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I had a theory that when on the ropes it's always easier to defend than to attack. Because the other guy is usually playing not to lose at this point, one trailing is forced to attack and makes an error.

However, Delpo-Fed match point does not fit this reasoning.

The other theory is that one gives up. But, again, I don't think Fed gave up on that point.


Waldner is such a table tennis genius, he probably often walks away before a point ended because he'll block the shot back and out of reach.

In the Olympics gold medal match between Waldner and Kong, with the Swedish king and queen watching, Waldner was able to comeback from 0:2 to 2:2 and force a deciding set. He made a forehand error on return to lose match point in the final decisive set. Why? I think inevitability has set in, you are trying a desperation shot to go down on your own terms.


I can see that, but how is any of the three clips above a desperation shot? Inevitability is a factory only with Federer and Murray, not with Djokovic and Nadal.


nerves, tension, thinking ahead rather than staying with the point being played


Good question, Veglia. Waldner is a cool Swede with so much pride, but you can actually see his emotions and frustrations. The opponent finishing the match must feel like dying from a bullet that he doesn't want to endure. Instead he died fighting.

When I examined the above three clips, I think they do fit this pattern. In each match, the inevitability has set in, and a desperation shot is delivered. First match, Federer Nadal, Federer needed to break Nadal, but he failed to do that even once the entire match. When he was broken, the sinking feeling is that the match gone. Federer actually blamed the error on darkness? good for him. Second match, Djokovic was shredded to pieces by the Nadal topspin, Zero chance what to do but a desperate serve toward to corner? Third match, Federer missed his chances to put the match away, and lost his mind on that final shot.


Maybe. This aligns with my second theory of giving up. However, the way I remember Fed-Delpo match, Roger did not give up. Maybe my memory gave up :) Or maybe we're misdirected here. Reviewing the Fed-Delpo clip, I wouldn't call that an UE. Not at all.

So, going back to my original answer(s), disregarding Fed-Delpo clip as misguidance.


Agree the delpo one didn't feel like a ue.


Or maybe it's a shot of denial or a shot of defiance.


Give up the point and don't give the thrill of winning by striking a winner. Basically deny that last moment from the winner.


Panic strikes.

Tennis Planet

More unforced errors on match point:

Federer vs Nadal @ AO final: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7ZNsxvtu2c

Federer vs Nadal @ Madrid(???) final when he COMPLETELY missed the ball while swinging at the ball IN his wheelhouse.

Djokovic vs Federer @ US Open: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2F4aZ4P9do



Going for broke? Trying too hard? Figuring the match is over, but you could still make those dinner reservations?




OK, the third theory ... "This title should have been mine!!!"

This title should be mine, but the other guy is at match point. Why is this world so unjust? Everyone knows I deserve this title. So, why is the other guy winning? Maybe I'm too stiff? Maybe I'm thinking too much, should just play my game. Just swing at it. Yes, that's it. Just go for it. I know what to do, finally. Yes, it's the match point but I get this, then the next point and the next one and match is finally mine. OK, let's go now ... Oh crap, it's over ...


Haha, nice try. I vote you winner.


Thanks. We'll if I made a winner or unforced error here :)


I LIKE it! Sounds like my self-talk......

Tennis Planet

Correct answer:


If this is the correct answer than O won it.

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