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View Full Version : Pros and Cons of 10-point Match Tiebreak


HenryS12
12-09-2008, 09:15 PM
Subject line says it all, but I'm mainly interested in the cons. Thanks.

JavierLW
12-09-2008, 09:34 PM
Cons:

- This depends on you, but if you are more physically fit then your opponent(s), then playing a 3rd set benefits you more.

Im not really sure that most of the things people will describe are necessarily "pros" or "cons".

It's just different and it changes the nature of the game. It shortens the match time which makes it easier for people to get thru more matches in a tournament.

But it lacks the quality that would be required if you had to fight out an entire third set. In some cases, you could have some momentum going into it that helps you win, but if you had to play a full 3rd set you may not carry it thru to the end.

But I think it adds some quality as well, because you really have to be on the top of your game for every single point in that thing. If you get into a slew of bad points where you lose your cool even for a few points you could very well lose the match because of it.

I dont believe that any significant portion of them are won by luck, it's a definate skill to be able to manage yourself to win these things.

Im like most people, I really hated them because Im used to 3 sets and in our leagues we still play a full 3 sets, but in a tournament where you might have to play tons of matches in one weekend (especially a round robin tournament) at my level, Im glad we have these now.

Solat
12-09-2008, 09:48 PM
tennis has had the problem of being a hard sport to cover on TV due to its unknown length of time. This also applies to running events / tournaments / leagues when compared to most sports which are timed.

Due to it's unique scoring system, timed matches don't really work in tennis. In order to push matches thru they need to shorten the possible time being played. By playing a TB its hardly different(in time) to a two set match which is what the minimum length would be. Obviously a 0/1 win would be quicker then a 6/6 match but it at least gives a rough time frame.

The 7pt TB is too short to decide a match on, anything out to 15pts would be getting too long. a 15-10 TB score would be 25 pts which is nearly 1/2 a set of tennis so doesnt solve the problem of reducing match times

In the end, the rules are fair for all parties, you need to beat your opponent under the rules that have been assigned.

raiden031
12-10-2008, 06:18 AM
Pros:

Gets the matches done quicker
The underdog has a higher chance of winning the match
The unfit player will not get burnt out

Cons:

The better player's odds of winning go down
The fit player will not have advantage of their opponent burning out
Less room to make mistakes

aldekeuk
12-10-2008, 06:25 AM
Cons - takes fitness and momentum out of the equation in determining a winner.
Also, pretty depressing after you win the 1st set to think that all your opponent has to do to beat you is win 1 set and 1 extended tiebreak (instead of 2 straight sets).

Moz
12-10-2008, 06:32 AM
I hate them. In my opinion it can completely ruin the second set of matches. I have been up in the second having lost the first and my relatively unfit opponent just tanks the set to save energy for the tie-break.

It's in this way that the system can fundamentally change the way a match is approached.

TennisND
12-10-2008, 06:32 AM
I never win in tie-break or this kind of match game as I normally do as the normal set. I guess I don't have a good preparation for it. Can you guys give some advices? I don't know why I can't play good in this kind of pressure.

smoothtennis
12-10-2008, 06:53 AM
Cons -


The guy with the least effective serve is at a dissadvantage.
The impatient players are at a huge dissadvantage - dangerous for the baseline big bangers.
Much easier to get tight in a tie break than a set

smoothtennis
12-10-2008, 06:55 AM
I never win in tie-break or this kind of match game as I normally do as the normal set. I guess I don't have a good preparation for it. Can you guys give some advices? I don't know why I can't play good in this kind of pressure.

To answer that question, you have to give us a clue as to how you are losing them. Have you analyzed what happens as your are losing these? Do you get tight and start netting shots, or quit moving your feet? Do you get impatient and start spraying every second or third shot?

mikeler
12-10-2008, 08:10 AM
The thing that is somewhat irritating about these champions tiebreaks is that one person can win a set 6-0, then lose a set 7-6 and go on to lose the match. It certainly allows greater chances for the weaker opponent to win the match.

JavierLW
12-10-2008, 08:58 AM
The thing that is somewhat irritating about these champions tiebreaks is that one person can win a set 6-0, then lose a set 7-6 and go on to lose the match. It certainly allows greater chances for the weaker opponent to win the match.

Not much of a greater chance.

If someone pulls out the 2nd set tiebreak and they went on to win the supertiebreaker, even though they lost the first set 0-6, it does not mean they won by luck.

They were the better player at the end of the match regardless of the match format.

So the loser has to acknowledge that, if they were so great, they shouldnt of lost the 2nd set, and certainly shouldnt of let it get to a tiebreaker in the first place.

