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Old 12-08-2010, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Discuss YOUR tennis

We spend a lot of time here discussing the pros. But I'd like to know how good you are at tennis. How often do you play per week? What are your strengths/weaknesses? How has your game progressively improved since you started playing seriously. What are things you would like to improve upon? Tips etc?

The first time I picked up a tennis racquet was when I was 10 yrs old (I am 32 now) and took lessons for about 2 yrs. After that there was a 16 yr gap during which I didn't play any tennis. I picked it up again 4 yrs ago and since then have played very regularly. I play with a Wilson K Factor KSix-One 95 (16x18). I play an average of 3x per week outdoors during the summer and once a week indoors during the winter. I started out as a 3.0 player but I think I am 4.0 now. I have a single handed backhand and it sucked when I started (4 yrs ago) and was a huge liability but it has improved a lot since then and is not the reason why I lose matches now. My serve has improved as I pronate more and I watch the ball better. I also changed my grip to a more semi-western grip. But I think my biggest improvement was learning to play a match 1 point at a time and to stay in the moment which has helped me focus. Before a point starts, I also plan how I want to play the first 3 shots and it has helped my anticipation and movement.

When I am about to lose a match, say down 2 breaks or if opponent is serving for a match. I tell my self to forget everything I have learned about tennis and just focus on watching the ball. This has helped me make many comebacks or at least lose respectfully .

What I would like to improve on next is volleys. I am making more forays into the net now and I have a long way to go to be decent. That is really my next unexplored frontier.

I go to atleast 1 pro tournament a year, either Cincy or USO and watching the pros/juniors play or practice sometimes helps my game too.

Those who have time to share, please respond. CHEERS and thanks in advance!
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I started playing when I was 7 or 8. My father was playing tennis, so he was taking me and my brother to the courts so we were basically brought up on the courts.

I first started hitting against the wall and later, when I was like 10-11 - I took my first lessons and started playing some local tournaments. I would like to be humble, but the truth is that I was playing a lot and winning a lot of local U12, U14, U16 and U18 tournaments, was ranked #2 U18 in my region.

But it was of course on the amateur level (although I think that if someone took care of my game then - I would be at least recognizable among tennis players in national rankings). I used to travel from one local tournament to the other as a youngster, playing a lot and practicing 2-3 times per week.

As an U18 player I played against a former vice-champion of my country, losing 3-6 0-6 despite leading 3-0 in first . I also played against one pro, ranked #200 at that time and lost 0-6 0-6. Cool story is that this vice-champion after this match decided to play doubles with me (doubles started day later) and we reached the final in which we lost to obviously better pair. I remember that I choked as hell in that final and was doublefaulting like Coria in his best days.

My worst memory comes from one U18 tournament, when I was playing against a guy who was clearly better overall and I was his pigeon for sure. I couldn't beat him from the baseline, so in that one match I decided to be a Stefan Edberg and started serve-and-volleying all the time, even though it was on clay. He couldn't cope with that at all and I was leading 6-2 4-2. But during one rush to the net - something happened to my thigh and it appeared that it is a torn tendinitis. I couldn't even walk and had to retire. So the results was Him def. Me 2-6 2-4, ret.

Nowadays you would say that it was a blatant fix , but I got injured really and couldn't play for some months.

This was probably the end. During that break I met a bad company of friends (who are still my friends) and we started partying hard. I met a girl (who happens to be my wife nowadays ) - and this was it. I stopped playing, didnt have time for that, moved to the other city for studies, where I couldn't find any decent partner to play with. And that's the story....

Now I am 30 and I almost don't play at all. Life, work, family....When I go to the courts sometimes - I can't hit three balls in a row.

My story started with a father and it will end with a father. He says that his life will be fulfilled when one of his sons finally beats him. And so far neither managed to do it....The last time we played was one year ago and I lost 0-6 6-7. And he is 55 now, I am 30....But he plays twice per week, I play twice per year.

Cool story, bro....But true
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I started playing around six or seven, my mom gave me an old Snauwert racquet she bought at a yard sale. It's still in almost perfect condition 15 years later. I used to hit against the brick garage at the end of the yard next door and on the church two doors down from my house

I took lessons when I was 10 and played in a junior league in my city's parks & rec center between 11-13. I wanted to try out for the team in high school, but our district is a piece of shit and they halted funding for the tennis, golf and cross country teams the year I got there (two years after this, the football and basketball team got new uniforms and equipment ) so I kind of stopped playing competitively. I mostly just hit for fun now. Probably could've gotten some kind of sports scholarship if my high school wasn't so cheap
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

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Originally Posted by piratesswoop View Post
I started playing around six or seven, my mom gave me an old Snauwert racquet she bought at a yard sale. It's still in almost perfect condition 15 years later. I used to hit against the brick garage at the end of the yard next door and on the church two doors down from my house

