Former three time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has credited the American hot head John McEnroe for teaching him a few things about gamesmanship early on in his career.
Becker said, “My teacher in gamesmanship was a man from New York called John McEnroe. My English at 17, 18 was pretty limited. When I played [McEnroe] the first time in America, he won the first serve. At the changeover, he came to my chair. He said some words and I didn’t understand all the words, but I knew it wasn’t nice.
“After our tough battle, in the locker room, I asked him what was the meaning of what he said and it apparently meant I’m going to beat the s— out of you.”
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.