The Winning Edge | Elite Tennis Journal
The excerpt below is taken from the article written by Level A* GPTCA Robert Davis which appeared in Elite Tennis Journal (September 2015).
Referring to the emotional roller coaster that is professional tennis, there is a saying on the ATP Tour: 'Little time to celebrate, and no time to cry'. As tennis players often play several weeks in a row, and are constantly competing on different surfaces with different balls in different cities, consistency is always a challenge.
A player might win one week and lose the next and before he knows it forget how he ever won in the first place. Add niggles, injuries and personal issues to the mix and capturing that elusive ‘winning edge’ is far from easy. Still, some players do. Back in 1977 Guillermo Vilas won a record 46 matches in a row. Ivan Lendl followed with 44 in 1981–82. And most recently, Novak Djokovic with 42 in 2011. However, there is another, lesser known, streak of 26 wins that David Goffin put together last year that illustrates best the most common way a player gets back to winning ways.
In late 2012, Goffin entered the world’s top 50 for the first time. He hovered there treading water for a few months, but started sliding down the rankings and by the end of 2013 had dropped out of the ATP top 100. Last July, Goffin was forced to play Challengers due to his ranking. He quickly won three tournaments in a row; Sheveningen, Poznan and Tampere, a total of 15 matches over three straight weeks.
Goffin did not stop there, gaining entry to the ATP Tour event in Kitzbuhel as one of the last and lowest-ranked players in the draw. How did he do there? You guessed it; Goffin won five matches and his first Tour event. The Belgian went on to win six matches (including three qualifying rounds) before big-hitting Jerzy Janowicz stopped his streak at 26 in the quarterfinals of the ATP Winston-Salem event. Goffin had clearly not lost his skills when he dropped down to the
Challengers; he had merely lost his edge.
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