Originally Posted by jmnk
well, yes, it is hard to grasp.
Are you suggesting that when you hit a lob and it happens to land right on the baseline even though the opponent was sure it was going out than it is all skills and no luck?
When you hit a passing shot just a hair outside opponent's reach - that's all skills and no luck?
When you hit a serve that happened to land right on the 'T' - it was all skills?
But the main point is even something else.
I'll acknowledge luck on the net cord as soon as the opponent, once in my lifetime, acknowledges that he was lucky when I hit a perfect passing shot, only it caught the tape and popped out for easy sitter he calmly pushed over the net for his easy winner. I'm waiting some 30 years now....
And THAT sums up my argument completely. Players like to assume that when something unexpected happens TO them and they have no way to compensate for it, it was luck on their opponent's part. But when THEY do the same, they frequently believe they had more than a little to do with it and that luck really didn't factor into it.
Personally, I believe that if you have a pretty good lob and you use it often, it is not lucky when one lands directly on the line any more than it is unlucky when one lands an inch beyond the line. When players attempt shots of varying degrees of difficulty, some will make more than others. If Fed or Rafa goes for an ill-advised down the line shot and they make it, is it all luck? I probably can't make the same shot, or if I can, it will happen much less frequently. The skill level of the player contributes to the likelihood of an event happening as well as random chance.
I average 3-4 balls a match that strike the net and fall over, virtually unplayable. I am not trying to make that exact shot, but because I hit a very flat ball, I get more of those than most people. I also have more balls that hit the tape and fall back. It isn't luck in either case---it's a by-product of my playing style. When a big-hitting power player ends up with a lot more unforced errors than his opponents, is it because he is unlucky? No, it's because he plays a riskier, bigger chances/bigger payoff style. He probably also has more outright winners than his opponents. Does that mean he was luckier on those shots? LOL.
Luck only factors in when something is random and completely out of the hands of the player involved. If a 3.5 player is caught chasing down a lob and attempts a "tweener" which actually works, winning him the point, is he lucky? No---he attempted the shot and made it. The fact that he made a very low-percentage shot doesn't equate to luck. If he tried it again a thousand times and never came close again, would we say he was unlucky? Of course not. The truth is that he attempted a very low-percentage shot and happened to make it. This happened to be the one-in-a-thousand attempt that worked for him.
Apparently most people don't understand how the math works.