Coaching

Dominate the Tiebreaker

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When tennis games are tied at 6-6, a tie-breaker is used to determine the winner of a set. Sooner or later, most players face a tiebreaker.

During this critical situation it is important to stay calm and focused, and approach the tiebreaker with simplicity. “I always tell club players, ‘Boring wins the point." At club level, tiebreaks are decided on unforced errors more than anything else. And chasing the winner gets you into trouble.”

But fear not, follow these simple tips to win more tiebreaks:

  • Have a positive mindset and really believe you’re going to win it. You never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes, one shot can change the whole momentum of the tiebreak, so you’ve got to be prepared for that and stay positive.
  • Keep attacking! Normally, it’s the person who is trying to attack who has the advantage in a tiebreak. I’d say that 80 percent of the time, the player who is dictating will win the tiebreak. So try to take charge of the rallies. The first points are extremely important, so if you can get off to a quick lead, like 3-0 or 4-1, you have a huge advantage.”
  • Focus on every single point especially on your serves, as those points are the most vital. 
  • Focus on holding your own serve. Concentrate extra-hard on winning those points and then wait for the opportunity to strike some good returns. If you’re winning your service points comfortably, your opponent is going to be under pressure.”
  • A 2nd serve is an opportunity! Attack your opponent's 2nd serve
  • Play a few friendly tiebreaks! Players have a tendency to play many games but very rarely a tiebreak. By practicing your tiebreak you will get a real advantage over your opponent.

 

Don't neglect the importance of winning a very tight first set on a tiebreak. It can give you a massive mental advantage for the rest of the match.