Brain Game Tennis Blog

Learn tennis strategy, read analysis of pro matches, and more from the Brain Game Tennis blog. All posts are written by ATP tennis strategy coach & analyst, Craig O'Shannessy.

G’day, Dan Evans dismantled Novak Djokovic. That’s not my opinion. It’s Novaks. Here’s what Novak had to say post-match after losing 6-4, 7-5 in the Rd16 at the Monte Carlo Masters 1000. “Today was completely the opposite of what I felt yesterday (against Sinner),” the 33-year-old said. “Just was obviously very, very windy, tough to

2015-19: Monte Carlo Matches

G’day, It’s clay court season again so here is a little refresher from the Monte Carlo Country Club. Below are links to five recent matches as well as the full analysis from the 2016 final. Enjoy! 2019 Semi-Final: Fognini def. Nadal 6-4, 6-2 Summary The forehand broke. Nadal made 46 of 47 groundstrokes and returns
The hat was blue. The hair was red. The shirt was yellow. The raw, unadulterated talent was both unassuming and overflowing. The first time I laid eyes on Jannik Sinner was Sunday, December 3rd, 2017, at the Monte Carlo Country Club. I was there with Novak Djokovic, completing a training week to prepare for the
Full Extension On The Serve It’s your turn to serve. You get into position and toss the ball and… it’s too low. It still feels like you can make it in the service box so you go ahead and hit it anyway. You might be able to save it, but the odds are that it
G’day, Traditional tennis mantra dictates that the primary serve location is to your opponent’s backhand return. ✅ Then you sprinkle in some surprise serves to the forehand. The theory is that backhand groundstrokes hurt you less than forehands (correct) and that philosophy blindly carries over to the return of serve. So we serve to the
G’day, Tonight’s Australian Open final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev is shaping up as a blockbuster. Two guys in great form who are so ready to rumble. This match is probably going to come down to a point here and a point there. Those points are probably going to be break points. I have
G’day, You come for the long rallies. You will wake up after midnight to watch the spectacular lactic-acid-inducing points between baseline heavy-weights Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. You come for the cartoonish side-to-side sliding that makes these guys look like they are playing on clay instead of hard. You come for the bruising backhands and
G’day! Can Jennifer Brady upset Naomi Osaka in the final of the 2021 Australian Open? On paper, it’s a tough ask. Once Osaka has ventured beyond the fourth round at a Grand Slam, she’s won 11/11 matches. Half of her six tournament victories are majors. She is match-hardened against big-hitting opponents in this tournament such as Serena
G’day, Novak Djokovic is peaking. 🏔 Just. At. The. Right. Time. 🦘🏆 After defeating Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the 2021 Australian Open, Novak said in his post-match press conference that “I feel as best as I felt so far in the tournament. Physically, mentally as well. I was hitting the
G’day, The blockbuster Australian Open semi-final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will be starting shortly. In case you hitched a ride to Mars on the Perseverance rover and missed the lead up to this match, I have got both Serena’s and Naomi’s serve location through their first five matches. This will give you something
2021 Australian Open – Aslan Karatsev Road To The Semi-Finals Qualifying Rd 1 def. Brandon Nakashima 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2 Rd 2 def. Max Purcell 6-1, 6-2 Rd 3 def. Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-1 Main Draw Rd 1 def. Gianluca Mager 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 Rd 2 def Egor Gerasimov 6-0. 6-1, 6-0 Rd 3 def Diego
G’day, Novak Djokovic is into the semi-finals of the 2021 Australian Open. The train is rolling. Was there any ever doubt? I just started watching Novak’s quarter-final victory over Alexander Zverev and got to 30-30 in the opening game and came across an absolute gem of an approach point from Novak. I have got to share

Nadal’s Serve +1 Hammer

G’day, Serve +1.  Rafael Nadal hits a serve. Then the party begins. The +1 is the very next shot after the serve, and through his first four matches at the 2021 Australian Open, that shot has been a forehand more than three out of four times. It’s not what opponents want. It’s a pattern of
G’day, It was just over a week ago when Novak Djokovic defeated Alexander Zverev 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 in the ATP Cup on Rod Laver Arena. Tight match! Now the pair face off in a blockbuster Aussie Open quarter-final on Tuesday on the same court. It has history written all over it. Zverev is in very
G’day, Three matches down. Four to go. Making it to the fourth round of a Grand Slam is an outstanding achievement. We have some fresh faces as well as two perennial favorites – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – still left in the draw. The focus here is simply holding and breaking serve and identifying who
The microcosm of first and second serves hit only in the Ad court by Rafael Nadal is a fascinating piece of tennis analysis in its own right. At the 2021 Australian Open through the first two rounds, Rafa has once again provided some spellbinding strategy in this specific part of his game. Match 1: Rafael
G’day, We started on Monday with 128 players holding big dreams of being the last one standing in Melbourne this year. Ninety-six have already packed their bags after four days of play, leaving just 32 players still alive in the singles draw. Of the players that are left, let’s take a look at who has
G’day, You are returning serve and you need a plan to start the point. Some factors to consider are: Is your opponent hitting a first or second serve? What’s the point score? Does the moment call for being aggressive or be patient and build? Where does your opponent expect you to return? Where is your
G’day! Here’s a little flashback to the Australian Open in 2015. I was walking around the courts one morning and decided to take some slow-mo footage of different players. Below are 22 short clips from practice. The players are: Roberto Bautista Agut Dominika Cibulkova Julien Benneteau Kei Nishikori Dudi Sela Martin Klizan Lucas Rosol Alize
On Friday, January 15, 2021, Candiss George from Vancouver, Canada, purchased The 25 Golden Rules of Singles Strategy and The First 4 Shots. She was hungry to succeed in 4.0 singles and her coach had recommended these courses to help her understand the strategy required to succeed at that level. It was later in the afternoon