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How you can tell when a tennis player is tired

As in every sport, physical fitness and stamina are quite important for a tennis player. Although there are sports like soccer or basketball where stamina is more important than in tennis, it is still a very decisive factor. Some tennis players have a playing style that depends more on the quality of their shots, others live off their consistency.

The typical aggressive player prefers shorter rallies and wants to go for a winner or force an opponent to commit bad shots. The typical defensive player likes to put his opponent in positions and situations where the attacker is forced to take a shot that involves a higher risk of missing, or he waits for an opportunity to counter-attack. The defensive strategy also takes into account that and aggressive player gets tired after longer rallies.

For both playing styles, good physical fitness is important - for the aggressive player, whose accuracy and hitting power will go down when he is tired, but even more so for the defensive opponent who will usually have to do more running.

Signs that a tennis player is getting tired

The first thing you have to look out for is the so-called split step. This is a movement that goes widely unnoticed by the unskilled observer. The split step is what every good tennis player does just before his opponent hits the ball. It is basically a small, on the spot, jumping movement that is meant to do two things: first, to put the player in balance, ready to move in any direction, second, to create a certain level of muscle and body tension, like a wake-up call for the muscles to get them ready for the following explosive movement.

The reason why you rarely notice it is because everybody tends to follow the ball and watch the player that hits the ball. If, instead of following the ball, you keep your eyes on one player only during a point, you will see what he does while the other player runs for the ball and gets ready to hit. He will try to get back in a position where he has a good chance of covering the court against any possible shot the opponent might make, but he will stop to do the split step just before the opponent hits.
Now that is something that can be a little bit tiring over time, so when you see that a player stops doing the split step, this is a tell-tale sign that he is tired. In consequence, he will be just a little bit late to get to the position from which he should be hitting the ball. This of course is a great advantage for the other player, and a sign that even if the tired player is leading the score, the match may easily have come to a point where a comeback is possible for the player who is behind.

Another sign of tiredness of a tennis player is when an otherwise defensive player starts playing more aggressive shots than usual. He would be taking higher risks, out of desperation, and thus be playing a game that is normally not "his" game. For a player whose game is pure defense normally, such a change of strategy rarely works. Some players, on the other hand, are perfectly able to win matches using a defensive strategy as well as with an aggressive approach. Many times, you'll see a player mix his game during a match, so a sudden rise in aggression does not always have to be because the player is tired.

Obviously, the aggressive player depends a little less on his stamina. But even here, there are signs telling you when a tennis player gets tired. Take a situation where a player plays serve-and-volley, for example. Assuming the same speed of service, check how close to the net the player gets before hitting the volley. One meter closer to the net can make an enourmous difference here, and you only have time for maybe four or five steps between your serve and the first volley. Try and count those steps - if it is only three steps, you can pretty much tell the player is tired.

Also, you should watch out for the body language and other signs, especially when the players change sides. Players tend to make good use of the time allotted to them during that change, but even more so when they are tired. Asides that, here are many ways to even grind a little extra time during game play. Little things like taking a little more time to choose the balls, re-tying the shoelaces, taking some "towel time", or even starting a lenghty discussion about a referee decision can be tells of fatigue.

So, when you see a sign that one of the two tennis players seems to be getting tired, take a close look at the available options for in-play betting - it might be time to place a very profitable bet on the other player. Remember that not every sports book has a lot of in-play betting options - our favorite site for this type of betting is Bet365 - click here to visit. Bet365 has a great bonus too - if you deposit 100 €, you will get another 100 € credited to your betting account!