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View Full Version : What does the term "choke" mean in the world of professional tennis?


r2473
04-24-2008, 10:48 AM
I see the term "choke" used after nearly every match.

What does it mean? I'm confused.:confused:

Netbudda
04-24-2008, 10:53 AM
I see the term "choke" used after nearly every match.

What does it mean? I'm confused.:confused:

It means to emotionally let the moment overwhelm you and not being able to perform to your abilities.

For example, Hidalgo CHOKED against FEDERER big time....up 5-1 and he didn't close the match, I bet you as time went by and he started losing games he felt more pressure and then more pressure to the point that it affected his play and he almost couldn't breath...therefore HE CHOKED.

GeorgeLucas
04-24-2008, 10:57 AM
Generally, when a better player (read: higher ranked) gives out any kind of lead to an opponent (of lesser rank), the tennis-ly uneducated masses of reporters, for lack of better word, liberally apply the word "choke".

Netbudda
04-24-2008, 10:59 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choke

tacou
04-24-2008, 11:40 AM
from that article ^

Male tennis player Guillermo Coria lost the 2004 French Open final, having been a huge favourite and having a 6-0 6-3 4-4 lead against unseeded Gaston Gaudio. Even when Coria managed to earn the lead several times in the fifth set, and had two match points in the twelfth game, he couldn't close it out and Gaudio prevailed (though it is worth noting that Coria injured his ankle during the third set, and in all likelihood would have closed out the match had he been healthy). Coria has never regained his form.

flyer
04-24-2008, 11:46 AM
hmm, idk if you can clearly define it as to were you can definitively say some loses are chokes and some are just loses, its an imperfect reality and there are to many other factors that could have an effect on a match, its more of a feeling, a sense you get from watching a match

raiden031
04-24-2008, 11:48 AM
When someone loses a match they should've won. And this has nothing to do with ranking prior to the match, but what happens during the match. You are up 5-1 in the second set and lose every game thereafter or you have 10 break points and convert none of them.

r2473
04-24-2008, 12:12 PM
It means to emotionally let the moment overwhelm you and not being able to perform to your abilities.

* Choking, loss of Confidence

* Choke (sports), a failure to win a competition after being expected to do so

So, every time I see the term "choke" used, I ought to assume that:

1) one or all of the above criteria have been met

OR

2) the poster is using the term incorrectly

Netbudda
04-24-2008, 12:44 PM
So, every time I see the term "choke" used, I ought to assume that:

1) one or all of the above criteria have been met

OR

2) the poster is using the term incorrectly


Pretty much...when someone fails to deliver the expected result, they choked.

Example: The New York Yankees losing to Boston after being ahead on the series 3 - 0
The New England Patriots not winning the Super Bowl.

Also used when the underdog because of inexperience let's victory escape his grasp....he choked.

r2473
04-24-2008, 01:05 PM
Pretty much...when someone fails to deliver the expected result, they choked.

Example: The New York Yankees losing to Boston after being ahead on the series 3 - 0
The New England Patriots not winning the Super Bowl.

Also used when the underdog because of inexperience let's victory escape his grasp....he choked.

So, by definition, in the Federer vs. Ramirez Hidalgo match (or a like match where a favorite takes on an underdog), there are only 3 options:

1) Federer wins comfortably (expected result - no choke).

2) Federer loses (he choked because he failed to produce the "expected result").

3) Ramirez Hidalgo "let's victory escape his grasp" and loses after making a strong showing for much of the match, (he choked).

Now I understand why the term "choke" is used so often. The only time when someone does not "choke" is when

1) the expected result is achieved by the favorite

AND

2) the underdog is outclassed from beginning to end - never in the match-.

If either (1) or (2) -- both must occur -- does not happen, somebody must choke.

How about in a contest that is thought to be "even"? How do we use the term "choke" in this case? Do we revert to the rules in the above post?

This term is very hard for me to understand.

Andres
04-24-2008, 01:16 PM
from that article ^

Male tennis player Guillermo Coria lost the 2004 French Open final, having been a huge favourite and having a 6-0 6-3 4-4 lead against unseeded Gaston Gaudio. Even when Coria managed to earn the lead several times in the fifth set, and had two match points in the twelfth game, he couldn't close it out and Gaudio prevailed (though it is worth noting that Coria injured his ankle during the third set, and in all likelihood would have closed out the match had he been healthy). Coria has never regained his form.
Coria won Umag next year, and was runner up to Nadal in MS Monte Carlo and MS Rome. In fact, he lost 7-6 in the fitfh in Rome.

