Most humbling USTA experiences?

MemphisTennis

New User
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to play a top 30 in the nation boy’s 14’s player. Little turd already has almost a 12 UTR. Talk about a reality check :laughing:

If any 4.5’s or even 5.0’s think they can go play a WTA player and do alright, they should try out boy’s 12’s and go from there. OOF.

On another note, I was humbled in another way recently. Watching friends and family at 4.5+ state for 40 and over, I saw a man with a prosthetic foot at ONE DOUBLES absolutely HANDLE two solid players in their own right. *That* is humbling, and crazy inspiring. I’m all out of excuses at this point.

Similar experiences? Anyone else receive a healthy dose of reality like this? :laughing:
 

n8dawg6

Legend
my humbling/angering experience is usually the reverse ... i play some supposedly pitiful dinker in singles. during warmup i think “this guy hits a lot of balls back but i love to close on short balls and i thrive on smashing overheads for hours on end. he cant return liquid hot MAGMA.” then he beats me
 
I spend a few weeks coaching at my old junior academy twice a year. Every year they get a little faster and I get little slower. It is really the only time of the year I can see (rather than feel) the effects of getting older.

Plus, those kids can hammer it. Good thing they are still lacking in experience otherwise I wouldn't have a chance.
 
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Cawlin

Semi-Pro
There's a kid who just turned 9 in my neighborhood - a future stars type - getting pro instruction from his father who teaches at a local acadmey. Anyway, they come out to the neighborhood courts and practice often. On one such evening my wife and I were hitting around on the other court. The father/coach asked if I would be willing to hit with his son who was 8 at the time (this was just a few months ago). I agreed enthusiastically and me and the kid started rallying - I put out my best effort, not wanting to junk-ball the kid or anything like that - really focused on my footwork and trying to hit good solid shots to him. He handled everything I threw at him and gave me back excellent rally balls to hit as well. It was maybe the best "rally session" I've ever had. I wish I could hit with that kid every day, it would improve my game immensely. Anyway, after maybe 20 minutes of that I started to run out of gas (had been hitting for a couple hours already prior to that) and I started to make more mistakes and hit crappier shots back. I was apologetic, and the kid was very polite about it... I was mortified that I was no longer able to be a worthwhile hitting partner for him.

It wasn't humbling because he was such a good player (and he is - probably would have beaten me rather handily 1 vs. 1), it was humbling because I got the opportunity to hit with him and he and his father were both supremely gracious to me as I wore out and my shots started to break down. They both thanked me when I finally was out of gas. I thanked them both profusely as well. It was a great experience.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I tend to be more self-depricating, so nothing where I talked crap and then went and had my butt handed to me. Have had plenty of siuations where I know I have a better all around game, but I leave the court on the wrong side of a score all on errors and mental issues. SOOOOOOO annoying. lol.
 

penpal

Semi-Pro
My wife and I took up tennis around the age of 30. We started as 3.0s, were both relatively athletic, and won our first few matches in a club league so we decided to sign up for the upcoming club tournament. We won our first match so were feeling pretty good about ourselves. Second match we show up and our opponents look to be in their 70s. During the warmup, we notice the gentleman is physically unable to reach down and pick a ball up off the ground. The lady appears to have had surgery on both her knees. She literally cannot move faster than a slow shuffle.

Long story short, we lost 1 and 1.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
My wife and I took up tennis around the age of 30. We started as 3.0s, were both relatively athletic, and won our first few matches in a club league so we decided to sign up for the upcoming club tournament. We won our first match so were feeling pretty good about ourselves. Second match we show up and our opponents look to be in their 70s. During the warmup, we notice the gentleman is physically unable to reach down and pick a ball up off the ground. The lady appears to have had surgery on both her knees. She literally cannot move faster than a slow shuffle.

Long story short, we lost 1 and 1.
THIS. Similarly, about my 2-3rd year of playing, had a men's dubs match (3.5). partner and i show up to face two 70+ guys, braces on every joint, barely move a step. partner i thinking we should be wrapped up in about a half hour. We were indeed......1-1 for the 70+ dudes!

cherry on top: match time was 9pm, and it had just started snowing/icing that day, so by the time the match finished at 9:35 it was a mess...snow is no big deal but with the ice it took nearly an extra 45 mins to get home...
 

MemphisTennis

New User
then i hammer all the whiteclaws in my cooler
MY MAN :-D

Love hearing other people’s experiences. Absolutely awesome.

I almost forgot, like 2 1/2 years ago, the number 3 10U player in the country came into town. His dad asked if I could hit with him. I’m thinking “I’ll take it easy on him”. He gets a 40-Love lead every game. Before I knew it, it was 4 all with a bunch of adults watching. I barely eeked it out and promptly headed home, avoiding speaking to anyone I could :laughing: I’d rather play center court at Wimbledon against all the greats at once than go through that again. I was just glad there was a nice bar around the corner from the country club we were at.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to play a top 30 in the nation boy’s 14’s player. Little turd already has almost a 12 UTR. Talk about a reality check :laughing:

If any 4.5’s or even 5.0’s think they can go play a WTA player and do alright, they should try out boy’s 12’s and go from there. OOF.

