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Old 06-10-2021, 08:19 AM   #1
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Old Man Tennis (real life)

Following on the heals of Young Drachmaís great real life tennis coaching dynasty, I thought Iíd post one on my upcoming tennis season.

Itís been about 15 years since I played tennis in any competitive league, so be glad youíre just going to read about how I do and you arenít forced to watch my old, fat ass run (wobble?) around the court. My absence from the sport started with a wrist injury and then was prolonged as I focused on my kids and their sports, specifically their swimming. When I was younger, I was a team captain for around 9 years, and our teams progressed to a relatively high level, but absence from the sport, combined with age and increased weight has made my return difficult to say the least.

Letís start with a quick overview of the league. In Atlanta we have a tennis organization called ALTA which is huge. It had around 80,000 members pre-pandemic (around 50,000 currently), and is the largest tennis-based community organization in the world*. Unlike USTA which gives each player a rating, and then the player finds a team at that level or higher to play on, ALTA simply rates a team and promotes/demotes teams to higher or lower levels based on the results of the season (demotions are much less likely and usually are only considered if the captain requests it). Obviously, this creates some significant variance in the quality of the players on each team. ALTAís ranking system goes from AA-1 down to C9 (thatís my recollection - I honestly didnít look it back up), with each division typically consisting of 8 teams. The regular season is a round robin format where you play each team in your conference and you earn a point for each match won, with the conference winner and the runner up making the playoffs (occasionally a 3rd place team slips into the playoffs if the division doesnít have 8 conferences). Unlike USTA, there are no singles, all 5 matches in a week are doubles.

I donít know much about my team other than itís a Senior Mensí team and itís playing C-1. This is an offshoot team my best friend has been on for a couple of seasons (just regular menís league Ė this is the first senior team they have fielded), and he asked me to join. I believe the minimum age to compete is 45. It took a while before I could be added due to an error the captain made, but now that Iím on the roster I can tell the conference has only 7 teams so the schedule consists of 6 matches and a bye week. Also the matches are just 4 doubles not 5. It also appears like the team is going to struggle to get 8 players ever week, so I expect quite a few forfeits.

Recently, the only practice Iíve had is playing with my best friend every Monday night. We hit around and work on stuff, then play a set or two afterwards. In total, Iíve only hit 8 or so times and itís been all singles to this point. The team practices are on Thursdays and the matches are Friday nights. The first Thursday practice was rained out, and the first week of the season was our teams bye week. Also looks like practice today (6/10) will also be rained out.

How about an honest assessment of my game? Well Iím pretty average.

Style of play Ė In my younger days I played a backboard type of game. I wasnít a pusher, I have some ok strokes, but I definitely moved well, covered a lot of court and forced my opponent to hit an extra shot. Now that Iím older, I cover significantly less court, and the redirection of my body takes much longer to accomplish. Also I get winded much easier so recovering from long runs is difficult. Itís still the only way I really know how to play though, so I do the best I can with that approach. I have become better at picking spots and simply applauding shots I would have tried to track down in the past.

Forehand Ė I play more of a control racket so I generate my own power and when Iím hitting well I have a heavy top spin shot that I can keep deep in the court. The only drawback is, because I have a lot of top spin, the ball can be high where it crosses the net, which makes poaching it easy at times, especially against a strong net player.

Backhand Ė in my younger days I was almost exclusively a cut backhand. I was pretty good at keeping it low and having it skid. I had a top spin backhand, but I almost never used it because I didnít have any confidence in it. Now that Iím older and I have no reasonable expectation of being good, I hit the top spin backhand more frequently. I still cut most of what I hit though. Iíd say Iíve gone from 2% top spin backhands to around 30%.

Net Ė I have never been great at the net. A lot of drilling allowed me to call myself average, but now with absence and age Ė Iím terrible. I have a hard time focusing on a ball coming right at me and Iím slow to react. Iím going to need to get this improved for doubles or Iím really going to hamper my partner

Serve Ė this has been the big surprise. My serve is actually better now than it was before. It takes forever for my shoulder to loosen up, but once it does Iíve been strong serving in my Monday matches. Some of it may go back to the no expectation comment from above, but my serve is more consistently powerful and I donít really have a second serve any longer, I just hit the same serve all the time. My double fault totals are up slightly but my service winners/aces are up disproportionately higher, so itís a good trade off.

