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 Post subject: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 11:05 
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Hi All,
Just played my first tournament since 08' last weekend (October Philly Open) at Trolley Car TTC, and had some interesting results that are making it very difficult for me to guess at my upcoming rating. Being that I haven't played in almost a decade, two things are true, first, my rating is wildly inaccurate (1781), and second, I'm no longer familiar with the nuances of the current rating process. These being the case, I thought I'd post my results and see if anyone has an educated guess and/or breakdown of what passes/adjustments will likely take place. Without further ado, here's the (rough) summary of my results;

U-1800 Results (1st Place)
A: 1790: L in 5 games ( in my defense it was against a short pips player who was a style matchup nightmare for me, although I still should've won)
B: 1781 (Me)
C: 1757: (W in 3 games)
D: 1651: (W in 3 Games)
E: 1545: (W in 3 games)
F: 1445: (W in 3)

U-2050:
A:1995 (L in 5 games, long story but player had his coach on the court and was being told how to read my serves after each point until an umpire was called which was too late. Still should've won.)
B. 1870: W in 3
C: Me
D: 1550: W in 3

Quarterfinals:
1990: L in 5

So here's where it gets interesting:

Open RR:
A: 2514 (W in 4)
B. 1840: (W in 3)
C: Me
D: Unrated (W in 3) best guess is 2000-2050

Quarterfinal:
1990: L in 5 ( same player from above. After leading 2-0 and taking a 6-4 lead in the 3rd game, the player called the score in reverse. When I protested, the umpire intervened because of the earlier shenanigans. The player refused to agree on ANY prior score, so the game had to be started over at 0-0, after which I lost 3-2.)

So if you're keeping track, I played a total of 13 matches finishing 9-4. My best win was against a 2514, worst loss to a 1790. My 3 other losses were to 1990+ players. Obviously adjustment relies heavily on the unrated player and other adjustments, as at least one of the 1500-1600 players will definitely be adjusted. What I'm more interested in is if the AGE of my rating, along with the huge discrepancy in best W/worst L will cause me to be treated as an Unrated (0) player. Truth be told, I already spoke with the USATT rating coordinator who said there's also an additional possibility, which is that the tourney director could estimate my rating and process the results with that rating. Prior to this tourney I've been playing solid 2050-2100, but as my results show, this was a bizarre day for me. I could've easily beat the 2514 3-0 if not for a few unlucky bounces, and SHOULD have beat both 1990 players, but had a mental lapse. So, here's what I'm soliciting:

1. Guesses at final rating (some ratings are estimated from memory + unrated player)
2. Explanation of possible adjustments/passes
3. Most advantageous situation for me to obtain the highest rating
4. Best rating to be "estimated" at, if the tourney director would do so

Thanks in advance for any replies/info!


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 17:03 
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Wow, certainly some wild results there, and some really good wins! :clap:

A bit surprising how you could beat a player ranked over 2500, while you're losing against some below 2000. I believe 2500 is a very high rating, perhaps he wasn't really trying, or badly underestimated you till it was too late?

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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 17:13 
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I really believe the 2500 player was sandbagging. I'm the 1900 guy who beat NWetzler in the Quarters of the U2050. If not sandbagging, he didn't try his hardest. It was weird to watch.

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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 18:57 
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(1)If you listed all your matches and I have read the USATT rating calculation table right, you should get +130 points from that tournament, finishing at 1911.

This assumes that the unrated player was given 2000 as initial rating, and that initial passes of rating calculation do not give adjusted ratings for any of your other opponents or yourself.

For questions 2-4 I have no suggestion. Wait for opinions from people with first hand experience within USATT.


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 20:37 
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My guess is...

It was the last time you were allowed at U1800...

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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 23:19 
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NextLevel wrote:
I really believe the 2500 player was sandbagging. I'm the 1900 guy who beat NWetzler in the Quarters of the U2050. If not sandbagging, he didn't try his hardest. It was weird to watch.


