One Swing Makes a Difference

Many tennis coaches/gurus preach that “one point is just like another” and that a match does not swing on just one stroke; but I believe it frequently DOES.

Yes, I agree that you should PLAY LIKE the point you just lost doesn’t make a difference; but that is not always as easy as it seems. We all have been in a match (singles or doubles) where you are the lesser-ranked player and beating the higher-ranked opponent in a “big upset.” Then, your opponent makes a great play on a critical point and you say to yourself, “Watch out, here he comes now!” And that is the Kiss of Death.

Last week in Canada, Sam Stosur was playing the surging Serena Williams in the semi-final match. The announcers were speculating that these were the “two best servers in Women’s tennis today”; and the match was living up to that expectation.

Australia’s Stosur was serving great – both powerful first serves and big kicking second serves – as she was serving the ninth game, 40-15 and four games apiece. She missed her first serve and then Serena just CRUSHED her second serve for forehand winner cross court. The crowd and the announcers all Oooohed and Aaaahed.

Game. Set. Match.

The next point in the ad court, Stosur noticeably took something off her first serve (just to get it in and not face another crushing second serve return); and Serena won the point; and the next point; and the next point.

Serena then served out the first set at 6-4 and cruised in the second set.

So, you shouldn’t let it happen; but one point CAN swing a match.

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