Came back from 0-5 down to win a set

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by mikeler, May 12, 2009.

  1. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Last night was the first time I've ever won a set being down 0-5. I had a match about 2 months ago where I was down 0-5 in the 2nd set and came back to level it to 5-5 before losing 7-5. So here is the game by game breakdown of the first set:

    1 - Opponent serves great, nothing I can do. Getting used to a lefty serve is always tricky.
    2 - Since he is a lefty I'm trying to get my kick 2nd serve into his backhand. I double fault twice.
    3 - Float a few slice returns deep. Opponent wails on them.
    4 - Get no first serves in, throw in another double fault.
    5 - Again, top notch serving. No chance to win the game.
    6 - I contemplate serving underhanded to end the misery. Then I calm down and realize that at least I want to serve first in the 2nd set, so let's win this game. Opponent plays a casual game, makes a few errors.
    7 - This game, I'm focusing on driving my returns to hopefully return better in the 2nd set. Easy break as I return better.
    8 - I get all my first serves in. Easy hold.
    9 - This game is critical. If I break him, the set really turns around. After a tough game, I get the break.
    10 - First serves are working again, but still not an easy hold. After I win this game, I tell myself that my work is not done. Don't be content with just getting even.
    11 - At this point, my opponent's spirit is broken. Easy break.
    12 - Easy hold. Can't believe I turned it around.

    Won the next two games in the 2nd set and after holding off a comeback attempt won it 6-4. One of my most satisfying comebacks for sure.
     
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You go!!!

    I don't think I've come back from 0-5 ever. That takes real toughness.
     
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  3. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Nice Job!

    My partner and I did it in the first set of doubles once at 3.0, but we lost the next two sets unfortunately.
     
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  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Did it in dubs a couple of months ago. Funny story...

    We were down 0-5 with two breaks already and during the changeover we were chatting with the opponents... something along the lines of "you guys are killing us!" One of them says to us, "don't worry, last week we were down 0-5 and came back to win the set, so it's not over yet."

    We take the next two games to make it 2-5, and on the changeover we say to our opponents, "you were right - this set is practically ours now!" And sure enough, we continued to win the next 5 games to take it 7-5. We won the second easily.

    And I really do credit our opponents for helping us turn it around!
     
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  5. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks. I try to pride myself on my never say die attitude. I've had at least a dozen matches in the last 5 years where I'm down match point after playing like crap. My anger makes me want to launch a serve over the fence and walk off the court, but then I remind myself to fight until the end. Most of the time I end up losing anyways, but when you do come back it is a terrific feeling.
     
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  6. Grover Sparkman

    Grover Sparkman Rookie

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    I was playing a practice match with one of my teammates a couple of months ago. I was down 1-5 and got back to 5-5 when he mysteriously had to quit.

    I was mostly upset because I was playing really well by this point. Needless to say, I don't ask him to play very much.
     
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  7. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Excellent job Mikeler. I've only done it once a LONG time ago. But I think you will see now...in the future, no matter how many times it happens, when you are down 0-5 or whatever - deep down you really believe you can still hold steady if you want to and always have a chance to win one more game, one more, one more...

    Can I ask you a question? You said in turning it around, you started driving your returns to good effect. Before that, how would you describe how your service returns were? Where you swatting, swinging too much? What was your intention on those returns? (the one's that weren't working yet)
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My "comfort" return is just to float the return with backspin within a few feet of the baseline. This is frustrating to a lot of my opponents because it is deep but has little pace, so they have to generate their own pace. This normally gets the points to neutral for me even against big servers. I do have one serve and volley opponent that this strategy will not work against. He has great high volleys and will pick it out of the air for a winner.

    I can drive my returns just fine off both sides. When forced to do so in doubles I have no problem. It's just that I don't have as much depth control with the shot. In this match, my opponent even with no pace was just belting winners off that deep floating return. Once I started putting some topspin on it, even if I hit it shorter he was not able to hit those same great groundies.
     
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  9. SonRK

    SonRK Rookie

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    I was playing a practice match against my friend

    1st set. he's up 4-0, then I get to 2-4, then he gets to 2-5, and he has 2 set points. I played some incredible and lucky points, and I end up taking the first set 7-5.

