Playing 1980s style players is very very difficult

E46luver

Professional
Played former D1 who developed his game in the 1980s.

He has a vicious BH slice that lands deep and CC.
Skids low and is impossible to return at my level.
Too low to topspin, and too fast to slice it back.

His FH is a flat Kyrgios slap that skims the net.
Too low to topspin, and too fast to slice it back.

His 2nd serve is a bullet slice.
I had no idea where to stand, since I am used to getting fluffy kick serves.
If I stood at baseline, I would frame the ball.

It is almost impossible to get into a rally against these balls.
It was very rare that I hit a ball in sweet spot today.
Almost every ball was hit off center and FH was easily my worst shot
Only part of my game that was working was the serve.

Lost 6-1 6-0
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Slice serve from older guys (or young) is much harder to attack than it looks. Stay low, top spin, try to put the ball back, make them play the point out. At least you can make them do a bit running.
 

E46luver

Professional
Slice serve from older guys (or young) is much harder to attack than it looks. Stay low, top spin, try to put the ball back, make them play the point out. At least you can make them do a bit running.
attack? LOLZ. he was clean acing me with his slice serve. He would hit side fence could barely get racket on it On ad side he would also hit it wide. tons of aces on both sides, out wide. on both sides. he can also ace down the T but he did not even need to do that today. if i stand wide, he aces up the T. his 2nd serve is harder than any 4.5 first serve I have ever hit with.
 

E46luver

Professional
I would think the main difficulty playing such an opponent is that he is a former D1, irrespective of style or in which era he learned.
No, I've played former D1 and can get into the points.
its downright enjoyable.
this guy, i can barely hit one clean ball per game.
feels like ive never played
its the style
totally different vibe than "regular" D1-2-3
 

vex

Hall of Fame
If your opponent is playing with as low a margin of error as you describe you need to play better defense.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
attack? LOLZ. he was clean acing me with his slice serve. He would hit side fence could barely get racket on it On ad side he would also hit it wide. tons of aces on both sides, out wide. on both sides. he can also ace down the T but he did not even need to do that today. if i stand wide, he aces up the T. his 2nd serve is harder than any 4.5 first serve I have ever hit with.
If he is in 50's and he is acing you every serve, your serve return and movement need to change. You need to make a choice (educated guess) before he serve, at least you should get it right 50% of the time.
 

E46luver

Professional
He is in his 40s. Developed his game as a junior in the 80s. Played D1 in the 90s.
His wide serves are untouchable. Even ATP pro would get aced. Side fence slices
 
I played doubles against a guy just like this. He puts the return right down the middle. The shot barely bounces and he comes in behind it. There is not much you can do with the ball. Can't even lob it. The answer to this is to play Australian. Force him to hit down the line and hit over the high part of the net.
 
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vex

Hall of Fame
News flash, any trained modern player can play against this style because that's how their coaches played.

Your inexperience doesn't make them special.

J
Yep. There’s a reason why no one plays this style anymore. A good opponent makes this guy hit 3-4 more balls and TWHACK that low slice catches the net or sails long.

InB4 “Not TTPS” tells us this guy is basically rec league John McEnroe
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
All "different" players can be challenging initially. You need to play them a bunch. If he's a similar level to you then he likely has as many weaknesses as you and you need to find them.

Guys with flat forehands and slice backhands may struggle with high balls to the BH and low balls to the FH. And wicked slice returns can be sorted out by either reading it or moving in to take away the angle. He wouldn't be a 4.5 if he had a nigh on untouchable serve. Even I can get a racket on most 4.5 serves.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
U should always be able to slice fast balls back just by short downwards swing contact with open racquet face. Easy to practice against flat shots. Hit hard against wall.

I can stay in rallies against this type of opponent but often lose through lack of confidence. Normally I cough short balls. So hit it harder than u think you should. And on slices extend the follow through.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I imagine that Johnny Mac, with a style he developed in the 1970s, might give many players a run for their money even though he is now 60+ yrs.
Any trained player respects all styles, and *should* know how to deal with them, it's late starters, kids who think they are better than they are, and internet idiots (or some combination thereof) who struggle disproportionately in matchups.

Of course it's natural for people to have matchup issues within their level, but these issues should rarely transcend levels. Most of the time when this happens it is a player's pride that gets in the way.

J
 
Any trained player respects all styles, and *should* know how to deal with them, it's late starters, kids who think they are better than they are, and internet idiots (or some combination thereof) who struggle disproportionately in matchups.

Of course it's natural for people to have matchup issues within their level, but these issues should rarely transcend levels. Most of the time when this happens it is a player's pride that gets in the way.

J
The interesting part is his statement "No, I've played former D1 and can get into the points." That leads him to believe the style is the distinguishing factor.

The skill gap between a former D1 and a 4.0 is vast, no matter the style. So one particular style might make the gap vaster [is that a word? It is now] but would hardly change the basic comparison.

If I could get into points vs a former D1, my assumption would be that he was cruising. Shoot, I've felt this way playing up only 1 level, let alone 2-3 that he's proposing [4.0 vs 5.0/5.5]. The other likely possibility is that my opponent has physical issues and/or it's been a very long time since he played college with little playing since.

Is what @E46luver saying possible? Sure. I just don't see it as likely.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
The interesting part is his statement "No, I've played former D1 and can get into the points." That leads him to believe the style is the distinguishing factor.

The skill gap between a former D1 and a 4.0 is vast, no matter the style. So one particular style might make the gap vaster [is that a word? It is now] but would hardly change the basic comparison.

If I could get into points vs a former D1, my assumption would be that he was cruising. Shoot, I've felt this way playing up only 1 level, let alone 2-3 that he's proposing [4.0 vs 5.0/5.5]. The other likely possibility is that my opponent has physical issues and/or it's been a very long time since he played college with little playing since.

