Lessons From Losing

Before I played my first Cape Coral Consolation singles match this week, I had another chance

Hank Irvine
to chat with Hank Irvine… a very perceptive and helpful former tour player (who “lost to Laver at Wimbledon”); and he gave me some more great Words of Tennis Wisdom.

He asked, “Why did you lose your first match to lefty Don Keenan?” When I told him that I tried to “maintain control of the points” as he had suggested before the match; but Don had a real good lefty serve that took me wide in the add court.

Hank’s question: “What did you do about it?” And as I had thought AFTER the match, I should have stood in the alley to take away the serve he wanted to hit.

His point: most good lefty servers really like that wide spinner and don’t go down the middle very well. And even if they do, the ball is still usually spinning back to where you are.

Then when I gave him more details on how I lost the first set, was down a break in the second; but came back to have four set points. And my “tale of woe” that the server hit two balls off the line brought his response: “you still HAVE to get that ball just back in play.”

Take a look at the next post… and you will see that his advice really came into play again in the Consolation Singles round.