View Single Post
Old 01-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #94
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,403

Originally Posted by krosero View Post
Great, thanks for these! I need to see this match sometime, too.

Stich did not play that badly (he actually had fewer UE's than Sampras); but he got straight-setted because Sampras played so well.

Yet it's still surprising, because Sampras said that Stich was one of his most difficult opponents.

I think when you give your UE count, your terms "FH" and "BH" include both ground strokes and net strokes?

I presume that both players came in behind all of their serves, so there cannot have been many opportunities for either player to make unforced errors with groundstrokes.
I'm curious as to whether you think the issue implicit in the bolded section of your post undermines the usefulness of AM as a means of measuring quality of play. It seems to me that in matches where both players regularly attack the net, their respective AMs will tend to be higher than those of players who stick more to the baseline. The reason for this, as you alluded to, is that when a player approaches the net he takes away any opportunity for his opponent to hit an unforced error, because attempted passing shot errors are counted as forced by convention. This effectively halves the probability that an unforced error is hit during a point where one player is at net when compared to a point where both players remain at the baseline, as in the former only one player can potentially make an unforced error, while in the latter either player can. This fact is important because any reduction in unforced errors necessitates a corresponding increase in the fraction of points won by aggressive plays, and hence an increase in AM.

Was the Sampras-Stich match really as high quality as the AMs make it out to be, for instance? I have my doubts; it seems that these figures might, to some extent, be an artifact of the playing styles of Sampras and Stich.

I feel this is an issue, not least of all because I see no reason to think that matches involving lots of serve and volleying or lots of chip and charging are of higher quality in general than matches played primarily from the baseline.

Do you have any thoughts on this?
piece is offline   Reply With Quote