My Journey to 6.0 Has Ended... Can I Still Improve? (TennisProdigy Video Diary)

TennisProdigy vs. BallBag - Who Will Reign Victorious?


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jmnk

Hall of Fame
Life is what you make of it, and you only live once. If I work hard to maintain good mental health and decent physical health as my age increases, I can think of a plethora of activities I would find extremely rewarding including but not limited to:

Helping raise my grandkids (if either of my kids decide to have kids).
Traveling the world with my future wife.
Variety of online games.
Trying to become a chess grandmaster.
Learning pickleball if for some reason tennis is no longer playable for me.
Chasing fishing world records.
Trying to win a WSOP bracelet in Texas Holdem.
Well, thank God you added that disclaimer "including but not limited to" otherwise I would think you are a man with no ambitions....
 

Keendog

Professional
My ultimate goal is to take a set off my friend Collin Johns who started tennis at age 14, we met when he was 16 and I was 19, and he reached a career high of 975 on the ATP tour, I consider him to be a 6.0 player when he was actively playing
Hang on wait one page later you've brought back your journey? Is Collin Johns older than you? Cos you could just wait for him to break his hip or get dementia or something and goal achieved

TBH I feel much sharper physically and mentally now at 30 with my current lifestyle than I did when I was 20 in college :)
Wait until you're 35...
 

yossarian

Semi-Pro
Life is what you make of it, and you only live once. If I work hard to maintain good mental health and decent physical health as my age increases, I can think of a plethora of activities I would find extremely rewarding including but not limited to:

Helping raise my grandkids (if either of my kids decide to have kids).
Traveling the world with my future wife.
Variety of online games.
Trying to become a chess grandmaster.
Learning pickleball if for some reason tennis is no longer playable for me.
Chasing fishing world records.
Trying to win a WSOP bracelet in Texas Holdem.
...is there any activity you do solely because you enjoy it, or is there always some delusional ambition to go along with it?
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
...is there any activity you do solely because you enjoy it, or is there always some delusional ambition to go along with it?
Hmm... There is one such activity that comes to mind. However, I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to mention it in this public space.

Now with that being said, I have previously pondered if there happened to be duration world records in seconds/hours for shortest/longest time spent for said activity.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Me vs. @BallBag in our fated rematch! All I can say is that ballbag did not waste these last 2 years doing nothing, there were some serious improvements in his game!!! I still can’t believe that he’s rated 4.0 right now :eek:o_O
Didn't watch all of it, but some very nice groundies from BallBag!

If he can improve his first serve a little (looks like he's letting the left shoulder collapse rather than going up to the ball, and he's over-rotating a little) and get a bit more comfortable at net, I think you'd get worked.
 

BallBag

Professional
Didn't watch all of it, but some very nice groundies from BallBag!

If he can improve his first serve a little (looks like he's letting the left shoulder collapse rather than going up to the ball, and he's over-rotating a little) and get a bit more comfortable at net, I think you'd get worked.
Serve is not my friend right now. I'm trying to change 1 or 2 things at a time but it hasn't shown through in match play.
 

Pass750

New User
Full Uncut Warm up from yesterday with @BallBag

Last time we played was almost exactly two years ago. First time we played we tied, second time (two years ago) I won in straights but it seemed like ballbag was having an off day in the outdoor conditions (it was March so I'm guessing he was more accustomed to the indoor conditions still).

Poll created for fun, will post the full match in a day or two!

The only spoiler I'll throw in is that I don't think either of us would've lasted another 5 minutes on court after we stopped playing...

That forehand looks like Mannarinos
 

WildVolley

Legend
Serve is not my friend right now. I'm trying to change 1 or 2 things at a time but it hasn't shown through in match play.
Well, your ground game is looking very nice.

My suggestion is to try to practice your serve staying sideways more. You have a bit of over-rotation, and if you could convert some of that energy into racquet head speed, you'd definitely get more pop.
 
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Deleted member 765152

Guest
Me vs. @BallBag in our fated rematch! All I can say is that ballbag did not waste these last 2 years doing nothing, there were some serious improvements in his game!!! I still can’t believe that he’s rated 4.0 right now :eek:o_O
That goes to show that you are a 4.0 right now which was my estimate.
Again I don't see you having a realistic chance against a 4.5+/5.0 MEP.

You said you played against a 6.0 and you think BallBag's FH is the most brutal FH you have ever faced??
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
Try holding the racquet with the grip so relaxed that only your little finger is in contact with the handle.
Might help you stop muscling the ball. Point the handle at the ball and swing. Turn your shoulders so you don’t look like you are trying to close the drapes
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Hang on wait one page later you've brought back your journey? Is Collin Johns older than you? Cos you could just wait for him to break his hip or get dementia or something and goal achieved



Wait until you're 35...
Journey is back on (y) Trying to achieve my goal in as little time as possible, gonna play a set vs. Collin late spring early summer to see where I’m at. Also to see where he’s at now since he’s a professional pickleball player.

Didn't watch all of it, but some very nice groundies from BallBag!

If he can improve his first serve a little (looks like he's letting the left shoulder collapse rather than going up to the ball, and he's over-rotating a little) and get a bit more comfortable at net, I think you'd get worked.
I agree with this statement. However, I must point out that 1. I don’t hit with anyone who has ballbags pace right now so now that I‘ve experienced it the next time we play my ground game will look a lot different.

2. Indoors is my least preferred surface. My favorite is clay followed by outdoor hardcourt. Only played grass once and it was teaching a group lesson to 3 kids so I cant reasonably judge that surface yet.