I'm curious, aside from his rating, what makes you think that. I've detailed exactly why he had trouble with my game elsewhere, so I'm not going to spend the time doing it here, however style wise Henry is the perfect match-up for me. Additionally, when we played it was his 1st match of the day, my 8th or 9th. Being that you were on the complete opposite side of the club, I'm not sure how many of the points you saw, but I'm sure you could've heard Henry screaming "Chole" after every point, especially in the 4th game. I also spoke with Henry after the match and he was not pleased. Lastly, if you were watching Henry immediately following our match he went directly to an empty table and was practicing my serve with one of his buddies and trying to figure out the spin. Last bit of info, Henry took a timeout in the 3rd game when I was leading, after which he won 4 straight points to stay in the match. Obviously he's the only one who knows what his intentions were, but I saw no indication he was sandbagging. Henry is a solid 2500, and has remained at that level for years. I've watched current and older matches of his, and I see the same style and same demeanor he showed Sunday. So really, unless you have some glaring piece of evidence that I missed, you're basing this purely on rating differential, which while important, doesn't prove anything. It's not the first time I, as a left-handed long pips player have defeated a significantly higher opponent. Let it also be said that my 1780 rating is 8 years old and a complete joke. I've only been using long pips for a few months, for the other 25 years I've been playing I've used inverted on both sides, which is why I struggle with strong loopers who can force play into my pips like you did. Henry did not do that, not in my match or any of his others. But to assume that a 2500 can't be confused by great serves, long pips, and inside-out looping is just naive. Don't believe me?....see 2000 Macy Block; John Wetzler (2281) def Todd Sweeris (2656), AND 2003 NA Teams; John Wetzler (2226) def Todd Sweeris (2596).


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2016, 23:58 
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For those of us who weren't there to see what happened, its extremely difficult to picture how someone who recently switched to LP can beat a 2500 level player. But there is a lot of unexpected things that can happen in TT, and its one of the things most people love about it.

People I know in Australia who would be around that level would be having a really bad day to have a loss like that, but I have seen Carbonman lose sets to someone much lower rated when he was pretty cold a few years ago (and had already beaten me in the RR). But he still managed to get out of the match alive. Carbonman judges himself about equivalent to ~2400US. I'm about 300-400 points below him and experienced with LP (by about 6 years at that point). The best I scored in a set with him was 7.

Top players don't generally succumb to the best LP tricks. As you said, this guy didn't loop at you, which is puzzling at that level in itself. But maybe you just got lucky, serving him up something he'd not experienced before....or he was sandbagging and covering it up well?

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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 00:03 
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Nwetzler wrote:
I've detailed exactly why he had trouble with my game elsewhere, so I'm not going to spend the time doing it here,.....


Where is the elsewhere please? When I read this I assumed you'd written it elsewhere on the forum, but on searching I realise you have only 2 posts here on the forum in this thread. If you are going to make a statement like this, you really should advise where readers can find this information. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 00:53 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Nwetzler wrote:
I've detailed exactly why he had trouble with my game elsewhere, so I'm not going to spend the time doing it here,.....


Where is the elsewhere please? When I read this I assumed you'd written it elsewhere on the forum, but on searching I realise you have only 2 posts here on the forum in this thread. If you are going to make a statement like this, you really should advise where readers can find this information. Thanks.



I apologize, it's on FB. I had actually typed out an entire explanation on my iPhone, at which point it died, and I didn't have the energy to retype it. More importantly, I didn't post the question in order to discuss my win over a 2500 player, I posted to get info on how the rating system currently works, specifically with regards to adjustments and estimated ratings. That being the case, since there seems to be some interest, here is a recounting of exactly what happened.

As I mentioned earlier, this was Henry's 1st match of the day, my 8th or so. Henry (Zonqi "Henry" Zhong) is a Left-Handed Penholder who counter-loops from both sides (reverse penhold backhand). The first 2 games went very quickly, I won both at 6. This happened because Henry had a very difficult time reading my serves, particularly 2 heavy side/top serves short to his backhand, moving away from the table. Initially he misread the serves entirely (as 90% of players do) and returned them long off-table. After that, he started to push the short BH serves I gave him, "reversing" the spin of the serve. This resulted in a low-spin ball that I could loop-kill inside out. He is an incredible counter-looper, so when he did retrieve the ball, his heavy side-spin counter loop was unreturnable. Fortunately for me, my left-handed inside out loop gave him positioning trouble, and the low-ceiling playing venue made it difficult to lob when caught out of position (he hit the drop lights several times). On his service, he started the game with heavy underspin and side/top middle-long serves, that I returned with my LP. These balls allowed me to return heavy spin deep to his backhand. Rather than attacking the heavy ball, he pushed to my FH, which I looped either inside out, or heavy SS to his forehand. He either counter-looped and won the point, or was out of position (inside out), or produced a lob, which I smashed inside out. After the 1st game, he adjusted to low/no spin serves to my LP, and pushed the return to encourage me to open the attack, with similar results to what I mentioned above. In the 3rd game, I took at 4-5 point lead, at which point he called a timeout. Following the time out, he began to attack my service return, and won the game 11-9. This was my "oh s***" moment, when I expected to see 2500 shots on every point. At the start of the 4th game, I served two heavy side/top serves into his backhand that produced attackable balls which I loop-killed to win the point. Henry was visibly upset by this, and delayed the start of his service quite a bit, looking to his friends seated next to the table, and shaking his head. For the next several points, the play continued with his defensive/counter looping strategy, and he missed 2-3 crucial loops. At this point the score was around 9-5. Henry again adjusted to attacking early, and tied the score 9-9. The next point I won on a loop that contacted the edge of his BH corner. The next point, I served long heavy top/side, which he looped and the ball missed the table by a very small margin, ending the match in my favor 3-1.

