USTA 3.5 and 4.0 seems to be pushing heaven

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by TimeToPlaySets, May 18, 2017.

  1. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,957
    When I was posting threads about difficulty returning 3.5 serves this winter, I should have said 4.5.
    I realized my 3.5 group is a self-selected group of very huge hitters (with massive UE rate)
    Hit big, or go home, and play with the girls. That is why I was invited.
    Every single one of my 3.5 group hits twice as hard as a typical USTA field of 3.5 and 4.0
    (which is why they will lose to the USTA Pattycakers)

    3.5 and 4.0 USTA have very weak serves.
    Some of the goofiest & ugliest serving I have ever seen.
    I'm talking patty cakes frying pan, many of them.
    Pitiful pattycake 2nd serves (that can not be exploited by a 3.5, so it's a wash)

    To compete well in 3.5 and even 4.0 is to simply bunt the ball back.
    Otherwise, these pattycakes will beat you, since you will make errors.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    dgold44 likes this.
    #1
  2. AlliDoisServe

    AlliDoisServe Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    Maybe sometimes this is the case.. but at 4.0 in my area this is not the norm at all.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
    Bigfoot Fault likes this.
    #2
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    45,036
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I don't know....
    One of my buds, ReopeningWed, Dan, hit's hard and plays 4.0. He's like 25, stronger than most, and hit's heavy topspin, very similar to higher levels.
    Raise the age a bit to 40, most hit pretty hard, as hard as 5.0's, but don't have the consistency. Pusher's don't beat either.
    Raise the age to 65+, and you get 4.0 level players who USED to be OPEN, or A level. They don't dink, but they don't make huge amounts of error's either.
    I suspect there are different 3.5-4.0's, and your sample size is small and limited.
     
    ZirkusAffe and SeeItHitIt like this.
    #3
  4. AlliDoisServe

    AlliDoisServe Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    This is my experience as well.. Maybe OP is from a small area or something.. some really solid 4.0's in the south where I play

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
    Bigfoot Fault likes this.
    #4
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    45,036
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I play at the lowest level of 4.0, but that level includes 15 year old girls who are No.2 for their high school, 16 year old boys who are No.3's, 25 year old ex UCDavis Club player's, on up to 76 year old ex A level, OPEN< or 5.5 level player's back in the '80's.
     
    #5
  6. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,957
    If you don't have consistency, you will get crushed by a pusher.
    Pusher is the definition of consistency.
     
    Bigfoot Fault likes this.
    #6
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    45,036
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    You must be stuck at 3.5, or below.
    Do you think anyone at 5.5 would lose to a pusher? Most 5.5's hit hard, and just end the point against most pusher's.
    However, there ARE guys and gals who push at 7.0, and of course, those are hard to beat unless their competition is having at least a decent to good day.
    For sure, a 4.0 hitter would lose to a 5.0 pusher. That's what ratings are for.
    Or didn't you know that you play against your peers, not Roger Federer or Roger Rabbit?
     
    #7
  8. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,583
    This thread - lol
     
    #8
  9. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,957
    I am simply saying that 3.5 and 4.0 USTA players generally are pattycaking the ball.
    Mainly the serves. The serving is abysmal. Dink serves and minimal aggression.
    It seems like the basic strategy is mutual pushing.
    What I was calling 3.5 serving is really 4.5 serving.
     
    #9
  10. jacob22

    jacob22 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This is not the case in my 3.5 leagues in the PNW. Serves are not creampuffs, usually in the 80-90mph range. 2nd serves on the other hand...
     
    #10
  11. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,583
    3.5's serve like the gods of Mount Olympus. Sure. Wait, that is, unless the ball has to bounce inside the service box. When it has to go in, serves become dinks and pancakes. Especially second serves. You are right that consistent heavy technically sound serves are not routine until 4.5. However, if you play in a solid tennis area, you will meet plenty of 4.0s who have a serve that is indistinguishable from a 4.5.
     
