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Old 02-14-2007, 06:57 PM   #15
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Waco, Texas
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some teams do follow a pattern when assigning courts and so some strategy comes into play to try to get your team the best matchups.

One of my mantras has been "possession is 9/10 of the law." That is, if you have the best players on your team, you're 90% done. Strategy is almost irrelevant. But what if the players are approximately equal? Strategy and luck suddenly swell to at least 50%. Say your and your opponents' doubles teams are pretty close at 1,2,& 3. The match is a big tossup, with your chances of winning at 50%. Not very encouraging. But what if you play your #3 at #1 (in effect sacrificing them) so that your #1 plays their #2, and your #2 plays their #3. You've now upped your odds to 67%. This is why, in the information age "pattern" teams are easy to beat. You can scour the internet to determine each person's ability, and structure your lineup to place your 3 strongest lines against their 3 weakest lines for a 3-2 win.

I talked with a USTA official about this same question last year. He wants to assign higher point values to the #1 positions, such as 1.5 times the #2, to encourage order of strength, but there is no one in his corner on this matter (fortunately). Imagine a match where you lost #1 singles and doubles, but won the other 3 lines, and the other team is declared the winner. That dog won't hunt.
I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far.
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