I took lessons when I was 10 and played in a junior league in my city's parks & rec center between 11-13. I wanted to try out for the team in high school, but our district is a piece of shit and they halted funding for the tennis, golf and cross country teams the year I got there (two years after this, the football and basketball team got new uniforms and equipment ) so I kind of stopped playing competitively. I mostly just hit for fun now. Probably could've gotten some kind of sports scholarship if my high school wasn't so cheap
ahhh... back in the day... all about the rossignol and snauwert
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

Thanks for the replies. Wow Montego, I think you could write a book about your tennis life .
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I started playing tennis at the age of 8 (I am now 17). I did not play seriously until the age of 11. Actually I did not even like tennis at first time. It seemed to be boring sport for me compared to soccer for example. But my parents made me play it. Then I started training almost every day. I first peaked at the age of 13 when I reached the semis of St.Petersburg Open Championship in U14 group and got my ranking to top 50 in Russia. At that time I started dreaming of playing on tour. Then I had well-known Osgood Schlatter Disease with my knees or whatever it's called, so that I could not play tennis for 6 months, cause I could not run at all at that time. I had lots of other injuries that prevented me from playing at that time. After skipping 6 months of tennis, I thought I would never get back to my level again. I started playing tournaments again, but I was losing to the guys I used to beat in the past and that really broke me mentally.
Then I decided to take a little break from tennis again to work on my fitness and get my will to progress again. And it worked out! I changed coach and my game started improving rapidly. When you are 16, that's completely different level compared to when you are 13. The game is fast and you can't just moonball the way to the victory. I worked on every component of my game. I started playing more aggressively and my will to become pro came back to me. In 2009, I gained my first ETA points, winning main draw matches at several international tournaments in Finland, Malta, Estonia... My best moment of a career came in summer 2009 when I reached the final of St.Petersburg Open Championship in U-16 age group, saving 2 MP in a route to the final. Everything was going very well with me playing my best tennis of my life. But then I broke my arm in a bike accident in the end of the summer and after recovering from this injury, I could not get my tennis back for the next 4 months. I started working on fitness again and in January 2010 I was at my best again. I was playing a lot of tournaments during Winter but never had luck with draws, facing top seeds in R1 of every tournaments. I was always close to upset, but did not play clutch enough to win these 3-set matches. My level then dropped again when I started studying a lot and did not have much time for tennis. In june I was back to my best again, beating several ITF-ranked players at local tournaments and taking sets of top russian players.
Right now I am playing college tennis and I am not fully satisfied with my game right now.
My will is enormous and I put incredible amount of work in every practice, but I still have not made a step from a solid player to a player who can qualify at futures tournaments. Physically I got much better, my strokes gained more power, but not enough consistency.
I plan to work hard to improve my game a lot in the next few months with a possibility of debuting in futures tournaments in Summer. Hope to become mentally stronger and prove that I am not a big choker, like many people think.
I am playing with all my heart and might and believe that my work should pay off one day.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I started playing tennis at 6 years old with a tennis coach. At the same time I was playing football tournaments and at the age of 11 I decided to concentrate 100% of my time on tennis (I followed the tour week by week since then). At that age I concentrated on my tennis where I started to play tournaments, trained twice a week with my coach. At 15 years old I was playing fairly good for my age and was ranked 2nd in the main ranking of my club. I moved to a more competitive club (Olivos Tennis Club) which is the one where the Arnold`s brothers used to play. Unfortunately my father had another plans for me as he wanted me to be a lawyer in the future and at 16 years old he decided not to pay any longer for my coach so I started to support financially my coach giving tennis lessons to young kids in my former club but that wasn`t enough. At 17 years old I went to former player`s Jose Luis Clerc tennis academy for a whole week in order to see if I could become a pro tennis player. After a week he said that my tennis was good to be ranked around 500 in the world but at those times not enough to live of tennis. It was like a bomb for me. I kept playing local tournaments and at the age of 21 I had an injury in my arm tryceps and I was forced to leave competitive tennis. I tried to return after a surgery but my tennis was not the same and I left definitely competitive tennis at the age of 29.

I used to play mainly as a baseliner. Good serve, a two handed backhand which was by far my best shot, my forehand was ok while attacking, good volleys but my defensive game was by far my weakness. During 80ties and early 90ties was all clay courts in Argentina which is a surface that didn`t suited with my game at all. Hard courts were where I felt more comfortable.

I returned years later to play some tournaments just for fun. I wrote for an year on a tennis magazine (which is quite well known on these days here) where I covered the Australian Open in 1997. Travelled extensively around the world between my 26 years old and my mid 30ties. I finally settled back in Argentina in 2005. Then I got married at 37 years old and keep enjoying watching tennis. I`m about to turn 40. That is "briefly" my link with tennis .
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

We spend a lot of time here discussing the pros. But I'd like to know how good you are at tennis. How often do you play per week? What are your strengths/weaknesses? How has your game progressively improved since you started playing seriously. What are things you would like to improve upon? Tips etc?

