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View Full Version : What is your idea of one too many??


the wise wizard
11-13-2009, 07:50 PM
So after a tough loss at my state tournament, caused by a lot of factors but in large part brought to you by too many unforced errors. Me and my coach have been working on consistency, tolerance in rallies.
Now i have mostly been a Serve & Volley styled player, which means i am used to faster points than most baseliners.
I played a match today, where i came to net about twice overall (on purpose), and committed 8 unforced errors in the first set, and about 18 overall for the whole match.
My first question is: Would you consider these "clean margins" for a match?
and my second: What do you consider a "clean" set?

5263
11-13-2009, 08:09 PM
So after a tough loss at my state tournament, caused by a lot of factors but in large part brought to you by too many unforced errors. Me and my coach have been working on consistency, tolerance in rallies.
Now i have mostly been a Serve & Volley styled player, which means i am used to faster points than most baseliners.
I played a match today, where i came to net about twice overall (on purpose), and committed 8 unforced errors in the first set, and about 18 overall for the whole match.
My first question is: Would you consider these "clean margins" for a match?
and my second: What do you consider a "clean" set?

I think that is a pretty clean match. Having 1 or less UEs per game is the goal i use.
Did you win the match? I would think you did, but not coming to net per your game may have hurt you some.

UE count is very important, but clearly not the whole story. I add one extra element to keep it simple, but more meaningful. Can you make shots (low UE) AND do it while hitting to the right sector of the court? Just getting a shot in play means little, but does avoid the UE. If you can get it to the right sector of the court for the situation, then you are in the match, any match. You are forcing the other guy to really execute on a high level to beat you. He has to hit winners or very forcing shots to score.

If you add the 3rd level, you are starting to "take" matches. The 3rd level is to punish the other guys mistakes.

There are more levels to rise to, but this is the start IMO.

Blake0
11-13-2009, 08:33 PM
8 unforced errors the first set? thats pretty good to be honest. Well depends on your game style. For an aggressive player, that unforced error count is pretty good a set, but for a defensive player it'd be a little high.

Geezer Guy
11-13-2009, 09:55 PM
I agree with 5263 - I'd be very happy with one UE a game.

It's kind of like - if you don't have ANY, you're playing way too conservative. Have too many, you're playing too aggressive.

the wise wizard
11-13-2009, 10:23 PM
I think that is a pretty clean match. Having 1 or less UEs per game is the goal i use.
Did you win the match? I would think you did, but not coming to net per your game may have hurt you some.

UE count is very important, but clearly not the whole story. I add one extra element to keep it simple, but more meaningful. Can you make shots (low UE) AND do it while hitting to the right sector of the court? Just getting a shot in play means little, but does avoid the UE. If you can get it to the right sector of the court for the situation, then you are in the match, any match. You are forcing the other guy to really execute on a high level to beat you. He has to hit winners or very forcing shots to score.

If you add the 3rd level, you are starting to "take" matches. The 3rd level is to punish the other guys mistakes.

There are more levels to rise to, but this is the start IMO.

well it was just a practice match, so i was really focused on working on some of the short comings in my game. i did win 6-0 6-4 (second set i was playing from about 8 feet behind the baseline pretty much all the time which was stupid cause i didnt need to) most of my opponents points were won on winners, they were having to hit pretty big.
i was forcing errors or hitting winners pretty consistently throughout most of the match (except the 4 game slump where i was swinging aggressive, but i was too far behind the baseline to do any damage, and even then)

prattle128
11-14-2009, 12:40 AM
second set i was playing from about 8 feet behind the baseline pretty much all the time which was stupid cause i didnt need to

It seems like you realize the mistake that you made here tactically, but I'll just point it out in case you don't. Whatever method of playing that was working for, clearly worked very well if it allowed you to bagel the other player. But then you changed tactics, and tried to be overly aggressive, and thus allowed the other player to get some games. It seems that you corrected this, but just for the sake of emphasis, if something works, don't change it unless it stops being effective. A good example of this would be Nadal. He just goes relentlessly after a right handed player's backhand. And it works. And so he keeps doing it. If something works, don't change it until it ceases to be effective.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-14-2009, 03:14 AM
I think that is a pretty clean match. Having 1 or less UEs per game is the goal i use.
Did you win the match? I would think you did, but not coming to net per your game may have hurt you some.

UE count is very important, but clearly not the whole story. I add one extra element to keep it simple, but more meaningful. Can you make shots (low UE) AND do it while hitting to the right sector of the court? Just getting a shot in play means little, but does avoid the UE. If you can get it to the right sector of the court for the situation, then you are in the match, any match. You are forcing the other guy to really execute on a high level to beat you. He has to hit winners or very forcing shots to score.

If you add the 3rd level, you are starting to "take" matches. The 3rd level is to punish the other guys mistakes.

