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View Full Version : Playing the 90-minute timed match


Cindysphinx
03-20-2007, 02:46 PM
For this spring and this spring only, our league will go from 2-hour timed indoor matches to 90-minute timed indoor matches.

For those of you who already play under this tight time restriction, are there any strategies you use that help you? In other words, do you do anything mentally because you know time is limited?

I'm not looking for stalling tactics or gamesmanship or anything, but I'm wondering about legitimate strategies. For instance, you go for more winners, play more conservatively, change strategy at a different point in the match . . . Something like that.

kingdaddy41788
03-20-2007, 02:48 PM
this might be a really stupid question, but how do you do a timed tennis match? Whoever is ahead at the end of time?

Cindysphinx
03-20-2007, 02:56 PM
For a timed match, you have a finite amount of time to play the match. If you finish, great. If you don't, there are elaborate rules to determine who won. If none of the rules tells you who won, the captains must flip a coin.

SJS
03-20-2007, 04:59 PM
Cindy,
I think the best thing you can do on a mental level is to try NOT to think of the time limit. It's the kiss of death for me when it looks like we're not going to finish the match and I start trying to figure out if we've played 6 games in the 2nd set, if I'm two ahead, etc, etc, instead of focusing on playing. That being said, if you figure out how to do that, let me know.
As for playing strategy, as I mentioned in another thread,with the way my league scores the winner of the first set is usually the winner of the incomplete match. So try to be ready to come out strong. We're not allowed to warm-up on the courts ahead of match time (unless we're members of that club and can buy court time) so players sometimes meet at outdoor courts at a park or school near the clubs to get a better warm-up than the regulation 10 minutes. Can't think of anything else at the moment.

Raiden.Kaminari
03-20-2007, 05:04 PM
No experience with timed matches since I'm on the west coast, but my suggestion would be to consider every point like match point.

Unfortunately, for those not mentally tough, this is surely to lead to choking.

Maybe have your team practice only NO AD or 10 point tie breakers to get used to the every point is match point feeling.

Topaz
03-20-2007, 05:40 PM
Cindy, our indoor USTA league has had 90 minute timed matches as long as I've played. The trick is to show up already warmed up, and not take the time to 'warm up' during the match. Come out fighting and ready to go, because if you get down early, you might not have the time to come back! Try to keep the 10 minute warm-up to just 10 minutes...which for me is always very hard to do!

Ace
03-20-2007, 05:58 PM
Wow, you lose 1/2 hour. Is the price of the league going down too? Or will it be the same price for less tennis?

Cindysphinx
03-21-2007, 04:04 AM
Wow, you lose 1/2 hour. Is the price of the league going down too? Or will it be the same price for less tennis?

The price goes down this year from $13 to $11. Big deal, eh? Maybe I'll use the savings to buy two lottery tickets.

It's temporary, though. One of our old, horrible facilities is being upgraded, and they're fixing the roof on another, I'm told. (Currently, if your ball hits the roof, you're treated to a shower of something I really hope is non-toxic.) I've heard the county is also adding *six* new indoor courts.

So I'm willing to put up with one season of puny 90-minute matches for good reasons like that.

Good advice about arriving warmed up and playing tie-breakers in practice. Thanks!

cak
03-21-2007, 06:25 AM
I thought you started this thread to make all of us whining about the third set tie breaker feel a bit guilty. :-) I can't even imagine playing a game where you spin for winner. If our matches stop, due to darkness or rain or giving up courts, you have to reschedule the remainder for another day.

sue20852
03-21-2007, 06:30 AM
A 90-min timed match is do-able. Have the ruling officials considered no-Ad games? That is, when the game reaches deuce, the next point decides the game winner.

Cindysphinx
03-21-2007, 06:56 AM
I thought you started this thread to make all of us whining about the third set tie breaker feel a bit guilty. :-) I can't even imagine playing a game where you spin for winner. If our matches stop, due to darkness or rain or giving up courts, you have to reschedule the remainder for another day.

OMG! I can't imagine having to come back and finish a match on another day. My schedule is such that I need to know for sure when I'm playing and when I'll be finished. What if there is no mutually convenient time to get the same four players back together?

FWIW, I've never seen a match decided on a coin flip. The tiebreak rules may be arbitrary, but they are pretty good at declaring a winner come hell or high water.

For those interested, here they are:

*******************************

Where individual matches are not played to natural conclusion,
the captains shall report scores on Tennislink exactly as they
stood on court when play stopped:

4. For purposes of League Standings, no individual or team
match may end in a tie – the winner will be determined and
reported on Tennislink according to the following:
In the first set

- If in the first set the winner of the most games in that set
shall be awarded the set, and the match.

- If in a first set tiebreak, proceed to “In the match
tiebreak” below.

- If not in the tiebreak and the teams have won an equal
number of games, then the team that has won the most
games in the entire team match shall be designated as
the winner.

