Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

Is tennis a dead sport?  I post in Craigslist, and several tennis sites, and so far found 1 person (year ago but no longer in contact) I used to hit with a few times.  This year, all I got were hacks claiming to be good.  All I ask is a consistent hitter above 4.0 but no luck! I even respond and for some reason, no one has responded back.  Of course, I can't find anyone above 5.0 so this is not realistic I guess.  Do I have to join a private club or league?  I just want to hit a few times a week without any schedules.  Why do people post on this site, and never respond?  WTF?

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Probably has something to do with the rating system.  If a person self-rates, they can be a bit biased.  If I read the requirements for a 4.0, I can claim that I am one (varied shots, lobs, power, ability to direct away from opponent, etc.), but I know I still lack the consistency based on playing other higher ranked players (true 4.0s).  Thus, I know I'm still a 3.0, maybe bordering on 3.5.  Unfortunately, it's not a popular division around here, it seems.  In my area, 4.0-4.5 seems to get a lot of response, but whether you'll get a true one is still in doubt.  5.0s do get responses (from what I see), but you are uncommon birds around here, my friend.  Zeal and talent will get you there, but time is the most important ingredient.  My method of finding players is to acquire lesser-skilled players (they have a lot of enthusiasm), and being patient and teaching them.  Soon enough, they'll be playing to your standards, and voila, you'll have a hitting partner!
The few players I've met were about 3.0-3.5 at best.  One said he used to teach tennis and was consistent, but couldn't even hit a backhand and looked like he didn't even know the fundamentals!  I think he was full of BS.  I haven't even seen a 4.0 player yet.  I play with friends who are 2.5 for fun with an old woody, but that doesn't help my real game.   I need to hit with 5.0+ players if I ever want to improve.  I've had players telling me to hit "softer," which doesn't make sense.  It's like telling a golfer to hit 100 yds with a 7 iron insted of a PW...I guess tennis is not as popular as in Cali.  Outside from HS or collegiate players, there's really no one one out there.  I didn't think I was so "uncommon" as you described.  These days, I'd settle hitting with a 4.0 so I can get in a few winners to see if I still have it.  To bad it looks like my Barricade's 6-mo sole warranty won't be tested...
Someday I hope to have the same problem as you, unable to find players of my caliber, ha ha ha!  Lots of 4.0s and 4.5s out here, that's for sure.  I get a good 12-15 hours a week of tennis, so I go through a pair of shoes every three months.  Can't justify the Barricade's cost, at that rate, and I'm not really sure they'll honor the warranty.  Lots of luck, and hope you find someone of quality to play with.
Where are you located? you better be a real 5.0 after all that ranting haha!
Renton at Liberty Park or Coulon Park.  I've seem players rate themselves as 4.0-4.5, but they only play with other casual players so their perception of their own skills tends to be higher.  Playing on a team in HS or collegiate is much better gauge of real skills vs a social league.   I rate myself lower because I am not at my potential due to lack of practice, even though I have all the skill requirements.   Basically, when a player can consistently hit winners on me from the baseline from both sides (as well as having all the other fundamentals), I consider them 5.0+.  I've even beat so-called 4.0 players with a woody (fun but heavy!).  One of my observations about top players, is their choice of racquets as well as how efficiently they move.  You just know they are good and confident.  Players who rate themselves too high tend to make excuses and complain about this and that...
At your level finding anonymous players online that can hit with you is going to be like panning for gold. You sift through a bunch of rocks until you find some nuggets. Since you have high standards for recreational play I would suggest "staking out" some public courts and giving your number to people that look like they can hang with you. It seems that people have been doing that to me for years. I have a bag full of cards from people that wanted to hit with me and a cell phone full of numbers from people I don't really know.

and a cell phone full of numbers from people I don't really know.

Sounds familiar. It is tough to find partners at the 4.5 and 5.0 level for two reasons.  1. there just aren't that many of us relative to the total number of players.  2. Most top players are already connected, either at a tennis club or a very tight group of friends.  I have both.  I've been playing in ABQ for 9 years now and have slowly built a core group of about 8 guys that are all 4.5.


Shawn, on your profile you mention that you do not know your rating.  No offense, but I have never met a player with 4.5 skill level that does not know their rating.  It is almost impossible to get that good without playing enough people to know exactly where you are. 

There are so many variables that determine skill and ratings.  Some can hit but never had tournament experience.   Some cannot play up to their ranking under match play, etc. I've never played in a USTA league-just HS and some collegiate level at UW.  I do have tournament experience and #1 in HS...which is more than most people ever have I suppose.  No, I don't know what my rating is relative to players in this area, since I've heard that it's mostly subjective and dependent on quality of players. 

So according to NTRP, I would rate myself as 5.0-5.5 as far as skill level.  Am I rusty?  Sure, since I haven't had the chance to practice seriously every week.   It seems like other players want to know my rating when I really don't care as long as they are consistent and willing to hit for at least 1.5 hours.  So I tend not to say 5.0+ since it seems to discourage them from playing.   I really don't understand the fear of playing someone better!  I only wish that I could hit with a better player once a week.   That's the only way to get better.   I guess it's been a letdown as to how few players there are even on social sites-this not being my only one...

"So according to NTRP, I would rate myself as 5.0-5.5"  Do you mean the NTRP descriptions?  Those are useless.  Everybody would be a 5.0 or 5.5 based on those paragraphs.  If I was you, I would change your rating on your profile to 4.5 and see if you have some more luck.

Here's a list of 4.0 tennis partners in Renton

Here's a list of 4.5 tennis partners in Seattle

I suggest that you leave comment on each of these members' pages introducing yourself.  That's about 45 people.  You'll connect with some of them for sure.  Have fun!  Mark

I had the same problem for a long time. Don't know my rating but couldn't find someone who I couldn't regularly beat that could play often enough. I got used to improving my game by giving my opponent exactly what they want mixed in with pIaying properly.

Setting them up builds their confidence and needs a bit of accuracy. They then start playing above their level. Hitting from positions they never normally would. then you get to practice getting the ball back. It's not perfect but it kept me going. 

Then got lucky from one local social league. One guy, a pusher, just kept coming back and improving. He actually paid attention and kept working on his game. We've been playing about 18 months and now he's starting to beat me regularly. 

So it took a lot of patience but I've finally found a hitting partner. It means I can finally work on my higher level game. My serve is now the best its ever been. My movement and defence is a whole new level and I'm enjoying it more than ever. 

Good luck finding a partner. Just thought i'd let you know how I found one. I'd been waiting for years but I started making it work for me and then one popped up. I found like some one else in this thread suggested, Find a motivated person at a lower level and help them reach yours. It's the best way I've found. 

Nothing wrong with going to a real tennis club and getting pick up games. Or just hanging out where tennis is happening and finding pickup games on the fly. I have gotten to hit with lots of former challenger pros and ex college players doing that. 

I've also gotten to stand around bored and lonely wondering if there is a better way - WHICH THERE IS!


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