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Old May 20th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #1
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How to get match-tough after a long competetive layoff?

Hi everyone,
well the title already states what I'm mostly interested in. When I was younger, I always played in a club, both juniors and adults interclubs. My last full season was in 2007, and since university life started in 2008 I've been on and off, mostly playing randomly at the university courts. Only last autumn I rejoined a club and have been practising there since. This week now, I was back to play my first competetive event since 2007, but I lost badly in both of my matches in the regional championchips. I was way too tight in my first match and was down 0-6 0-3 quickly before regrouping but eventually losing 0-6 3-6. Yesterday I played much better but still lost 1-6 1-6. In yesterday's match virtually every game went to deuce or at least 30-30 but I was pressing too much then.

What can I do besides contuing to practice and probably becoming fitter (which, given we are playing on clay, is definitely a goal in the upcoming weeks)? I noticed that I have always been switching between playing super aggressive or pushing, somewhat lacking a middle game in match situations...
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Old May 20th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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Re: How to get match-tough after a long competetive layoff?

Nothing can substitute for real matches under pressure, but you can ease the process by playing many practice matches which don't count officially with players of an appropriate level. Try to play a mixture of opponents so that you win some matches and lose some. You shouldn't be winning all your practice matches and you also shouldn't be losing them all- have some weaker practice partners and some stronger ones.

To add pressure you can have a small bet going, like buying each other a drink or the loser cooking/buying a meal for the winner. However this is not totally necessary.

Practice matches act as a kind of bridge between real official matches and relaxed practice. You also have to give the process time. You need to build up the match experience in yourself again, and it usually takes many months before your body and mind begin to accept the pressure automatically. Aim to be truly match tough 6 months from now.

After each match or practice match you will probably find you have something you need to work on. Try to work on it soon after the match while it is fresh in your mind. For instance, if you have problems with the serve during a practice match, go and practice your serve afterwards. You may find that it will feel very different (you will probably perform a lot better than you did during the match) since the pressure that was on you during the match has faded, but understanding this difference is part of becoming match tough.

Apart from that you just need to get a lot of pressure matchplay under your belt.

Last edited by HowardH : May 20th, 2012 at 11:29 AM.
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Old Nov 11th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: How to get match-tough after a long competetive layoff?

hi guys I haven't been playing tennis for like 3,4 years. Maybe played like 10 times in the last 3, 4 years. But recently I have joined a club and trying to play again. The guy I was playing with told me I wasn't using and turning my waist, I was holding my racquet too tight. I didn't notice those at all and I thought I was doing ok since the strokes went pretty nicely.....so my question is what are some common mistake that people make when they haven't been playing tennis for awhile?
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Old Nov 26th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #4
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Re: How to get match-tough after a long competetive layoff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by okaythen View Post
hi guys I haven't been playing tennis for like 3,4 years. Maybe played like 10 times in the last 3, 4 years. But recently I have joined a club and trying to play again. The guy I was playing with told me I wasn't using and turning my waist, I was holding my racquet too tight. I didn't notice those at all and I thought I was doing ok since the strokes went pretty nicely.....so my question is what are some common mistake that people make when they haven't been playing tennis for awhile?
I think it's important to get your feet moving. I played today for the first time in 3 months and only won 2 games, my movement was leaden.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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Re: How to get match-tough after a long competetive layoff?

You need matches - period.

I'd practice with someone who plays similar to Vinci. It'll get you to hit more balls, more awkward shots, more difficult points. You need to find your rhythm and this type of player will get you to see more balls which will accelerate the improvement. It's not a coincidence that when players get past players like this, somehow like 7-5 in a third, that they then go on to play great tennis after that.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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Re: How to get match-tough after a long competetive layoff?

^ Ole' wise one
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