I listened with fascination to Darren Cahill's interview following Simona Halep's dominant quarter-final win at the Aussie Open, and thought I'd share a couple of the key points and reflections.
1.) Regarding her improved approach to responding to difficult internal experiences that are part of competition Cahill said:
“As far as I'm concerned, the relationship is exactly the same. She's still as stressed on the court as she always is, but she's learning ways to deal with it and to handle it.”
“After letting two breaks slip against Mertens in the Round of 16 and then having chances in the 4-3 game in the second set, Simona got back to 4-all, had break points in the 4-all game and missed them. The old Simona would have let that game go, but she refused to give up in that game."
“That's what I'm most proud of is that fight that she's showing when a few things go against her. That's been the big change in her I have seen over the last two or three...
What an epic...
5hr and 9min of great competing...Ups and downs...Twists and turns...And finally an incredible chip passing shot by the Grand Slam specialist Wawrinka to pronounce his return as a serious Slam threat.
Its a shame there had to be a loser in this one. But above all, simply seeing the last point, hearing the crowd's roar, and feeling the emotion of the embrace that followed tells us all we need to about why tennis is the greatest game of all...And why we love it so much :-)
It also reminds us of the key performance values that we should connect with before we step onto the court for practice or matches...Let's listen to how Wawrinka and Tsitsipas described what they valued most when reflecting on the match:
On Striving to Win:
Wawrinka: "That's the reason why I still play tennis, and that's the reason why I'm practising every day, to try to win big matches like this."
Tsitsipas: "We both struggled, we both went beyond our limits, we both experienced luck...