On another note, I was humbled in another way recently. Watching friends and family at 4.5+ state for 40 and over, I saw a man with a prosthetic foot at ONE DOUBLES absolutely HANDLE two solid players in their own right. *That* is humbling, and crazy inspiring. I’m all out of excuses at this point.

Similar experiences? Anyone else receive a healthy dose of reality like this? :laughing:
A UTR 12 14's boy could probably hang with most WTA players except the top 20.
 

MemphisTennis

New User
How the FK do you handle Whiteclaw then? Seriously, I'd rather drink Bud Light than that... though I will drink Whiteclaw before Mich. Ultra... :sick:
The 2.5 weekday ladies here take coolers full of that stuff onto court. Doesn’t matter if it’s 65 or 95 :-Do_O
 
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to play a top 30 in the nation boy’s 14’s player. Little turd already has almost a 12 UTR. Talk about a reality check :laughing:

If any 4.5’s or even 5.0’s think they can go play a WTA player and do alright, they should try out boy’s 12’s and go from there. OOF.

On another note, I was humbled in another way recently. Watching friends and family at 4.5+ state for 40 and over, I saw a man with a prosthetic foot at ONE DOUBLES absolutely HANDLE two solid players in their own right. *That* is humbling, and crazy inspiring. I’m all out of excuses at this point.

Similar experiences? Anyone else receive a healthy dose of reality like this? :laughing:
A couple times. The first time I played Flex League, I thought I was much better than I was. I remember in the first set charging the net from a ridiculous position and easily getting passed, thinking to myself, "Oh ****". I got blown out in the first set and ultimately lost the match in straight sets. It was a good reality check for my game.

The second time was the following year during Flex League when I had won the first match or two easily, I think it was one match. I go into this next match and win the first set, but get absolutely destroyed in the second set (losing 6-0) and ultimately losing in the third set tiebreak. That was a good reality check for me too, and made me realize that if I didn't develop good passing shots (as opposed to only having a good lob), I wasn't going anywhere.

I play my first tournament later today, so perhaps another humbling experience will happen by the end of the night.
 

sovertennis

Professional
My wife and I were planning to move to a small city in SC about 4-5 years ago, and I had discussed a teaching job at a club there. During one of our house-hunting visits, that club was holding a USTA tourney, so I entered the 4.5. I wasn't too concerned about the result, I just wanted to compete well and make a good accounting of myself. I proceed to lose love and love in about an hour and leave the court thinking that the guy who beat me is the best 4.5 I've ever seen, and that this club will never hire me now. Later I find out that the guy who beat me is a 5.0+ level player who won't play league tennis and won't enter the open draw because he simply wants to win matches, so he enters the 4.5 draw and has been undefeated for the past couple of years in USTA tourneys.

Anyway, I got the job and worked at the club for a couple of years.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
I tend to be more self-depricating, so nothing where I talked crap and then went and had my butt handed to me. Have had plenty of siuations where I know I have a better all around game, but I leave the court on the wrong side of a score all on errors and mental issues. SOOOOOOO annoying. lol.
Yeah nothing worse than after that kind of match and the opponent tells you how hard and heavy your serve or groundies were...how much trouble he was having with them...and your thinking why did I loose them?
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
Did you overhit and get "pushed"?
actually no. i wouldn't call them pushers at all. they didnt try to rip winners on every shot, they just played within themselves hit solid but not 'heavy' groundstrokes, no double-faults, and placement/angles were amazing. it was actually a great lesson and gave me positive feelings about the future...that this is a game that, lord willing, i can play well into my later years (along with golf and surfing)...
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I had only been back playing for about 6 months. At that point I had 3 shots: Hard flat FH, Hard flat BH and a Hard flat serve. I thought I was pretty okay (laughing about it now).

Walking up to play line 1 singles in 3.0 league .... meet opponent who was 15 years older than I was, short and overweight. Thinking ... oh yeah, I have got this.

Lost 6-2; 6-3. My big flat shots could not find the court that day ..... She dealt me nothing but slice, drop shots and lobs.

Was mortified.

Side note, she asked to play me about 3 months ago. Beat her 0&1. I am not the same player as 3 years ago ... thank God!
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
I saw a kid play with only one arm. His other arm was cut off at the elbow. Now the fact that he could play isn't surprising, but this kid actually had a pretty solid serve too. He'd toss it up using his racquet and then serve it. He was a really good player all things considered.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
I played a match this spring against the fastest guy I had faced since high school. On the second point of the match, I hit a cross-court short-angled backhand to his forehand -- I'm lefty -- that landed on the line, around halfway between the service line and the baseline. I was wondering if he was going to call it out but he ran it down and blocked it back to the middle of the court. Since he was outside the alley when he hit that shot, I figured I would finish him off with a cross-court forehand to the opposite side. I accidentally "over-steered it" and it barely caught the outside edge of the opposite sideline. I was sure he was going to call it out. He didn't, but instead hit a running one-handed backhand winner down the line into the corner from outside the OPPOSITE alley from where he was standing when he hit the prior shot.