Return of serve Ė this has always been one of my strengths. In fact, in singles, it was common for me to beat my brother, whoís really a better player than I am because his top spin serve was right in my wheelhouse, and Iíd drill the return deep at his feet and give him fits. Unfortunately, Iím not sure how my return of serve is currently. My best friend has a monster serve that he changes frequently in spin, placement, and speed, which makes it difficult for me to get into a groove. Iíve had some strong moments against him, so I think Iíll be ok.

The team was hoping to add my bother and me, but my brother played on a team ranked higher than this one last season so heís unavailable. They were planning to add both of us to the menís team roster in the fall, but itís looking more and more like this team wonít survive to field a team in the fall Ė so Iíll be looking for a team to join in a few months.

*note Ė from the ALTA Website.

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Old 06-10-2021, 08:38 AM   #2
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Week 2 - Shakerag Subdivision

This Friday, weather permitting, I will be playing the 3 line. My best friend Joe will be playing the top line.

We are playing Shakerag Subdivision, it's too early to draw any meaningful conclusions on the season, but Shakerag was skunked in their first week. They could end up being the second best team in the division, but they could also be the easiest team we will face all season.

I know nothing about my partner - Kevin. I've never even met him, so if we get rained out of practice tonight, we will be meeting for the first time right before we step on the court as partners. Hardly a recipe for good play, but it doesn't really matter, I expect with forfeits our team is going to end up 5 in the division.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:11 AM   #3
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
For those unfamiliar with ALTA, I'd say it falls somewhere between a religion and a cult for many of those who play.

I'm kidding (sort of) ... but not by a lot
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:57 AM   #4
Breeze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
For those unfamiliar with ALTA, I'd say it falls somewhere between a religion and a cult for many of those who play.

I'm kidding (sort of) ... but not by a lot

I was full fledged member of said cult in my younger days...my team was really good and we played all the time. Heck, we'd get finished with matches on Saturdays, then stay afterwards and play each other for several more sets.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:01 AM   #5
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
We were rained out last nights, so I will meet my partner right before we start playing. However, it might not be tonight given there is still a 30 or greater chance of rain all day, and all it would take is a quick shower at the wrong time to wash out the match.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:22 PM   #6
JonInMiddleGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breeze View Post
I was full fledged member of said cult in my younger days...my team was really good and we played all the time. Heck, we'd get finished with matches on Saturdays, then stay afterwards and play each other for several more sets.

It's a catch-22 I think. Because so many are obsessive about it, in order to be competitive you kind of have to be obsessive. (Not dissimilar to younger age groups in the state really)

It mostly reminds me of one of my favorite jokes: How do you spot the ALTA member at a funeral? She's the one in a tennis dress.
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:26 PM   #7
Young Drachma
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Join Date: Apr 2001
You know I'm here for it. I'd almost move for a place where tennis was more organized at the local level, here it's so clubby and stuffy and for no good reason. It makes me want to do something else, so I mostly avoid it.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:51 AM   #8
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Match 1 vs Shakerag

We actually got the match in, which seems like a miracle given the weather conditions at the time. In fact, it was sprinkling at my house when I left, but 15 miles away where we played everything was dry. Humid but dry.