I’d estimate i play about a .75 level higher on clay (har-tru) compared to indoorhard and .5 levels higher on outdoor hard.

That goes to show that you are a 4.0 right now which was my estimate.
Again I don't see you having a realistic chance against a 4.5+/5.0 MEP.

You said you played against a 6.0 and you think BallBag's FH is the most brutal FH you have ever faced??
MEP and I have a match scheduled for next time he’s in DC, only time will tell what will happen. I will admit that I’ve only seen older vids of him when I made my initial post, recent vids of him show clear improvement. I’m actually much more excited to play him now that I can see that him and I are both still finding our respective ceilings.

I played with Collin when he was age 16 - 19, I don’t think I ever played with him after that although I watched him destroy my 5.5 friend who made UVA’s varsity team as a freshman and managed to get 1 atp point. This match occurred in 2015 I believe and I have video footage.

I got some climbing advice: drop 20lbs and it'll do wonders for your climbing.
100% correct. Well I could def get to 142-145 (my all time low weight) I’m not sure if I could get below that comfortably. However, I’m not yet willing to make that commitment to my climbing however in the future I likely will.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
In reality, everyone on ttw is a 3.5, other levels exist only on edited vids.
Which is why I make a point to post only “full sets” that show all points or uncut practice footage.

If I wanted to make a highlight reel I could easily make myself look like a top 300 player.
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
I played the number 1 from Afghanistan and he couldn’t look like a top 300 player even in soviet era closed circuits. I had imagined he would be like Bahrami, a hidden gem but his strokes looked like he had made them up. Really hit him as soon as he got out of his country.
If you want a reality check go somewhere like Madeira and play a seasoned old coach in high humidity on a slick court. The kind of vet who will never miss and run you round until you are dripping wet. Short little punchy strokes that are repeatable all day long.
And if that doesn’t convince you that you are in fantasy land sign up for a minor tournament in France that might attract a handful of top 300 French players - you won’t get a racquet on the ball.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
I played the number 1 from Afghanistan and he couldn’t look like a top 300 player even in soviet era closed circuits. I had imagined he would be like Bahrami, a hidden gem but his strokes looked like he had made them up. Really hit him as soon as he got out of his country.
If you want a reality check go somewhere like Madeira and play a seasoned old coach in high humidity on a slick court. The kind of vet who will never miss and run you round until you are dripping wet. Short little punchy strokes that are repeatable all day long.
And if that doesn’t convince you that you are in fantasy land sign up for a minor tournament in France that might attract a handful of top 300 French players - you won’t get a racquet on the ball.
When I was 19 (and a 4.0) and Collin was 16 (also a 4.0) we entered a $10,000 cash tournament at College Park in MD for fun and experience vs. good players. Denis Kudla was the top seed at about 16 years in age and #500 in the world or something like that.

Even just a couple years into the sport, Collin was already thinking about pro play. As @S&V-not_dead_yet said, those who create goals achieve more than those who do not, Collin reached a career high of 975 on the ATP tour and is now a pro pickleball player.

Anyways, I played against T. Huey, who several years later reached a career high of 18 in the world in doubles. I got blasted 6-0 6-0 off the court in less than 20 min, and not a single rally lasted more than 3 balls. His first serve often reached 130 mph and even standing as far back as possible, I could not react to it.

In Collins first round, he played against a guy in his mid 30s who reached a career high of 300 when he was grinding on tour. This player now played tennis just once every two weeks and entered this tournament to try to win some “easy” money.

Collin lost 6-1 6-0. This opponent clearly took it easy on Collin, but they enjoyed some decent rallies together. This guy did not have a big serve or big groundies, but moved beautifully and had amazing depth, placement, and consistency.

Collin’s opponent was fated to play against T. Huey in the next round, and after Collin’s dad saw that he said, “ah bad luck, I guess this is as far as you go huh,” blindly assuming a skill gap based on the power differences between the two players.

Collin’s opponent replied, “get ready to eat your shoe, I’ve never lost to Huey before.” Collin’s opponent won the match 7-6 6-1 doing an amazing job of neutralizing Huey’s big serve and powerful groundstrokes while playing patient and smart tennis not allowing Huey to attack yet also somehow forcing errors from Huey using a combination of slices, high topspin, angled short balls, among other tactics.

Tennis is not about beautiful strokes, or hitting hard shots, it’s about winning points by any legal means necessary by whatever method you desire.

I maintain that I could create a highlight reel only that allowed me to look like a top 300 player.
 
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Deleted member 771407

Guest
I agree with your point that just looking at strokes quality can't tell you exactly how good someone is. But to put it bluntly you don't even look like a 5.0 or even 4.5 if we only look at your shots and technique. Not a single strike in your videos looks like a top 300 player. How good your friends are doesn't really matter.

Edit : I missed your latest video where you improved a lot. You do look like a 4.5 now no dout. Still not a single point that's top 300 caliber sorry.
 
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TennisProdigy

Professional
Sorry for the delay, part 2 of my match with @BallBag is up! Huge props to ballbag for pushing me past my limits. He actually injured me which hasn't happened to me during a match in over 7 years!
 

BallBag

Professional
@BallBag it appears that you have improved more than the OP in the same time.

To what do you attribute your success?

J
I don't know. I've focused all my energy on improving my serve and it's the only thing that hasn't improved since then. I watched the previous match and I thought my new and improved serve will make the difference but I'm not hitting it any bigger.
 
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