MEP vs ET Players - Original TT Epic

Who wins?

  • Ian to dish out bagel and a stick

    Votes: 9 9.1%
  • Ian Wins

    Votes: 43 43.4%
  • Ian just manages to win

    Votes: 22 22.2%
  • Green shirt teaches Ian a lesson

    Votes: 6 6.1%
  • Green shirt wins

    Votes: 13 13.1%
  • Green shirt shocks the tennis world

    Votes: 6 6.1%

  • Total voters
    99
  • Poll closed .

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Now you're just making things up. No one said a FH slice is never allowed.
It's why Niculescu is held out as the poster child of junkballers at the pro level. if she sliced her BH and drove her FH, I don't think she'd have the same notoriety. Roberta Vinci slices her BH and drives her FH and beat GOAT Serena at the USO. I don't recall people calling her a junkballer.

I frequently hear comments when someone slices a FH when they were not in danger or dealing with a very short ball "why did you do that? HIT the ball!" [as if slicing is not hitting]. I don't hear that same comment to the same degree on the BH. Maybe your experience is different.

Just because Graf sliced her BH a lot doesn't mean she's a pusher.
I never stated she was a pusher. Nor did I say that Lopez, Evans, Johnson, Darcis, Karlovic were pushers either. I made a distinction between how Niculescu is perceived vs those others: Nicu is a "junkballer" whereas the others are not.

Please stop setting up straw men, you do that a lot. Look up what straw man means.
I think you assumed things into existence. Anyways, if I implied that Graf was a pusher, that was not my intent. How should I have phrased it?
 

AnyPUG

Professional
It literally would be almost impossible to find a player that has _more_ solidly verified ranking. MEP has played multiple years, almost exclusively singles, against computer rated opponents, all in usta sanctioned leagues. His rating is 'C' type, not 's'. His usta dynamic rating, according to tennisrecord is right in the middle of 4.5 range, is not like he is barely 4.5.
He got beaten by better opponents during that recent trip but that absolutely does not negate the fact that he is 4.5c.
In fact, if you want to question someone's rating if would be all of his opponents from ET saga. None of them have any official _singles_ usta sanctioned matches. And whatever doubles matches they have are years old.
Does anyone know there is something called "Flat Earth Research Society" in case there's an interest to start "Real Tennis Rating Society".
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
MEP game is simple but effective: Be a lefty. Hit mostly slices from the back of the court. If you get an easy shot , hit a dropper. If the opponent comes to the net, hit either a lob or a 'topspin' attempt to pass.
Simple, but not necessarily easy to master, and good enough to compete at 4.5, contrary to what most people here would think.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
MEP game is simple but effective: Be a lefty. Hit mostly slices from the back of the court. If you get an easy shot , hit a dropper. If the opponent comes to the net, hit either a lob or a 'topspin' attempt to pass.
Simple, but not necessarily easy to master, and good enough to compete at 4.5, contrary to what most people here would think.
Precisely. At the rec level the best advice I have got on this forum is to gently move the ball left to right, front to back, and vary the speeds a little bit. If you can do that and your opponent beats you, then shake his hand and enjoy a beer afterwards.

As you said it is a very simple sounding strategy but hard to execute. MEP has that strategy down pat.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
It would be more fun to see the TR dynamic rating of the triggered folks revealed.
I too have noticed the critics have assiduously avoided any mention of their own rating and any posting of match play.

But it boils down to 3 possibilities:

- Considerably stronger than MEP, in which case they'd destroy him like Scott did; useless, because we already knew this would happen
- Considerably weaker than MEP, in which case they'd be destroyed; also useless for the same reason as above
- Somewhat around the same level: this would be the only case of interest because then they'd have a chance to prove their hypotheses about how easy it is to beat MEP. It's also a chance to self-destruct

I'm waiting to see where things settle out. I find it hard to believe a 5.0+ would A) spend that much time on a tennis forum; and B) bother to criticize someone of lesser skill. The 5.0+ people I know are way more humble than that. More humble than many below them.

Ian: "Why do you think you trigger those people so much? What is it about them or you or tennis or a combination that draws out such a negative reaction from some people?"

Ben: [sighs] "I would say, to some small extent, there are some people out there who probably put a lot of money into lessons and getting better at tennis [Ian laughs] and didn't achieve that level for whatever reason and they're frustrated."


If I have no dog in the fight and I see someone succeeding with unconventional technique, I won't get triggered.

