I have written about this in the past but because it is so important, here it is again: Tennis matches can be an emotional rollercoaster.
You hit a great shot and win an important point, and then lose three points in a row to be down love 40 in the next game. It is extremely important to keep playing every point the best that you can and not let what has already happened interfere with your next shot. Often, by keeping your focus on what you are about to do (one shot at a time), you can produce and reproduce those great shots and solid points that will help you win the match.
There are always going to be bumps in the road and disappointments along the way. The best players are able to continue to focus on what is ahead and what they are about to do. We have all lost matches when being ahead. Turn that around and realize that you are also capable, and have probably won matches when you were way behind. Hang in, no matter what the score is, despite the missed opportunities, and even when you do not feel that you are playing the best that you can.
Tennis is a very kind sport for the player who is behind and if you can keep that mentality better than your opponent, the outcome will go your way more often than not.
Ask Andrey Rublev how he just won the 2023 Monte Carlo 1000 Series event after being down 1-4 in the final set. His answer will be great mental fortitude.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org