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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.

Serve & Volley = Success

Don’t be a hater. Serve and Volley always, always works… There are three types of basic tests that we do to figure out if a tennis strategy works or not. the eye test word-of-mouth test data test Eye Test = Fail For so many of us around the world, serve and volley fails the eye

The 3 BIG Questions…

Know thy opponent. You are the second most important person on a tennis court. Evgeny Donskoy defeated Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5) Roger Federer’s shock loss in the second round of the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to #116 ranked Evgeny Donskoy looks like a complete shock – on the surface. Consider this… The
Serving a double fault is like sending your opponent an invitation to break your serve. Serving two in the same game is basically handing it over on a silver platter. Benjamin Becker served two double faults in his opening service game against Kei Nishikori, and quickly found himself down two sets to love against the
US Open Round 1 Metrics.  Numbers are the language of winning. G’day from New York! When you walk around the practice courts in the morning here at Flushing Meadows, you hear a cacophony of shots flying all over the court. Forehands and backhands dominate, and it seems like the players hardly.ever.miss. They keep rallying and
Imagine if you were allowed to “win” a point in a tennis match at any time – without even having to play it. It’s like having a “Djoker” card in your hand that you can play whenever you want, no matter what the score or circumstance. Kinda like being Novak Djokovic, for example. Well, almost
141,516 points. Blowing the doors off men’s college tennis… G’day from Austin! This data is brand new. The data set is massive. And it’s all focused on college men’s tennis. And… it’s going to make you fall off your chair. College tennis is an amazing destination for talented junior players from all over the planet. They
Practice just got more specific. Brand new data. It’s a paradigm shift. G’day from London! Hope all is well to kick off a new week. I am in London for a couple of days before heading to New York. It’s been a very busy schedule so far this year! The past week in Monte Carlo was
Week 1 vs. Week 2.  The inner workings of a Top 20 player… G’day! Got a question for you. I divided the 2016 Australian Open men’s draw into two parts – Week 1 & Week 2. Week 1 = 112 matches = 88% Week 2 = 15 matches = 12% Week 2 starts with the 4th
Smart Tactics. Smart Price. Stop guessing. Start knowing. G’day! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. It has not stopped raining in Texas, and it’s still going! Today is Cyber Monday, and the last day to save 20% on all 6 Brain Game Strategy products. I want to give you a little overview of each
Separation works best in the cold… It’s prime time to make a move. G’day from Austin! Tennis is a sport where quick jumps in improvement are hard to make. You are much better off taking the view of getting “one day better” at a time –  small, incremental steps on the development pathway. BUT, if
Roger Federer has won in New York five times. Here’s 15 reasons why I think the sixth will be this afternoon. G’day from the Big Apple! What an incredible final this one is shaping up to be. I was fortunate to be at the last two Wimbledon finals between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and can’t

Hi, my name is Roger Djokovic

Roger is the Fully Monty. Fed is putting up some “Djokovic-Like” return & rally numbers. When we think of Roger’s game at its best, the serving side of the equation is typically what comes to mind. When we think of Novak Djokovic, we tend to focus more on the greatness of his returns and domination
Numbers remove opinion. Numbers remove guesswork. Let’s embrace data, shall we? It has been an extremely enjoyable start to the 2015 U.S. Open, writing for the New York Times and analyzing data to see exactly what numbers and patterns dominate our sport. Below are 15 data points that can definitely help make you a smarter

Educate your tennis eye

Smarter #usopen viewing. Enjoy the tournament more – because you know more. There is a lot that escapes the eye when you watch a tennis match. Important things happen in the middle of a point that are  forgotten by the time the point ends. Subtle things happen between the points that are not measured, yet

Roger Federer @ #usopen

Flushing Meadow used to be a very happy hunting ground for Roger. From 2004 – 2008, he won 35 straight matches, and 5 titles. Those were incredibly good times for the Swiss star. Not so, lately. He lost in the 2009 final to Juan-Martin Del Potro, and has only been to one semi-final since. It’s

Roger Invents New Shot

Half Volley Returns Roger pretty much invents a new shot… G’day! When was the last time you were watching a tennis match and said to yourself, “wow, I have never seen that before!” Well, that’s exactly how I felt watching the Cincinnati final yesterday between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Roger has indeed invented a
Novak Djokovic is ridiculously good. But exactly where, and why? When we witness the genius of Novak Djokovic, our eyes are initially mesmerized by his spectacular, yet simplistic execution. Our eyes give confirmation that this guy is from another planet, but the numbers are where we really get to understand and appreciate just how good
Tennis + technology = Center Court Marketing Let me introduce you to my good friends. G’day! The past few weeks have been simply amazing over the pond, working as Wimbledon’s strategy analyst, and also being part of Dustin Brown’s extended coaching team – that took out Rafael Nadal on Center Court in the second round.
Novak Djokovic makes you play bad. When we look at Novak Djokovic, we marvel at his ridiculous elasticity, the strength of his backhand, the deep returns, and the clutch serving. When we look at Djokovic, we see the prototype of the modern player. He is the best of the best, and has been for some
G’day! What an amazing victory by Dustin Brown over Rafael Nadal on Centre Court at Wimbledon! It was such a pleasure to join Scott Wittenberg on Dustin’s coaching team, and help Dustin to the biggest win of his career. I want to pass on some insights and stories from that huge day, as well as
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