If I've achieved success [however that's defined] and see someone succeeding with unconventional technique, I'll probably not get triggered ["I already got mine so his achievement doesn't bother me"]

If I've poured a lot of heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into something and failed to reach my goals and I see someone who has achieved a lot more than I with apparently much less effort, I might very well get triggered. I'll have to construct some sort of defense mechanism for my ego:

- Sour grapes: "If that's what good tennis looks like, I don't want to play good tennis." [the grapes that are out of reach are undesirable because they probably would have been sour anyway]

- "Yeah, he may be winning at 4.5 but he's hit his ceiling already, whereas traditional players have a much higher ceiling [ignoring the practical fact that most of them never get there]."

- "He's not a good tennis player. He's just a good athlete."

- "That's not even 4.5; that's just a made-up number."

- "Wow, his region must be super weak. 4.0s in my area would crush him."

- "NTRP is just a number. His strokes look terrible."

- "I don't care what his rating is: I want to play 'proper' tennis. All he cares is about winning."

In fact, we've seen posts to this very effect about someone who has been taking lessons and practicing for years getting beaten by a friend who just picked up a racquet a month ago and who is now questioning whether all that effort was wasted.

I've been playing guitar for 30+ years on and off and I can't do a fraction of what more talented people pick up in one month. Does this drive me to smash my guitar and set it aflame? Does it mean I'm a terrible guitar player? Not at all. I'm an average guitar player, maybe a 3.5 in NTRP terms. I appreciate the more talented people but not only does it not negatively affect my enjoyment of the instrument, it positively affects me, just like watching high-level tennis.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
I would play like MEP in matches if I could. But my slice sucks. And I can't resist the temptation to crush the ball whenever I can. To play like him, I would need many slicing lessons, and chemical castration. Not worth it.
 
At an early age, our dad could tell I, LEP, would be the hard hitting ball basher and my less talented brother MEP would be the pushing junk baller. Dad disowned MEP pretty quickly and I was his favorite son. Mom still loved MEP for some reason.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
I too have noticed the critics have assiduously avoided any mention of their own rating and any posting of match play.

But it boils down to 3 possibilities:

- Considerably stronger than MEP, in which case they'd destroy him like Scott did; useless, because we already knew this would happen
- Considerably weaker than MEP, in which case they'd be destroyed; also useless for the same reason as above
- Somewhat around the same level: this would be the only case of interest because then they'd have a chance to prove their hypotheses about how easy it is to beat MEP. It's also a chance to self-destruct

I'm waiting to see where things settle out. I find it hard to believe a 5.0+ would A) spend that much time on a tennis forum; and B) bother to criticize someone of lesser skill. The 5.0+ people I know are way more humble than that. More humble than many below them.
You're on to something there, like I said 3 pages ago, lol, the 4.5 players who are into singles and are ex college players, they 1) don't have much interest in videotaping themselves, 2) Are at a stage where they are kind of tired of tennis, but want to still play some with ex teammates or network using tennis (real estate, etc.) OR they play a lot of open singles tournaments and those guys would be puzzled too if you wanted to videotape them playing, and 3) they don't do the other tennis hobbies like talk rackets, modify them, you get the gist so they aren't really on the forums. But, I'm glad these youtube players took the time to videotape their matches, it's been very entertaining and good for everyone to talk a little strategy.

As far as indoors/outdoors and surface. The speed of the ball changes slightly, but does the speed of the ball rec players produce really come into play that much, as in oh, it's now 3% faster or 3% slower? No. Were these matches close enough where a gust of wind would change the outcome? No. Would even the miracle of finding red clay or real grass change a rec tennis outcome? Probably not, but maybe if 1 of the players was a real Jon Isner and had his serve as a HUGE weapon, clay neutralizes it a slight bit and grass would make it impossible to break serve. Heck, I've experienced that on grass, my lefty power/spin serve was unreal on grass, as if I was hitting the plastic tape on American green clay with every serve no matter where it hit, it just skids forward 2 inches above the ground.

What are some real impacts weather can have at 4.5? Heat. Wind. I've played tournaments with a friend is who is a hyper baseliner, more attacking style than MEP but the gist of winning is hit multiple baseline strokes and outlast/wait for an opportunity. This guy got heat stroke during his second match of the day when it was 105 out, with a heat index of 115. I serve and volley, attack the net, I wasn't even close to exhaustion or being bothered by the heat, we checked steps too at the end of the day and he had almost 3,000 more steps. So indoors can favor the "I will outlast you" style of player if they can't stand the heat AND it can favor the less in shape person trying to keep up with that style, kind of depends on the people. It is physically easier to play indoors for both players, no matter what style of play you choose and any boost to ball speed is not match changing, not at all.

If wind is above 25 mph, who knows what will happen, but it definitely isn't fun.

However, playing indoors or out, it really shouldn't bother anyone above 4.0 and I am not even sure it would influence any match more than 1 or 2 games.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I too have noticed the critics have assiduously avoided any mention of their own rating and any posting of match play.

