Well the title is not entirely true. However, the point is that winning tennis matches is not about hitting winners. Yes, hitting a winner feels great ! I think it is one of the most exhilarating feelings. The more difficult the shot, the greater the feeling when you make it. Personally, being pulled wide on my backhand, then executing a winner down the line feels fantastic ! You have such a small thin slice of court in which to land the ball – high risk and high reward. Anyone watching loves it and the opponent will be impressed.
However, does that win matches? Unfortunately the answer most of the time is no. The chances of hitting winners all match is very low. The risk of these attempted winners becoming unforced errors is very high. Some players, sometimes will hit winners shot after shot, however usually that will only last a few points or games. Maybe they can keep it up for a set, but not likely for a whole match.
I am considering a winner to be one where you have executed a shot at about 95%, it would need to be close to the lines and unreachable by your opponent.
So when is the best time to go for a winner? Hmmm, tough question..
Some would think – when you have a decent lead on the opponent. However you should never change a winning game. You should be closing the match out not handing points back to them.
Maybe, if you have little or no chance of winning the point so it is ‘do or die’. Clean winner or loose the point. However if you dont go for a winner and give the opponent another shot – they might make an error on their shot or play a weak shot so you can recover. So really you MAY still win the point.
If you have a short ball and maneuvered your opponent out of court, a high percentage winner is a good shot selection !
Maybe the secret is Winners in Moderation..
Let me know your thoughts… Winners feel great, they get the crowd excited but do they win matches?
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Until Tomorrow !! Michael