My First USTA Sanctioned Tourney coming up

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Duane, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Duane

    Duane New User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Greetings everyone. I am new here and wanted to get your thoughts about something.

    I have played tennis most of my younger years. I am presently 53 years old and have not played a real tennis match with anyone in over 10 years. I had played in a mediocre league where I won only about 80% of my matches about 10 years ago. I would say at the time it was probably a "B" league.

    I did play in High School and went to regionals in class A schools but did not make the state playoffs. I played for a few years once I got out of high school but never really won anything to speak of.

    About 2 months ago I started playing (practicing) again and found that I am not as rusty as I would have thought. My first serve has lost some of it's speed but it is fairly consistent and my second serve is still consistent with a high kick spin. I can rally from the baseline from either side back hand and forehand where I hit heavy topspin from both sides. (hey I learned to play by studying Guillermos' backhand and Borgs forehand) I usually always hit topspin from forehand side and will play a slice at times from my backhand side. I have a decent overhead, can lob ok, volley fairly decent and can cover the net pretty well. I hit moderately to hard with good consistency from the baseline and can place balls fairly accurately.

    One of the problems I do have is my knees. They have gotten very weak in my old age and my court coverage is somewhat hindered. I can still cover the court but with difficulty at times because of my knees. I wouldn't want to be in a hard fought match and it go 3 sets because I think my knees would not be able to take it.

    Here is the dilemna (other than the knees):

    I entered my first tournament in NTRP division at a self rated 3.5. The tournament starts later this month. Recently I find some video on the net of people who were rated 3.5 and discovered that they are way below my capabilities. I have found about a dozen videos on the net showing different rated players and I find most up to 5.0 are lacking in a full arsenal of capabilities. The problem I am having is that I have never played in a USTA sanctioned tournament, I have never been rated and wanted to get back into playing tennis but I didn't know where to start with my NTRP self rating. I sincerely feel that I may be a 4.0 or even a 4.5 player but a friend of mine said that for my first year I should enter 3.5 rated tournaments and let the computer place me. How long does the computer take to accurately give me a true rating? I don't want to be in a division where it would appear that I am sandbagging but at the same time I don't want to start off by entering into a higher rated division, being stuck there, and getting blown away every time too. I hear it is alot easier to move up in NTRP than it is to move down.

    I will play my first USTA sanctioned tourney this month in 3.5 NTRP mens division. How long do you stay in a particular rating before you get bumped up? How would 50s senior mens divisions compare with Mens NTRP 3.5 to 4 divisions? Would they be stronger? weaker? about the same?

    I want to play, meet people, stay in shape and most of all have fun.

    Would appreciate your thoughts!
  2. Carlito

    Carlito Semi-Pro

    Oct 17, 2005
    Looks can be deceiving. Just because their strokes don't that great, doesn't mean that they are easy to beat. If you are too good for 3.5, you will know within 2-3 tournament. If so you can always move up.

    Just keep in mind, 3.5 at a tournament is not the same as 3.5 at the local park. They find ways to win with their ugly strokes. And if you come in out of shape, they will make you pay for it.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  3. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Nov 26, 2009
    Yeah, don't go by those videos. 3.5 is probably a good place to start. From your post, you're probably closer to a 4.0. But young 3.5s are gonna give you trouble. Like Carlito siad, "you can alays move up."
  4. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    I agree with the others. 3.5 is a good place for you to start. I think you'll find that you can get good competition from a lot of 3.5 players. If that proves not to be the case, you can just enter tournaments at higher levels. You're not stuck playing 3.5 just because that's where you self rated.

    As for playing age bracket tournaments, that's entirely different. I've played some that I won easily (I'm 54) and played others that I got my butt kicked first round.

    NTRP divisions will give you more consistent competition, I've found.

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