This week has been the most unlucky week of tennis trading I've ever experienced. I've lost more money before and I've traded far, far worse before but I've never had such a horrendous run of bad luck. If something could go against me during a match, it has. I've lost count of the number of missed break-points that have cost me good greens. So many times I've seen my exit point in sight, only to be whipped away at the last moment. Even worse, when I've decided not to get involved in a game, it's almost inevitably been a game that would've landed me a massive win. And the players almost seem to be conspiring against me; failing to serve out sets on regular occasions, throwing away huge leads and going off the boil straight after playing a superb game. Of course I understand that these things will happen in tennis but the amount of times it happened this week was simply amazing! I would say that I normally experience a run this bad maybe 3 or 4 times a year. This has been my worst yet. It got to the point where I was ready to blow like Vesuvius but this is where the good news comes in - I held it together.
It's easy to feel a sense of injustice during weeks like this and to lose your cool and start chasing. I'm quite proud that I did none of the above. In fact, I would say that I've come out of this week an even better trader. Mentally, I am definitely stronger. I can guarantee I would've been going nuts last year. Check out this post from exactly a year ago to see the difference!
I would say I've eradicated most of the issues mentioned in that post, although still, a year on, it is the lack of patience which is still the dominating factor that is stunting my progress. Even at the end of that post, you can see that I knew exactly what I needed to be doing but still, another 9 or 10 months later, I was making the same mistakes.
That said, I feel that the sheer weight of bad luck I've had to deal with all week has caused me to really work hard on my temperament, discipline and patience. As a result, I think I may have turned another corner. There were one or two things I was still a little unsure about going into this week but the fact that I've had to fight to keep my reds low consistently, has helped me to iron out a few issues. If I can keep trading to this standard, I should really be able to kick-on now because I'm never going to have a week with as much bad luck as this again. To come out of it relatively unscathed and even more confident, is possibly even better than having a profitable week.
Sometimes you need to be tested in order to find out your limitations. If you've been through the worst that can possibly be thrown at you and come out the other side, then you really don't have anything left to fear. Saturday and Sunday were arguably the best 2 days of trading I have ever done. Not because I made more than ever before or because I had no losses but because I was 100% confident and fearless with what I was doing. Monday to Friday was a real struggle to keep my sanity in tact but by the weekend (despite the fact I was STILL not getting much luck!) I was trading with much greater clarity. I realised that I had probably got through the worst of it and so wasn't fighting any negative emotion anymore. And when you have that complete lack of fear of the market, you have won half the battle.
OFF-COURT BEAUTY: World number 249 (still coming back after long illness lay-off, during which time she flirted with politics!), Anna Chakvetadze of Russia: