What is the expected outcome of 4.0 against 4.5 or 5.0

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by arche3, May 12, 2012.

  1. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    If a benchmark 4.0 plays a 4.5 what's the spread? Or how about a 5.0?
     
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  2. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    Against a 5.0???

    Really......no chance. They are remarkably stronger in every aspect. It really shouldn't be close......perhaps 6-1 6-0??????


    vs a 4.5?

    If they are more of a 'Senior' 4.5......and you have age on them.......it could be a decent match.....or even a Doubles 4.5 player.......and you are a Singles ace.....maybe closer......bu still a loss most of the times

    I say 6-2 6-3 The 4.5..............IF you have a SOLID match....it could be worse if they are strong....
     
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  3. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    I thought every half-point should be able to double-bagel the half-point below it.
     
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  4. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Maybe if both are identical players playing at the best of their abilities.

    The problem with that is even in a 4.5 vs 4.0 matchup, the 4.0 could have a favorable matchup against the 4.5 and make it closer than it should be.
     
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  5. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    2 and 2 is the generally accepted score between half level differences.
     
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  6. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Theoretically yes, but consider their DNTRP....

    A 4.49 vs a 4.51 would be fairly close and could go either way.

    A 4.01 vs a 4.99 wouldn't be much of a match. Likely bagels.

    I can't picture any 4.0 I know being competitive with any 5.0s that I know. Maybe a lucky game, not much else.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
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  7. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    From http://www.usta.com/Play-Tennis/USTA-League/Information/ntrp_frequently_asked_questions/

    "Are all players in a given NTRP level equal in ability?

    "No. The NTRP system identifies general levels of ability, but an individual will be rated within those levels at 50 different hundredths of a point. For example, a 3.5 player can fall anywhere between a 3.01 and a 3.50. That is the reason many people feel they are playing sandbaggers – they are closer to the bottom of that range while their opponents are closer to the top of the range.

    "A typical match result for a player, for example, with a 3.01 rating versus a 3.49 player, both of whom are 3.5s, would be 6-0, 6-0 in favor of the higher rated player."
     
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  8. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    This doesn't seem to be the reality, though.
     
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  9. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    The problem with "what should it be" is that you need to describe the answer in terms of both expected value and variance, since the outcome of a match is a random variable. The "expected value" of the number of games that a 4.0 would win against a 5.0 is mathematically something positive since the distribution of outcomes is skewed (i.e. you can't win negative games). It's probably better to look at the median (50th percentile) of the distribution. That would probably be 0 or 1, meaning that in at least half of the matches between a 4.0 and a 5.0, the 4.0 would win at most 1 game (it could easily be 0, too, meaning at least 50% would be double bagels).

    But with any distribution, there are outlier outcomes as well. I'm a 4.0B player. I've been a long term winning but not dominant 4.0. I've played 2 5.0 B rated players in tournaments in the last 5 years. In the first match, the score was 6-0 6-0. I had 9 game points in 12 games, including 2 break points, but I could not convert one of them. If I had won a game somewhere in there, it probably wouldn't have been too much of a surprise, but neither is the double bagel result.

    In the other match, I lost 6-1 7-6. In the second set, I threw caution to the wind and just hit out almost every point. I got my strokes in a groove that I have rarely ever gotten, and I even had a chance to win the tb. He was serving at 4-5 in the tb. I hit a shot deep to his backhand. He hit a short reply to the center of the court. I took a crack at a forehand to the opposite corner (his forehand corner) and followed it in. The guy, in a full sprint, hit a forehand down the line that was never actually over the court until it land 2 in inside each line in the corner. That was maybe the best shot that's ever been hit against me, and it saved the set for him.

    Matches like this happen. It's clearly an outlier in the distribution, but it's still a plausible outcome if enough matches are played.
     
