Argh! LOSING match but winning more games overall

DailyG&T

Rookie
Ugh, it's so painful. I played this weekend in a league match, singles ladies 40+ 3.5. I won the first set 6-2, then lost the second set 4-6 and she won in the tiebreak. Ugh ugh ugh. Hints, tips, thoughts? This HAS to be mental, right? I mean I won more games overall, so clearly I'm skilled enough against the particular player. I *think* early in set #2, I lost a few stupid points and thought to myself, Uh oh, better work on that consistency, and then I abandoned the freer game I had been playing in set #1 and was more tight and careful, just placing the shots vs really hitting the deeper baseline balls that were giving her trouble earlier. Other thoughts? Mental tricks for this situation? In the first set, it was clear I was winning easily (sometimes you can have a 6-2 score but it looks closer; this match looked more lopsided at the beginning.) For set #2, we were neck and neck the entire time then she got it at 5-4 and won. Then I think the fact that I lost the 2nd set after winning the first so easily was still in my head because even though I hate tiebreakers for a 3rd set, I usually do win them. This was the first tiebreaker I've lost in awhile. Thoughts? Ideas? Tips? Share my pain? Thanks!
 

GeoffHYL

Professional
You already identified why you lost, changing your game after having a successful first set. How to prevent this in the future, I don't know. The mental part of the game is difficult to tame. Last week I was playing pretty well, then one game I just couldn't hit a single ball in. Fortunately it only lasted a game, but I have no idea why it happened in the first place. My mechanics didn't change, so it was probably just loss of focus.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
If you lost in a tiebreak, you can’t really consider yourself having won more games since a tiebreak is typically 3 games worth of points (or more).

Anyways I’ve lost countless matches this way as have virtually every tennis player. That’s why it’s best of three. I wouldn’t agonize over it too much. If you are truly playing to level, all matches should be close like this. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Ugh, it's so painful. I played this weekend in a league match, singles ladies 40+ 3.5. I won the first set 6-2, then lost the second set 4-6 and she won in the tiebreak. Ugh ugh ugh. Hints, tips, thoughts? This HAS to be mental, right? I mean I won more games overall, so clearly I'm skilled enough against the particular player. I *think* early in set #2, I lost a few stupid points and thought to myself, Uh oh, better work on that consistency, and then I abandoned the freer game I had been playing in set #1 and was more tight and careful, just placing the shots vs really hitting the deeper baseline balls that were giving her trouble earlier. Other thoughts? Mental tricks for this situation? In the first set, it was clear I was winning easily (sometimes you can have a 6-2 score but it looks closer; this match looked more lopsided at the beginning.) For set #2, we were neck and neck the entire time then she got it at 5-4 and won. Then I think the fact that I lost the 2nd set after winning the first so easily was still in my head because even though I hate tiebreakers for a 3rd set, I usually do win them. This was the first tiebreaker I've lost in awhile. Thoughts? Ideas? Tips? Share my pain? Thanks!
Just relish the silver lining — the most important thing is your TR.com dynamic rating for the match was better than your opponent’s.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
It doesn't HAVE to be mental - maybe your opponent found a gear, maybe you got distracted, you say you tightened up, but maybe your opponent just hit better shots and loosened up... The important thing is to try to be objective about your loss (easier said than done, I know!), and to try to improve on things you objectively identify as flaws. The even MORE important thing is to not beat yourself up over it too much (again, much easier said than done - boy do I ever know!). It was one match, it sucks you lost, and I feel for you, but it doesn't seem to define your game. Use it as a learning experience, stay positive as best you can, and keep on keeping on! If you do that, you'll be fine, even if it doesn't feel that way in the wake of this disappointing loss for you.
 

Cloister

Rookie
Analyzing your opponent and making adjustments is a skill that must be developed as much as you develop your strokes. If your opponent makes adjustments and you aren't ready to respond, it will lead you to have poorer 2nd set results compared to 1st set.
 

Tenez!

Professional
If it's any consolation...
Nadal - Davydenko Doha 2010 : 6-0 6-7 4-6 (loss)
Nadal - Tsonga Paris 2015 : 4-6 6-0 5-7 (loss)
Thiem - Nadal USO 2018 : 6-0 4-6 5-7 7-6 6-7 (loss)

This happens more than you can imagine at every level. It's the sweet cruelty of a sport where not all points are equal.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
It really is the most brilliant scoring system in all of sports.

I don't mean to get political but US electoral college is a useful analogy. Suppose that candidate A wins more popular votes but loses the election to candidate B on electoral votes. The argument that candidate A should be the true winner is completely bogus because both candidates were well aware of the rules and campaigned based on electoral votes.

