What do I have to do to reach 4.5 (match video included)?

latestgood

New User
I'm 4.0 player and want to become 4.5 player, what is the key difference between 4.0 and 4.5 player? Is it the strokes or strategy?

Based on the match video I posted (I'm the one without a hat) what strokes or game play do I need to improve to reach "WEAK" 4.5 level?


Thanks
 

dimkin

Hall of Fame
hmmm ... so ur fh is nice, though often without a purpose. u come in behind bad slices as opposed to good forehands.
ur backhand needs a ton of work - seems like you are just pushing with it. Your slice needs work, serve is a mess albeit
effective. Volleys need a ton of work as does the overhead ... did I miss anything :) ?
 

dimkin

Hall of Fame
(fwiw I am in ur camp as well - I beat most 4.0s I play with, but get creamed by 4.5s ...)
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Looks like you have a good foundation..It looks like you rarely make unforced errors, which is great.
I would start with getting aggressive with serve - spin, placement, and power. I saw a lot of serves into the middle of the box.

I think backhand can be more solid and your net game definitely needs improvement. And, really learn to be aggressive with your forehand..
 

ZPTennis

Semi-Pro
Actually.... based on your very first backhand off of the return of serve, I think it's an excellent foundation to build from. I think you need to focus more on being more aggressive with your footwork. Getting into better position and attacking the ball more. Playing more aggressive. Driving the ball more when you have the opportunity. I also think it would benefit you to go to the weight room and build some strength. This will help you step up your game to the next level. 4.5 tournaments are highly competitive where i live and I'm always seeded. We actually had 128 draw 4.5 tournament a couple months ago so take it from me. My advice is good. :)
 

unclenimrod

Rookie
Um...there is some good advice up there but please don't feel like you need to hit the weight room. Tennis isn't about weight lifting strength...it's about kinetic energy. Just use your core to generate the extra pace you need...and keep your head more still when moving to contact.

That said, you are absolutely well on your way to 4.5. You have the stroke foundation on both sides...you just seem to get lazy feet and lazy brain. Move your feet into position asap, and know where you are directing the ball before you hit it. If you don't have a goal for each point, you will keep hitting the ball straight up the middle, and your opponents will keep dictating the rallies. You are right on the cusp of a breakthrough...I recognize that precipice every time.
 
D

Deleted member 120290

Guest
Your strokes are 4.0 - 4.5 but your strategy is 3.5. As LeeD says you keep hitting back toward the middle allowing your opponent to take control of the point. If he hit a good shot or is yanking you side to side, then there is no choice but to hit back to the middle. But you do that even when you have control of the point. You are allowing your opponent to hit all FH's. You have a natural Nadal vs Fed and the rest of the world advantage that I would kill for. You should be mercilessly pounding the 1HBH by hitting heavy, angled topspin and keeping him on the defensive. You can then come in for an easy put away volley or DTL or inside out FH for a winner off a short reply.

You need to watch Nadal vs Fed at FO and AO. You should be hitting 5, 10, 30 heavy topspin CC FH over and over to his 1HBH. You should wind up winning at least 70% - 80% of those exchanges. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Your strokes are close to 4.5 level. Try to accelerate more on your shots.
As other said your strategy is about 3.5 level.

You are just hitting the ball too short without any purpose at all!!
Your strokes look good ( assuming your the guy with black shirt).
Your strokes are about the same level as mine and kind of look similar.
 

AJB

New User
One of the best, and simplest, pieces of advice a friend once gave me applies to you too: "Play like a lefty." Without knowing you at all, I can only speculate, but it's possible that you've unconsciously fallen in the bad habit (same as me), when you rally or practice with your righty friends/hitting partners, of keeping the rally going by hitting mostly to their forehands, or at least generally up the middle. It's "friendlier" and more cooperative, but in match play you have to consciously flip that switch and exploit your natural lefty angles relentlessly. Since we lefties are a minority, righties generally aren't as comfortable playing us. I don't even like playing lefties. So use your lefty angles more, especially on your forehand side, and push your opponents just a bit farther out of their comfort zone.
 
