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Player to Player: Avoiding Second Set Letdowns

September 19, 2013 03:59 PM
Have a question? Receive advice from your fellow players!
Real Tennis Players - Like You! - Asking For and Offering Advice on the Sport They Love

Player to Player is USTA.com’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question.

Latest question from Joe: My doubles partner and I are short, and whenever we play a very good and tall net player, we struggle. We do try to lob and hit to the other player, but the taller player seems to still take over. Any advice for how to play against this type of player? 
Do you have any advice for Joe or a question of your own? Please share your thoughts by e-mailing Player@usta.com, and include your name and hometown for a chance to receive advice from your fellow players! 
Last question from Liz: In many of my doubles matches, we win the first set pretty easily, but the second set is when the errors start to occur and we end up losing. Any advice?
From Theresa: Sounds like maybe your opponents may have switched up their strategy in the second set. Perhaps they identified your weak points and decided to play on those weaknesses in the second set. They are trying to win too. You need to work on identifying what may be going wrong and do your best to fix it.
From Dickson: Play like it is always the first set and with the same tenacity. The tendency is to mentally relax after winning, thinking that this was easy, so no need to play all out. Keep the same winning mental focus.
From Don: Letdown is a very typical thing among club players -- getting distracted, cooling down or taking a break. Being match tough is so important. Keep your focus and continue to apply the pressure that won you the first set. If you get distracted, play every point as a single point until you get back in the groove. Be mentally tough!
From Analily: Don't change anything! If you won the first set, keep playing same way even if your opponents try changing something. Don't give up a bit! Talk among yourselves, keep the communication up. I know it's easier said than done. I'd been there trying to change things around for an "even higher scoring" in the second set ... big mistake!
From James: Treat the second set like it is the first set. In your mind, convince yourself that you are playing two brand new players in a brand new set.
From Ali: Don't relax. Full steam ahead. Remember, while still on court, anyone can win.


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