    Doubles likes this.
    #11
  12. BeyondTheTape

    BeyondTheTape Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    166
    I've never read the word 'pattycake' more in my life. release your inner pattycake!
     
    #12
  13. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,759
    If pushers don't beat either of these 4.0's then they are not 4.0's. Or you have no high level pushers in your area. There are pushers all the way to 4.5. They just get even more precise and fit.

    3.5 has huge variation from young guys with power and no consistency to old guys that have strokes but have lost a step or three to pushers to beginner athletes moving their way up. The fact is, if you have power and consistency, you aren't a 3.5. The better the server you face the worse he is at everything else, or he wouldn't be 3.5.
     
    #13
  14. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    That's a great description of the 3.5 world!--a mixed bag, you never know what to expect on the returns. I'm a 4 and I have a really good serve 100 mph+consistent top-spin second and can hit all the locations--problem is I can't move and am playing on one leg. I've found my big serve can be more of detriment because opponents frame it back weakly and then I can't get to the wonky return and most of my rec dubs partners cant capitalize on the weak return to angle it off for a winner and dink it back too. I'm finding I'm better off not hitting big serves and spinning it in instead, forcing opponents to produce their own ROS strokes which they don't have, over hitting there returns into the net or the fence. It's difficult to discipline against using a big serve but when it doesn't produce results and instead provides pace to players who don't have the strokes to produce their own it works against the big server. It's counter-intuitive to hit serves against weak players but the longer you play this game the more interesting it gets--power isn't everything. I disagree with the OP's premise that 4.0 don't hit hard, I find at the rec level they are usually the muscle-men who try to hit big--whether it goes in is another thing.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    TennisDawg likes this.
    #14
  15. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    751
    I occasionally play as a sub in a 3.5 doubles league and also 4.5 league . I work on my serve quite a bit, so at the 3.5 level, I can basically force weak returns or errors with quite a few aces. The range of players our aged 30 to 70 years old. I consider myself a 3.5 mainly because I don't compete in USTA leagues or tournaments. My serve is far stronger than a 3.5 and I don't consider it weak at all. The big drawback when I play at the 3.5 is when my serve comes back, my partner will often muff the volley or slam the overhead 5 feet out. In the 4.5 league my serve is not as dominating but my partner seldom blows a sitter at the net. I consider myself a 3.5 but my serve is not weak.
     
    #15
  16. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,019
    Pretty sure the three 4.0 guys on my team who won 8.0 40+ Mixed National, or two of the other 4.0 guys on my 4.0 teams would beating you soundly.

    When a USTA Southern 4.0C Rated player is beating a 4.5C 0&1, he wouldn't have any problem beating a 3.5 worse. I would put $10000 on Cohen, $5000 on Reim and $5000 on Nima vs you. Want to take any of those bets? I will pay for your airline ticket to and from Charleston SC.

    We can both wire the funds to Schmke who post on here about usta ratings. Once the money is with Schmke, he pays for your airfare and you show up. Schmke keeps 10% for his fee and the winner of the bet gets the remaining funds..

    You clearly play in a weak area and not In a larger Southern USTA area like Atlanta, Columbia, Charleston. It takes no skill to hit a ball hard, but tennis has lines.

    Come down to Charleston, SC and I will be happy to introduce you to some 4.0 guys that will throughly embarrass you.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    #16
  17. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,957
    I never said I can beat the pattycake servers. I make tons of errors and my goal for this year is intensive daily drilling of mechanics. That said, I will not be dinking serves. I much prefer to double fault, if need be
     
    atp2015 likes this.
    #17
  18. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,253
    Hmmm, finding a strategy that works and using it rather than going for the big shots all the time. What has gotten into you?
     
    #18
  19. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,019
    Learn how to hit a dependable spin or kick serve and you won't have to worry about DFs. Sure you will still DF, but your second serve will not be a pattycake serve and you won't be donating points.
     
