Originally Posted by corbind
Buford T Justice, that's some great statistics out of Laver's book. Man, the difference of just winning 4% more points than the opponent makes a staggering 27% greater chance in winning a set.
Its a great book.....more or less a series of articles. I am no student of the game, but the advice in this book seems just as relevant today as 40 years ago.
And, yes...the way tennis scoring works, it is incredible how much of a difference a few points makes. To add to your comment......if someone is just 10% more likely to win a given point, the odds of them taking the set is 97% and the most likely score is 6-1! That surely appears a complete court mopping, blowout extraordinaire, but in reality the players could have been awful close. At the 70% chance of winning a point level, the set is all but guaranteed to end 6-1 or better.
IMO, this is where the tennis scoring system, and its magnification of differences, can get "funny". One could get wiped out 6-1 and truly be outmatched, or one could have just not won the apparent "right" points, was very nearly as good as the opponent, and still lost 6-1. Such is the tennis scoring system! I think we all know, after being on the receiving end of such scorelines, whether or not it was a "statistical drubbing" or a "real drubbing"...although the match result doesnt care which.