Is a 4.5 a 4.5 everywhere and at all ages? I believe the answer is NO on both counts and should be dealt with by “the powers that be” (i.e. the USTA).
One of my senior New Hampshire tennis buddies, B. Manning was just (happily) moved back down to a 4.0 rating, from a 4.5 (which, according to Florida standards he is).
The reason he is happy? With the regional ratings being so strict, there are no nearby 4.5 doubles leagues for him to play in. They are all 4.0 and below. So he would have to travel over an hour to play in those leagues.
But there is no question in my mind, if he were in Florida, he would be rated a solid 4.5 player. So why are there regional differences, shouldn’t the standards be the same?
And he pointed out, if he were to play in those far away 4.5 doubles leagues, he would face competition from players aged 25-35 and surely be over powered.
I am currently rated 4.5 in Florida and have just turned 72 years old. There is no way that my game is the same as – or competitive with – a 35 year old 4.5 player. While my strokes may be as good, he would surely be faster and have much more stamina than me.
But those factors are not taken into account by the USTA. Shouldn’t there be something like a “Senior 4.5” to recognize the difference?
You remember the case of tournament player, Winder Bill who was not allowed to have oxygen on the changeovers to take care of his lung problem? He writes: “Waiver request granted with reasonable caveats of releases signed by me and my pulmonologist approving me playing tennis using oxygen supplement.”
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