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 .

chetrbox

Rookie
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.
That's an impressive singles record. Do the USTA matches in Atlanta happen on weeknights like they do in USTA Eastern? Were any of your USTA matches played in the afternoon in conditions similar to that of your match against travlerajm ?

EDIT: one more question, were all these matches played in the 18+ category, or were some of these in the 40+ age group?
 
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GSG

Rookie
That's an impressive singles record. Do the USTA matches in Atlanta happen on weeknights like they do in USTA Eastern? Were any of your USTA matches played in the afternoon in conditions similar to that of your match against travlerajm ?

EDIT: one more question, were all these matches played in the 18+ category, or were some of these in the 40+ age group?
All the matches have been 18+. I suppose eventually I'll do 40+ as well, even though as a Singles player I really don't like the 1s/4d format.

For 4.5, matches start at 9am Saturday in Winter (Nov-Feb) and 4pm Sunday in Summer (May/June-Aug). Winter can get a little unpleasant, especially if it's windy, but most people will tell you Summer is far worse. Yesterday was a prime example. I was playing 2 singles in our first match of the season, and it was about 90 degrees, sunny, and humid. My opponent was in a hands-on-knees stance between points by the third game. Mind you, he was not a big guy. I got up 6-1, 1-0, and the guy stopped after a point, raised his hand, proceeded to the nearest trash can, made an impressively long deposit (~45 seconds) came back on the court a minute or two after that, and retired. Somehow I don't think that would have happened indoors.

It feels good to be back in my element :)
 

onehandbh

Legend
All the matches have been 18+. I suppose eventually I'll do 40+ as well, even though as a Singles player I really don't like the 1s/4d format.

For 4.5, matches start at 9am Saturday in Winter (Nov-Feb) and 4pm Sunday in Summer (May/June-Aug). Winter can get a little unpleasant, especially if it's windy, but most people will tell you Summer is far worse. Yesterday was a prime example. I was playing 2 singles in our first match of the season, and it was about 90 degrees, sunny, and humid. My opponent was in a hands-on-knees stance between points by the third game. Mind you, he was not a big guy. I got up 6-1, 1-0, and the guy stopped after a point, raised his hand, proceeded to the nearest trash can, made an impressively long deposit (~45 seconds) came back on the court a minute or two after that, and retired. Somehow I don't think that would have happened indoors.

It feels good to be back in my element :)
I agree that indoors and outdoors can be a big difference for some players.
Years ago there was this kid knew who played mostly indoors and he had improved a lot and started getting competitive with players that once beat him easily. When "outdoor" season came along, his game did not translate as well and he lost to most of the people he was competitive with indoors. The main reasons was sun and extreme wind. He played an aggressive game.
 
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'm surprised you played yesterday, I'm sure you were exhausted from playing 3 sets on Saturday :p
 

Cashman

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.

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.
All fair points, but the one thing that does sort of bother me with GSG is that he has been held up a little bit as the person who has 'cracked the code' - with the intimation that if you play like him, you will be more successful than if you take the path of learning more conventional skills.

I do think that this sort of style is more limiting than liberating, and GSG's remarkable success is more a testament to his natural talent/athletic skill/dedication/tactical awareness than anything fundamentally advantageous about the technical method he has adopted. Had he been lucky enough to learn more polished technique I think it would have pushed his ceiling much higher.

I do not think that should be used to denigrate what he has achieved on a personal level though
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
All fair points, but the one thing that does sort of bother me with GSG is that he has been held up a little bit as the person who has 'cracked the code' - with the intimation that if you play like him, you will be more successful than if you take the path of learning more conventional skills.

I do think that this sort of style is more limiting than liberating, and GSG's remarkable success is more a testament to his natural talent/athletic skill/dedication/tactical awareness than anything fundamentally advantageous about the technical method he has adopted. Had he been lucky enough to learn more polished technique I think it would have pushed his ceiling much higher.