- If still tied, the captains flip a coin to determine the
winner.

In the second set

- If in the second set and neither team is ahead by 2 or
more games, the winner of the first set shall be declared
the winner of the match.

- If one team is ahead by 2 or more games in the second
set, that team shall be awarded the set. If that creates a tie
match (“split sets”), then the winner of the most games
in that match shall be declared the winner.

- If still tied, then the team that has won the most games in
the entire team match shall be designated as the winner.

- If still tied, the captains flip a coin to determine the
winner.

In the deciding match tiebreak

- If in the 10-point match tiebreak, the tiebreak must be
completed or it does not count except as specifically
described below.

- If the 10-point tiebreak is not completed but 6 or more
total points have been played in the tiebreak and one
team is ahead by 2 or more points, then that team shall
be awarded the tiebreak.

Otherwise, if the 10-point tiebreak is not completed the
winner will be the player(s) who have won the most total
games in the first 2 sets.

- If this fails to break the tie, then the team that has won
the most games in the entire team match shall be
designated as the winner.

- If still tied, whichever team is ahead in the match
tiebreak wins the match.

- If still tied, the captains flip a coin to determine the
winner.

Indy Tennis
03-21-2007, 07:47 AM
We do 90-minute league tennis.

There are no sets, just games. Winner of the most games wins. If you're on serve it ends up a tie.

1 team point for a win and .5 point for a tie.

raiden031
03-21-2007, 07:51 AM
Hustle to gather balls and get set between each point.
If your opponents are taking too much time between points or changeover, remind them of the tight time constraints.

I wouldn't change my game because of it. But really its the time between points that really wastes most of the time. Thats why most of my matches last less than an hour, because I run to pick up balls and get to my position in between points.

JRstriker12
03-21-2007, 08:01 AM
We play 90 minute matches in my (non-usta) doubles league. I don't really worry about it and just go out and play our game. FWIW, it's always helpfull to win the first set in case the second set gets cut short.

SlapShot
03-21-2007, 08:09 AM
The 8.0 mixed that I played this last winter was 90 minute matches. We never ran out of time - I think everyone understood the time limit and really focused on having the warmup done beforehand and keeping changes as short as possible.

Geezer Guy
03-21-2007, 08:13 AM
I don't know if you take change-over breaks after odd games, but if you do you might consider eliminating them. In our indoor matches we just change sides after each set, with no other breaks. If someone desparately needs a drink, they grab it quickly between games, but no sitting down!

As for me personally, I try NOT to think about the amount of time remaining, and I don't play any differently than I would an untimed match.

Topaz
03-21-2007, 09:04 AM
I don't know if you take change-over breaks after odd games, but if you do you might consider eliminating them. In our indoor matches we just change sides after each set, with no other breaks. If someone desparately needs a drink, they grab it quickly between games, but no sitting down!

As for me personally, I try NOT to think about the amount of time remaining, and I don't play any differently than I would an untimed match.


Outdoor we change after every odd game, indoor after each set.

Topaz
03-21-2007, 09:05 AM
OMG! I can't imagine having to come back and finish a match on another day. My schedule is such that I need to know for sure when I'm playing and when I'll be finished. What if there is no mutually convenient time to get the same four players back together?

FWIW, I've never seen a match decided on a coin flip. The tiebreak rules may be arbitrary, but they are pretty good at declaring a winner come hell or high water.

For those interested, here they are:

*******************************

Where individual matches are not played to natural conclusion,
the captains shall report scores on Tennislink exactly as they
stood on court when play stopped:

4. For purposes of League Standings, no individual or team
match may end in a tie – the winner will be determined and
reported on Tennislink according to the following:
In the first set

- If in the first set the winner of the most games in that set
shall be awarded the set, and the match.

- If in a first set tiebreak, proceed to “In the match
tiebreak” below.

- If not in the tiebreak and the teams have won an equal
number of games, then the team that has won the most
games in the entire team match shall be designated as
the winner.

- If still tied, the captains flip a coin to determine the
winner.

In the second set

- If in the second set and neither team is ahead by 2 or
more games, the winner of the first set shall be declared
the winner of the match.

- If one team is ahead by 2 or more games in the second
set, that team shall be awarded the set. If that creates a tie
match (“split sets”), then the winner of the most games
in that match shall be declared the winner.

- If still tied, then the team that has won the most games in
the entire team match shall be designated as the winner.

- If still tied, the captains flip a coin to determine the
winner.

In the deciding match tiebreak

- If in the 10-point match tiebreak, the tiebreak must be
completed or it does not count except as specifically
described below.

- If the 10-point tiebreak is not completed but 6 or more
total points have been played in the tiebreak and one
team is ahead by 2 or more points, then that team shall
be awarded the tiebreak.

Otherwise, if the 10-point tiebreak is not completed the
winner will be the player(s) who have won the most total
games in the first 2 sets.

