Posts Tagged Wimbledon

Federer Plays Chess on the Tennis Court

He just won Wimbledon and the most Grand Slam titles of any player ever. He may be the greatest player ever. How is he so good?

A coach of 50 years, Frank Adams (who’s ideas and videos are on this site) said that Roger has better instinct and intuition than his competitors.

Writer Cynthia Gorney said “…Federer — who usually has uncanny on-court telepathy about what his opponent plans for three shots hence and exactly how to wreck it…”
(From a June 21, 2009 New York Times Magazine article by her about Rafael Nadal.)

Looking ahead reflectively at chess moves is essential to be a champion. But to do it as well on a tennis court? I have enough trouble anticipating just the next shot coming back at me. How does a pro predict three shots ahead? Let’s see, if I hit here, then he will hit there, then I will hit there and he will hit here…all in fractions of a second. I suspect his brain and reflexes work faster than most humans, so that he has more time to react and plan. Plus he has superb—actually the most superior—handling and placement skills. The tennis announcers are always saying he has great hands, great feel.

There are men I play with who claim they can look at the angle of the server’s racket and anticipate which side of the serving box the ball will go to. I can’t. Some of the other guys don’t believe the first guy can actually do that. Can you?

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Can You Change Personalities And Become A Killer On The Court?

In the game on July 1st, when the other team was behind, one of my opponents told his partner to “Play for blood!” And that partner would then really get miffed with his own teammate when a point was lost: “Why didn’t you move back to the center? How could you miss that shot?” he would ask with annoyance.

I also noticed that after a point, when the first guy fed me a ball, so that I could serve, he hit it back to me low, hard, and with lots of top spin. I usually just lob the ball over in a gentle way when I feed the server.

I think of myself as an easy-going type. Though competitive, I can’t usually forget serious problems in the world or the troubles people I know are dealing with. So I don’t get upset if I lose. I mean it’s just a game, and we are out there to have fun. If my partner screws up or double faults, big deal. My main goal is for me to play well. I may become disappointed when I hit long or in the net. I may feel apologetic that I am letting my partner down or not giving the other guys a better game. But I don’t get angry.

Now I’d also heard for years that if you watch someone playing almost any sport, you can see their personality in action. If they cheat in the game, they probably do it in business. I am gentle, so I lob the ball back easily. Someone else is tough, he fires it back with vigor. But I also want to hit a hard, fast tennis ball in the game, so of course I should do it in practice and now maybe at all times on the court. I want to be tougher, rougher, gruffer and meaner in “play” than I am in real life. In fact:


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