As I mentioned earlier, he was not pleased by the loss. He was visibly upset afterwards, and during the match was frequently cheering his points with great intensity. I've played a lot of table tennis. I'd like to think I can tell when a player is intentionally losing, especially after 25 years of tournament play. That being said, you never know what another player is thinking. One glaring fact remains in favor of "sandbagging" and that is the rating difference. That being said, it's important to consider a few things. First my rating is no where close to accurate. It's 8 years old, and reflects a time when I was playing inverted on both sides, and LITERALLY only played once a year. I would play the teams each thanksgiving, with literally no practice before or after. Since I started playing again, I have been playing 3-4 times/week, including club and robot play, against quality (2000-2300) opponents, including my father, who when in-practice plays around 2350. Additionally, the fact that I've only been using LP for a few months may seem significant given the results, however it's important to note that my father is widely considered one of the best LP players in the area, and has been for quite some time. I've played against LP for my entire career, and know them as well as anyone could, without actually using them in competition. No matter how you view it, the 2514 win is a massive upset, however I would argue that the true anomalies are the losses. I had a serious mental lapse during this tournament, because of a bad situation with a player who has a history of abusing/breaking rules. Under normal circumstance, including club play, I consistently beat players in the 1900-2000 level. If I had to guess, I'd say 2000 is probably very accurate for my current rating, mostly due to inconsistency that comes along with such a long break in practicing. That being said, a solid 2500 player should still never lose to a 2000-2100 player, however it does happen. Style mismatches can be massively influential on a given match result, even at the highest levels. As a left-hander, I can tell you from years of experience that playing another LH player who loops with SS and/or inside out is a nightmare. Service return is also difficult because of the unusual path/spin on the ball. Luckily, I believe Henry's buddies recorded the match, so you may be able to see for your own eyes in the near future. In the meantime, I'm convinced he did not sandbag. More importantly, those who know him and play with him on a regular basis have also reached out to me, and have no indication that he intentionally lost.

If you're interested in seeing Henry play, just search for Zonqi Zhong, or Henry Zhong on Youtube. There are some matches on there from 2-3 years ago, and you'll be able to see that he employs the same counter-attack strategy against top-level players.


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 00:54 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Nwetzler wrote:
I've detailed exactly why he had trouble with my game elsewhere, so I'm not going to spend the time doing it here,.....


Where is the elsewhere please? When I read this I assumed you'd written it elsewhere on the forum, but on searching I realise you have only 2 posts here on the forum in this thread. If you are going to make a statement like this, you really should advise where readers can find this information. Thanks.



I apologize, it's on FB. I had actually typed out an entire explanation on my iPhone, at which point it died, and I didn't have the energy to retype it. More importantly, I didn't post the question in order to discuss my win over a 2500 player, I posted to get info on how the rating system currently works, specifically with regards to adjustments and estimated ratings. That being the case, since there seems to be some interest, here is a recounting of exactly what happened.

As I mentioned earlier, this was Henry's 1st match of the day, my 8th or so. Henry (Zonqi "Henry" Zhong) is a Left-Handed Penholder who counter-loops from both sides (reverse penhold backhand). The first 2 games went very quickly, I won both at 6. This happened because Henry had a very difficult time reading my serves, particularly 2 heavy side/top serves short to his backhand, moving away from the table. Initially he misread the serves entirely (as 90% of players do) and returned them long off-table. After that, he started to push the short BH serves I gave him, "reversing" the spin of the serve. This resulted in a low-spin ball that I could loop-kill inside out. He is an incredible counter-looper, so when he did retrieve the ball, his heavy side-spin counter loop was unreturnable. Fortunately for me, my left-handed inside out loop gave him positioning trouble, and the low-ceiling playing venue made it difficult to lob when caught out of position (he hit the drop lights several times). On his service, he started the game with heavy underspin and side/top middle-long serves, that I returned with my LP. These balls allowed me to return heavy spin deep to his backhand. Rather than attacking the heavy ball, he pushed to my FH, which I looped either inside out, or heavy SS to his forehand. He either counter-looped and won the point, or was out of position (inside out), or produced a lob, which I smashed inside out. After the 1st game, he adjusted to low/no spin serves to my LP, and pushed the return to encourage me to open the attack, with similar results to what I mentioned above. In the 3rd game, I took at 4-5 point lead, at which point he called a timeout. Following the time out, he began to attack my service return, and won the game 11-9. This was my "oh s***" moment, when I expected to see 2500 shots on every point. At the start of the 4th game, I served two heavy side/top serves into his backhand that produced attackable balls which I loop-killed to win the point. Henry was visibly upset by this, and delayed the start of his service quite a bit, looking to his friends seated next to the table, and shaking his head. For the next several points, the play continued with his defensive/counter looping strategy, and he missed 2-3 crucial loops. At this point the score was around 9-5. Henry again adjusted to attacking early, and tied the score 9-9. The next point I won on a loop that contacted the edge of his BH corner. The next point, I served long heavy top/side, which he looped and the ball missed the table by a very small margin, ending the match in my favor 3-1.

