We have all seen it on TV or in our own matches … one player/team gets way behind in the match and, all of a sudden, they relax and start hitting out on the ball. And then what happens? They start to win points and games.
Why not play that way ALL the time?
This thought was triggered by a posted comment by friend and nationally-known tennis writer Joel Drucker, talking about when to be aggressive and when to be conservative. He wrote, “One highly significant factor in all of these choices: the score. As an example, I will aim my first serve quite differently at 2-2, 40-love than I would even at 4-4, 40-love. Along with this, no matter what the set score, 15-30 is a whole lot different than 40-love.”
I do agree with Joel that we do (and should) play differently depending on the score. But I think what we want to avoid is playing TOO CONSERVATIVELY, no matter the score.
If we were to err, I would suggest doing on the side of playing TOO LOOSE. A lot changed for me and my tennis game after surviving prostate cancer nearly 15 years ago. Before that, I really cared about winning or losing – and played that way. Now, I really care just about playing as well (and as long) as I can and, hopefully, I will play that way.
How do YOU play?
Battle of the Ages
On Saturday, I participated in the annual Huntington Lakes exhibition match. This year, it was “The Battle of the Ages,” with me teaming with my frequent 75s partner Chuck Kinyon vs. the “ageless wonders” of 80+ year old Matt Davie and Michael Fenster.
With a friendly audience of 25-30 watching, we split the first two sets 6-4, 3-6 and moved to a deciding Match Tiebreaker. That was equally close and came down to the last point, which Chuck and I won, 10-8.
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