Would you prefer a 3rd set over a tie break in USTA league play?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by AR15, May 12, 2010.

?

Would you prefer a 3rd set instead of a 10 pt tie break in USTA league play?

  1. Play a 10 point tie break in lieu of a 3rd set

    8 vote(s)
    8.9%
  2. Play a full 3rd set

    82 vote(s)
    91.1%
  1. AR15

    AR15 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, USA
    If the USTA considered changing the rules for league play, would you opt to play a 3rd set for tie breaks, or would you opt to keep it the same and play 10 point tie breakers?
     
    #1
  2. KuanMaster

    KuanMaster Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    do you guys play a 10pt tiebreak for 3rd set?
    in holland we play 3rd set like a normal set
     
    #2
  3. brad1730

    brad1730 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Yes, we play a tie-break for the 3rd set in USTA league play. In a tournament, it's at the tournament director's option. It's about 1/2 and 1/2 in the tournaments I've been to.

    I like a full third set. Tennis is about fitness and a lot of guys just don't have it. Also, tiebreaks are risky.
     
    #3
  4. markmdfw

    markmdfw Rookie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    263
    I sure it would be hard due to court available is tuff can't imagine it will change, I so wish it would! I can't stand no ad as well! lol though I done really well with it!
     
    #4
  5. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,838
    Location:
    At Large
    In league play, I prefer a TB instead of playing a third set. In tournament play I think it should always be a full 3rd set. The difference is in league play its all about teams, but in tournaments its about the individual.
     
    #5
  6. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    so to you the importance of team vs individual is not equal???
    which is less important???
     
    #6
  7. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    id rather play a 3rd set. i think the better team is more likely to prevail.
    although i think since they started no ad scoring and third set tb in the pros the # of upsets have not increased. if someone has those statistics it would be interesting to know
     
    #7
  8. Totai

    Totai Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,397
    a TB favors the team that won the 2nd set most, since they are feeding off their momentum. a full 3rd set is more fair.
     
    #8
  9. AR15

    AR15 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, USA
    Often after USTA matches are complete, I'll feel like I need more playing time, and will try to get another set or two in for fun. In my area court time is usually not a problem.

    Perhaps for areas where court time restraints are a problem, another option could be to have no-ad scoring with a full third set for tie breaks. However, this would make for extremely quick matches if they only go two sets.
     
    #9
  10. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    3,560
    Well I can't see how the rule in USTA leagues will change for this area (and many areas from what I gather) because there usually isn't even enough time to play 3 full sets of tennis with the court bookings and all. For that reason I think the 3rd set tiebreak is a good solution.

    If there was no worry about being able to finish within certain time constraints, I'd prefer to play out the 3rd set.
     
    #10
  11. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    2,748
    Location:
    Indy
    I'd rather do a full 3rd set; brings my fitness into more of an advantage.
     
    #11
  12. HitItHarder

    HitItHarder Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    623
    Location:
    SC
    Our local USTA league lets the team captains vote to decide between the 10 pt tie break set or a full third set. We play outdoors, no timed matches, court fees, etc.

    Typically, the Senior league choose 10 pt tie breaks and the regular Adult league picks a third set. At our Divisional/State USTA level playoffs the 10 pt tie breaker is used in place of the third set.

    My preference is a third set.
     
    #12
  13. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    3rd set of course because it favors the better / more physically fit player and is less likely to result in a fluke upset.

    I don't mind a 10-pt tiebreak because I feel like if I can't win a match in straight sets, then I'm not that much better than my opponent that day anyways so I can live with the loss that might be more likely to happen than with a 3rd set.
     
    #13
  14. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,988
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    My first two years in USTA we played full sets before our section adopted the 3rd set tiebreak.

    Man those were the days.

    3rd set tiebreak sucks!!
     
    #14
  15. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    758
    Location:
    Douglasville, GA
    I've played in leagues/tournaments that do both, and some where the players agree to either/or before starting the match.

    I tend to prefer playing out the third set.
     
    #15
  16. cak

    cak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,013
    Unfortunately, I have other responsibilities, so I prefer 10 point tie breaks in the hope of getting off the court in 2 hours or less. (If I'm going to set aside 3 hours, I might as well be playing golf.) One of the reasons I'm available for so few matches is the home team gets to pick full third set or tie break, so I can't commit to away matches unless I have 3 hours I can set aside, which is very seldom.
     