As I mentioned earlier, he was not pleased by the loss. He was visibly upset afterwards, and during the match was frequently cheering his points with great intensity. I've played a lot of table tennis. I'd like to think I can tell when a player is intentionally losing, especially after 25 years of tournament play. That being said, you never know what another player is thinking. One glaring fact remains in favor of "sandbagging" and that is the rating difference. That being said, it's important to consider a few things. First my rating is no where close to accurate. It's 8 years old, and reflects a time when I was playing inverted on both sides, and LITERALLY only played once a year. I would play the teams each thanksgiving, with literally no practice before or after. Since I started playing again, I have been playing 3-4 times/week, including club and robot play, against quality (2000-2300) opponents, including my father, who when in-practice plays around 2350. Additionally, the fact that I've only been using LP for a few months may seem significant given the results, however it's important to note that my father is widely considered one of the best LP players in the area, and has been for quite some time. I've played against LP for my entire career, and know them as well as anyone could, without actually using them in competition. No matter how you view it, the 2514 win is a massive upset, however I would argue that the true anomalies are the losses. I had a serious mental lapse during this tournament, because of a bad situation with a player who has a history of abusing/breaking rules. Under normal circumstance, including club play, I consistently beat players in the 1900-2000 level. If I had to guess, I'd say 2000 is probably very accurate for my current rating, mostly due to inconsistency that comes along with such a long break in practicing. That being said, a solid 2500 player should still never lose to a 2000-2100 player, however it does happen. Style mismatches can be massively influential on a given match result, even at the highest levels. As a left-hander, I can tell you from years of experience that playing another LH player who loops with SS and/or inside out is a nightmare. Service return is also difficult because of the unusual path/spin on the ball. Luckily, I believe Henry's buddies recorded the match, so you may be able to see for your own eyes in the near future. In the meantime, I'm convinced he did not sandbag. More importantly, those who know him and play with him on a regular basis have also reached out to me, and have no indication that he intentionally lost.

If you're interested in seeing Henry play, just search for Zonqi Zhong, or Henry Zhong on Youtube. There are some matches on there from 2-3 years ago, and you'll be able to see that he employs the same counter-attack strategy against top-level players.


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 00:56 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
For those of us who weren't there to see what happened, its extremely difficult to picture how someone who recently switched to LP can beat a 2500 level player. But there is a lot of unexpected things that can happen in TT, and its one of the things most people love about it.

People I know in Australia who would be around that level would be having a really bad day to have a loss like that, but I have seen Carbonman lose sets to someone much lower rated when he was pretty cold a few years ago (and had already beaten me in the RR). But he still managed to get out of the match alive. Carbonman judges himself about equivalent to ~2400US. I'm about 300-400 points below him and experienced with LP (by about 6 years at that point). The best I scored in a set with him was 7.

Top players don't generally succumb to the best LP tricks. As you said, this guy didn't loop at you, which is puzzling at that level in itself. But maybe you just got lucky, serving him up something he'd not experienced before....or he was sandbagging and covering it up well?



I would agree with that, and I would also remind anyone reading this that he did NOT play into the LP. I'd venture to guess, that with the exception of my service return, maybe 5-10% of all balls were played with my pips. The vast majority of the points were played with my forehand, with Henry several feet back from the table, counter-looping. This is consistent with his style of play over the last 3 or so years.


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 02:11 
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Isn't the whole formula posted on the USATT website? Your raw gain was >75 so you will be treated as unrated, meaning best win + worst loss/2 = ~2250. You will lose more points for multiple losses to <2000 and only one win vs 2500, so you will end up around 2100. Nice win for NextLevel, and your big win got the guy who cheats a ton of points too. Very nice.

