2 Lessons You Can Learn From The Montreal Masters ATP

2 Lessons You Can Learn From The Montreal Masters ATP

The Montreal Masters ATP tournament ended with Andy Murray winning it and reaching the #2 ranking, but there were also many interesting things that happened in this tournament.

While you may have read the headlines of magazines or online sites and thought:«Hmm, that’s interesting.«, you may have missed the deeper meaning of the events that took place in Montreal.

The most interesting were these two:

1. The Top 8 ranked players on ATP ALL reached the quarterfinals in the modern history of ATP.

This might sound as an interesting headline but when you think more deeply about it, you realize that the top 8 players on ATP (when they entered that tournament) have NEVER ALL reached the quarter finals of the tournament until now.

Well, what does that mean?

There are currently over 40 ATP tournaments per year and the ATP started in 1973. From 1973 until 2009 it’s 36 years and over 36 x 40 = 1200 tournaments played.

Sure, the top 8 players don’t play in each of those, but they do meet regularly at Masters series and Grand Slams, roughly in about one third of the tournaments played.

So let’s say that top 8 players met 400 times since 1973 and yet they ALL finally managed to win their previous rounds to meet in the quarter final only in Montreal 2009.

Which means that one or more of them LOST to lower ranked players at ALL OTHER tournaments so far! Their success (together) is 1 to 400!

Why is this so important to know?

I met so many tennis players in my career as a coach who were completely devastated when they lost a match to a lower ranked player and believed that they SHOULD have won the match – since they were the better ranked player.

This is completely unrealistic and these players have felt guilt and created negative beliefs about their potential just because they believed in a story:«If I am the better ranked player, I shoud win.«

The Montreal quarterfinal matchup REMINDED us how SMALL the chances are that the higher ranked players will actually reach their »supposed« round where they were then »supposed« to lose to a higher ranked player.

In fact, it’s totally NORMAL to lose to a lower ranked player – because that’s how small the differences are between the players ON A GIVEN DAY.

The reason why top players REMAIN top players is because they play better tennis IN THE LONG TERM compared to their opponents.

But this doesn’t guarantee at all that they can beat lower ranked opponents at any time.

The quarter final matches again proved that; Federer, Nadal and Djokovic ALL lost to lower ranked players and only Murray won.

The purpose of this analysis is to prove your belief wrong and release you from hurting yourself in the future with unrealistic expectations (that you should win matches against lower ranked players).

This belief:«If I am the better player, I should win. And if I didn’t win, then something is wrong with me and I will never be a good player.« – is absolutely NOT TRUE.

In fact it is very LIKELY that you will lose to a lower ranked player sooner or later in the tournament. I wonder how many tournaments (in %) are actually won by first seeds… I guarantee that this number is well below 50%…

So the next time you happen to lose to a lower ranked player, realize that this is something that happens all the time to everyone in the game of tennis.

If you want to assess your quality, then you MUST look at your results in the LONG TERM (6 months or a year) and see how many points you have accumulated and how you rank.

2. Roger Federer lost the final set and the match after leading 5:1 with two breaks of serve.

If you would have led 5:1 in the third set against a lower ranked player and lost that set 7:6, what would you think of yourself?

That you’re a loser? That you choke at the important moments of the match?

That you’ll never be a good tennis player because good tennis players DON’T lose from 5:1 up and don’t waste such opportunities?


If you lose from 5:1 up in the third set against lower ranked opponent, this doesn’t mean ANYTHING.

It can only mean whatever the story (belief) you create out of it. It’s completely UP TO YOU what kind of thinking you will create based on this event; positive, realistic, negative or NONE.

In my experience, most players create horribly negative beliefs based on events like this and they can basically destroy their self confidence based on completely wrong and unrealistic thinking.

The reality is this: the best player of all times Roger Federer, who MUST be mentally tough and MUST know how to play tennis in the deciding phases of the match, LOST from 5:1 up in the third set.

Therefore, this can happen to you and you can still achieve immortal greatness in tennis. (let alone play good tennis in the future matches)

That’s how it is in the world of sports. It’s unpredictable and even the best players are merely humans and do not have 100% control of their mind and body.

Federer probably relaxed too much and I am sure that he realized that very soon – probably when he was broken the first time – and yet he was UNABLE to close the match. Even Federer CANNOT control the score – and neither can you.

This events WILL happen in your tennis career and you need to remember that this is how it is in tennis and that it’s only UP TO YOU what kind of story you make up from this match.

It can be a terribly negative story that will CAUSE you to lose other matches in the future, or it can just be AN EVENT in your tennis career that you accept as a difficulty of tennis game and competing in such a demanding sport.

You can realistically accept your imperfections and that sometimes they will cause you to lose a match like this, but so will these imperfections CAUSE losses of your opponents at some point in your career and you will benefit from them.

So the next time you see an interesting tennis headline, take a few minutes to ponder on the MEANING of it and whether you can learn a lesson from it. 😉

Related posts:

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How To Always Bring A Steady Game To My Matches?
How Expectations Affect Your Determination To Win
Should A Tennis Coach Be Realistic Or Think Big?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 3:06 am and is filed under ATP tour, Roger Federer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “2 Lessons You Can Learn From The Montreal Masters ATP”
Tennis Tips : Don’t Worry About Your Opponent’s Ranking | Tennis Tips Says:
August 24th, 2009 at 8:32 pm
[…] The better ranked players usually win in the long run, but not every single time. Here is an interesting article I found which discusses this in more […]