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  10. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    It's not reality. I've played 5 4.5 matches and I've never once been double bageled. One match was against a guy who got bumped to 5.0. There was at least a 0.5 difference in our DNTRP. He won 6-2 6-1. Two were against the same guy who was the captain of a 4.5 team that made nationals. He was undefeated on the year, at least in the regular season. It's highly likely that our DNTRP difference was at least 0.5. He won 6-2 7-5 and 6-4 6-2. One match was against a guy who had a long term winning but not dominant record at 4.5, just like I have at 4.0. It's likely our DNTRP difference was almost exactly 0.5 since his long term record at 4.5 was nearly identical to mine at 4.0. He won 6-4 6-0.

    The problem with the statement is mathematical ignorance on the part of the USTA. A "typical" match result isn't defined. How much of the time is a 0.5 difference in DNTRP going to produce double bagels? 10% (1 in 10)? 15% (roughly 1 in 6 or 7)? 20% (1 in 5)? Does that qualify as "typical"? There is no mathematical definition for "typical". I think the median result is probably something in the 4-6 game range (or 6-2 6-3 or something like that), and it's certainly plausible that the 4.0 will actually win some number of matches at the other tail of the distribution (again 5% or 1 in 20, 10% or 1 in 10, hard to say...).
     
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  11. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    I agree there are too many variables to define "typical," but I always heard that if two people were playing exactly at their rating, and one was 0.5 higher than the other, he would double-bagel the lower rated player. I thought that was sort of how the USTA designed the rating system.
     
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  12. decades

    decades Guest

    this sounds like something the USTA would say.
     
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  13. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I've never heard that that was their intent. I've only ever read that same ambiguous blurb about "typical" outcomes. If that really was their intent, they failed.
     
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  14. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    I am 4.0 and my friend who is 5.0 gives me a lot of free stuff for my bakery. Breadsticks and doughnuts all the way baby.
     
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  15. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Either way, I agree it's a poor system. I'd like to see a handicap system like golf where the lower-ranked player starts a certain number of games ahead or something like that. Maybe they always start at 15 rather than love. Or whatever. Anything would be better than the current system.
     
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  16. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I think another problem with a generalization like that is there are often times bigger skill gaps between levels.

    I'd say there's a bigger skill gap from 4.0 ---> 5.0, than from 3.0 ---> 4.0, for example.

    Also, it's going to be harder for a 5.0 to bagel a 4.5 than for a 4.0 to bagel a 3.5, imo.
     
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  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Why? I think the system works pretty well. I have rarely had uncompetitive matches with other 4.5s. Sure, some are better than me, and would typically beat me, and some I can routinely beat. But still these matches are competitive, and really that's all I want.

    Now on the other hand, if a 4.0 is playing up I will win easily, and if I try to play up at 5.0 I get my ass kicked... but that just shows that the system pretty much works for its main purpose, which is to give you good matches assuming you are playing in level.
     
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  18. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    One word: sandbaggers
     
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  19. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    No system invented can completely eliminate cheaters. Someone who is intent on cheating is going to find a way to do it. Accept it and move on. Yes there are sandbaggers, but they are very much the exception rather than the rule.
     
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  20. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    My very first match in my first tournament I played one. Came from a different state and blew out all the 3.5s. It was ridiculous. Almost turned me off to tournament tennis completely right from the start. Fortunately I'd already signed up for a 2nd tournament, played there and was more competitive.
     
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  21. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

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    I definitely agree with this.

    As a 4.5 player, I can play at a competitive level against 5.0 players. It's is also usually an easy win for me against 4.0s unless its a type of player that I have some match-up issues against. Obviously if I play a 3.5, its pretty much stream rolling. I can play half asleep and still win easily and sometimes even switch left handed to make things more interesting.
     
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  22. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Im a 4.5 and play competitively againt 5.0' but I can lose to counterpunchers badly at 4.5.
    It is all about matchups, like the above poster said. If you hit the ball hard, i love pace.
     
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  23. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Honestly, I'd be stoked if much better players decided to play down in my division. It'd be a fun challenge.
     
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  24. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    Same with me. I have beaten a couple of 5.0s and have lost to a couple of 4.0s. If the 4.0 is a huge server and you are off on the returns, they can be in the match and one slip-up on your own serve and you lose the set. A 3.5 won't get more than a game off me and I won't get more than a game off a 5.5.
     
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  25. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Expected outcome? No such thing.

    I am a 3.5 and here are my results this spring season in singles:

    W 6-1, 6-3 (against a 4.0)
    L 6-1, 6-3 (against a 3.5)
    L 6-1, 6-2 (against a 4.0)

    It's all about the match-ups and The Day.

    Match #1 was against a "new" 4.0. While she was mostly a doubles player (like me), she'd had moderate, even better than average, success as a singles player at 3.5. That match was NID, she said so herself and I believed it too. Should've even been -1 and -1 but my kids (and their "watcher") showed up and I was watching them instead of the ball. To be fair, though, my opponent had "picked it up" and the points were more even.

    Match #2 was against an opponent who could do no wrong that day. While she wasn't hitting the lines, most of her shots were within 6" of a line, side or back. Just "in the zone."

    Match #3 was against an opponent who'd been to Nationals as a 4.0 but still stayed at that NTRP. Just like J_R_B, I had many game points against her and played as well as I had in weeks. She was just that much better on the big points. We had a thoroughly enjoyable and competitive match that spectators watched to its conclusion.

    So...expected result....between 0.5 NTRP...is no such thing.

    Just play your match and have fun.
     
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  26. boris becker 1

    boris becker 1 Rookie

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    I am a 5.0 play against guys thats are 4.0 or 4.5 including 1 guy frequently.

    The 4.5 has never won a set of me. The usual score is 6-1 6-2. against the 4.0 it is 6-0 or 6-1 and over in 30 minutes, I can hit a winner at will, he cannot return my serve at all.

    If you play against a 4.0 that is a retriever or a pusher they can occasionally win 2/3 games in a set but wont win the set at all. Have lost a set to a 4.5 maybe 3 times usually due to being off timing wise,hungover, or disinterested
     
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  27. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Absolutely agree. And besides the on-target points you make, there is also the consideration that some players' styles just don't match up well against certain other styles. What if a match is on clay instead of a hard court? What if the match is played on an August afternoon when it is 100 degrees and the better player, while having superior strokes, has far inferior stamina and conditioning? The USTA has a standard for what you should expect a player at a given level should look like, but the truth is there are all kinds of players at all levels who have all different kinds of looks on the court. Tennis players aren't clones of some company prototype. The USTA likes to try to create a capsule answer for every question, but there are dozens of outlying variations that make their answer inconsistent at best. Their logic might make sense between a player rated 3.01 and a player rated 3.49 because the lower-rated player is fairly far down the skill level anyway. He will make enough errors to lose the match if his opponent simply hangs in there. But there is no way you can expect a match between a 4.01 player and a 4.49 player to consistently end 6-0, 6-0. That is a myth. The reality is that it just doesn't happen very often---certainly not frequently.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
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  28. retlod

    retlod Professional

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    A 4.5 will beat a 4.0 by 2 breaks per set. A 4.0 should never be able to take a game off of a 5.0.
     
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  29. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This question is misleading because of how the USTA uses three significant digits but only prints two.

    That is 4.0 means 4.00 through 4.49, so if a 4.49 plays a 4.50, it is essentially a coin flip either could win.

    OTOH, the USTA specifically states that a 0.49 difference would be expected to be a double bagel.

    So with this information a 4.0 (really 4.49) could beat a 4.5 (4.50) and in another match a 4.0 (4.49) can double bagel another 4.0 (4.00).

    Both scores would be correct as illustrated, though that is not a blanket excuse that sandbagging does not exist, anyone with a whit of sense knows that it does.
     
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  30. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Good analysis, thanks
     
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