    2nd set. I'm up 2-0, then he takes the next 5 games for 2-5. Once again, he has a set point on Ad. In, and then he dumps an easy overhead into the net. I proceed to take the 2nd set 7-5 again :)
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I had a match about a month ago where I blew 1 set point in the first set and 7 set points in the 2nd set to lose in two tiebreaks. So I've been on the other side of the fence too.
     
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  11. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    Many years ago, I had a match in which I was up 5-0, 40-0 in the first set, but my opponent came back to win the set 7-5, needless to say I lost the next 2 sets also, I just couldn't believe it! I laughed at myself for many months when thinking about that match. :)

    Some time later, I had a match with a different opponent, and the situation was reversed. I was down 0-5, 0-40 in the first set but came back to win 7-5. I also won the next 2 sets steamrolling over my opponent. I guess my opponent was just in shock the entire match! :)

    So what I"ve learned is that it's not over untill it's over AND that sometimes your best is still not enough!
     
    #11
  12. Beastforearm

    Beastforearm New User

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    WOW. :shock:
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Crazy stuff! My favorite comeback ever was being down 1-6, 2-5 and 0-40 to an opponent who I had never beaten in about 6 tries. I had to save 5 match points to win that game. I won the 2nd set in a tiebreaker. The third set I was down 5-2 and came back to win 7-5. I couldn't sleep that night due to the adrenaline I had from the win.
     
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  14. jimwh

    jimwh Rookie

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    Congratulations, most people would have just given up.
     
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  15. samster

    samster Legend

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    I have come back from being down 1-4, but 0-5 that's quite an accomplishment and mental fortitude.
     
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  16. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    Congrats - it is a rewarding accomplishment, and I found that it helps with confidence.

    The 2nd match of my 1st tournament in 40s age group I was down 0-6, 0-2; I started off too aggressive (S&V) and made too many errors. I finally realized I needed to change strategies to make my opponent hit at least 6 shots every point. I won the next 9 games, and ultimately the match 0-6, 6-2, 7-5. It was a great feeling, and the confidence boost helped me make it into the finals.
     
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  17. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    Assuming both players are relatively the same level, being patient and relaxed is the key to come back from being down in the set to winning it. Also sometimes players start to tighten up when they are leading a lot and are trying to close the set but end up losing it. When I think about the score too much while playing, I get tight and my strokes start to be less fluid. Thus, I try to not think about the score but just concentrate on each shot during each point. It took me a few years and many matches later to do that though.

    And most importantly, remember it doesn't mean that you're less of a human being than your opponent if you lose. lol It only means that the opponent was playing better tennis than you in that match. That's how I stay relaxed and focus because I don't have anything to lose. I'm not a pro so if I win, I don't get $ and if I lose I don't lose any $.

    Now if I were living in the Mayan culture in the past and instead of playing that "soccer-like" game, it was tennis and the loser gets to lose his head, then that would be completely different for me! :) hehe
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I used to get so tight playing junior tournaments. It was awful, I just ended up pushing every match. As an adult, I struggled with nerves for the first year or two but after you play a few hundred league/tournament matches, it starts to become routine. When somebody comes back on me, it is generally because they start playing better or my game goes down a notch but never due to nerves.

    This opponent I came back on had beaten me the match before. That was the first time he had beaten me in over a year, so that helped me with my confidence. The first 15 times or so I played this guy I lost. The lefty thing was brutal, but it just took me a long time to figure out the right level of aggression to use against him.
     
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  19. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    Yeah I know what you mean about the lefty thing, especially when they have lots of spin; also the lefty kick serve gives me problem.

    Some players are more hungry to win than others. I find that I don't have that strong hunger anymore like when I was in college or high school. Now my goal is to have fun, exercise, and meet good people. What about you?

    I was playing tennis this morning at OTC( to avoid the rain later in the afternoon and evening) and it was so hot and humid, I felt crappy and played crappy too! I broke 2 strings too. I lost like 0-6, 0-6, 2-6. There was no coming back for me! hehe My opponent was handling the heat and humidity better but he also wasn't playing as good as he normally does. BUT at least I had some exercise! :) btw, my farmer's tan is quite awful! :)
     
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  20. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    I did the same thing (come back from 0-5) to win the set about 3 weeks ago.

    I was trying to not to get bagelled and I just kept winning each game.

