The Definition of "Choking" in a Tennis match [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

The Definition of "Choking" in a Tennis match

habibko
01-25-2009, 02:45 PM
after Berdych's loss against Federer, there was a long discussion with members arguing if it was a choke or not, seeing as this term is used almost on a daily basis in MTF, I think there needs to be some sort of consensus on the meaning of this term, I've suggested some definitions in the poll, let's try making a final definition that makes the usage clear and everyone can refer to in their discussions.

LleytonMonfils
01-25-2009, 02:50 PM
He had a breakdown in his game in the period where he missed those 2 volleys and overhead. I wouldn't say he choked though. Federer made adjustments and served lights out when he had to. Something he has done time and time again. Berdych didn't completely fall apart, Fed took it from him. So no he didn't choke.

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 02:51 PM
None of the above. My definition? Birdick against Federer.

orangehat
01-25-2009, 02:54 PM
Berdych didn't choke. Neither did Gasquet. For Berdych, it was a simple case of loss of concentration. For Gasquet, after he lost the 3rd set AND getting the injury, momentum swung against him totally.

Choking is a fairly stereotypical term IMO. IMO, only squandering leads FREQUENTLY, or frequently being broken when serving for sets / matches can be considered choking. Which I don't think many players in the top 50 do.

Clydey
01-25-2009, 02:54 PM
Choking is none of the above and is an overused term. What Berdych did in the 7th game of the 3rd set was a choke.

habibko
01-25-2009, 02:54 PM
He had a breakdown in his game in the period where he missed those 2 volleys and overhead. I wouldn't say he choked though. Federer made adjustments and served lights out when he had to. Something he has done time and time again. Berdych didn't completely fall apart, Fed took it from him. So no he didn't choke.

so what is a choke then? getting tight after being relaxed? increased UE count? or any of this and all of this?

marcRD
01-25-2009, 02:55 PM
Beeing in a winning position and losing the winning position because of bad errors. Not what Berdych did, he was not in a winning position serving at 3-3 in the 3rd set, he was in a position where he could lose the set, not win the set. Not in any of the 3 last sets was Berdych ever in a winning position, he was always behind chasing Federer.

habibko
01-25-2009, 02:56 PM
Choking is none of the above and is an overused term. What Berdych did in the 7th game of the 3rd set was a choke.

everyone who says it's none of the above please state your suggested definition, maybe all MTFers will agree on one definition as the most accurate at the end of this thread.

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 02:57 PM
Anyone who thinks Birdick didnt choke against Fed should start watching women's tennis.

orangehat
01-25-2009, 02:57 PM
I don't think all MTF-ers can agree on a standard definition. At the end of the day, it's all personal opinion. If someone just wants to say "so and so is a choker" for the sake of blasting a certain player, there's nothing to say. To each his own.

Serenidad
01-25-2009, 02:58 PM
Missing those volleys was a choke end of discussion. If he had only missed ONE it could have been a simple mistake. He missed about 3 or 4 easy putaways and should have held that service game to LOVE.

Primus
01-25-2009, 02:59 PM
Anyone who thinks Birdick didnt choke against Fed should start watching women's tennis.

For once i agree with you :)

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 02:59 PM
Correction, anyone who thinks Birdick didnt choke against Fed should stop watching tennis. Period.

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 03:00 PM
For once i agree with you :)

Its not that hard to agree with me, just use common sense ;)

Clydey
01-25-2009, 03:02 PM
everyone who says it's none of the above please state your suggested definition, maybe all MTFers will agree on one definition as the most accurate at the end of this thread.

Buckling under the pressure. It isn't simply blowing a lead or losing serve while serving out a set/match. You can lose serve for a variety of reasons when serving out a set/match and it rarely has anything to do with choking. Choking is simply not dealing with pressure, missing shots that you normally wouldn't miss, throwing in a series of double faults etc. You can tell when someone is choking by their body language when they start missing. Berdych, for example, looked like a beaten man from the middle of the third set onwards even though he had a 2 set lead.

habibko
01-25-2009, 03:02 PM
Correction, anyone who thinks Birdick didnt choke against Fed should stop watching tennis. Period.

what exactly did he do that qualifies as choking, losing that 7th game? losing the 3rd set? or losing the match in general? or just certain points in which he made easy errors?

Clydey
01-25-2009, 03:04 PM
Beeing in a winning position and losing the winning position because of bad errors. Not what Berdych did, he was not in a winning position serving at 3-3 in the 3rd set, he was in a position where he could lose the set, not win the set. Not in any of the 3 last sets was Berdych ever in a winning position, he was always behind chasing Federer.

He was 2 sets up. That is a winning position. Did you even see the shots he missed at 3-3 in the 3rd set?

orangehat
01-25-2009, 03:04 PM
I thought Berdych's body language wasn't that bad. It wasn't good, that's for sure, but it wasn't bad either. I've seen worse.

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 03:05 PM
what exactly did he do that qualifies as choking, losing that 7th game? losing the 3rd set? or losing the match in general? or just certain points in which he made easy errors?

You should stop watching tennis. Period.

habibko
01-25-2009, 03:06 PM
Buckling under the pressure. It isn't simply blowing a lead or losing serve while serving out a set/match. You can lose serve for a variety of reasons when serving out a set/match and it rarely has anything to do with choking. Choking is simply not dealing with pressure, missing shots that you normally wouldn't miss, throwing in a series of double faults etc. You can tell when someone is choking by their body language when they start missing. Berdych, for example, looked like a beaten man from the middle of the third set onwards even though he had a 2 set lead.

what I understand from you is that choking is a negative, self-doubting mental attitude under pressure that results in a massive decline in level of play? well this one makes more sense to me.

Clydey
01-25-2009, 03:06 PM
what exactly did he do that qualifies as choking, losing that 7th game? losing the 3rd set? or losing the match in general? or just certain points in which he made easy errors?

Losing the match in general. His head went down immediately after that 7th game. It was as though he had conceded the match. He stopped going for his shots and when he did go for them he didn't fully commit. It was like he was expecting to miss.

Clydey
01-25-2009, 03:07 PM
what I understand from you is that choking is a mental attitude toward pressure that results in a massive decline in level of play? well this one makes more sense to me.

