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Bernard Black 10-21-2008 08:48 PM

Mug Tennis
 
This is a thread for everyone to sound off / have a good whine after playing a bad tournament or match, or like me - generally playing like a complete mug.

Here's a great example from the legend Goran Ivanisevic after a match with Mark Woodforde:

"I didn't have four shots today. Second serve bad. No forehand down-the-line. Bad return and backhand was too risky. And I did a lot of running. I hit only forehand crosscourt, he stand there and made me left right, left right, I was running like idiot. I think myself this is Woodforde I am playing, not Sampras, what is going on? Maybe I need time out because when you lose to Woodforde unless it is doubles, then you look in mirror and ask yourself what is happening, is engine working."


For me personally, after having a great run of form I've suddenly hit a brick wall. The forehand's gone to pieces, I simply can't make the forehand crosscourt. I played a singles match earlier in a local tournament and my opponent might have well just have camped out on his backhand side because I simply couldn't hit a forehand crosscourt, just always inside-out and down the line. I was even resorting to forehand slices because it was that abysmal. Thank god backhand and serve were good, and they just about kept me in it and made the score a respectable 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 defeat. Even still, I had points to bagel him in the second set, it's ridiculous that I somehow managed to throw it away so badly in the last set.

My only excuse is that the match was played on ice. Well, damp astro-turf anyway, which is a joke of a surface in those conditions and my opponent was a flat hitter so everything was coming at me hard and bouncing only a few inches it seemed, just impossible to deal with!

I almost feel like quitting, but I won't, I'll somehow have to play myself back into form and take a few bad defeats along the way!

Please feel free to add your own stories.

GlennMirnyi 10-22-2008 03:18 AM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Today I lost 6/1 6/1 to a Santoro-cover. I've never played so shitty in my life. It was just pathetic. I think my FH stats were like: 1 winner, 35 UEs. His serves were pathetic and I couldn't hit one winning return. I tried hitting with more spin but it didn't work. Tried going to the net and it was what saved me from a double bagel.

In my defense it was about 35 celsius outside, with about 90% humidity. I was literally dying out there and as I usually play indoors, I couldn't get the timing of the ball. I tried returning with slices and going to the net but at the break points I kept trying to hit return winners and missing them. My forehand is by far my best shot and I usually can hold out rallies with players way better than me on that side. Couldn't hit it to save my life. It was extremely frustrating.

I was also serving awfully thanks to the freaking sun on my eyes.

It was pathetic. I was absolutely embarassed.

I'm more used to a low-bouncing indoor clay court, but it was absolutely dreadful.

adee-gee 10-22-2008 02:14 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
I've recently changed my backhand grip on the advice of my coach. It will help me in the long term, but for the time being I'm hitting it about as well as Feliciano Lopez. It's almost a shock to me when I hit a backhand in, I have to actually remind myself to move. Pure mugness at the moment.

And at the worst possible time, the biggest tournament of my year is now. I somehow fluked a win in the first round, resorting mainly to slicing my backhand because I've got no faith in it. I've now got the 3rd seed in the 2nd round next week and fear one of the biggest humilations of my career :sad:

Bernard Black 10-22-2008 03:27 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Good luck mate! I'm sure you'll do fine, just make sure you avoid that dreaded bagel ;)

I'm feeling much better about my game today, I was pretty pissed off when I wrote that post last night but I've had a think about it since and taken a few positives that my game isn't as bad as I thought. I just need to go back to basics with my forehand cross court, hitting it with far too much topspin at the moment and it's been dropping woefully short so I just need to flatten it out a bit.

Glenn, I have sympathy for you mate, think I posted a thread a while back about my hatred for facing pushers and moonballers. If you have any weakness in your play they seem to be able to bring it out, and unless you play a great match and hit plenty of winners they'll beat you every time. Just mark this one down to awkward conditions / opponent not playing tennis properly, and you'll bounce back in your next match :)

Bernard Black 10-22-2008 03:37 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adee-gee (Post 7765935)
I've recently changed my backhand grip on the advice of my coach. It will help me in the long term, but for the time being I'm hitting it about as well as Feliciano Lopez. It's almost a shock to me when I hit a backhand in, I have to actually remind myself to move. Pure mugness at the moment.

Just out of curiosity, what changes have you made to your backhand? I switched from a semi-western grip to an eastern grip recently and it's just beautiful for hitting topspin lobs and those Federer-esque half volley passing shots. It's kinda awkward for putting away short balls though which is annoying.

fast_clay 10-23-2008 02:21 AM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
yeah.... i had some mug-tales after letting my condition blow out a while and also allowing myself to fall victim to the bullshit coach philosophy of 'yeah, i am just coaching, so a good game is enough...' when really thats just hiding from the truth... ended up copping some defeats from a few players i just shouldnt have and also cramping at the end of a 2nd set... hadn't smashed a racquet in 4 years until june when i lost 6/3 to a player i used to open up fresh cans of 'serve and volley ur arse' on a regular basis... it was the first time he'd beaten me in the two years he'd been playing me... he had improved immensely, but both of us knew about the bagels i had served him so i immediately issued another set... he won in straights 6/3 6/4... it helped me to realise what bad shape i was in... and i put the competitive racquet down for 3 weeks... just wasnt getting the thrill...

been almost eleven weeks since i have been back in the gym and i have re-owned that guy in 5 straight weeks... but its been close... and intense...

good lesson for myself again in the role of the physical in my own enjoyment of the game... that its great when someone improves so far to the point of challenging you... also, that getting my head away from a tennis racquet is a good thing once in a while...

fast_clay 10-23-2008 02:29 AM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adee-gee (Post 7765935)
I've recently changed my backhand grip on the advice of my coach. It will help me in the long term, but for the time being I'm hitting it about as well as Feliciano Lopez. It's almost a shock to me when I hit a backhand in, I have to actually remind myself to move. Pure mugness at the moment.