    #16
  17. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I feel like the tiebreak benefits the team that gets hot at the right time, and I would really prefer a full third. But in MN, we play indoor 75% of the league matches, so it's not feasible. Wish it were...
     
    #17
  18. Delano

    Delano Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    I'd prefer a full third set. The 10pt tiebreak is a slightly disappointing way to end a match even in victory, and it almost assures that all match wins are either straight sets or come down to a few crucial points (I don't agree it's a "coin toss", but clearly the streaks of good luck/play that tend to come and go for both players in a match play a huge role in who wins and loses a tiebreak). I also think the "set scoring" system of tennis adds much more to a match than a "first to 10" mentality. Tennis is more about holding and breaking than it is collecting points however and wherever you can get them.

    That said, I'm not as opposed to them as some of the folks on this board. Court time (and personal time, for some people) is limited, and we have to make compromises. I also don't see the same slippery slope some people read into the 10pt tiebreak (ie., if you go to a 10pt tiebreak to save time, why not just play one set? why not just play one point? Obviously, you compromise and accept *some* time saving measures without being logically committed to taking absurd measures.) Tennis is still good with the 10 point tiebreak, and the general ebb and flow of a real tennis match is still more or less preserved.

    But yeah, tennis is better with a 3rd set.
     
    #18
  19. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,901
    It's not a USTA rule, it's something that's still determined by the sections and local areas.

    Some areas still play a full 3rd set.
     
    #19
  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    Yup. Agree.
     
    #20
  21. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,782
    Correct...in two of my leagues we play a full 3rd set. Everything else is 3rd set TB.

    I personally prefer a full 3rd set.
     
    #21
  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    In my area it is the choice of the home player / doubles pair whether to play full 3rd or match tiebreaker. Each court is allowed to make a different choice.

    I prefer a full 3rd. I only choose a 10 pt if there is a chance of rain later on and I want to make sure we can complete before then.

    BTW, I would much rather play 2 normal sets plus a 10 pt, versus 3 sets of no-ad scoring.
     
    #22
  23. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    no man's land
    this. 10 char.
     
    #23
  24. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863

    I hate tie-breakers as a rule... and would rather play out the final set. Nothing worse than playing for 2+ hours and have a match hang potentially on 2 points. Tie-breakers were an invention for TV, it was not designed for better tennis.
     
    #24
  25. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,167
    Location:
    DE
    My best, perhaps only, dangerous weapon is the serve. If we get to a third set tiebreaker my opponent and I are likely close in ability. In these situations 1 or 2 points make the difference and I feel like I can depend on serving well when the crunch is on.

    There are only two times I would prefer a full set. These include if the fitness level of my opponent is in question or if he was was lucky to win the first set and at the end of the second set I feel I am cruising along.

    But if I had to pick only one, the percentages for me are on the side of playing out a tiebreak.
     
    #25
  26. TommieF

    TommieF Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    California
    I think this is correct. I know in NorCal it is decided by each match. The person or doubles team that is home gets to pick 10pt tiebreak or full 3rd set.
     
    #26
  27. Sherlock

    Sherlock Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I live in MN and unfortunately there just is not enough indoor court time, so I understand 3rd set tiebreaks are necessary sometimes to reach the best compromise for playing a good tennis match and getting it over quickly enough.

    I think playing a full third set is more in the original spirit of tennis, battling out the match in as much of a marathon manner as possible. I prefer it for jealous reasons as well. I'm typically much better in the second set and on. Many times I will lose the first set and then win the second set. In those matches I feel pretty certain that I would win the next set if it were a full set, but I feel like the tiebreaker takes that advantage away since the other team only needs to win a few points in a row and be ahead the entire breaker.

    Another reason I don't like the 10 point breaker to decide the set...in a regular set you can hit a bad patch and still come back from being down 0-3 or so. If you make just a few mistakes early in the tiebreak and your opponent plays a few good points you can quickly be down 0-6 and have very little chance of coming back. This did benefit me recently, I got off to a 7-0 lead in a doubles match and the other team just seemed to hang their heads even though they played reasonably the rest of the breaker but lost 10-3. I just feel too rushed with the entire match hanging on a tiebreak.
     
