Momentum in tennis
Here's a story that illustrates the awesome power of momentum:
Billy, my doubles partner, and I were down 7-6, 5-7, love-3, to the number-one (undefeated) doubles team from Redlands, California. It was the last match of the day, so it was kind of the highlighted grudge match. Billy was serving at love-30, and even though we were playing.all right, we weren't converting the big points. It wasn't looking good for us in the third, when, miraculously, everything changed.
Billy hit his first volley close to the sideline, and the ball was called out. Well, Billy didn't like that call, and he let them
know it. "Bull___!" he yelled. The guy who made the call had
played Billy just an hour before in a heated singles match, which Billy had lost 7-5 in the third, and this guy boldly retorted, "Hey, Billy, I've had enough of your sh__!"
The next thing I know, my partner is taking his aluminum racket over his head as if he's going to haul it at the guy. I'm in total disbelief. I probably just sat there with my mouth agape, I don't remember. Billy faked the throw (thank God), and this guy jumps over the net and goes after my partner. I don't know exactly how it happened, but both teams, coaches, and students unloaded onto our court, in an absolute melee. Unbelievable! There must have been two dozen people out on the court. It was like a hockey game!
Finally, after about eight minutes, the crowd got back to their seats, and we got back to the match. Nobody was physically injured. But now we couldn't miss, and they couldn't hit. It was amazing—we won the first eight points, hitting about as well as we could. We felt good. We had renewed energy and new life. Our otherwise worthy opponent seemed a step shy and just a little "off." We went on to win the match 6-4 in the third.
Source: Broudy, Jack (1997, 157). The real spin on tennis. Merillville, IN: ICS Books.