I'm wondering what people think of my USTA record at 4.0 this year after having been bumped from 3.0. Questions are: 1) Was my bump to 4.0 legit or due to a flaw in the system? 2) Will I get bumped down to 3.5 after this year? My 8.0 mixed captain is hoping that I get bumped down to 3.5 so that we can dominate next year (team came up just short of winning the 8.0 league title this year). She has a couple 4.5W/3.5M pairs, so it would work out perfect for me as far as mixed goes. I don't want to be a 3.5, but lets face it, I'm not playing like a 4.0 player and thats the reality I have to face. Anyways, here is my record this year, with my opponents' win-loss records to sorta put some context behind these results. I've only counted opponent records of rated matches (ignoring mixed and combo results). Team 1 #1S - L - 6-0, 6-2 (Opp 3-0) #2S - L - 7-6, 6-1 (Opp 2-1) #1S - L - 6-1, 6-3 (Opp 6-2) #2S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 4-2) Team 2 #2D - L - 6-2, 6-1 (Opps 6-0/*1-2 , 7-2) #1S - W - 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (Opp 0-4) #1S - L - 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (Opp 3-2) #1S - L - 6-3, 6-0 (Opp 9-4/*1-1) * - Record playing up in 4.5 Statistics: Sets won / lost - 2 / 14 Tiebreak Sets won / lost - 1 / 1 Bagels received / given - 3 / 1 Breadsticks received / given - 4 / 0 The common theme is that my opponents who beat me easily have all complimented me saying I have all the shots and put some pressure on them, even though it appears to me that none of my shots bother them at all. Either its a long rally that my opponent almost always wins, or I give up a free point by botching a routine shot or service return early in the point. My whole attitude about my tennis game is starting to change. I'm starting to raise doubts of whether I will ever reach my goals and/or potential in tennis. Its not because I lack fitness. Its not because I lack talent or athletic ability. Its because I don't have the resources needed to get better. I have access to a hitting wall, I have access to a ball machine, I have access to 3.5 hitting partners (who mostly want to just play matches). I haven't really developed any practice buddies on my 4.0 team so I don't see myself practicing against 4.0s during the off-season. I still see myself relying on 3.5 practice partners to prepare me for the season, as I did last year. I only get maybe a dozen league matches in a year to play against better players and get that experience. I don't have the money to take lessons regularly. I don't have the time to spend as much time on court as needed to get better due to family obligations. A ball machine and hitting wall carried me into 4.0, but its not enough to take me further. I can practice strokes against a ball machine/wall forever but those strokes will still break down in match situation because a ball machine/wall is just feeding balls, and not giving me tough shots that I have to overcome. Its frustrating when you want to accomplish something, but there are too many obstacles in your way that keep you from even being in a position to put in the effort to accomplish that something. Its different than trying and failing, because at least you know you gave it your best. I don't even have the ability to give it my best.