    #19
  20. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,583
    Wait, wait. You have a 100 mph consistent top spin second serve that can hit all the locations? Sure, right. Forgive me if I am skeptical.
     
    VexlanderPrime likes this.
    #20
  21. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,778
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Every 3.5 on this forum has this kind of 2nd serve. Along with a 120+ mph first. We've been through this before. Get with the program.
     
    #21
  22. ptuanminh

    ptuanminh Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Was watching a 4.0 double match yesterday. They all have very decent first serves, my guess is around 90mph. 2nd server is quite weak. And i live in a small town.
     
    #22
  23. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    5,834
    Watched one last weekend: no one had a serve which could remotely be described as "abysmal", "pattycake", or "frying pan".
     
    #23
  24. ptuanminh

    ptuanminh Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Maybe OP has extremely high standard for serve.
     
    ZirkusAffe likes this.
    #24
  25. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,759
    Well admittedly he ranks as a 4.0 because he has no mobility according to his post. That would make sense to me. Someone that can't move would have to have a dominant serve to stay at 4.0. Maybe it's not quite 100+ mph on the second serve but it would still have to be good enough to get many free points as a no legged man would need to easily win his service games and then pray he can fluke out a service break somewhere.
     
    #25
  26. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,778
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Clearly it's necessary to have a 100+ mph 2nd serve (ok, maybe 90+ mph can do in a pinch) in order to be competitive at 4.0.
    Proof: All the hacks on this list with slow 2nd serves under 90. They would struggle at 3.5 let alone 4.0.
    http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2011/10/13/us-open-serve-speed-by-player/
     
    VexlanderPrime likes this.
    #26
  27. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,583
    It is uncommon at the WTA level to hit 100 mph second serves, much less 100 mph second serves that are consistent and hit all spots in the service box. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've just never seen a 4.0 with a WTA level serve.
     
    #27
  28. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    READING COMPREHENSION! I said a 100mph serve + PLUS a top spin 2nd. And I CAN hit all the locations with both. First serve flat and slice, 2nd. serve topsin. I don't get paid to write this stuff, and I gave my editor the day off. I've been clocked on radar in fast serve contests at 116mph and my serve has gotten better since then.
     
    #28
  29. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,583
    Misplaced modifiers. Look it up.
     
    #29
  30. AlliDoisServe

    AlliDoisServe Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    Sounds like a good serve. I'd love to have a fast serve contest with you :) but you'd need a little more than 116

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
    #30
  31. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    Thanks Grothy, not bad for a soon to be septuagenarian on one leg. I'm not quite up to your 163.7 but I'm working on it. 116 mph was years ago and I'm sure it's faster now. Next time I see a CHP with his radar out on the road, I'll have him time me. One of the best things about both my first and 2nd is they are deep, I don't know how I do it but it's always near the line unless I'm going for a slice wide to the deuce or flat wide to the ad, then I aim for 5 feet or less from the short-t. I can even go wider but then I have to hit it with the side of the frame only--no strings.
     
    #31
  32. AlliDoisServe

    AlliDoisServe Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    Sounds Impressive!

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
    #32
  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    Thanks, not bad for an ol' man.
     
    #33
  34. 2nd Serve Ace

    2nd Serve Ace Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Location:
    SE United States
    You probably don't want to hear this, but alot of times the best shot against a dink serve is either a backspin drop shot cross-court or a low, deep slice down the line.
     
    TimeToPlaySets likes this.
    #34
  35. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,759
    And yet 4.0. Rest of your game must be ****e. The 5.0+ guys at our club aren't that good servers.

    But hey, chicks dig the long ball, so keep bombing away.
     
    #35
  36. loosegroove

    loosegroove Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,522
    Well if that's the case and you're only a 4.0, I would have to imagine that the rest of your game isn't all that good. Any truth to that?
     
    #36
  37. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    Nope! Why do you care?
     