I think this is just a built in excuse for some people who lose these things.

It's not any better or worse, it's just different.

I think because it goes to 10 points, there is sufficent momentum where luck really is rarely a factor. If someone wins tons of matches, you'll still see them win these matches, and if someone tends to lose tons of matches in crunchtime they will tend to lose as well.

Otherwise the game is the same, if you lose there are no excuses and you cant say you were the favorite because if you were, you would of won. (you certainly wouldnt go from winning 6-0 to getting stuck in a second set battle)

(dont take it personally, that's just my opinion on this as this is a common reaction to this subject)

beernutz
12-10-2008, 02:58 PM
There are pros?

counter_puncher
12-10-2008, 04:11 PM
Everyone hates them.

mikeler
12-11-2008, 06:59 AM
JavierLW, let's reverse the score in my example. The weaker player wins the first set 7-6 and then the stronger player wins the 2nd set 6-0. Who is most likely to win the 3rd set? I've actually won more than 50% of these match tiebreaks in league play, so I'm not blaming them for losing matches. Fitness is one of my strengths, so playing a 3rd set in the Florida heat is an advantage for me.

Conditions can also play a factor. This time of year, the sun is very low in the southern sky during the day. The person who has to face the sun for the first 6 points in the match tiebreak has a big disadvantage. In a 3rd set, where the players will switch sides several times, this disadvantage cancels out.

Bottom line...I don't like 'em! :)

duketennisgal
12-11-2008, 07:55 AM
One thing I've noticed about the match tiebreak is that usually the player with the stronger serve will win. It also seems to give the advantage to the mentally stronger player.

Pros
- Matches are finished quicker, helps with court availability during league seasons and during tournaments
- Easier to play several matches in one day (time wise)

Cons
- Makes it less likely that the fitter player can wear down the opponent
- Harder to come back from a deficit


I used to absolutely hate the match tiebreak but since we've been doing it for so long I've become used to it, my record is not as good in the tiebreak as it used to be in 3rd sets but that's just something I have to learn to overcome.

FloridaAG
12-11-2008, 08:01 AM
Don't like them at all - mostly for the reasons Mikeler stated. Personally, I feel like I can outlast most opponents so a third set benefits me. I also am not a huge server and would rather play a full set than a tie breaker.

JavierLW
12-11-2008, 09:38 AM
JavierLW, let's reverse the score in my example. The weaker player wins the first set 7-6 and then the stronger player wins the 2nd set 6-0. Who is most likely to win the 3rd set? I've actually won more than 50% of these match tiebreaks in league play, so I'm not blaming them for losing matches. Fitness is one of my strengths, so playing a 3rd set in the Florida heat is an advantage for me.

Conditions can also play a factor. This time of year, the sun is very low in the southern sky during the day. The person who has to face the sun for the first 6 points in the match tiebreak has a big disadvantage. In a 3rd set, where the players will switch sides several times, this disadvantage cancels out.

Bottom line...I don't like 'em! :)

Oh ya, I agree they are not as desirable and I am not advocating them in any way. (although in a tournament with tons of matches it's nice because you can fit more matches in)

I just still totally disagree with the notion that anyone if they find themselves in one should attribute the outcome to luck.

Even in your example (which I agree is better then the other one), the "stronger player" just won the 2nd set 6-0. That was regardless of what side they were on or if they were serving or not obviously.

So if they cant take that momentum and carry it over to the supertiebreaker, then that's the problem, it's all them. It's not luck.

Obvioulsy we're not all sitting there to watch these matches, but I would bet that in mostly all cases where the player who just won 6-0 lost, it's more of a matter of some sort of mental breakdown or they relaxed, then you could point to any sort of luck. Those are just attributes that are involved with winning these, and whether someone likes it or not plenty of matches are using them these days so they need to accept that.

Also in a lot of areas everyone is playing those Coman tiebreaker things these days. Usually the people who worry about being on one side for 6 points try to play that method. (although it's kind of weird that there are 2, and it probably depends on how lax the rules are on that)

But anyway, that's pretty much my whole point. For whatever reason we may find ourselves in one of these and I dont think luck is involved in whether you win or not. It may not "favor" you depending on your skills, but you should still win if you are the better player at the end of the match.

And if you dont win, it's hard to say you were the better player regardless of how the set scores went, "the better player" is hopefully good at winning tiebreakers otherwise they are going to lose a lot of close sets, much less these match tiebreaks.

mikeler
12-11-2008, 10:16 AM
All examples aside, my only point is that it gives the weaker player a better chance to win. It is harder to beat a good player 2 out of 3 sets than 1 set and an extended tiebreak. It does a worse job of settling who is the better player that day but is necessary for cases where court time is limited. Because it is a relatively new way of scoring the game, it is natural that people will react negatively to it for a while.