Likewise, in Tennis, while EVERY points matter, some points and games carry heavier weight than others. A point to go up a break, a point to close out a game or a set, etc... One can win a game by 2 points or 4, it doesn't matter, it still is a game.

There's also psychological aspects that put more weight on a point or game... Winning a game after several deuce points has more weight than winning a love game which has more weight than winning at 40-30.

Also what to with scoreboard pressure? Ahead or behind...

Just a brilliant, brilliant scoring system.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
It really is the most brilliant scoring system in all of sports.

I don't mean to get political but US electoral college is a useful analogy. Suppose that candidate A wins more popular votes but loses the election to candidate B on electoral votes. The argument that candidate A should be the true winner is completely bogus because both candidates were well aware of the rules and campaigned based on electoral votes.

Likewise, in Tennis, while EVERY points matter, some points and games carry heavier weight than others. A point to go up a break, a point to close out a game or a set, etc... One can win a game by 2 points or 4, it doesn't matter, it still is a game.

There's also psychological aspects that put more weight on a point or game... Winning a game after several deuce points has more weight than winning a love game which has more weight than winning at 40-30.

Also what to with scoreboard pressure? Ahead or behind...

Just a brilliant, brilliant scoring system.
Well said - and this is why I loathe "no-ad" scoring...
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
Maybe your opponent was using you to manipulate her rating? She dumped the first set by a wide margin, kept it close to 4 all, then stepped on the gas and beat you.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Well said - and this is why I loathe "no-ad" scoring...
Don't mind no ad because it puts a different sort of pressure on you. Nothing like sudden death to wake you up. When mixed in with the normal scoring its a useful variation to learn to play pressure points well. With normal scoring, too often pressure is only on one player (game point, break point). Match point is the only point that seems to give both sides nerves. With no ad, both sides are in the same boat of losing a game based on a single played point. Its an interesting dynamic to throw in every once in a while.

I find that most people that hate no ad struggle with pressure points. Those of us that thrive with pressure, like moments like that.

That being said I also like the mental challenge of digging out of a multiple deuce game to win. That's fun too.
 

Max G.

Legend
It really is the most brilliant scoring system in all of sports.

I don't mean to get political but US electoral college is a useful analogy. Suppose that candidate A wins more popular votes but loses the election to candidate B on electoral votes. The argument that candidate A should be the true winner is completely bogus because both candidates were well aware of the rules and campaigned based on electoral votes.

Likewise, in Tennis, while EVERY points matter, some points and games carry heavier weight than others. A point to go up a break, a point to close out a game or a set, etc... One can win a game by 2 points or 4, it doesn't matter, it still is a game.
I think that's a perfect analogy and I agree entirely. In tennis, some kinds of points matter more than others, just like in the electoral college, some kinds of people matter more than others. Likewise, just like in tennis, the electoral college is intended to create a fun game for people to play and win, with rules that encourage drama and occasional upsets. It's a brilliant system.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
I find that most people that hate no ad struggle with pressure points. Those of us that thrive with pressure, like moments like that.
Count me as the exception then. I win 69% of my 3rd set tiebreakers, but I'd rather play it out. It's not that there's more pressure, but rather that it's a truncated version of the game. I posit that the more you shorten the games the higher the likelihood that a weaker player can win becomes. I like to think if we played all those 3rd sets out my win percentage would go up even more.

I don't like 3rd set tiebreakers either to be honest, but I've dealt with them for long enough that it isn't as bothersome.

It's a brilliant system.
And at the core of my argument, that's all I'm saying too. It isn't that no-ad is wrong persay, but I prefer the existing "format".
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Tennis is so odd in that it has so many resets during the match. You could win the majority of the points, yet lose all of the sets and most of the games. I.e, a you could lose in what appears to be a blowout, yet still win the majority of the points. It keeps the fans more interested.

There was an article written about this. Federer was the the main subject. Through the end of 2013, Federer had won 4 matches in which his opponent scored more points than he did during the match. However, Federer lost 24 matches in which he scored more points than his opponent. I.e, Fed was 4-24 in matches where the loser scored more points than the winner. This was by far the worst of anybody.

Imagine if basketball had this type of reset. Let's say basketball had 3 quarters instead of 4.

Warriors win first quarter 36-10
Celtics win 2nd quarter 20-19
Celtic wins 3rd quarter 18-17

Celtics win in 3!!!!! However, the Warriors outscored the Celtics by 24. In a way, this would make the game more interesting!
 

Cloister

Rookie
Tennis is so odd in that it has so many resets during the match. You could win the majority of the points, yet lose all of the sets and most of the games. I.e, a you could lose in what appears to be a blowout, yet still win the majority of the points. It keeps the fans more interested.

