The most lopsided example of "pretty strokes" losing to ugly hack self-taught strokes?

@MathGeek What level do you play at? DO you beat 3.5 players with perfect strokes since they tend to overhit, and they also have not adapted to a junker game. eg: They will take a full ground stroke for an approach shot, and try to crush winners. You should be proud of your game style. It is the smartest game style, I would love to see a video. PM me.
 

blablavla

Professional
Perfect strokes don’t lose to pushers. Perfect strokes know how to hit balls from anywhere in the court, pressure the pusher and put easy balls away.

You seem to think “perfect strokes” begin and end with hitting heavy pace from the baseline. Get off the baseline fix the rest of your game
tennis is so much more than perfect strokes.
fitness
mental strengthens
desire to win
decision making
 
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MathGeek

Hall of Fame
@MathGeek What level do you play at? DO you beat 3.5 players with perfect strokes since they tend to overhit, and they also have not adapted to a junker game. eg: They will take a full ground stroke for an approach shot, and try to crush winners. You should be proud of your game style. It is the smartest game style, I would love to see a video. PM me.
I deleted the videos I made a couple years ago and have not gained consent from most recent opponents to make more videos.

Most of my play is against opponents more in the UTR world than the USTA world these past few years. I'm a UTR 5.0 (barely). The strongest opponents I have beaten are UTR 6s. Their strokes are often very good, but they put too many into the net and the back fence to call them perfect. UTR 7s with good strokes are too consistent for me to beat, both with their strokes and with their footwork. They also have the ability to adjust their ground strokes in more of a continuous range: 50%, 60%, ..., 100% and rarely bother with 100% when they are playing me. The UTR 6s are UE machines who are rarely able to dial it back from 100%.
 
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shamaho

Semi-Pro
Does anyone have footage that would serve as a good example of this ?
One guy with perfect strokes, great serving, etc, looks like a great player
and getting crushed by a player who has grotesque strokes, dink serving, but hits everything in play.
This needs to be taught and focused on a lot more in player development
my only question right now: why do you need the footage for ?
 
Most 3.5 players have better strokes than 4.0 players.
The 3.5 do not have shot selection.
Pushing and junking wins at the rec level.
Just let opponent make the mistake.
 

shamaho

Semi-Pro
Entertainment.
It is just a beautiful thing to see.
We must celebrate the masterful SUPERIOR skills of winning junkers !
I don't need footage, I just go to my club and watch a ladder match between those two types of opponents...

and it's not entertainement... it's painfull to watch :) I've been on the recipient end of it many times....

I watch those matches as learning and scouting experiences (when I'm able to abstract the pain away :) ...
 

shamaho

Semi-Pro
Pushing and junking wins at the rec level.
Just let opponent make the mistake.
Actually I've that strategy work at the very highest levels... pushing just looks different at ATP level... but it's there ! I've seen Novak win many many many matches doing just that (as one extreme example).
 
3.5 bashers with perfect strokes, massive spin, bomb serves tend to have poor shot selection.
They overhit, try to crush approaches for winners, double fault like crazy, never slice, etc.
They lose their matches. They never get past 3.5

4.0 bunter, slicer, junker, dinkers started out as
3.5 bunter, slicer, junker, dinkers who perfected their ugly game style.
 
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Cawlin

Semi-Pro
I see what you're saying, but think of it a little differently.

At 3.5, you're learning to hit "pretty" strokes, which are extremely difficult to achieve, especially if you started playing tennis late in life. Maybe you get "decent" looking strokes after a while, but unless you have unlimited time to spend on tennis (what adult does?), the effort required to get past "decent" strokes will make it difficult to get any sort of regular match play in as well... There is also the tendency to become manic about having "perfect" strokes, which leads to less and less match play...

So anyway, at some point, maybe the 3.5 decides "screw it, my strokes ae good enough, I've gotta play" and then they get into matches, they see that they get about 5 opportunities to hit that sweet ball-machine fed forehand stroke per match and the rest of the time they're scrambling and getting wrongfooted and dinking back random, unpredictable balls from their opponent because chances are that their opponent also doesn't have gorgeous baseline basher strokes either. Their opponent is putting the ball back in play, because they know that in tennis, you don't win points, games, and sets unless you put the ball in play. At 3.5 and 4.0 and 4.5 as well, the game really is about who makes the first mistake, rather than who can force the winner. I once heard Paul Annacone say "One more ball is a valid strategy until you get inside the top 200 of the ATP."

