What do players think about during the change of ends? Some take out their pre-match notes, others put a towel over their head and some like to do some form of meditation. We asked WTA tour player Francesca Di Lorenzo what routines she goes through on the change of ends and what is going through her mind!
Francesca Di Lorenzo on the change over
“When I’m on the change of ends the first thing I do after sitting down and drinking water is I clear my mind. I take a couple of deep breaths and just try to relax my body for a few seconds. Then I begin to think about what is happening in the match so if I’m up and playing well I ask myself what’s been working and I visualize myself continuing to play that way.
If I’m down and not playing well it’s easy to get down on myself and think negatively about everything that’s going wrong in the match but I really try to be more positive and think about what I have been doing well throughout the match.
Typically this is probably a tough question (what I think about on the change of ends) to answer when you are having an off day but there are usually one of two things that you are doing somewhat well that you can try to pinpoint. The next thing I do is try to build on those few things that can give me a bit of extra confidence that might be needed that day. Then I ask myself what can I do better or what’s not working, this is usually strategically so then I’ll probably need to change up my strategy a bit.
By the end of the change over after asking myself some questions, I try to get back to keeping it simple. First serve the first ball, or return and first ball and just working on the things I have been doing in practice or the strategy I set myself with my coach before the match. Maybe tweaking the strategy a little bit depends on how both my opponent and I are playing and then lastly I just remind myself to focus on each point, and playing one point at a time!”
Francesca thanks for delivering a few pearls over the last few weeks. We know you are heading to the US Open shortly, wishing you and your coach Ann Grossman (WTCA President) the very best of luck. We are with you all the way!!!