The warm ups for our match were short, which I definitely didn't need, having not gotten an opportunity to hit in over a week. But here is how the first set went:

They won the toss and elected to serve:

First set

- Break - (1-0)
- my partner had me serve first - and I was hitting my serves pretty good but I ended up losing the point after 5 deuce games (1-1)
- Break (2-1)
- We held (3-1)
- They held (3-2)
- My serve again, and again it was a long service game (4 deuces) and I served well but still lost my serve (3-3)
- Break (4-3)
- We held (5-3)
- They held (5-4)
- My serve - 3rd time and yet another long service game (3 deuces) but I held this time and we won the first set. (6-4)

First set wrap up: The 6-4 score didn't really indicate how much better we played than our opponent. Obviously, with 3 breaks of serve we should have won that going away. The biggest problem was my serve, but when I say I was serving well - I only had 1 double fault in that entire set, so I wasn't giving away my serve. There were some jitters on my part - which seems stupid, but I was a bit shaky from nervous energy. We made way to many boneheaded shots and bad times. But the biggest issue was our lack of familiarity - on several of my serves, Kevin (partner) and I were crossed up. He made a play to poach but then changed his mind and I was already moving to cover, that kind of stuff. I was hoping we'd do better with that in the second set.

Second Set

- They held (1-0)
- We held (1-1)
- They held (2-1)
- I held - another long service game but we pulled it out (2-2)
- They held (3-2)
- We were broken (4-2) - my partner double faulted 2x in this game which hurt
- They held (5-2)
- My serve - I go down 0-40..at which point I'm a bit pissed. I've served pretty good so far all game and have had nothing to show for it...so I decide Love-40 might as well go for it. I decide to hammer my serve - and here is what happened

big serve - soft return poached and put away (15 - 40)
fault - service winner (30 - 40)
big serve - blocked, cut, wide angle return to my backhand, I run up, cut it cross court ends up an opponents feet and he hit it in the net (deuce)
fault - service winner (ad in)
big serve - same blocked, cut, wide angle return to may backhand, I get it in, but he hits it for a winner. (deuce)
big serve - poached for a winner (ad in)
big serve - same return - opponent net player tries to poach and dumps it in the net. - we win my serve (3-5)

- We break (4-5)
- We hold (5-5)
- They hold (6-5)
- My serve - I double fault the first 2 serves - (nice time to pull that out dumbass). It wasn't a situation where I was tightening up, all four were at the top of the tape, I was barely off. My next serve was huge and an easy floater at the net right to my partner who when short side and missed the court by a mile. My next serve was one of the biggest I've ever hit, even the opposing captain said, "Man that's a cannon of a serve", unfortunately it didn't do me any good - the ad side player did his now patented block, cut, wide return to my backhand and my cut shot was in the net...so we lost the second set (5-7)

Second set wrap up - this set was very frustrating. Our opponents really started taking the pace off the ball and throwing up a lot of lobs, which was tough for a few reasons. 1. I was struggling to generate my pace and keep it in, I think some practice that week would have helped that some. 2. the lights on the court were very low so tracking the ball was difficult. 3. the lack of familiarity with my partner made court coverage a challenge. It also didn't help that I didn't have the patience to play lob tennis.

Third Set

- They held (0-1)
- We held (1-1)
- We break (2-1)
- now it's my serve, and here is what I'm thinking at this point. "Your last service game was poor with 2 double faults, don't really want to do that again in this situation. Also, the ad player seems to love the big serve, his return is better on it than it was on the serve you cut more, so let's go to the big cut and see how that goes". And here's how it went

I got good spin on the server and it really kicked up, which I hadn't really done to this point - it completely surprised the returner who barely got a racket on it. (15-0)
I wanted to try and serve wider to the ad side to get the ball to his backhand or into his body - mission accomplished - serve to his backhand - easy pop up return put away at the net by Kevin. (30-0)
My second serve to this side is almost identical to the first - he managed to get the return to the bottom of the net this time (40-0)
Serve into the body - blocked back, I overhit the shot and it goes long (40-15)
Another good serve to the deuce side - he returns it, but it's poached for a winner. We hold (3-1)