For a 2500 to lose to a 21-2200 is very (very very) rare, but clearly not inpossible, particularly if one is hot from playing and the other starting cold.


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 02:33 
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BRS wrote:
Isn't the whole formula posted on the USATT website? Your raw gain was >75 so you will be treated as unrated, meaning best win + worst loss/2 = ~2250. You will lose more points for multiple losses to <2000 and only one win vs 2500, so you will end up around 2100. Nice win for NextLevel, and your big win got the guy who cheats a ton of points too. Very nice.

For a 2500 to lose to a 21-2200 is very (very very) rare, but clearly not inpossible, particularly if one is hot from playing and the other starting cold.


Agreed, rare, but not impossible, especially where the mental aspect of the game comes into play. I, as the lower rated player was able to relax and focus on hitting my best shots on every point, with little regard for if they would land consistently (which they did). It seemed Henry took the approach that because he couldn't read my serves and because he was having difficulty with my inside-out loop, he would play the consistency game, allowing me to make mistakes like a 1780 rated player should. Fortunately for me, I played the best TT of my life, and relied on my training against very heavy spin with the robot, and blocking my dad's inside out loops which are very similar to a left handed players FH loops. I'm just hoping Henry did record the match, so that I can demonstrate on video what I'm describing on paper!

As to the rating, there is a description, but I couldn't find anything on the reliability/confidence rating issues and how they are addressed. Typically algorithms like the rating formula has some clause for low reliability results. Two factors cause my results to have a (very) low confidence %:
1. Age of rating (~8 years)
2. +733 point win, ~720 point W/L differential

I believe they used to treat these low confidence situations as unrated players, but I'm not certain. Hence, the post.


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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 04:02 
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Henry still won the Open. I played Henry yesterday at another event and he has a strong tendency to play down to his level of competition believing he can turn on the Jets when necessary. Henry is a touch player and had had similar upset losses in the past though none as large as losing to NWetzler (he lost to a 2200 Westchester junior for example when he was over 2500). The main reason i think Henry was sandbagging or not always trying his hardest was that it was a loss that took him under 2500 and which would make him eligible for events that he could not currently play in. That said, it is quite possible that he just couldn't read NWetzler's serve. Most people struggle with his father's serves when they play his father the first time and I did too. But to believe that a top player could not just float the serve and fish and lob is a bit much, though to be fair to Henry, our low ceiling does not favor lobbers.

That said, I am happy I got lucky to win vs NWetzler. Hopefully, I will be similarly lucky in the future but whether I am or not, I am always of the opinion that losing is always a possibility when playing good players and NWetzler is a good player.

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 Post subject: Re: Rating Guesses
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2016, 04:40 
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NextLevel wrote:
Henry still won the Open. I played Henry yesterday at another event and he has a strong tendency to play down to his level of competition believing he can turn on the Jets when necessary. Henry is a touch player and had had similar upset losses in the past though none as large as losing to NWetzler (he lost to a 2200 Westchester junior for example when he was over 2500). The main reason i think Henry was sandbagging or not always trying his hardest was that it was a loss that took him under 2500 and which would make him eligible for events that he could not currently play in. That said, it is quite possible that he just couldn't read NWetzler's serve. Most people struggle with his father's serves when they play his father the first time and I did too. But to believe that a top player could not just float the serve and fish and lob is a bit much, though to be fair to Henry, our low ceiling does not favor lobbers.

That said, I am happy I got lucky to win vs NWetzler. Hopefully, I will be similarly lucky in the future but whether I am or not, I am always of the opinion that losing is always a possibility when playing good players and NWetzler is a good player.


If he was sandbagging he had many better opportunities to lose without raising suspicion, including on his way to winning the open when he was down 2-0 to a 2200 player, and came back to win 4-2. I'm assuming Henry was "tuning" up to play the teams. That, coupled with the fact that he's never dropped below 2500 intentionally or otherwise in the past (at least that I can recall) leads me to believe sandbagging is unlikely. Assuming he plays the DC teams, that would only serve to hurt him if he's the A or B on his team. Again, to the argument that he couldn't just lob, he did try and ended up hitting the lights 3-4 times. My father's wins against Sweeris are a perfect example of what can happen when a top player looses mental focus against a tough style matchup. Lastly, you didn't get lucky. I think you had a net/edge in the last two points so maybe that's what you're referring to, but in reality you played a better match than me. I think I served into the net 4 or so times, and you didn't struggle with my service as much as other players do. Consistency is still a problem for me, even when I'm playing my best and beating 2100 level players regularly. You made smart adjustments and deserved to win. Hopefully we'll play again.


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