Federer1. Never become overconfident when you're winning. Federer should have put on the steam after the first set.

2. Don't argue with the referee during the match. You often get a bad reading of the rules and gypped in training, but if you let it affect you during the fray, you'll lose more.

3. Always assume a family will cheat you in favor of one of their own. Presumably Federer argued about the challenge after 20 seconds because someone in the audience who saw the replay on TV had time to signal Del Potro to challenge.

4. Early ability at an activity can become less important as time waxes, the same way Nadal was able to win because of athleticism early in his career but now his bad strokes will bring him down.

5. Bad fundamentals will always bring you down in the end. The terrible wristy backhand of Federer and the all-around stiffness in Nadal's strokes are bound to cause the former to choke in crucial moments, and the latter to lose everything.

6. A happy family life creates better play. Clijsters was able to win because she wasn't under the pressure of a belligerent father. You can't trade well when you're fighting with the other.

7. Never give up. Del Potro lost seven times in a row to Federer, but a break in the second set gave him the confidence to come back. Just in time… just in time… the market turned.

8. Redistribution creates hateful behavior. You look at others in terms of what they can do for you or what they want from you. The hateful belligerence on the court is the natural outgrowth of the crony stuff at the Department of the Interior. Expect an increase in hostility.

9. Von Cramm and Artie always used to thank the referees for calling foot faults because of their vigilance. Do thank the rules committee, and join it if you want to be bailed out when your belly is turning up.

10. A long run of successes puts you in peril and leads to overconfidence, as the starting upset proved.

11. The reason Federer lost was because of that ridiculous shot through the legs. You always have time to run around that shot. And it's in-your-face to try it in a match and always non-percentage. When he started talking about its being the best shot of his life, and possibly the greatest shot in history… you've won the trading championships for the best performance last year — and you're ready to grow over confident in your niche. At least in trading, as the thread on quitting shows, you can stop at the top. In sports, you just have to pretend you're behind by the same score you just won by. And never showboat.





Speak your mind

10 Comments so far

  1. Matt Johnson on September 15, 2009 9:46 am

    Excellent post!

  2. Ken Drees on September 15, 2009 5:01 pm

    In the match against Oudin, Nadia Petrova questioned 7 or more calls. Each call went against her but on the seventh she eventually had one go her way. This seemed to me like she was digging herself deeper into defeat and frustration.

    Instead of dealing with an out and move on she got told twice–and the second time with the authority of the replay.

    Each time Oudin got the call upheld–the crowd went wild for the “cinderella star” only bringing more emotion down on Petrova.

    Questioning the ump or the line judge to such an extent cannot be good for your game.

  3. Diego - from Guatemala on September 15, 2009 5:24 pm

    That shot was an skycrapper-indicator-sell-signal.

  4. john donaldson on September 15, 2009 6:38 pm

    Thanks so much for the thoughts. I just read it aloud to our three children, 18 15 10 — made a copy andposted it in each bathroom.

  5. vniederhoffer on September 15, 2009 9:08 pm

    thanks for those kind comments. I wish I had as much feel for other things as I do for racket sports. I was born with a racket in my hand, a ping pong one. I have always found that watching a match for me is more tiring than actually playing it because I am in a sky walk for every shot. I never watched squash matches for that reason. and I didnt watch racketball either where my main feat is that I'm the only player with a + record over Hogan because it's so boring and servatious with the average rally lasting 1 1/2 shots. one should also note that in addition to the skylarking, a proximate cause of the loss was the holiday. it always changes the tempo and the form in markets and sports. vic

  6. Fidel Elias on September 16, 2009 7:35 am

    This guy knows nothing about tennis.

  7. Alfonso Sammassimo on September 16, 2009 8:52 am

    • Getting a lead then losing it too often mistaken for choking, or overconfidence, or whatever. If you win the first two sets you are playing great, if the opponent wins the next three you must have choked. Evenly matched opponents will produce swings, it is natural to expect.
    • Unconventional strokes are often considered poorly constructed. But there are many ways to skin a cat. Nadal’s strokes are well matched for his equipment. He is one of the most consistent hitters in the game – it is hard to generate such consistency in the absence of good technique.
    • Clisters happy family life may have helped her win the open, but I don’t know for sure that’s true. It sounds nice, but she did the same thing a few years ago – a self enforced layoff followed by a win at the US open. I can’t recall a male tennis player whose career didn’t go downhill after marriage. This is a game for the hungry and the selfish, and I don’t think there is room for another while you are competing at the highest level.
    • Always keep your cool..In the face of criticism, adversity, and loss. I keep hearing about McEnroe and how he used to play better when he got angry. But in the most sublime performances of his career he was quiet as a mouse.
    • While I don’t agree with his opinion on Rafa, Victor Niederhoffer is the greatest racket player of all time!

  8. Matt Johnson on September 16, 2009 11:24 am

    Hey Fidel, this post is more about being a world class speculator than it is about tennis…

  9. vniederhoffer on September 16, 2009 11:30 am

    it is good to hear that favorable comment from the tennis editor, a comment which the hobo also believes in. If my expertese is not in rackets, I'm really sunk because everything else I know infinitely less about. The jury is still out on whether the previous good play of Rafa is due to infusions, the athletecism of youth, or reasonable stroke production. I predict a rapid downfall in his game, and I agree that the skyscraper shot was a bearish signal for the next 10 days for Fedex and the market. vic

  10. Alfonso Sammassimo on September 19, 2009 7:37 am

    tennis editor has been hopelessly under contributing and risks losing his position. I hope he will have more to offer come Aussie Open


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