Can You Beat an Opponent You Have Never Defeated Before?

It is hard to beat an opponent you have never defeated before, especially if your record against them is ten losses or more; however, the possibility does exist that you still can win. Although it may be a bit more overwhelming if you have never won a set against them, believing you can, is the first step to changing that record.

If you can, get videos of a couple of your matches and study them. See where you made critical errors in judgment and execution. Work on your mental and physical strength, because you will need to be stronger mentally and physically in order to step on court the next time with the belief that this time the outcome will be in your favor.

Make Some Adjustments

While you may know how to defeat them in theory, you must be able to go out an execute your revised plan; therefore, practice, practice, and practice. You must also forget about all the times you lost and believe in your new plan of attack. Roger Federer adjusted his game after years of struggling to defeat Rafael Nadal; while it was not necessarily a one-sided rivalry, it was 23:10 in favor of Nadal. Since Federer made the adjustments to his game, he has a 6:1 record against Nadal (some of those losses have been blowouts and embarrassing for Nadal).

It may require adding a new stroke to your arsenal, changing your serve to get to their weaker side or positioning yourself differently on the return of serve. The objective is to take time away from your opponent as well as force them to make many difficult shots from uncomfortable positions.

Serena Williams

Decide You Will Not Lose Again

Serena Williams lost two consecutive matches to Maria Sharapova in 2004, and since then she has not lost another match to Sharapova. While this may not be encouraging if you are on the losing end, you can still learn from this example. Williams adjusted her game and came on the court the next with the belief that she was not going to lose another match to the Russian (their head-to-head since is 19:0 in favor of Williams).

The Answer Is Yes!

Andreas Seppi did it in 2015, he had lost all ten matches (in an eight-year time span) he played against Roger Federer; yet, on one of the biggest stages he played the match of his career to defeat Federer in four sets.

That is the mental strength that you need to have as well as being confident in your new plan of attack and being determined not to lose another match to this opponent.

SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally originals (main: Roger Federer)

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