But it boils down to 3 possibilities:

- Considerably stronger than MEP, in which case they'd destroy him like Scott did; useless, because we already knew this would happen
- Considerably weaker than MEP, in which case they'd be destroyed; also useless for the same reason as above
- Somewhat around the same level: this would be the only case of interest because then they'd have a chance to prove their hypotheses about how easy it is to beat MEP. It's also a chance to self-destruct

I'm waiting to see where things settle out. I find it hard to believe a 5.0+ would A) spend that much time on a tennis forum; and B) bother to criticize someone of lesser skill. The 5.0+ people I know are way more humble than that. More humble than many below them.

Ian: "Why do you think you trigger those people so much? What is it about them or you or tennis or a combination that draws out such a negative reaction from some people?"

Ben: [sighs] "I would say, to some small extent, there are some people out there who probably put a lot of money into lessons and getting better at tennis [Ian laughs] and didn't achieve that level for whatever reason and they're frustrated."


If I have no dog in the fight and I see someone succeeding with unconventional technique, I won't get triggered.

If I've achieved success [however that's defined] and see someone succeeding with unconventional technique, I'll probably not get triggered ["I already got mine so his achievement doesn't bother me"]

If I've poured a lot of heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into something and failed to reach my goals and I see someone who has achieved a lot more than I with apparently much less effort, I might very well get triggered. I'll have to construct some sort of defense mechanism for my ego:

- Sour grapes: "If that's what good tennis looks like, I don't want to play good tennis." [the grapes that are out of reach are undesirable because they probably would have been sour anyway]

- "Yeah, he may be winning at 4.5 but he's hit his ceiling already, whereas traditional players have a much higher ceiling [ignoring the practical fact that most of them never get there]."

- "He's not a good tennis player. He's just a good athlete."

- "That's not even 4.5; that's just a made-up number."

- "Wow, his region must be super weak. 4.0s in my area would crush him."

- "NTRP is just a number. His strokes look terrible."

- "I don't care what his rating is: I want to play 'proper' tennis. All he cares is about winning."

In fact, we've seen posts to this very effect about someone who has been taking lessons and practicing for years getting beaten by a friend who just picked up a racquet a month ago and who is now questioning whether all that effort was wasted.

I've been playing guitar for 30+ years on and off and I can't do a fraction of what more talented people pick up in one month. Does this drive me to smash my guitar and set it aflame? Does it mean I'm a terrible guitar player? Not at all. I'm an average guitar player, maybe a 3.5 in NTRP terms. I appreciate the more talented people but not only does it not negatively affect my enjoyment of the instrument, it positively affects me, just like watching high-level tennis.
Good analysis.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Tbh it’s honestly a shame MEP never took the initiative to learn more conventional strokes to develop a stronger all around game.

He’s obviously got amazing racquet skills and feel for the ball. He has top tier anticipation and strategy. Seemingly limitless stamina, an amazing throwing arm, and a strong athletic background.

Had he been coached from the get-go, how good do y’all think he’d be now?
 

chetrbox

Rookie
At an early age, our dad could tell I, LEP, would be the hard hitting ball basher and my less talented brother MEP would be the pushing junk baller. Dad disowned MEP pretty quickly and I was his favorite son. Mom still loved MEP for some reason.
She still loves him because she had to endure a MEP(Most Exhaustive Push) to get him out.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Tbh it’s honestly a shame MEP never took the initiative to learn more conventional strokes to develop a stronger all around game.

He’s obviously got amazing racquet skills and feel for the ball. He has top tier anticipation and strategy. Seemingly limitless stamina, an amazing throwing arm, and a strong athletic background.

Had he been coached from the get-go, how good do y’all think he’d be now?
hmm, let's pull back the horses a bit. The main take from this exercise is the fact that USTA 4.5 tennis _is not that high level of tennis_. I mean MEP is a solid player, with excellent results - but it's not like he is some athletic specimen . He lets folks beat themselves, and the fact that it happens _a lot_ even at 4.5 level tell you all you need to know about about the quality of that level. (that is no disrespect to MEP in any way. )
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Tbh it’s honestly a shame MEP never took the initiative to learn more conventional strokes to develop a stronger all around game.

He’s obviously got amazing racquet skills and feel for the ball. He has top tier anticipation and strategy. Seemingly limitless stamina, an amazing throwing arm, and a strong athletic background.

Had he been coached from the get-go, how good do y’all think he’d be now?