JavierLW
12-11-2008, 10:43 AM
All examples aside, my only point is that it gives the weaker player a better chance to win. It is harder to beat a good player 2 out of 3 sets than 1 set and an extended tiebreak. It does a worse job of settling who is the better player that day but is necessary for cases where court time is limited. Because it is a relatively new way of scoring the game, it is natural that people will react negatively to it for a while.

Right and that is exactly what I disagree with. Whether one person is the weaker player or not is totally subjective unless it's obvious that one is clearly a level or more above. (in which case Im willing to bet that the higher skill rated player rarely will lose a 10 point tiebreaker to a lower skiled player)

But for situations where the skill levels are close, I dont think this is any different then any other time when one player feels they are "better" but for whatever circumstances they didnt pull out a win. You have to look at things like the set scores or see how they "look" when they are playing, or other criteria that is usually meaningless depending on who is giving the opinion.

For as many people that may find winning 2 sets out of 3 is hard, there are tons of people out there that cant get thru a supertiebreaker as well, they just usually wont admit it.

It's mental more then anything for most people. Sometimes when they are tasked with having to muddle thru a whole 3rd set after losing the 2nd, they may not be able to respond. But with the supertiebreaker they may feel more compelled to not let down.

Either way, if you win, you were not the weaker player (for that match).

mikeler
12-11-2008, 10:49 AM
OK, we just disagree then. Tiebreaks are crapshoots in my opinion.

heftylefty
12-11-2008, 01:56 PM
The ten point tiebreaker is ok when you have a limited amount of time on the court. The guy I play against on Saturdays, we use the 10pt breaker at 1 set all because we have the court for only two hours. We play from 7:30am-9:30am and acutally on the court at 7:15 and use that time to warm up. We don't do a lot of talking during the match and at times have very quick changeovers.

We would rather play a full three set. I guess one other option is no-ad scoring.

JavierLW
12-11-2008, 02:19 PM
OK, we just disagree then. Tiebreaks are crapshoots in my opinion.

Not really sure why it would be. If you play better then your opponent in it you should win, and if you dont you wont. You have to win as many points as you would in 2.5 normal games, so it's not like there can be that much luck involved.

I think "crapshoot" would apply more to something like a timed match because something other than the two players involved in playing the match may decide the outcome. (if the clock runs out before the match "is over" and all the crazy different rules for how to handle who wins are applied to it)

kylebarendrick
12-11-2008, 04:54 PM
The difference to me is that when you serve in a normal game, your opponent has to win two more points off your serve than you in order to break you. Using deuce as an example, your opponent needs to win two points in a row to take the game. If they hit a ball into the net that dribbles over for a winner, you can still win the next point to get back even in the game.

A freak shot on your serve in a tiebreak can quickly setup your opponent to serve out the set. To me that is the extra element of chance, especially for a player that is less consistent.

mikeler
12-12-2008, 02:22 AM
kylebarendrick makes some good points. Luck plays a bigger part in a match tiebreak than a 3rd set. At the 5.0 level, most players have pretty good serves so one or two mini-breaks may make all the difference in who wins the match. Maybe I am in a good position to get a mini-break during a rally and a ball rolls on my court resulting in a let. Bad luck for me.

I know we are talking about match tiebreaks but I'd like to point out an example of luck in a tiebreak. Becker and Lendl played a 5 set match in 1988 for the Masters Cup final which Becker won 7-5 in a standard final set tiebreak. On match point, they had a 40 shot rally (if I counted correctly on Youtube) which Becker won on a let cord. I know JavierLW, Becker was just simply better...

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1294128.html

tennisee
12-12-2008, 02:58 AM
Mr Kipling puts it thus:

"If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'"

(you know how it ends...)


In comp, I love match tiebreaks.

In social games, I love advantage sets: let's bring it on - nothing is more fun than a 14-12 win, but in comp, when is enough enough?

You've each won a set. Unless someting odd has happened you've played 15 or 20 games and you're even. Time to write up the scorecard and have a beer, I say.

I like the challenge of the extra pressure. At one set each I think it's been shown that neither player is undeserving - so it's time to settle up.

Net cords, bad bounces (I play grass comp) bad sun, bad wind, poor fitness, who cares?

It is - as Lady Macbeth said, time to "Screw your courage to the sticking place." Or as some anonymous thinker said, (rather more colourfully) time to "either sh#t or get off the pot."

