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Errors on court no match for political mishits

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With the Australian Summer of Tennis under way (rapture!) the notion of the "unforced error" is on the lips and in the reports of all the courtside TV commentators and tennis writers.

The stagers of big tennis events amass match statistics and feed them to reporters and broadcasters and the fanciful "unforced errors" stats are always there with the unimpeachable stats for measurable things like aces and double faults.

Raphael Nadal and Alex De Minaur do battle on a sultry Melbourne evening. Picture: Getty Images

But for your seasoned columnist, a lifelong student of tennis and for donkeys' years a tennis writer, tennis may be one of the very few areas of Life where there is never any such thing as an unforced error.

So for example there certainly seem to be unforced errors in politics, of which our prime minister's decision to desert the distressed nation and go on holiday in Hawaii is a fine recent example. How he regrets it now, this own-goal, and this pellet shot into his own foot! No one forced him to skulk away to paradise but now it looms as an error that will always haunt and hound his political career.

More about unforced errors in politics and in Life per se in just a moment.

But first let us look at the notion as it applies to tennis. This is also to........

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