We all have should'a, would'a, could'a history. If I had started earlier, spent more time on court, taken x more lessons, really learned x, stayed healthier, worked on fitness, improved footwork...the lists are almost the same for everyone. Even those with decent strokes can say, if they only had improved strokes. The deal is, none of it matters if you are enjoying competition and are happy with being able to compete. Sometimes you absolutely realize you are limited by work, family, and other commitments, or just non-commitment to make the next level, and you just do what you do. Ben, though all of this, has been Ben, living the best Ben life no matter what 58 page threads and comments come around, and that...THAT is awesome and inspiring. I take away a lot from that personally. The darkest shade here and on YT isn't putting out any light Ben feels, and I continue to wish him well basking inside with it.

The entertainment aspect has been great too, with the triggered folks who spent so much time, money and effort and are less than, or only at the same official rating. They seem to be missing the bigger lesson of what Ben brings. Hopefully it dies soon though. These are becoming the MET's.

EDIT TO ADD: I was going to add a "This is Rec Tennis" gif, but I am too lazy to make it today, so you will just have to image the text on this to represent the absolute irony of this whole thread! Sorry.




EDIT TO EDIT: Well, I did it an easy way :D

 
Last edited:

TennisProdigy

Professional
hmm, let's pull back the horses a bit. The main take from this exercise is the fact that USTA 4.5 tennis _is not that high level of tennis_. I mean MEP is a solid player, with excellent results - but it's not like he is some athletic specimen . He lets folks beat themselves, and the fact that it happens _a lot_ even at 4.5 level tell you all you need to know about about the quality of that level. (that is no disrespect to MEP in any way. )
I think it depends on your perspective of “high level tennis,” if you look at percentages of all tennis players, then I believe 4.5 would be a decently high level.

If you asked me, I would have to say 4.5 is not a particularly high level of tennis, based on the caliber of 4.5 level players I’ve played in Maryland and Ohio.

However, tennis is an extremely hard sport to learn IMO. And too often I feel that rec players are held to standards that are too high based off how pros play the game.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
[
Tbh it’s honestly a shame MEP never took the initiative to learn more conventional strokes to develop a stronger all around game.

He’s obviously got amazing racquet skills and feel for the ball. He has top tier anticipation and strategy. Seemingly limitless stamina, an amazing throwing arm, and a strong athletic background.

Had he been coached from the get-go, how good do y’all think he’d be now?
Cannot make any assumptions. Maybe he gets burnt out like many who start young, become very good and then never play tennis when they are older. I personally know a few kids, now adults, like that. Heck I know a kid who was once a highly ranked junior, father made plans to quit his job to guide his kid’s college/pro aspirations and the kid just quit

Even among older rec adults we have had a couple of folks here who spent a lot of time and money perfecting strokes before starting match play. Then when they got to matches and started losing to GSG type self taught folks, they couldn’t handle it.

That’s why I always say it has to be fun to the player playing. Might not be my or your definition of fun. However our definitions are really irrelevant other than to our own individual cases.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
I think it depends on your perspective of “high level tennis,” if you look at percentages of all tennis players, then I believe 4.5 would be a decently high level.

If you asked me, I would have to say 4.5 is not a particularly high level of tennis, based on the caliber of 4.5 level players I’ve played in Maryland and Ohio.

However, tennis is an extremely hard sport to learn IMO. And too often I feel that rec players are held to standards that are too high based off how pros play the game.
Yes, of course. For someone that never had a structured tennis training starting with junior years 4.5 is indeed quite an accomplishment.
In just saying that sometimes folks are mistaken that 4.5 is a whisker away from a d1 college level, or, the even more delusional, from competing against ~400 or so WTA players. Or that few improvements here and there that could be done in few months would allow them to compete for ATP points.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
We all have should'a, would'a, could'a history. If I had started earlier, spent more time on court, taken x more lessons, really learned x, stayed healthier, worked on fitness, improved footwork...the lists are almost the same for everyone. Even those with decent strokes can say, if they only had improved strokes. The deal is, none of it matters if you are enjoying competition and are happy with being able to compete. Sometimes you absolutely realize you are limited by work, family, and other commitments, or just non-commitment to make the next level, and you just do what you do. Ben, though all of this, has been Ben, living the best Ben life no matter what 58 page threads and comments come around, and that...THAT is awesome and inspiring. I take away a lot from that personally. The darkest shade here and on YT isn't putting out any light Ben feels, and I continue to wish him well basking inside with it.

The entertainment aspect has been great too, with the triggered folks who spent so much time, money and effort and are less than, or only at the same official rating. They seem to be missing the bigger lesson of what Ben brings. Hopefully it dies soon though. These are becoming the MET's.

EDIT TO ADD: I was going to add a "This is Rec Tennis" gif, but I am too lazy to make it today, so you will just have to image the text on this to represent the absolute irony of this whole thread! Sorry.