Basically, yes.

habibko
01-25-2009, 03:15 PM
I've made a little adjustment to it, so the current definition of choking is "negative, self-doubting mental attitude under pressure that results in a massive decline in level of play" is this the only thing that can be considered choking? seeing how the term is used around here, people understand it and use it in way many more ways than just that :shrug:

marcRD
01-25-2009, 03:26 PM
He was 2 sets up. That is a winning position. Did you even see the shots he missed at 3-3 in the 3rd set?

Every set is in itself a match, if you win 2 sets there is nothing which tells you should win the next 3 sets. Specialy if it is normal for you to lose against your opponent in straight sets.

oranges
01-25-2009, 03:27 PM
^^ People overuse it, I would say that definition is spot on and add that occasionally one will choke a point, game or set, but still come back for the rest of the match. Conversely, choking an entire match from beginning to end when overwhelmed by occasion or opponent is not unheard of either.

Clydey
01-25-2009, 03:30 PM
Every set is in itself a match, if you win 2 sets there is nothing which tells you should win the next 3 sets. Specialy if it is normal for you to lose against your opponent in straight sets.

You have no divine right to win one of the remaining sets, but when your level rapidly declines and your body language reflects a negative attitude, it's clear that there's a mental issue. I mean, do you really think Berdych would have missed those shots at 3-3 in the 3rd under normal circumstances? Let's be real here.

rafa_maniac
01-25-2009, 03:33 PM
Buckling under the pressure. It isn't simply blowing a lead or losing serve while serving out a set/match. You can lose serve for a variety of reasons when serving out a set/match and it rarely has anything to do with choking. Choking is simply not dealing with pressure, missing shots that you normally wouldn't miss, throwing in a series of double faults etc. You can tell when someone is choking by their body language when they start missing. Berdych, for example, looked like a beaten man from the middle of the third set onwards even though he had a 2 set lead.

Well said. It's a mental suffocation and resignation from a winning position. The argument is over whether Berdych was in a "winning position". Considering how rare it is to witness a 2 sets to 0 comeback, I'd argue he was, but as he was never a break ahead in the third set, it's understandable why others would disagree.

Vida
01-25-2009, 03:41 PM
yeah, you cant really define choke with some precise formula... it goes in many shapes and forms, and in most sports or activities. you can choke a penalty kick, or a speech. for example, who ever watched obama's oath noticed how supreme court judge who directed the oath choked when misread the oath that obama was to repeat...

Vida
01-25-2009, 03:43 PM
^^ People overuse it, I would say that definition is spot on and add that occasionally one will choke a point, game or set, but still come back for the rest of the match. Conversely, choking an entire match from beginning to end when overwhelmed by occasion or opponent is not unheard of either.

this happens to ana ivanovic a lot.

Dougie
01-25-2009, 03:43 PM
I've made a little adjustment to it, so the current definition of choking is "negative, self-doubting mental attitude under pressure that results in a massive decline in level of play" is this the only thing that can be considered choking? seeing how the term is used around here, people understand it and use it in way many more ways than just that :shrug:

I wouldīsay that choking is a negative, self-doubting attitude because itīs not an attitude at all. Itīs just something that happens to you when youīre in a winning position. The pressure and "fear of winning" becomes too much to handle and your shots become stiff and too careful, you lose all flow and rhythm and you start making unforced errors or giving your opponent easy shots to finish off. In a way, you start hoping that your opponent handles you the match, instead of you going for it and taking it.
So I donīt think it a negative attitude, itīs more like a "too hopeful and scared attitude". The negative, self-doubting attitude comes after the choke when youīve let your opponent back in to the game.

orangehat
01-25-2009, 03:44 PM
I wouldīsay that choking is a negative, self-doubting attitude because itīs not an attitude at all. Itīs just something that happens to you when youīre in a winning position. The pressure and "fear of winning" becomes too much to handle and your shots become stiff and too careful, you lose all flow and rhythm and you start making unforced errors or giving your opponent easy shots to finish off. In a way, you start hoping that your opponent handles you the match, instead of you going for it and taking it.
So I donīt think it a negative attitude, itīs more like a "too hopeful and scared attitude". The negative, self-doubting attitude comes after the choke when youīve let your opponent back in to the game.

spot on IMO

green25814
01-25-2009, 03:56 PM
I believe far too much is made of choking on this forum. Most people here have no idea what pressure is really like, and have no clue how difficult it is to perform when all the attention is on you. 'Choking' is actually a natural reaction. Its a normal thing to do, and those who dont are simply special. So praise people for surviving the pressure, but dont insult someone for following natural human instincts, its ignorant and kinda pathetic. The fact that people get nervous is due to the fact they care, and are not robots. Sometimes i get the impression mtf would rather watch terminator play tennis than roger federer, since they expect players to be superhuman.

Get off people like berdych and gasguet's backs.

scarecrows
01-25-2009, 03:58 PM
serving for the match and losing it or having match points and losing them because of UEs in shots that should be winners or pussy play

Langers
01-25-2009, 04:01 PM
He had a breakdown in his game in the period where he missed those 2 volleys and overhead. I wouldn't say he choked though. Federer made adjustments and served lights out when he had to. Something he has done time and time again. Berdych didn't completely fall apart, Fed took it from him. So no he didn't choke.
:lol: Keep dreaming.

Experimentee
01-25-2009, 04:09 PM
Losing after being in a winning position is not necessarily a choke in itself. You have to look at the reason the player lost. Choking is when the player loses after becoming tight. This can be because the player makes unforced errors, or because the player plays passively when they had previously been playing aggressively. Choking has to be caused by a mental condition and not a physical condition.

In the Berdych situation, I would say that in the 7th game of the 3rd set he became tight and made some bad unforced errors to get broken. In Gasquet's match against Gonzalez he did not choke, he was not making unforced errors or any passive shots, he lost his lead due to Gonzalez's great play and his physical condition.

Nathaliia
01-25-2009, 04:15 PM
Being in a winning position and losing thanks to own unforced errors or bad (often too passive) tactics; usually goes together with wasting setpoints, matchpoints, breakpoints. Sometimes goes with double faults.

