Inhouse Match Reports

fundrazer

Legend
Rematch with the guy from post 22. Tldr version of that was his game wasn't anything special. I blew him out in the first set but fell apart afterwards. Thought he was playing mental games as he was making random excuses and complaining about his ex wife and bratty kids.

Started off with more excuses. Complaining about the way he wrapped his overgrip, blabbing about how long he was in the car today, etc. Started off destroying him. Lots of free points on serve and was handling his serve no problem. Not many rallies, but I tended to win them when we had em. Somewhere in the middle of the set he's complaining about when I hit the balls back to him after the point. Maybe he had to occasionally walk a bit to fetch them. Wasn't anything intentional on my part, sometimes the ball just doesn't go where we intend. But I paid more attention to this and made sure to hit the balls to him. Didn't complain about it again during the set, and it didn't seem like an issue.

Was up 5-0. Had a tight service game or two, but he was giving me way too many free points. Wasn't getting the ball back or giving me some easy balls. Had a sloppy return game and a sloppy service game that helped him bring it to 5-3. One of the points in my service game I went for serve and volley. First volley was very good, short into the ad court, he was able to get to it but punched it back to me. Unfortunately clipped the net and came right into my body and I couldn't get out of the way. No apology here that I saw or heard, but it was fine.

Anyway...closed it out 6-3. Free points on serve plus another serve volley attempt to close it out. Nice dink that he didn't try for.

So here's the fun part. He starts to lecture me about bad sportsmanship in regards to getting the balls back to him after his service points. I said I wasn't doing anything intentionally and that I thought I was giving the balls right back to him. Keeps on blabbing about how he's trying to give me advice etc. I was starting to feel uncomfortable and was wondering if he was trying to throw me off my game, because I felt that he tried to do this last time with all of his talking. For me I could not even imagine that I was doing anything unsportsmanlike. Finally I said look I'm not here to talk I'm here to play. He got a bit upset with that and said he was done. Said he's not here to talk either and we're not friends (no ****, but that didn't stop him from treating our last match like a friggin marriage counseling session).

Weirdest interaction I've had with somebody here. Have never really had issues with anybody except a small argument with somebody after a point because I heard him call a ball on the baseline out (I missed the volley after this). I apologized after that match and played him a few more times, no hard feelings. This guy though...wackjob. He told the guy at the desk I was an *******. Explained the situation to him and also the guy who organizes our matches. Should be getting a refund which is nice.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
So he just walked out and left after one set and went to the desk to tell them you're an a-hole? Wow.
 

fundrazer

Legend
More enjoyable match tonight, was a rematch with the slicer/junkballer. Served extremely well for the most part despite giving up a break in each set. I'm not gonna complain too much about a 6-2 6-2 win though. Will post more details tomorrow cause I'm kinda tired. Short version is that serve was good, return games were good, forehand okay, backhand meh, net game pretty solid.

Was feeling some arm pain though...which is surprising me a bit, because I have not been playing too regularly. Gonna think about the compression sleeve again...
 

fundrazer

Legend
Okay...so the funny thing is that when warming up my serve I was just going for my topspin/kick serves. I frame like 4 in a row which was embarrassing but I kinda lol'd at myself a bit. I've had this happen in warmups before, just took a little bit of extra time to dial that in.

First service game for me was a small struggle, but good serving got me out of trouble. On returns ,this guy usually hits a slice serve that stays low and kinda dies, so I made sure to be quick with my feet and moving inside the court. Was often just going for deep balls and following that into net. Worked out really well, and I had quite a few 1-2 points with this play. Deep ball + volley winner. Wasn't going for too much, just trying to place the ball well. Should probably try to be a bit more aggressive with my return, because following those balls into net against stronger players probably wouldn't be as successful, although at same time I wouldn't be getting these opportunities against stronger serve.

Anyway. A lot of easy breaks for me tonight. Had a few return winners as well, and for the most part I could start off points in an advantageous position.

Rallies weren't too exciting. I can normally just wait for a short ball and step in and take it wide to his backhand or forehand. Had quite a few winners this way. Had a few opportunities on some deeper balls that sat up also, but I didn't do as good a job punishing these. Backhand was also a bit poor today. Actually starting to think that I do better with against pace on that side, but I dunno. It's a bit weird in that I can seriously struggle with my timing on that side against well hit balls, but I think I'm also more consistent. Tend to hit a lot of backhands long when I need to generate my own pace. Probably need to brush up a bit more I guess.

Serve was dynamite. Was mostly playing with topspin/kick and some slice serves, but very effective today. Had a few aces wide on the deuce side, and overall he struggled a lot with getting my serve back. Net play was also very good as I mentioned. Two volleys I remember particularly well. One I had to lunge a bit for a backhand volley on his dtl ball, had a very good stab volley that died around the ad court service box. Had another low backhand volley that I somehow found my old touch on, similar result to the other volley. Short and low into the ad service box, not much he could do.

Still not as confident as I'd like to be when going for shots from the baseline, but there's also the change that a restring will help with a bit of control. I dunno. Would like to get out and rally a bit this weekend, but not sure with my arm pain. Against my stronger opponents though I really need to be more capable. My one usual opponent I'm often okay grinding with him, but he's also prone to making a lot of errors when I can hit an aggressive ball.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Played another one tonight. Wasn't too exciting, guy liked to to serve and volley occasionally. Could keep the ball pretty low at times, but rallying was definitely not his forte. Was up a set and a break but kinda goofed a lot on serve in the second set. Wasn't missing serves, but finishing points off was where I struggled. Was down 3-5 in the second after dropping serve twice in a row, had three break chances but blew em all. He hit a well placed serve to save the first one, I kinda flubbed a bunch. Anyway...scoreline went 6-2, 3-6, 4-1. We started a third set but didn't finish as another group was coming onto court.

Starting off I had a lot of trouble with his serve. He's a lefty, and for whatever reason the spin was really throwing me off for a good while. The guys I usually practice with are both lefty, so I've had plenty of practice, but I think maybe they don't get quite as much slice as this guy. The one guy I play with usually tries to bomb it flat. Anyway, I also wasn't having much trouble on my service games. Was not going for many flat serves though. Mostly topspin/kick with some slice serves thrown in. First couple games went really quick. I was usually winning rallies, and I was often getting short balls to go after. Some of them were a bit tougher as they were short and low, but for the most part I did a great job handling these. Wasn't going for too much, but I was able to go down the line with my forehand and also cross court wide to his backhand. Had maybe 3 or 4 winners like this, so I was happy about that. Not too many rallies like I said, but I was normally able to dominate those. Every once in a while I'd make a mistake coming in for a short ball, but for the most part handled it well.

He struggled a bit with his toss tonight and threw in a couple doubles, but I made an adjustment and went back to my continental grip for returning. This is what I often do against big servers. Wasn't really the case tonight as his serves were mostly slice shorter in the box, but I felt that having one grip would be easier for me as I was often getting thrown off with the spins. He had some nice slice serves into my body which I struggled a bit with. I ended up making more returns after changing things up, punching back the forehand serves, and on the backhand side I was getting low for some slice returns. He'd come to net on some of these balls, but often his 2nd ball wouldn't be good enough and I could run those down.