- They hold (3-2)
- We hold (4-2)
- They hold (4-3)
- My serve - given how well my last service game went, I obviously decided to do the same thing - and we ended up with the same result almost exactly. The deuce side player couldn't handle the top spin serve and we were able to poach the ad side player so I won at 15 again. (5-3)
- We jumped up early in this game 30-0 but then my partner botched an easy volley, followed by a great serve up the middle that I failed to return, which put us back to even. We ended up in a couple of deuce games, then they served to the deuce side, my partner - he hit a nice return that they cut back short my side, I ran in and hit a cut backhand, they lobbed me, so I turn and ran hitting a deep crosscourt half lob back. The return shot was poached by my partner but not put away - with the shot going deep to the deuce side. I crossed over and hit it back through the middle, they came through the middle and Kevin poached again, but again didn't put it away, the return was again short to the ad side, so I can cross court and up to hit a cut winner down the line to take the Advantage. Then the server hit another great serve up the middle, the same one he had done earlier in this game when he was down 15 -30, only this time I was able to rip the return through the middle for a winner. (6-3)

All in all the match took over 2 and half hours. To give you an idea of how long it took. We took the court when the 1s were 4-5 in the second set. They went 3 sets and they finished their second set 5-7 and their 3rd set before we finished our first. Then the 4's came on to play and they finished all 3 sets in the same time it took us to play our final 2 sets. I was exhausted...

I can tell you my lack of doubles play was a huge problem today. I found myself out of position regularly, and there were so many balls I should have poached that I didn't - I can't even count them all. I'm going to have to get more doubles play in or I'm going to struggle to win matches.

The team took all 4 points:

1s. 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
2s. 6-2, 6-1
3s. 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
4s. 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:54 AM   #9
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Drachma View Post
You know I'm here for it. I'd almost move for a place where tennis was more organized at the local level, here it's so clubby and stuffy and for no good reason. It makes me want to do something else, so I mostly avoid it.

Yeah, ALTA is definitely not stuffy. My bother used to wear old cargo shorts and a football jersey to play. And Joe still wears T-shirts he cut the sleeves out of. We used to joke with my bother he was going to win the worst dressed player in ALTA award.

John's right, how serious ALTA is depends on the team. Some take it very seriously and they want to win City Championships, others just want to get together, hang out and drink beer.

Last edited by Breeze : 06-12-2021 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:47 PM   #10
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
As usual I hit last night with my friend Joe, but unlike every other time, I was still really sore. Friday's match was really sticking with me. My knees and lower back were bothering me all night, to the point I had to take a few breaks to give them a rest - getting old sucks.

I was going to have to miss this Friday's match with an overnight implementation at work, but the vendor canceled, so I'm in the lineup again, with a brand new partner. It's a good thing the vendor canceled because the team was looking at having to forfeit 2 of the 4 points.

Last edited by Breeze : 06-15-2021 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 06-18-2021, 02:08 PM   #11
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Practice yesterday (6/17) ended up being a no go. With so many people unavailable there were only going to be 3 at the courts (including me). Given my level of soreness on Monday after the Friday match last week, I didn't want to overdo the night before a match, and with only 3 people - I decided to pass.

Match tonight at 6:30...
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Old 06-21-2021, 11:17 AM   #12
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
In week 2's match, we were slotting in against a 6'6" player with a huge serve he could spin multiple ways, or pound (though he rarely did), and an older player with extremely soft hands who can play very short angles.

My partner was a very aggressive player, who was typically matched with someone who didn't move, allowing him to cover the whole court. This made our pairing very awkward, as we often got in each others way.


We didn't play for 2 and half hours this time - I was much closer to 3 hours.

Set 1

The match started and I was awful. I couldn't find my stroke and my ground strokes were floating long on both the forehand and backhand sides. My partner was very aggressive with mixed results and we lost the first set 2 - 6

Set 2

At the end of the first set, I started to find my range and in the second set it really paid off. I was hitting my strokes real well, driving them deep, hitting winners, and dropping the ball on their feet with heavy top spin. We got up early in this set, held the break and got a second one at the end to win 6 -3

Set 3

At this point our opponents were avoiding hitting the ball to me as much as they could, and my partner's inconsistencies, especially with his ground strokes were becoming an issue. Then, on serve, midway through the set and I get pulled off the deuce side all the way to fence. I get it back, but the net guy jumps the shot and hits it back deuce side, now I could have gotten the ball, but my partner had come all the way over and hit it, effectively blocking me right at the corner of the baseline and sideline. His shot was returned wide to the Ad side - I took off and reach the ball at the singles line on the deuce side of the opposite court. I hit a running backhand that they failed to return (I think they were shocked I got the ball back), which gave us a break. Unfortunately, in the process I strained my hamstring. They broke us right back, as my partner's serve was fine, but his ground strokes floated long or wide consistently.