And at the worst possible time, the biggest tournament of my year is now. I somehow fluked a win in the first round, resorting mainly to slicing my backhand because I've got no faith in it. I've now got the 3rd seed in the 2nd round next week and fear one of the biggest humilations of my career :sad:

thats the beauty in having a decent slice in your situation mate... watching petchze carve up the other week was crazy sh!t... :rocker2: good luck...

adee-gee 10-23-2008 11:36 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TidusZidane (Post 7766121)
Just out of curiosity, what changes have you made to your backhand? I switched from a semi-western grip to an eastern grip recently and it's just beautiful for hitting topspin lobs and those Federer-esque half volley passing shots. It's kinda awkward for putting away short balls though which is annoying.

I've switched to a much more Eastern grip. It will definitely help me long term, when I'm hitting it well it's much more of a weapon than it was previously. The problem is consistency. I can dump one into the bottom of the net and then the next 4 feet long. It's killing me. I think it's just a case of hitting more balls to get the feel of it, but it's hugely frustrating at the moment.

GlennMirnyi 10-23-2008 11:57 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adee-gee (Post 7770779)
I've switched to a much more Eastern grip. It will definitely help me long term, when I'm hitting it well it's much more of a weapon than it was previously. The problem is consistency. I can dump one into the bottom of the net and then the next 4 feet long. It's killing me. I think it's just a case of hitting more balls to get the feel of it, but it's hugely frustrating at the moment.

How did you hit it before? Continental?

adee-gee 10-24-2008 11:16 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GlennMirnyi (Post 7770810)
How did you hit it before? Continental?

:lol: I don't know if it had an official grip title, it was fairly close to continental. I only play club level, it was very poor technically so I didn't get found out as much as I should have, but I recently decided I want to step up my game and was advised to go Eastern which will help me long term. I'm not finding it such an easy transition though :(

sheeter 10-24-2008 11:30 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Wow where do i start? I inconsistent in genereal i'll play well for a while, but then play bad. I'm also unsure of what playing style I want to play, sometimes I serve and volley, sometimes i'll play passively, sometimes I'll play aggressively from the basline so maybe that has something to do with it.
Oh, and butting in Glenn and Adee=gee's conversation, is it common to see one-handed backhands with semi-western westernish grips?

GlennMirnyi 10-24-2008 11:52 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adee-gee (Post 7773736)
:lol: I don't know if it had an official grip title, it was fairly close to continental. I only play club level, it was very poor technically so I didn't get found out as much as I should have, but I recently decided I want to step up my game and was advised to go Eastern which will help me long term. I'm not finding it such an easy transition though :(

Who would say you actually play ballet tennis? :p

I learned it eastern from the start, but I hit it continental sometimes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sheeter (Post 7773760)
Wow where do i start? I inconsistent in genereal i'll play well for a while, but then play bad. I'm also unsure of what playing style I want to play, sometimes I serve and volley, sometimes i'll play passively, sometimes I'll play aggressively from the basline so maybe that has something to do with it.
Oh, and butting in Glenn and Adee=gee's conversation, is it common to see one-handed backhands with semi-western westernish grips?

I find the same problem sometimes... I want to play aggressively most of the time but I rarely find a compromise between going to the net and ballbashing, ending up in some point right in the middle, playing kinda passively.

Well, the eastern backhand grip = western forehand grip. If you mean western backhand, yeah, my coach when he played tournaments he used to hit semi-western on the backhand grip.

Bernard Black 10-25-2008 01:21 AM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Well I'm going to try to shake off my mugginess and get some confidence back, I'm booked to play in a mixed doubles league match tomorrow against another local club. As the pace tends to be slower than in other matches it should give me a chance to impose myself and find my technique again hopefully.

Only problem is I'm likely to be thinking too much about my technique now, and I feel I'm a much better player when I play naturally and don't think at all. Such as in the second set of my singles the other day, I was flying pretty high a couple of breaks up, swinging away and hitting single-handed backhand drive volleys and the like. Even now, I still have no idea how I screwed up so badly in the last set. I just need to get some focus back and not have doubts in my mind every time I wind up to hit the big forehand.

Oh well, I'm rambling now, I'll see how it goes over the next few weeks and keep you updated.

adee-gee 10-25-2008 10:48 AM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GlennMirnyi (Post 7773789)
I find the same problem sometimes... I want to play aggressively most of the time but I rarely find a compromise between going to the net and ballbashing, ending up in some point right in the middle, playing kinda passively.

You're clearly a moonballer ;)
Quote:

Originally Posted by TidusZidane (Post 7773903)
Only problem is I'm likely to be thinking too much about my technique now, and I feel I'm a much better player when I play naturally and don't think at all. Such as in the second set of my singles the other day, I was flying pretty high a couple of breaks up, swinging away and hitting single-handed backhand drive volleys and the like.

I think that's fairly normal....I know I'm like that as well.

Good luck with the match today :hatoff:

Bernard Black 10-25-2008 12:45 PM

Re: Mug Tennis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adee-gee (Post 7774369)

Good luck with the match today :hatoff:

Thanks mate...I sucked again though! Even at mixed doubles. I threw my racquet and said I was going to retire at one point haha, I've really gone back to my tantrum-y ways :lol:

We won, so I guess I should be happy with that. If anything I've become much more solid on my backhand side and serving a high percentage so at least I'm compensating for the muggy forehand. Things can only go up from here.


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