    I eventually won the set 7-6 lol!!
     
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  21. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    Around 9 yrs ago, I was playing one guy and the score was 6-0, 5-0, this was 5.0 level, he was playing good but I was just on fire at that time! Well, I was encouraging him in a friendly manner to not give up and give his 100%. I told him he can still catch up and that it ain't over till it's over. He gave me the finger and curse some expletive at me, then walk off the court and left! lol I guess he doesn't believe in comebacks. :)
     
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  22. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    Did your opponent seem to want to commit suicide after the match??? :)
     
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  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    There are 1 or 2 people down at OTC that will just walk off the court when they start losing badly. I only play them if I can't find anybody else. I'm supposed to play this afternoon but I see the showers forming on the east coast, so I probably will get rained out.
     
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  24. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    When they walk off the court, what do you say to them??? When you see them next time, do you ever mention that???
     
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  25. Dgpsx7

    Dgpsx7 Professional

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    I have done it twice. I think the only way to pull it off unless you are playing someone very inconsistent is to get into deep concentration, do not speak and just concentrate on every single point. The combination of some rhythm on the court with your opponents loss of confidence due to your court presence can make this happen. It also feels really good if you can pull it off and once you do that person will have trouble playing you in the future because they will always remember that you can turn the set on them at any point.
     
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  26. SuperJimmy

    SuperJimmy Rookie

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    I don't think I ever came back from 0-5 to win the set. But I do remember being down 2-6, 0-2 about 9 years ago in a 4.0 tournament...the guy was blasting winners left and right. I had just about mentally thrown in the towel. But I switched up my game plan, and started moonballing (lol, no one hurt me) since I realized he was using my pace to blast those winners, and when it got to 2-2, every other word comming out of the guy's mouth was a 4-letter swear word. People 3 courts over could hear it. I ended up winning the second set 6-2. We were playing outside at the time, and the tournament director inside could even hear him swearing. The director was considering taking action, but saw how the match was going and decided I could torture my opponent even longer :twisted: (he told me this afterwards) I ended up winning 2-6,6-2,6-0
     
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  27. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It has only happened to me once but it happens to other people more often. The one time it happened, there was another guy down there waiting to play so the guy I was playing just said why don't you hit with him. So no big deal really.
     
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  28. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I had nerves as a junior too. It felt like so much was on the line and I never relaxed my mind. My first serve was 115+, but my second was seriously like 65mph. Now that I am older, I can relax and let the game come to me more. It really helps with my strokes a lot.
     
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  29. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    So I played another guy yesterday and he told me he had a 5-0 lead on the guy I came back on. He lost the set 7-6!
     
    #29
  30. brosamj

    brosamj New User

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    Terrific and impressive comeback.

    My my recent comeback was a few months ago. I started off down 0-5 and that took, seriously, about 10 minutes. I won 3 total points in those 5 games. It was a 4.5 match and really think the guy was just laughing to himself that he had such an easy match in front of him. I was playing terribly and then just as quickly, I turned it around and I then quickly won the next 4 games but lost that set 4-6.

    I then felt nearly unstoppable and came out and won the next two sets 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes. It was truly a bizarre match.
     
    #30
  31. tennisnj

    tennisnj Professional

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    Coming back from 0-5 or 5-0 deficits is something I've done once in singles & once in doubles (5.0+ level), & it absolutely is something you remember forever, like it happened the last time on the court---almost as memorable as something like winning your 1st tournament. Regardless of your playing level or ability, it is something to be proud of.
     
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  32. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's funny you say that because I was just there a few weeks back watching 2 guys play before I started my hit.

    Anyway, one guy was just berating himself. Every missed shot, he would get mad and flip out over it. He was doing what I call the "self coaching anger" where you scream stuff like "You need to use MORE TOPSPIN!!! What kind of S**** backhand was THAT?!?!?" ..etc.

    I could tell right there that the match was over.

    When I play a match or am just sucking it up, I remember Agassi in the French in '99. In fact they just replayed it last night. He was down something like 6-2, 6-1 and was missing just about everything. He stayed calm pretty much the entire time and came back to win. I really think that is the way to go if you want to enjoy yourself and be a better player.
     