EDIT TO EDIT: Well, I did it an easy way :D

Not just that but as the great @sureshs once said, what do you do with all that improvement if rec play is your ceiling. You are hard pressed to find even solid 4.5, let alone higher players on a regular basis unless you are participating in tournaments. Even there unless you travel you are playing the same set of cats over and over.

3.5 and 4.0 rec tennis is truly the place where you have a huge pool to pick from and can find hitting partners anywhere you go.

Not saying that people should stay static. Just that when others give advice about GSG not reaching a certain level it is not a guarantee that reaching that level means he will automatically have a more enjoyable and fun time playing the sport.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
And yet there are people on this forum who insist court surface and environmental conditions mean nothing or very little. Those people must be supremely adaptable; such changes would wreak havoc on my game and I'm a fairly adaptable player.

Rich posted about this the other day, and it is just one example of court condition being a play factor.


I mentioned that playing sanded grass, the bounce is so low and the ball just zips and slide through the court, I always have to adjust very low and prep much earlier on that surface. Even knowing all that doesn't make it as comfortable playing. We also have a school hardcourt we play that is polsihed concrete with paint and no grit to it. it is RIDICULOUSLY fast.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
hmm, let's pull back the horses a bit. The main take from this exercise is the fact that USTA 4.5 tennis _is not that high level of tennis_. I mean MEP is a solid player, with excellent results - but it's not like he is some athletic specimen . He lets folks beat themselves, and the fact that it happens _a lot_ even at 4.5 level tell you all you need to know about about the quality of that level. (that is no disrespect to MEP in any way. )
I'd say it's high level in that you're talking about the 90th+ percentile of something, which most people generally consider as "high" [ie an "A" on a test].

4.5s also have a lot of flaws that even higher level players do not have [or not in such abundance]. MEP's style reveals those weaknesses a lot more readily than a more traditional style because the latter almost always involves more errors. If my opponent makes the error before me, I am spared looking foolish with my own error.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Not just that but as the great @sureshs once said, what do you do with all that improvement if rec play is your ceiling. You are hard pressed to find even solid 4.5, let alone higher players on a regular basis unless you are participating in tournaments. Even there unless you travel you are playing the same set of cats over and over.

3.5 and 4.0 rec tennis is truly the place where you have a huge pool to pick from and can find hitting partners anywhere you go.

Not saying that people should stay static. Just that when others give advice about GSG not reaching a certain level it is not a guarantee that reaching that level means he will automatically have a more enjoyable and fun time playing the sport.
Depends on where you live, some places have hundreds of 4.5 players.
 

AnyPUG

Professional
I'd say it's high level in that you're talking about the 90th+ percentile of something, which most people generally consider as "high" [ie an "A" on a test].

4.5s also have a lot of flaws that even higher level players do not have [or not in such abundance]. MEP's style reveals those weaknesses a lot more readily than a more traditional style because the latter almost always involves more errors. If my opponent makes the error before me, I am spared looking foolish with my own error.
Is 4.5 high in terms of quality of play? Look at the data below. (average of peak speed - not overall average)

levelavg serve speedavg gs speed
4.57045
D19070
ATP12075

Most likely the other factors such as spin, movement etc have similar differences.
By the primary shot quality metrics of speed, the quality of 4.5 tennis is at 30% percentile. It's not exactly A category. Is it even a passing grade of D?
(if ATP 100% percentile, D1 is at 60% - low)
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Is 4.5 high in terms of quality of play? Look at the data below. (average of peak speed - not overall average)

levelavg serve speedavg gs speed
4.57045
D19070
ATP12075

Most likely the other factors such as spin, movement etc have similar differences.
By the primary shot quality metrics of speed, the quality of 4.5 tennis is at 30% percentile. It's not exactly A category. Is it even a passing grade of D?
(if ATP 100% percentile, D1 is at 60% - low)
How do you get 30% and 60%?

By those #s, and practically every other stat involving a physical attribute [ie RPMs vs 1st serve %], 4.5s are not high level. However, it's not an either/or decision; it all depends on which criteria you want to use.

The quality of a 4.5 relative to levels below depends more on things that don't show up on a radar gun [ie consistency, placement, depth, shot tolerance, mental toughness, etc].
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
You're on to something there, like I said 3 pages ago, lol, the 4.5 players who are into singles and are ex college players, they 1) don't have much interest in videotaping themselves, 2) Are at a stage where they are kind of tired of tennis, but want to still play some with ex teammates or network using tennis (real estate, etc.) OR they play a lot of open singles tournaments and those guys would be puzzled too if you wanted to videotape them playing, and 3) they don't do the other tennis hobbies like talk rackets, modify them, you get the gist so they aren't really on the forums. But, I'm glad these youtube players took the time to videotape their matches, it's been very entertaining and good for everyone to talk a little strategy.

