Sunday, 17 August 2014


I recently viewed some statistics from the US Open Men's Qualifying Event, one in particular I can't quite work out. There was a result where the winner of the match actually made 46 unforced errors, and won. So why is this unusual ?
What on earth was going through his opponent's mind in a best of three set match where nearly 12 games worth of points were handed to him ?
If someone is making that many errors then surely the style that should be played against them is simply a steady brand of tennis with the emphasis on making the opponent play . If unforced errors are being made at a steady rate then it's rather obvious what is happening, they don't like playing you. If someone doesn't miss against you then your style obviously is one that is comfortable to play against, and that's a problem.
I have made mention on many occasions the match to decide the 1988 US Open Men's Single's Championship between Wilander and Lendl. The reason Mats won this match was due to the lack of unforced errors that came off his racket, 37, whereas Lendl's count was double that. Bare in mind that this match was 5 sets, nearly 5 hours and featured remarkably long rallies so even Lendl's amount of errors equated to just 15 per set, each hour.
 Wilander's lack of errors were so remarkable that he averaged just over seven unforced errors per set, each hour. This however was from the same man who missed just two first serves in the 1988 French Open Men's singles final which he won easily. 
 Try playing tennis for an hour and count how many times you make a stupid mistake, including double faults, what would be your average?
So the Qualifier who won his match with 46 unforced errors was basically handed the match as his opponent did not do the sums on what was happening. A smarter player would have sized up the situation and capitalized on it. If this player in question is to go ahead and qualify for this year's US Open his error count will need to halve.
Only 7 per cent of the World's top 100 juniors go on to become Tennis Professionals and just one per cent will become a top 20 player.  The game of tennis is not one that requires the greatest looking shots , it is one however that requires a Professor's thinking .
 What was the combined age of the two recent finalists in Cincinnati ? About 64. That's a lot of years of tennis thinking but puts it all into perspective.
Remember that kid you always hear at a junior tennis tournament? " I can't believe I just missed that " !!
Get used to it buddy, you will miss many more until you gain that Professor's Degree.......

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