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View Full Version : How do you keep track of unforced errors/winners?


wfudeac
06-06-2005, 08:31 AM
I will probably record a friend's match in a few days...How do you determine whether a shot was an unforced error? For example, what if the opposing player hits a drop shot, the other guy barely gets to it, then hits it out? Is that considered an unforced error?

On the flip side, what if a player hits a good approach, hits a good volley which the opponent barely gets to , then that player dinks it over to the open court...Is that considered a winner?

Or do they just record blatant winners/unforced errors as such and leave the rest of the shots alone?

Rickson
06-06-2005, 08:42 AM
Any shot that a player doesn't get a racquet on is considered a winner and so the dink that gets past the volleyer is a winner. Aces are winners, but service winners, despite their name, are not. Unforced errors are any shots that players are "expected" to return, but don't. A well placed drop shot that a player gets his racquet on, but misses is considered a forced error so it should not go in the unforced error category.

wfudeac
06-06-2005, 08:50 AM
So routine forehands/backhands that hit the net or go long/wide are unforced errors? When a player is getting run from side to side and hits it long or into the net, that's not considered one, right?

Rickson
06-06-2005, 09:00 AM
So routine forehands/backhands that hit the net or go long/wide are unforced errors? When a player is getting run from side to side and hits it long or into the net, that's not considered one, right?Simply running a player from side to side doesn't necessarily force an error because tennis is a running game, but a well placed shot that needs to be run down or a powerful shot that bounces off a player's racquet is definitely a forced error.

kevhen
06-06-2005, 09:19 AM
I would consider a forced error to be any time someone is hitting while running very close to full steam and does not keep the ball in play.

Now what about if one person is at the net and you hit a forcing passing shot or a heavy spinning passing shot that causes an error? How are errors tallied when one opponent goes to net and forces the issue?

Also what about if an opponent hits a really deep heavy ball or low bouncing ball that forces an error? The player may not be on the run but the ball hit so well it forces an error. I think these are usually considered unforced though as this is typical Serena-Venus style when they play each other bashing away at the baseline and they are usually considered unforced errors even though these hard deep shots are not that easy to return.

Rickson
06-06-2005, 09:26 AM
I would consider a forced error to be any time someone is hitting while running very close to full steam and does not keep the ball in play.

Now what about if one person is at the net and you hit a forcing passing shot or a heavy spinning passing shot that causes an error? How are errors tallied when one opponent goes to net and forces the issue?

Also what about if an opponent hits a really deep heavy ball or low bouncing ball that forces an error? The player may not be on the run but the ball hit so well it forces an error. I think these are usually considered unforced though as this is typical Serena-Venus style when they play each other and they are usually considered unforced errors.
A shot that ricochet's off someone's racquet who is already at the net is a forced error, this usually happens on 2nd volleys or when the player is drawn into the net, but if someone hits a poor approach shot, rushes the net, and gets a ricochet, he makes the unforced error. A well placed shot that's hit with power is a forced error, but if a shot lands deep and nothing else, the player who misses makes an unforced error unless he was lobbed.

86golf
01-26-2010, 10:49 AM
I'd like to get some advice on tracking unforced errors specifically for doubles. Are there any rules of thumb? For instance, if I hit a good return cross court, but not out of the reach of opp. net man and he volleys to my partner and we lose the point. Is that an error?

Is this a worthwhile exercise?

LeeD
01-26-2010, 10:53 AM
Instead of a practically useless stat sheet, try a video tape of the entire match, then go over the points one by one. You might not actually have to write it down, but like NFL and MLB and NBA players do, you critique EACH and EVERY point.

86golf
01-26-2010, 11:04 AM
Instead of a practically useless stat sheet, try a video tape of the entire match, then go over the points one by one. You might not actually have to write it down, but like NFL and MLB and NBA players do, you critique EACH and EVERY point.

You raise a good point and one that I've considered many times but for some reason I haven't pulled the trigger. I tape all my lessons and a lot of hitting sessions but never a real match. USTA doesn't start for another month, so maybe I'll get some practice matches on tape before then. I've never had the courage to tape a real match for some reason.

LeeD
01-26-2010, 12:53 PM
Tape is more important.
Even back in 1965, playing a important game, we'd watch tape of the teams were were about to face. This was high school football.
Group analysis is best, everyone's feedback.
Of course, in football, there's a buncha players, so we narrowed it down to line play (D and O), linebackers, DB's, ball handlers, and kickers.
For tennis analysis, just some beer and some of your buds.

naylor
01-26-2010, 03:34 PM
LeeD's point is very valid. the F/UF error statsheet only records the ending of each point.

If your opponent is at the net, he plays a shortish ball (giving you a very makeable pass), you go for it and play a good pass, but the volleyer reads you and plays a winning volley, it's down as his winner - and you didn't do much wrong. But if in the same situation you go for a showy topspin lob, it's short and he smashes it away, it's also down as his winner - but this time you clearly chose a less-frequently used (and many people would regard as lower %age) shot and you did not execute well. You would not pick this up in basic F/UF error statsheets.

Similarly, if your opponent's normal rally ball is cross-court (he's been coached in the Wardlaw's Directionals) but you mostly return down-the-line, you're often stretched and return shorter and shorter balls, and your opponent steps forward for outright winners or forces you so wide that you make a forced error, then the scoresheet will reflect lots of winners (his) and forced errors (yours), whereas the reality is that most of your errors are unforced ones because - pardon me here - in plain English "your game sucks". The thing is, concluding that "your game sucks" is no good to you - even if it's you who reached that conclusion and so decide to put your rackets for sale. The reality is that your choice of rallying pattern is utterly wrong / inefficient and therefore needs to be changed - and if you change it then maybe there is a good player in you after all.

You will arrive at such conclusions if you watch your match on tape - or if your F/UF error statsheet compiler actually watches the play and also writes down about patterns and what brings about your errors and his winners, but then he also has to be a good player / coach / tactician to identify the correct causes and effects that you in turn can trust and change your game accordingly. The stats alone won't give you that.

Good luck!

Blake0
01-26-2010, 06:20 PM
If you don't touch the ball before second bounce and it's in = winner.
Any ball you should be able to hit in normally, i.e forehands, backhands, volleys, but miss = unforced error

IF it looked like it was a hard ball to get back in..i.e drop shot that player hits when its an inch off the floor, someone trys to crack a winner but the player is in the way and hits the ball but misses = forced error.

jserve
01-26-2010, 08:57 PM
I'd like to get some advice on tracking unforced errors specifically for doubles. Are there any rules of thumb? For instance, if I hit a good return cross court, but not out of the reach of opp. net man and he volleys to my partner and we lose the point. Is that an error?

Is this a worthwhile exercise?

There is a lot of grey area when it comes to tracking unforced errors even at the professional level. I think its Wimbledon that is well known for not giving as many unforced errors as the other majors. Its simply a judgement call. You should probably discuss it with the person you are doing the stats for.

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-27-2010, 08:09 AM
If you want to improve, be harsh on yourself and consider EVERY error an unforced error. But generally though, there is a relation to your foot speed and what is considered and unforced error for you. The faster you are, the more likely you are to be in position to get the ball back easily.

But yeah, unforced errors are errors on shots that you're expected to make. I expect myself to get back anything I get a racket on... lol So what I consider my error count is well higher than it actually is. If the error seemed totally random and out of nowhere, it's an unforced error. Easiest way to describe it.