Was also doing really well with my serve like I said. Was able to break him twice in the first set and was holding pretty comfortably. Started the 2nd set up a break with an easy hold, then things started getting a bit weird. Wasn't doing much with his serve as I tried to play it a bit more aggressively again (going away from what I was doing earlier), and I was missing on a lot of balls that I was eating up earlier. Threw in 2 or 3 doubles and gave up two breaks.

Starting the third set I decided to go back to what was working. Had an easy service game to start, and I managed to break him pretty comfortably. Think I faced a break point or two somewhere after that, but again, was serving pretty well. He commented after the match that he couldn't really figure it out the entire night and struggled as the serves were up at about shoulder height for him. One of the guys I regularly play with has said the same thing before, so it sounds like I'm maybe doing something right.

Soooo what am I happy with today. Forehand was decent. Was happy with how I handled a lot of short balls. I had maybe 5-6 winners like this, just stepping into the court and taking the ball early. Fortunately didn't have to face the pressure of too many volleys. Had one nice swinging volley winner somewhere along the way, but I also missed one that I hit right into top part of the net. Backhand also held up pretty well. Was able to knife some good slices, and coming over the ball was fine. Not many errors on this side which was great. When I needed to I was also able to play some good defense.

Pretty happy with the most part. Think I'd like to practice flat serve a bit more since I'm not feeling too confident lately, but topspin serves worked out really well tonight and during my match on Thursday. Would also like to be a little more offensive when I get nice balls on the baseline, but overall I'm happy with the forehand today.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Another rematch with the junk baller. He's not really troubling me that much anymore and I think he's getting a little frustrated that the organizer is pairing us up.

Match was pretty straight forward for the most part. Played my usual game against him, although I did try to practice my topspin backhand a bit more. I still mix in the slice, but on most rally balls I was trying to come over the ball.

Best shot of the night for me was a cross court backhand winner. We were in the middle of a bit of a moonball rally. I was just playing back deep with topspin to him, but then I got a better ball to hit and it was this laser crosscourt. All he could do was watch it go by. Another play that I setup a few times was a wide serve to his forehand on the deuce side. He got some decent place on those returns, but they were in the middle of the court and I was able snack them back to his backhand side for winners.

For the most part was hitting all of my shots well though. Some good volleys, serve was reliable and effective, and I was good off the ground.
 

fundrazer

Legend
It's been a while!

My club opened up again for outdoor matches on the clay (*shudders), so I'm going to give it a try again soon and see how things go. Gonna try to drop off my racquet for stringing tomorrow. Depending on when it's ready, I may try to play once this week, but I also plan to practice on the weekend. Still playing with Vcore 97HD, restringing this time with VS gut/poly tour pro at 50/48. I'm hoping that this setup resolves some of the arm issues I've been facing, but we will see.
 

fundrazer

Legend
First match in a few months, so let's see how it goes. Playing on the har tru clay, and that didn't go too well the first time XD

Will try to channel some Gaudio backhands since I've got him in the avatar for now. Minus the head case stuff.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Not a good match for me. Maybe if a handful of points go my way the score could have been closer, but probably not by much. There were a couple service games that i dropped after having game points. Had two or three break chances also, but wasn't able to convert any of those.

This guy was pretty standard pusher/grinder. Didn't really have weapons and mainly put the ball back in play. Can redirect somewhat, but at the same time he's not able to apply too much pressure when redirecting. I was still struggling a lot with some of the bounces and was perhaps trying to be too aggressive at times. I would prefer to take the ball earlier, but I'm thinking maybe to take a step or two back to give myself a little bit of extra time to adjust on awkward bounces. Groundstrokes were relatively okay though. Forehand was decent, particularly the inside out. Had quite a few winners with that shot and did not miss it much. Probably had more misses on neutral balls then I did offensive shots. Need to balance it out more with down the line and shots to his forehand corner though. Backhand held up well too, hitting with decent spin and pace, and only a handful of errors from that side.

Serve wasn't very reliable though. A couple aces, but outweighed by plenty of doubles. Cleaned that up after the first set, but damage was done by that point. Was the shot that let me down the most for sure. I wasn't going too aggressive on the first serves either. Was going for more topspin rather than my flatter first serve. I was dead during latter parts of the second set too. Haven't played in hot + humid weather like that in a while. Overall he was just more match fit and more solid than I was.

May try to give it another go later this week. We will see. I do miss the hard courts though. Would be more competitive with a guy like this on that surface, assuming I served decently enough.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Was back at it again tonight, much better result this time though. Bonus is that it was against somebody that stomped me before. Didn't realize it was him at first, but during warmup I knew he had good strokes and I was thinking I was about to get demolished again. Instead it ended up being a 6-3, 6-1 win for me. I think overall I was just more consistent than he was, and I think he had a harder time with my serve than vice versa. Not many aces, but a lot of serves didn't come back which is just as good.

I played really well on returns which helped. He plays more of a topspin serve, but I was usually able to make good solid contact as the bounce was somewhat reliable. Wasn't getting thrown off too much. Much different result than yesterday where I missed more returns.

Was grinding a bit, but also played some aggressive shots when I had opportunities. Was very pleased with my backhand today. Goo mix of topspin and slice, managed to produce a few errors.

Don't know what else there is to report really. Happy with the win, but will be taking a few days off as my arm is starting to feel sore again. I'm a little worried it's the racquet, but I'm not sure. The VCore 97HD is low flex, but I've heard a few other comments here saying it's a bit deceptive in that regard. May consider trying out the new Blades, but we will see. I want to stick with 18x20, that I am sure of.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Played a pretty garbage match tonight. Won the first set in a breaker and we called it a night midway through the 2nd. Think I was up a break twice in the second but gave it back both times. A lot of untimely errors really. Also had quite literally my worst performance at net too. I was an absolute dumpster fire with my volleys. Probably a bit indecisive which lead to a few of the errors, but I definitely need to work on that. Gonna keep this one a short post since it wasn't really an interesting match. Main interesting points were that I had a handful of backhand winners, had a backhand overhead that I hit crosscourt for a winner, and I hit one gorgeous forehand down the line when I was on the run.

The worst part is that I finished late enough that by the time I got to Chick fil A they were closed. Well, I guess the worst thing is that my arm hurts again. I dunno what to do about that anymore. VS gut/poly tour pro at 50/48 isn't helping.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Ugggggh frustrating loss in a super tie breaker today.

Was another rematch tonight. Not much remarkable about this guy's game, but things about his game throw me off a bit. I had a tight win against him the first time, 7-6, 7-5, but tonight was I think 2-6, 6-2, then like 6-10 or 7-10 in super tie breaker. Some poor shots in that breaker...