So as the 3.5 gets more seasoned with match play, they learn what works to beat the opponents they're playing - keeping the ball in play, waiting for a mistake to attack, or just waiting for the opponent to make a mistake and hit it out or into the net... they win more matches, with slice, with drop shots, with poking the ball past the approaching opponent, with pushing... why? Because it works, because at this level of play, nobody is consistent enough with those pretty strokes to be able to use them in live match play with the repeatable accuracy needed to keep the ball in play. They can hit 200 forehands with sublime topspin off of a ball machine, but when they have to run all over, get set up perfectly with their footwork, and execute the dozens of tiny details that let's them hit those great shots, they can't do it... and if they could, they wouldn't be playing 3.5...

So the 3.5 is now winning a ton of matches and gets bumped to 4.0 - with the game play they've evolved - maybe you call it a pusher game - maybe you call it a junker game - but whatever it is, they're winning with that, and the one thing you don't do is change a winning strategy.

Eventually, if they are to progress, they're going to need to hit the ball harder, and more accurately, and as needs must, their strokes will have to improve to get beyond this 3.5 to 4.0 level of play. Heck, to even win at 4.0 consistently, they're probably going to have to evolve - and that pusher bunt shot will be run down by the opponent and attacked or sent back at least in a very uncomfortable way for them unless they start hitting it harder into smaller targets - and to hit it harder, with accuracy, their strokes are going to have to improve. It should be noted that by "stroke" I mean the whole thing - footwork, detailed minutiae of arm/shoulder/wrist position, swing path, use of the kinetic chain, everything - not just the loop of their racket head.

The reason the pros hit beautiful strokes is because they have to, because the people they're playing are essentially superhuman, they are logarithms better than a 4.0 or 4.5 player, and that's just the way it is.

All of this is not to say that "pretty" strokes are a waste of time. It's just that they are quite a difficult thing to develop and they take years to develop. Without them, you will not progress beyond a certain point in tennis, but if you want to win at 4.0, you can get by without them for a while... if you want to win at 4.5, you're strokes are going to have to be prettier/better still, and so on...

3.5s may have prettier strokes on a ball machine than 4.0s play in matches, but when those 3.5s are hitting those pretty strokes out and/or into the net in the matches against those 4.0s who are just trying to make their opponent uncomfortable, guess who wins? The reason the 4.0 is a 4.0 is not because they have junker strokes - but because they know how to win at 4.0, period, and most of the time that doesn't require "pretty" strokes - if you have them AND can use them in a match, more power to you - you'll not be hanging around at 4.0 for a long time though... because you'll be getting bumped to 4.5...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
3.5 bashers with perfect strokes, massive spin, bomb serves tend to have poor shot selection.
They overhit, try to crush approaches for winners, double fault like crazy, never slice, etc.
They lose their matches. They never get past 3.5

4.0 bunter, slicer, junker, dinkers started out as
3.5 bunter, slicer, junker, dinkers who perfected their ugly game style.
3.5s with "perfect strokes" and "massive serves?" Doesn't make sense. These require fundamental body balance, eyesight, fitness, and athleticism, which are the ingredients in taking them further. One doesn't just have a great forehand and serve without context.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
3.5s with "perfect strokes" and "massive serves?" Doesn't make sense. These require fundamental body balance, eyesight, fitness, and athleticism, which are the ingredients in taking them further. One doesn't just have a great forehand and serve without context.
Depends what someone's definition of massive and heavy and great forehand or serve or whatever is.

If it means a technically good stroke with a high potential and ceiling capable of alot of racquet speed, spin, power etc then its possible for a 3.5 to have assuming they start their tennis path by coaching and taking a very serious route to improvement with high goals, and as his strokes get better he raises his level.

But if by great forehand or serve you mean the above PLUS that stroke being consistent, reliable under pressure, in many different situations, against many types of balls and backed up by good shot selection, tactics, good footwork etc etc.... then no, no 3.5 has it and it takes a long time to develop.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Yes, that is exactly what I said.
3.5 is not consistent.
They just have much more correct strokes than bunty 4.0s
Those bunty 4.0s were once 3.5

Your throwing all apples in the same basket, in reality most 3.5s and 3.0s have ugly hacky bunty strokes, then progress further with much time and matchplay.

The minority of players start with coaching and a solid development plan and strive for a higher level, those people have better technique but they are the minority specially at lower levels.
 
