There you go - I said I wasn't an avid Australian Open fan and here I am posting comment on it for the second time in a week. Perhaps these late night viewings are helped by the fact that I've now got a newborn in the house?! Yes, you read it correctly... I am posting this at 425am!
You've got to hand it to them - Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal certainly know how to put on a show.
The point I want to make here echoes the observations I made a couple of days ago about the Li Na vs Clijsters fixture...
Mental toughness is what wins you matches.
Federer is without a doubt the most gifted technical tennis player the world has ever seen. His achilles heel? His mind.
Tonight he played Nadal in the semi-final and at 9pm the fireworks (to mark Australia Day) erupted over the Rod Laver stadium. There was a break in play.
Having won the first set 7-6, Federer came back after the break a different player.
His focus was off. His famous backhand (and equally famous forehand) were failing him and as fate would have it, all the luck was going Nadal's way.
Whilst Nadal loudly celebrated every point he won (even the ones at 15 love), Federer became even more silent and brooding.
It wasn't his game that led Federer to lose the match, it was his mind.
Mindsets win matches.
Your mindset is no different. It can be a phenomenal asset or a devastating hindrance. And here's the really interesting part:
- There may be a limit to the level of skill you can attain (let's face it, we can't all be as good as Federer)
- But you have TOTAL control of your mindset
The difference between Federer and Nadal is simple:
- Federer values 'skill set' most highly.
- Nadal values 'positive mindset no matter what' most highly. The result? His competitive advantage.
In my view, Nadal's got it right.
What do you think?