Winning 2 More Points????

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by vandre, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    i'm to a point now where i can play closely with just about anyone my level (3.5) or just above. i'm noticing though that alot of the games i play go to deuce but i end up losing them. the game scores are close but the set scores aren't. it's like the ppl i play have a gear that i don't have.

    my question is: what do i need to do to win those 2 more points a game?

    does anyone else have this problem or am i just "special"??? :?
     
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  2. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Just relax and play those two points just like the other points.

    Also if you have some success on one side keep picturing that when you play that side (rather then worry about winning or losing the game). If it's regular scoring that will keep you in the game until you can "figure out the other side".
     
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  3. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    It could be that perhaps you are there in physical skill and are just lacking the mental aspect of the game. I'm not saying its not there, but perhaps they have a different mindset than you do? I feel that there definitely is a difference when you are playing to win, and playing not to lose.

    Just a thought, maybe play more tie breakers with people just above your level, since its tiebreakers points matter more imo. They also add more pressure.
     
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  4. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I have the same problem. I used to think it was mental but not so much anymore. If I'm playing someone better than me, I will have numerous deuce points and ad points that I cannot seem to win to take the game. I think its a matter of it being a little against the odds that you reached the deuce point, and even more against the odds that you would even win the game. On the flip side, against some players who are just a little weaker than me, the same thing happens where I almost always still win the games that go into deuce. If it were mental, then I would always lose those deuce games even against weaker players.
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think I'm pretty good on those deuce game points for some reason. When I'm serving at least.

    The most unusual instance of this was in a mixed match. My partner and I came out of the gate on fire and won the first set at love.

    Then of course we crashed and burned in the second set. Couldn't do anything right. Fell behind, but clawed our way back into the set. Eventually, I was serving at 5-6 to take it to a tiebreak.

    At the time, our league was playing timed 90-minute matches. That meant that if our opponents could break me and take that second set 7-5, then we would play a third set tiebreak and anything could happen. But if time lapsed before they could win the third set tiebreak, then we would win the match because we would have won more total games.

    I stepped up to serve with about 20 minutes remaining. The game went to deuce. And I managed to keep serving for the entire 20 minutes! As you might imagine, there were a lot of game points and break points. But somehow I didn't get tight, didn't double-fault away the set, and even kept the ball in play. I held, making it 6-6. And then time lapsed before we could begin the set tiebreak. I can assure you that I didn't stall, even a little bit.

    So. Back to your question. I think you have to decide that you're not not *not* going to make any mistakes when it is deuce, and I think it is best to stick to plain vanilla strategy. The biggest mistake is double-faulting, so I usually think about not hitting anything that isn't a perfect toss *and* accelerating the racket.

    Cindy -- who has definitely double-faulted away sets and matches, just in case anyone thinks she is bragging
     
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  6. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Or it is mental because against the weaker players you've subconsciously already decided you're going to win, and against the stronger players you've already decided you are going to lose.
     
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  7. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I don't think so. I think the whole win-by-two concept in tennis is a very powerful neutralizer that rewards consistent play. A stronger player is always going to prefer that scoring to no-ad because no-ad rewards streaky players more. If I get to deuce against a stronger player, I'm lucky. If I win the game, I'm really lucky.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I detest no-ad scoring. You're one let cord away from losing a game. Not cool.

    I really do not approve of the way no-ad is used in pro doubles. I think they should play to deuce three times in a service game. Only then should they have the no-ad as a way to move things along. Then the results would be less random.
     
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  9. subaru3169

    subaru3169 Semi-Pro

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    personally, i play each point one at a time.. i block out the set score and even the game score as i treat each point equally.. whether it's my ad or i'm down 0-40.. sometimes i even forget the score altogether after the point is done lol

    but anyway, treat each score equally.. it'll help put the pressure off
     
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  10. abbeytxs

    abbeytxs New User

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    There are very few players out there that haven't had this problem. I think the only cure for it is experience. Once you have a couple of deuce points go your way you can start building on that. Each time you win one, it helps you gain a little confidence. You will learn how to put the negative thoughts out of your head and find the extra gear that everyone else seems to have.

    Don't let the frustration get to you. If you keep playing, it will get better.
     
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  11. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Deuce as an opportunity

    I agree 100% with this policy of playing each point - in fact, each ball - as it comes and staying in the moment. There are two schools of thought of course. Some (like Brad Gilbert) advise focusing MORE on the "big points" like game or set points, because a player's level of play tends to ebb and flow throughout a match, and most people can't retain a laser-like focus for every point. I think it's important to recognize that, so that when you have a little bad streak, you don't let it get you down and if you're ahead in the match, you don't get over-confident.

