I lost my 3.0 match as well. Like I said, playing the number 1 seed in the 3.5 level had given me a little hope for a little bit of success in level 3.0 because the first guy just beat me with consistency. He had a really weak serve and no really hard shots, but he knew where to put the ball and didn't make mistakes. He was a good player, not a powerful one. I felt like I could keep up with him even though I don't think I'd beat him even on a good day.
The thing was is that I played horribly that first match. I got nervous. I pulled out of my strokes too soon. I couldn't get a first serve in to save my life. It wasn't until I made myself slow down and give up on a decent serve that I started pushing Jose (the first guy) a little bit. When I played my second match, I was actually playing pretty good. I was getting in most of my first serves to the point that my opponent actually said I had a good serve. I was hitting good shots, and I still got my butt handed to me. The guy just overpowered me. I had to step back a few feet from the baseline to have a chance at returning his serve and even then he'd get a few by me. He also had a really strong and fairly consistent forehand that I usually got to, but he'd eventually get the ball past me. I ended up losing 6-0, 6-4. Those four games in the second set? The other guy's serve fell apart after four games into the second set. I actually won four of the last six games. The only problem was that he won 10 straight games before I had a chance to pick up my first.
Honestly, I know this guy was just better than I was. I know how to play doubles (Jose said he could tell I played doubles because my net shots were so good), but with singles I'm kind of just guessing. I try to move my guy around by working the corners and throwing in a drop shot occasionally (I won several points on drop shots yesterday in both matches), but honestly, I don't know singles strategy.
I didn't talk to any of the other players about this match, but K and Courtney did and they said a couple of guys said my 3.0 opponent shouldn't have been playing 3.0. Like I said, he was less consistent than Jose, but you wouldn't call him inconsistent and he actually hit the ball with much more force. That means I still don't know where I should be playing. I got owned by the 3.5 guy, but in a way that I didn't feel out of my league. Maybe I'm actually a middle of the pack 3.5. If my 3.0 opponent was too good for 3.0, maybe I'm actually a good 3.0. I have no idea. I'm going to keep working at it, though.
I also found out that I prefer clay over hard courts. After playing my first match on the clay, I didn't even notice my legs. I was tired, but my legs felt better than they ever had after practice on hard courts. My second match was on a hard court (they started using that court to make up for the first round running a little long) and the bottoms of my feet were aching and my knees were sore. Also, if I'd asked to wait for a clay court to open up, some of the other guy's power advantage would have been neutralized. He still would have beaten me, but it would have been closer.
I play again on hard courts on May 29, but after that, I think I'm going to seek out the clay court tournaments.