Is what @E46luver saying possible? Sure. I just don't see it as likely.
Note that he checks two of the three boxes on my indicators for people who disproportionately struggle with matchups.

J
 

E46luver

Professional
The moral of the story is simple. Some players make you look better than you are. I played a UTR 11 this summer and had a blast. Got crushed, but I could hit all my shots. FH, BH, ROS, slice, everything. Some players make you look worse than you are. This 1980s D1 would be lower ranked than UTR 11, but I could not hit a single good ball against his style. Both opponents are far above any level I will ever reach, but my own play is vastly different against both. This is entirely a factor of style of opponent, and has nothing to do with levels. I played much worse against the lower ranked player. Basic common sense stuff here, if you actually play tennis, and not just type about it.
 
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travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
The moral of the story is simple. Some players make you look better than you are. I played a UTR 11 this summer and had a blast. Got crushed, but I could hit all my shots. FH, BH, ROS, slice, everything. Some players make you look worse than you are. This 1980s D1 would be lower ranked than UTR 11, but I could not hit a single good ball against his style. Both opponents are far above any level I will ever reach, but my own play is vastly different against both. This is entirely a factor of style of opponent, and has nothing to do with levels. Basic common sense stuff here.
We need to set up a youtube match between you and Navigator.
 

E46luver

Professional
Has nothing to do with winning or losing. You will always lose to players who are multiple levels above you. Common sense.
The insight here is that I played much worse against the lower ranked player.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Has nothing to do with winning or losing. You will always lose to players who are multiple levels above you. Common sense.
The insight here is that I played much worse against the lower ranked player.
Could you have fared better against the old-skool dude had you adjusted by adopting a different style of play?
 

E46luver

Professional
Perhaps. This was the first time I played him. Play anyone 50 times, and you will start to optimize your play, and get used to his shots. Plus, it was on hard court so my timing was totally off. I have a lot of trouble on hard court since I play 100% on clay, year round. One inch is the difference between sweet spot and a shank. And I had not hit much in the last 2 months. So, there are multiple factors.
 
Plus, it was on hard court so my timing was totally off. I have a lot of trouble on hard court since I play 100% on clay, year round. One inch is the difference between sweet spot and a shank. And I had not hit much in the last 2 months. So, there are multiple factors.
You left out those two very significant details. Could it be that those made the difference and not his style?
 

E46luver

Professional
I hit again with the 80s style player. I did a little bit better, but still very challenging.
His clear weak spot is moonball to his BH. He needs to take it on the rise.
But, very hard to dictate.

My hitting is still very off. Still too many factors to know main culprit
Full bed gut strings. Hard court. His flat shots. Extended break.

Today, I play with a bit more normal player, so I will see how I hit against this guy
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
Hahaha can't say those two old guys because I am nearly there. The three things that stand out are anticipation. there's a lovely point where lions anticipates the slice approach to his backhand and is already there in time for the backhand lob. Targets his opponents backhand perfectly makessure him makes him reach and stretch.

And plain old net clearance on their shots plenty of margin and depth on their slice approach shots. All things the rest of us could train for.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
That knife backhand slice to my forehand gives me trouble too. Especially if he takes it DTL during a normal backhand cross court rally. It's really tough to move up to it and get under it to hit my normal topspin forehand.
 

E46luver

Professional
I played again today with normal 3.5 topspin player to see if it was 80s flat stroke that were the problem.
It was too windy so it was a disaster. Ball sometimes would not even reach baseline in 5 bounces.
I will wait for another day.
 

E46luver

Professional
Yea, and guess where they get that consistency?
I have seen 3.5 guys who only hit topspin on every possible shot self-destruct against slicers.
These guys will never make it to 4.0 since their rally length can never get past 3.
You need a slice to be able to sustain a rally since many balls are out of the strike zone.
Not a great slice, but having ANY slice.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
He is in his 40s. Developed his game as a junior in the 80s. Played D1 in the 90s.
His wide serves are untouchable. Even ATP pro would get aced. Side fence slices
one of the coaches in my club reached something like #300 in the world, but as it wasn't enough to earn money, he switched to be a hitting partner.
as a hitting partner he cooperated with a guy that at the time was inside top 10 ATP.

so, we played a few points not that long ago.
and his slice service was just as you describe, and at that moment I also thought that there is literally no answer to it.
if I covered the wide, he would send a flat bomb down the line.

but you know what?
if the guy would ace everyone as I thought, and as you think, he would go much higher than something around top 300.
which means, that without downplaying his capability to serve, it is my capability to return that was much below his capability to serve.
I guess same applies in your case.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
Nobody on my 4.0 team is a slicer. its a good shot to have, but not critical.
it's not that much about slice vs top spin.
top spin might be easier to be mastered, yet I know a guy, at a very solid level who pretty much slices everything from FH, and most of the folks on this forum wouldn't like to play against him.
it's not easy at all to attack his slice for roughly 90-95% of tennis players in the country, so you can translate his skill into your local rating.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
Hey TTPS try walking footwork and move diagonally in to cut off the serve. Don't worry about what foot is forward when u hit the shot. Your bodyweight momentum from moving forward will power enough. Because of the speed of a serve as long as you hit with a rising swing path stroke mechanics don't really matter.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I started play in the 1970s and my most of my shots were slice shots but I was using a Continental grip. Later on I developed topspin shots and switched to an Eastern Forehand and Eastern Backhand so topspin was easier. I switched much later to a Semi-Western.

If you want to do better against the other styles, practice and play against the other styles.

This thread seems similar to the pusher threads.
 
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