    #32
  33. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I know it was not me because I never say that I need to use more topspin. If anything I have to tell myself the opposite thing. I think I know the guy you are talking about. I saw a little bit of the Agassi match last night and man those guys were belting the ball. It made the players of today look like wusses.
     
    #33
  34. lodeen

    lodeen New User

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    I think I've heard that guy many many times at the OTC courts...so frickin loud and annoying! lol
     
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  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    He made fun of me a few weeks ago for berating myself on the court then smiled because he knows that is his forte. I've played doubles against him a few times and he seems like a good guy.
     
    #35
  36. Knightmace

    Knightmace Professional

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    I've never came back from 0-5 before but I have came back from losing the first set 0-6.

    The best comeback I've had was when I was down 0-5 in the tie-break and saved 3 match points to win it 10-8 so nice felling. :)
     
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  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Not quite as impressive, but I came down from 2 breaks of serve in the 2nd set today. I was down 2-5 and had to save 2 sets points at 3-5, 15-40. Ended up winning 7-5, 7-5.
     
    #37
  38. NE14Tennis?

    NE14Tennis? New User

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    Congratulations! Man, those comebacks feel good! Only came back once from 0-5 and it was from 3 breaks down! He was serving for it and gifted me a couple points to 0-30. I then just kept putting everything back deep but safe - pace when I could, but nothing risky. After 3 deuces (I fought off a set point and needed three break points to do it but) I finally broke and was thinking, "Well, at least I won't get bageled." Lo and behold, I held at 30, broke at 30, and held at love. I don't remember how the last three games went (this was years ago), but I do remember at 5-4 down thinking - knowing that I was gonna win the set. Too bad I lost the second and it started raining (I think at 1-2) in the third.
     
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  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Today I blew four set points in the 1st set tiebreaker and lost! Luckily I recovered mentally to take the next 2 sets at 6-4.
     
    #39
  40. subaru3169

    subaru3169 Semi-Pro

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    i was playing in my tennis club a couple weeks ago and was up 4-1 and became 4-4 out of nowhere lol.. we broke their serve to get it to 5-4 and i had to serve it out to win it.. i was worried about double faulting the whole time
     
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  41. Knightmace

    Knightmace Professional

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    I know, just pointing out what happened to me.

    BTW, I one played a tie-break with the score ending up 17-15 I won that.
     
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  42. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    About two years ago I was playing this guy and just totally annhilating him. I was up 6-1, 5-0 and then suddenly the match turned around completely and the guy won 7 games in a row plus I lost the match in a 3rd set 10-point tiebreaker, 1-6, 7-5, 1-0.
     
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  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The highest I ever got in a tiebreak was 16-14 during a 10 point tiebreaker that I ended up winning after saving numerous match points.
     
    #43
  44. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    My biggest comeback was back in high school. I got off to a really slow start and was down 0-30 at 0-5 in the set. I won that match 7-5, 6-0.
     
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  45. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Do you really think those remarks were appropriate given the circumstances? I don't know if I would have given you the finger but I would have seriously considered walking off this court if I was getting pounded that way and my opponent was serving up platitudes about not giving up and/or trying harder.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
    #45
  46. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Great job!

    I consider both coming back from 0-5 down AND blowing a 5-0 (or simply large) lead some of tennis' rites of passage.

    Welcome to the club.
     
    #46
  47. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    A buddy of mine did this a few weeks ago encouraging his downed opponent. The problem was his opponent took the advice then came back and beat him!
     
    #47
  48. Knightmace

    Knightmace Professional

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    Cool, that must have felt intense.
     
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  49. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It was intense because the guy I was playing has a huge serve. I kept thinking "please don't ace me" on match point.

    I almost had the opposite thing happen on Thursday. I was up 4-0 and my opponent got it back to 4-4, 30-0 he was winning. I then won the next 8 points thank goodness.
     
    #49
  50. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Next ball please

    I remember coming back from 1-5 in a league match. My partner and I had lost the first set like 6-2, and I was serving at 1-5. The game got to add-out and I remember saying to myself, well you have nothing to lose - just go for it. We won that game - and won the next six games to win the set 7-5. The next set - we took them down 6-1. The moral of this story? If you can play one point at a time, you have a shot, so just focus on the next ball coming your way. Sometimes if you can turn it around like that, your opponents are so demoralized they just go away in the third. It ain't over til it's over!!!
     
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