Nope, you're wrong.
A far larger proportion of 4.0 than 3.5 have ugly hacky bunty strokes
You will see this as you play more matches.

100% of players start out in 3.5
Maybe 1% of those players have coaching and a solid development plan.

The simple fact is that ugly hacky bunty strokes that are consistent win more matches.
Consistency wins matches, not pretty strokes.

So, the 3.5 who perfects ugly hacky strokes moves to 4.0

The 3.5 who keeps hitting hard never leaves 3.5 with all his UEs and DFs.
So, the hard hitting big spin players with big serves and big double faults remain in 3.5
while all the dinkers win and move to 4.0, and 4.0 is loaded with mostly these players.
 

BlueB

Legend
Dream world...
It really sounds like you badly needed justification why are you still a 3.5, and that you are somehow better then 4.0s...
Mindless power hitting doesn't necessarily equal pretty, or correct strokes. If anything, a correct stroke mostly lands in. Also, correct mostly equals pretty. Make your conclusion from there...

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4.0 are MUCH better players than 3.5
The numbers don't lie. Pretty strokes are a fool's errand unless you are an ATP pro
I am modeling my entire game to be a junker/slicer
They are the best players, all the way to Fed slicer BH

A heavy kick serve that lands in the net for a DF vs. a 4.0 dink tap that lands in.
Pretty strokes LOSE matches ! I agree, the dink tap is the CORRECT stroke !
 

blai212

Semi-Pro
3.5 bashers with perfect strokes, massive spin, bomb serves tend to have poor shot selection.
They overhit, try to crush approaches for winners, double fault like crazy, never slice, etc.
They lose their matches. They never get past 3.5

4.0 bunter, slicer, junker, dinkers started out as
3.5 bunter, slicer, junker, dinkers who perfected their ugly game style.
perfect strokes dont miss...unless it’s somehow not so perfect?


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If 3.5 had perfect strokes they would not be 3.5. Tennis strokes get better the better the player becomes it's just how it is. I've literally never seen someone 3.5 level with even good strokes. That's why they're 3.5 cause they can't hit it properly. Does anyone have any video evidence of someone playing 3.5 level with "perfect strokes"? Please show me otherwise I don't buy it.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Nope, you're wrong.
A far larger proportion of 4.0 than 3.5 have ugly hacky bunty strokes
You will see this as you play more matches.

100% of players start out in 3.5
Maybe 1% of those players have coaching and a solid development plan.

The simple fact is that ugly hacky bunty strokes that are consistent win more matches.
Consistency wins matches, not pretty strokes.

So, the 3.5 who perfects ugly hacky strokes moves to 4.0

The 3.5 who keeps hitting hard never leaves 3.5 with all his UEs and DFs.
So, the hard hitting big spin players with big serves and big double faults remain in 3.5
while all the dinkers win and move to 4.0, and 4.0 is loaded with mostly these players.
I know in your all or nothing world that you can only see two possibilities not 3, 4 or more ...

This is a bit of a tired conversation, however ....

There are a lot of 3.5 players with proper strokes who go all out, don't bunt, don't dink BUT are 3.5 because of shot selection, consistency, fitness or a missing mental game.

There are lots of 3.5 players who are junk ballers or player with improper strokes who moved up to 3.5 due to being scrappy and willing to never give up on a point

Of those that move up .... there are a lot of 3.5 players bumped to 4.0 with proper strokes who have learned better shot selection, better consistency, better fitness and improved mental game

There are a lot of 3.5 players bumped to 4.0 with bunty slicy dinky "improper" shots because they have better fitness, run down every ball, put their opponents in an uncomfortable position

The difference between 3.5 and 4.0 is not purely about the quality of a player's strokes. That plays a part but it is only about results on the scoreboard and there are many different paths to get there.
 
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vex

Hall of Fame
That could be true only if 4.0 didn't have to be 3.5 at some stage of their development...

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TTPS’s premise is that 3.5s learn to stop hitting thier perfect strokes and just, as he loves to say, “bunt the ball over.” Seems legit.

What you have to remember with TTPS is that he’s never played a legitimate USTA match in his life. Never even beaten a 3.0 in competitive play. He practices with people he pays and old 4.0 doubles players and then spouts nonsense about competition he’s never seen.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
I know in your all or nothing world that you can only see two possibilities not 3, 4 or more ...

This is a bit of a tired conversation, however ....

There are a lot of 3.5 players with proper strokes who go all out, don't bunt, don't dink BUT are 3.5 because of shot selection, consistency, fitness or a missing mental game.

