What does 'inspired tennis' actually mean?

I've read a countless number of articles which have mentioned that a player was 'inspired'. Does inspired just mean that a lower ranked player, was determined to beat a higher ranked player, and therefore caused an upset. In what circumstances can this term be correctly used. Could it be said, for example if Nishikori beats Djokovic at the US Open this year (highly unlikely i know) that he was 'inspired'? or because Nishikori is a top 10 player, this cannnot be said. Would Medvedev's victory over Nole be 'inspired'?
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
I think you're thinking about it too much.

Here's the definition of inspired: "outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine inspiration"

They're basically just saying someone played extremely well, nothing more imo.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
Tennis driven by self belief and confidence as opposed to strictly speaking muscle memory and tactical skill. Stanimal sightings, for example, are instances of "inspired" tennis.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Time has come for a literacy requirement here when someone doesn't understand what's meant by "inspired"
 
Time has come for a literacy requirement here when someone doesn't understand what's meant by "inspired"
No need to be rude. Language isn't math with rigorous definitions, because people ain't machines. It's always good to ask what exactly people mean when the use a specific word if that's not so simple as to be immediately obvious.
 

TripleATeam

Legend
Unfazed by anything. When playing inspired tennis, a player can play around the tactics their opponent put in place, making very few errors. It's like being in the zone.
 

thehustler

Semi-Pro
I always thought it was playing better than you normally do, like a lot better, I think treeing is another term I heard once. Makes you wonder, could any of the Big 3 play inspired tennis? I'd think no against anybody below them, but maybe against each other depending on the matchup and recent history.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I always thought it was playing better than you normally do, like a lot better.
I agree. An "inspired" tennis performance was Wilander serving and volleying to win the '88 USO against the heavily favored Lendl. He played way above his normal HC level and used a surprise (almost shocking) tactic. Soderling beating Nadal at the '09 FO was an inspired, shocking performance.
 

thehustler

Semi-Pro
I agree. An "inspired" tennis performance was Wilander serving and volleying to win the '88 USO against the heavily favored Lendl. He played way above his normal HC level and used a surprise (almost shocking) tactic. Soderling beating Nadal at the '09 FO was an inspired, shocking performance.
So that makes me wonder, of the losses the big 3 have had, some of the ones we remember, how many of them were against inspired opponents, how many was it just them having a bad day?

Would one consider Djokovic beating Fed in the 2010 or 2011 USO semi's inspiring tennis from Djokovic? He had struggled with Fed before and wasn't he down 2 sets to love in the 2011 semi? Is that inspired tennis to come back like that, save 2 MP's then eventually close it out? I'd definitely agree with Soderling defeating Nadal at 09 FO for sure. Was Querry defeating Djokovic at 2016 Wimbledon inspired or was it just Djokovic being burnt out mentally from finally completing the career grand slam?
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
Playing high risk, first strike tennis (regardless of results) when you have a hot date to get to...come on, who hasn't done this at least once?
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
I agree. An "inspired" tennis performance was Wilander serving and volleying to win the '88 USO against the heavily favored Lendl. He played way above his normal HC level and used a surprise (almost shocking) tactic.
I agree that his win was suprising (although he already won 2 Slams in 1988), but the tactic wasn’t. In fact he played serve and volley more often in 1987 when he lost.

1987: S&V in 51 of 137 service points (37 %)
1988: S&V in 61 of 181 service points (34 %)


Both those finals lasted nearly 5 hours and consistantly had extremely long rallyes. Look at "Point-by-point description" in my links.
 

TimHenmanATG

Professional
It just means that someone played "in the zone", and started to grow unrestrained confidence in their game throughout the match, which resulted in them playing above-average tennis.
 

Thundergod

Professional
Most of the time it's just playing a lot better than your average level. Also, most of the time it is just happenstance and nothing to do with actually receiving any inspiration, so it makes sense how it can confuse someone.
 
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