I honestly don't remember when I started playing tennis...I think I started when I was like 10, but didn't seriously play until I was 13. I regret starting late, I didn't even try out for the tennis team freshman year of high school, but I did the next 3 years and it was a lot of fun. When I was 13-15ish, I had this empty wall in my room, lots of room, and lots of time, so I would use a racket and a soft plush ball and would play against myself . I made a few dents in the wall from where I swing

when I was 15 and my dad was deployed in Afghanistan, I joined a tennis group for a year so I could still play while my dad was gone. It was great, 3 hours everyday after school (when season wasn't happening) and we went to Palm Springs together that year...but sometimes we didn't play very much tennis and would just run and stuff instead, and I didn't really care much about fitness then so I got pissed sometimes. Made varsity junior and senior year, played doubles, didn't do great but it was fun. Now I'm in my second year of college and I don't play competitively very much, that's usually what I look forward to when I go home.

Right now, it's 0 hours per week that I play, but generally I'd say like 4 or 5 hours if I weren't in class. I'm a counterpuncher at its purest. My serve is awful, sort of a sidearm thing (I blame myself for not throwing a ball since I played Little League baseball), but if that's clicking I generally feel confident. I am a decent returner, but I usually take full swings there. My backhand is stronger than my forehand but my forehand can get more power. I like to run around the court everywhere and passing shots are pretty good for me. My volleys aren't great, my overhead sucks, and I've recently started slicing sometimes.

My serve is indeed a little better than it was a few years ago, but it just doesn't feel as natural as it should. I also had a Hawaiian-esque grip for a while, but made it more semi-Western which I like a lot more. I wish I could improve my serve and be able to finish points, I'm not the best at that.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

T started playing when I was 10. This past Friday I played in my first USTA tournament, and let my nerves get to me. I was up 30-15(receiving), in the first game, and then lost the next three points. down 2-0, when I was receiving again I had a break point, and after that I lost the first set 0-6. Starting the second I still believed I could win. I was down 6-0 *4-0, and found my self at 40-0*. I broke my opponent here, and then managed to hold serve. I ended up saving a match point down 5-2, but I ultimately lost 6-0 6-3. Now I have confidence for my next tournament, in which I am hoping I will have a better result!!
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I only play every saturday! My mum is a Secratry at a Tennis Club! She tried to get all of us to play, Older Brother and Sister, none of us where very keen thought!

i decided at 11 a Career in Music was the best option! got into playing at 23! I am not that good at blocking! and i am inconsitant on slicing! I have a very fast serve and i can run the ball down, i also have a decent dropshot!Volleying is quite strong just beacause i played a lot of table tennis! failed at trying to get into football at 14! wish i tried tennis know beacause that would of suited me beacause i am fast and farely tall! still thought Tennis has a very limited time span and people fail to notice that! Had a dable once at 16 and my mum thought i was quite good for someone who had never played! it was still about 6 Years too late! LOL. Tennis Career,s cost to get off the ground!
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

i have to work on my serves they are not that good
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

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i have to work on my serves they are not that good
Depends what kind of serve u got,
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

Ok, my turn

I started playing tennis at 15 and when I started playing tennis, there were only indoor courts where I lived and there were only carpet courts. I used to live in a remote worksite in my youth and my dad had our family live up in the north, so the place where we lived had indoor carpet courts for tennis. It was cool. I lived there for 3 years and it was awesome. Of course, I ended up prefering to play a Robin Soderling style of tennis. Typically, when I play my tennis against someone, I prefer to keep the games short as possible. I make big serves and try to end the rallies as soon as possibe, going for go-for-broke winners usually. I rush to the net as well. I play left handed and I employed a really tricky slice serve to the ad side very well and I can frustrate lots of people with my serve. I have lots of variety on my serve but sometimes I lack power in my serve. I occasionaly play a two handed forehand but mostly a one handed forehand and one handed backhand. My return of serve sortof sucks.

It wasn't until I was 19 til I finally got to play tournaments. In under 1 year of tournament play, I manage to pick up 2 doubles titles and collecting a few hundred bucks in the process! Nice!
My results were not as good in spite of my efforts, I always choke in singles, I would always have a lead but blow it, plus I always mailed in my matches as soon I faced adversity in my matches. I was like the Mardy Fish of my town.

But nowadays, I live in a town where there's a club and I'm hoping to get back into action soon, I have improved my mental resolve but still, once in a while, I fall apart. I say its the biggest weakness of my game. My second biggest weakness is my physical strength.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I,ve improved a lot recently ! Learnt a wicked self taught slice serve and a have a decent top spin 2 handed backhand ! Also have very deep ground strokes on forehand and I am comfortable at volleying , hoping to play singles tournament at my tennis club , should be good
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Discuss YOUR tennis

I play 5 days a week, I`m in my senior year in high school, really hoping to play D1 tennis next year. I play Singles 1 for my school (I`m an exchange student), and I`m 14-0 in the season.
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