GeoffB
12-12-2008, 03:20 PM
Pro:
They shorten the match
They make match duration somewhat more predictable.

Con:
They are more susceptible to random chance.
They don't reward fitness as much

As a practical matter, I prefer to play matches using the super tiebreak simply because I have a limited amount of time to play tennis, and my matches often hit the two hour mark anyway. However, I don't find them very satisfying. They're a compromise.

As for the randomization... I wouldn't go so far as to say they are a crapshoot, but they definitely do favor the "weaker" player.

I know - every time someone says "the weaker player won", somebody comes back and says "the losing player is, by definition, the weaker player." And this is a fair point - and it is certainly the right attitude to take as a player in victory or defeat.

But think of it this way - if one player has a 48% chance of winning a point, and the other has a 52% chance, then the 48% player has a much better chance of winning a 10 point tiebreak than a third set.

It's never quite that simple, of course, because the nature of 10 point tiebreaks is different from a set.

Solat
12-12-2008, 04:43 PM
why not play 5 sets all the time then, to make sure the "fittest" and "stronger" player always wins?

why is it so wrong that the weaker player has a better opportunity? isn't competition more interesting when two players are as equal as possible? Therefore giving the "weaker" player a better chance should make the "stronger" player have to play well to win...which should be the case in any match, you shouldn't get to win just by turning up and being the "stronger" player

all sports would be dead boring if the "better" team / player won every match / game.

mikeler
12-12-2008, 04:52 PM
Why play sets or warm up? Just go on the court and play 1 point for the match.

JavierLW
12-12-2008, 05:14 PM
kylebarendrick makes some good points. Luck plays a bigger part in a match tiebreak than a 3rd set. At the 5.0 level, most players have pretty good serves so one or two mini-breaks may make all the difference in who wins the match. Maybe I am in a good position to get a mini-break during a rally and a ball rolls on my court resulting in a let. Bad luck for me.

I know we are talking about match tiebreaks but I'd like to point out an example of luck in a tiebreak. Becker and Lendl played a 5 set match in 1988 for the Masters Cup final which Becker won 7-5 in a standard final set tiebreak. On match point, they had a 40 shot rally (if I counted correctly on Youtube) which Becker won on a let cord. I know JavierLW, Becker was just simply better...

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1294128.html

You're right whoever wins that match is the better player for that match.

There is no way you can prove in that example otherwise.

You keep saying things like "the weaker player has a better chance", but you cant find any example where you prove that. In this example they are both great players so it's probably the worst example. (because there is no "weaker" player)

Also that set could of been tight and on serve at 6-5 with Lendl serving at ad-Out and the same exact thing could of happened and Becker wins.

In fact it's almost less fair then to me because you dont have as many points to get thru in a normal game, but in either case you cant attribute it all to luck because someone had to get one point to even be in a position to get the second lucky point for the win. That's the nice thing about win-by-two (and not the nice thing about no-ad).

So to go back to the same thing (again), the idea that the supposed "weaker" player can win is silly because there is no weaker player. You have to win a whole set to even get to a match tiebreak, and if someone really was all that much weaker then you shouldnt let them win a whole set.

It's just different and it values different skills, it isnt any more or less lucky for anyone. Sure crazy things can happen in them, but crazy things can happen anytime near the end of the match to make the outcome seem more trivial. The end is just sooner, that's all.

That's why most of the time we at least play it to 10 points instead of 7.

JavierLW
12-12-2008, 05:18 PM
Why play sets or warm up? Just go on the court and play 1 point for the match.

We might as well if you think you know who the "stronger" player is and the "weaker" player is. Maybe next time we'll just ask you, and we'll just mark the scorecard appropriately, no point in even playing one point.

Heaven forbid the "weaker" player wins an entire set against the "stronger" player and goes on to win the match tiebreak.

mikeler
12-12-2008, 05:51 PM
You keep saying things like "the weaker player has a better chance", but you cant find any example where you prove that.


I have plenty of match examples that I could discuss and what happened in subsequent matches. I've won and lost my share of match tie-breaks. There are a few I won, that had there been a 3rd set, I would have probably gotten my butt kicked. Of course, there are others I lost where I'm pretty sure I would have been favored in the 3rd set.

Your writing is intelligent and well thought out. I say we close our argument on this topic and we can debate another one.

PS I'm right and you are wrong :)

bluetrain4
12-12-2008, 09:23 PM
From my experience, the better player wins the tiebreak substantially more than the weaker player, unless the better player is really mentally week and gets nervous.