There are more levels to rise to, but this is the start IMO.


You're missing a level between 2 and 3, a rather critical one as well - getting in a shot that your opponent can't hurt you for.

At the higher levels of the games, it doesn't matter where you put the ball if it isn't good enough to keep them from hurting you because they will chase the ball down and beat you down with it.

This is why getting the first strike is critical. It determines who's on the run for a majority of the point and who's the one in the driver's seat. The higher the level, the faster they can consistently take the first strike and take control of the point. And from there, to change the situation you must hit a great shot.

Otherwise there's no real point to putting heavy spin, crazy penetration, and excessive pace on a rally ball on the 5.0+ level. The spin and penetration pushes them back and keeps them from taking the ball early and close to the baseline while the pace forces them to work under tighter time constraints.

Otherwise people can hit 0 unforced errors a match and still lose 6-0, 6-0 because the other player hit 48 winners (or forced errors from his opponent).

raiden031
11-14-2009, 05:23 AM
8 UEs in a set is pretty good, and you lost the match?!? Either you are a pusher from hell and your opponent beat you by blasting winners all match, or you are a very high level player.

Most of the points I lose in singles are UEs...probably at least 80-85%. Just because I dont' face too many players who have the skills to frequently force errors or hit winners, but they can outlast me during a rally.

5263
11-14-2009, 06:05 AM
You're missing a level between 2 and 3, a rather critical one as well - getting in a shot that your opponent can't hurt you for.

At the higher levels of the games, it doesn't matter where you put the ball if it isn't good enough to keep them from hurting you because they will chase the ball down and beat you down with it.

This is why getting the first strike is critical. It determines who's on the run for a majority of the point and who's the one in the driver's seat. The higher the level, the faster they can consistently take the first strike and take control of the point. And from there, to change the situation you must hit a great shot.

Otherwise there's no real point to putting heavy spin, crazy penetration, and excessive pace on a rally ball on the 5.0+ level.

I respect what you are saying, but surely believe you can learn ways to punish your opp. mistakes long before you have command of pace and spin.
5.0+ is further up the levels and while this discussion still applies, the pace and spin will be a given relative to the level. Pace and spin rarely need to be pushed on a male player. usually it's more keeping it in check.

For this discussion where the OP is looking at the effect of UE's on his results, I find that this 2 & 3 fit together well as it teaches you to get the ball to the right part of the court (which is 9/10s of keeping them from hurting you, like hitting a pass or with depth), along with still having ways to make em pay when they give you the chance. You don't want to get so concerned over UEs that you don't take advantage of what you have earned with step 1 & 2.

5263
11-14-2009, 06:11 AM
well it was just a practice match, so i was really focused on working on some of the short comings in my game. i did win 6-0 6-4 (second set i was playing from about 8 feet behind the baseline pretty much all the time which was stupid cause i didnt need to) most of my opponents points were won on winners, they were having to hit pretty big.
i was forcing errors or hitting winners pretty consistently throughout most of the match (except the 4 game slump where i was swinging aggressive, but i was too far behind the baseline to do any damage, and even then)

Very nice win and good adjustment on the over hitting frm too far back. Especially nice win since you were out of your normal game too.

J011yroger
11-14-2009, 06:58 AM
I think that it depends on whom you are playing. If you are playing someone that can't hurt you off the ground and who is not as steady as you, then there is no reason to make errors (Of course we all do) so you should just be able to keep the ball in play, and move them around until they miss.

Watch Roddick play a guy ranked 150 in the world in the first round of a major, he just rolls in the first serve in the high 120's and runs around hitting the ball back until the other guy makes the error.

Then when you play someone who can hurt you and is consistent you have to step up your shot. As a result of that you will make more errors, but the alternative is getting squashed.

Example, Roddick playing Federer/Djokovic/Murray.

Then the tricky parts come in when you play someone who can hurt you, but is not consistent. That is when you need to strike the right balance of aggression and consistency. Usually it is best to err on the side of being consistent at first, and then step it up as required.

J

dbusiness
11-14-2009, 07:32 AM
I think that it depends on whom you are playing. If you are playing someone that can't hurt you off the ground and who is not as steady as you, then there is no reason to make errors (Of course we all do) so you should just be able to keep the ball in play, and move them around until they miss.

Watch Roddick play a guy ranked 150 in the world in the first round of a major, he just rolls in the first serve in the high 120's and runs around hitting the ball back until the other guy makes the error.

Then when you play someone who can hurt you and is consistent you have to step up your shot. As a result of that you will make more errors, but the alternative is getting squashed.

Example, Roddick playing Federer/Djokovic/Murray.

Then the tricky parts come in when you play someone who can hurt you, but is not consistent. That is when you need to strike the right balance of aggression and consistency. Usually it is best to err on the side of being consistent at first, and then step it up as required.