As far as indoors/outdoors and surface. The speed of the ball changes slightly, but does the speed of the ball rec players produce really come into play that much, as in oh, it's now 3% faster or 3% slower? No. Were these matches close enough where a gust of wind would change the outcome? No. Would even the miracle of finding red clay or real grass change a rec tennis outcome? Probably not, but maybe if 1 of the players was a real Jon Isner and had his serve as a HUGE weapon, clay neutralizes it a slight bit and grass would make it impossible to break serve. Heck, I've experienced that on grass, my lefty power/spin serve was unreal on grass, as if I was hitting the plastic tape on American green clay with every serve no matter where it hit, it just skids forward 2 inches above the ground.

What are some real impacts weather can have at 4.5? Heat. Wind. I've played tournaments with a friend is who is a hyper baseliner, more attacking style than MEP but the gist of winning is hit multiple baseline strokes and outlast/wait for an opportunity. This guy got heat stroke during his second match of the day when it was 105 out, with a heat index of 115. I serve and volley, attack the net, I wasn't even close to exhaustion or being bothered by the heat, we checked steps too at the end of the day and he had almost 3,000 more steps. So indoors can favor the "I will outlast you" style of player if they can't stand the heat AND it can favor the less in shape person trying to keep up with that style, kind of depends on the people. It is physically easier to play indoors for both players, no matter what style of play you choose and any boost to ball speed is not match changing, not at all.

If wind is above 25 mph, who knows what will happen, but it definitely isn't fun.

However, playing indoors or out, it really shouldn't bother anyone above 4.0 and I am not even sure it would influence any match more than 1 or 2 games.
Agree. Surface wouldnt change these 5.0s crushing our friend from Atlanta but now that I think of it a ghust of wind on match point or stifling 94 degree weather could have impacted the Topher match. That one was so close these factors might change the outcome.
 

AnyPUG

Professional
Agree. Surface wouldnt change these 5.0s crushing our friend from Atlanta but now that I think of it a ghust of wind on match point or stifling 94 degree weather could have impacted the Topher match. That one was so close these factors might change the outcome.
See what coach Pete says about this at 28:00 -

 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Not just that but as the great @sureshs once said, what do you do with all that improvement if rec play is your ceiling. You are hard pressed to find even solid 4.5, let alone higher players on a regular basis unless you are participating in tournaments. Even there unless you travel you are playing the same set of cats over and over.

3.5 and 4.0 rec tennis is truly the place where you have a huge pool to pick from and can find hitting partners anywhere you go.

Not saying that people should stay static. Just that when others give advice about GSG not reaching a certain level it is not a guarantee that reaching that level means he will automatically have a more enjoyable and fun time playing the sport.
Yes all you can do is to broaden the set of hitting partners at the 3.5 and 4.0 level, while diligently pursing any 4.5 who takes pity on you.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Yesterday my doubles partner told me (after I hit a short lob which got killed) that I should lob high like GSG to make it effective. The GSG has spread everywhere. @Slowtwitcher
@GSG. I know you don’t want to go the yt channel route as you are doing well but at least trademark the GSG acronym. Else someone else will and make money off of it :)
 

davced1

Hall of Fame
@GSG I am not sure if anybody already asked you but why the green shirt? A coincidence or any deeper significance? Is it always the same green shirt or do you have some in rotation?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I was playing some singles points yesterday. I got a short ball on the backhand. Instead of going for a deep powerful shot to show that I am a Macho Macho Man, I just angled it across the net, making the ball leave the opposite sideline at almost a right angle!

Immediately, I realized that it was the GSG-style of thinking of how to cause the opponent maximum discomfort while playing the highest percentage shot that made me do this.

How has GSG changed YOUR life?
 

FloridaAG

Professional
How do you do playing outdoors at night? Is it just artificial light in general that's the problem or something specific about indoor lighting [the type of bulb, the placement of the lights, etc]?



A tennis-ian slip ["tnis" = "tennis"]? :)
I prefer day to night - I think most people do. Most of my indoor experience was in a bubble with the white background and roof color which makes it exceedingly difficult to see - Much worse than at night
 

GuyClinch

Legend
- Sour grapes: "If that's what good tennis looks like, I don't want to play good tennis." [the grapes that are out of reach are undesirable because they probably would have been sour anyway]

- "Yeah, he may be winning at 4.5 but he's hit his ceiling already, whereas traditional players have a much higher ceiling [ignoring the practical fact that most of them never get there]."