Also, seriously, for all of you complaining that the "weaker player has a better chance", how much "weaker" is that player if you've split sets? Yeah, I know that a better player can have off days, but if you are substantially better than someone, you won't be splitting sets that often.

Someone says that it isn't "fair" if you win the first set 6-0 or 6-1, lose 7-6, and then lose the super-tiebreak. Why? It's completely fair. Tennis matches are based on sets (duh). We all like to say the full score, but you either win 2 sets to 0, 2-1, or lose by those scores. If game totals mattered then we wouldn't have sets in the first place, we'd just play a super-pro set - one set, first person to 12 or 14 (or whatever number) games

volleyman
12-13-2008, 11:25 AM
Pros

Shortens match time.

Cons

Makes tennis less athletic
Makes comebacks easier
Changes formula for winning
Increases the influence of luck in determining the outcome of the match.
Increases the influence of the elements on the outcome of the match (here in the Southern, they pretend the Komen tiebreak doesn't exist).


I think replacing an entire set with a 10 point tiebreak is ludicrous. If time is a factor, I'd rather play a short set, where the teams start tied at 2-2, than a tiebreak. Everyone gets to serve, teams get make their adjustments to the condition, and there's still time to for a suddenly hot player to come back to earth, and it still shortens the match.

If you're not playing in a time constrained environment, the match tiebreak is a cop out. It makes tennis, well, less like tennis, in my mind.

At the rate we're going, the 6 game set will disappear completely in the next 10 years. To save on time, we'll simply play best 2 out of 3 match tiebreaks, and then, because we'd hate the completely out-of-shape to be at a disadvantage, we'll cut it down to a single 15 pt tiebreak, eliminate let serves, and cut the court dimensions in half. Just think of how much tennis we could play!

rosenstar
12-13-2008, 12:30 PM
I think the biggest thing about a match tie brake is the momentum. I'm curious to how often the winner of the second set wins the tie break. I can't recall anytime I've won the second set, and lost the tie break...

TennisND
12-15-2008, 07:37 AM
To answer that question, you have to give us a clue as to how you are losing them. Have you analyzed what happens as your are losing these? Do you get tight and start netting shots, or quit moving your feet? Do you get impatient and start spraying every second or third shot?

Most of the time, I lost in tie break or third set when I won the last few sets. For example: 2 days ago, my friend led me 5-2. I came back and make it 6-5 then we went to tie break and I lost. The second set is exactly the same. So far, I have played 15 single game and never won a tie break yet. BTW, most of them time we went to tie break when I led 6-5.
I wonder what happen to me and how I can improve it.

MNPlayer
12-15-2008, 08:31 AM
If we view a tennis match as a statistical sampling technique to determine the "better" player, the more samples, the better!

So, 5 sets are better than 3 which are better than 2+tie breaker from this point of view. On the other hand, if you play long enough (best of 11 sets, et's say) the fitter player will probably win.

So say there is no luck involved is false; clearly if matches were decided by playing a single point there would be many more upsets. But I would argue that there is not all that much more luck in 2+tie breaker than 3 sets. And I kind of like the pressure that comes from having to win a 3rd set tiebreaker as opposed to a 3rd set.

JavierLW
12-15-2008, 10:31 AM
If we view a tennis match as a statistical sampling technique to determine the "better" player, the more samples, the better!

So, 5 sets are better than 3 which are better than 2+tie breaker from this point of view. On the other hand, if you play long enough (best of 11 sets, et's say) the fitter player will probably win.

So say there is no luck involved is false; clearly if matches were decided by playing a single point there would be many more upsets. But I would argue that there is not all that much more luck in 2+tie breaker than 3 sets. And I kind of like the pressure that comes from having to win a 3rd set tiebreaker as opposed to a 3rd set.

I think your general anaysis is right.

But I think what you are noticing is that if you go in with the assumption that someone is "clearly better", they should not even lose a set.

I think if the match was one single set (which is a valid USTA scoring system which thankfully Ive never seen), it's true that someone unexpected may win and it definately may favor one particular player at the time, but I dont think you can say that the "better player lost". (like some have suggested in the OP's scenerio)

And that's also why I think you notice that there isnt a whole lot of difference between the 2 set and a match tiebreak and best of 3 sets.

If you are losing a whole entire set to someone to stick you in the position of having to play a match tiebreak you no longer have the right to say you are "clearly the better player".

And in the match tiebreak let's say a couple random events occur and it really does determine the winner. Well then I still dont think you have the right to say you were "screwed" or the "the better player didnt win", because if you really were the better player, that tiebreaker wouldnt of been decided by such a narrow margin.