There was an article written about this. Federer was the the main subject. Through the end of 2013, Federer had won 4 matches in which his opponent scored more points than he did during the match. However, Federer lost 24 matches in which he scored more points than his opponent. I.e, Fed was 4-24 in matches where the loser scored more points than the winner. This was by far the worst of anybody.

Imagine if basketball had this type of reset. Let's say basketball had 3 quarters instead of 4.

Warriors win first quarter 36-10
Celtics win 2nd quarter 20-19
Celtic wins 3rd quarter 18-17

Celtics win in 3!!!!! However, the Warriors outscored the Celtics by 24. In a way, this would make the game more interesting!
But that's basically how it does work in the playoffs - there's a reset for each game. It doesn't matter if you lose 3 games by 30 points each if you win the other 4 by 2 points each.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
I posit that the more you shorten the games the higher the likelihood that a weaker player can win becomes. I like to think if we played all those 3rd sets out my win percentage would go up even more.
The scoring system in tennis is designed to be as egalitarian as possible - coin toss for first serve, switching ends so that sun/wind conditions hinder/benefit people equally, must win by 2 in games, sets, and tiebreakers (and of course Wimbledon is only grudgingly going with a tiebreaker in the final set this year).

Anyway, removing these intended egalitarian scoring rules tends to make outcomes more random, and I am with you, that the more you randomize a game, the more you favor the lesser skilled player.
 

Tenez!

Professional
It really is the most brilliant scoring system in all of sports.

I don't mean to get political but US electoral college is a useful analogy. Suppose that candidate A wins more popular votes but loses the election to candidate B on electoral votes. The argument that candidate A should be the true winner is completely bogus because both candidates were well aware of the rules and campaigned based on electoral votes.
So in the US, you agree that some people's vote count more than others? I imagine you mean perhaps people driving a truck and wearing a certain red cap? Certainly not them brownies in cities!

You only deem the rules "brilliant" because you don't know many scoring systems and that one stands out.

I think that's a perfect analogy and I agree entirely. In tennis, some kinds of points matter more than others, just like in the electoral college, some kinds of people matter more than others. Likewise, just like in tennis, the electoral college is intended to create a fun game for people to play and win, with rules that encourage drama and occasional upsets. It's a brilliant system.
All hail drama when it concerns others.


Politics is not a game, it determines the conditions of your everyday life. But so many in the US are too brainwashed by entertainment to see it.
 

Tenez!

Professional
removing these intended egalitarian scoring rules tends to make outcomes more random, and I am with you, that the more you randomize a game, the more you favor the lesser skilled player.
Making certain points more important than others is the very definition of randomising rules.
And how do you define lesser skilled other than through wins?
If tennis were in one set, or first to 4 games instead of 6, the rankings would be completely different and people in that bizarro universe would be stating the same thing as you about their rules.

Think instead of rationalising everything around you.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Anyway, removing these intended egalitarian scoring rules tends to make outcomes more random, and I am with you, that the more you randomize a game, the more you favor the lesser skilled player.
I think the 2nd part of your sentence is true [more random helps the lesser-skilled player] but the 1st is not [removing the current rules and simply playing "first one to 50" [for example] would decrease randomness.

In this case, randomness could be seen as certain points being worth more than others. This would be possible in current scoring: if I win all of my games after multiple Deuces [or I win the last point in a no-Ad game] and you win all of your games at love, you have scored more points than I but I win the match. If we played "first to 50", you'd win that contest.

Perhaps calling the current rules "random" is not accurate: we all know what the rules are so we can't be surprised when we lose a game after losing game point. "Random" would be more like WTT or some format where some truly random event allows a team to make a change to the game in their favor. For example, allowing a team to declare the game over when they reached 40 after they've already reached 40.

Maybe "unequally-weighted" would be a better term [albeit a mouthful].
 

davced1

Hall of Fame
Tennis was never about winning most games. You should focus on why you lost the important points in the 2nd and tie-breaker because obviously they lost you the match.
 

tennistiger

Semi-Pro
Everything can happen. I lost a match a few years ago 2:6 2:6. But I still know: I had 27 (!) break and game points in 16 of the 18 games played. I dictated play and the spectators thought score was for me but I lost - still not knowing why.
 

Tenez!

Professional
Everything can happen. I lost a match a few years ago 2:6 2:6. But I still know: I had 27 (!) break and game points in 16 of the 18 games played. I dictated play and the spectators thought score was for me but I lost - still not knowing why.
Hilarious. You went 0/27 on BP and your opponent 4/4? That must sting.

