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Good day to everybody.

Let's say we describe a tennis match that happened a couple of weeks ago.

Despite a bad start for Federer in the fifth set, in terms of being one break down, he won the set and the match.

Despite a bad start for Federer in the fifth set, in terms of having been one break down, he won the set and the match.

Although it seems to me that the second statement is correct, the first one sound more natural, but I do not know if it is correct.

Are both ok to use?

Not a native speaker.

1 Answer 1

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Both are fine.

Despite a bad start for Federer in the fifth set, in terms of being one break down, he won the set and the match.

Should be read as:

Despite a bad start for Federer in the fifth set, in terms of being one break down (at one point), he won the set and the match.

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    "in terms of" seems like a strange phrase to use there, don't you think? Wouldn't "in spite of" be more appropriate?
    – Barmar
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 22:55
  • @Barmar, why? being a break down is actually a bad thing
    – hamster
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 23:10
  • @Davo, that is a nice observation, indeed the "at one/some point" is implicit
    – hamster
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 23:10
  • @hamster That's my point. "in spite of" means that the outcome was unlikely because of the stated condition. "in terms of" means with regard to a particular feature of something.
    – Barmar
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 0:46
  • @Barmar ah, I understand now. In my case I use the "in terms of..." as an explanation to why Federer had a bad start, so it was a bad start in the sense that he was down a break. In your case I think you use "in spite of..." as an additional bad thing like "Despite a bad start, and in spite of a bad follow-up, he succeeded in the end."
    – hamster
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 9:21

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