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View Full Version : What happened to full 3set usta matches?


Ultra2HolyGrail
03-19-2007, 11:31 PM
More and more tournaments i notice a 3rd set tiebreaker being enforced. To me this is not right, and gives a advantage to some players who would go down in 3sets otherwise. Anybody else dissapointed in this? It's just not a real match imo.

kingdaddy41788
03-19-2007, 11:36 PM
Very disappointed. And that's coming from a guy who passed out in Laredo, Texas(border-town with Mexico) during a 4-and-a-half-hour match in 107 degree heat a couple of years ago. I passed out at 6-7, 7-6, 5-4, 30-40 his serve - my match point! He tossed the ball up for the serve and that's all I remember before waking up on the court with tons of people crowded around. Very embarassing, but a good story nonetheless...

Ultra2HolyGrail
03-19-2007, 11:50 PM
Wow thats crazy kingdaddy, i guess that would be the real definition of 'going down' ;) Glad you alright, i suppose after that the match was over.
Thats the longest 3 set match i ever heard of.

kingdaddy41788
03-20-2007, 12:18 AM
Yeah, the tiebreakers were something ridiculous, the first one I lost in the teens, but the second one I won 28-26... And so many deuces. Longest 3 set match I've ever played.

JLyon
03-20-2007, 04:35 AM
I think playing a match tie-break in league is fine, but tournaments should be played out if weather is fine.
The match tie-break is used b/c of the heat and tight schedules at District and Sectionals. I know in Dallas we played out matches thru 1998 only to find out at Sectionals that year they switched match tie-break (We lost to Amarillo in the Finals that year, losing 2 match tie-breaks). After seeing 4-5 guys a succumbing to heat I do not have an issue during league matches.

jagsv650
03-20-2007, 05:29 AM
I would never play in a league (or tournament for that matter) that enforced 3rd set tiebreaks. I'm considering not going to states this year because of it. I probably will because my team is counting on me to go but I don't really want to.

Caswell
03-20-2007, 05:39 AM
From what I've seen, it's all about getting people on and off the court as quickly as possible, and not about improving the quality of the experience.

USTA regionals (Florida District 4) were horrible about this last year. The USTA officials couldn't bother to oversee the matches. I had to interrupt one's cell phone conversation with his landscaper when my opponent changed their line call after a side change in a tiebreak, and he was actually upset at me for doing so. But holy hell if you weren't on court the second they told you to play you'd better believe those same aloof officials were going to be breathing down your neck.

ChipNCharge
03-20-2007, 06:01 AM
I agree, playing a 10 point tie-breaker instead of a full third set is real weaksause. What's next, just playing one pro set?? How about we don't play at all, and just flip a coin to decide who wins? In and out of there in two minutes!

If you think it's too hot, too cold, too windy, too humid, too whatever, then you should be playing something like bowling or poker, in the comfy confines of air-conditioned luxury. Also, it's hard for me to believe that an extra 20-30 minutes to play out the third set is going to break someone's schedule.

There was a pretty big outcry when this 10 point tie-breaker was instituted in my USTA league. So, the league coordinator now allows us to play a full third set as long as all four people (or both people in singles) agree BEFORE the match starts. The result is just recorded as a "1-0" third set.

spiderman123
03-20-2007, 07:02 AM
There was a pretty big outcry when this 10 point tie-breaker was instituted in my USTA league. So, the league coordinator now allows us to play a full third set as long as all four people (or both people in singles) agree BEFORE the match starts. The result is just recorded as a "1-0" third set.


But isn't that against the rules? Aren't the rules there for a reason? Isn't it arrogant to demand a third set? What if your rule abiding captain says that (s)he will not allow her/his players to go against the rules?


It is always nice to see officials who let common sense prevail with no damage done.

volleyman
03-20-2007, 08:36 AM
All of the USTA leagues in the Triangle region of NC have gone over to the "10 pt Tiebreak in place of the 3rd set" abomination. The putative reason is that since the state championships follow this mutant format, teams should play the league that way to be ready for states.

In Durham, the captains were told if they "accidentally" played out the 3rd set, to report the score 1-0, just like a tiebreak. I'm not sure if the Raleigh and Cary leagues made such a statement.

Nobody I've talked with likes this format. We all want to play tennis, best-of-3, not best-of-2 then a coin flip.

My question for the USTA folks who run states and sectionals, would be: why is so hard to find big enough, or numerous enough, locations so that states and so on can do away with the match tiebreak?

The players work hard all year to make the states. If you win your local league, you have to pay extra to play in the states. Here in NC, playing in the states means burning precious vacation days, long commutes or a long trip plus hotel, and having to deal with 8 a.m. matches.

Truncated matches seems to be a pitiful reward for all this cash, effort and sacrifice.

Cruzer
03-20-2007, 08:36 AM
I have not seen the third set tie break requirement at any tournaments in Norcal but my tournament participation has been declining as tournament fees continue to rise. There is sometimes no-ad scoring until the quarters or semis depending on the size of the draw. In league play 10 point tie breakers are not required until you get to district and sectional playoffs. Individual facilities can and do sometimes require 10 point tie breakers in lieu of a third set.
Norcal now has what is called the Koman tie breaker format which has changeovers occuring after the 1st point and every 4 points thereafter. The theory being that in a double match everyone will be able to continue serving from the same side as they were during the match. Using this format is optional in league play but is mandatory at districat and sectional playoffs.
Personally I don't like the 10 point tie break in lieu of a third set. A few bad points and you can find yourself down 0-4 or 0-5 and when you only playing to 10 points that can be a lot to overcome. In a set you would only be behind one game. I am convinced the whole 10 point tie break thing was crammed down the throats of USTA players by a bunch of adminsitrators who don't really like playing tennis. Before a match at a facility other than my club I will ask "are we playing a 10 point tie break or are we going to play REAL tennis today?"

ChipNCharge
03-20-2007, 09:06 AM
But isn't that against the rules? Not if our USTA district coordinator approved it.

Isn't it arrogant to demand a third set? We didn't "demand" anything. We asked our USTA district coordinator if we could play out the third set if all parties agreed beforehand, and she said "yes". If the opponents don't want to play out the third, fine, then a 10 point tie-breaker is played.

Caswell
03-20-2007, 09:54 AM
If you think it's too hot, too cold, too windy, too humid, too whatever, then you should be playing something like bowling or poker, in the comfy confines of air-conditioned luxury.

Oh, don't even get me started on this one.

The 3.5 team I play on is my club's "B" team, and we've had to forfeit a singles line every week because we can't get eight out of the 12 guys on the team to play. This week I'm surprised when I don't get a call to play. Even more surprised that we have a full lineup for the first time all season.

I talked to a teammate who's been around the club longer than I have, and it turns out that a lot of the older guys refuse to play away matches because they're on hard courts, bad lighting, etc. So I end up travelling all over the county playing on every hard court with crappy lighting and facilities simply because some priss-pot old fart doesn't want to drive across town.

What really chaps me are that there are USTA and local (SCTL) leagues exclusively for senior players in addition to the leagues I play in. There's much less oppurtunity to play organized tennis if you're not over 50. I've got USTA and one local mixed league that I'm eligible for.

If all of this is to try to be more considerate of the senior players, fine, keep it in their leagues. Leave the all-ages leagues alone, and let us play tennis (three sets of it, that is).

jagsv650
03-20-2007, 10:01 AM
We have to play three sets down here in Hilton Head. The league coordinator made it that way for us. The only time we can do a tiebreak is if the heat index goes over 100 and all parties in the match agree to it. I was looking into moving up to Rock Hill, SC for a while (and still may) but realize my league days will be over then. They use a third set tiebreaker and I'm not going to spend my time and money to have it come down to "coin flip" if my match goes three.

magmasilk
03-20-2007, 10:06 AM
I actually like the tension caused by super tie-breaker but i can understand the point of view that endurance is part of the sport ...

what is interesting, according to the ATP, with it's new doubles rules (deciding point & super tie-breaker), the higher seeds still wins roughly at the same percentage ... it could be propoganda or due to other factors but it is interesting nonetheless.

ChipNCharge
03-20-2007, 10:24 AM
I usually just wind up telling the guys on my team, "just win in two sets so you won't have to worry about it".

jagsv650
03-20-2007, 10:25 AM
what is interesting, according to the ATP, with it's new doubles rules (deciding point & super tie-breaker), the higher seeds still wins roughly at the same percentage ... it could be propoganda or due to other factors but it is interesting nonetheless.

I believe that from the pros but at lower levels I don't think that holds true. Last year at 7.0 mixed double states my partner and I dropped the first set 5-7. We were down 0-5 before we got into our groove. We won the second set 6-0. We went to the tiebreak. They had 2 balls that dripped over the tape for "cheesy winners" and we had two double faults. That's four points that might not have made a real difference in a real set. My point being stuff like that tends not to effect the pros like armatures. By the way that mixed team lost their other two matches and my partner and I won our two other matches.

spiderman123
03-20-2007, 02:16 PM
Not if our USTA district coordinator approved it.

We didn't "demand" anything. We asked our USTA district coordinator if we could play out the third set if all parties agreed beforehand, and she said "yes". If the opponents don't want to play out the third, fine, then a 10 point tie-breaker is played.

Next time, I will try to put the word "sarcasm" in bold. I did not make it bold in my reply earlier :(

Raiden.Kaminari
03-20-2007, 05:12 PM
For league, they replaced the third set with a super tie breaker because of limited court time. And so that more teams can get registered to play.

As Cruzer mentioned, some USTA tournaments have even switch to NO AD scoring before the quarterfinals.

And someone mentioned in another thread (I think about defaults), that some league matches are even determined by a coin toss *boggle*

Caswell: You know, you should blame yourself for joining a team that had too many "seniors." Or deciding to fill in. Tell them you're busy with your own life and to find someone else to fill the slack.

Topaz
03-20-2007, 05:34 PM
We only have the 3rd set tiebreak in our indoor USTA matches, and that is because of limited court time. For outdoor USTA we play 3 full sets, and have a two hour time limit for matches.

Ronaldo
03-20-2007, 05:37 PM
I agree, playing a 10 point tie-breaker instead of a full third set is real weaksause. What's next, just playing one pro set?? How about we don't play at all, and just flip a coin to decide who wins? In and out of there in two minutes!

If you think it's too hot, too cold, too windy, too humid, too whatever, then you should be playing something like bowling or poker, in the comfy confines of air-conditioned luxury. Also, it's hard for me to believe that an extra 20-30 minutes to play out the third set is going to break someone's schedule.

There was a pretty big outcry when this 10 point tie-breaker was instituted in my USTA league. So, the league coordinator now allows us to play a full third set as long as all four people (or both people in singles) agree BEFORE the match starts. The result is just recorded as a "1-0" third set.

10 yrs ago at Nat'ls in Orlando, the championship was decided on the final day with pro sets since many teams had flights home later that day. The 1st two years playing in the league we used no-ad scoring.

Caswell
03-21-2007, 03:46 AM
Caswell: You know, you should blame yourself for joining a team that had too many "seniors." Or deciding to fill in. Tell them you're busy with your own life and to find someone else to fill the slack.

Sometimes I wish I could, but I want to play. Like I said, there are limited chances to play organized matches if you're under 50 and live in my area. Even the USTA tournament schedules seem to rotate around USTA league play, with at least one a month in Orlando when there is no league play, and none during the spring and fall seasons.

ipodtennispro
03-21-2007, 10:30 AM
More and more tournaments i notice a 3rd set tiebreaker being enforced. To me this is not right, and gives a advantage to some players who would go down in 3sets otherwise. Anybody else dissapointed in this? It's just not a real match imo.

With regard to adults, the general rule is 160. If the combined temperature (heat & humidity) is over 160 you ARE at risk. Unfortunately, here in Hawaii it always hovers around that. Should we not compete? No, that's why if I have two matches scheduled in one day I like the 10-point tiebreaker for the 3rd set. I play in the men's 45's and like this rule only for the early rounds. However, if it is the finals and it is only one match I definitely want to play out the 3rd set. For the finals, if you know your opponent well enough, you can play regular scoring and play out the third set.

Unfortunately, the USTA has to come up with creative ways to keep up with today's pace. First it was no ad. Now, everyone is in the "Fast Lane" these days. The days or over with regard to pinning down a parent to "hang around" for a weekend to watch their child play a 8 o'clock match on Saturday morning than tell them to come back at 4 pm later in the day. That's the way it USED to be. However, many parents with more than one child would rather take their kid to a soccer match that is guaranteed to start at 9am and end at noon and then they have the rest of the day for themselves. It's mere convenience. Soccer is my biggest competitor. That's why we run a short "Half Day" 8's and 10's tournaments, non-elimination and the parents love it.

Ronaldo
03-21-2007, 11:32 AM
Years ago to create a way to get 12 matches for 13 players finished within 3 hrs we played nothing but tie-breaks. Added the scores, highest is the champ. Suspect with time limitations, pro sets with an hr limit may be next.

fuggy
12-29-2009, 05:18 AM
Wow kingdaddy that is cool (not literally)! Yes I am unhappy about the 3rd set tiebreaker too! I am proposing a boycott of all USTA tournaments that impose the 3rd set tiebreaker rule. I already did it for this one tournament with me and 5 other friends. We signed up then pulled out once we were told about the new rule.
And I agree with that other dude about how if you're too weak to play full sets just go play bowling indoors. And ,ya as you said, whats next playing prosets or simply flipping a coin to decide the winner.

rod99
12-30-2009, 10:27 AM
i don't like it for leagues but i understand why they do it. at states, match times are scheduled every 1.5 hours and playing out a third set would cause all kinds of chaos.

at the NC combo state tournament in winston-salem in november, it rained out the entire first day and part of the second day. so for everyone's first two matches, we had to play a 3rd set tiebreaker, no ads, and started sets at 2-2.

mutantducky
12-30-2009, 08:55 PM
I have one that I still steamed about where we lost the first set and then won the second easily and it was clear the momentum was on our side. After the second set they said they wanted to play a tie breaker and we lost. Weak. I make sure that is set because it is total BS to choose then and I assume it was against the rules as well. It was the first year for me.