Dealing With Slow Tennis Players
I would like to ask for some help. Today I played an opponent that totally took the rhythm out of my game.
He slowed the game down to a crawl. He took extremely long change-overs and he would take 30-40 seconds after each point to get ready for the next point.
He even hit himself, accidentally in the face and took about 5 minutes to get composed. This strategy seems to bother me the most. I have worked on it but I don’t have the experience to over come this just yet.
The score was 6-2, 4-6, 8-10, so I didn’t completely fall apart but my focus and rhythm became sporadic.
Please help me come up with some way to cope with this distraction.
I understand, it happened to me too. I’ve also seen in on TV a few times, where Ivan Lendl for example took long times to start the point especially when he was losing.
The tricky thing here is that as long as your opponent stays within time limits of the rules of tennis, there is nothing you can do.
In fact, I would suggest that you stop fighting this in your mind, since this WILL NOT CHANGE.
It’s like fighting the morning traffic when going to work. Or fighting bad weather when you want a sunny day.
The reality will not change. Tennis (and life) and MORE DIFFICULT than you would like them to be.
That’s how it is. Accept that and see it as a challenge:
“Wow, tennis is so difficult. Am I capable of holding my concentration a few more seconds than usual so that the other guy starts the point?”
This should get you on the right track.
Also, don’t take it personally.
If someone would intentionally do this to disrupt your rhythm and they weren’t used to that, this would disrupt their own rhythm too.
It’s very likely that your opponent is NOT doing this (time delay) to bother you. He does it because he is so slow.
He is a “slowish” kind of person.
This is just one of the many challenging things in tennis. The more you accept that and stop resisting it, the easier it is to deal with things like that.
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