Winning Ugly or Losing Brilliantly ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Pete Semper, Aug 28, 2007.

?

What do you prefer ?

Poll closed Sep 6, 2007.
  1. Winning Ugly

    47 vote(s)
    43.9%
  2. Losing Brilliantly

    60 vote(s)
    56.1%
  1. Pete Semper

    Pete Semper Rookie

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    Always a hard choice for me but, yeah, I'd rather lose my match and play at my best than winning ugly with dirties strokes,lol....What about you ?
     
    #1
  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    There is a difference between losing while playing your best and losing while playing pretty. If you think that they are synonymous then you probably measure your play strictly in terms of how many winners you hit.
     
    #2
  3. galatti

    galatti Rookie

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    Losing Brilliantly cause it means you are improving your game instead to stick to what you aready has mastered
     
    #3
  4. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Someone please post the rule number that says that the winner is the one who reaches six games with a margin of two. My recollection is there was no mention of how pretty strokes are, but it's been awhile since I read the passage.
     
    #4
  5. Gmedlo

    Gmedlo Professional

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    Winning Ugly because it is smarter play, and I'm less likely to get frustrated when a stroke I don't have fails. It also usually means that I'm playing someone that I could not beat regularly.



    But that never happens, I either win brilliantly or lose ugly. :cry:
     
    #5
  6. fps

    fps Legend

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    All about the win, there's no shame in beating someone with flair groundstrokes through a hard pushing game, it shows you've out-thought and outwilled them.
     
    #6
  7. Pete Semper

    Pete Semper Rookie

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    Im not enjoying when I play carefully to win...pffff, It's so boring.
     
    #7
  8. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Take the term brilliant out of it- brilliant means playing SMART. What you are asking is whether it is better to win playing high percentage tennis or lose playing low percentage tennis. Playing BRILLIANT means you are playing smart tennis all the way around- taking what the opponent gives you and forcing errors.
     
    #8
  9. NickOlsen

    NickOlsen Rookie

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    Its fairly broad, general terms. I'd rather be playing well, the frame winners all day and win. But as long as im hitting the center of the racquet, then I'd rather win. But saying that, I definitely don't mind losing when I'm on my game to a superior opponent (my game always lifts then).
     
    #9
  10. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    It really depends on things. If it's for money, (actually, I've never played tennis for money), I'd like to win ugly.

    But most of the time I want to look good and win. I mean if I won but looked bad doing it, that takes almost all the satisfaction out of it.
     
    #10
  11. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    If it means pushing with pushing strokes, then I'd rather lose brilliantly. But if you mean just being consistent, getting to balls, and not being very showy, then I'll win ugly.
     
    #11
  12. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Lets see, winning ugly could get me instant gratification but could also encourage me to resort to unorthodox strokes or strategies that could stagnate my improvement. Losing brilliantly means I am playing with strokes or strategies that would ultimately lead to the greatest improvement but because I have not mastered them yet, caused me to lose today.

    I would lose brilliantly for a year straight!

    Then if I still can't win brilliantly, I'll start winning ugly!
     
    #12
  13. tarheels2323

    tarheels2323 Semi-Pro

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    When it's a team match, I'll do absolutely anything to win. If it's just me playing a practice match, I'll go for everything I can and try to discover something new about my game that I can use in a real match.
     
    #13
  14. Lionheart

    Lionheart Rookie

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    ridiculous IMO. You are not going to improve your game by losing while doing brilliant strokes, the loss would cause you to lose confidence in those beautiful strokes instead (considering that you are playing real competition, not club play).

    Winning Ugly might not mean having bad strokes at all, you can run everything and have nice strokes and even if you havenĀ“t got the strokes, the win will give you more inspiration to improve (assuming that winning ugly is winning with bad looking strokes and by a close margin), so that you can get better strokes and win easier against the same competition next time.
     
    #14
  15. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    Easily winning ugly! Unless winning involves cheating, I'm going to be a winner.
     
    #15
  16. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Where's the option for "Losing Ugly"
     
    #16
  17. thundaga

    thundaga Rookie

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    losing brilliantly! no guts, no glory! fortune favours the brave! etc etc.
     
