I want you to watch the United States Open through a different lens, with an analytical eye, replacing guesswork and opinion with patterns and percentages.
I want to help you see what matters for winning a tennis match, and what does not. Once your tennis vision has improved, you will understand the game better — and play it better.
The first thing to understand is that you are not watching only one match; you are watching two. The obvious match is the one during the point, but the more important match happens between the points. For a lot of players at the Open, the allotment of 20 seconds between points is simply an inconvenience. It should not be.
At some stage of every match, a mental storm cloud rolls in. It could come in the first game, or in the final one, or at any point in between. A bad line call, an exhausting point, the sun, wind and shadows, or a failure to convert a break point can make players reach for the self-destruct button.
The reality of tennis, at all levels of the game, is that…