Despite my injury, I was still hitting good ground strokes, but my court coverage was diminished. We stayed on serve (though we had leads in almost every game but couldn't put them away) and ended up in a 3rd set tiebreaker. I served first and held. They got 2 serves and we were up 2-1. My partner got 1 and lost 1 so we were up 3-2, they held - 3-4...now it's my serve. We switched sides on 3-3 so this was the first time I had served on this end of the court, and it was the first time I realized how low the lights were and how poorly placed they were. I stared directly into the lights when I made my toss. Now, had I not been so exhausted and hurting I might have taken more time to try and find a way to see my toss better, but as it was, my brain wasn't working well and I just tried to fight through it, and I failed miserably - I double faulted both of my points, effectively handing the match away. We lost the next point and the match 3-7 in the tiebreaker.

We took 2 of the 4 points and we sit in 3rd place overall with 6 points despite already having our bye week. The two teams in front of us have played all 3 weeks so far. Unfortunately, we will forfeit a match this week for sure, and if my hamstring doesn't heal, we will forfeit at least 1 for every match I miss (this weeks forfeit isn't on me though - we had a player out for vacation).

Last edited by Breeze : 06-24-2021 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:24 PM   #13
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
I'm not practicing or playing this week, as I rest up. I'm doing much better now than I was on Saturday, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to play next week - even if it's at less than 100%. Just don't want to reinjury myself.
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Old 06-28-2021, 10:30 AM   #14
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
The team took 1 of the 3 points available last week which puts us in a 3rd place tie at 7 points, 1 point behind 2nd place and 6 points behind first place, but 1st place and 2nd place haven't had their bye weeks yet. We play the 1st place team this week.

I'll be going out tonight to hit a few balls to try and stay sharp and test my ability to move on the hamstring. If I can move ok, I'm planning to play this Friday, even if I have to be conservative in my approach. Better that than forfeiting another point away.

Last edited by Breeze : 06-28-2021 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:08 AM   #15
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Ended up hitting balls Tuesday (6/29), and the leg held up ok. Not sure about sprinting around everywhere, but feel pretty good about playing. The match is actually tonight rather than Friday, and they moved me down to the 4 line because they were unsure of my ability to play. My partner has played twice this season and he's managed to win 4 games and lose 24. That's a .142 win percentage - not liking my chances.
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Old 07-06-2021, 09:50 AM   #16
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
The Match on Thursday went well. There isn't a ton to report this time out. The team moved me up to the 3 spot right before the start of the match and paired me with my same partner from my second match.

We blitzed the opponents in the 1st set 6 -1.

Second set, my partner lost his serve to open the so we fell behind early. We took the lead back with a quick break and I held at Love. Followed by a break and my partner again struggling with his serve and losing (3-2). We broke, I held again in a strange one - jumped out big with 3 big service winners, followed by 4th great serve that was hit weakly back to my partner at the net and he dumped in the bottom of the net. I then double faulted twice to put it back at deuce. Then I ripped off an ace followed by an unreturned serve to win the point. (5-2). Jumped out to a lead in during the opponents serve, but then I made a nice volley, which the opponent scooped back at me at the net, and I missed an easy put away. Then we struggled to find our rhythm and lost that game, but my partner found his serve when we needed it and we closed out the match 6-3.

We ended up going 2-2 in this match, which puts us in a tie for second place and pretty much assures the team we just played will win the division. We play the second place team this week, but I have my scans today (7/6) and Wednesday (7/8), plus I have a slight calf strain, so I don't expect to be anywhere close to 100% on Friday.

Last edited by Breeze : 07-06-2021 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 07-06-2021, 05:18 PM   #17
Young Drachma
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Join Date: Apr 2001
So good you're playing doubles that's a much better way to do it. I've been playing singles in a UTR league and this other local non-USTA league as I missed the cutoff time for league play and readjusting to playing competitively against -- with garbage fitness that I am in -- has been rough.

