Games versus Points


The Dartmouth College Class of 2024, for their graduation, got a very special commencement address from tennis legend Roger Federer.

There is a wealth of good advice in it, but the most interesting point that jumped out to me is that while Federer won a whopping 80% of the matches he played in his career, he only won 54% of the points. It underscores the importance of letting go of small failures (“When you lose every second point, on average, you learn not to dwell on every shot”) but also of keeping your eye on the right metric (games, not points).


One response to “Games versus Points”

  1. jacobmodel Avatar

    If you want to nerd out, it’s even more extreme. Federer won more high leverage points (e.g., game-deciding points like break points) than you would expect by chance.

    So his success was both about recovering from small failures but also dialing it in when the stakes are highest.

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