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Winners and Errors: A New Definition

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  • klacr
    replied
    Originally posted by nickw View Post
    Great article, great series by Craig! The only gray area left when simplifying point endings by winners and errors, is those 'nearly winners', when the racket frame just skims the ball but the player was not in a position to have a chance to put the ball back in the court. For this purpose, I class those as winners, and ask players to play matches keeping an error count in their minds. If they can manage to keep the error count down, they likely will be playing well, and winning. It also helps promote the consistency that Stotty mentioned, playing percentage tennis, and perhaps NOT going for winners. I don't like that phrase 'going for a winner', or 'going for an ace'. In line with the error stats, the players mind should be more like 'I'm going for an aggressive shot that will result with an error from my opponent, or at least keep me in control' If it turns out to be a winner, that's just a bonus!
    Agree and follow 100% with this post.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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  • nickw
    replied
    Great article, great series by Craig! The only gray area left when simplifying point endings by winners and errors, is those 'nearly winners', when the racket frame just skims the ball but the player was not in a position to have a chance to put the ball back in the court. For this purpose, I class those as winners, and ask players to play matches keeping an error count in their minds. If they can manage to keep the error count down, they likely will be playing well, and winning. It also helps promote the consistency that Stotty mentioned, playing percentage tennis, and perhaps NOT going for winners. I don't like that phrase 'going for a winner', or 'going for an ace'. In line with the error stats, the players mind should be more like 'I'm going for an aggressive shot that will result with an error from my opponent, or at least keep me in control' If it turns out to be a winner, that's just a bonus!

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  • stotty
    replied
    At Wimbledon, it's usually a young student who charts the unforced errors during a match. On the outside courts he is positioned just outside the court perched on a seat just slightly above the standing spectators. I stood next to one once and asked him about the procedure. Basically he makes the judgements about errors and taps them into an IBM computer. I found him on the whole to be reasonable accurate. He played tennis himself and was really into his role at the Championships. This may not be the case for all the people who chart matches.

    I think Craig's article shouts out one thing above all else: work to be consistent if you want to be a good tennis player. Many who visit Wimbledon from my club often remark that players like Novak and Rafa don't hit the ball as hard as they seem to on TV, and that other players hit the ball harder. This is true. The thing is with Novak and Rafa is the ball keeps coming back over and over again and it's tough for more aggressive players to keep up the level of play required to hit them off or outplay them. I realise this contradicts first strike tennis but I find it to be true. Consistency is the key to being great on all levels...club or tour players.

    Great article....loved it.

    Stotty

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  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Absolutely agree. I never could understand how the forced/unforced errors were counted. Especially the unforced errors. Some are apparent, others are a matter of opinion.
    With serves, the aces statistics also don't give the whole picture. A player might not hit many aces, but might hit lots of unreturnable ones. I would like to see an unreturned/returned serves statistic, though I realize this is a combination of serve quality and return quality.

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    Thanks! Let's get Craig in eventually to weigh in.

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  • faultsnaces
    replied
    I think the two videos with the article are very interesting in this context, so I'm just going to do some thinking out loud:

    The first video was undoubtedly scored as an unforced error - but it's a good point that that's a distinction (unforced versus forced) without much of a difference.

    The second video was likely scored as Fed hitting a volley winner, but it also seems a significant (unforced, following original plan to reply with bh-xc - or forced, didn't have a plan for the excellent inside return) tactical (shot selection) error by the server: it's the server's weak bh-xc, based on Fed's return, that set up Fed for the volley winner - but it's also Fed's great return and approach that set up the volley winner.

    (Thought experiment: what if the server in the second video displayed stunning athleticism and got the volley back with a perfect deep xc top spin lob, or a blistering short angle just inside the left deuce sideline for a winner...?)

    From a stats perspective, I've often thought about how best to accommodate strategy / tactics / shot selection into the winners and errors framework - but I don't have any answers. To turn matches and stats into recommendations, seems to me we really need to be able to break down points into the three key aspects: strategy / tactical shot selection, shot execution, and athleticism.

    Great video choices JY, and interesting to think about tennis stats like this.

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  • klacr
    replied
    I've always wondered about the mystery people in the booth who decide whether its a forced or unforced error. What gives?

    Another great article from Craig. One of the most sought after minds in the tennis industry today. He was a highlight at last week's USPTA convention in Indian Wells. Always good information and as always, implementation is key.

    As they say, tennis is a game of errors.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic Winners and Errors: A New Definition

    Winners and Errors: A New Definition

    Let's discuss Craig O'Shannessy's article "Winners and Errors: A New Definition"

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