There are lots of 3.5 players who are junk ballers or player with improper strokes who moved up to 3.5 due to being scrappy and willing to never give up on a point

Of those that move up .... there are a lot of 3.5 players bumped to 4.0 with proper strokes who have learned better shot selection, better consistency, better fitness and improved mental game

There are a lot of 3.5 players bumped to 4.0 with bunty slicy dinky "improper" shots because they have better fitness, run down every ball, put their opponents in an uncomfortable position

The difference between 3.5 and 4.0 is not purely about the quality of a player's strokes. That plays a part but it is only about results on the scoreboard and there are many different paths to get there.
Nailed it. He’ll never understand bc he’s scared to play real matches. Super fragile ego
 

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
Winning isn't everything, as the saying goes. I would rather play well with good strokes, win or lose, than resort to going into teaching pro mode to win a match. Maybe I could push, dropshot, and lob a pusher to death and win that way but I would rather lose than resort to playing that way because how I play and how I win is what makes the game enjoyable.

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Kobble

Hall of Fame
That was a classic description of a great player who makes others self-destruct.
For those with too many "pretty strokes" YouTube videos and not enough match experience.
Those guys are at the TOP of my hitting list. 40 years of experience.
It would take 10 years of Full Time work to beat a guy like that.


How does his serve compare to Auresh's serve?
I LOVE this guy's serve. It's brutal.
In this video, he is serving up a lot of 2nds.
But look at 2:03 and 2:28
****ing bloody awesome frying pan serve

This guy mentally imploded Curious
And that's totally understandable.
Knowing the feeling of losing to ugly strokes is the path to enlightenment.
Pretty strokes have ZERO correlation to match outcome.

I love what you call perfect strokes. If a player isn't hitting routinely or can that keep that ball on a frozen rope, perfect strokes don't even begin to enter my mind. Perfect strokes don't produce dink balls. I also see nothing pretty about getting in position with a smooth take back and collapsing the rest into a dink, or sailing a knuckle ball long.
 

shamaho

Semi-Pro
The reason the pros hit beautiful strokes is because they have to, because the people they're playing are essentially superhuman, they are logarithms better than a 4.0 or 4.5 player, and that's just the way it is.
The only contention I have with the thoughtfull post is this one :) pro's have pretty strokes because they learn them at age 5, 6, or 7 e learning to use the whole body, perfect timing, solid swing mechanics, etc, then practice for thousands and thousands of balls until they're technically fully formed at age 13, 14...
 

shamaho

Semi-Pro
Winning isn't everything, as the saying goes. I would rather play well with good strokes, win or lose, than resort to going into teaching pro mode to win a match. Maybe I could push, dropshot, and lob a pusher to death and win that way but I would rather lose than resort to playing that way because how I play and how I win is what makes the game enjoyable.

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Well said, but not only that... it's mostly a choice of getting out of your comfort zone (winning effectively but ugly) and taking the harder, longer (and more painfull) route to develop your tennis skill and ability the furthest along the way one can take it and see where it leads us.

It's a choice of winning up to a certain level and then being clobbered by better players, or decide to develop so that you might be able to discuss results past that level.

It's not just pretty for prettyness sake or pure enjoyment, it's the technique that will allow you to apply a bigger set of solutions and/or tactics once they're developed and into muscle memory, and the ability to play harder to master shots like the S&V, low volleys, high backhand volley, etc needed to get past a certain level.

I have my quota of painfull defeats and sometimes I ask myself this question ;-) my answer is that, I would NOT exchange positions with my opponent ie. get the WIN and his ability level.
 
Perfect may not be the word.
Even ATP players don't have perfect strokes.
A lot of them do. Some of them have strokes that are basically about as close to perfect as you can get - Djokovic backhand for example is actually what I consider basically perfect. They all do the fundamentals basically perfectly, hence why they are the best of the best. You can't be a successful pro without fantastic strokes as a general rule. Some exceptions but they're not that common.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
It's a choice of winning up to a certain level and then being clobbered by better players, or decide to develop so that you might be able to discuss results past that level.
Winning up to a certain level then getting clobbered by better players is a reality for every tennis player not named Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic.
For almost everyone there is a group better than you, no matter how hard you work at it.

Most people stay at level as adults largely because they've found their core group and enjoy competing against those people. There is little motivation to develop beyond your peer group in that instance. So many people are going to linger in the 3.5-4.0 range because it contains the highest amount of people to compete against.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Winning up to a certain level then getting clobbered by better players is a reality for every tennis player not named Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic.
For almost everyone there is a group better than you, no matter how hard you work at it.