I'm 4.0 player and want to become 4.5 player, what is the key difference between 4.0 and 4.5 player? Is it the strokes or strategy?

Based on the match video I posted (I'm the one without a hat) what strokes or game play do I need to improve to reach "WEAK" 4.5 level?


Thanks

Some non-technical advice: You should regularly train with and play against slightly higher-level players (4.5 players in your case), if you're not already doing that. That way you would know what you need to work on to reach the next level, especially when you watch your match on video against 4.5's. This concept applies to all levels of tennis.

I used to play against people at or below my skill level all the time in practice, only playing-up in tournaments, which I only did about 3-4 per year. However, since a year ago, I starting regularly playing against higher-level players, and my game has improved at a much much faster rate.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
^^^ Join a 4.0 team. Then you can play with them.. If you beat everyone and win a lot of your matches you will be 4.5. That's the only way to do it - actually. It doesn't really matter if you wow the message board or not.

If you want specific strategies - you need to start working on weapons. 4.5s have 'uh oh' spots - that is you hit even decent shots to a spot on the court or they get their first serve in etc -uh -oh - point over. That's my take anyway. But like I said making 4.5 is all about joining a 4.0 team and winning.
 

Adam1985

New User
I'm 4.0 player and want to become 4.5 player, what is the key difference between 4.0 and 4.5 player? Is it the strokes or strategy?

Based on the match video I posted (I'm the one without a hat) what strokes or game play do I need to improve to reach "WEAK" 4.5 level?


Thanks
Watching this reminded me a little bit of me playing actually. I think I can hit pretty well, but I struggle to finish a point off efficiently. It seems like you are the same - many of the points you lose are ones you might have won if you'd gone for a slightly higher-risk strategy (hitting harder and / or at more of an angle and then maybe following the shot in).
 
I'm 4.0 player and want to become 4.5 player, what is the key difference between 4.0 and 4.5 player? Is it the strokes or strategy?

Based on the match video I posted (I'm the one without a hat) what strokes or game play do I need to improve to reach "WEAK" 4.5 level?


Thanks
There's no one single path towards getting better. Some 4.5s have great strokes and dubious strategies, some have great strategies and iffy strokes, and most are in between. In your case, your strokes are basically around a 4.5 level, though your strategy is comparatively iffy. Of course there are still some things to work on with your strokes as well. A few things I picked up on:

- You don't place your serves. I couldn't spot any huge difference between first and second serves (I honestly don't know when you were hitting which - this isn't necessarily a problem in itself, btw). So I assume your serve is relatively consistent. But you hit them all up the middle. Place your first serves wide and up the T to stretch your opponent, hit service winners, etc.
- You didn't seem to make any concerted effort to target the backhand. Hitting a solid drive to the opponent's backhand corner followed by a forehand winner to the open court should be your bread and butter. Rinse and repeat this strategy until your opponent has a legit answer to it.
- Your backhand is consistent, but something is off in your kinetic chain, which robs you of power and sometimes depth on that wing. It's hard to say for certain without high speed film of the shot, but I think your problem is that you're often late to open your hips during the stroke. Watch video of a pro hitting the thbh, and you'll often see that their hips are already pretty open at contact - yours are often still closed, and only open up in the follow-through.
- Work a little more on your volley finishes and your ability to place aggressive replies to drop shots you get to in time. Don't let winning positions turn into losing ones. There's nothing worse than doing everything you need to win a point only to fail when your opponent is against the ropes.
- You seem fully capable of hitting a fh sitter for a sharp angle that finishes the point or puts the opponent into a very bad position. But sometimes you hit these, and other times you just hit a reply up the middle even though you have plenty of time. If you have an opportunity to win or take control of the point, take it. Every time.
- Learning to hit a backhand down the line when unpressured would be a great addition to your game.
- You're a lefty. Play like one. Slice serve wide from the ad side. Force your opponent into wars of attrition between his BH and your FH. Nail down that BH up the line to the opponent's BH.
 
