View Full Version : Help for overcomming Tie Breaker slump

02-26-2004, 08:12 AM
I've slumped in my last 8 breakers. I'm 1 of my last 9!! Are there any rules of thumb to remember before the 1st pt. Thanks.

02-26-2004, 08:27 AM
Playing percentage tennis will win you 95% of all tie-breakers at the club tennis level.

I always try to avoid stupid errors like double-faults. I'll tone down the pace if necessary to get my first serve percentage up to 90% in a tiebreaker if I can. Ditto with service returns. Go for the high percentage 3/4 pace return crosscourt. Don't pull the trigger on a putaway shot unless you have a clear opening.

02-26-2004, 08:31 AM
Don't get down more than 1 minibreaks, S&V (if you can) on the pressure point, maintain on serve score until reaching 5 and attack on return when you are up. Playing practice match with tie-break (best of 5 or 7 tiebreaks for a match).

02-26-2004, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the tips - they are very practical and I will be looking @ my notes before the next TB. I will prevail!!!!!!!!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

02-26-2004, 01:23 PM
Boris, these guys have given you great tips, just stay relaxed and it's not the end of the world if you lose, enjoy hitting the ball instead of fearing it-as we ALL have done before! Remember the other guy is most likely nervous too, and give him a few "pressure shots", such as make him hit passing shots, hit some slow, deep, high bouncing balls to him, that way you can see if he is tight or hitting with confidence.

02-01-2010, 08:38 AM
this was the first post in this section i could find (note date 2004). any more thoughts on this subject

02-01-2010, 10:51 AM
I believe Federer served Nadal a hot bagel at Hamburg in 2007.

He also won Roland Garros in 2009 (albeit without playing against the King of Clay).

I believe it's time to drop the Nadal avatar. :)

First and foremost thing to winning tiebreakers is to overcome the pressure that comes with playing them. In tennis, being passive isn't the way to win. The key to winning tennis is being aggressive and assertive while playing the percentages. You don't want to guide the ball in, you must take a cut at it with full confidence. You don't want to play any unnecessary shots and you should force your opponent to hit the extra ball anytime you're on defense.

Another thing to note is that you want a high first serve percentage, even if it means taking a few mph off of it and adding spin for safety. You don't want to throw it into the middle of the box though (unless you aimed it at the body). And when hitting a second serve, ignore the pressure and focus on what you want to do with the serve to set up the point. You don't want to double fault any minibreaks away. That's the cheapest kind of point you can give them.

Return all of their first serves back and give them something to think about when they hit their second serve by taking a big cut on a few of them (if you know you can't, then don't).

Practicing tiebreakers is the way to go. It helps alleviate the pressure during matchplay, and overall helps you deal with pressure.

You want to play your game without hesitation. I normally play an aggressive game (as do many others), so the above advice mainly applies to them. If you're a counterpuncher, stay consistent but don't be passive. Be assertive with your shots and make sure they're hit with plenty of spin and depth. Once you get passive, your shots lack sting and they become sitting ducks.

02-01-2010, 10:54 AM
Have you assessed why you are losing TBs? How many points do you donate to your opponent? The fewer points you donate, the greater the likelihood you will win.

Python has it right....TB's are ALL about playing percentage tennis, especially at the club level. Hit shots you own and not shots you are more likely to miss. It's a simple formula that works remarkably well.

02-01-2010, 03:31 PM
we can all learn from how Fed plays TBs.... you can see he significantly increases his margin for error by adding more spin, to both the FH and BH shots, he also runs around the BH a lot more to get ahead in the point..... so basically, the key is to get more diligent on the footwork, and hit your most reliable / powerful shots as much as possible.

Also, at the amateur level, your opponent usually has a pretty obvious weakness. You should force him to beat you with his worst shot. A tie break is only 7 points... by the time he grooves his weak shot, the TB is over.

So in a nutshell, ALWAYS try to use your strength against his weakness.

02-01-2010, 05:39 PM
I play with an equally inept 4.0 buddy.
His version of a tiebreaker is caution, hit lots of shots, don't miss, don't go for much.
My version is hit out, end the point, pretend I"m Tsonga or at least Rusedski.
We've played maybe 30 tiebreakers the 6 years I've been playing him. We're about 50/50.
During a normal point, he can hit stronger than me.
I volley much better.
Different strokes, different folks.

02-01-2010, 05:57 PM
If you can play aggressively (in control of the rally), and not hit unforced errors, you'll win many tiebreakers.

Don't think of the pressure and play 1 point at a time. Play the important points in a tiebreaker carefully. Keep all of the pressure on your opponent. Make them have to earn the point. Usually if you go up 2 minibreaks and win the next service game, that puts you in a great advantage mentally (also score wise too), and vice versa.

02-02-2010, 12:47 AM
First thing I do when I get to a tiebreaker is try to get myself in the zone by remembering not to think and just putting 100% focus into only the very next point. I try to get myself energized. If there was ever a time for a second wind this is the time. My record in tie-breakers has been awesome as a result of this. I find I play a little faster in breakers cause Im just trying to keep from thinking out there, and just go through the motions. That's always how I play my best tennis, when Im not thinking, Im more detached and my game starts to flow.

02-02-2010, 04:05 AM
In a nutshell, you have to resist the temptation to do anything stupid. If you play the whole TB with no unforced errors, you will probably win.

Also, I expect my opponents to be tight and (as a doubles player) I make sure I am ready to fetch any ball they leave hanging anywhere in my vicinity when I am at net.

02-02-2010, 07:20 AM
If I played an entire tiebreaker with no unforced errors, as my 4.0 bud tends to do, I'd lose half the time to someone who's going for the winners and forcing shots, then moving to net to finish the point.... ME.
Playing conservative tennis only works against inferior players. Against equal players, you have to force some shots, fetch some shots, and play the game that got you there.
Running and fetching, retrieving and getting, got me to C level.
Hitting out, hitting angles and sidelines, hard and stronger, took me a little farther up the road.
Now why would I revert to R, F, R, and G in an important tiebreaker?
Being bold is fun when the consequences are tiny, like tennis matches. Being bold can be punishing when the consequences are huge, like life itself, racing motocross or roadracing, ski jumping, or bump skiing.
You can choose when to be bold and when to be conservative.