By Anne Guerrant
Here is a useful statistic that every tennis player should know. The first person or team that reaches 30 in a game has a 70% chance of winning that game. Most of us slack off in the first few points of a game when we should be focused and engaged from the very first point. A fun exercise is to play a practice set with a rule change. Instead of regular scoring give the game to the first person or team that gets to 30. This should help you develop the habit of playing with focus from the first point.
Rod Laver told me “Your first opponent is the net. If you can't beat the net, you can't beat anybody.” Most points are lost on errors, not won on winners. We need to reduce our errors. The best way to do that is to eliminate our net errors. Just to aim the ball higher! The top players have a high net clearance of 5 to 8 feet. A fun exercise is to play a set with a rule change. If you make a net error you lose two points instead of one. This will help you focus on getting that ball over the net no matter what.
What is the most important point in a game?
Brad Gilbert’s book "Winning Ugly", gives you the answers. When one player or team reaches 30 the next point will be pivotal. If it is 30-love the next point will make it either 40-love or 30-15, clearly a huge difference! If it is 30-15 the next point will make it 40-15 or 30-all, also a huge difference.
What is the most important game in a set?
Brad Gilbert’s book "Winning Ugly", gives you the answers. When one player or team reaches four in a set the next game will be pivotal. If the score is 4-3 the next game will make it 5-3 or 4-all, clearly a huge difference. If the score is 4-2 the next game will make it 4-3 or 5-2. If you have a 4-1 lead the next game can take you to 5-1 or 4-2, so this is not the time to let up.