Tennis, is such an easy game
Tennis: just a game where you hit the ball over the net, in the court, one time more often than your opponent. Right? It sounds so easy. Yet, it is not. Different aspects decide how well you are able to do this. Perhaps the smallest difference between the professional players on the ATP tour is in their technique. They all have a certain bottom-line technical level that gets them very far. Even if it is not by the book. However, the technical breakpoint with regard to speed and skills differs between the best and less ranked players.
Dominating points, using their preferred game plan
What will further decide which player will win or lose depends more on their tactical insights and options to change tactics when needed. The very best players on tour, like Alcaraz and Sinner, are able to dominate the points, using their preferred game plan. An excellent example of this is Sinner winning his semi-finals here in Umag against Franco Agamenone by 6-2, 6-3. Both players play by the same tactics. However, Sinner is better at it and dominates the points with his tempo play, steady backhand, and dominant forehand. Agamenone did not have a plan B. And if he would have, Sinner would probably have noticed it and would have adjusted his own play a bit.
Mental resilience is a key aspect
What probably makes an even bigger difference than technique and tactics on the tour, with regard to winning or losing, is the players’ mental resilience and confidence during the match. Here Carlos Alcaraz is an excellent example. He knows how to create a focused and stable mental state in which he can play with a lot of confidence. He shows high positive energy, mentally and physically. He celebrates good points and barely shows reactions when he loses a point. Whether it is by a mistake of his own or not. And regardless of the importance of the point. He just sticks to his routine and prepares himself for the next point. And it is precisely this kind of the first reaction after a point and these routines that make the biggest difference between the truly great players and the rest on tour.
Tennis: more physical than ever before
However, one thing must be said. Tennis is currently more physical than it has ever been in history. Services at high speed or with big effects, high-speed groundstrokes, giving players barely time to adjust and forcing them to play intense high-speed rallies with great footwork and aggressive swings. And especially today, we must admit that in the end, the physical part decided the match between Alcaraz and Zappieri. After an intense match with fireworks from both sides and great mental resilience of both, it were cramps that decided this semi-finals. The Italian Gulio Zappieri got cramps at 5-7, 6-4, 3-3. He was unable to serve, return or move well after that. Leading to Alcaraz winning this match and getting to the finals where he will face the Italian talent Jannik Sinner. We will see which game plan will dominate tomorrow. The tough groundstrokes of Alcaraz with a lot of rotation, or the tempo play of Sinner? One thing is certain, both players are physically, mentally, tactically, and technically strong. May the best man win!