Calleri stands under this definition in Wikipedia.

rwn
01-25-2009, 04:16 PM
Everybody who loses to Federer in 5 sets is a choker. Everybody who loses to Nadal in 5 sets lost to a supreme fighter. Quite simple really.

superslam77
01-25-2009, 04:18 PM
did you guys see safina vs ratgirl :eek:?
now that's teh definition!!! thank me later :hatoff:

marry me safina :hearts: :worship:!!

superslam77
01-25-2009, 04:25 PM
Everybody who loses to Federer in 5 sets is a choker. Everybody who loses to Nadal in 5 sets lost to a supreme fighter. Quite simple really.

5 set win(barely.rome06,wim08).. nadull is a spartan ;)
5 set win(6-2 last set.wim07,this match)..rogi's rival choked. :rolleyes:

nadull wins easy and it's the era of lions..:eek:
rogi wins easy and it's a mug era. :wavey:

don't listen to traditors corrupted by the uncle toni nadull evil empire of george bush greedy pigs :cool:

:wavey:

ImmzB
01-25-2009, 04:29 PM
Being 2 sets 2 love up and a brake/double brake up

marcRD
01-25-2009, 04:30 PM
I didnt see a negative attitude out there from Berdych, I even saw him pumping his fist after winning 1 game to 1-4 in the 5th set. Berdych surely didnt play like in the first 2 sets but as I said before he was still playing at his normal level in the last sets. By the definition of choking you guys have, Federer too choked the 2nd set where he was really playing subpar and was atleast as "tight" as Berdych was in the 3rd set.

Venle
01-25-2009, 04:43 PM
All of them

habibko
01-25-2009, 04:52 PM
I didnt see a negative attitude out there from Berdych, I even saw him pumping his fist after winning 1 game to 1-4 in the 5th set. Berdych surely didnt play like in the first 2 sets but as I said before he was still playing at his normal level in the last sets. By the definition of choking you guys have, Federer too choked the 2nd set where he was really playing subpar and was atleast as "tight" as Berdych was in the 3rd set.

I completely agree, I don't think Berdych choked the match, he believed in his chances but he couldn't sustain the ultra-high level he produced in the first two sets, he doesn't have the ability to do that, it's hard enough for him to bring that level in the first place, it has nothing to do with choking per definition.

Bobby
01-25-2009, 04:54 PM
Dougie described choking as well as it can be described. I would also add that it's actually impossible to accurately describe choking if you haven't played competitive matches yourself.

Hell, you can give 150 poll options for it, or talk about it for 50 pages in every thread. But you can only understand the situation if you have played a match where you have for example won the first set of the final and you are leading the second set with a break against a quality opponent. Then you know how the easiest of forehands ends up in the middle of the net because your hand is so stiff that your shoulder touches your ear when you hit the shot.

Bobby
01-25-2009, 05:02 PM
I believe far too much is made of choking on this forum. Most people here have no idea what pressure is really like, and have no clue how difficult it is to perform when all the attention is on you. 'Choking' is actually a natural reaction. Its a normal thing to do, and those who dont are simply special. So praise people for surviving the pressure, but dont insult someone for following natural human instincts, its ignorant and kinda pathetic. The fact that people get nervous is due to the fact they care, and are not robots. Sometimes i get the impression mtf would rather watch terminator play tennis than roger federer, since they expect players to be superhuman.

Get off people like berdych and gasguet's backs.

Very well said. And people at MTF do use the term "choking" way too loosely.

habibko
01-25-2009, 05:03 PM
Dougie described choking as well as it can be described. I would also add that it's actually impossible to accurately describe choking if you haven't played competitive matches yourself.

Hell, you can give 150 poll options for it, or talk about it for 50 pages in every thread. But you can only understand the situation if you have played a match where you have for example won the first set of the final and you are leading the second set with a break against a quality opponent. Then you know how the easiest of forehands ends up in the middle of the net because your hand is so stiff that your shoulder touches your ear when you hit the shot.

we are trying to put that feeling in words in this thread, some of us did play competitve matches against quality opponents (at least I did, not Federer-like quality but meh).

the problem is that players get accused for choking even when the opponent suddenly raise up their level of game, even though the level of the player is still the same and it's all about the inspired opposition, a classic example that comes to mind now is the Tsonga-Nalbandian Paris final last year, people called Nalbandian a choker when it was all about Tsonga.

Jackie Stephens
01-25-2009, 05:04 PM
Maybe was a choke but Berdych was really the better player to win.

ChinoRios4Ever
01-25-2009, 05:15 PM
serving for the match and losing it or having match points and losing them because of UEs in shots that should be winners or pussy play

same here :wavey:

Beforehand
01-25-2009, 05:28 PM
I think the problem with the match is that it was a bit of a "chicken or the egg" thing. I mean, Roger started cutting errors out, requiring Berdych to hit more balls, which, if he's going to be redlining it, will result in more errors, but at the same time, it can be argued that Berdych should not have made easy errors. I guess I considered it a choke, sort of, but I guess it's a weird feeling, since the feel of this match was always "If Roger wins one set, he wins three."

Cricketics
01-25-2009, 05:34 PM
Losing the game when the victory really matters AKA the semi finals, final games

Jackie Stephens
01-25-2009, 05:36 PM
I think the problem with the match is that it was a bit of a "chicken or the egg" thing. I mean, Roger started cutting errors out, requiring Berdych to hit more balls, which, if he's going to be redlining it, will result in more errors, but at the same time, it can be argued that Berdych should not have made easy errors. I guess I considered it a choke, sort of, but I guess it's a weird feeling, since the feel of this match was always "If Roger wins one set, he wins three."

I would have to agree, my words exactly.

Dougie
01-25-2009, 05:41 PM
Losing the game when the victory really matters AKA the semi finals, final games

So if Nicolas Massu, for example, would make a miraculous run to the Wimbledon final and then go on to lose to Federer in three set, you would say he choked, because the final really mattered? You donīt think he could lose because Federer is simply the better player?

Jackie Stephens
01-25-2009, 05:43 PM
So if Nicolas Massu, for example, would make a miraculous run to the Wimbledon final and then go on to lose to Federer in three set, you would say he choked, because the final really mattered? You donīt think he could lose because Federer is simply the better player?

That sounds about right to.

