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mikesfr
07-13-2009, 09:23 PM
I started playing tennis a couple years ago, and my strokes are finally becoming more consistent. I play really well when practicing. My problem though is with singles matches. (I play in a club, but I've never had anyone rank me, and I really don't know what I'd rank myself)

I often start out the set playing aggressively and I usually win the first game. After that though, it goes downhill. I don't know if I just relax too much, if I try to hurry too much, or if I tense up. I will get to 40-15 and end up at deuce. This happens with almost every opponent I play, and I hang on pretty well but almost always lose the deuce. (the deuce usually lasts quite a long time). When it is my game point I think about the point waaaaay too much and that usually leads to me hitting the ball in the net. I almost always either over-think or just relax too much when it's my game point.

Then I'm pretty sure what happens is I just tense up. I'm not comfortable with hitting my normal shots and I make tons of errors. Does anyone have tips that could help me focus and keep the aggresiveness, or maybe to not tense up so much?

SethIMcClaine
07-13-2009, 10:08 PM
I started playing tennis a couple years ago, and my strokes are finally becoming more consistent. I play really well when practicing. My problem though is with singles matches. (I play in a club, but I've never had anyone rank me, and I really don't know what I'd rank myself) visit this link to get a judgement of what your rank is http://www.usta.com/?sc_itemid={A9EAE203-D273-4CB1-9038-5A293C5ED642}
I often start out the set playing aggressively and I usually win the first game. After that though, it goes downhill. I don't know if I just relax too much, if I try to hurry too much, or if I tense up. I will get to 40-15 and end up at deuce. This happens with almost every opponent I play, and I hang on pretty well but almost always lose the deuce. (the deuce usually lasts quite a long time). When it is my game point I think about the point waaaaay too much and that usually leads to me hitting the ball in the net. I almost always either over-think or just relax too much when it's my game point.

Then I'm pretty sure what happens is I just tense up. I'm not comfortable with hitting my normal shots and I make tons of errors. Does anyone have tips that could help me focus and keep the aggresiveness, or maybe to not tense up so much?
Find your own way to clear your mind or just not worry so much about points. Maybe start playing matches that arent ranked so that you can concentrate on something besides the score.
When you are in duece, do you notice a disadvantage on ad court or duece court (perhaps one side is a serving weakness)? Are you holding ralleys or are your oponets getting you on returns (perhaps you are starting to take some off your serves giving them more opertunity to get a better return)?
If you can, I suggest getting a friend that plays tennis to watch you play a couple matches and see if they can notice any consistancy when you drop the ball. It could also be that your opponents start to see a real weakness by the second set and start taking advantage of it.

mikesfr
07-13-2009, 10:19 PM
I play quite a few matches that aren't ranked and I play the same way.

I am not holding rallies at all. I will hit maybe 1 or 2 nice shots, but then I will hit the ball long. This gets repeated, maybe because I get too tense or I become to critical of my previous errors. I get most of my returns back, except for on key points like when it's 40-15, I sometimes hit it in the net or it goes long.

Basically I have trouble closing out games..

SethIMcClaine
07-13-2009, 10:26 PM
Try pushing more when you start noticing it occuring for a little while. Dont beat yourself wait for your opponent to make the errors. With out a whole lot of information I kinda get the impression you start trying to finish the game to hard.

10nistennis
07-14-2009, 08:16 AM
I play quite a few matches that aren't ranked and I play the same way.

I am not holding rallies at all. I will hit maybe 1 or 2 nice shots, but then I will hit the ball long. This gets repeated, maybe because I get too tense or I become to critical of my previous errors. I get most of my returns back, except for on key points like when it's 40-15, I sometimes hit it in the net or it goes long.

Basically I have trouble closing out games..

Tensing up

Solution: Easy. Just calm down. Don't focus on the score, or your opponent, or the people watching the match. Just focus on the ball.

Hitting balls long

Solution: You say after a couple balls, you tense up and hit the ball long. Don't be afraid to hit balls long. You haven't been playing for long. It is normal. The more scared you are to try to prevent unforced errors, the more likely you WILL make an unforced error. Just be patient, hit a nice, solid stroke, and you must put confidence into each and every stroke you make.

Trouble closing out games

Solution: Closing out games is much easier than closing out the match IMO, but they both work kind of the same. You say you get to 40-15, but then you let your opponent work his way back to deuce. This is kind of like when you're up 5-3 in a match, but then you start feeling worried and nervous about closing it out, so you choke and let the opponent right back into the game/match. The solution is just to play your normal game on game points, even match points. You might actually want to play more aggressively. On game points and match points, you cannot overthink things like: "okay if I win this game, and it'll put me ahead in the match", or, "I don't want to make an error. I can't lose to this guy".
Just focus on the current point.




You say you start the match out aggressively, almost always winning the first game. Use this as a guidance because you should be playing like this every game!



~Good luck.