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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! It’s a very rare occurrence in recent times in the men’s game when we get a brand new Grand Slam champion. Today is one of those days! I looked through several metrics for both Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem in New York the past couple of weeks as well as their rivalry to highlight
Six points out of every 10 will finish with Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem hitting a MAXIMUM of just two balls in the court in their semi-final of the US Open in New York this evening. That’s either no balls in the court (double fault) or one or two for either player. Happening. Whoever wins
G’day, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the biggest tennis stadium in the world, seating 23,771 fans. That’s a lot of humanity all gathered together to watch a tennis match! It opened in 1997 with a cost of $254 million, and a roof was added in 2016 for $150 million, which was part of a $550 million
G’day, Simona Halep played the match of her life to defeat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the 2019 Wimbledon Women’s Final. Right from the first minute, you could sense that Simona was “on” and Serena was not. I broke down the final on the Wimbledon Channel right after the match. That video is below. Here
G’day, Last week I posted a two-minute clip of me hitting backhands under the title “It’s time to fix my backhand. Your thoughts?” I received 111 responses 👀👀👀. Thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to offer feedback. They are all posted below. Some are more positive than others, and
G’day, I grew up playing on the amazing grasscourts in Albury, Australia as a junior. That’s a pic below. 👇 To succeed on these courts you need a decent serve, solid volleys, a penetrating forehand, and a wicked backhand slice. A topspin backhand really was not required, therefore coming over my backhand has always been
DIRTBALLER HOME PAGE DIRTBALLER VIDEO G’day, Let’s cut to the chase… You want to win more matches now that tennis is starting to be played again. More W’s. Less L’s. The pandemic took away your tennis but you are now starting to get back on court a little. There are many things to work on (serving,
G’day, The singles baseline is 27 feet (8.23m) across. That’s substantial. It is a lot of territory to cover when your opponent is looking to attack you. That’s a lot of running to do if you hit the ball to the wrong part of the court and open up angles to be attacked. In The
G’day, The majority of points are built through the Ad court directed towards a right hander’s backhand. You play to the backhand much more than the forehand at the beginning of a point because you are less likely to get hurt off that wing. In the 25 Golden Rules of Singles Strategy, I talk about
G’day, I want to give you a sneak peek of what’s under the hood of the 25 Golden Rules of Singles Strategy. Rule #3 introduces the concept of the powerful Serve +1 strategy. This terminology was first introduced in this course back in 2014 and it has now become mainstream as players, coaches, and commentators
G’day, Return winners are a line item in our sport – meaning someone sits on the side of the court and counts them at Grand Slams. At Wimbledon in 2019, the men hit 445 and the women hit 381. So the men won that battle by 64 winners. At the 2020 Australian Open, the men
G’day, When you hear tennis players or coaches or commentators talk about “patterns of play”, it all sounds very official and organized and clever. But can you actually name a pattern of play? Now you definitely can! 😁 The video below is my Wimbledon Channel analysis of a pattern of play called the “3-1”. Yes
G’day, The new strategy course, Getting Tight, is growing into a major force in global tennis, teaching players at all levels of the game how to better control their emotions by focusing their mind on match strategy. So where in the world are players from that are studying this new mental/emotional/strategic course? About half are
G’day, I first met Andre Agassi in Monte Carlo in December 2017. I had been on Novak Djokovic’s coaching team since January 2017 and Andre and Radek Stepanek had just come on board. We were doing a week-long training camp to bring the whole team together, including the fitness guys, to prepare Novak for 2018.
G’day, The match begins and you go down an early break. Your opponent has hit the ground running and you have yet to find your game. This scenario happens all too often for players who have not created a strategic mission for how to start matches. Starting slow really puts us in a hole. In
G’day, Roland Garros posters are a work of art. 👩‍🎨🇫🇷🎨 Some of them look magnificent and really capture the essence and flavor of the tournament, while others – to me at least – leave me somewhat confused! 🤣 I like them so much I have three framed and hanging in my house. They are 2008,
G’day, Is there anything more fearsome in the sport of tennis than Rafael Nadal’s forehand on Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris? Rafa has won a head-turning 12 Roland Garros titles, with this singular shot carrying him to victory more than any other. Enjoy the forehand breakdown below – in 12 frames. 11:24 am, Tuesday, June
G’day, You look to the other side of the court in the warm-up and assess your opponent. Forehand looks fine. Backhand seems solid. They don’t seem to be moving too fast so maybe you can form a strategy around running them side-to-side. Here are some questions for you… Do they have a better read on
G’day, Sometimes matches are over before they even start. You look at the draw and you see that you have to play the No.5 seed or the No. 10 seed, or the defending champion, or the No. 1 seed this year. Match over right there. You convince yourself that the opponent must be really, really
G’day, Everything to do with volleys – from technique to tactics – has deteriorated over the past 20 years. Everything. We like to think improvement is linear. We should be getting better over time. Nice theory. Not always on the mark in tennis. Take volleys for example. Doesn’t it feel like a greater percentage of
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