During an intense tennis match, it is very difficult to think clearly. With so much stress and multiple things going on, it is very easy to forget your fundamentals. However, a few parts of your game must remain stable in order to win matches and play your best.
Many people have different “secrets” on how to win tennis matches. But most are very similar.
It is very important to ensure that you are aware if you are using the ‘secrets’ while in a match, especially during a break of serve, or a change in momentum.
Important moments in a match can be found in many situations, a score of 3-3, a break on your serve, a break on your opponent’s serve, going to the toilet, and many more.
The 5 secrets are:
- Ensure that you have a high percentage of your first serves in. Even if you have to reduce the speed by 10-20% just to get it in. DO IT. The lower your first serve percentage the more pressure you will feel on your second serve. Because naturally during a second serve, your opponent would be taking the front seat on his return which most likely will put you on the defensive, putting pressure on you.
- Return the serve consistently, try to return your opponent’s serve as much as you can. The more you return, the more pressure your opponent will feel, even if it is just a block return, trust me, as long as your opponent has to hit another ball, they will have extra stress compared to you making a return mistake. Neutralize the serve and pressure your opponent.
- Pressure your opponent during a rally. It is very hard to win points at the professional level if you are not able to pressure your opponent mentally during the rally. At the highest level, everyone is very consistent, to make them make mistakes, you must pressure them mentally, maybe attack their weakness, attack the serve, make them run, and many more.
- Ensure that you have low unforced errors. Keep your unforced errors as low as possible to force your opponent to make higher risk shots. Make them make the error so they get less confident as time goes on. Never beat yourself, stress your opponents.
- Mental strength. Keep a strong mentality even when you are up a break or down a break. Focus on the positive and enforce a strong mindset of never giving up or relaxing. Analyze your situations and create a simple plan to complete your mission. Never start to lose hope and get negative. The mind is the most important at the highest level.
Finally, remember that every match is different, use these 5 secrets to solve your puzzle. Never give up and keep going.
The tennis classic from Olympic gold medalist and ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, now featuring a new introduction with tips drawn from the strategies of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, and more, to help you outthink and outplay your toughest opponents.