The bottom line in tennis is the player who hits one more ball back than his (or her) opponent wins the point. This is a simple plan that causes much confusion and misapplication among tennis players. In fact, this principle is so simple it eludes most players. Zealous players think you must do something dynamic to be the victor! But zeal without thought is futile.
I know that this simple plan (more balls back, more points) is misunderstood when I hear players whine, "He was not the better player, I just beat myself." Hello! I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but that means he IS the better player! Better players make other players beat themselves. Why? Think about it -- the better player hits more balls over the net. If his opponent has opportunities to win points but fails, that does not mean his opponent is a better player.
In other words you think IF you would have just capitalized on the opportunities you would have been victorious. Therefore, you're really the better player. "If" means that you have only the "potential" for capitalizing on your opportunities. Here's more bad news! You DID NOT capitalize on these opportunities, therefore you are NOT the better player.Ê
Now hear this! You may have the potential to be the better player, but until you can make the last shot consistently, your opponent will bring home the trophy.Ê
Again, the bottom line... the player who hits one more ball back than his or her opponent wins the point! Just ask Roger Federer!