Anyway. Back to what I saw saying before. Guy's forehand isn't much special. Sometimes hits it with really low net clearance though, and barely any bounce. He had a couple of winners on balls like that where I just didn't have time to get to them. Doesn't have a backhand drive at all, can only chop at the ball. Would get on my nerves sometimes though... I don't think even he knows half the time where the ball was going, but they often managed to float over the net and drop somewhere on my side of the court.

I started off this one with a pretty confident service game. Was really have trouble on returns though. I couldn't figure out what the problem was for a while, because his serve isn't anything amazing. He's not beating me with pace or placement. I was often right there for the return, and I just shank it. Shank, shank, shank. I had some game points for my second service game but ended up dropping serve eventually. One point in particular that frustrated me was a ball I was right on top of the net for, but when I went for the volley I was blinded a bit by the court lights. Made the volley, but didn't do enough with it and lost the point.

Did have some chances to break back after, but wasn't able to convert any of those. Made more returns in that game, but some of them weren't deep enough, and he just redirected with some of his forehands. Was a bit surprised he made both em to be honest though. Again, not much clearance over the net. I might have been able to retrieve em if I had started earlier, but I often tend to stay at put and wait for the attempted wrongfoot. Might be an adjustment for me to make in the future. Other times I'm more proactive and will start recovering earlier before a split step and attempt to retrieve the next ball, but I think I was lacking this tonight.

I dropped serve again with a lousy game. Had more chances to break but didn't convert. Relatively poor first set from me. Was not happy about it at all.

2nd set started off much better though. Getting plenty of cheap/free points from big serves. Flat serve to his backhand on ad side worked well, deuce side I had a big ace up the t. Wasn't really able to hit my slice serves much though. Relying mostly on the flat serve. Slice up the t on ad side is one of my favorite serves and it's been mia since I started playing again. Closed out one of my early service games with a nice serve and volley point though. Not a traditional volley, but cracked a forehand swing volley down the line for a winner.

I totally dominated the second set which I was happy with. Was a little close to a third break which would have gotten me a breadstick if I had served it out, but I'll take the 6-2. Tie breaker was an absolute disaster though. One or two double faults, a missed volley, and a ball into the net on some junk shot he managed to barely get over the net. Think I dropped this

So what was good? First serve definitely. Would have liked some more free points, but he did a good job getting a stick on returns. I'm just a little frustrated that so many of them managed to find their way back in the court. Backhand was fine. Applied some decent pressure with topspin backhands, and mixing it up with slice is always good too. Net game was okay. Could have been better, and I maybe could have approached more.

What was bad? Terrible returning in the first set. Definitely should have been better. Forehand was misfiring a little too much for my liking tonight. Against this guy I know I can go crosscourt to his forehand side and control points that way, but I wasn't hitting the shots as well as I would have liked. Still something for me to work on. My forehand down the line was a little poor also. Dunno if I just wasn't setting up well, but it wasn't the kill shot I that I needed tonight. Hit a few winners with it, but I had more opportunities to do damage.

Not sure when next match will be. Arm is bothering me a little, but not too painful. Might try for a match on the weekend or just some practice. We'll see. Could use some forehand practice, and maybe some extra practice with dropshots. Good tool against guy like this.
 

fundrazer

Legend
No match update today, but giving a general update about how my game is going + some other things.

Unfortunately even with gut/poly I'm still dealing with arm pain after frequent playing. I'm leaning more towards the possibility of it being a technique issue, probably with my serve. Might have some private lessons to get it looked at, but we will see. Identified a tweak I will be making already, but I don't know if it will help with the arm issues. I did however purchase some 2xu compression sleeves which I will be trying. I'm really hoping that they help, because I would love to be playing at least 3 times a week. At the moment I really just can't.

May also tinker around with more string setups. Current setup has been a bit "launchy" my last two times out, but it could just be off days for me. Sunday in particular was a bit windy which didn't help, but something has felt a little off (mainly with the forehand).

One of the guys from my casual hitting group finally returned also, so we'll be getting back to playing doubles matches on Sundays I think. Normally we've just been doing me vs 2 practices. I haven't played doubles in forever, but I had a lot of fun with these guys when we were playing.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Another rematch with the junkballer tonight. Our first time playing on the green clay though.

Started off a bit poorly. Was pushing him in his first service game, but ended up missing a lot of balls for whatever reason. Eventually he holds, then I have a service game that I end up giving away. Think I won the first two points, double faulted three times in a row, and I forget what happened from there. He was up 3-0 before I was able to hold serve, but after that I started playing better. Serving better, and returning much better too. I think I won 6 straight games, mostly just playing aggressive. Had a few nice drop shots as well. Was very aggressive with my court positioning, so for a few balls I was inside the court and could just cut right under his slices.

Serve was decent other than the doubles. Was big serving for me, had a few aces and unreturned serves. Usually set myself up well for next balls. Tried a bit more serve and volley in the second set, although this had mixed results. I'm not sure what the issue has been lately, but my volleys have just not been sharp at all. Fortunately, should be playing more doubles again as I mentioned, so I'm hoping it comes back to me.

Other than that, nothing too exciting in this one, 6-3 6-3 win for me. Arm feels fine after the match though, and it wasn't bothering me during play. Good sign moving forward hopefully. Will continue to wear the compression sleeves when I play.
 

penpal

Semi-Pro
Even though your arm felt better, I wonder if the pain you've been having could be a factor in your volley game. I know whenever I have any type of pain - elbow, lower back, shoulder, [insert body part here] - it usually causes problems in at least one aspect of my game.
 

fundrazer

Legend
It affects me on serve the most, but I actually think my serve technique is causing the pain to begin with. Too much arm, not enough upper body rotation, or the "cartwheel."

So I will try to work on that. Maybe take a week off from the match play and go practice serves one or two nights this week. Going to be a bit hot anyway, so I dunno if I'll be up for matches to begin with. Have also considered going for a few lessons with a teaching pro, but we will see. Would probably be a good idea, help me fix up some other leaks in my game as well.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Wasn't planning on playing, but guy organizing the matches sent me a text and asked if I'd be down to play. Figured it was an indoor match when he gave the time, so I said what the heck. Match ended up being a bit closer in the 2nd set, but I think there was a bit of a gap in our playing level. Was a 6-2 7-5 win for me. Arm feels okay too, but we'll see how that goes.

Match started off with a tough hold. Had some good serves for free points, and a couple doubles to give him opportunities to stay in the game. Was trying to take it easier on serve by focusing on upper body rotation and the shoulder over shoulder technique. Don't think I quite have it yet, but it felt a little more effortless today and not like I was trying to just swing very fast. Think that's what I should be going for. ANyway... Eventually got the hold. We had a tough game on his serve to follow, but I eventually got a break. Started off mostly punching back returns which he didn't handle too well. Was missing a few follow up shots or giving me opportunities to attack.
Don't remember how too many of the games went in terms of points, but I did go up 4-0 before giving up a break on serve. I hit some pretty good serves but he handled them pretty well.