I do not think that should be used to denigrate what he has achieved on a personal level though
Fair enough. Yes, some people have taken GSG's success to an extreme. Since I'm a 4.5 and have played several opponents like GSG, I wasn't trying to imply that everyone should adopt that style, just that the style has certain advantages as well as disadvantages and that many were choosing only to focus on the downsides. Tennis has a very wide spectrum of levels and skills all intermingled together: I think GSG showed one such combination.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
All fair points, but the one thing that does sort of bother me with GSG is that he has been held up a little bit as the person who has 'cracked the code' - with the intimation that if you play like him, you will be more successful than if you take the path of learning more conventional skills.

I do think that this sort of style is more limiting than liberating, and GSG's remarkable success is more a testament to his natural talent/athletic skill/dedication/tactical awareness than anything fundamentally advantageous about the technical method he has adopted. Had he been lucky enough to learn more polished technique I think it would have pushed his ceiling much higher.

I do not think that should be used to denigrate what he has achieved on a personal level though
Great post. Way more eloquent then I have described it. If anything his technical style holds him back. If we judge him of pure athleticism - he moves better and looks to be stronger then Ian, Scott, and Topher - and he lost to all three. So far from cracking the code - his style has held him back from his true potential.

And that's fine..

For most of us lack of tennis playing time is going to hold us back. Or lack of money etc. So this is not some denigration of his achievement. It's quite impressive given his style. But its clearly limited who he could be as a tennis player.

Rather then crack the code - he is sending people down the wrong path who copy his technique. Let's say you are a wealthy older player - not very athletic - you do not move well. You do not hit well. You can't throw a ball over the fence from the baseline.

How should you maximize your potential - well if you have money and time - you should take lots of lessons. You won't improve your athleticism to be like GSG but you can improve your technique so that when you can run the ball down you can do more with it. So that when you serve you (and you don't have to run ) you can hit better serves.

GSG techniques are well suited to someone who wants to win NOW and is very athletic. I would legit recommend his techniques to any high level athletes who have never played tennis. Can you run a 100 meters in under 11 seconds? GSG technique is probably good for you. Have a vertical jump of over 35 inches and want to crush some old 4.5 guys at your tennis club - without knowing how to play tennis. GSG technique is ideal.. Any good athlete can very quickly grasp the GSG strategy of hitting balls back and making people run with shots like drop shots or lobs. Again this is simple stuff to exploit the less athletic. People who do not run well - should be made to run.

GSG is living proof that athleticism can be used to beat superior technical tennis players. Feels good that the "little man" can beat the rich country club Doctor.. But it's not a good approach for the huge population of 40+ something poor overweight athletes out there..
 
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FiddlerDog

Professional
If anything his technical style holds him back.
Actually, it doesn't. If he hit topspin, he would probably be an error machine and never make it past 3.5. Most topspin players never make it past 3.5. Maybe after 15 years of failing to get past 3.5 with your correct topspin , maybe it's time for you to give it up and try learning MEP Tennis. That may be your only hope of ever getting past 3.5 !!
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
GSG is living proof that athleticism can be used to beat superior technical tennis players.
The catch is "technically superior." A player with topspin is not automatically technically superior to a person who slices. A player with a superior slice is technically superior to a person with inferior slice. A player with a superior topspin is technically superior to a person with inferior topspin.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
The catch is "technically superior." A player with topspin is not automatically technically superior to a person who slices. A player with a superior slice is technically superior to a person with inferior slice. A player with a superior topspin is technically superior to a person with inferior topspin.
Just like with topspin - there are people who hit with some underspin - and there are people who hit wicked driving slice. GSG does not hit technically correct slice. With topspin most club players hit with topspin but the ball is not dropping out of the sky suddenly with a big bend.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
GSG does not hit technically correct slice.
Are you saying it's a binary outcome [either it's correct or it's not] or that there are degrees of correctness [like I can score 90% on a test which is not perfect but it's pretty darn good]?

Also, are you accounting for what effect it has on the opposition? if it's good enough to win often, how important is it that it's not "technically correct"?
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
The catch is "technically superior." A player with topspin is not automatically technically superior to a person who slices. A player with a superior slice is technically superior to a person with inferior slice. A player with a superior topspin is technically superior to a person with inferior topspin.
Most ATP players hardly use slice relative to topspin.
 

