Grand Slam Series

The German Tennis Federation once determined that at the professional level of tennis, 99 percent of matches are won by the person or team who wins the most points. While the game has changed to include many more first-strike points (aces and returns of serves), the vast majority of matches at the pro and recreational level are still won by the person who wins the most total points during the match.

In the one percent of matches where this doesn’t occur, the score is usually an odd score, such as 0-6, 7-5, 7-5, where the winner got blown out in one set, then played the remaining sets closely.

Another interesting statistic the Germans discovered was that 97 percent of matches were won by the person or team who wins the most series of three points in a row or more.

What is important for high school players to understand about these statistics is that there are no such things as “big points” or “big games.” Every point is important. The only significance of the seventh game of a set or ad court points or break points, is the importance you mentally place on them.

The statistic that may be most useful to your players is the statistic about winning the most series of three or more points. If your player is up one or two points, they might relax. If they understand the statistical importance of putting together three points in a row, however, they will stay more focused. Your players must also understand how important it is to prevent their opponent’s from winning three points in a row.

One way to instill in your players this desire to win three straight points in a row, or to prevent an opponent from doing so, is to have them play points in a drill where they score a drill “point” only when they win three points in a row.

Here is a drill to practice this skill.

Step #1 — Players warm up, spin the racquet for serve and begin to play points.

Step #2 — Each time a player or team wins three points in a row, they are awarded one “Major” tournament. For example, the first time a player wins three points in a row, she wins the Australian Open.

Step #3 — If a player wins two points, then loses the third, they go back to zero. This gives the trailing player an incentive. Your players must learn that it’s not only important to win three points in a row, but to prevent opponents from winning three points in a row.

Step #4 — The first player to collect a “Grand Slam” (all four majors: Australian, French, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) wins the drill. NOTE: With evenly matched players, it is possible that neither player will win a Grand Slam.

Step #5 — Based on a time limit, or as soon as one player wins a Grand Slam, players rotate courts, with winners moving up and losers moving down. Play King or Queen of the Court, with players keeping track of their total majors.

Step #6 — End the drill with the winning player on the first court declared the overall winner, or the player with the most total Majors the King of the Court.

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