In the world of tennis, it’s not uncommon to see underdogs or lowly ranked players topple seeded players. A good observation was during the Australian Open 2013 where Bernard Tomic beat a far more successful player and Grand Champion, Roger Federer. In fact, before toppling the champion, Tomic had overpowered other great players, for instance, Novak Djokovic in the Hopman Cup. So, what makes an inferior player win over a better player?
Yes, psychology does have an impact on the player’s performance. But did you know that controlling momentum is a key ingredient? According to experts, many players lose a game even before it’s over, and this is because they let the other player dictate the pace of the game. The following tips will enhance the chances of you winning over your opponent.
1. Play harder after losing a point.
When you start losing, your morale diminishes with every serve especially if you keep dropping points and serves. However, some player seemed to become stronger after losing a point. The most notable are Jimmy Connors, Rafael Nadal, and Layton Hewitt. It’s no wonder that they always seemed to recover from a slump and ended up winning the game. According to experts and coaches, you should aim to play harder after losing as this improves your momentum and also has a psychological effect on your opponent.
2. Have a winning mentality
Usually, when a player is behind by a huge margin let’s say 5-2, 5-1, he/she will naturally slow down. The losing player will focus more on the upcoming set rather than the current one. A good player will note this and will take advantage of your low morale or hasty decisions which include serving fast, losing concentration, or trying to conserve energy for the next set. As the old adage states “it’s never over until the old lady sings.” By playing as hard as you began, you can easily overwhelm the other player and may catch-up or destabilize him/her on the following set thus regaining control.
3. Take it slow when behind
As many tennis players will tell you, there is always the urge to catch-up with a player who is ahead. They will serve faster, run quicker, and prefer to play closer to the net. The desire to gain a point usually overpowers game control. Unfortunately, this normally puts you in a bad position and leaves you exposed both mentally and physically. A good player will slow down the game to frustrate you, and also aim at extending the play period. When trailing your opponent, you need to remain calm and most importantly slow down.
Momentum is what separates winners and losers and unless you know how to use it to your advantage, you’ll end up giving your opponent the advantage. Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal are some of the great tennis players who stand out when it comes to using the momentum to their benefit. They will know when to play fast so as to overwhelm the opponent, slow down the game to regain their composure, and also to gain a psychological advantage. Just like them, you can also be in charge of the game. Simply, follow the above tips on obtaining momentum.

Leave a Comment