Home vs neutral vs away


Hall of Fame
I was looking at the overall season record for South Alabama and noticed this:
Overall	Pct.	Streak	Home	Away	     Neutral
11 - 14	.440	   L1	4 - 0   1 - 8	     6 - 6
The different win percentages by location, 100%, 12.5%, and 50% really stood out. They are not a terrible team as they were 3 and 5 versus ranked opponents during the season with two wins at neutral sites and their lone victory away was at #60 GSU. I watched two of their home matches and they looked strong but I don't think the opponents I saw were that tough.

What I was wondering about the different winning percentages in home vs away is what makes the biggest difference to the players? Is it just the travel grind for the opponents that gives the home team an advantage? During the year I counted 15 different away trips made by the team.

How much does the home crowd come into play at most college matches? When I watch USA play there are usually only a couple dozen spectators at most and a good number of them are other players and coaches. In their home venue, which isn't spectacular, you can only easily watch two of the ongoing matches from the bleachers so some of the outer matches may have only an occasional umpire watching.

Does familiarity with the court surface and environment have much of a difference? I'm just curious about what the current and past collegiate players feel about this (and anyone else who wants to weigh in, of course).
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Hall of Fame
In my experience the home advantage has more to do with the rigors of travel. Home crowd??? Haha. Unless you go to one of the top programs on a big campus, don't expect much of a fan presence. No one really cares about tennis. The people who watch college tennis tend to have a tie to one or more of the players outside of tennis - e.g. pledge brother, roommate, girlfriend, parents.

From the players' side it sucks to sit in a van for a couple of hours, then arrive in whatever college town, eat subway and then try to get warmed up in 10 minutes and go play a match.
Teams that have the budget for it usually travel the day before to try and eliminate that travel hangover. All the teams in the ACC do day before travel. But teams in smaller conferences probably don't.

And the loudest ones in the crowd are typically the players who don't play and they will be at away matches as well as home. Seldomnly does a crowd make a difference.


Even in the C-USA most teams I'm aware of travel the day before or if it's an afternoon match arrive 3-4 hours or so early. Most will hit either the night before and few hours before the match before coming to the actual dual to play. I've seen visiting teams have full practice the night before.

Being at home does matter as for all the reasons mentioned above. Even what may be considered a small crowd of 30-50 people helps the home players. Just ask them.

Many teams like USA have to travel to play ranked teams. Without looking over their schedule and having seen USA play this year I'm sure they played some decent teams on the road. I watched Memphis handle them solidly 4-0 a few weeks ago. USA's standard dropped considerably at 5 and 6. It was a very windy and cool day during that match.