Glad you're playing well and the serve is working for ya! Keep grinding!
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Old 07-12-2021, 07:14 AM   #18
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Friday's match was rained out, which puts us in the - "call your opponents and schedule your match this week" arrangement. This is a big match for us, as we are tied with this team for 2nd place and the top 2 teams make the playoffs.

Most of the make up matches have already occurred.

1s 7-5, 7-5 - win
2s 4-6, 4-6 - loss
4s. 2-6, 4-6, 1-6 - loss

That leaves my match at the 3s to try and pull out a tie, and we are scheduled to play Tuesday (7/13) at 7. Unfortunately, I appear to be falling apart. My right calf I strain from last week is still tender. I've got a self-adhesive bandage that I'll use to apply some compression, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. My entire lower body is giving me fits, including my hip flexor which grabbed me yesterday out of the blue. It's very strange. I played tennis for about 10 weeks with my friend before joining this team, and other than general soreness following our play, I was fine. Now I take a week off to let my calf feel better and the rest of the muscles and tendons in my legs decide to let me know they are unhappy.
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:11 AM   #19
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
The match last night was another LONG one. To start we warmed up and as soon as we finished and were about to serve to start the match, it began to rain. It was a light rain only, we didn't get any puddling, but the courts were soaked. The rain lasted about 20 minutes so we waiting around to see if they would dry. Eventually, we elected to play:

Set 1
We won the first set 6-3, which was just 1 break of serve because we served first. My serve was real good in the first set as they struggled to even get it back in play.

Set 2
In the second set our opponents decided to take the air out of the ball, hitting soft half lobs, and it worked early as they opened a 3-0 lead while I struggled to find my range. However, I adjusted and took a 4 - 3 lead and it was my partners serve. Now I'll continue to admit my lack of comfort at the net continues to hinder him, but tonight, he struggled to even get his first serve in. We battled hard going through 6 or 7 deuce games before he finally lost his serve. They then held 4-5. I held 5-5. They held 5-6, then it's my partner's turn again, and it was similar to his last service game but worse. This time we had 11 deuce games and it was Ad Out on 9 of them. We finally lost serve and set 5-7.

Set 3
This was basically a back and forth affair. My partner was gassed at this point. Several long service games, plus he blew off the court with a leaf blower twice to clean it up before the rain and to speed the drying process after. His ground strokes were starting to suffer as his forehand cut was hitting the net half way up, and he wasn't moving his feet well which was causing him to hit the ball at odd angles.

Ultimately, we managed to take a 5 -3 lead with the match on my serve. I had only been broken 1 time to this point and that break was significantly assisted by my partner missing 2 easy net shots and me over hitting an easy return. However, in this game I missed my first serve and on the second my opponent hits a masterful drop shot that wasn't 3 feet past the net with heavy spin. An amazing shot considering I didn't hit a lollypop second serve. Then I managed to double fault (1st of the match). Then I hit a good serve, my partner made a good volley but the opponent net player cut off the shot and got it at my partner's feet. Down 0-40. I follow that with an ace, and a service winner to get it 30-40 but then I choke it away with a double fault. The set is now 5-5. They hold 5-6, and it's my partner's serve...

He starts by blistering his first serve in and the opponent struggles to get a racket on it, however, he did and it ended up resulting in a high up the line return with no pace. Too high to my backhand side to reach and too short and slow for my partner to run down, 0-15. Double Fault 0-30. Nice serve wide, I took a step to cover the alley, and he hit a high floater cross court. I tried to reach it and I hit it in the net 0-40. Big serve, returned short cross court and my partner hits a running backhand up the line for a winner 15-40. Nice serve - returned wide 30 - 40. Faulted first, then a high return at me that I put away to get us back to deuce. We go through 5 deuce games before we hold to push it to a tiebreaker. My partner held off 5 match points in the set, 3 at love - 40 and 2 Ad outs in the deuce games.

