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25

Oct

2017

Henri Laaksonen – no more «mental rollercoasting»

For the first time in his career, the Swiss-Finn Henri Laaksonen (photo) has found a place in the top hundred. The man is 25 years old: today the average age of players entering the top 100 ranking is 23.8 years, as calculated by the sports secretary Allessandro Greco at Swiss Tennis. The Swiss player is therefore not far off course. In physical terms, he has matured into a real Brocken. At SC Bern, Finland’s best ice hockey trainer, Kari Jalonen, is currently in service. The experienced coach would probably employ Laaksonen in pure physical terms to charge the bands in the 4th block. In tennis, physical strength is only one component. Additional requirements include consistency and mental presence, in which the likes of Laaksonen still has his gaps. Playing against Borna Ćorić (Croatia), he served at the end of the first set three double faults at the worst possible moment, yet still managed to claim the set. Then followed a 1:6. Laaksonen will have to reduce these moments of «mental rollercoasting» if he is to reach the top fifty, a target that two out of three experts believe him capable of. Former champion Marc Rosset says that everything is a mind game, otherwise every talent’s tennis «will turn into a damp squib». Enough words in Laaksonen’s ear. He finally lost to Coric in three sets.

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