Forced/Unforced Error?

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by austro, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. austro

    austro Professional

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    Could someone explain to me how they classify these errors? Clearly, a winner is when the opponent does not get his racquet on the ball, similarly to an ace.

    But what makes an error unforced? After all, as long as the ball is produced by someone on the other end of the court, it is always sort of forced. Even if you trip, you did so only because you were trying to get to a spot where the opponent placed the ball.

    What if one guy is at the net, the opponent attempts a passing shot, but the other gets his racquet on it and hits it out? Forced or unforced? Or does unforced mean it went into the net, forced it went out?

    I think you see my predicament. Sorry if this is basic. But am a bit confused...
     
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  2. snark

    snark Rookie

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    I agree with you, it is quite arbitrary. There is no clear-cut difference between forced and unforced error.
     
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  3. VolklVenom

    VolklVenom Semi-Pro

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    it is up for interpretation.
    If the player looked in "control" when he hit it out/into net, then it's an unforced error.
     
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  4. austro

    austro Professional

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    Is there really no clear rule? That is hard to believe. Who makes the judgement call? I mean as a far as the player stats are concerned you see during a match on TV.
     
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  5. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    If a player misses a passing shot, it is not counted as an unforced error(because the opponent forced the action by coming to net) Hence when Federer played Mirnyi at the Australian this year, he had very few unforced errors because Mirnyi came to net virtually every point. When 2 S&V players play each other there are virtaully no UE's. Ditto a baseliner VS S&V. Agassi would comment when he played sampras or rafter, his low error count could be misleading.

    You can figure out the amount of forced errors in a match by subtracting winners & opponent UE's from a players' total. I think they should do this, a forced error is almost like a winner. From these totals you can see who plays more aggressively.
     
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  6. austro

    austro Professional

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    I would hope it is this consistent! So how do they count serves? Seperately?
     
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  7. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Service winners are counted with winners. Aces get a separate stat.
     
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  8. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Here's an example from the US Open, Federer vs Santoro

    Federer
    total points won 127
    Winners 73
    Santoro's UE 15
    Aces 9
    that leaves 30 forced errors

    Santoro
    total points 104
    29 Winners
    32 UE's by Federer
    5 Aces
    that leaves 38 forced errors

    I find that kind of interesting. Federer hit many more winners, but Santoro forced more errors(he did come to net more than Federer)

    69% of Santoro's points were won by winners/aces/forced errors
    88% of Federer's points were won by this criteria. You can see who played more aggressive by these %'s.
     
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  9. austro

    austro Professional

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    Interesting! Thanks for the research.

    But the demarcation between what is forced and unforced is still somewhat mysterious (other than on passing shots)...
     
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  10. 156MPHserve

    156MPHserve Professional

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    It's a very controversal thing... there are SOME standard rules, but lets say a 2nd serve is kicking over your shoulder and you agressively attack the ball and hit into the net, then what is it? The error has been forced because it's kicking over your shoulder, but it's an error also caused by you being agressive.
     
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  11. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it's pretty much up for interpretation - an unforced error is when the player "should have" been able to make the shot, whereas a forced error is when the player misses a shot because his opponent made him. Which overlap a lot.

    ...it's a judgement call by the person making the statistics, and isn't necessarily consistent.
     
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  12. austro

    austro Professional

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    Bummer... yet the commentators seem to make such a science out of it!
     
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  13. Ben42

    Ben42 Semi-Pro

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    It's just a judgment call, like an error or hit in baseball.

    I don't think it's a bummer though. It's one of the few grey areas in tennis, and it's just for statistical purposes. It doesn’t affect the game at all. Those calls are all simply in or out.

    Compare that with basketball or football where a judgment call can result in a foul or penalty which can be game changing.

    I’ll take tennis’ judgment calls any day.
     
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  14. FuZz_Da_AcE

    FuZz_Da_AcE Rookie

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    simple: if you have time to play the shot and still hit it long/wide/into the net, its an unforced error. vice versa.
     
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