Odds are that match was going to be determined by who managed to step up at the last moment and close it out anyway which could of been anyone. (unless you notice that one particular player manages to do just that over and over and over again in many many matches against the same player, then maybe you can say they are clearly better)

So I dont think luck is really AS involved as people like to believe, at least not in determining who was "better". The rules are just different and some people may of had an advantage had their of been a 3rd set, but to say they were "clearly better" after losing a whole entire set is just ego and someone's belief over the facts and the results of the match.

A great example of this is a guy who I had a tough rivalry with years ago. We were both rated 3.0, but he had a horrible match record, wasnt very well thought of by most who didnt know him, and meanwhile I was paying a lot of tennis lessons, drills and I played 5 times a week and naturally I thought that I "should beat him" and that I was "clearly better then him".

I went thru a series of losing to this guy in 2 straight sets over and over again, which was quite frustrating because there were players that I was beating almost every time who would beat this guy.

Then one day I lost the usual 2 sets to him and we decided to play a 3rd set for fun. I managed to win that set, and then afterwards he was giving me advice and talking about how "I lost because I did this and this", and I was like "wait a minute, I just beat you in a set". To that he replyed "well.....but....I wasnt really trying in that set.

So I decided from then on that I would ONLY play him in a best of 5 set match because I figured that favored me, and I would only play him once a year (because there would be no excuses then by either of us)

I was down a set and then 2-5 in the 2nd and I came back and won in 4 sets. The next year, I only "allowed" him to play me once for the whole year again and we had almost the same identical results. (which also lead me to say things like "he hasnt beaten me in over 2 years". :-) )

Anyway my point is I still dont feel it meant I was "the better player", I just simply found a situation that benefited me. Had I told anyone that back with my previous match results (where I wasnt even winning a set), they should of thought that I was an idiot for saying that.

And that's the deal here, unfortuanlly tennis can be played under many different scoring systems that may or may not benefit you, but if that's what you are faced with, you cant turn around and say "it's luck, and if it would of been this way I would of won....". Too bad, it wasnt that way, and you still lost so you dont get to say you were "clearly the better player" anymore. :-)

(main point of the rant is that I think losing one set is enough to at least make it debatable that you are not the clearly better player unless you have a good track record of consistantly beating someone, which in that case this argument wont matter because you will win most of those match-tiebreaks as well)

mikeler
12-15-2008, 12:37 PM
If we view a tennis match as a statistical sampling technique to determine the "better" player, the more samples, the better!

So, 5 sets are better than 3 which are better than 2+tie breaker from this point of view. On the other hand, if you play long enough (best of 11 sets, et's say) the fitter player will probably win.

So say there is no luck involved is false; clearly if matches were decided by playing a single point there would be many more upsets. But I would argue that there is not all that much more luck in 2+tie breaker than 3 sets. And I kind of like the pressure that comes from having to win a 3rd set tiebreaker as opposed to a 3rd set.


Sorry, I have to jump back into this thread, but not to debate JavierLW. I agree with your statistical analysis. I would support your analysis by asking any ATP player going against Nadal at the French Open what format they would like to play:

1) Best 3 of 5 sets
2) Best 2 of 3 sets
3) 2 sets and a match tiebreak

Any player with half a brain would choose option 3. Why? It would give them the best chance to win. Ask Nadal the same question and you will definitely get answer 1. Why? Because he is the better player and will win more matches the more points that have to be contested.

Past 5 sets, yes now you are starting to just get into who is the fitter player.

JavierLW
12-15-2008, 12:52 PM
Sorry, I have to jump back into this thread, but not to debate JavierLW. I agree with your statistical analysis. I would support your analysis by asking any ATP player going against Nadal at the French Open what format they would like to play:

1) Best 3 of 5 sets
2) Best 2 of 3 sets
3) 2 sets and a match tiebreak

Any player with half a brain would choose option 3. Why? It would give them the best chance to win. Ask Nadal the same question and you will definitely get answer 1. Why? Because he is the better player and will win more matches the more points that have to be contested.

Past 5 sets, yes now you are starting to just get into who is the fitter player.

Yes that may be true, but even if Nadal finds himself in the shorter format (which happens all year round), he's not going to sit there and say.

"Geez, Im the better player, if only this would of been a 5 set match and I would of won....."

No way, Nadal is a winner. He's going into that match with every intention on winning no matter what the format is, and he's not going to make lame excuses if he loses.