Managed to hold and break for 6-2 first set though. Most parts of my game were working well. Could have been a little cleaner at net on some volleys, but for the most part I was successful coming forward. Made all of my overheads too :)

He could occasionally get some nice depth on his shots, but did resort to junk at times. Overall the junk ballers have started bothering me less and less. Eventually there's something I can attack and finish the point on. Low balls on my forehand side I can handle really well, getting good pace and depth on those. Served and returned well today too. He could get decent pace on his first serve, but not often enough and not big enough to bother me too much, so I wasn't giving away too many free points on return. That hurt me last match, but previous opponent's lefty serve was a fair bit better. As for my serve, t serve on ad side was back tonight. I had been missing it for a few weeks, but tonight it was absolutely on fire again. Had maybe 5 aces with that serve. Still need to work on the wider slice serve on deuce side, but I'm happy this serve is back for sure. I can hit the flatter one into the backhand corner on ad side as well, so it gives me a bit of variety to keep guys guessing.

Forehand was good today as I was kind of getting to. A couple of misses, but for the most part I was able to do big damage with inside out forehand, and also taking him to his forehand side. Still working on this a bit, but was happy enough with it today.

As for the second set. I fell down a break relatively early, but was able to break back and hold for 5-4. I think I had two match points in that next return game, but missed a few balls and it was 5-5. Last service game was a bit of a struggle. He started moonballing a bit which I don't mind too much, but I made a few mistakes and had to save a break point or two. Decent serves bailed me out of trouble. Had an ace and some short returns that I was able to put away. Broke him next game too and that was that.

Was a friendly guy too. Had a nice compliment for my forehand. Said he doesn't play with anybody who hits inside out forehand like I do, and that he couldn't see it coming a lot of the time. Of course after hearing this I'm thinking okay maybe I should take those balls down the line a bit more. Maybe that produced few more errors on my end, but no worries. For most part was a solid match on my end. Gave up a few breaks, but I was also making a bit of an adjustment with the serve.

I have seen these types of slowmo clips fairly often, but either I forget or my muscle memory causes me to hit serve differently. I dunno. Did focus more on trying to replicate this type of motion though. Safin is one of the guys where I think you clearly see the shoulder over shoulder cartwheel, and another would be Ancic (and he had a very good serve too) so I'm trying to visualize that when serving and just see how it goes.

 

fundrazer

Legend
Really straightforward easy match tonight. 6-1, 6-1. One of those matches where opponent doesn't do anything that can really bother me. Wasn't going to beat me with pace, and he wasn't consistent enough to draw out errors. Will keep it short since match wasn't all that interesting.

As for me, most things were clicking. Could play more aggressive or try to grind out points. Either option worked. Serve was maybe a bit off, but I'm not going to complain too much. And other than on a few serve mishits, the arm felt fine too. Played decently at net today too. Made all of my overheads and missed only one volley from what I remember.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Rematch tonight with a solid lefty opponent. Doesn't hit with a lot of pace, but redirects the ball very well and doesn't give up too many freebies. Don't think I posted about the first match, but it was a disaster for me on the clay. Tonight we played indoors and the result was closer, but still an L for me. 4-6, 3-6. Brings me to 5-4 overall since I started up playing again. Not bad.

First time we played I had an absolutely awful time returning his serve. Wasn't the pace, but the spin was just throwing me off. Whenever I went for a more aggressive return I was just mishitting so badly. Started off the same tonight, but then I decided that I would start blocking back serves. Was a really slow start for me though. Think he won like 7 of the 8 first points. Missing returns, and a few doubles on my serve gave him early lead. He started up 3-0, but I had a good service game, then was able to break after adjusting my returns. Punching a lot of forehand returns back, slicing the backhands. Worked out well and got things back to even. 4-4 though I really threw away a lot of good chances on return game. I think I had 0-30 lead, got a look at 3 or 4 second serves in a row, and I didn't manage to break. Did a lousy job with most of those returns actually. One I did get a decent hit on, but it wasn't placed well enough and he was able to redirect it. Couldn't break, disaster service game for me, first set for him.

2nd set I was serving okay, but for whatever reason I couldn't support my serve well enough. He did a great job getting returns back though. Thought I was hitting decent first serves and aggressive 2nd serves, but he handled most of them pretty well. I probably could have done better on follow up shots, but I wasn't getting free points. I actually don't remember if I held serve in that set...Although I had a terrible 40-0 game that I gave up too. Maybe some margins were a bit close at times, but some of those points were inexcusable. Did break him 2 or 3 times this set also (one game I blitzed him with some big forehands), but I was never able to consolidate with holds. Frustrating.

As for what needed to work better. Forehand returns #1. Also needed to do more damage with forehand when opportunity was present. Did have a few forehand winners, but not enough. Backhand was fine, other than two awful errors into the net. Backhand cross was actually a good shot for me as his reply was usually something I could step in on. Maybe could have worked the slice more, particularly the short slice. He volleys pretty well, but his approach shots are a bit weak and he made a couple errors here.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Didn't finish second set tonight, but was up 6-0, 4-3 or something. Kinda lost track of the score in the second set though. This one was another rematch, and it was actually one of the guys I've played the most with at the club. Gets good topspin on the forehand, and he can hit the ball really well at times. Serve is pretty decent also. Backhand is his weakest shot by far though.

Was a good match from me, but all I really needed to do was get the ball back deep. He was hitting a lot of balls long which made things relatively easy for me. The other big difference in this match was that I was getting a ton of free points on serve while I was hitting returns really well. Was just seeing the ball really well tonight and getting clean strikes on the ball consistently. Highlight was one wide serve on the deuce side that I was able to hit aggressively down the line to force an error.

Service games he just takes way too big a swing most of the time. When he connects well like in some of our matches, it can be a big problem, but he plays returns too aggressively imo. Can't stay on or inside the baseline taking full cuts at serves....

Won't go into too much detail since it wasn't a super exciting match. Mainly just trying to play solid on my end, and that worked. Arm is a little sore, so may take a break, but otherwise things are good.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Was asked to play tonight and decided to give it a go. Was a rematch with the slicer/junkballer, and I didn't really have much trouble. Kinda broke myself to start the match, but I won 11 games in a row before giving up two more. 6-1, 6-2.

Wasn't getting into too many rallies tonight. Winning a lot of points off serve or on returns. Just wasn't enough to bother me tonight, and I wasn't anywhere close to making enough errors to be in danger of losing. Forehand was pretty good also. Getting good depth and pace when I wanted to, applied enough pressure to keep me in vast majority of the points.

Anyway. Will keep it short again tonight.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Got called into action again tonight. Rematch with the guy from post #70. From the warmup I noticed that he was coming out firing, hitting forehands pretty well with good pace and spin. Definitely trying to make up for the last match where he gave up a bagel. I thought I was going to be in for some trouble too. When he's hitting the ball well he can put me under a lot of pressure. As the match went on though, he wasn't able to play with enough consistency. Similar story to the last match with him. I ended up winning this one 6-2, 6-1. Felt a little bad too, as he was very frustrated towards the end and tossed his racquet a few times.