    #17
  18. QuietDaze

    QuietDaze Rookie

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    I'll take the win thank you very much. I can practice my strokes later. lol
     
    #18
  19. hjminard

    hjminard Rookie

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    Tennis for me is almost a one man game, i.e., I'm playing against myself. If I feel like I've played to my capability (or beyond), I'm happy win or lose. If, like a recent match, I play horribly but still manage to win, I am completely dissatisfied.
     
    #19
  20. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    you still lose.
     
    #20
  21. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    i prefer to win but usually loose nicely
     
    #21
  22. SuperFrogFighter

    SuperFrogFighter New User

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    I agree completly. I am 22 and started playing tennis again 9 months ago after almost a 4 year break after high school. I play 4.0 singles and doubles but would like to one day play 4.5 and even open. Given time and practice my game will improve. I have played a lot of people in tourneys who beat me using ugly strokes. No lie I watched a guy win a 4.0 singles tourney holding the racket just below the throat.

    The problem with this is they will never get any better with those strokes. Tennis is a game of tecnique. MOST pros have incredible technique that they have practiced for years and thier strokes allow them to play at a higher level. Athleticism helps but you still have to have the strokes.

    Some players are content with being 3.5 or 4.0 thier entire life but I am not. I will never be a pro, hell I probably will not even make it to Open division but I am still going to try to improve my game. I just never understood the philosophy of doing just enough to win. Everytime I step on the court my goal is to win every point and humiliate my opponent. I know I will never win every point but thats not going to stop me from trying.
     
    #22
  23. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    Winning Ugly. If I playied brilliantly and lost..it meant I choked and let one get away.
     
    #23
  24. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    If your strokes have left the building for the day and you switch to Plan B, whether it is changing tactics, strategy or whatever and you can pull out a victory that, to me, is brilliance, even if your strokes sucked. That is a true winner and will do you much better in the long run, than sticking with Plan A (excellent stroke production) and still lose.
     
    #24
  25. Koaske

    Koaske Rookie

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    I totally agree with you.

    If your groundstrokes are way off but you still manage to win, you played smart tennis. Why stick to something that just won't work?
     
    #25
  26. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Time and a place for everything.

    Some days I have certain shots, etc. as my goal for the day. This means I am practicing (not really playing so to speak). I may be trying to hit the "brilliant" shot (or just trying to hit good volleys, or perhaps testing out certain second serves, etc).

    Some days I have winning as my goal. This means I am playing (not practicing). I hit what is winning me points against my opponent. Period.

    I would suggest you are clear on what you are doing on the court that particular day. Don't lie to yourself and say you were only practicing just because you ran into a good pusher (I assume this is really what your post is about).
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
    #26
  27. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    While I agree with your post, to me at least, the OP was talking about matchplay ie where winning is valuable, not "practicing" where winning is imaterial.
     
    #27
  28. jmiller

    jmiller New User

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    i'm a winner and so i'll taking winning ugly.
     
    #28
  29. Pete Semper

    Pete Semper Rookie

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    By the way I launched this thread after reading the Brad Gilbert's book "winning ugly". Sure he gives good advises but, for real, can you really enjoy tennis and improve your game if you re only focused in the result of your match ?
     
    #29
  30. PrinceDiablo525

    PrinceDiablo525 New User

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    I think that it depends on the situation, if you are playing in a match that will decide if your team would win or not, than I would rather win. In tournaments, if you are playing somebody who isn't as good as you, then it can cause you to play worse than usual so then I would like to win, but if you are playing a good player at a tournament or something else, then I would rather play better.
     
    #30
  31. NoSkillzAndy

    NoSkillzAndy Rookie

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    Winning ugly. Improving your game and trying new/unmastered shots is something you should be doing in practice, not in a match. My goal in a match is to implement as many things from practice as I can... but still find a way win, whatever it takes. The more practice and matches you play, hopefully the better you'll get and the more brilliant your game will look.

    Honestly, I can't help but chuckle to myself whenever I play one of the "lose brilliantly" players because I know it'll be an easier match than against someone who isn't caught up in their own vanity and pride.
     
    #31
  32. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Uummmm... yup.

