Australian Open 2016 Men's Semi-Final
The question, can Roger Federer win another grand slam title is in the minds of tennis enthusiasts around the world. At age 34 his game continues to appear sharp and over the past couple of years has become an even more offensive player. Its clear he is motivated to win another slam as he has continued to play a full schedule. Even with his apparent intentions, does he believe he is worthy to hoist a grand slam trophy over his head one more time? Does he feel Worthy to Win? This is the question that all players have to answer yes to in order to breakthrough mentally. If I had the chance to talk with Roger here are FOUR MENTAL POINTS that I believe will make the difference for him in his match-up against Novak Djokovic. As you read through these four points ask yourself the question; What do you think would make the difference for you the next time you play against someone you have struggled to beat?
1. Be Prepared for an Early Start - Tennis is a momentum game and you need to have the belief that you can come out early and play your “A” game in the first set. Nothing more, nothing less. In the past grand slam matches with Novak you have had slow starts. With a “I have nothing to lose” mentality and a “I have everything to gain” thought process you can come out of the blocks solidly and confidently.
2. Find Distance from the Need to Win – Know that you are capable to win but forget about all your other grand slam victories like you have something to defend. You have nothing to prove, the tennis world knows your accomplishments are second to none. Just prepare for this match. Being single minded in your commitment to believe the work you have put in is enough and your game is ready. Let go of any other aspects of trying to control the outcome.
3. Don’t overthink the importance of the event - With your struggles with Novak in the past few grand slams its important to be prepared to play this one match. So you haven’t won a slam since 2012 – that’s in the past. You are playing solid tennis now and have the opportunity to trust your game and believe that you have the tools to get it done. Don’t over-think the importance of winning another slam – you have done that 17 times. Just play the match.
4. Take a hint from Gilles Simon: Be prepared to Suffer - Resist the urge to over-play and bail out of points– stay within your game, focus on percentage targets and wait for the right opportunities to be offensive. This will require a ton of physical work so accept that fact and be committed to work every point relentlessly. Build the points and the opportunities will come as the match progresses.