Attitude can be the difference between winning and losing at all levels, even at the US Open. French Open Champion Juan Carlos Ferrero reminded me of why I respect him, he is a great competitor. Despite having dipped below 100 in the rankings and not going deep in a Slam in some time, Ferrero played with courage and commitment in a 4 hour, 48 minute marathon win over #7 Gael Monfils. His attitude was impressive.
Ferrero could have beaten Monfils in 4 sets. In the third he had his chances to win the set and then lost it on a terrible drop shot. The commentator said at the time "I don't know how Ferrero comes back from this" Well, Ferrero is a professional and he did what we would expect. He hit the "reset button" and got the lead in the fourth. JCF carried this to a fifth set lead where he finished out the match playing aggressive, confident tennis against a tired and very dangerous Monfils.
What was it about Ferrero's attitude that made the difference? Lots of things. When down he continued to look positive in his body language. He did not mope or drop his energy. Ferrero stayed energized and committed to the battle despite continually missing returns at big moments. He kept the pressure on Monfils and was ready to pounce on his opportunities.
Ferrero also bounced back quickly from losing the third set to go down 2 sets to 1. He let it go and kept believing he could win. And, despite struggles during periods of the match and some amazing play by Monfils, Ferrero remained committed to his game plan and grinded out the match. Without the positive attitude no way does Ferrero stay in this match. Monfils was playing excellent tennis and making amazing shots. He had 81 winners (along with 81 unforced errors) which shows that Monfils was going for it and playing big. I thought Monfils played very well and it was an impressive effort from Ferrero to win the match.
To be a great competitor requires a positive, committed attitude. All players can learn from Ferrero's upset win over Monfils. Keeping a positive attitude in a match he was supposed to lose, and almost did, reminds us that attitude can make all the difference in winning and losing. Ferrero's attitude gives him a fighting chance in every match he plays.