    However - when I get to deuce, I feel I can relax because I'm still "in the game" and it kind of evens the score - either side can win. If the game goes to lots of deuces and adds, I try not to get rattled, stay focused. If I lose that game anyway I can always tell myself "I had my chances - I almost won that game!" and move on, with no regrets. I'd rather play a loooong game than get blown off love-40.

    Think of deuce as a neutral situation - it re-sets the game, and you have another opportunity to win it.
     
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  12. Gh0st

    Gh0st New User

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    I think JavierLW is exactly correct and your statement, "If I get to deuce against a stronger player, I'm lucky. If I win the game, I'm really lucky." kind of backs that up.

    Next time you're in that situation change your mentality. Don't think, "I'm lucky to be at deuce" instead think, "This guy left the door open and I'm going to kick it down!"

    I'm surprised by how many people think they lose to the better player. Sometimes I watch and see that both players are pretty even but one just plays the bigger points a little better. The losing player will walk off the court and say, "Man, that player was way better than me and that's why I lost." I imagine if they look at a tape of the match they will see it wasn't nearly as big a difference as they think. Also, once you think someone is better than you, you tend to back off and don't play as aggressive as you normally would.
     
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  13. Grover Sparkman

    Grover Sparkman Rookie

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    I think this is it, actually.

    I suffer from the same "ailment" in that if I'm playing someone equal or better and the game gets to deuce, I just start hoping to win. I play with a good friend of mine frequently who takes games to deuce sometimes and I almost always pull them out.

    It's a matter of mindset, and one that I need to get straight.
     
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  14. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Thank you.

    That's always my point, if someone goes as far as to make a big post about that on a message board, they must be thinking about that.

    I cant read his mind, but you have to wonder if that's going thru his head on the tennis court. And if that is going thru his head at all then Im guarenteed certain that's a good reasoning for why he's not winning too many of those.

    The reason for that is it's typical for how people think out there. People have no mental discipline at all even up to 4.0, they spend entire matches worrying about one point or another or the situation, and they waste time focusing on that and meanwhile when they lose points they just chalk it up to "luck".

    Also as far as no-ad scoring a consistant player (consistant at playing at their own strength) will win those as well because they need to be consistant, they only get ONE chance to win the game.

    In regular scoring all you have to do is figure out one side or another and if you get in a groove on that, you can stretch that game out forever until you figure out the other side. (although if you're sitting there thinking about the score you probably wont last that long)

    Either way, win or lose, you can take a situation and make the most out of it, or you can feel bad because you are losing and complain. It's always your choice no matter what situation you find yourself in.
     
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  15. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I'm assuming that you're referring back to my post that Ghost pulled a quote from. I can assure you when I lose 80% of my deuce/ad points, it is not because of my mental state. It is because my opponent who is a superior opponent had a few bad points that allowed me to get to deuce, OR I had a few really good points that are not characteristic of my normal level of play. The odds are always in their favor of winning points, so its more likely they will play their game good enough to win the deciding point(s) rather than me.

    Why is it not my mental state? Because I don't decide before a match if I'm going to win a match or not either conciously or sub-consciously. I don't know how it will go until the match progresses. Most of the time against a better player I actually start off competitive in the first set, sometimes even getting an early break, and my better oppponent who is often smarter eventually finds a way to either 1) avoid my strengths or 2) exploit my weaknesses, so my game is less effective in the 2nd set. Usually when I lose a match, I can't seem to find any hole in my opponents' game. They might have ugly strokes, or their serve isn't very effective, but nothing that actually gives me an advantage or causes them to hit more errors. So its just that they outlast me most rallies, so often that I am lucky if I win 3-4 points in a particular game.
     
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  16. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    I agree with Raiden031, if you are losing all your tie breaks then it might be mental, if you are losing a lot of lopsided matches but get to deuce a lot, the other players are better.

    I've played some really good people in tournaments, I don't have trouble getting points off them but I do have trouble winning 2 more points in a game especially when they are serving.
     
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  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I also agree with Raiden. I don't think it at all strange that a weaker player would have several deuces and even game points against a stronger player, and fail to capitalize. And I don't think this is a sign of mental weakness.

    Why is this? From personal experience - when I play weaker players, it's hard for me to maintain intensity since I know I'm not in any danger. Plus, I view it as an opportunity to try out shots and strategies that I usually wouldn't have confidence to use in a tight match. So often I will find myself at deuce or down game point, after making a few unforced errors (going for risky shots, etc). And at that point I usually regain focus and go back to my winning formula, and usually come back to win the game.
     
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