The guy had several potential weaknesses in his game including a really soft second serve and an error-prone forehand, but after he ran down and hit a winner off two consecutive balls that hit opposite sidelines I was totally mentally destroyed. I had been working short-angle shots in practice as my singles strategy before the match, and he totally took all that away in the second point of the match. I just kept feeling there was nothing I could hit that he couldn't handle, and I lost the match 0 and 0.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
A UTR 12 14's boy could probably hang with most WTA players except the top 20.
It depends.

Just had an excellent opportunity to watch an ITF 25k women's tournament last week. The girls national champs for the 14s and 18s were both at the tournament. One is actually 14 with an 11 UTR, and the other is 16 with a 12 UTR. They both happened to face a player ranked right about 250 on WTA in back to back rounds. The 14 year old lost 7-5, 6-2. The 16 year old lost 6-4, 6-3. For what it's worth, the pro is UTR 12 as well, but those results would probably bear out with consistency. I think the 14 year old might not do as well as she did, but she's a phenomenal player just underpowered.

Highly rated younger players have amazing strokes, but they usually lack the raw strength to sustain rallies against real professionals. The woman who ended up winning the tournament is an absolute physical specimen, and the match against the other pro was incredible to watch. 3 sets 7-6, 4-6, 7-5, and the winner came back from 2-5 down in the last set. Went well past 3 hours on the court, and there's no way those younger girls could've kept up for that amount of time.

I suppose my point is that despite their UTRs being close I'm skeptical of 16 and under competing with top 100 ladies.

Edit: I looked up the UTR U18 top players list. The 16 year old is top 50. I saw another player from the tournament on the list though, she's also UTR 12 at age 18. She didn't have as much success in the last tournament, but her WTA rating is top 500. She also had a win against the woman who won last week's tournament a couple of months ago. It's plausible because she's physically much more mature than the younger girls, and despite lacking their power is able to handle it.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
It depends.

Just had an excellent opportunity to watch an ITF 25k women's tournament last week. The girls national champs for the 14s and 18s were both at the tournament. One is actually 14 with an 11 UTR, and the other is 16 with a 12 UTR. They both happened to face a player ranked right about 250 on WTA in back to back rounds. The 14 year old lost 7-5, 6-2. The 16 year old lost 6-4, 6-3. For what it's worth, the pro is UTR 12 as well, but those results would probably bear out with consistency. I think the 14 year old might not do as well as she did, but she's a phenomenal player just underpowered.

Highly rated younger players have amazing strokes, but they usually lack the raw strength to sustain rallies against real professionals. The woman who ended up winning the tournament is an absolute physical specimen, and the match against the other pro was incredible to watch. 3 sets 7-6, 4-6, 7-5, and the winner came back from 2-5 down in the last set. Went well past 3 hours on the court, and there's no way those younger girls could've kept up for that amount of time.

I suppose my point is that despite their UTRs being close I'm skeptical of 16 and under competing with top 100 ladies.

Edit: I looked up the UTR U18 top players list. The 16 year old is top 50. I saw another player from the tournament on the list though, she's also UTR 12 at age 18. She didn't have as much success in the last tournament, but her WTA rating is top 500. She also had a win against the woman who won last week's tournament a couple of months ago. It's plausible because she's physically much more mature than the younger girls, and despite lacking their power is able to handle it.
Grace Min?
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Yup .... slice deep, drop shot, lob, she has not changed much at all ..... but I know how to negate that style now without much effort.
So do you think she fits into the category of player that just cruises and stays at their level and never really works on improving their actual game? Understand that I am not disparaging such players, just curious... and the reason I'm asking is that probably 90% of the people I see playing B and C level ALTA are just that type of player - same game they had 10 years ago, spend lots of time on the court, but never get any real instruction, never really drill/practice, just get together with the same old crowd and play games/sets for "practice".
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
So do you think she fits into the category of player that just cruises and stays at their level and never really works on improving their actual game? Understand that I am not disparaging such players, just curious... and the reason I'm asking is that probably 90% of the people I see playing B and C level ALTA are just that type of player - same game they had 10 years ago, spend lots of time on the court, but never get any real instruction, never really drill/practice, just get together with the same old crowd and play games/sets for "practice".
She is over 65 .... was once a very very good player .... played in open tournaments (name on plaques in various clubs) 20 years ago and is simply fighting the ravages of time. Was bumped down to 3.0 about 4 years ago, after bump downs from 4.5 and 4.0 prior to that. She is not the type of player that would be part of this discussion.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I saw a kid play with only one arm. His other arm was cut off at the elbow. Now the fact that he could play isn't surprising, but this kid actually had a pretty solid serve too. He'd toss it up using his racquet and then serve it. He was a really good player all things considered.
Do you know if this is allowed for people with both arms intact?
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
She is over 65 .... was once a very very good player .... played in open tournaments (name on plaques in various clubs) 20 years ago and is simply fighting the ravages of time. Was bumped down to 3.0 about 4 years ago, after bump downs from 4.5 and 4.0 prior to that. She is not the type of player that would be part of this discussion.
Ahh... OK so yeah... different situation there altogether.
 
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