- If this fails to break the tie, then the team that has won
the most games in the entire team match shall be
designated as the winner.

- If still tied, whichever team is ahead in the match
tiebreak wins the match.

- If still tied, the captains flip a coin to determine the
winner.

Cindy, do you have the 'flowchart' that explains this? If not, I'll email it to you...it makes it a lot easier and quicker to figure out at the end of a match.

Cindysphinx
03-21-2007, 09:16 AM
I have it somewhere in my binder, but I don't have an electronic copy. Are your tiebreak rules the same?

Topaz
03-21-2007, 02:23 PM
Ohhh...actually, they are similar but not quite the same. Here are ours:
*****
For Mixed Doubles, each match will be the best two out of three sets using regular USTA scoring (not No-Ad). For the USTA NOVA Indoor and Outdoor Adult League, each match will be the best two out of three sets, with a MATCH tiebreaker to be played in lieu of the 3rd set. (First team to 10 points, win by two).

At 6 games each in any set, a 12-point tiebreaker will be used (first team to 7 points, win by 2.) At the end of the timed playing period, IF THE BALL IS IN PLAY, finish the point you are playing but do not start a new point. If all players in a match fail to note that match time has expired and they continue to play until they are made aware of it, all points that have been played will count.

In any situation described below, incomplete games are to be totally disregarded in scoring irrespective of what the score may be in that incomplete game. The exception to this is tiebreaker games: see "Tiebreaker Incomplete."

If at the end of the timed playing period the match is incomplete, the match status shall be reported on TennisLink as "Retired" and the following rules shall apply:

3rd Set Tiebreaker Incomplete -If a side is ahead by one or more points, it shall be considered to have won the ‘match tie-break’ and the match. If there is a tie in the number of points won, one point will be played to determine the winner of the match tiebreaker. A spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court), but in no event will players change courtsides.

3rd Set Incomplete -If a minimum of 6 games have been completed and one team is ahead by two games or more, or if one side is ahead by a minimum of 4 games, regardless of a number of games completed, the set shall be "valid" and the match win will go to the team winning this 3rd set. Scores of 3-3, 3-4, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 4-5, 5-5, 6-5, 5-6 and 6-6 are all invalid sets. If there is not "valid" third set, the match win would go to the side that has won the most games during the match. The game count should include the games played in the incomplete third set. If there is a tie in the number of games won, a single tiebreak point will be played to determine the winner of the match. Again, a spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court) is to be reported on TennisLink as the winner of the match with the actual game score (Point break excluded).

2nd Set Split (Where match tie-break has not begun)-The match shall go to the side that has won the most games during the match. If there is a tie in the number of games won, one point will be played to determine the winner of the match. A spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court), but in no event will players change courtsides. The match winner (by game count or point-break) is to be reported on TennisLink as the winner of the match with the actual game score (point break excluded).

2nd Set Incomplete-If a minimum of 6 games has been completed or one side is ahead by a minimum of 4 games, the set shall be "valid." If there is no "valid" second set, the match goes to the winner of the first set. If a side is either a) ahead by two games or more where a minimum of 6 games has been completed of a "valid" set, or b) ahead by a minimum of 4 games, it shall be considered to have won the set. (3-3, 3-4, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 4-5, 5-5, 6-5, 5-6, 6-6 are all ‘invalid’ sets and the match win would go to the winner of the first set.)

If the sets are now split at one set each, procedure follows 2nd Set Split (Where match tie-break has not begun) and the match shall go to the side that has won the most games during the match. If there is a tie in the number of games won, a single tiebreak point will be played to determine the winner of the match. Again, a spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court), but in no event will players change courtsides. The match winner (by game count or point-break) is to be reported on TennisLink as the winner of the match with the actual game score (point break excluded).

2nd Set Tiebreaker Incomplete- If a side is ahead by one point or more, it shall be considered to have won the set tiebreaker. If there is a tie in the number of points won, one point will be played to determine the winner of the set tiebreaker. A spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court), but in no event will players change courtsides.

If the sets are now split at one set each, procedure follows for 2nd Set Split (Where match tiebreaker has not begun).

1st Set Incomplete
If a side is ahead by one game or more, it shall be considered to have won the match. If there is a tie in the number of games won, one point will be played to determine the winner of the match. A spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court), but in no event will players change court sides.

1st Set Tie-break Incomplete
If a side is ahead by one point or more, it shall be considered to have won the match. If there is a tie in the number of points won, one point will be played to determine the winner of the match. A spin of the racquet shall be used to determine which player will serve the point (the non-serving team has the option of which side to receive serve, deuce or ad court), but in no event will players change court sides.
*****

WHEW!!! The flowchart helps so much when you're trying to figure out who just won the match, and the next players are bugging you to get off so they can start their match!

I play indoor and outdoor, though...so I have to know when to go three sets and when to play the tiebreak. Sounds stupid, but sometimes I forget who does what.