SempreSami
04-24-2008, 01:31 PM
I prefer to say they 'bottled it'.

shwetty[tennis]balls
04-24-2008, 01:32 PM
It means to emotionally let the moment overwhelm you and not being able to perform to your abilities.

For example, Hidalgo CHOKED against FEDERER big time....up 5-1 and he didn't close the match, I bet you as time went by and he started losing games he felt more pressure and then more pressure to the point that it affected his play and he almost couldn't breath...therefore HE CHOKED.

Unless they're talking about chickens.

r2473
04-24-2008, 02:08 PM
hmm, idk if you can clearly define it as to were you can definitively say some loses are chokes and some are just loses, its an imperfect reality and there are to many other factors that could have an effect on a match, its more of a feeling, a sense you get from watching a match

So, it would be incorrect to proclaim "X" choked just from reading the scoreline?

r2473
04-24-2008, 02:10 PM
When someone loses a match they should've won. And this has nothing to do with ranking prior to the match, but what happens during the match. You are up 5-1 in the second set and lose every game thereafter or you have 10 break points and convert none of them.

Ah, this seems reasonable.

What does "should've" mean exactly?

Max G.
04-24-2008, 02:36 PM
I usually mean it more specifically - when somebody loses a match they had in their grasp BECAUSE they let their level drop due to becoming nervous. That's a much more restrictive definition, and I think it's a more useful way to use the word (rather than just saying that every time somebody loses who was expected to win that it was a choke.)

Around here though, you'll hear everything referred to as a choke.

r2473
04-24-2008, 02:40 PM
I usually mean it more specifically - when somebody loses a match they had in their grasp BECAUSE they let their level drop due to becoming nervous. That's a much more restrictive definition, and I think it's a more useful way to use the word (rather than just saying that every time somebody loses who was expected to win that it was a choke.)

Around here though, you'll hear everything referred to as a choke.

I can live with everything you said (especially the last part);)

tacou
04-24-2008, 04:05 PM
I'd say choking has nothing to do with pre match stats/rankings/etc. It's when you give up a sure victory during a match, regardless of who you are. but it is hard to say because, for example, Tsonga's loss to Nadal in IW could be considered a choke since he led 5-2 in the 3rd, but he didn't really make errors or anything, Nadal just came back too strong.

I guess my definition is dropping your level of play when victory is well within your reach, whether it be losing a 5-1 lead or having a MP in a 5th set tie breaker and eventually losing.

skip1969
04-24-2008, 05:29 PM
I usually mean it more specifically - when somebody loses a match they had in their grasp BECAUSE they let their level drop due to becoming nervous. That's a much more restrictive definition, and I think it's a more useful way to use the word (rather than just saying that every time somebody loses who was expected to win that it was a choke.)

Around here though, you'll hear everything referred to as a choke.
ain't THAT the truth!!

the problem with throwing any term around so liberally is that after a while it ceases to have any meaning whatsoever, as with the word "choke" on this forum. it's kinda like the boy who cried "wolf" . . . who lost all his credibility and whose pleas for help drew no reaction from the other townspeople.

there actually IS a big difference between someone getting nervous during the climatic portion(s) of a match . . . and someone "choking". only most posters on here don't bother with those sorts of nuances. easier to say someone "choked" than to factor in all of the variables that might lead to someone giving up a lead in a match.

Nadal_Freak
04-24-2008, 05:36 PM
Choke equals Novotna.

boredone3456
04-24-2008, 05:54 PM
Choke equals Novotna.

haha, perfect....I'd throw in hantuchovas name in there..she does it alot also

The balls in your court.
04-24-2008, 08:26 PM
Novak Chokeavich at the last US Open. he should have won that match but sadly choked.

lethalfang
04-24-2008, 11:15 PM
Choking: diminishing performance when the game is on the line.
It happens more often to lower ranked player, when they play like they've nothing to lose early on and get an unexpected lead against a favorite. All of the sudden, realizing the significance of what they are about to achieve, they tighten up. They are afraid to go for the winner or they make a bunch of errors, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.