Last edited:

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
You have a solid 4.0 game. One thing that stood out to me is your feet. Basically you have what some call "flat feet" or rather you come to a stand still in between shots. This limits your ability to move fluidly to the next ball because you start and stop completely between each shot. This particularly hinders your backhand. With a 1HBH you have to be so fluid with your movement to be set up early. I think this is why you are having to slice so many balls on the defensive, because you are late.

Another thing, you've got to get more out of your serve. You don't need to serve aces, but you need to generate some free points or short ball put aways from your serve. As far as I could tell, you serve consistently, which is good, but with only moderate pace and little action on the ball. You've got to make that serve harder to return.

Lastly, you need a weapon. This can be a particular shot or a "go to" strategy, but you need to have a "thing you do to win points". Figure out what that's going to be. As the Mortal Combat line goes, "finish him". That's what you lack. I imagine you can rally all day. You've got to learn to finish with authority, not just wait for the opponent to mess up.

In summary, attack, attack, attack.
 

caugas

Semi-Pro
^^^ Join a 4.0 team. Then you can play with them.. If you beat everyone and win a lot of your matches you will be 4.5. That's the only way to do it - actually. It doesn't really matter if you wow the message board or not.

If you want specific strategies - you need to start working on weapons. 4.5s have 'uh oh' spots - that is you hit even decent shots to a spot on the court or they get their first serve in etc -uh -oh - point over. That's my take anyway. But like I said making 4.5 is all about joining a 4.0 team and winning.

Super advice. And very solid game. Someone mentioned developing a weapon. That could be (1) a particular shot -inside out FH or BH down the line or approach shot combined volley put away . (2)mastering a solid strategy, play the patterns and percentages (3) big serve followed by a solid second.
You will be there very soon.
 

SublimeTennis

Professional
I'm 4.0 player and want to become 4.5 player, what is the key difference between 4.0 and 4.5 player? Is it the strokes or strategy?

Based on the match video I posted (I'm the one without a hat) what strokes or game play do I need to improve to reach "WEAK" 4.5 level?


Thanks

You play like every other young player, waiting on shots from behind the baseline, slice is way too high, every shot to your opponent.
 

0d1n

Hall of Fame
OP, I think your shots are technically pretty much there. Like others have said though...you seem to lack a game plan.
Way too many shots hit directly towards the middle and/or directly towards your opponent's forehand, which seems like his preferred side.
I understand that when you're in defensive and trying to neutralize, but you do that often when no pressure is put on you at all. That has to change, and it's an easy fix.
Hit with more purpose, focus on depth and placement a bit more, and you will get there.
Also, use the fact your'e a lefty. The Nadal vs Federer matchup example was suggested before and I think you don't use that advantage at all.

You have a solid 4.0 game. One thing that
stood out to me is your feet. Basically you have what some call "flat feet" or rather you come to a stand still in between shots. This limits your ability to move fluidly to the next ball because you start and stop completely between each shot. This particularly hinders your backhand. With a 1HBH you have to be so fluid with your movement to be set up early. I think this is why you are having to slice so many balls on the defensive, because you are late.

Another thing, you've got to get more out of your serve. You don't need to serve aces, but you need to generate some free points or short ball put aways from your serve. As far as I could tell, you serve consistently, which is good, but with only moderate pace and little action on the ball. You've got to make that serve harder to return.

Lastly, you need a weapon. This can be a particular shot or a "go to" strategy, but you need to have a "thing you do to win points". Figure out what that's going to be. As the Mortal Combat line goes, "finish him". That's what you lack. I imagine you can rally all day. You've got to learn to finish with authority, not just wait for the opponent to mess up.

In summary, attack, attack, attack.

OP is the lefty with the 2 handed bh if I understand things correctly. All your observations seem related to his opponent.
 
Top