Match started off with a good hold of serve by him. I had some good returns that helped me get ahead early, but he was able to come back in that game and close it out. Story for me on serve was similar to the other night, easy holds. I probably had over 75% of my serves not get returned, and it's very hard to win matches if you can't even get into return games. With that said though, serve still feels a bit off. Hit some decent serves tonight, but need to up the power.

Return games I was playing back, taking my split step, and then going after returns. Was always getting good depth on the ball which helped keep him under pressure. After that it was just a matter of keeping the ball deep and waiting for opportunities. One of the things I'm most happy about from tonight also was the fact that I did a good job attacking when those opportunities did come up. Had 3 or 4 down the line forehands that were either winners or put him under a lot of pressure. His backhand doesn't really hold up too well against pace and depth, so I could do a lot of damage with that shot when I had the chance. Missed a couple inside out forehands to his backhand though.

Backhand held up pretty well too. He got a few easy points serving to my backhand, but I started hitting that shot a bit cleaner when I couldn't run around for a forehand return. Down the line backhand return was very solid too. Think I caught him by surprise with those, and it made for a winner and some attack opportunities for me.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Another rematch, same guy from last match too. 6-1, 6-3. Another virtual bagel too. He held serve to start and then I wont 6 straight. Will write a full report later, because I'm a bit tired. Forehand was really good again tonight though.
 

fundrazer

Legend
So yeah, as I mentioned, he held serve to start this one. Thought maybe he was playing a little safer, as his serve didn't quite come through the court as fast, but I started off early by applying pressure with deep returns. Had 15-40, but missed a few returns and he had some good shots to eventually get the game. Similar story as the last few matches for me on serve. Free points galore. Really just did not face enough pressure on my service games. Felt that I was mixing things up with the pace, placement, and spins though.

Was able to break 3 times in the first set too. Playing deep returns back. A lot down the middle, but when I had opportunities I did go closer to the sidelines as well. I think the main thing in these past few matches with him is that I've always started off return points in a decent spot. Often we're in a neutral or slightly favorable rally for me. This is also where another aspect of my game has been clicking lately. Any time there was a ball to my forehand that slightly sat up, I was going for it. My down the line forehand has been awesome in this matchup. Handful of winners, but more importantly it's often forcing an error or setting up an easy ball for me to finish. Forehand cross was also clicking and had similar results at times. Would get a nice crack at the ball and instantly get him scrambling.

Had a few points where I was scrambling on the run though. A few drop shot balls that I had to sprint for. One particular I barely got to, tapped up the line, then recovered cross to pick off his reply. Was proud of that point. Had maybe 2 other points like this where I scrambled for the ball, but placed nicely up the line for a winner. There was another point too where I was in center of the baseline, he hit a relatively short forehand cross to my forehand. Wasn't hit with too much pace, which is one of the reasons I was able to get to it, but as I prepared to hit the ball I felt I was in good enough position to crack it down the line. Big running forehand winner : ) Depending on the circumstances, I often prefer to go for this shot. I'm usually confident with my footspeed to be able to recover, but sometimes I feel that pulling the trigger is more likely to win me the point than defense.

2nd set was a little closer, but still fairly comfortable for me. Faced one break point earlier in the set and saved that fairly easily. Had one service game at 4-2 that probably went on for 10-15 minutes. Wasn't making first serves early in the game, and threw in a couple doubles. Made a few more errors in this game too, but it was always going back and forth. Was able to erase a lot of break chances with good serves. Aces/unreturneds down the t on deuce side, ace on a bomb out wide on ad side. Good stuff. Eventually I did hold here. He had an easy game to make it 5-3 where I just didn't get enough returns in. I closed it out with good servings and one weird point. He was getting a lot of balls deep and close to the body, I was mostly just using reflexes to get them back. Last ball he had a volley that he missed wide, and that was that.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Another W. Same opponent as the last two matches. Would kinda like to change things up a bit maybe, but I normally have to play well to beat this guy.

Scoreline was closer, but this one wasn't as interesting. Didn't feel like I played as well as the previous matches, and he upped his game a bit too. Still making the same mistakes though. For me the serve wasn't as solid, and I didn't get too many opportunities to go after balls. Will post some more thoughts tomorrow.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Serve didn't feel as smooth, and I did feel the arm starting to flare up a bit. It's okay for now, but will take a few days of rest and come back and play next week most likely.

Started off with a quick hold for me. Had some with break chances on his serve but couldn't convert. Some close calls, but I wasn't sure and decided to just play the points out. One serve and later a shot that seemed to land on the back of the line. I also dropped my second service game as he was getting some shots back nice and deep which caused a little bit of struggle for me. Low first serve % too. Although I hit what I thought was a really nice kick serve swinging into his body on one of the points, and he handled that super well and smashed it cross court for a winner. Not much to do there except say too good. I forget if I broke him back the next service game or the following, but I was putting pressure with deep returns again, and he often struggled with those. I also had one return winner off his slice serve on deuce side. Great timing and a short slap swing made for a laser up the line. Had a very nice slice approach that forced a miss to give me a break chance, think I tried it again on the break point, but this time he actually made the pass. Was a low slice to his backhand (which is normally very effective for me), but he was able to hit a good backhand up the line for the pass. I think I needed to cover the line better or be half a step faster on the approach, but he still came up with a good shot. Eventually I did get the break on my second chance though.

He started to make errors more frequently from this point which helped me to get over the first set finish line. 6-3. Think I had a really easy service game to close it out too.

Second set started off with me missing a few forehand returns into the net. Right in my wheelhouse, but I didn't get enough lift on the ball. Don't remember too much else, but I broke on his second service game of the set, held, and broke again for a 4-1 lead. I thought he was kinda mentally broken at this point, the 2nd break game he just seemed a bit defeated. He came out hitting the ball well on my service game though. I serve and volleyed the first two points. First one his return went into the net, the second he got a nice low ball at my feet that I was able to half volley, but it went wide. Couldn't get a first serve in after, and I think I missed a few other balls. Went a little aggressive on a forehand down the line and missed into the net, and a few other issues.

Was able to break yet again though, and this time I did close things out with a decent service game.

Main takeaway from this match...I had a few points where I had him under pressure running to his backhand side, usually forced out a desperation slice. Those often floated in and caught me a little by surprise that they actually dropped in. A few times he had these floaters drop on or just inside the baseline. Really, when I see that he's under that much trouble, I should be following the ball into net. Especially when I forced it from a down the line shot on my forehand side. I'm often able to apply some pressure with my backhand too, because he often reacts to it a bit slowly, but I think the down the line backhand approach to his forehand could be risky. Can always try it next match though... Not sure about approaching cross court with my backhand to his backhand either. Maybe if I hit it well enough. I have been hitting the backhand better too : )
 

fundrazer

Legend
Felt like taking a break, but got asked to play again tonight. Thought okay, maybe could be fun. Was a clay court match against someone I've played before, probably a 3.0/3.5 player though. 6-0 first set, second set I was up double break but played two lol bad service games. Eventually won it 6-4.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Was starting to lose my mind during a match tonight. First set was easy for me despite a lot of bad misses at net. Second set was going the same way and then the wheels totally came off for a few games. Won it 6-2 7-5, but it was not my finest hour. Rematch with the guy from post 62 also, so this one brings me to 2-1 record vs him. I also haven't dropped a set in like three weeks of playing, but that's not saying too much. I think most of my opponents have been < 4.0 except for the guy I played 4 or 5 times.