    #27
  28. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,792
    Location:
    Big Canoe, GA
    I'm the opposite. I prefer a full 3rd set in league play but I'm OK with a TB in a tournament. The difference is that in a tournament you may be playing multiple matches in a day (often back to back).
     
    #28
  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Agreed. Besides, our match fees are already $17 for 2 hours. You'd need to expand the time allotted if a third set were the norm, and that would increase the cost and decrease the ability to get lots of league matches played each day.

    Most of the time, I feel like the stronger team wins the 10-point tiebreak anyway. I remember keeping track of this over the years. When my team was struggling and playing up, we tended to lose a lot of match tiebreaks. In the years we were dominant and headed toward the playoffs, we rarely lost a match tiebreak.
     
    #29
  30. AR15

    AR15 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, USA
    Your observation would probably prove statistically true for most league tennis matches. However, my desire to play a 3rd set has more to do with getting more exercise, and having more time to enjoy the game, than to change outcomes.
     
    #30
  31. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    I think the stronger serving team wins most tiebreakers, not necessarily the stronger overall team. Operative phrase here is "I think".

    Call me old-fashioned - or just old, if you wish - but I stick with the traditional full setters here.
     
    #31
  32. innoVAShaun

    innoVAShaun Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,468
    Location:
    Back in VA Beach
    Don't forget about the 3rd Option: Timed Matches.
     
    #32
  33. innoVAShaun

    innoVAShaun Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,468
    Location:
    Back in VA Beach
    I prefer the 3rd Set Tiebreaker.

    In our section, USTA leagues matches start at 6:30pm and 8pm and utilize the same tennis facility. If a 6:30 match took 3 hours, the 8pm match wouldn't start until 9:30. Then if that match took 3 hours, we would be on court well past midnight.

    Our local club tournaments are scheduled over weekends. There are times where we are scheduled to play 3 (Maybe 4) matches in one day. 3 sets would be more than pushing fitness. Especially when we've played 2 back-to-back matches and our next opponents had a bye before playing us.

    As for the timed matches, we had an indoor league that alloted 2 hours. That really sucked. Our singles guy had a marathon match going. He won the 1st set 6-4. Then when the whistle blew he was down in the 2nd set 1-4. That counted as the opponent winning the second set. The rule at the time was: "If the match was not completed within the time alotted, the player(s) with the most games is the winner." So my teammate ended up losing the match even though he won the first set.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
    #33
  34. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,545
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    I voted for a full 3rd set, but logistically, I understand the need for a tiebreak to settle the match. Courts in my area are booked for 1.5 hours. There is no way that the host facilities could keep on schedule if a full 3 sets are played.

    It does seem to me that matches run longer now. We played our league this week and lost 6-4, 3-6 11-9 and the match ran right at 1.5 hours.
     
    #34
  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    I would disagree for levels up to ladies 3.5, and maybe even up to 4.0. The serves just aren't that big of a factor. In fact, I would bet that you could flip a coin and let the winner serve every point in the tiebreak, and it wouldn't make any difference.

    The team that takes the net will win the tiebreak, IMHO. The other team will be too tight and nervous and cautious to hit good passing shots and lobs.
     
    #35
  36. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,150
    Play another set for fun, break-up the teams, pick-up guys that came to watch or were just subs. IMHO, when playing matches indoors, we are only allotted 90 minutes so a 3rd set tie-breaker is needed. Outdoors, in the summer, we play a league match then pick up doubles or singles till dark.
     
    #36
  37. boilerfan

    boilerfan New User

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    66
    I personally like the 3rd set tiebreak for league play. I have noticed in our league that more guys hang out till the end of the match knowing it won't be a 3 hour match. Also, the courts are usually scheduled every 1.5 to 2 hours, so you know the matches will go off on time. Now that I am older and more injury prone and have a family, the time factor is important to me. 10 years ago I would have preferred the full third set for more exercise.

    As an FYI, I took a quick look at our league. In doubles, first set winner won 9 matches and second set winner won 13. In singles, the first set winner won 4 and the second set winner won 11.

    It was as expected that the second set winner won more matches...also the advantage was more pronounced in singles, which makes sense to me. If you take stamina out of the equation with a 3rd set tiebreak, I tend to think whoever was playing better at the end would win the match. In doubles, a team can get down 1 break and never make it up, even though they might be overall the better team.
     