Curious

Legend
GSG’s success has nothing to do with athleticism. It’s because of two things:
His technique! Yes, his simple technique.
His smart shot selection.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Are you saying it's a binary outcome [either it's correct or it's not] or that there are degrees of correctness [like I can score 90% on a test which is not perfect but it's pretty darn good]?

Also, are you accounting for what effect it has on the opposition? if it's good enough to win often, how important is it that it's not "technically correct"?
I am saying the fundamental technical elements of a slice are not present in his shot - so its not a technically correct slice. Same for his serve.. He wins despite his strokes not because of them. His fitness and athleticism carry the day. Just like Dennis Rodman and his jump shot..

One of the strengths of tennis is that unlike golf its not an entirely technical game. Fitness and athleticism matter - especially in hot humid weather. This is why 1 in 100 guys play tennis like MEP does. If it was the 'secret" to his success 99 out of 100 guys would play his way. And the one weird guy that hit with powerful serves, good topspin and driving slices - we would be discussing how it is unorthodox.

Play indoors in a temperature controlled environment - and the technique and fitness of 4.0s is more then enough to beat him. It's over - we know all this now.

For some players they just need to work on their fitness so they don't end up holding their knees by the third game. I don't know why you guys are arguing for GSG - its pointless and petty. He explains quite clearly why he wins and how he wins. Credit to the guy.. Turns out 4.5 players just don't have that commitment to fitness so he can beat them quite easily around ATL when the weather is hot.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
This is why 1 in 100 guys play tennis like MEP does. If it was the 'secret" to his success 99 out of 100 guys would play his way. And the one weird guy that hit with powerful serves, good topspin and driving slices - we would be discussing how it is unorthodox.
1 in 100 REC guys play like GSG. Big difference there. And they could be doing that because of lessons or observing the pros. It is not sufficient proof of Darwinian selection to me.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
This is why 1 in 100 guys play tennis like MEP does. If it was the 'secret" to his success 99 out of 100 guys would play his way. And the one weird guy that hit with powerful serves, good topspin and driving slices - we would be discussing how it is unorthodox.
It IS the secret of being a high level rec player. Be fit and keep it simple.

The reason why others don’t follow could be different.

Maybe why they don’t follow his style could be because they are delusional. They talk about how what GSG is doing is limiting one’s tennis growth while never ever reaching GSG’s level themselves. Maybe they should be following his style.

Maybe why they don’t follow his style is because they simply don’t want to because it is not fun for them. I myself don’t for that reason. I don’t like to grind it out and would rather lose quickly than win a long match :). However I also know I will never reach GSG’s level.

What I do is fun for me and that’s why I play the way I do. Not because of some deluded notion that emulating GSG would somehow stunt my mythical tennis growth.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
I am saying the fundamental technical elements of a slice are not present in his shot - so its not a technically correct slice. Same for his serve.. He wins despite his strokes not because of them. His fitness and athleticism carry the day. Just like Dennis Rodman and his jump shot..

One of the strengths of tennis is that unlike golf its not an entirely technical game. Fitness and athleticism matter - especially in hot humid weather. This is why 1 in 100 guys play tennis like MEP does. If it was the 'secret" to his success 99 out of 100 guys would play his way. And the one weird guy that hit with powerful serves, good topspin and driving slices - we would be discussing how it is unorthodox.

Play indoors in a temperature controlled environment - and the technique and fitness of 4.0s is more then enough to beat him. It's over - we know all this now.

For some players they just need to work on their fitness so they don't end up holding their knees by the third game. I don't know why you guys are arguing for GSG - its pointless and petty. He explains quite clearly why he wins and how he wins. Credit to the guy.. Turns out 4.5 players just don't have that commitment to fitness so he can beat them quite easily around ATL when the weather is hot.
what if, just if, MEP started with the result in mind, taking into account his limitations
while, the other 99 guys might start with other concepts: textbook style of game, nice looking game, etc., in spite of the fact that they are losing to folks like MEP?

