Share this article

print logo

How to pull off the upset in tennis against a favored opponent

Upsets happen.

Whether you are an outstanding tennis player who wins most of your matches or an  amateur trying to continue to get better, the right game plan can lead you to victory.

Try to watch a match your future opponent is playing and start by writing down your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Then do the same for your overall game.

Have a friend or coach observe a future opponent who is favored against you to get a different perspective.

By combining your notes about yourself and the observations of your opponent, you will have a better idea of how to play.

You and your friend or coach should be practicing as much as you can to perfect or improve your skills. Once you feel that your tennis game is improving, you should start playing against better competition as often as you can.

However, don’t make the mistake of playing against better players than you are until you feel confident that you can win. Gradually build up your game plan to play against tennis players who are equal or slightly better than you whom you feel that you can defeat. You should have no trouble identifying your opponents as they are the ones who have defeated you in the past.

If you decide to start playing tournaments, be sure that your coach or friend watches you carefully in practice or the tournament matches so that both of you can evaluate how you are progressing. Even if you are playing a practice match, take timeouts to discuss with your coach or friend what you should or should not do.

As you start to defeat players who are equal to or slightly better than you are, you should you start to make your final match preparations. Are your ground strokes, serves and net game ready to play in tournaments against players whom you feel you can defeat? When you are rallying, do you feel that you are in superior condition than your opponent and can eventually wear him or her out in long rallies?

The answers to those question should help determine if you are ready and have a winning strategy.

Grand Slam Q & A

Q: Will Rafael Nadal surpass Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles?

A: I think that Nadal, who has won 19 Grand Slam titles, will win the French Open again next year to tie Federer. But Nadal turns 34 next year and I don’t see him winning the hard court tournaments as the caliber of play keeps improving each year.

Q: Will Federer win any more Grand Slams?

A: Federer recently turned 38, and his loss in the quarterfinals to Grigor Dimitrov, who is ranked No. 78 in the world, showed that age might be catching up to him. Federer was ahead two sets to one before losing the next two sets and appeared to be exhausted.

Q: Will Novak Djokovic, who has 16 Grand Slam singles titles, surpass Federer’s 20?

A: Without a doubt, he has the ability to surpass Federer’s record. However, he has had too many injuries the past few years. That has taken a toll on his body. I don’t see him breaking Federer’s record.

Q: Will Serena Williams surpass Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles?

A: At times, she has played as if she could win another two Grand Slams to add to her total of 22. However, she has lost the last four Grand Slams finals that she has been in and showed, for the first time, that she is subject to having periods of poor play. At age 38, I don’t see her winning any more Grand Slam titles.

Q: Why do players like Simona Halep and Ashleigh Barty win Grand Slam singles titles and then do poorly in their next tournament?

A: After winning a Grand Slam singles title, it is very hard for players to win the next tournament that they play in physically and mentally because it will be almost impossible to sustain their level of play from the Grand Slam event.

Q: Will Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in the U.S. Open final, win a Grand Slam next year?

A: Absolutely. At 6-6, he moves unbelievably well, has no weaknesses  and should win multiple Grand Slam events.

Story topics: / / /

There are no comments - be the first to comment