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View Full Version : Failing To Serve Out Sets. And Matches. And Tiebreaks.


Cindysphinx
05-13-2009, 04:08 AM
It used to be unusual for me to fail to serve out a set or a match. Now, it is becoming the norm.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what might be going on. I mean, I do all of my old routines -- take it a bit slower, decide exactly how I'm going to serve, focus especially on hitting a good second ball. I know my opponents will be tight and conservative, so all I have to do is put the ball in the court reasonably well and it should be good for the win.

I could blame it on playing at a higher level this year, and maybe there is something to that.

Or maybe I just stink under pressure. My abysmal tiebreak record for this year (2-8 ) suggests there might be something to that theory. I don't *feel* tight or nervous. But the results suggest otherwise.

Has anyone ever solved this problem?

Nellie
05-13-2009, 05:50 AM
I have lost 9 straight sets serving at 4-5 or 5-6. I guess the nerves get to me. I have been using the second serve more in these games to get in the serves, but I am really being too defensive (playing not to lose).

Sliceboy2
05-13-2009, 07:04 AM
Try as much as you can to put the first serves in. Go for less risk shots. Let your opponent win the point instead of you trying to force a winner. Always remember that if its you who is closing the match or a set, he/she should be in a more pressured situation than you, he/she is more likely to play conservative.

zebano
05-13-2009, 07:19 AM
The good news is that it's all mental. The bad news is... it's all mental.

For me, being more cautious kind of helped, but the real deal was when I lied to myself and told myself "This is where I want to be. I relish the opportunity to be in control and put the nail in this guys coffin".

larry10s
05-13-2009, 09:16 AM
comes down to one point at a time for me. i used to get more conservative and serve not to lose. now i tell myself just keep doing what youve been doing. dont change a winning formula. i dont let extraneous thoughts like this is for the match get in the way and put more pressure on me. i focus on my strategy and execute it the best i can

LeeD
05-13-2009, 09:25 AM
Hi C..
I find, when I play lesser players, and the score is close, I always find a way to win the 9th or 11th games, no matter who is serving. Means I"m playing bad, not interestedly, or walkingabout....
When I play better players, the competition focus's more at the end, making it harder for me to win points, thus I end up losing to BETTER players.
So it's just natural. Even great players can start out badly, but when it counts, they can focus and win....or not lose, the important points.
How often have you just marked time on the court against lesser players, not really trying and just cruising until it's critical. At that junction, you go all out and always WIN the needed points.
I do that all the time against 4.0 and lesser competitions. Against 4.5 and higher level players, THEY do that against me, which is why I NEVER take the score of a set as any meaning or measure for the level of play between two players.

mikeler
05-13-2009, 09:30 AM
Really focus on that first point. There is a big difference between 15-0 and 0-15 at that point in the set. What is your favorite serve in the deuce court? Do you like to hit it wide or down the middle? What is your opponent's strength on the return? If your strongest serve goes into your opponent's strongest return (not groundstroke) is it better to hit your least favorite serve into their least favorite return?

What I'm getting at here is review the set in your head. Ask yourself what has been working and what has not. Go with what has been working. Is your opponent making errors off of a certain stroke? If so, keep attacking that. Are you having success at net? If so, press your opponent. You get the idea.

Same thing after you hit the serve and the opponent returns it. Try to use your favorite shots. I love to hit an inside out forehand versus a cross court forehand. So I use mostly inside out forehands in that last game against a right hander. If I'm playing a lefty, I may decide that it is better to use my less favorite cross court forehand so my opponent has to hit more backhands.

drakulie
05-13-2009, 09:47 AM
Cindy, seriously>>>>> get a coach.

drakulie
05-13-2009, 09:47 AM
actually, here is a thread that may help you:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=260034

Cindysphinx
05-13-2009, 09:52 AM
Cindy, seriously>>>>> get a coach.

Thanks, Drak. I have a coach. I've been using him for three years. He's great!!

Cindysphinx
05-13-2009, 09:53 AM
actually, here is a thread that may help you:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=260034

Thanks, man. Lots of great advice there!!!

wao
05-13-2009, 10:41 AM
It used to be unusual for me to fail to serve out a set or a match. Now, it is becoming the norm.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what might be going on. I mean, I do all of my old routines -- take it a bit slower, decide exactly how I'm going to serve, focus especially on hitting a good second ball. I know my opponents will be tight and conservative, so all I have to do is put the ball in the court reasonably well and it should be good for the win.

I could blame it on playing at a higher level this year, and maybe there is something to that.

Or maybe I just stink under pressure. My abysmal tiebreak record for this year (2-8 ) suggests there might be something to that theory. I don't *feel* tight or nervous. But the results suggest otherwise.

Has anyone ever solved this problem?Cindy, I think at some point everyone has or is experiencing just this. I played last night and one my first set 6-2, in the second was struggling finding my serve. I did everything you mentioned above and made sure I was breathing and not holding my breath which tightens up the muscles when you do and to my supprise started serving somewhat better. My pro and I are working on my serve so I know I DF more than normal right now. Good luck.

maverick66
05-13-2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks, Drak. I have a coach. I've been using him for three years. He's great!!

judging by all the questions you post here im gonna say probally not to great.


As to your problem you say you slow it down and think about it a little more but why? Why change what your doing? What ever you did to get to that point was working so changing it is not good. If your making to many mistakes yes slow it down and take your time but if your serving well and its a tie break or your serving to end why are you changing anything?

Cindysphinx
05-13-2009, 01:30 PM
judging by all the questions you post here im gonna say probally not to great.


As to your problem you say you slow it down and think about it a little more but why? Why change what your doing? What ever you did to get to that point was working so changing it is not good. If your making to many mistakes yes slow it down and take your time but if your serving well and its a tie break or your serving to end why are you changing anything?

Those are outstanding questions. I guess I'll just go talk them over with my pro . . . :lol:

mikeler
05-13-2009, 03:55 PM
Those are outstanding questions. I guess I'll just go talk them over with my pro . . . :lol:


Keep posting Cindy but also ask your coach the same questions.