Cricketics
01-25-2009, 05:44 PM
So if Nicolas Massu, for example, would make a miraculous run to the Wimbledon final and then go on to lose to Federer in three set, you would say he choked, because the final really mattered? You donīt think he could lose because Federer is simply the better player?

i definately wanted to add that the opposition shouldn't be a world beater too who can make games look one sided

Andi-M
01-25-2009, 05:54 PM
I agree with pretty much most people here.

Choking is where an individual collapses under the pressure of having an advantage.

Berdych did choke. Losing after having match points dosent mean you choked if your oppenant hits 8 aces on 8 MPs what are you supposed to do?

oranges
01-25-2009, 05:54 PM
i definately wanted to add that the opposition shouldn't be a world beater too who can make games look one sided

Well, it's enough for them to be good enough to beat you without you choking it away ;)

meihaditalab
01-25-2009, 06:19 PM
None of the above. My definition? Birdick against Federer.

Clearly you have no brain... the only reason FedRoll won is because Berdych gave up after missing 3 easy volleys that any other player in the top 5000 would of made. And yeah your definition is an attempt in being funny miserably failed.

richie21
01-25-2009, 06:19 PM
Losing after being in a winning position is not necessarily a choke in itself. You have to look at the reason the player lost. Choking is when the player loses after becoming tight. This can be because the player makes unforced errors, or because the player plays passively when they had previously been playing aggressively. Choking has to be caused by a mental condition and not a physical condition.

In the Berdych situation, I would say that in the 7th game of the 3rd set he became tight and made some bad unforced errors to get broken. In Gasquet's match against Gonzalez he did not choke, he was not making unforced errors or any passive shots, he lost his lead due to Gonzalez's great play and his physical condition.

Well,he did an UE on his only match point.
Also,the way he gave up in the 4th set was disgusting

Commander Data
01-25-2009, 08:46 PM
Choke:

Being in a winning position and losing that winning position because of uptightness.

silverarrows
01-25-2009, 08:49 PM
Berdych was never in a position to win the set and the match. I'm gonna repeat it, never. He played good in the first two sets, BUT there's still a lot of work to be done, huge amount of work. He was far from winning the match and he was not leading the set. In short, it's NOT a "choke".

Beforehand
01-25-2009, 08:57 PM
I feel like this is the same distinction we try to make after claycourt matches when Federer stomps all over Nadal for the first 4-6 games of a set, and then Nadal comes back and gives him a thorough working over. The next day, it's hard to distinguish between "Roger choked, the fucking mug!" and "Well, it was hard to imagine Roger being able to keep THAT high of a level for that long." I would describe this pretty much the same way.

Bobby
01-25-2009, 08:57 PM
Berdych was never in a position to win the set and the match. I'm gonna repeat it, never. He played good in the first two sets, BUT there's still a lot of work to be done, huge amount of work. He was far from winning the match and he was not leading the set. In short, it's NOT a "choke".

Of course he was in a winning position. He won the first two sets and was two games away from the victory. Statistically a player must be around 80 to 20 favourite to win the match when leading two sets to love. This is what some just don't understand. You don't have to be up a break in the last set or have a match point. Choking can happen like it happened for Berdych.

Ozone
01-25-2009, 08:59 PM
Martina Hingis is a good definition.

MIMIC
01-25-2009, 09:02 PM
Sports writers covering this match will describe it as a choke. Good thing that those who believe otherwise have their opinions confined to this forum.

rwn
01-25-2009, 09:41 PM
Of course he was in a winning position. He won the first two sets and was two games away from the victory. Statistically a player must be around 80 to 20 favourite to win the match when leading two sets to love. This is what some just don't understand. You don't have to be up a break in the last set or have a match point. Choking can happen like it happened for Berdych.

You donīt understand Federer is no.2 in the world. :wavey:

Corey Feldman
01-25-2009, 09:47 PM
Berdych is just crap at net.. thats what happened

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 09:50 PM
Yeah Berdych was fucking shit at the net, but still he choked like there was no tomorrow. He's just a born choker.

ORGASMATRON
01-25-2009, 09:51 PM
Oh and dont forget he's the biggest hacker in the game, which goes hand in hand with choking of course.

MrChopin
01-25-2009, 09:56 PM
Martina Hingis is a good definition.

That's "coke-ing."

Sports writers covering this match will describe it as a choke. Good thing that those who believe otherwise have their opinions confined to this forum.

Good thing that many current news writers, sports included, are considered hacks and popularity whores.

Berdych is just crap at net.. thats what happened

Indeed. As the match wore on and Fed's groundstrokes got better, he started making Berdych hit one more ball, then one more difficult ball. Berdych looked so good at the beginning because Fed was feeding him cotton candy right up the T. Once he started forcing Berdych out of his comfort zone, Berdych started making errors. Then again, "choke" does require less thought than "one of the players upped his game."

silverarrows
01-25-2009, 10:31 PM
Of course he was in a winning position. He won the first two sets and was two games away from the victory. Statistically a player must be around 80 to 20 favourite to win the match when leading two sets to love. This is what some just don't understand. You don't have to be up a break in the last set or have a match point. Choking can happen like it happened for Berdych.





Winning the first two sets is not a "wnning position" in a best of five set match. Berdych was a lightyear away from taking the 3rd set and the match, in fact, it was Federer who is leading the set.

richie21
01-26-2009, 01:15 AM
Gasquet is a good definition of the word "choking": in 2 of his last 3 GS losses,he was leading 2 sets to love(and in the other one,he was leading 2 sets to 1).

Kolya
01-26-2009, 01:35 AM
That game in the 3rd set = choke.

Soderling's 2nd set against Baghdatis = choke.

I think a choke can be a short period in a match when you're in lead but it changes the whole momentum of the match.

It gets into your head and your whole mental outlook on the match alters, hence your game changes and you start making more and more mistakes.

lurker
01-26-2009, 04:32 AM
Berdych choked. Choking is when you have your opponent on the ropes and you do something that allows them back in the match. He was in a winning situation, with a winning game plan and execution but he showed his cards. If you saw the changeover after the second set, he was obviously uptight and agitated. He had an empty water bottle and nearly had a meltdown getting a ballboy to get him another one. You can bet all your vCash that Federer saw that and took advantage. When I saw that, I was certain Federer would win in 5 sets.

orangehat
01-26-2009, 04:37 AM
^^ Disagree. Berdych never had federer "on the ropes". He may have had him in the first two sets, but even then I was pretty sure Federer was gonna win it. With reasons not to do with choking.

silverarrows
01-26-2009, 08:46 AM
^^^ agree! he never had Fed on the ropes. Those 1st two sets were already history, and in a best of five match, you have to win three sets. In that 3rd set, Berdych never had Fed on the ropes. Not even once.

