For a deeper analysis of the massive impact rally length has on winning a match, I highly recommend THE FIRST 4 SHOTS. Click HERE for more information about this tennis strategy course, focused on the importance of the start of the rally.
The First 4 Shots – Video
How long can you sustain excellence?
G’day from New York,
It was a pleasure to catch up with Diego Schwartzman and Marin Cilic at the Fila US Open party on Friday evening.
I started talking to Diego about the Infosys story I wrote on him late last year that focused on his prowess returning. Since 2008, the best returner in the world at the end of each season has either been Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, but Diego took the honors last season.
Here are the Top 5 performers with Return Games Won in 2017.
- 34.76% = Diego Schwartzman (276/794)
- 32.71% = Rafael Nadal (297/908)
- 30.43% = Roberto Bautista Agut (248/815)
- 30.43% = Damir Dzumhur (220/723)
- 27.95% = Hyeon Chung (147/526)
It’s an incredible achievement, especially considering Diego is 5’7″ (170cm) and 141lbs (64kg).
Diego is currently ranked No. 13 in the world and boasts a career-high of No. 11 that he maintained for four weeks in June and July this year.
Our conversation then turned to his 2018 Roland Garros quarter-final. He lost to Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Diego talked about how he got off to a great start and was attacking like crazy, and then around the middle of Set 2 he simply could not sustain that level anymore. The gas tank ran empty. I told him I was actually at the match and was super impressed with how he started the match, but I also saw the energy level drop, which then spilled over to court position and errors replacing winners.
Too often against a hot opponent (such as Diego at the start of this match), we think the opponent is playing currently playing outstanding tennis – and they will continue to play out of their minds for the rest of the match.
That’s very tough to do! When you are down in a match, like Nadal was, sometimes you just need to ride out the storm.
Here’s the cold, hard reality of a tennis match.
ADVERSITY IS GOING TO COME AT SOME STAGE!
When you step on to a court to compete, things are not always going to go your way. Adversity is coming – you just don’t know when.
In my Brain Game Tennis course, Between The Points, one of the pages is called Storm Cloud. On that page, I reference a quote from Nadal’s best-selling book, “Rafa”. Here it is.
Rafael Nadal’s Book – RAFA
On the 2008 Wimbledon Final v Roger Federer.
Well, there you have it in a nutshell. A great quote that directly applies to Nadal’s 2008 Wimbledon final against Roger, and also Rafa’s 2018 Roland Garros quarter-final against Diego. Look for this dynamic to again play out at the 2018 US Open.
For more great insights into the mental and emotional aspects in the course, Between The Points, click HERE.
All the best,