How Nadal defeated Ferrer in the 2012 Barcelona Final
The winner of a tennis match is not always the one playing better overall that day. Lots of times the winner utilized a Big Points Strategy Used by Top Tennis Pros. A good example was this week in Barcelona with Rafael Nadal defeating David Ferrer. During the Barcelona Open Final, Ferrer seemed to be playing better than Nadal, but Ferrer still came up short.
What Big Points Strategy Did Nadal Use on the Tennis Court?
Top Tennis Pros know their own game, and they use this to their advantage on big points. When the pressure is on they rely on their strengths and do nothing out of the ordinary. Over the years, I have seen people spending endless hours working on their weaknesses and still losing way too many matches. Working on a weakness is important, but we need to leverage our strengths to win matches. The key is to use the skills that you are the most comfortable with under pressure. You will be the most comfortable and confident hitting your favorite shots on big points. Someone may have told you in the past to play your own game. Well, there is no better time to do this than on big points if you want to win more matches.
Hannah Wilks documented the Nadal vs Ferrer action in an article on Tennis.com stating that Nadal snuffed out two of Ferrer’s set points.
It could be seen as ironic or just sad that all that fantastic play on Ferrer’s part succeeded only in pushing Nadal to play better, but Nadal repeatedly came up with his simplest and most aggressive play when down break points, relying on big serves and big forehands to erase danger. After saving a break point on his own serve, Ferrer threw everything at Nadal in a marathon game at 5-6. Nadal snuffed out two set points with big forehands before Ferrer’s best chance came on the third—and went, after he put a tame backhand into the net that could have changed the whole complexion of the match. Two more set points came and went before Nadal finally held. After pushing so hard and getting nowhere, it was perhaps unsurprising that Ferrer crumbled in the tiebreak, losing it tamely, 7-1.
Also, Hannah Wilks goes on to say, “. . . the better player in a given match is the one who finds their best tennis on the biggest points.”
Nadal said after the match that Ferrer played better and lost. I never find that particular formulation convincing; surely the better player in a given match is the one who finds their best tennis on the biggest points. That was Ferrer’s signal failure today, in a match where he had ample chances to at least take it to three sets; ultimately it was the margin with which Nadal scored his fourteenth career victory over his compatriot.
Get to know your own game as well, so you can play your best on the big points. If you utilize this strategy, you will win more matches.
Try this Tennis Strategy Yourself
Try it out this week on the court, and leave us a comment below about what happened. I am sure others will be encouraged by your results. Also, share with others using our Social Media Buttons, so they can share what they think as well.