Most people stay at level as adults largely because they've found their core group and enjoy competing against those people. There is little motivation to develop beyond your peer group in that instance. So many people are going to linger in the 3.5-4.0 range because it contains the highest amount of people to compete against.
This is well said. I think it sums up the rec world nicely - at least in terms of the 80/20 rule.
 

blablavla

Professional
Winning up to a certain level then getting clobbered by better players is a reality for every tennis player not named Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic.
For almost everyone there is a group better than you, no matter how hard you work at it.

Most people stay at level as adults largely because they've found their core group and enjoy competing against those people. There is little motivation to develop beyond your peer group in that instance. So many people are going to linger in the 3.5-4.0 range because it contains the highest amount of people to compete against.
Even Federer and Djokovic had to "break-through" some ceilings, and it was not easy and not "granted" that they would develop into the players we know today.
 

shamaho

Semi-Pro
Winning up to a certain level then getting clobbered by better players is a reality for every tennis player not named Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic.
For almost everyone there is a group better than you, no matter how hard you work at it.

Most people stay at level as adults largely because they've found their core group and enjoy competing against those people. There is little motivation to develop beyond your peer group in that instance. So many people are going to linger in the 3.5-4.0 range because it contains the highest amount of people to compete against.
Of course there is always a better player! What I meant was being really good ...and content... at dominating up to a level, but not able to compete at all once the opponents skill allows to easily deconstruct that pusher's game that's been so effective up to that point OR... trying to develop so that you can may become able to compete with the higher and higher skilled players.... instead of being stuck - now of course there are lots of other variables here like fitness, mental, tactical, etc...

I at least for me, the goal of competing is to push myself to improve my abilities with new challenges, and not to compete comfortably with a core group that I know already ( I use that for practices eg. my club's ladder tourny)....
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I at least for me, the goal of competing is to push myself to improve my abilities with new challenges, and not to compete comfortably with a core group that I know already ( I use that for practices eg. my club's ladder tourny)....
That's the attitude puts you on this forum. Some people, like yourself, are very interested in maxing their skills. Some folks are more interested in simple competition with peers.

I put myself more in between. I recognize that age, athleticism and work commitments are not in my favor. So I try to learn a few things, practice a little, play a lot and see where it takes me. I personally think the NTRP system fosters people worrying overmuch about their place in the tennis universe. I prefer just working to beat the guy I lost to last week.

In the end we shouldn't denigrate the 4.0 pusher anymore than we should lift up the 3.5 with perfect strokes. People are free to play tennis any way they like and you are free to try to beat them.
 

undecided

Rookie
3.5 and 4.0 is almost the same. The past 12 months I've played players from high 3.0 to high 4.5/low 5.0. The 4.5 and up have no resemblance to 4.0/3.5.
I've played 4.0 players with beautiful game but their record at 4.0 is abysmal. Seriously, the w/l record has nothing to do with strokes at 3.5/4.0. A lot of players just outcompete other players by running more, by junking more, being more crafty, etc. It's interesting to say the least.
 
OP acknowledge this post, please
Sure. I know many 3.5 players who hit cleaner & heavier than 4.0, so I can agree that 3.5 and 4.0 are almost the same.
As he said, stroke visuals do not win matches. Hitting the ball in does. I also agree that 4.5 is a demarcation line.
Yes, I agree with everything in that post.
 
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Saul Goode

Semi-Pro
Sure. I know many 3.5 players who hit cleaner & heavier than 4.0, so I can agree that 3.5 and 4.0 are almost the same.
As he said, stroke visuals do not win matches. Hitting the ball in does. I also agree that 4.5 is a demarcation line.
Yes, I agree with everything in that post.
I meant Post #35
 

chetrbox

Rookie
I'm not able to find the article, but Tomaz had an interesting point about stroke technique. His theory was that the same people who can put the ball in the court consistently with their hacky strokes, would be able to put a similarly high number of balls in the court if/when they improved their stroke technique. And the people who can't win with proper stroke technique, can't win even if they switched to pushing with hacky strokes. I think he factored in that your choice of opponents would change too as your stroke technique changes.

So if you believe that your superior technique is what is causing you to lose against the hackers, re-evaluate your belief system. You might inherently be a loser on the court because you just can't get enough balls back in under pressure.
 
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