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 good to be such a high seed. It’s tough to beat a seed. Game over.
It absolutely does not have to be that way. Seeds lose all the time. Only one player wins a Grand Slam event. One hundred and twenty seven lose.
Good players lose for a variety of reasons – mainly because the opponent is not intimidated by their resume. New day. New match.
In 2019, World No. 1, Novak Djokovic, lost 11 times.
Novak Djokovic: 2019 Losses
- January (Doha Semi’s) lost to R. Bautista Agut 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4
- March (Indian Wells Rd32) lost to P. Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4
- March (Miami Rd16) lost to R. Bautista Agut 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
- April (Monte Carlo Qtrs) lost to D. Medvedev 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
- May (Rome Finals) lost to R. Nadal 6-0, 4-6, 6-1
- June (Roland Garros Semi’s) lost to D. Thiem 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5
- August (Cincinnati Semi’s) lost to D.Medvedev 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
- September (US Open Rd16) lost to S. Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5, 2-1 (RET)
- October (Shanghai Qtrs) lost to S. Tsitsipas 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
- November (London Finals RR) lost to D. Thiem 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5)
- November (London Finals RR) lost to R. Federer 6-4, 6-3
Losing happens. Novak has the world’s best resume… and he loses too. ☝️
Getting Tight directly addresses the dynamic of playing someone with an impressive resume. Jeff Greenwald played Francisco Clavet in the semi’s of the National 40’s in December, and this issue popped up there as well. Francisco is a former ATP Top 20 player.
Below is a sneak peek of my conversation with Jeff while reading Francisco’s comments he emailed post-match. Thanks for the feedback Francisco!
Getting Tight: Sneak Peek Video
All the best,