Is This Really a Victory?

After a break for the Holidays, my 4.0 singles league resumed this evening, and I technically came away with a victory.  But can it really be considered a victory when I split sets at 4-6 and 6-4 and then win a ten point super tie-breaker 15-13?  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take the win, but in actuality, I think tonight’s match was pretty much a draw. 

My opponent and I got off to a shaky start – both making many unforced errors, and after staying on serve for the first two games, I quickly found myself down 5-2.  I maintained my composure, got one of the breaks back, and was receiving serve at 30-30 down 5-4.  But that was as close as it would get.  He won the next two points and took the first set 6-4.

Despite having some break points in the second game of the second set, I couldn’t break my opponent, and he couldn’t break me.  We stayed on serve all the way to 5-4, and then I played a strong return game (or maybe he played a weak service game) to take the set 6-4.

The super tie-breaker, despite winning a large percentage of them lately, is just something I don’t enjoy.  After two hard fought sets, I would much rather play out a third set as opposed to having it all decided by a ten point super tie-breaker.  But with allotted court time limited to an hour and a half to two hours, we often don’t have much choice but to play the dreaded super tie-breaker.  So…  A super tie-breaker we played.

Give or take a point here and there, the super tie-breaker remained on serve until my opponent took a lead at 8-6 that he carried forward to 9-7.  I don’t remember the exact points, but I know I was able to fend off two match points and tie it at 9-9.  From there it seesawed back and forth until I was finally able to pull it out at 15-13.

A little mental toughness on my part?  Yes.  A little good luck on my side?  Definitely.  All in all, it was a fun match and if nothing else, some decent practice.    It puts me at 2-2 in the league, and I find myself facing last session’s undefeated champion next week – a guy that I’ve never beaten in the past.  Looking forward to that one.  (Heavy sarcasm)

Thanks for checking in.


Filed Under: Next Step: 4.5

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  1. Hi David, cool blog…I too eye the elusive 4.5 level but not enough court time due to family commitments keeps me anchored securely in the 4.0s! Keep up the good work here and I`ll keep an eye out for you on the TW Talk Tennis forum (I`m “fbone” on there). Cheers!

  2. David Henry says:

    Hey Ricardo. Thanks for checking in here at Inspired Tennis – great to have you onboard.

    Like you, family commitments and work commitments have kept me securely anchored in the 4.0s as well. I only played dubs in my 4.0 USTA league this past Winter/Spring, and without checking TennisLink, I think I went 4-2 or 5-2. Not horrible but certainly not near the 4.5 level… yet. I am hoping for some more court time this summer, and we’ll see where it goes.

    I am not as creative with my username… I am “davidahenry” on TW Talk Tennis. See you around there and here.

    Take care.


  3. Ken says:

    Is it a win? Had the tie breaker gone the other way, would it be a loss? I’m not a big fan of the tiebreaker 3rd set either.

  4. David Henry says:

    Good point, Ken. 🙂 Thanks for the comment. I hope all is well up in Alaska!

  5. Daniel Sneath says:

    A win’s a win. Them 3rd set tie-breakers are really tough, so well played.

  6. Chris Johnson says:

    Hi David, hope all is well. Nice work on your bump up to 4.0. Some advice on my experience at 4.5, which I now get moved back down to 4.0. Stay away from doubles at first, the computer is unmerciful if you have poor results.

    The USTA weights doubles far more than singles. Play poorly or get roughed up score wise in dubs, you are going down, doesn’t matter what you do in singles. I won a 4.5 tourney this year, finals in another, and yet, down I go. It’s all about league play for sure, and dubs is the key in 4.5. Even the converse is true, because in our section, we had 2 guys go undefeated in league (other clubs) in singles, not lose a single set in fact in 4.5, yet stay the same rating. The next best singles player in our section was 7-3, and he too still stays the same level. The common element, no doubles play by any of them with exception to 2 matches across a total of almost 30 singles matches. The computer just doesn’t respect the work singles is these days……………..

    If you do play dubs, pick your partner well, it’ll be the difference. If you play singles, win big, or if your area is like ours, singles play has to be more than dominant before anyone is going anywhere, up or down!

    Happy New Years.

  7. David Henry says:

    Hey Chris – Thanks for the informative comment. Very interesting.

    Due to kids’ sports activities (currently coaching my son’s basketball team – and then indoor baseball practice for his select team starts soon), Inspired Tennis, and my main corporate job, I am not playing tennis too often these days. It’s cool though – I would rather be a part of my kids’ activities.

    Nevertheless, I will resume my tennis pursuits in the near future, and this information is good to know – should I ever make it to the 4.5 level in the future.

    Thanks again.


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