I often times say that the game of tennis is much more about errors than it is about winners (…Maria Sharapova, are you listening?). Why? Because you want the majority of your focus to be on what you can control, not chance.
The the tennis strategy you want to be using. Because hey, winners may or may not happen, no matter what you do behind those white lines.
But for the most part, the element you have the most say in is your unforced error count.
…You know, double-fault drama, missed easy overheads, or botched up finishing volley shots. Yeah, those should be kept to a bare minimum, IF YOU WANT TO WIN.
You don’t want to beat yourself, you already have enough enemy firepower coming at you as it is. Adding even more fuel to the competitive onslaught of your opponent that’s already kicked into high gear isn’t a smart idea.
Now unfortunately for the Sharapova fan club (…and her soon to be husband Sasha Vujacic), Maria Sharapova wasn’t able to do this in her US Open match against the feisty Flavia Pennetta.
Her unforced error count not only wasn’t contained, it went absolutely wild and out of control.
Now sure, to her credit, she did manage to hit a sizable amount of winners. But like I mentioned before, winners alone DON’T WIN matches.
I mean, Maria Sharapova racked up 12 more than Pennetta. So, kudos to her. But her unforced errors quickly negated that “positive” and dug her a game-day grave 6 feet deep , ultimately KILLING her chances at advancing to the fourth round.
And she knew it too. After the match, she said:
“When you’re down 1-4 and you get yourself back in a position where you can win again and then start making errors, it’s just too inconsistent to win the match against her.’
Maria Sharapova Had Way Too Many Errors Against Pennetta:
Honestly, a couple here and there are nothing to write home about (…and won’t hurt you too much), but when you generate a mind boggling 60 unforced errors, then achieving your goal of getting that win becomes virtually impossible to attain.
And when you stack 12 DOUBLE-FAULTS on top of that already tumultuous error spree (…And you do it in critical situations like break point or set point).
…That’s just like shoving a stake right through the heart of your confidence. And your opponent will begin to smell blood. And after that… Enough said.
Sharapova agreed wholeheartedly:
“I come in on a day and I don’t quite have my rhythm, and run into those errors where, not only do I feel like I have to get a high percentage of first serves, but my opponent gains a tremendous amount of confidence on their return.
So, next time you’re in a match (…exhibition or tournament play), feel free to go for those winners when they present themselves during the course of a point. But don’t make a habit of looking to get one on every stroke.
Box your opponent. Stick and move. You don’t always need the knockout to get the win. When you’re in a defensive position, go for a nice slice to give yourself some time.
Or if your serve is failing you, try taking some off to get a higher percentage (…to get our confidence up). Make your opponent earn every point. No FREEBIES!
If you don’t, and try going for broke all match long, like a mad man (…or woman), you just may be winning your way to a loss, just like Maria Sharapova did!
Have a great day, and an even better game!
P.S. Do you guys agree? Are errors more important than winners in your book? I’d love to get your take on it. Check out our 19 hour kick-butt instructional course, and start winning matches like crazy. Visit this page to learn more