lost the first set 3-6 and realized that hitting moderate paced waist high groundies to this guy was not the way to go. Ditto flat serves to his forehand were a bad idea.

So I just worked on changing things up. Low slice to moonball, short followed by deep, stay back, come in. Switched to mostly slice serves. Threw in some second serves as first serves. Totally threw him off and he imploded in a myriad of errors. Took the second set 6-3 before time ran out on the court.
Great stuff. Mixing it up is always a great strategy.

I have a really good feel now and am able to play drop shots from most places in the court. My safe-strategy when other aspects of my game are not so on is to drop the ball or play short and make them move - this exposes footwork issues with opponents if they have any. At the least it will make them run :)

My strokes are solid, I have more composure, but I have to play aggressive against this guy. He hits hard and true with little spin but he still keeps it in a lot. This time I won’t be so nervous but while my serve is off my best chance of a game is on HIS serve.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Thats why when someone tells me the score i always ask how the games went, because a score in tennis alot of times doesnt tell the whole story.

Lost 6:1 6:2 to a guy and I can honestly say i was completely outplayed and put out of my comfort zone.

Lost to another guy 6:0 6:1 but the match was so close you wouldnt believe it, all but 1 game were 40:40, loads of break points, loads of ads, but just never played those crucial points good and choked, yet the match was so even apart from that, crazy..
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Thats why when someone tells me the score i always ask how the games went, because a score in tennis alot of times doesnt tell the whole story.

Lost 6:1 6:2 to a guy and I can honestly say i was completely outplayed and put out of my comfort zone.

Lost to another guy 6:0 6:1 but the match was so close you wouldnt believe it, all but 1 game were 40:40, loads of break points, loads of ads, but just never played those crucial points good and choked, yet the match was so even apart from that, crazy..
yup. My worst loss on paper this year is a 1-2 scoreline. After the match I had a few people come up and congratulate me on the win .... they thought based on the points they saw that I naturally had to have won. I played a great match, except on the important points. A lot to learn from.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I have definitely had some ugly losses on paper that I have come out of feeling pretty good about.

A few weeks ago I played a new guy in our club competion, and started really slowly - lost the first four games quickly. The last four games we split, with me holding serve comfortably twice, and having multiple break points in both his service games. The main reason was that I stopped double faulting, and I had figured out his first serve.

Because of this, I came out of a pretty speedy 2-6 loss feeling like the better player and reasonably confident that I'd probably win our next meeting.

Of course, I have also had matches where I have been in my opponent's shoes - grabbing the first handful of games from a better player because my opponent is flummoxed by my lefty serve-and-volley, then (when the initial shock has worn off) just getting over the line with him breathing down my neck. Tennis is definitely a sport where the score often doesn't tell the whole story.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
Played another set for fun (he doesn't play to lose) - by now my FH was flowing, my shot selection was more correct and I wasn't making anymore silly unforced errors - beat him 6-4. Albeit in an uncompetitive context. But he never plays to lose! And I did play very well, passing shots, lobs, etc...
IMHO this is a fluke and while he might not have been playing to lose he certainly wasn't playing to win. If you got beat 6-0 6-0 and then won another set you didn't all of a sudden just start playing better and figured out your opponent. Your opponent took his foot off the gas.
 

Daniel Andrade

Hall of Fame
It will happen eventually.
And there will always be the threat for it to occur.
There will always be people who play much better and much worse than you.

Now you have a challenge, you have to improve so the next time you play this guy you will actually give him some fight!

COME ON!
 
Top