Originally Posted by corners
Thank you. Thinking of Fed's comment on unforced errors. Is it possible that the same forcing shot hit by player A is an unforced error off the racquet of player B but an forced error off the racquet of player C? In other words, if player B is so skilled at returning forcing shots, is it possible that he is given an unforced error for failing to do so, while player B, not quite so skilled but failing to return the same shot, is given a forced error instead. If so, one would think that the great players, like Fed complained, are scored with more unforced errors than they deserve. But I guess for this discussion it doesn't matter, as we're mostly comparing great players.
Well I remember a statistician years ago saying something similar. It was a long time ago so my memory is vague, but this was the idea: when you see Lendl miss a shot you have to consider whether a player at his level should be making that shot more often than not.
He went on to say it was a highly subjective process.
I think the scoring of UE's could be more objective if it were based as much as possible on physical movements of the players and the ball. I really think that if you start judging an error according to your own expectation of whether this champion should make the shot, that is a sure way to introduce bias into the stats. One statistician who has a high opinion of Lendl will judge the error differently from the statistician who has a lower estimation of Lendl.
Or take it down to the level of strokes. Different people have differing opinions on Federer's BH, and differing opinions on how it compares to his FH. You might expect the Federer FH to stand up to a certain shot, but not expect the same of Federer's BH: because you know beforehand that Federer's FH is stronger.
That's backwards IMO: the errors should be judged objectively, and then the stats can illustrate which stroke (or which player) is better. If you judge each stroke, or player, by preset standards, the stats lose all capacity to say anything.
I think all such opinions about particular players and their particular strokes should be left out of the scoring process as much as possible. IMO it would be far more objective to judge an error based on what's happening with the ball and the player, forgetting what the player's name is (if you can do that). Just judge it on how hard the ball is hit, or how much spin or angle; how far the player had to run to get it; whether one player is at net; etc. Physical facts about the body and the ball.
To the extent that this can be done, the resulting stats would then be able to illustrate which stroke, or even which player, is stronger in this situation, in that situation, etc.