In the tiebreaker - we break 1-0, then I hold both 3-0. They split then my partner double faults away both points 4-3. They split again 5-4 and it's my server to close out the match again. I win my first with a nice serve, my partner volleys, they lob cross court to me, I hit a forehand up the alley for a winner 6-3. I fault my first serve. On the second serve I mishit it. I knew it was out immediately, and I was kicking myself, but the ball struck the opponent net player before hitting the ground - so we won 7-4. Crazy way to win a back and forth match, and I'm angry at myself for my chokes on the serve, got to get back out on the court more. Nursing these strains is making difficult to stay sharp.

Final scores - 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4)

Last edited by Breeze : 07-14-2021 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 07-15-2021, 09:48 AM   #20
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
So we go into the last week of the season with a chance to make the playoffs (not that we will go far if we get in). However, here are the standings:

Team 1 - 18 points (bye week)
My Team - 11 points (plays Team 5)
Team 3 - 11 points (plays Team 4)
Team 4 - 11 points (plays Team 3)
Team 5 - 10 points (plays us)
Team 6 - 9 points (plays Team 7)
Team 7 - 2 points (plays Team 6)

So here's the deal - Team 6 is likely going to sweep team 7, which will give them 13 total points. The 3 teams at 11 could very easily split 2/2 which means we could have a 4 way tie for second place. I'm assuming the tiebreaker is going to be on set won/loss percentage, but regardless it's probably going to be very interesting to watch play out.

Last edited by Breeze : 07-15-2021 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 07-19-2021, 12:59 PM   #21
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
Last Match of the Regular season.

With the tight standings if we were going to make the playoff we had to take at least 2 and more likely 3 to get in.

In this match, I played horribly. I had no energy and my serve was very suspect. It didn't help matters that our opponents hit nothing hard. Everything including returns was a log, half-lob, or cut/drop shot, which didn't allow me to get into any sort of a rhythm.

Set 1

We got down 0-2 quickly, because I lost my serve right out of the gate and they held. However, from there - it was smooth sailing for us as we closed out the first set 6-2. I played ok here, and my partner played especially well. His court coverage and ability to hit cut shots on the run drove them crazy.

Set 2

We were down early again, and we got it back to even, but we couldn't get a lead. My game slipped from mediocre to poor in this set, and my partner seemed to lose focus as he hit a bunch of shots he was eating up in the first set wide or long. We ended up losing 5 -7

Set 3

My serve was a little better here, and we got an early lead and never let up. My partner was serving at 5-2 and he had a 30 - love lead before I complete screwed everything up and we lost the serve. I was terrible, missing a couple of easy volleys, being out of position on a shot up the line, and generally just killing all the good my partner was doing. Thankfully, we immediately broke back to end the match and I played pretty well in the final game with a couple of big returns that they couldn't handle. 6-3


In total we took 3 points, but so did one of the other teams we were tied at 11 with (the team we played last week actually). I'm assuming the tie breakers will go like this:

1. head to head - split 2/2
2. sets won - both sides won 6 sets
3. games won - here we lose - my recollection is they got 52 games to our 49.

We apparently could still make the playoff as one of the highest producing 3rd place teams, so we'll see.

Last edited by Breeze : 07-19-2021 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:52 PM   #22
Breeze
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Suburbs of ATL
So apparently my assumption on how the tiebreakers would work was wrong, rather than go head to head points, sets h2h, and games h2h, they elected to just go % of sets won in division. Which we also lost 53.33% to 51.725%.

Also because some conferences had 7 teams and some had 8 they took win percentage for the 2 additional 3rd place teams that made the playoffs. We won 58.33% of our matches, but two 3rd place teams finished with 65% or better results. Not really surprising we didn't make it on win % with our division being so tight. So we came up just short of the playoffs, but frankly it's probably a good thing. I can now nurse my aches and strains and Joe's (my friend who added me to this team) elbow and wrist are really bothering him and he could use some downtime to try and get any inflammation out of those joints.

Last edited by Breeze : 07-20-2021 at 03:53 PM.
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