Originally Posted by Mongolmike
Yeah, but as you know, attempting the right shot in a tense/important moment and executing that shot well is the crux if you are the type that gets tight.
Having the the technique or ability to pull off the shot, muscle memory from having practiced and done that shot before, knowledge that occasionally you will plain miss that shot and that doesn't mean you are tight, and confidence that you can hit the shot without swinging max swing.... those are some of the factors to beat the butterflies.
Kind of like its your serve for match point, and you have an average serve... but because it is match point you decide to try to rip a flat serve out wide (because the opponent won't be expecting that!). Problem is, that isn't a serve in your repetoire, you don't really practice it much, and you haven't tried it all match. Chances are you will miss it, now you put pressure on yourself to not double fault and not set up a powder puff 2nd serve to go back to deuce.
This is a good point. In the past I'd often go for a shot hoping for an ace or hoping my opponent'd miss.
I think there are perhaps two general strategies to point management. Brad's 7 hidden key points or whatever make a lot of sense. I've seen matches where players like Sampras would be returning serve 3-5. He'd go for quick winner returns but he didn't spend a lot of energy b/c he planned to serve it out. He was great at turning it on when he needed it but also turning it down to conserve energy at times.
On the other hand, there are players like Nadal and Ferer who tries for everything. I can't tell what the point or set score is based on their demeanor or effort. Nadal says in his book, he plays that way not for his nerves but to convey a message to his opponent that there'll be no free points.
For me, I find I prefer the 2nd strategy b/c it helps me to manage my nerves to treat every point like a big point. So even if I'm up 5-1 40-love, I scramble and play for the point the same as if the score is reversed.
Intellectually, I agree w/ Brad and if I were a more Emotionally smart player I'd adjust my play according to the score.