    "If you're not first... you're last!" -- Ricky Bobby

    "You know what you call second place? The first loser!"-- me
     
    #32
  33. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I understand what the OP is talking about. A few years ago, when I was playing poorly with my game plan, I would revert to slicing and just keeping the ball in play just to try to stay in the match or win. I don't do that anymore because it's pointless. I don't care about the win as much as how I play. I have absolutely not problem whatsoever in losing a match if I played a good match and the other guy was just better than me. But I get virtually no enjoyment out of winning just because I missed less. I want to win matches because I served well, because I placed the ball well and made him run around, or because he couldn't handle the weight of my shot. I'm not out there to bore my opponents into missing. That doesn't prove anything. I want to play a good game. So my vote: losing brilliantly. And no, that doesn't mean with "good looking" strokes or hitting winners. That means going for my shots, keeping pressure on my opponent, and just playing my game. Pushing and "don't hit it out" isn't my game. That's winning ugly, in my book anyway. Consistency is key, but that is consistently hitting good shots, not just in shots.
     
    #33
  34. Flyingpanda

    Flyingpanda Rookie

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    No, I would rather win ugly. I'm a competitive guy, I want to win. Matches aren't for improving my game, practice is for improving my game. It's total bull to "lose brilliantly". You're always going to be justifying your losses in your head. "Oh, well at least I didn't play ugly and stoop to blah blah blah level." The fact is... you lost.
     
    #34
  35. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    People mis understand what winning ugly is: It isn't winning while having ugly strokes but winning by understanding what your strengths are and what your opponents weaknesses are and applying that info during the match.

    It mattered a lot to Gilbert because winning directly influenced the money he made. Not so much for all of us here.
     
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  36. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    Okay, you don't need to call anything "bull." It's an opinion. An opinion is only bull if there is no explanation or justification behind it. People play tennis for different reasons. Some to have fun, some to prove their better than others, some just for exercise, some for a whole bunch of reasons. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Just because some people aren't as competitive as you doesn't mean they don't care about winning or anything else you might think. When I lose while playing my game, it's not to improve, it's because I don't have any fun playing dink, just keep the ball in play tennis. I enjoy hitting the ball and going after my shots. I enjoy the feel of a well-struck forehand shot that lands deep in the court. I don't care if he hits a winner off of it or not, I hit a good shot, it felt good, that's why I play tennis. If winning were all that mattered to me, I would play a different sport that I was better at and could win more. The fact is...we all lose. Yes, it's a part of competition, even for Roger Federer. Ever notice he doesn't get behind in a match and start just playing "don't lose" tennis? He still plays his game. If it goes off, he complements the other player for playing well. Losing brilliantly isn't an excuse for losing, it's an excuse to enjoy playing, even when you do lose.
     
    #36
  37. AznHylite

    AznHylite Semi-Pro

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    I'd say winning ugly because even if you won ugly, you thought out a strategy to beat your opponent with.
     
    #37
  38. Pete Semper

    Pete Semper Rookie

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    Tennsdog, glad you understand my point of view . One day I played an official
    match against someone who was a little better technically, I have had to play like a 3.0 to push my ball and finally won. It was one of my worst match Ive ever made in my life, I was really not proud of me and really
    felt sorry for my adversarie, plus I didnt enjoy during my match... That was a bad experience, I won but I felt myself humiliated.
     
    #38
  39. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I think you can do both in the same match. If your up some points - go for broke and try to hit nice shots and winners. If your down however I try to win points anyway I can.

    I have to say and this probably a bad thing - I have fun playing tennis win or lose. Tennis is just a really fun sport for me.

    Pete
     
    #39
  40. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    How would that be a bad thing. That would only be bad if it meant you had no desire to improve or if something was riding on you winning. Tennis is a sport, and a sport is a game; games were invented to have fun. If you focus only on winning, then even when you do, you won't have fun.
     
    #40
  41. lakis92

    lakis92 Rookie

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    You gotta have guts to lose brillianty. First you have to learn to lose then you have to learn how to win.
     
    #41
  42. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I think an important distinction here is that between losing brilliantly and just being too stubborn to change your game plan. Clearly, if you get down in a match and lose the first set or whatever and are getting outplayed, it is important to try different things. If baseline bashing isn't working for you, try looping groundstrokes or volleying more. But if you try different things and continue to get beat, I see no reason to revert to a lower level of tennis. Keep strategy in the match. Keep making your opponent work to finish the match. The more you get behind and go to a "don't hit out" mentality, the more likely that is to become more steadfast in your strategy anyway.
     