Even in best of 5 sets, he certainly isnt planning on going down in the first 2 or even the first one, he would like to win the first 3 if at all possible. (and in most of his matches when he clearly is better, that's what he does)

beernutz
12-17-2008, 02:14 PM
From my experience, the better player wins the tiebreak substantially more than the weaker player, unless the better player is really mentally week and gets nervous.

Also, seriously, for all of you complaining that the "weaker player has a better chance", how much "weaker" is that player if you've split sets? Yeah, I know that a better player can have off days, but if you are substantially better than someone, you won't be splitting sets that often.

Someone says that it isn't "fair" if you win the first set 6-0 or 6-1, lose 7-6, and then lose the super-tiebreak. Why? It's completely fair. Tennis matches are based on sets (duh). We all like to say the full score, but you either win 2 sets to 0, 2-1, or lose by those scores. If game totals mattered then we wouldn't have sets in the first place, we'd just play a super-pro set - one set, first person to 12 or 14 (or whatever number) games

I don't believe anyone is arguing that point. I think the problem is that weaker players will win tiebreakers at a higher rate than they will win a 3rd set. Weaker players don't suddenly become better, however, by shortening the 3rd set to a TB the variance becomes more important and consequently the weaker player's chances improve. They are still likely to lose more often than they win. They are just going to win more often than they would have won if a complete 3rd set were played.

JavierLW
12-17-2008, 03:34 PM
I don't believe anyone is arguing that point. I think the problem is that weaker players will win tiebreakers at a higher rate than they will win a 3rd set. Weaker players don't suddenly become better, however, by shortening the 3rd set to a TB the variance becomes more important and consequently the weaker player's chances improve. They are still likely to lose more often than they win. They are just going to win more often than they would have won if a complete 3rd set were played.

Well, again, that "problem" that you speak of doesnt say that one person is really a weaker player then the other.

The "problem" is that it may be more to one person's advantage, or it may make the match more even, but that discounts the "weaker player" argument.

The only way you can hold onto the "weaker player" argument is if you feel that every single match should of been a full 3 sets and that somehow you've been robbed if it wasnt.

But that's not the case, you may find yourself playing a different format, and guess what? Whoever managed to be the better player at the end of that match is the better player for that match. Regardless of format.

Anytime someone loses and says that they were the "better" player, that's just silly.

Even in the example given about the pros, if Nadal loses to some other ATP player, even though he's Nadal you can not say he was still the better player that day.

And Im almost CERTAIN that he feels the same way. Sure enough if the match would of went 5 sets, that gives him more time to get into it, but if he loses even a set to a player that we think he shouldnt of, then he simply has had a bad day or didnt do his job for that match.

Whether it's best of 3 or best of 5, he's planning on going in that match and not losing any sets, and I think in a lot of cases if he manages to lose the best of 3 set, you will see that he definately did not play his best and he's going to be mad at that. (rather than worry about the format change)

And that's all Im saying. Maybe if the match was just one single tiebreaker or even just one single set, you could feel there was some definate luck there, but in 2 sets and a match tiebreak, you lose you're right to say you're the "better player" if you find yourself losing a whole entire set and somehow not pulling out that tiebreak.

If it was one of those ******** timed matches, then I agree more, that it's luck, and maybe there would be some sentiment that "oh gee, too bad you didnt have more time, you might of won....", but I dont think it's normal to feel that way about a 10 point tiebreaker.

It's not really a crapshoot, and it takes the best player who can perform at what is the ultimate most important time of the whole match to pull out a win.

volleyman
12-17-2008, 06:18 PM
The only way you can hold onto the "weaker player" argument is if you feel that every single match should of been a full 3 sets and that somehow you've been robbed if it wasnt.


That's exactly how I feel. Tennis is 2 out of 3 sets, except at Grand Slams and at some Masters Series finals, where it's 3 out of 5.

Going to 2 sets plus a tiebreak is the equivalent of football shrinking quarters from 15 minutes to 10. It changes the flavor of the game dramatically.


But that's not the case, you may find yourself playing a different format, and guess what? Whoever managed to be the better player at the end of that match is the better player for that match. Regardless of format.


Short of there being some insane time pressure, like at overscheduled indoor courts, or horrific weather delays, there shouldn't be a different format.


And that's all Im saying. Maybe if the match was just one single tiebreaker or even just one single set, you could feel there was some definate luck there, but in 2 sets and a match tiebreak, you lose you're right to say you're the "better player" if you find yourself losing a whole entire set and somehow not pulling out that tiebreak.


See, I come at it from the other direction - the tiebreak removes the other person's ability to claim they were the "better player."


If it was one of those ******** timed matches, then I agree more, that it's luck, and maybe there would be some sentiment that "oh gee, too bad you didnt have more time, you might of won....", but I dont think it's normal to feel that way about a 10 point tiebreaker.