Ilovetheblues_86
01-26-2009, 09:23 AM
Berdych did not choke cause he is already a choke himself.

Chokes comes from UNUSUAL DEFEATS after leading sets or matches. When some players do it so constantly like Gasquet, Berdych or PHM, it isn´t necessarily a choke, it´s the players elemental composition. :banana: :lol:

Aurora
01-26-2009, 09:29 AM
I agree with pretty much most people here.

Choking is where an individual collapses under the pressure of having an advantage.agreed
but then you say:
Berdych did choke.huh? where did Berdych have an advantage in the third set? Yes, he won the first 2 sets, but the count goes back to zero in every set, and he played a sloppy game, which confirmed and emphasized what was slowly already happening: Federer finding his rhythm and game.
When choking it has to be in YOUR hands, squandering chances you would normally handle if you weren't under mental pressure of a Moment, not the pressure of an opponent.

Losing after having match points dosent mean you choked if your oppenant hits 8 aces on 8 MPs what are you supposed to do?True. So people who say it has to do only with scoring, ignore the obvious mental aspect a well-defined choke NEEDS: it has to be playing below level - shots the player wouldn't normally miss and there has to be pressure of being ahead, close to winning a match or set.

Rumour
01-27-2009, 12:40 AM
Beeing in a winning position and losing the winning position because of bad errors. Not what Berdych did, he was not in a winning position serving at 3-3 in the 3rd set, he was in a position where he could lose the set, not win the set. Not in any of the 3 last sets was Berdych ever in a winning position, he was always behind chasing Federer.
OK, I think I pretty much covered all I have to say on why Berdych did not choke a win away to Federer in the match thread (http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=136988) and won't rehash it here. This quote basically sums up my position too, except I'd change the first sentence defining the term in question to: "Being in a winning position and losing because of bad errors or overly tentative play." I also feel it's necessary to differentiate having a big lead from being in an actual winning position because the two are very different in my mind.

In fact, it always annoys me whenever I'm watching any sports coverage and a commentator claims that player/team X is 'winning' before the match/race is actually over. There is no guaranteed victory or official result before the final second has ticked away, the last shot played or the finish line crossed - sometimes not even afterwards e.g. in the case of disqualification. This applies especially to sports with one or two players per side, like tennis, where momentum swings are common and have such major impact.

What I'd propose is that people differentiate between a clear choke when a player essentially has the match on his racquet and is in a commanding position to win yet blows it mainly due to his actions or passivity, vs. a quick loss of momentum when he has a significant but not seemingly insurmountable lead. Some people suggested that what happened to Berdych in that error-filled game in the middle of the third set was a letdown, but that's maybe a little too mild and vague.

Instead, I'd argue that the more appropriate way to describe the situation is that the Czech suffered a 'meltdown.' I think this reflects the severity of his mistakes and the potential negative impact it had on his chances to win, without implying that he had the match firmly in his grasp towards the end but let it slip away like 'choke' does. This way, it can be used any time someone relinquishes a sizeable lead at any point due to a sudden mental lapse, loss of concentration, on-court blowup etc.

habibko
02-18-2009, 06:24 AM
wait, a 17 years old losing a 5-3 lead when playing a top 10 player is now choking too? where did "inexperience" go?

the term still remains unclear to many :(

~*BGT*~
02-18-2009, 06:45 AM
Well, if he serving for the match at 30-0 and loses.. well, that is not 100% inexperience and Simon stepping it up. There's gotta be a large amount of nervousness and pressure and that can really break down a player's ability to maintain that level.

finishingmove
02-18-2009, 06:50 AM
17 and already a choker.

shame.

duong
02-19-2009, 09:26 AM
My definition of choking :

the easy explanation which common jeering lazy people who haven't seen a match give by just reading a score.

They feel proud about jeering whereas it shows how common they are.

Commander Data
02-19-2009, 09:57 AM
The meaning of choking can be approximated when re-watching the 5th set of the AO final 2009. There are other good examples of choking in that match, just keep an eye on Mr. Federer ;)

ORGASMATRON
02-19-2009, 10:28 AM
Berdych against Roger and to a lesser extent Roger against Rafa at the AO.

HattonWBA
02-19-2009, 10:52 AM
losing after having match points in my opinion. But even then it depends on how the opponent saves them and plays to win the match.

SERVivor
02-19-2009, 05:03 PM
I love this quote, "it isnīt necessarily a choke, itīs the players elemental composition."

Well, it's still a choke. It just means these players (PHM, Gasquet, Berdych) can be counted on to do it more than most. They are still choking. I love PHM but I've seen him choke many times. Even if the other player raises his game, ala James Blake in Davis Cup, it's still a choke if you lose from a winning position and help out the opponent by getting tentative, as PHM did against Blake.

r2473
02-19-2009, 07:52 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPzL_4ntetE

fast_clay
02-19-2009, 08:06 PM
I love this quote, "it isnīt necessarily a choke, itīs the players elemental composition."


i believe in this...

i dont believe a choke from an 'elemental' can be spectacular because it is almost expected of them... and, you can almost time the yellow stain on the shorts to appear by the second...

cataclysmic chokes are what i am more interested in... as in: when nadal produced that mammoth double fault in that tiebreak at W08, then, went on to lose in the dark... then... yeah... the world as we know it would have been different... while many others would be giggling their t!tties off...

