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.

Athleticism Perfonified Dominic Thiem battles Rafael Nadal in the Barcelona final later this afternoon. Rafa is going to look to hit as many forehands as possible, and target the majority of them straight at Dominic Thiem’s backhand. Rafa will be looking to get the ball up high, and push Thiem back as far as possible.
They look the same, they smell the same… G’day from Austin, On the surface, there are a lot of similarities between the score lines of 30-30 and deuce. Both point scores see the players even in the game, and both point scores are just two points from the end of the game. I just did
Own your 2nd serve. The top 10 players in the world do things just a little bit better than those chasing them up the rankings. But what exactly do they do better? I recently wrote an Infosys Beyond The Numbers story on the ATP website focused on what the Top 10 do so well. It
It’s about today. But it’s also all about tomorrow. G’day from Austin, I just got this email from Eric, and I let him know I was going to respond in my Blog so others in similar situations could benefit from the information. OK, so here’s Eric’s email… I want to make sure I directly address

Knocking Down The Door

G’day from Austin! Trends in tennis are similar to waves in the ocean. The tide can go out for a while, often years, but can change directions without you realizing it. The tide changes in two main ways: Players evolve new tactics to defeat opponents ahead of them. New players arrive on the scene. The tide
Copy This. Roger That. Roger defeated Rafa for the FOURTH straight time yesterday. There is so much to learn from this match, and how Roger has once again taken the tennis world by storm. Let’s focus on just ONE thing that contributed heavily to the victory – one thing you can copy and paste into

2nd Serves: The New Rules

Your second serve is a beast. You just didn’t know it… G’day from Miami! Last night Nick Kyrgios defeated David Goffin 7-5(5), 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals. Kyrgios fell behind 0-2 in the tiebreaker after he hit a backhand return in the net, and Goffin ripped a backhand winner down the line. Serving at

Nadal v Mahut Preview

Look though this lens.  #7 Rafal Nadal vs. #55 Nicholas Mahut (1 win each) G’day from Miami, I really like this match-up because of the contrasting styles. Seeing a “north-south” player like Mahut battle an “east-west” superstar like Nadal is just flat-out fun! I want to educate your eye for this match – have you
The Excitement Machine. Roger Federer def. Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4 I just had the absolute pleasure of watching Roger & Juan Martin from three rows back on the baseline in Miami this afternoon. What was it like? Here’s five things that really stood out to me. When you sit on the side of
Rafael Nadal wins 0-6, 6-2, 6-3. Lose the 1st Set. Win the match. No problem. Rafael Nadal had a career 13-1 record against Phillip Kohlschreiber coming into their Miami Round of 32 match on the weekend. He had only lost one set in their past six matches. Nadal had a solid warm-up for the match.

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