- "He's not a good tennis player. He's just a good athlete."

- "That's not even 4.5; that's just a made-up number."

- "Wow, his region must be super weak. 4.0s in my area would crush him."

- "NTRP is just a number. His strokes look terrible."

- "I don't care what his rating is: I want to play 'proper' tennis. All he cares is about winning."
Interesting. Even after the performance in WI we still have these kinds of posts. Your glossing over legit concerns and being quite petty at the same time.

If you think we are all "jealous" of Ben for his ugly play in beating 4.5s in league tennis - I think you are out to lunch. I can assure you that no one lies awake at night dreaming about beating some doctor who plays 4.0 tennis. It just doesn't happen. This idea that everyone who plays lessor tennis then some player is just jealous of him is simply not true. I don't like Lebron James game - I don't think he is a bad basketball player. You can absolutely dislike the game of some superior player.

I never put much thought into the idea that there are regional differences in USTA ratings. But maybe there are. Because whatever "region" Tennis Trolls guys are in have no trouble beating him. Tennis Troll even held back his loss to "Boss of Atlanta" another 4.5 - who easily dispatched him. And whatever region ET's guys are in have no trouble beating him. I seriously think we should forget about NTRP and go with UTR. It seems far more useful..

I don't know what is going on in the USTA matches - perhaps 4.5 USTA in ATL needs some down ranking. I am not joking. Must be some weird numbers going on - teams throwing matches - sending in their 6th best singles guy and such. How do you go 14-1 and not get bumped up? Again people that have played with some aggressive captains will understand what I mean. If you are playing a tough out on a weak team - you stack your guys around this - you basically let the guy win - and put your best players on other lines. Either way I think some people are going to put less stock in USTA rankings and more stock into the idea of regional differences. Video does not lie.

I have no idea what is going on with his USTA performance vs. his showing on video. But Ben showed he is a swell guy - but not a particularly great tennis player - just a good one with a game that is hard to watch.

He is a good athlete who never learned how to play the game. And now he can compete against good rec players. It's lucky for the rec community he got exposed some - because we don't want legions of tennis players coming up - not learning how to play - and then quitting because they are even 1/2 as athletic as Ben. It's not a recipe for success - its a recipe to turn tennis into pickleball.

Pickleball - if you have played it is a sport where you don't really need much practice or training at all. Technique needed is very limited - so you don't need to learn proper strokes. You just can skip learning how to play - or maybe spend one day on it - and go out and play at pretty high levels. This is what Ben did. This is what they call a shallow learning curve. You can learn quickly - and be very good at pickleball provided you have good hand eye coordination.

Ben played only a little at 3.5 - then quickly went to 4.0 and won - and then quickly went to 4.5 and managed to win there. When you argue that Ben is great at tennis, and that he is playing at his full potential (agree to disagree there) you are really arguing that tennis is a shallow learning curve sport. Do you really want to make that argument? I mean REALLY? Or are you being petty - trying to gloat about Ben's USTA success after his poor showing vs. the ET guys because you feel bad for him.

Ben doesn't need your gloating. Everyone already likes the guy - some of us just don't think he is a tennis player worthy of extreme praise for the quality of his play..
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I was playing some singles points yesterday. I got a short ball on the backhand. Instead of going for a deep powerful shot to show that I am a Macho Macho Man, I just angled it across the net, making the ball leave the opposite sideline at almost a right angle!

Immediately, I realized that it was the GSG-style of thinking of how to cause the opponent maximum discomfort while playing the highest percentage shot that made me do this.

How has GSG changed YOUR life?
I have mentioned before how I switched to a conti grip as I have issues with topspin shots during the game. I hit them too long.

The last practice after watching GSG fh drop shots I tried practicing topspin drop shots from the baseline. Alternate one short and then one deep. I have a good bh slice that I can move my opponent front to back but not on my fh. Practicing drop topspin shots from the baseline suddenly seemed to increase my feel and control on my deeper topspin shots too. Will keep working on it and see how it goes.

I guess this was what mini tennis was trying to teach but my dumb head couldn’t get any carryover once I moved back to the baseline. Alternating drop and deep shots from the baseline has finally given me some experience on what fh feel means after all these years.

Thanks to GSG.
 
I was playing some singles points yesterday. I got a short ball on the backhand. Instead of going for a deep powerful shot to show that I am a Macho Macho Man, I just angled it across the net, making the ball leave the opposite sideline at almost a right angle!

Immediately, I realized that it was the GSG-style of thinking of how to cause the opponent maximum discomfort while playing the highest percentage shot that made me do this.

