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Unforced error

[ 2011-08-24 09:45]     字号 [] [] []  
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Unforced errorUnfortunately, her unforced error count continued to stifle her play - 30 in total - and she lost the final two points of the match.

Could you explain “unforced error”?

My comments:

This is generally speaking a tennis term, which means a simple mistake, one that actually could be avoided.

If you’re on top of your game, that is.

In tennis you win points by striking the ball hard and sharp into, say, the deep corners of the opponent’s court, making it difficult for him or her to return the ball back. You do this the best you can in order to force them into making errors, i.e. hitting their returns long, wide, down into the net or simply failing to reach the ball.

Unforced errors, though, are those you make inadvertently, either due to carelessness or distraction. Unforced errors are costly, a sign that your concentration level is not there.

In short, unforced errors are UNFORCED. In other words, they’re self-inflicted. They’re of your own making.

Still in other words, they’re your own doing which, eventually and often enough, may in the end lead to your undoing.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.