However, though you might have kept the total number of points won to 40-50 against you, with that scoreline he mathematically won more points then you.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
Everything can happen. I lost a match a few years ago 2:6 2:6. But I still know: I had 27 (!) break and game points in 16 of the 18 games played. I dictated play and the spectators thought score was for me but I lost - still not knowing why.
Man, I hate those types of loses....
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
So in the US, you agree that some people's vote count more than others? I imagine you mean perhaps people driving a truck and wearing a certain red cap? Certainly not them brownies in cities!

You only deem the rules "brilliant" because you don't know many scoring systems and that one stands out.

All hail drama when it concerns others.

Politics is not a game, it determines the conditions of your everyday life. But so many in the US are too brainwashed by entertainment to see it.
You have no idea who I am and you might be surprised how many games/sports I have played through the course of my life. But I will give you that this is my opinion and I have not played or watched every game and every unique form of scoring.

But that was not the point of the Analogy.

All the candidates who run for president know that it's decided by the electoral college BEFORE the election.
Just like in Tennis, all players know the scoring system BEFORE they start the match.

If the rules were changed so that the candidate with the most votes, or the player with the most points win. Candidates would campaign and tennis would be played different. There's no point in claiming one won more points/games or more votes afterwards. The US electoral college is just a useful analogy.

Perhaps a different analogy. 3 of the 4 big North American professional sports. Baseball, Basketball and Ice Hockey decide the championship based on best of 7 games and not how many total runs, baskets or goals are scored.

The tennis scoring system is brilliant because until the last point is won, there's always a chance for a comeback and time doesn't run out on the player who is behind. I also like baseball because of this.

By the way, I know many nice, caring people on both the left and the right who drive trucks.
I also know people both on the right and left who are "brainwashed".

Thanks for insulting me and my fellow Americans, we certainly deserve to be insulted on many levels.
That said, your post says a lot about the type of person you are.
 

anarosevoli

Rookie
The better player has a higher percentage, but the distribution is almost completely random (except bad chokes which have to be seen like injuries), everything else is pure Placebo. Totally antiquated scoring system (nobody even knows exactly why it is the way it is) making the worse player win more often than necessary. Just count to 80 or whatever and the better player always wins!
 

Tenez!

Professional
That said, your post says a lot about the type of person you are.
Americans are the only people in the world who would draw a earnest comparison between politics and a game of tennis without feeling embarrassed at their short-sightedness.

The tennis scoring system is brilliant because until the last point is won, there's always a chance for a comeback and time doesn't run out on the player who is behind. I also like baseball because of this.
Yes, that's true. Why the need to bring politics into it?
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Americans are the only people in the world who would draw a earnest comparison between politics and a game of tennis without feeling embarrassed at their short-sightedness.
QED.. people act out their pathology. Keep insulting Americans. It's not like you are alone.

Yes, that's true. Why the need to bring politics into it?
Electoral college as a useful analogy. Never mentioned anything about political leanings. Left/Right/Center otherwise. wasn't political until your comment.
 

Max G.

Legend
You have no idea who I am and you might be surprised how many games/sports I have played through the course of my life. But I will give you that this is my opinion and I have not played or watched every game and every unique form of scoring.

But that was not the point of the Analogy.

All the candidates who run for president know that it's decided by the electoral college BEFORE the election.
Just like in Tennis, all players know the scoring system BEFORE they start the match.

If the rules were changed so that the candidate with the most votes, or the player with the most points win. Candidates would campaign and tennis would be played different. There's no point in claiming one won more points/games or more votes afterwards. The US electoral college is just a useful analogy.
I don't think politics is a good analogy for tennis.

Tennis is a game. The point is to generate drama, to push the competitors physically and mentally, to generate tough situations. That's not really the point of elections - and in fact, when the "game" of "winning an election" becomes more important than actually doing the work of representing the people and running the country, democracies run into problems.

Not really relevant for tennis, where the game IS the point.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
I don't think politics is a good analogy for tennis.

Tennis is a game. The point is to generate drama, to push the competitors physically and mentally, to generate tough situations. That's not really the point of elections - and in fact, when the "game" of "winning an election" becomes more important than actually doing the work of representing the people and running the country, democracies run into problems.

Not really relevant for tennis, where the game IS the point.
Understanding the scoring system in any endeavor, sports or otherwise is important.

One may think it's unreasonable or unfair but until the rules or the law changes it is what it is and we accept the results.

Don't like it? The law or the rules can be changed but complaing about the rules based on "I would have won" is just silly. If a tennis match was decided on the number of shank winners, I would be undefeated.

I think the analogy appropriate since even in the most important matters, such a scoring system exists.

Don't get me started on grade inflation/deflation at elite universities

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