Anywho. Started this one off with a break. He had two doubles and I was hitting some good returns. Was getting a lot of cheap points on my own serve, except I was making it a bit harder for myself at times. Same story with this guy with lots of random slice balls off the backhand. I was a bit off returning these at times. Maybe indecisive I guess and not trusting myself to whip them up and over the net. Went for a lot of drop shots instead. Some of those were good, some awful. They were pretty effective though, don't remember if I had any outright winners, but a few times I was able to just cut off his reply into the open court. And a few times I wasnt...:-D:X3:

That was really the most frustrating bit of the match for me, a lot of easy balls to finish on and I was just making a total muck of things. Fortunately it didn't really matter. I cruised to a 6-2 first set and started off very well in the second. Was up 4-1, then 5-2, and then I totally lost the plot. Was honestly a bit bored, but I let my level drop way too much and let him back into the set. Let him back to 5-5, before closing it out 7-5.

Should have serve and volleyed more against this guy. Tried it a few times with decent success, but it's a smart play since I can always count on his backhand return to be a chip. Need to clean up my net play though. I was definitely a bit off from the ground tonight, but I was still able to get a lot of chances to come in, and I usually did hit decent approach shots, but I made a mess of a few overheads and a few volleys too. Probably won about half of my net points which I'm not happy with. Don't remember for sure, but probably something like 7-8 / 15. Not great... The other thing was that my forehand wasn't quite firing when I had chances today. Past few matches I've been hitting some lasers when I've had the chance, but not so much tonight.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Was asked to play again yesterday. Nothing interesting though. Opponent was nice and friendly, but I think he's coming off a long layoff from tennis, so it wasn't going to be close. 6-0, 6-2.

Serve still feels a bit off in terms of pace, but didn't have much trouble. Getting a little bored though.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Consider this a clone of the last post. Score was a little more competitive at 3 and 2, but pretty similar match otherwise. Target practice returning serve, my serve still feels off, but he was also more solid off the ground today while I wasn't. Lot of short low stuff giving me issues again. Handle it really well when the junkballer does it, so I'm not sure what's throwing me off.

Still pretty bored though...But at the same time I think I wouldn't last against the stronger 4.0's serving like this.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Well I got my first loss in a while. Not exactly surprising because the past few matches I haven't exactly been playing well, but there was usually a fairly significant gap in playing level which was too much for opponents to overcome. I was pretty terrible off the ground tonight and that made the biggest difference, and I was also a bit slow to adjust to his serve. It's frustrating too because this guy was a total headcase. I think if I had been a bit more solid then I would have given myself a better shot. Unfortunately though I was missing too many neutral balls and that just can't happen if I expect to win. Was 3-6, 3-6.

Might update tomorrow with more detail about how things went.
 

shamaho

Professional
Should be booking another match for tomorrow night.

Didn't mention it in my post last week because it's a bit silly, but I thought of this clip while I was playing. Kind of inspired the Haas avatar.


ROTFL !! That's the picture of me many many times!
 

fundrazer

Legend
ROTFL !! That's the picture of me many many times!
It's even better with subtitles, but I couldn't find that version. But it's amazing the mental turnaround Haas has during that changeover and in the match. Berating himself, calling himself stupid, but at the end of the changeover says "but you're going to win. Fight. Fight" I think.
 

fundrazer

Legend
So yeah. Not sure how I would rate this opponent either. Solid, but nothing really stood out to me about his game. Had short bunty swings at times, but other times hit the ball pretty cleanly. Definitely not a lot of topspin though. Decent off the ground, but not somebody that should be beating me in rallies. Although this was another match where the low balls were giving me trouble. Would come to net occasionally, but this wasn't a big part of his game either. Decent serve, mostly went for topspin serves with the occasional flatter serve.

Started off by dropping serve. He wasn't doing too much on return, but I missed some routine rally balls. Not a good start. I think I had a break chance or at least got him to deuce the following game, but wasn't able to convert that either. Early on he started sending a lot more serves to my backhand, as I was getting really good strikes on the forehand side. He holds for 2-0, but then after that I started to settle in on my own service games at least. Plenty of free points on serve over the next few, and I was able to play some aggressive points.

Highlight points were a few volleys I had. Came in off some decent approaches, but he still got a decent swing on them. The one was a forehand drop volley winner, and the other was one coming across to my backhand volley that I just cut across for a deep volley curling away from him. He managed to run it down but didn't get enough stick on the ball.

Other than that though, good points were few and far between for me. Backhand slice was totally off actually. Was messing up returns and low rally balls. Normally that's dependable, but not this match... Was getting low balls to my backhand and I was slicing them right into the net. Drive forehand wasn't always there, especially my inside out. Had three or four smack the top part of the net. Then I'd adjust and try to roll forehands with more topspin and sent those long. Very frustrating. Couldn't find the right balance at all.

With that said I did keep it down to one break, but serving down 3-5 I just wasn't good enough to hold.

Did break him to start the second though. I started getting a better feel for his serve at times, especially wide serve on ad side to my backhand. I started crushing that one pretty regularly, and this really helped me to break him a couple times this set. Unfortunately though, the rest of my game wasn't really there. Couldn't support my serve well enough, and that was the downfall. I did give a bit of fight though. Had a love break late in the set with some big returns. There was one point on deuce side where he serve and volleyed to my backhand side, but I blasted the return right down the middle and he couldn't handle it at all. Other points were set up by good returns, or set up finishers like my down the line forehand.

Main takeaway was that I should have made the guy play more on some points, and I was trying to make this adjustment at times and just failing to do so. But this guy threw his racquet into the side netting after one game, and was kicking balls at other time, swearing, just making a complete ass of himself. Some dodgy line calls too, but I didn't really make a fuss about it. But there was one serve in particular on ad side that I hit probably at least 6 inches inside the center line. I turned around thinking to pick up the other balls thinking game was over and then he tries to say it was wide. I didn't ask if he meant long, but I probably should have argued that one. I couldn't tell either, but anything remotely close to the baseline was being called out as well. Those calls didn't bother me as much since I know I was spraying too much.