    #37
  38. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,569
    I am a fan of the full third set. The official USTA rule is that it is best 2 out of 3 sets. It is up to the individual sections to decide if they will modify it or not. In our section the default is a full third set. A 10 tiebreak can be substituted in lieu of a third set only if all players in the individual match agree to it. If even 1 person does not agree then the full 3rd set has to be played.
    I love being the person that wants the third set when the oponents don't. It gets in their heads from the very beginning of the match.
     
    #38
  39. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I like tie-breaks because I'm fat and out of shape.
     
    #39
  40. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Oops. You're right, of course. I was thinking (selfishly) of men's tennis. Sorry. :oops:
     
    #40
  41. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,988
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    Well at least your honest about it! :)
     
    #41
  42. Sherlock

    Sherlock Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    He's honest about being out of shape, but not about being fat ;)

    Always good to look at the results statistically. I wonder what the numbers are like for full 3rd sets.

    Even if the numbers are the same though, I don't like it because I like the battle. My mental strength is one of my strong points. If I win the second set I almost always feel like I would win a full third set. If I lose the second set, I like to feel I have time to turn it around, even though it may be easier to just get hot in a tiebreak then to turn around a match after losing the second.
     
    #42
  43. cak

    cak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,013
    I remember one night match, we were the second shift, so we were starting around 8pm, outside, and it was cold. This rather out of shape looking woman said she was the home team and they chose a full third set. My partner and I looked at each other very quizically, and said "sure."

    She was on fire for the first 6 games in the first set. They were up 4-2. Then she just ran out of gas. We reeled off the next 10 games in a row. All I could figure was she was trying to get in our heads.
     
    #43
  44. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,988
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    Honestly I didnt expect the poll results to be so lopsided.

    I guess with most of the users here being recreational players that have to PAY to play their tennis they prefer getting as much court time as possible and see the 3rd set tiebreaker as a ripoff.
     
    #44
  45. Sherlock

    Sherlock Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I voted that I would prefer it, because I do. But where I live I don't think it should be changed from a 3rd set tiebreaker, because it's not logistically possible.
     
    #45
  46. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Have not read the entire thread. I can see the poll results and most of my tennis playing friends would vote for the 3rd set. However, I do not believe the USTA will evere go back to a full 3rd set for league matches mostly for ease of scheduling matches it has produced for league and league tournament organizers. Ever since they went to the tie-breaker my experience at the state and region have been that no match delays now occur (barring rain of course). This has to be a huge factor. Locally or section by section I guess they could bring back the 3rd set. I still don't see it happening though.

    If team captains both agreed in local matches I'm sure the 3rd set could be played.
     
    #46
  47. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863
    I think it is more about money... scheduling you could always allow for a little more time between matches.

    Back in 80's I played league and we only ever played 3 full sets of tennis. There was never a 3rd set tie-breaker to decide a match, and there never seemed to be scheduling problems... we got our matches in.
     
    #47
  48. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,150
    Our district has a 2 hr limit on matches. Whoever is ahead by 2 games wins the set. Last year that split the sets and a 3rd set tie-break was needed. Players could barely see their shoelaces at the end. At playoffs there is no time limit and back when we played third sets, had two singles matches last 4 1/2 hrs each.
     
    #48
  49. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863
    It happens... but tennis is more than just being able to hit the ball in the court... stamina I would like to believe is also a part of the game. It also bothers me to have a match hinge potentially on 2 points in a tie-breaker.

    I remember a tournament match on a very hot day. I was playing an older gentleman... and thought it would be an easy match. As it happened he disected my net game with lobs and precision passing shots, the score was 6-4 but he made shots when he had to. In the second set I decided to stay on the baseline with him and moved him all over the court. I won it 6-4 and he came up to the net to shake my hand... he retired stating he could not go a third with me.

    With the current situation, if we were to play a 3rd set tie-breaker I would have been penalized for being in better shape than my opponent. I just think tie-breakers were invented for the convienence of TV and schedulers... it does not improve on the game of tennis.

    As you can see by the poll most would rather play a full 3rd set.
     
    #49
  50. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,150
    If you think a third set tie-break stinks, saw the National Championship tie in USTA league settled by a pro-set because the participants had plane tickets and needed to finish the matches. We lost Saturday to rain and both the semis and finals were played Sunday.
     
    #50

Share This Page