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Exclusive tips from Victoria Azarenka on ‘How to serve out a match’:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
If there is a change of ends before you serve for the match, use those 90 seconds wisely. ”Sometimes, as I wait on the chair before trying to serve out a match, I don’t think at all. Other times, I will think about a movie I’ve just watched. Other times, I’ll think, ‘do you know what, remember to do that’. So maybe you need to remind yourself what to do, or perhaps you need to be pumped up. Or sometimes you”re getting too excited, and you need to calm down.”
Find the emotional level which allow you to perform at your best.
“When you are serving for the match, it’s different to other service games, because the emotion levels are different. But it always take experience. But you have to find what makes a difference for you. I feel that’s why tennis is so individual because it’s so personal. You have to find little tricks, whatever it is, to help you, and then you keep on doing those. You will come to know the level that allows you to perform at your best. You have to do whatever it takes. You have to learn about yourself – that’s how you control your mental state throughout the match.”
Stay disciplined – it’s more important to win the match than to finish in style with an ace.
“Of course, you want to finish in style, with an ace or a big winner, but it would be a mistake to become to obsessed with doing that. That would be a mistake. It depends on the situation. If you’re 6-0, 5-0 up, you might as well try. But I always value every point, and you can’t ever underestimate your opponent, especially when you’re playing at a high level. One moment can change a whole match. I’ve seen that happen to other players, it’s happened for me, and it’s happened against me. So it’s really important to stay disciplined. That’s what takes you to a high level, and you want to continue to stay there.”
Victoria Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, is an ambassador for Red Bull.