May try a restring soon if things start to feel too launchy, but we will see. Would like to get my groundstrokes dialed in again though, and I'm hoping to get my better serve form back.
 

shamaho

Professional
It's even better with subtitles, but I couldn't find that version. But it's amazing the mental turnaround Haas has during that changeover and in the match. Berating himself, calling himself stupid, but at the end of the changeover says "but you're going to win. Fight. Fight" I think.
yeah, I also know that turn-around very well - sometimes it works and others it doesn't :)

We're berating ourselves just to take some steam out of the system out of deep frustration.... but deep down we have never given up - just frustrated with our inability to carry out our "plan"... then....

Another variant of this is... we berate ourselves until we sort of get sick of it (like we're watching the video ourselves), so we quickly know how fruitless that is... and the only way out is to react in the "opposite" way (it's not really opposite but I think you know what I mean).
 

shamaho

Professional
I will try to post a general summary my matches,
This is a great idea, and haven't read your summaries yet BUT looking from the extensive prose, me thinks you should adopt some sort of simplified template for match analysis / report - it will help you cut to the meat of things - there are a few on the interwebs... I've adopted one.

basically contains:
Opponent/Date/surface/venue/competition and... result

Then:
PRE-GAME PLAN : +what tactics & why, how you feel about the match and opponent prior to the match.

Then:
WHAT WORKED : you can further break it down into: baseline, mid-court, net
WHAT DIDN'T WORK

WHAT TO WORK ON NEXT:

OTHER NOTES
 

shamaho

Professional
But I wonder if yelling or talking to myself once in a while might help.
If you're still wondering about it, then it won't help !

If it did help it would be crystal clear. It has to do with your "optimum arousal level"

In my case, if I don't verbalize (or rather didn't.... but that's another story), drop F bombs, yell, I would go on a downward spiral of errors....

If I did, I would reach (in the most inelegant way) my "optimum arousal level" and turn the game around or at least have a fighting chance.

I have since been able to change that... age + experience I guess
 

fundrazer

Legend
Another rematch tonight. Opponent from post #31 I think. This was a really weird match though. More breaks of serve than holds. Scoreline was 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) for me. Woooo!

Serve was absolutely awful for most of the match, and groundstrokes on my serve games were also really bad (i have no clue why either). Was really solid on returns though, and that's what kept me in the game. Was almost always getting good returns back into play and working the points over. Will post some more details tomorrow.
 

fundrazer

Legend
I'll try to structure this one a little better too.

Pre match thoughts

Recognized this opponent. Didn't remember a whole lot about his game, mostly that he was relatively solid, but not exactly a bigger hitter. Can come up with good angles, but it's often due to his short strokes I would guess. Sometimes gets the ball a bit low or these short angled balls that kinda die off. He volleys decently, but doesn't really come to net much, and part of this is due to the fact that he's not as aggressive with his groundstrokes. Serve is okay. Was actually surprised during his practice serves as he was going for some big ones, and I thought I may need to back up more and block serves back.

Overall the gameplan for was similar to how I usually play. Wanted to be a bit safer in most of the rallies, but I still wanted to go for shots when opportunity presented itself.

Match Summary

Early on at least I knew that I was going to have a good chance in his service games. He wasn't trying to hit as big as he was during the practice, and I was able to play my usual return style with good effect. I usually play returns a few feet behind the baseline waiting with my forehand grip. Usually I'm actively looking to hit forehand returns, but I also have enough time to switch to backhand grip when necessary. Backhand returns I was mixing up the slice and topspin returns and this worked out well. Return of serve was best aspect of my game in this match, as I was almost always in his service games applying pressure. From there I was happy rallying, as I felt like I could generally work a point into my advantage.

Serve was an absolute disaster though. Throwing in a lot of doubles, and missing a lot of 2nd balls again. Went down very early in the first set due to that. Tried going for safer serves which wasn't working, tried serve and volley a few points which also didn't really work, I was confused. With that said, I did manage to hold once and kept it to a one break lead in the first, but at 4-5 I got broken again and that was that. I didn't even really clean up the serve game until late in the 2nd set when I was able to hold after breaking. Managed to get some free points which was a relief.

Groundstrokes were actually pretty good on return games. Service games I have no idea why but I was just missing a ton of balls. Although it may be a case where I was nervous and stopped swinging fast at times, which lead to errors. Don't know. Backhand was probably the shot of the day actually. Good depth, pace, and topspin in this one. Felt comfortable in backhand to backhand exchanges, and I could take a little bit of pace off and pull it wider to his backhand side with good success. Forehand was a little off at times. Had one or two of my favorite dtl winners, and going more aggressive to his forehand also worked too.

Approaches and net game were decent too. At times I could maybe have went for a little more on some approach shots, but he also came up with some good shots at times, namely a backhand lob off one of my volleys. With that said, had decent success coming in. Also had some success bringing him in with dropshots or dinkier balls and then picking off his reply.

Favorite shot of the match for me was a point where I had a good forehand approach (I forget where, I think inside out) which forced a short ball on my backhand side. Sent that one right up the line for a winner.

Other Thoughts

Serve has been going off lately, and I'm still struggling at times with low or shorter balls. Normally don't have problems stepping into the court and whipping these balls back over the net, but haven't been replicating that in match play sometimes. If I can fix that and the serve issues then I should be in much better shape against the type of opponent I've been playing recently. But we will see how it goes. Happy that I was fighting last night and not getting down on myself too much despite the serve problems.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Another tough one tonight. Think I may have played this guy before, but I don't remember. Guessing I would have lost to him, but I might have to dig through posts to recall if I've played him or not. Was getting a bit late and it was a humid night so we stopped after splitting sets. 6-7 (3-6), 6-4. First set was neck and neck the whole way. Dropped serve at maybe 2-2 but fought back and we were even until the breaker. Breaker was a disaster though. Think I got a little unlucky with some balls finding their way into the court, but at the same time I think I should have broken more in the first set. Although according to him I may have won the first set. We got confused with the score at 6-5 with him serving, I thought it was 15-40 and then I won two straight points, he thought it was 30-30 which would mean I won the game. He offered to give the game, but I said lets just play it at deuce and see where it goes. Lost next two points.

Will post more tomorrow.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Alright here we go. Will follow format from last post.

Pre Match Thoughts

First thing I thought was daaaamn it's humid. Was sweating a lot even after warmup. Initial thought was that opponent is solid off the ground. Good depth, decent spin, and can place the ball decent well. Forehand for him is definitely the better shot, but backhand is reliable for him. Serve was okay but nothing remarkable. Had a weird toss that kinda reminded me of Kenin's. He also tossed a fair bit to his right, so he usually hitting variations of slice serve. Mental note for me was that I'd be getting a lot of forehand returns tonight. That definitely held true too.

Other thing was that I was fairly certain that I am the bigger hitter. Wanted to control the center of the court with depth and pace (and short angles too, but this is work in progress at times)

Match Summary

So a big difference to this match was that I started off serving decently well. Getting good amount of cheap points. Was also pressuring him on a lot of return games, especially his first service game. Unfortunately I wasn't able to break there and later got broken myself. But I was able to break back and then it was back and forth holding serve until the 6-5 game. As I mentioned, some confusion about the score. We played the game out at deuce and he held, and then I played a clunker of a tiebreaker. Got the first point, and then things went off the rails a bit fast. One double fault, (did not have many at all this match which was good), a miraculous lob he hit that caught one of the sidelines, and another short angle sideline clipper off one of my serves.