at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you hit a winner or your opponent makes a mistake, both result in same amount of points, and at recreational level, it's easy to maximize your rate of winning points by decreasing the amount of mistakes instead of trying to score winners left and right
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
what if, just if, MEP started with the result in mind, taking into account his limitations
The crucial factor, even more than athleticism, is his height. I knew a shorter version of GSG (who stopped playing because his knees could not take all that running) who was not effective beyond 3.5. It starts with the serve. To get it in the court with a casual motion and yet keep it good enough against 4.5 players is possible only with the angle created by his height. Then the dinky pushes that he employs look dinky but aren't - because they have a longer lever arm behind the short swing which gives them enough power to go deep. His reach to get ball after ball back from alternating sides of the court relies on his reach (as well as his speed).
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
what if, just if, MEP started with the result in mind, taking into account his limitations
while, the other 99 guys might start with other concepts: textbook style of game, nice looking game, etc., in spite of the fact that they are losing to folks like MEP?

at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you hit a winner or your opponent makes a mistake, both result in same amount of points, and at recreational level, it's easy to maximize your rate of winning points by decreasing the amount of mistakes instead of trying to score winners left and right
The MEP approach results in higher NTRP rating (i.e., higher rate of winning points). However, the alternative and apparently more common approach of focusing on stroke technique and style points results in higher TT rating (i.e., better at ‘proper tennis’).
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
The crucial factor, even more than athleticism, is his height. I knew a shorter version of GSG (who stopped playing because his knees could not take all that running) who was not effective beyond 3.5. It starts with the serve. To get it in the court with a casual motion and yet keep it good enough against 4.5 players is possible only with the angle created by his height. Then the dinky pushes that he employs look dinky but aren't - because they have a longer lever arm behind the short swing which gives them enough power to go deep. His reach to get ball after ball back from alternating sides of the court relies on his reach (as well as his speed).
Nothing to do with height. I am short and can outlast many other younger folks on the court. Whether I like to do it or not is another question. Michael Chang and Diego S. can run around the whole day if needed

Also if you are just referring to angles, Ramesh Krishnan and Santoro were not particularly tall.

You are overthinking it.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Nothing to do with height. I am short and can outlast many other younger folks on the court. Whether I like to do it or not is another question. Michael Chang and Diego S. can run around the whole day if needed

Also if you are just referring to angles, Ramesh Krishnan and Santoro were not particularly tall.

You are overthinking it.
Ramesh and Fabrice were pro players doing it from childhood. You could have chosen Diego Schwartzman as a more recent example. If you are comparing serves at that level, you should compare them with Isner or Karlovic.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Just his ability to play 3 sets shows athleticism. What are you talking about?

And see how much ground he covers to retrieve balls.
sureshs,

Correct me and others if you can, i have a hard time imagining you play a full match of singles. Or, how about just one set? Man, those gifs of yours that people post frequently really got to me. Sorry.

You know what? Just about everyone I know, except a couple guys, avoids singles.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Ramesh and Fabrice were pro players doing it from childhood. You could have chosen Diego Schwartzman as a more recent example. If you are comparing serves at that level, you should compare them with Isner or Karlovic.
What does that have to do with anything? Looks like you are trying to change the argument. At some point they were both at GSG level and still hitting those shots. It doesn’t matter they were doing it since childhood or not. So height was not a factor at those angles shots like you tried to make it out.

Now coming to serves even pros 5’7” guys cannot consistently hit 120 mph serves. That is a height limitation.
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
GSG is living proof that athleticism can be used to beat superior technical tennis players. Feels good that the "little man" can beat the rich country club Doctor.. But it's not a good approach for the huge population of 40+ something poor overweight athletes out there..
I have no idea where this "athleticism" idea comes from. He's not fast. He's shown no indication that he possesses the eye-hand coordination necessary to master even 3.5 level strokes, which was clearly to his detriment as we watched him get pounded into a fine powder against every legit 4.5 he faced. He's not fast, nor quick. He has visible man boobs.

His entire game is reliant on two pillars: 1 - hope the other guy blows something routine, since he can't pressure them into hitting anything more challenging than that; 2 - play mostly 3.5's, and pretend they're something better than that.

