Mardy Fish Wins Ugly to Capture Third Title

Tennis Psychology

Playing in Adverse Weather Conditions

Mardy Fish captured his third ATP title beating Evgeny Korolev 7-5, 6-3 at the Delray Beach International Championships on Sunday. In the past, Fish struggled to come home with the win when he got the to the finals.

Fish has reached 10 finals in his tennis career, winning just three titles. But, Fish was able to set his record aside to stay confident and focused in the final in adverse weather conditions.

“I’ve certainly lost my share of finals. I lost 7-6 in third in Cincinnati, 6-4 in the third in Indian Wells and [6-4] in the fifth at the Olympics. Even one of those turns into a pretty good career. For whatever reason I put myself in the position. Keep knocking on the door, hopefully, eventually I’ll knock it down,” said Fish.

Fish prevailed with mental toughness to win his third title. Winning his third title wasn’t easy. Of course, his opponent Korolev presented some physical and strategic challenges. But, Fish also had to cope with rough weather conditions.

The first set was interrupted by a rain delay for over an hour. As play resumed, temperatures fell and wind gusts reached up to 25 mph.

Adverse weather conditions can be a source of anxiety or frustration for tennis players. Tennis players might be frustrated with the sun in their eyes when serving. Or, players might be frustrated with gusty winds that throw off their footwork and racquet preparation.

Mentally tough tennis players love to play in tough weather conditions. It gives them the mental edge. They love to win ugly.

Winning ugly means your performance may not look pretty, but you use what’s working to get the job done.

You’re not worried about playing perfect tennis or how your shots look. You’re focused on getting the ball to your target anyway you can.

“Conditions were tough. Today kind of reminded me almost of a first-round match at an event that you’d like to do well at. You literally just want to get off the court with the ‘W’ – you couldn’t care less how it looks,” said Fish.

“Obviously it didn’t feel like a first-round match, but it felt like the latter part. I don’t care what the score is. I don’t care how it looks. I need to get off this court with the win” said Fish.

Your tennis psychology lesson for today

Everyone has to cope with the same conditions in tennis. Mentally tough tennis players adjust their game so they can get the job done and win ugly if necessary.

Use your shots that work for the conditions instead of forcing the way you should play tennis.

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