MacTheKnife
02-19-2009, 08:19 PM
IMO the situations noted are a result of choking. The problem with identifying choking is, it's almost impossible to be sure, unless you're the one choking. Personally I've choked at times in a match, then regrouped to go on and play pretty well. Sometimes it's the opposite. However, choking does have symptoms:


Double faulting on critical points

Missing easy sitter volleys

Missing short FH/BHs that should easily be handled

Consistently overhitting while not having done so earlier in a match

Obvious change from lose flowing arm, to tight, tense short arm

Good footwork suddenly disappearing

All of these are symptoms of choking. The result of choking is losing a match, critical game, of a critical point. All of which "can" be recovered from, except obviously the first.

shotgun
02-19-2009, 08:33 PM
Just look at Petzschner's match today and you will see what a choke is.

xhr75019
02-19-2009, 09:42 PM
Ask PHM. He knows.

bobbynorwich
02-20-2009, 04:13 AM
Definition of choking: Djokovic retiring due to a sore throat when losing in the final set to anybody.
.
:rolls: You go Dfaker :rolls:

duong
02-20-2009, 09:23 AM
IMO the situations noted are a result of choking. The problem with identifying choking is, it's almost impossible to be sure, unless you're the one choking. Personally I've choked at times in a match, then regrouped to go on and play pretty well. Sometimes it's the opposite. However, choking does have symptoms:


Double faulting on critical points

Missing easy sitter volleys

Missing short FH/BHs that should easily be handled

Consistently overhitting while not having done so earlier in a match

Obvious change from lose flowing arm, to tight, tense short arm

Good footwork suddenly disappearing

All of these are symptoms of choking. The result of choking is losing a match, critical game, of a critical point. All of which "can" be recovered from, except obviously the first.

THAT is great :yeah::clap2:

Dougie
02-20-2009, 12:32 PM
Definition of choking: Djokovic retiring due to a sore throat when losing in the final set to anybody.
.
:rolls: You go Dfaker :rolls:

That has absolutely nothing to do with choking. But you probably werenīt serious, anyway.

nestingus
02-20-2009, 04:19 PM
I'd say it was losing the match from a winning position without the other opponent putting any pressure on you to relinquish your lead. ie, a host of unforced errors and double faults.

bobbynorwich
02-22-2009, 05:27 AM
That has absolutely nothing to do with choking. But you probably werenīt serious, anyway.

You got it.

:yeah:

ImmzB
02-22-2009, 12:24 PM
Just go and look where P.H.Mathieu has been winning and then he looses! You will find your answer.
No disrespect to Mathieu but.

marifline
02-22-2009, 05:48 PM
Last set of AO final pretty much sums it up

duong
02-23-2009, 11:00 AM
Just go and look where P.H.Mathieu has been winning and then he looses! You will find your answer.
No disrespect to Mathieu but.

it was not always because of that (eg against Blake in Davis Cup he only played badly after Blake had come back).

Macbrother
02-23-2009, 12:35 PM
IMO the situations noted are a result of choking. The problem with identifying choking is, it's almost impossible to be sure, unless you're the one choking. Personally I've choked at times in a match, then regrouped to go on and play pretty well. Sometimes it's the opposite. However, choking does have symptoms:


Double faulting on critical points

Missing easy sitter volleys

Missing short FH/BHs that should easily be handled

Consistently overhitting while not having done so earlier in a match

Obvious change from lose flowing arm, to tight, tense short arm

Good footwork suddenly disappearing

All of these are symptoms of choking. The result of choking is losing a match, critical game, of a critical point. All of which "can" be recovered from, except obviously the first.

This is good stuff here. It's not about BP or MP conversion b/c that doesn't take into account how well the other person was saving those points. It's simply, did you stop playing your best in the big moment.

habibko
03-19-2009, 12:03 PM
you want to see the classic example? look no further, Nalbandian's choke today can't be any more clear, I could almost read: "I'm choking" written on his forehead.

now if someone disagrees with this, then we will NEVER agree on what a choke is :help:

sheva07
03-19-2009, 12:14 PM
IW chokers: Nalbandian, Andreev, Wawrinka.

zcess81
03-19-2009, 12:58 PM
Bending over and saying to your opponent: "I'm too nervous, please put it in me and get over and done with!"

Nichele Hull
03-19-2009, 01:13 PM
Speaking of chokes, back to back night matches contained a choker. What a shame :o
What Nalby did reminds me of a womens match at RG which is pathetic. Walk of shame losing to Nadal by being bageled in the third set

TennisViewer531
03-19-2009, 01:32 PM
It's just so sad that a tennis player gets to experience this... :(

habibko
03-30-2009, 02:33 PM
There was a thread wasn't there where there was a discussion of what is a choke. I don't think anyone can dispute that this was a choke.

yep, this's the one :angel: I think Safin read this thread and decided to end the dispute once and for all, show us what a classic choke is :yeah:

:silly: :retard: :silly: :retard:

what I don't understand is WHY did he choke? he wasn't exactly playing a GOAT, he had much bigger wins in his career and even lately, he didn't choke against Djokovic in Wimbledon last year, so it's not exactly his reputation :shrug:

the only thing I could find is that Monfils won the only two meetings between them, but that never was a reason for Safin to choke before.


can a choke has no reason? why do you think Safin choked it?

Chloe le Bopper
03-30-2009, 02:42 PM
I haven't read the past 4 pages. All I know is that when my favourite player loses a match that I think he should have won, he choked. Or "chocked", as the kids are apparently calling it these days. Also, when my favourite player wins a tight match that other people think the other guy should have won, they are wrong. The other guy didn't choke, he was just not talented enough to hold my favourite player from coming back. Finally, I'm pretty sure that "chocking" is not an umbrella term for anything related to tennis. I share this last fact, not to be condescending, but to help. It was no problem. Really.

habibko
05-27-2009, 03:45 PM
*BUMP* for Clydey's sake :angel:

I'll give you the volley into the net. That was awful. Unfortunately, the stats don't back up your assertion. He only made 8 errors in the whole set, so suggesting that he hit "lots of CC BH and FH inside out wide" is wide of the mark.

He got tight and his level dropped a bit from the insane heights he was hitting. As I said, it's harsh to call that a choke.


did Starace choke the third set or he didn't? and why?

jonathancrane
05-27-2009, 03:48 PM
*BUMP* for Clydey's sake :angel:

did Starace choke the third set or he didn't? and why?

It wasn't a choke, because he was playing against Muzza, and the briton outplayed him :)

Pfloyd
05-27-2009, 03:49 PM
Choking: When a player eats a banana, and it does not go down well.

Source: Menstennisforums "database"

habibko
06-22-2009, 12:44 AM
It wasn't a choke, because he was playing against Muzza, and the briton outplayed him :)

Clydey would agree...

