Thursday, 9 January 2014


The heading isn't meant to be confusing , it's a fact in many matches that there are many mindsets and they stem from the scoreline on most occasions . So if a player is up a service break that was achieved by going for his shots and hitting winners , does he now play conservatively to maintain the lead? On the other hand does a player who is down a service break start going for his shots on the hope that this kind of play may just be brave enough to get that service break back? The question is a tough one because all players are different in the way they approach a certain situation on court so there are many answers but it comes down to what you find most comfortable. Do you get uptight ? If so then why not look at some serve and volley play ? This will finish the points quicker , one way or the other rather than put yourself through the mental anguish of a 30 shot rally that can send your thought process into overdrive.
I remember a US Open match in 2007 between Hewitt and Calleri where the Argentinian hit 57 winners in a match where if you watch the highlights on you tube you will notice that this guy is in the 'zone'. To hit that many clean winners against a player such as Hewitt who runs down most shots is quite remarkable , but did Lleyton have a plan B ? If someone is hitting the ball that cleanly he is obviously getting it in his hitting zone so why didn't his opponent try to mix it up with some sliced backhands or throw in some higher balls to take Calleri beyond the baseline to make his comfort zone not so comfortable? Did Lleyton in the end simply play to not lose as Calleri was doing all the dictating and by hitting 57 winners the Argentinian was obviously playing to win . 
This match was just one example of two mindsets in the game of Tennis that is not unlike a game of chess where you are trying to out think the opponent. Whether you play to win or play to not lose is a personal choice but think the next time you go out and play a Tournament.
Do you want to wake up the next morning and wonder 'what if'? And do you want to hang up your racket one day for the final time and ask yourself if you really let it all go when you played ? Don't die wondering...........

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