Problem Solving Levels the Playing Field

Dear TennisDr:

Just wanted to let you know that I played an epic USTA singles match on Sunday against a very young and formidable opponent.  After 2 hours and 20 minutes, I prevailed in 3 sets (7-5; 4-6; 6-4).  I think that we went to deuce on almost every game and the points were long and filled with lots of great shots by both of us.

The woman I played was really quick, had amazing topspin shots and a pretty good kick serve.  If I ever hit anything at mid court, she put the ball away with some amazing cross court angles (particularly on her backhand).  So, I realized that I needed to keep her deep, be patient and wait for her to give me the short shot so I could put it away.

Furthermore, it became apparent that her backhand was more consistent than her forehand, so needless to say I hit tons of balls to her forehand side.  Luckily, she did not attend the TennisDr Tennis College, and did not realize that my forehand was my stronger shot.

I had a great time and would have been OK had I lost the match since I know that I played well, but was really thrilled with the win.  After the match she commented on how well I covered the court, how quickly I got to the ball and how I always seemed to hit the right shot.  And, when I told her my age, she was amazed and said that I was almost her grandmother’s age!

So, chalk one up for the senior citizen!!

Michelle
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Nicely done Michelle!

I know you don’t consider yourself to be fast or probably not even a formidable athlete.
BUT good anticipation and strategic awareness make tennis players appear to
be much greater athletes than they are.  In this case, knowledge and experience is power.

One of the things we love about this sport is that experience and wisdom can also
make up for a lot of differential in years.  No one takes advantage of this principle
to compete better than you.  Even your surprising play last week against my “big guys”
told me that you were more than ready to “unleash the hounds” in women’s singles.   Pretty fun huh?

Most players don’t view tennis in a strategic context.  When you ask most players what they need to do during a match, they usually respond by saying something like, “I tell myself to just play better and I will win”.  Court awareness and problem solving is worth many key points in a close match.

Good luck in your next match!
TennisDr