I don't think it's as simple as everyone makes out. I don't automatically label a loss from 2 sets and a break up a choke. You have to actually look at what happened. Let's leave Murray out of the equation for the sake of us having a proper discussion.

What to you constitutes a choke?

Let's say player A is 2 sets up on player B and is serving for the match. If player A loses that lead, is it automatically a choke?

Let's say that player B hits 4 winners to break when player A is serving for the match. Player B then goes on to win. Did player A choke when he tried to serve it out?

What if it's just a partial choke? Nadal could very well have lost to Federer from being 2 sets up in last year's final. He didn't choke the 3rd set away. He was simply edged out. However, he did choke away the 4th from 5-2 up in the tiebreak. He played a bad couple of points, including one double fault. It was just a minor blip. Let's say it was Federer who won the match 9-7 in the 5th. Would it be harsh to say that Nadal choked, even if he only choked on a couple of points?

I'm genuinely curious as to what people are willing to label as a choke. Most seem to think that losing a 2 set lead is a choke no matter what. It's not a view I subscribe to.

calvinhobbes
11-09-2010, 04:21 AM
A choke is when the best player loses after being fairly ahead (Ex: Roger-Delpo US09, Roger-Tsonga 09). Period. I donīt consider a choke when the lesser player is winning by a wide gap and then fluke stops. (Ex: Falla-Fed W10, Birdy-Fed AO 08, Haas-Fed FO 09). All in all, only the better player is liable to choke. Stop fluking is not choking. . . .

Manequin75
11-09-2010, 04:22 AM
getting a baby carrot piece stuck in your gullet during changeover.....

Infinity
11-09-2010, 05:08 AM
When a player is overwhelmed by the occasion not the opponent, i.e. if a certain player is hitting accurate shots and going for his shots and then starts playing tight or losing easy putaways on important points.

~Maya~
11-09-2010, 05:27 AM
A choke is when the best player loses after being fairly ahead (Ex: Roger-Delpo US09, Roger-Tsonga 09). Period. I donīt consider a choke when the lesser player is winning by a wide gap and then fluke stops. (Ex: Falla-Fed W10, Birdy-Fed AO 08, Haas-Fed FO 09). All in all, only the better player is liable to choke. Stop fluking is not choking. . . .

OMFG! LOFL

leng jai
11-09-2010, 06:21 AM
A choke is when the best player loses after being fairly ahead (Ex: Roger-Delpo US09, Roger-Tsonga 09). Period. I donīt consider a choke when the lesser player is winning by a wide gap and then fluke stops. (Ex: Falla-Fed W10, Birdy-Fed AO 08, Haas-Fed FO 09). All in all, only the better player is liable to choke. Stop fluking is not choking. . . .

Leave your brain at home today?

Blackbriar
11-09-2010, 08:01 AM
definition of choking in one word : Tipsarevic

Topspindoctor
11-09-2010, 09:09 AM
1) When a player loses the match because of drop in level when having a huge lead. Making uncharacteristic errors when serving for set/match like missing easy overheads, double faulting etc..

2) Any WTA match

Certinfy
11-09-2010, 10:49 AM
Berdych always is and always will be a choker :bigcry:

Sean.
11-09-2010, 12:15 PM
When a player lets the pressure/situation get to them while leading (or being in a winning position) during a match, causing their level of play to drop enough that they lose the match.

latso
11-09-2010, 12:19 PM
Haider Mauer serving for the tittle in Vienna

text book action

latso
11-09-2010, 12:21 PM
A choke is when the best player loses after being fairly ahead (Ex: Roger-Delpo US09, Roger-Tsonga 09). Period. I donīt consider a choke when the lesser player is winning by a wide gap and then fluke stops. (Ex: Falla-Fed W10, Birdy-Fed AO 08, Haas-Fed FO 09). All in all, only the better player is liable to choke. Stop fluking is not choking. . . .
Rafa - Davydenko? 6-0 6-7 6-7 or smth like that?

Sophocles
11-09-2010, 12:26 PM
When a player becomes so overwhelmed by the thought of imminent victory his normal game no longer functions, i.e., he misses easy shots he would never normally miss. He thinks too much about the end - victory - & consequently starts thinking about the means - playing his shots - instead of letting physiology dictate.

habibko
11-09-2010, 12:55 PM
found this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analysis_paralysis) interesting article:

"The term "analysis paralysis" or "paralysis of analysis" refers to over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.

The phrase describes a situation where the opportunity cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits that could be gained by enacting some decision, or an informal or non-deterministic situation where the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision-making process itself, thus preventing a decision. The phrase applies to any situation where analysis may be applied to help make a decision and may be a dysfunctional element of organizational behavior. This is often phrased as paralysis by analysis, in contrast to extinct by instinct (making a fatal decision based on hasty judgment or a gut-reaction)."

and on sports:

"Analysis paralysis is a critical problem in athletics. It can be explained in simple terms as "failure to react in response to over-thought." A victim of sporting analysis paralysis will frequently think in complicated terms of "what to do next" while contemplating the variety of possibilities, and in doing so exhausts the available time in which to act."

good definition this one.

Blackbriar
11-09-2010, 03:29 PM
Richard is choke-master on break points: he has the record of DF on break point this year. Fiasco is the reverse king of tie-breaks.

emotion
11-09-2010, 03:32 PM
Richard is choke-master on break points: he has the record of DF on break point this year. Fiasco is the reverse king of tie-breaks.

That would be Davydenko

Myrre
11-09-2010, 05:05 PM
When a player becomes so overwhelmed by the thought of imminent victory his normal game no longer functions, i.e., he misses easy shots he would never normally miss. He thinks too much about the end - victory - & consequently starts thinking about the means - playing his shots - instead of letting physiology dictate.

this

RedHotRafa
11-09-2010, 09:55 PM
Two words, Andy Murray

~Maya~
11-09-2010, 11:34 PM
http://www.rauchmindbody.com/Personal_Choke_Factor.html

fast_clay
11-09-2010, 11:50 PM
http://www.rauchmindbody.com/Personal_Choke_Factor.html

good read... personally, i've learnt that if you find a player who has a free spirit who simply enjoys playing with a child-like sense inside competition to never question or change that... there is less freedom to choke there... these seem to be the less intelligent type... for the deep thinkers, think of anything but mechanics inside a choke, as a shot is already built before one steps on the court... intensity of footwork is primarily where any introspective thought should lay... externally, an opponents weakness...

