Mind games

Last week I was watching the WTA Finals in Singapore on the Tennis channel. You know, I love having the Tennis Channel. No, I am not trying to advertise it and they don’t pay me any money for doing that:) I just think it’s a great opportunity to be able to watch a lot of high level matches every day and also to listen to the qualified opinion from the people who were in this sport all their life. Anyway, I was watching the Round Robin match between Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. Those of you who saw it, would definitely remember how the momentum shifted to one side and then to another. Karolina started strong, won the first set and had plenty of opportunities in the second. But Muguruza kept working her way back and managed to turn the match. She seemed to be far in front in the third, deciding set, leading 4-1 with two breaks of serve. If you were just following the score, it looked like she is on the good way. But it was not what was actually happening on the court.

Watching from the outside I could clearly see how Garbine was getting more and more tight. She started to take complicated decisions. On the other hand, Pliskova took every opportunity to attack as she had nothing to lose. This was a typical situation, old as the game of tennis. And, how it often happens in this case, things stated to work better for the Czech. She took her chances and soon Muguruza found herself serving for the match at 5-4, still up one break.

This was the moment that, I think, every player had in his or her life. Garbine lost her game plan, the line she was following before and which was so successful up until now. She was trying hard and fought for every point but it seemed like she didn’t have a clear picture of how to win it.

Long story short, Pliskova ended up winning the third set 7-5. The reason I wanted to write about this match is because I wanted to use it as an example. Every now and then we loose matches after leading in the second or in the third set. “Of course, – we say, – this is why I am on this level and not higher.” But that’s not true. Everybody gets nervous and on every level players win or loose in different score situations. The two girls I was talking about earlier, are ones of the best players in the world. So don’t be so hard on yourself about the result. Better think what you could have done better (more efficiently) and do it next time.


  1. Cara says:

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