2nd set was a bit more back and forth, I broke him to start but wasn't able to consolidate. Eventually though I was able to string 2 breaks together with a hold in between and took the set. By that point though it was pretty late. Some long points and games in the second set, so we decided to call it a night.

Some tough points in this one. I felt I had a bit of a power advantage, but he was doing a good job directing the ball, and he was also getting decent depth and height on the ball at times. Had to run around a little more than I'm used to, but for the most part I was up for it. Was still getting plenty of opportunities to dictate the points though. Although sometimes when I did have chances I wasn't quite getting the ball where I wanted, mostly when in forehand exchanges when I wanted to pull him wider. He was going to a lot of effort to run around his backhand at times, so I did try to exploit that.

One adjustment I started to make later in the match was going for backhand down the line more frequently. He was often give me a bit of space on that side, and the ball was often in my strikezone where I felt I could go for it. (not always though, he also did a good job getting high balls to my backhand at times). I was often able to put him under a lot of pressure with this shot though, and I hit a few winners. Normally I'd prefer to run around the backhand, but I had enough confidence and felt it was the right decision. I'm also not very good at hitting the inside in forehand.

Forehand was pretty solid for me too. Forehand up the line has been good, but I needed to follow it into net more at times. Was forcing the desperation slice and not taking enough advantage off that. A few areas where I could have been a little better though was taking the ball wider to his forehand, and also dealing with some of his moonballs better. Was forcing him to throw up lobs/moonballs fairly regularly, and while I did try to take most of them on the rise, probably not taking as much time away from him as I'd like.

Other Thoughts

I think what would have made the most difference is having a little bit more attacking mindset, and also being able to better attack his forehand side. I still feel like I was opening up the court well enough at times, but there were some balls where I had the chance to take more control of the point and kind of conceded it by not hitting the ball quite where I wanted.

Was still a fun match though. Fairly confident that I would beat him next time if I play a tad bit better. Happy enough calling it even at a set a piece though. Was a very even match.
 

fundrazer

Legend
Blaaaah. Loss tonight, 4-6, 4-6. Struggling with the lefty serve again.

Felt like I was better player for the majority of the match, but a few too many mistakes. Was also a bit indecisive with how I wanted to play. Was one of those matches where I felt I was better from the baseline so I could play safer and wait for good balls to go after. Didn't take advantage, especially inside out forehand. Also had a lot of success bringing him forward, as his transition game and net game were pretty lackluster. Could usually get a good look at a passing shot, and I had 2-3 winners from forehand and backhand passes.

Main difference is probably that I shanked a lot of returns. I had plenty of chances to break, but didn't always convert. Needed to be a bit sharper on return and apply more pressure.

If anybody has advice. Main thing I'm often struggling with is forehand return with the serve slicing into body. I'm often catching it a bit late or not quite getting out of the way. On ad side returns I'm often mishitting it and it goes wide right. Might have had more success with backhand returns tonight actually.

Anywho. Might post more details tomorrow. May try to play again too. We will see.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Blaaaah. Loss tonight, 4-6, 4-6. Struggling with the lefty serve again.

Felt like I was better player for the majority of the match, but a few too many mistakes. Was also a bit indecisive with how I wanted to play. Was one of those matches where I felt I was better from the baseline so I could play safer and wait for good balls to go after. Didn't take advantage, especially inside out forehand. Also had a lot of success bringing him forward, as his transition game and net game were pretty lackluster. Could usually get a good look at a passing shot, and I had 2-3 winners from forehand and backhand passes.

Main difference is probably that I shanked a lot of returns. I had plenty of chances to break, but didn't always convert. Needed to be a bit sharper on return and apply more pressure.

If anybody has advice. Main thing I'm often struggling with is forehand return with the serve slicing into body. I'm often catching it a bit late or not quite getting out of the way. On ad side returns I'm often mishitting it and it goes wide right. Might have had more success with backhand returns tonight actually.

Anywho. Might post more details tomorrow. May try to play again too. We will see.
I struggle a lot with spinny lefty serves that bounce the "wrong way" towards my backhand, too. There are two things I sometimes try to do if I'm in a match where this is a big problem. First, when split stepping for the serve return, take the step to the right so that when the ball bounces to the left, it will come cleanly into your backhand instead of trying to play a forehand that ends up jamming you into your body. Second, if the serve is just super spinny with not with a ton of pace, I sometimes try to sneak in to almost the service line like a SABR return, but not to attack the net but rather to intentionally half volley or take the serve right after the bounce before it has a chance to move too far to the left. Obviously, this is more difficult if there is a lot of pace as well as spin. Of course, if you're playing a lefty who serves with a ton of pace and a wicked kick to the left, he might just be too good, too, so if you're playing at level, it's typically one or the other (pace or spin).
 

fundrazer

Legend
I struggle a lot with spinny lefty serves that bounce the "wrong way" towards my backhand, too. There are two things I sometimes try to do if I'm in a match where this is a big problem. First, when split stepping for the serve return, take the step to the right so that when the ball bounces to the left, it will come cleanly into your backhand instead of trying to play a forehand that ends up jamming you into your body. Second, if the serve is just super spinny with not with a ton of pace, I sometimes try to sneak in to almost the service line like a SABR return, but not to attack the net but rather to intentionally half volley or take the serve right after the bounce before it has a chance to move too far to the left. Obviously, this is more difficult if there is a lot of pace as well as spin. Of course, if you're playing a lefty who serves with a ton of pace and a wicked kick to the left, he might just be too good, too, so if you're playing at level, it's typically one or the other (pace or spin).
Yeah that was one adjustment I had been trying at times. Or even starting with my return position slightly over to the right more. Tried a lot of little adjustments throughout the match, but unfortunately nothing was ever too consistent. Would return well in patches, and then after it was back to shanks.

I don't necessarily feel like I was being overwhelmed with the pace or spin spin. Usually felt like I was in good position to take the serve, although the shanks may say otherwise. Although it may be a case where I just needed a bit more focus and to make one or two more little adjustment steps.

This guy could bomb the first serve at times, but was maybe 50% or less when he went for that. Even then I was able to return some of those by just split stepping and blocking back the serve. His other serves were not nearly as fast. Not quite the nasty spin either. There's been an older guy and another younger guy who could curl it out wide and also into the body more, this guy's serves kinda sat up a little bit, but I was still mishitting.

All good though. I think I'd get him next time.
 

fundrazer

Legend
First match with junkballer in a while. Similar result. 3 and 1 for me.

Not very interesting. Serve and volleyed a few points with good success. Arm started flaring up again though... Probably will take it easy for a few days. If I knew my opponent tonight I woulda saved the trouble and sat out, but what can ya do.
 
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