    #37
  38. loosegroove

    loosegroove Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,522
    Just trying to have a discussion on a tennis discussion board. My thought was that with a serve that good, combined with solid 4.0-esque fundamentals in the rest of your game, you'd be winning so much you'd be a 4.5. Something's got to give somewhere if you're so beyond the typical 4.0 at serving (which is the most important shot). But you're right, I really don't give a sh#t.
     
    #38
  39. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,583
    Guy says he essentially has a pro level serve, but is playing rec 4.0. Something doesn't add up. But hey, whatevs.
     
    VexlanderPrime likes this.
    #39
  40. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,676
    Location:
    Approaching the net
    I'm a computer rated 4.0. On my 4.0 team I play singles and on my 4.5 I play doubles. When playing singles, I've run into all different sorts of players, some of whom are offensive, and others are defensive. I try and work the point and make my opponent hit as many backhands as possible because most 3.5 and 4.0 guys I'll face favor the forehand side. To some I might look like I'm pushing, because I'm willing to rally for extended periods of time in order to take an opening, but I certainly wouldn't consider it a defensive style of play because I'm trying to open up space to either hit a winner, or force my opponent to do to much with the ball.

    With that said, I've noticed the people that get most frustrated playing pure pushers, dinkers, or whatever you want to call them, are the same people that I'm beating 2 and 2 while they try and slap winners at the wrong time.
     
    #40
  41. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    Now you're talking grasshopper!


    It would be much better for your game if you'd be playing tennis, reading a tennis book, watching it on TV or at a tournament, then trying to figure out why someone has a rating they do over the internet--that would take a Harvard attorney and a Supreme Court case to decide.
     
    #41
  42. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,676
    Location:
    Approaching the net
    I said that when I was 14 and didn't understand why I was losing to people I was supposed to beat (in my mind, at least).
     
    #42
  43. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    OK to solve this deep state mystery, I got that rating decades ago and haven't played on a team since. 4.0 is a meaningful, meaningless rating. I'm much improved since then and have ALL the shots, strategies and tactics--just doing it on one leg. When I compete it's in the seniors and ratings are irrelevant there. I haven't signed up for a team in decades and frankly the captains are too stupid to see what I could do for a team even if I were just around to coach it. And that's cool with me--don't need all the drama for a beer and some Cakafornia dip afterwards. Hey, I know a 3.0 woman's team captain who told a Wimby champion, that they "didn't need his help", when he offered to help them for free! That's the kind of brilliance that pervades USTA league tennis--but it's all about the comradery and the networking--but, tennis is not a team sport except for the Davis Cup. Everything about my game is exponentially better then when I got that rating--except I have one 2.0 leg. All the captains see is "he can't move". But, I've seen them say the same thing about a #1 player in the seniors in SOCAL while he was winning his tournament, because he had a knee and pulled up a little after winning a point--so much for the musings of peanut gallery. So, plenty to discuss there--so discuss--talks cheap and B.S. walks, I'm getting ready to play and watching the Rome finals, wish one of them had a OHB.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
    #43
  44. AlliDoisServe

    AlliDoisServe Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    If you have one leg that works I would literally drop shot lob you all day...

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
    #44
  45. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    And I'll be standing on the service line all day, hope you have a good passing shot!
     
    #45
  46. dgold44

    dgold44 Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    7,847
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Many 4.0 guys with a huge shot and a two huge weak spots
    Everyone at 4.0 has variety and obvious huge holes
    I even played a 4.0 with a 100 mph serve but rest of game was beginner like
     
    #46
  47. the green god

    the green god Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    831
    Location:
    Out by the tidal pool
    TTW Ranking Formula: Stated USTA ranking, subtract .75.
     
    VexlanderPrime and AlliDoisServe like this.
    #47
  48. If they're pushing so hard why aren't you just hitting to BH, getting to the net and finishing a push with a volley?
     
    #48
  49. In a thread full of bull these were my fav parts
     
    #49
  50. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,276
    Truth is often stranger then fiction.
     
    #50

Share This Page