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Find anger from marathon 5-set defeats – Eye of the Coach #24

In the latest edition of Eye of the Coach, Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou casts his expert eye on how to prepare five-set matches in Grand Slams and how to cope with the eventual defeat.

September 30, 2020
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Corentin Moutet is unquestionably one of the up and coming young players on the tour well worth watching, and big things are expected of the flamboyant left-hander, who seems to have every stroke in the book.

In losing his epic first round encounter 6-0, 6-7, 6-7, 6-2, 16-18 to Lorenzo Giustino, Moutet was on the receiving end of one of the longest matches played at Roland-Garros. And for Mouratoglou, although the Frenchman will be disappointed, there will be many positives to take and learn from going forward.

Corentin Moutet, Roland-Garros, 2020

“First of all, a match like that is exceptional in the career of a player. If you play five in all your career matches that long, it would be already a lot,” said Mouratoglou. “The only thing you can do is to prepare to play grand slams, which means to prepare to play five set matches and I believe the best preparation for men before a grand slam is to practice playing five set matches, maybe every day or at least one day out of two, so you are in the rhythm. And I would do that two weeks before a grand slam, because then you need to recover from that.”

Mouratoglou: “Five-setters are a physical but also a mental challenge”

Moutet is not the only player to have experienced epic five-set defeats and most certainly won’t be the last. And a drill that Mouratoglou employed with many of his players was to prepare them for the intensity of a five-set encounter is to regularly test their physical and mental endurance against fresher opponents.

“What I used to do with my players was to have a guy come every set and my player stays and he plays one set against one guy, then another set against another guy and at the end he has played five sets which is again a physical but also a mental challenge because you need to keep the focus, which is extremely difficult. That’s why grand slams are also fun, you have that type of matches and that’s the only place in the world you can have such a battle for so long.”

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