Topspindoctor
11-10-2010, 12:10 AM
Two words, Andy Murray

Mugray doesn't really choke, his pusher tennis just gets outplayed by aggressive players. No wonder he got roasted at USO in the last two years :o

fast_clay
11-10-2010, 12:17 AM
Mugray doesn't really choke, his pusher tennis just gets outplayed by aggressive players. No wonder he got roasted at USO in the last two years :o

its true... first of all, murray doesnt punish his opponents enough in the first 4 rounds of a grand slam... he goes away, or plays to the level and does just whats required...

and when he does do it right, he refuses to take the fight and plays the unforced error game... more like some sort of slow cooked choke...

you cannot play the unforced error game vs two people and win:

they are 1) federer (he eats that shit up in 5 setters) and 2) nadal (no point trying to make less unforced errors than a brick wall)

Haasi
11-10-2010, 01:02 AM
1-TROICKI vs. DJOKO (basel 2010) 6-5 40-0 and LOST the set? I think he choked.

2-Troicki vs. Nadal (He had a MP) I'm not sure if he choked,but he doesn't believe he can beat the top guys.

3-STARACE vs. MURRAY (Roland Garros'09) 2 sets up and 5-1 the 3rd: 100% CHOKE.

Filo V.
11-10-2010, 01:04 AM
When a player has a lead, is in control and playing well, and the opponent is on the ropes or has essentially conceded the match, and the player in winning position begins playing poorly by DFing/errors/playing tight/no authority etc., due to nerves and pressure.

RedHotRafa
11-10-2010, 01:56 AM
Exact Def would be: 6-0(Golden Set), 6-0(Golden Set), 5-0 40-0(No Points Lost) and to lose every single point for the rest of the match. Ending in an 0-6 0-6 7-5 6-0 6-0 Match.

kyleskywalker007
11-10-2010, 02:13 AM
I know if i were to look for the word in the dictionary, Gasquet's picture would be right beside it:o

RedHotRafa
11-10-2010, 02:31 AM
I know if i were to look for the word in the dictionary, Gasquet's picture would be right beside it:o

:haha::haha::haha::haha:

latso
11-10-2010, 07:40 AM
Exact Def would be: 6-0(Golden Set), 6-0(Golden Set), 5-0 40-0(No Points Lost) and to lose every single point for the rest of the match. Ending in an 0-6 0-6 7-5 6-0 6-0 Match.
MArio Ancic is closest to the perfect choker then

bayvalle
11-10-2010, 08:25 AM
When a player is overwhelmed by the occasion not the opponent, i.e. if a certain player is hitting accurate shots and going for his shots and then starts playing tight or losing easy putaways on important points.

Ok, but there have also been cases of 'choking' that is 'intentional'. Example - USO 2010: Nadal vs. Verdasco (qfinals). Not a few fans saw Verdasco "pulling his punches" in the homestretch. (Rafa went on to win the match, leading to his eventual annexing the title). I see Nadal as a fine player, but seeing him win over a player (yes, a Spanish player, e.g. Verdasco) under 'questionable', even 'mysterious', circumstances takes the cake, prompting one to think that the result has been 'pre-arranged'.

finishingmove
12-04-2010, 06:47 PM
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/Naranoc/smileys/agite.gif

Nadull_tard
12-04-2010, 06:49 PM
Troicki found a new formula. Trochoke.

tealeaves
12-04-2010, 06:51 PM
How many times did Troicki choke this year? 10?

Hurley
12-04-2010, 06:51 PM
You mean Choicki.

MM_1257
12-05-2010, 01:02 AM
1-TROICKI vs. DJOKO (basel 2010) 6-5 40-0 and LOST the set? I think he choked.

2-Troicki vs. Nadal (He had a MP) I'm not sure if he choked,but he doesn't believe he can beat the top guys.

3-STARACE vs. MURRAY (Roland Garros'09) 2 sets up and 5-1 the 3rd: 100% CHOKE.

I'd add Troicki vs. Djoko in USO R1 here... Troicki is quite a choker, yeah... Hope he doesn't choke tomorrow if he plays.

Topspindoctor
12-05-2010, 02:29 AM
Troicki is like male Safina when it comes to mental strength :tape:

latso
12-05-2010, 11:31 AM
Troicki played a huge couple of sets and it was all about his power, but you can't keep that level for too long if you're not an experienced doubles player as well a the oponent being one, often finds a way to react, so no choke from Tro imo.

The mega choke was Tipsa serving against Monfils in the first game of their match....lol

Blackbriar
12-13-2010, 07:15 PM
Troicki is like male Safina when it comes to mental strength :tape:

apparently, he has improved...

GSMnadal
08-17-2013, 08:16 PM
http://www.tennisgrandstand.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/delpotrojuan-martin-del-potro-miami09-3.jpg

SerialKillerToBe
08-17-2013, 08:26 PM
Holding a lead at any point in the match, even 1-0, and then losing is choking.

MaxPower
08-17-2013, 08:49 PM
on MTF even wasting a BP sometimes get "choke" calls.


Personally I define it as having a strong position, like serving for the match or being a double break up in a deciding set, then getting a rubber arm and starting to do easy errors as a result of the pressure.

It's VERY common on the WTA tour. So if you want to see real chokes that's a good option....or buy a DVD with Troicki matches

derstatic
08-17-2013, 09:02 PM
Agree the term is overused on MTF. My definition is when a player plays visibly worse in pressure situations than before in the match. For example missing easy shots despite being rock solid earlier in the match, or making erratic shot selections that have little chance of success. It can be in the body, when bad nerves makes the body unable to perform a shot, rubber arm or stiff limbs. Or in the mind when the head just won't compute the right thing to do. It can occur both when ahead trying to close out a match or when behind trying to stay in it. Words like squander or waste describe it. Choking is not losing because the other player suddenly played better even if you were serving for it or had mp.

GSMnadal
08-17-2013, 09:05 PM
The Del Potro-Isner match is the definition of choking.