Everyone who plays a professional sport wants to be successful and win titles. Reacting to great success early on in players careers has proved to be a difficult thing in tennis but why is that?
Whether it’s winning a title or just being there or thereabouts around the winner’s circle we have seen a lot of it over the years.
Earlier this year we saw Garbine Muguruza win Roland Garros. Since then the Spaniard’s year has slipped away slightly with a win/loss record of 8/7 since winning the second major of the year back in early June.
Likewise you have Monica Puig who hasn’t really found momentum since winning the Olympic Gold and admitted herself it’s a new experience for her.
We have seen players like Dimitrov and Cilic in recent years experience success at a younger age but have failed to build on it.
As a young player before you experience great success there is little pressure on you. At this point you are the new kid on the block, you will claim a few big scalps and people will compare your game to a legends game then the pressure hits once you achieve success, suddenly people take more notice and it quickly turns in expectations on yourself and from fans/media.
On the other hand you have players like Wawrinka, Kerber and Murray who have experienced great success later on in the careers and blossomed from it, they have match experience some could only dream of and if I had to describe all three players using one phrase and that’s all have kept their feet on the ground despite media and fan attention.
Success is an experience and it’s about what you do next. You may struggle like players have at the same time you are only human. You’ve just won one of tennis’ biggest tournaments it’s mad to deal with.
Players like Puig and Muguruza have taken that big step this year and there is always that period of finding your feet again. Before you know it all eyes are on you going into tournaments. Expectations and pressure go to new level and it’s part of the experience.