    #42
  43. LafayetteHitter

    LafayetteHitter Hall of Fame

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    I saw a couple guys playing indoors earlier this week. One guy had a brand new K-factor Wilson with a 12 pack and full Adidas gear. The other guy (seriously) had tan hiking shorts with some skateboard shoes and a Billabong short. I noticed the guy with the new racquet had pretty good strokes and a decent serve. The other guy flat out played city park tennis and had no serve motion at all. When they finished I noticed the odd looking racquet the guy was using happened to be one of those yellow and blue Wilson US Open jobs Walmart used to sell. Turned out it the guy with the Walmart racquet won 6-3 6-4. I'd say winning ugly anyday because that kind sucks to get the Kfactor beat out of you by a Walmart racquet and a skateboarder!
     
    #43
  44. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Winning Ugly - Winning by using proper technique but using solid strategy to do it, then yes, a valid vote. However if you're talking about just pushing the ball all day long with no spin, and no pace, then no. That will only stagnate how good you can get. Unorthodox technique combined with good solid strategy will only take you so far in tennis.


    Losing brilliantly - Losing while "looking" pretty and lose while trying to utilize proper technique in match play are two completely different things. Just because you practice your strokes day in and day out doesn't mean you are going to be able to apply them in match play. I've seen many a time guys with proper techinque just break down in matches and resort to pushing. I would much rather see someone lose trying to apply proper technique in a match, because in the long run it will pay off in the end.



    And for those who say that winning ugly is the better option, better go take a look at guys like Marat Safin, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych, and even Roger Federer. Sometimes these guys just get outsmarted by their opponents (i.e. Nadal vs Federer at Hamburg in the 1st set). However, sometimes they go going for those "pretty" shots starts making them, and just blasts you off the court. You can come up with the perfect strategy to win, but sometimes the guy with the extra flair ends up winning. Federer didn't beat Nadal at Hamburg by outsmarting him, in the 2nd and 3rd sets, he just blasted Nadal off the court with his forehand.
     
    #44
  45. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Winning is the number one priority.

    So, do whatever it takes to win.

    It doesnt matter how ugly your strokes or tactic was, because if you do keep playing better people, you will naturally change to do what is needed to win anyways. So some of the stuffs you pulled off that won you the game with the last opponent might not work--you may end up losing.

    And some other guys got it right, save the crafting of your strokes for the practice sessions. If it's a match, win it.
     
    #45
  46. Flaming Flamingo

    Flaming Flamingo New User

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    What is exactly meant by winning ugly does that mean cheating, sledging etc if so i'd rather lose fair and square and brilliantly i think if you have to cheat to win its just another way of indirectly saying that you're not gud enough
     
    #46
  47. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    I'm going to make a slight adjustment to your post:
    Winning is YOUR number one priority. That's not the same for everyone.

    And for Flamingo, we're not talking about cheating. Just playing a nasty game with no real strategy or ability. You know, the kind that doesn't challenge you as a tennis player and is no fun to play.
     
    #47
  48. martin8768

    martin8768 Rookie

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    i don't care if i win or lose as long as i play my game, try to minimize unforced errors, shanks, DFs ,etc and hit clean heavy balls, if i play good, i dont care if i win or lose.
     
    #48
  49. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Winning is the number one priority, then you would be concentrating on becoming a better player, because being the better player means you win more right? Short term you may win more by using ugly strokes or annoying tactics, but when you run into someone who has solid strokes and solid tactics, they will crush you. I lose most of the time because I try and hit may one handed backhand too much, when I should slice the ball back. However, it's slowly started to improve because I've been using so much in match play, and I've started to win alot more matches.


    You cannot craft your strokes in just practice sessions and expect them to WORK in match play. It just doesn't work that way. Practice sessions people are hitting about 1/4 of their speed most of the time, in a real match most guys are hitting 3/4 if not harder. Big speed difference. Plus being in a match, your whole mind takes a different set. I would much rather force someone to use proper technique (not only because it prevents injury) because in the end, they will be the better player (with some time and patience)
     
    #49
  50. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It is a very lame argument to say that if a player resorts to anything to win a particular match (even no pace, spinless, high percentage shots), that he will therefore stagnate at that level of play and will forever not be able to progress their game. Face it, match time, is not the time to practice your strokes to improve your game, that is what drills and practice sessions are for. Matchtime is the time to take you entire armamentarium of shots and strategy and do whatever it takes to win.
     
    #50

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