Thinking on the court should be simple and concise. Play every single point the best that you can. You cannot win every game point, or every critical point; you have to keep giving yourself chances. If you had one chance, you need another. If you had a couple, you need three, etc.
You need to think like this. When it seems like momentum goes one way or the other, realize that the next point can help you keep the momentum in your corner, or swing it in your direction if your opponent has it. A good player will change the momentum when they are behind and they will do a better job keeping the momentum when they are ahead—unless you challenge them and make them work hard for every point.
Do this by serving well (similar speed on both serves, 75 percent), returning serve well (deep and down the middle when in doubt) and getting the point to go past the magic number of four shots by hitting the next two shots, after the serve or return, crosscourt.
Make these your key match thoughts and remember to focus on only one idea at a time.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org