Trav might be the best player I saw him beat, and he's nowhere near a 4.5.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
The MEP approach results in higher NTRP rating (i.e., higher rate of winning points). However, the alternative and apparently more common approach of focusing on stroke technique and style points results in higher TT rating (i.e., better at ‘proper tennis’).
Didn't you drive the ball a lot more when you played with @Shroud? Did you change your style due to injury?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I have no idea where this "athleticism" idea comes from. He's not fast. He's shown no indication that he possesses the eye-hand coordination necessary to master even 3.5 level strokes, which was clearly to his detriment as we watched him get pounded into a fine powder against every legit 4.5 he faced. He's not fast, nor quick. He has visible man boobs.

His entire game is reliant on two pillars: 1 - hope the other guy blows something routine, since he can't pressure them into hitting anything more challenging than that; 2 - play mostly 3.5's, and pretend they're something better than that.

Trav might be the best player I saw him beat, and he's nowhere near a 4.5.
travlerajm does very well against 4.5s. I saw it myself.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
sureshs,

Correct me and others if you can, i have a hard time imagining you play a full match of singles. Or, how about just one set? Man, those gifs of yours that people post frequently really got to me. Sorry.

You know what? Just about everyone I know, except a couple guys, avoids singles.
I play only one set of singles or for 1 hour, whichever ends earlier. I used to do two sets before, but not after my double hernia surgery.

Even now, I don't play 2 sets more due to mental boredom and hunger.

I can easily play 4 sets of doubles.
 

jdawgg

Semi-Pro
The MEP approach results in higher NTRP rating (i.e., higher rate of winning points). However, the alternative and apparently more common approach of focusing on stroke technique and style points results in higher TT rating (i.e., better at ‘proper tennis’).
What this whole debate has lacked about focusing on technique versus focusing on really basic strokes and which will allow you to be a higher NTRP is that most people do a terrible job focusing on technique and/or copying the pros. They hardly practice new techniques they just try to replicate what they see. Hardly anyone really puts the work in to develop good technique. People also don't know what are just aesthetics versus fundamentals. There's tons and tons of rec players who think they're focused on technique yet are doing it horribly wrong. They go out and hit some balls with the new technique and think their stroke is magically fixed. They don't understand the long, long process of developing a new muscle memory. Working on a shot, isolated, for a month.

What you end up with is strokes lacking serious fundamentals. Like 4.0s with mostly pretty forward strokes but actually completely skip a unit turn and are late with their take back everytime resulting in them having to back up to give them enough time. It's hard to watch. Many, many rec players also can't get a proper throwing motion going in their serve. I've helped people fix this many times but most aren't willing to put the effort in (many lessons where we work only on that). Most people don't want that kind of lesson but they're not honest with themselves.

The rec world needs more people focused on fundamentals. Proper unit turn, proper preparation, proper balance, proper grips, proper loading, using big muscles. It's not as sexy, I get it. People love to listen to these quick fixes or high level tips and skip the rest.

I don't think I'm on either side of this argument, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Tennis is a leg sport. MEP is proof of that. People should strive to work on their fundamentals. Most people won't have the athletic ability to get where MEP is because his legs are what make the difference. His athletic background has given him excellent footwork that others won't have unless they played other sports at a high level. Learn from MEP that he actually has pretty good fundamentals in the footwork, balance and preparation standpoint. Incorporate those into your game as well as proper stroke fundamentals (which MEP lacks on his forehand & backhand slice, serve, overhead and volleys). Forget copying the pros. This applies to adult rec players around 2.5-4.0.
 
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AnyPUG

Professional
Just his ability to play 3 sets shows athleticism. What are you talking about?

And see how much ground he covers to retrieve balls.
And also has better eye-brain-hand co-ordination and executes shots to perfection - look at the number of time he hits sidelines or baselines via ds or lobs.
 

zipplock

Hall of Fame
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. )
4.5 is just smarter 4.0. High level doesn't start till 5.0. This is very easy to see when watching 5.0+ play. They have gears/tactics 4.5 just don't have.
 
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S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
4.5 is just smarter 4.0. High level doesn't start till 5.0. This is very easy to see when watching 5.0+ play. They have gears/tactics 4.5 just don't have.
I don't think it's that black and white: I've seen 4.5s that had gears and tactics that 4.0s do not. And I've seen 5.0s that were smarter 4.5s.

Debating where "high" begins is relative: it's usually a level or two above the one giving the opinion.
 
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