I hear a lot of players talk about closing out matches. In order to close out a match, you must put yourself in a position to win. This means getting a break point, game point, set point, or match point.
However, getting one opportunity that you believe is the difference between winning and losing the match, means you have not put yourself in a position to win on enough occasions. It is not realistic to think that you will convert the opportunity to a win every time you reach that position. The better the player is, the more likely they will rise to the occasion and win some of those points. The very best players are masters at putting themselves in a winning position over and over in a match and also doing this throughout the tournament.
There are times when even the best players are not able to convert. When this happens, their goal is to put themselves back in that position and create another chance. Many of the players who are not quite that good tend to panic and often feel they have blown their chance to win the match. If tennis only came down to one point in each match it would not be nearly as interesting as it is.
Keep reminding yourself that regardless of the score, it is always possible to come back in tennis. This is the beauty of the sport. Focus on creating those opportunities and putting yourself back in that winning position. You will learn how to execute and convert some of these chances and win more matches.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) MyHamptonsPro (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Baron’s Cove Resort In Sag Harbor, NY, as well as Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Arizona Women’s team. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-300-7323