Shanghai Rolex Masters, China
[CR25] Leonardo Mayer (ARG), like most lower ranked players, could not deliver the knock out punch to [CR3] Roger Federer (SUI). He served for the first set, but got broken and lost the set, 5-7.
You cannot let a player of Federer’s caliber off the hook. When you have the opportunity to win the set, don’t waiver, stick with the belief that got you this far. Mayer was fluid and went for his shots with conviction; however, the moment he was tested, he got tense and could no longer produce winning tennis.
He got another opportunity in the second set, and this time although he was a little shaky, he held on to win it, 6-3. Federer gave him numerous opportunities in the final set; once again, Mayer could not maintain his conviction and he lost the match, 5-7, 6-3, 6-7(7).
Many players have gotten to this stage; however, to get to the next level, you must believe that you can beat anyone on any day. Without belief, no amount of desire and/or skill will allow you to attain the victory.
SOURCE: Andersson. Ann Surg 2007 246: 741-748