Sure it is. All you need is a short run of luck, good or bad, and you feel robbed, not by the other player, but by the ******** format that replaced a 3rd set with 2.5 games.


It's not really a crapshoot, and it takes the best player who can perform at what is the ultimate most important time of the whole match to pull out a win.

Compared to playing out that third set, it most certainly is a crapshoot. Yeah, you have to focus on those points, but you only have to hold that focus for a third of a set - hardly the same mental challenge.

In fact you can say exactly the same thing about the winner of the 3rd set: "They were the player who performed at the ultimate most important time of the match to pull out the win." It's just they actually had to perform that way for a full set, and not just get lucky with a let cord winner, a frame winner and a bad wind gust. Or just happen to hit a hot streak for 5 points. And yes, I do count a hot streak as luck, unless you can prove that you can consciously and consistently choose to go on one.

Certainly, the match tiebreak does challenge you mentally in a different way than a full set does. Some folks do deal with it better than others. It is not, however, a superior challenge to having to play out a 3rd set.

Some of your argument hinges on semantics. When you say "better player" it seems to mean, "whoever ended up with the most (points,games, sets) for those X minutes you played under whatever rules you played by." Most folks probably use "better player" differently, as "that guy should beat him 2 out of 3 most, if not all, of the time."

In your formulation, the "better player" never loses. By the other definition, the "better player" does sometimes lose, and probably loses more often in the 2 sets plus tiebreak format than in the 3 set format.

JavierLW
12-18-2008, 03:22 PM
Compared to playing out that third set, it most certainly is a crapshoot. Yeah, you have to focus on those points, but you only have a third of a set to hold that focus.

Or just happen to hit a hot streak for 5 points. And yes, I do count a hot streak as luck, unless you can prove that you can consciously and consistently choose to go on one.

Certainly, the match tiebreak does challenge you mentally in a different way than a full set does. Some folks do deal with it better than others. It is not, however, a superior challenge to having to play out a 3rd set.

Some of your argument hinges on semantics. When you say "better player" it seems to mean, "whoever ended up with the most (points,games, sets) for those X minutes you played under whatever rules you played by." Most folks probably use "better player" differently, as "that guy should beat him 2 out of 3 most, if not all, of the time."

In your formulation, the "better player" never loses. By the other definition, the "better player" does sometimes lose, and probably loses more often in the 2 sets plus tiebreak format than in the 3 set format.

I fixed the first paragraph for you. Although since you believe what you wrote in the second paragraph (about how a hot streak is luck), Im sure that will be lost on you.

I understand (from your tone) that you hate supertiebreakers. Nobody is saying whether they are preferable or not, but my argument is that if you find yourself in one, you cant be a whiner about it and attribute it all to luck.

Now Im sure that you can (and probably will) avoid any match that has one out there, but not everyone chooses to do so (or has that option if they just want to play tennis and stop whining about it).

As far as a "hot streak" being luck, that's silly. Take some responsibility for gods sake. The person in the hot streak is playing well and they are beating the person who is losing in the hot streak, there is no luck about that. It's not like some mystical force comes down from heaven and grants someone 5 free points, no, tennis is being played and someone is winning and someone else is losing.

And whether it's a "superior" challenge or not is definately your opinion. (and Im not saying it is or isnt, Im just saying that you cant point to it and whine and say it's luck if you lose, or go into it with that attitude)

And yes you are right about my definition of the "better player". In the context of one single match, the "better player" cant be the one who lost, and you cant use the excuse that "if the rules were different I would of won" as an excuse.

You might as well wish the match was on clay or grass, or it was cloudy out or it wasnt windy, or some other fact that isnt based on reality.

I might as well say that everytime I lose in 2 sets but win the 3rd (meaningless set). If the match would of went 5 sets, I would win all the time!!!!

You might think the player is better, because mostly any other time they are, or they look better, or they have better skills, or they beat some big name player, or they are more fit, but if they lose, then they are not the better player.

If you cant accept that fact, then there is no point in even playing the match.

And again, in this format, you have to lose a whole entire set to even put yourself in this position. So how much "better" can you possibly be?

You cant go on and on about how important the full 3rd set is, if you are willing to discount the fact that you gave up the 1st or the 2nd.

(obviously you can try to only play by your rules then, which is something I like to do as well, but sometimes you dont have that option)

NightBandit
12-20-2008, 09:43 AM
Other than trying to squeeze a full match into an hour and a half, I so no point what-so-ever to the 10-point match tiebreak.

NightBandit