How has GSG changed YOUR life?
Inspired by GSG, I sliced and floated all my returns and groundstrokes in doubles.
My partner wound up in ER and refused to see me during my visit.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
I never put much thought into the idea that there are regional differences in USTA ratings. But maybe there are. Because whatever "region" Tennis Trolls guys are in have no trouble beating him. Tennis Troll even held back his loss to "Boss of Atlanta" another 4.5 - who easily dispatched him. And whatever region ET's guys are in have no trouble beating him. I seriously think we should forget about NTRP and go with UTR. It seems far more useful..
Caution, UTR can be regionally tricky too. It's not even close to USTA as far as nationwide acceptance and availability to play tourneys that will give you a "real" UTR rating. Some areas have 3-4 tournaments a weekend that are official UTR, some areas have 1 a year. UTR isn't guaranteed to be more accurate, it won't cure regional differences. You've got USTA team league tennis which is everywhere, making that $$$ for USTA, but USTA tournaments can be every other weekend in a major city OR they can be ever other month within 200 miles of a mid sized US city.
 

GSG

Rookie
I don't know what is going on in the USTA matches - perhaps 4.5 USTA in ATL needs some down ranking. I am not joking. Must be some weird numbers going on - teams throwing matches - sending in their 6th best singles guy and such. How do you go 14-1 and not get bumped up? Again people that have played with some aggressive captains will understand what I mean. If you are playing a tough out on a weak team - you stack your guys around this - you basically let the guy win - and put your best players on other lines. Either way I think some people are going to put less stock in USTA rankings and more stock into the idea of regional differences. Video does not lie.
Well I can address part of this:

The 14-1 in question actually spans 3 calendar years-

Mid Nov-Dec 2019: 4-0
2020: 6-1
2021 (through Feb): 4-0

I was "only" 7-5 in singles in 2019, so no bump there. In 2020 there were no year end ratings adjustments, so 6-1 may as well be 1-6 from a ratings standpoint. 2021 is TBD. I'm also 2-2 in USTA doubles since 2019.

Our USTA team won the 4.5 District for Atlanta last season and went to the State finals. I was 4-1 in the regular season and 3-0 in the District playoffs playing Singles. People can decide for themselves if that's a "weak team."

Regarding what's on video- comparing exhibition matches that are purely for fun against USTA matches that actually count for ratings and playoffs is like comparing an NFL preseason game to a late regular season game with major playoff implications, at least as far as my approach to them goes.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I have mentioned before how I switched to a conti grip as I have issues with topspin shots during the game. I hit them too long.

The last practice after watching GSG fh drop shots I tried practicing topspin drop shots from the baseline. Alternate one short and then one deep. I have a good bh slice that I can move my opponent front to back but not on my fh. Practicing drop topspin shots from the baseline suddenly seemed to increase my feel and control on my deeper topspin shots too. Will keep working on it and see how it goes.

I guess this was what mini tennis was trying to teach but my dumb head couldn’t get any carryover once I moved back to the baseline. Alternating drop and deep shots from the baseline has finally given me some experience on what fh feel means after all these years.

Thanks to GSG.
Conti grip not good for topspin
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Conti grip not good for topspin
No. Not for topspin. I gave up topspin and went for consistency as my topspin game sucked. Hence had gone to an all conti game

I was saying I went back and tried my topspin.SW grip game during my last practice but focused on topspin droppers from the baseline. Even though I would not use that in a real game, it seemed to suddenly give me more feel for my deeper topspin shots as well.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
No. Not for topspin. I gave up topspin and went for consistency as my topspin game sucked. Hence had gone to an all conti game

I was saying I went back and tried my topspin.SW grip game during my last practice but focused on topspin droppers from the baseline. Even though I would not use that in a real game, it seemed to suddenly give me more feel for my deeper topspin shots as well.
I have never heard of a topspin dropper. I use low topspin shots in doubles returns to the net man to keep the ball low and dipping into his shoelaces, but I don't think they are technically drop shots.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I have never heard of a topspin dropper. I use low topspin shots in doubles returns to the net man to keep the ball low and dipping into his shoelaces, but I don't think they are technically drop shots.
Yes that’s what I meant. Ignore how I termed it Except that since this was practice without any other partner, I was giving some good net clearance and trying to land it in the opposite service box as close to the net as possible. Then I would alternate with a more conventional deep topspin shot. Just a different drill.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
It would be more fun to see the TR dynamic rating of the triggered folks revealed.
Probably don't exist. Players who play leagues/tournaments know that non-traditional tennis wins A LOT at mid/lower levels, we have all experienced it (or even used it to our advantage!).
Players who play in an insular bubble tend to overrate their skills A LOT and when they lose to someone with 'inferior' strokes it doesn't count in their mind so it doesn't lower their imaginary self rate.
 
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