We've all been there. Throwing an absolute stinker. Prepared well, plenty of sleep, fuelled and hydrated, hitting well in practice and then....it all goes badly wrong.
It doesn't mean you gotta lose.
It doesn't mean that you throw your hands up in the air and say, 'just isn't my day.'
You dig deep.
You find a way.
Your compete with whatever is working on the day.
You get over yourself and your 'be perfect' expectations of how a match will run.
You battle for one point and once you got one you battle for another. You hang in, look for small 'wins', you make balls and drag it out, slowing down between points, wrestling momentum out of your opponent's hands.
You adopt a mentality that the scoring system in tennis favours the player down in a match.
Lose the first set 6-0, you start 0-0 next set.
England have won twice in as many weeks in the Six Nations whilst largely underperforming. First against France at Twickenham, then against Wales on Saturday in Cardiff. Ok, maybe they weren't throwing total stinkers but they weren't playing well that's for sure. Read these 3 lines from Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer in Cardiff (taken from BBC Sports app yesterday).
Believing you will win when all around see a match that's slipping away.
Coming back for more when all game you have been turned over and picked off.
Finding precision in the critical moment, having been imprecise in so much of what has gone on before.
That's being a winner. Winning when you're not 'hot' or in the zone. Winning when it's downright tough, the timing is off, and all about you have lost belief.
Except you of course.