Is there anything wrong with making very few unforced errors and almost never double faulting? The answer is YES.
On Friday evening, Chuck Kinyon and I teamed up for a nice senior doubles exhibition match at his Huntington Lakes tennis courts vs. Florida’s #2 75-year-old duo of Dick Valentine and Matt Davie.
We had talked about playing an “orchestrated” exo, splitting two close sets and then playing a deciding ten-point match tiebreaker. But we decided to play it straight and have a real match. We did … and ended up “splitting two close sets and then playing a deciding ten-point match tiebreaker,” which Chuck and I won.
Playing Too Well Can Hurt
All four of us played very well (in front of a nice, friendly crowd, with great chair umpiring by Rick Barletta); and if my memory is accurate, I made just two unforced errors in the first set (5-7), just one unforced error in the second set (6-3), and none in the 10-6 tiebreaker.
What’s wrong with that? Saturday morning, I teamed with Willy Hoffmann for some Pelican Bay doubles and told him those results. He said, “Let’s hope you can continue your good play.”
So I played the start of the match trying “not to miss,” which meant there was less sting and less placement on my shots. It’s like really concentrating on NOT double faulting and ending up hitting wimpy second serves.
I again made only two errors in our first set; but told Willy I was going to stop that and go for more on my shots. I did and hit much more penetrating shots (and made ZERO errors!).
The lesson? Go for your shots… go for more on your second serve… and accept that you will sometimes miss.
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