J

+1, If the score and opponent is more evenly matched then the number of UE's will be higher for both of you more than likely. So I would say it should be scored by (surface, opponents play that day, weather conditions (windy, to hot) day or night match, how you feel and are playing that day.)

You should have an idea how you rate yourself against different players and conditions and determine if your UE's based on that and the items above are in line.

J011yroger
11-14-2009, 07:50 AM
+1, If the score and opponent is more evenly matched then the number of UE's will be higher for both of you more than likely. So I would say it should be scored by (surface, opponents play that day, weather conditions (windy, to hot) day or night match, how you feel and are playing that day.)

You should have an idea how you rate yourself against different players and conditions and determine if your UE's based on that and the items above are in line.

Right, I have a habit of doing very badly against someone when I first play them, and then adapting as time goes on.

I will get whomped, and then go home, crack open a Miller Lite, and go to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong, and come up with a different plan.

It is something I am working at getting better at during the match itself, instead of afterwards. So hopefully I will be able to make mid match corrections, and get better at associating new players with those whom I have played before, and implement a similar strategy as a starting point.

So if I can warm up and play a game or two, then say "Hey, this guy plays a lot like my friend George, so I will start out using what works against George, and go from there." That will help my cause greatly.

J

the wise wizard
11-14-2009, 10:39 AM
i appreciate the help guys. thanks.

Kick_It
11-14-2009, 11:32 AM
I wouldn't look solely at the number of UEs, I'd also consider when you make them.

If you're up 40-0 on your serve and you double fault because you go for too big of a serve but you close out the game at 40-15 - no biggie; not the smartest but you're taking care of business.

If you're in a close and tight match with someone and it's 4-4, 30-15 or 30 all or on a set point - those are some of the worst times to hit a UE.

Good Luck! K_I

Slazenger07
11-14-2009, 02:20 PM
So after a tough loss at my state tournament, caused by a lot of factors but in large part brought to you by too many unforced errors. Me and my coach have been working on consistency, tolerance in rallies.
Now i have mostly been a Serve & Volley styled player, which means i am used to faster points than most baseliners.
I played a match today, where i came to net about twice overall (on purpose), and committed 8 unforced errors in the first set, and about 18 overall for the whole match.
My first question is: Would you consider these "clean margins" for a match?
and my second: What do you consider a "clean" set?

That really depends on your style, my style is kinda like Rafa, use lots of spin and my speed to wear down opponents. So I generally dont make many unforced errors since my game is about making my opponent commit errors. With your more aggressive style you should be hitting more winners than someone like me would, but you will also be making more errors because Im assuming you hit more for the lines in an attempt to take control of the point quickly and get to net.

Why didnt you stick with your game and attack the net on this guy?

HunterST
11-14-2009, 03:10 PM
Doesn't Brad Gilbert say if you make under 10 unforced errors per set you will almost always win? I can't remember the exact number though.

Ken Honecker
11-15-2009, 12:44 AM
I don't mind a DF every now and then as I'm an aggressive player but otherwise I feel that any one with much playing time should be able to hit the court a very high percentage of the time. As I recall through rose colored glasses when I was young and good I was beaten for points, didn't hand them over too much.

But each game is different. Once I played a game of doubles where I was the only one to hit a ball in bounds. It was probably the best game I ever served. I double faulted something like 6 or 7 times but those that hit in were simply smoking. They never returned one so after about the third or fourth deuce we whooped em. These were pretty even teams, not agains tyros.

prattle128
11-15-2009, 01:07 AM
Doesn't Brad Gilbert say if you make under 10 unforced errors per set you will almost always win? I can't remember the exact number though.

I just finished reading Winning Ugly (which was awesome), and I don't quite remember the number that you're referring to, but one his main points was to hate your unforced errors. Regardless of how few you made, every single one of them was a donation to your opponent. Now there are obviously worse unforced errors than others, such as going for your shot and missing as opposed to just missing a rally ball.

The key to winning tennis is to be the last person to hit the ball in the court. Therefore consistency is essential, but like others have said, going for your shots at times is also necessary, especially against better opponents. There is a balance that is required, and being able to find that balance and then do what you need to once you have found that balance is essential.

HunterST
11-16-2009, 12:45 PM
I just finished reading Winning Ugly (which was awesome), and I don't quite remember the number that you're referring to, but one his main points was to hate your unforced errors. Regardless of how few you made, every single one of them was a donation to your opponent. Now there are obviously worse unforced errors than others, such as going for your shot and missing as opposed to just missing a rally ball.

The key to winning tennis is to be the last person to hit the ball in the court. Therefore consistency is essential, but like others have said, going for your shots at times is also necessary, especially against better opponents. There is a balance that is required, and being able to find that balance and then do what you need to once you have found that balance is essential.

Yeah it's not in his book. He's said it while commentating quite a few times.