Would someone tank a set to keep from getting bumped?

EddieBrock

Professional
I played a 4.0 doubles match vs. 2 guys that were nearly undefeated all season. One of the guys was just horrible in the 1st set and could hardly get a ball in the court. 2nd set he starts playing extremely well and we had an epic battle, lost the set and then eventually pulled through in a match tiebreak.

Afterwards I was looked him up and this was his first loss all year. It almost seemed to me like he tanked the first set and then tried to win the 2nd and the tiebreak.

Would losing a set badly keep him from getting bumped up if he ultimately won the match? Do people ever play games like that or did it just take him a set to get going? In the 2nd set we kept everything away from him since he was playing so well.
 
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OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
If it were the 2nd set and they already knew that they had a team win then I can see it totally as being a tank job. But first set is a little more daring.

It also seems a little early in the year for C rated players to be tanking a match.

Could be a tank job, could be he had a really terrible first set .... I think we have all had one or two of those.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
From what little I have seen, 4.0 players are generally 4.0 players because they are horribly inconsistent. I wouldn’t read too much into one set of tennis.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
If it were the 2nd set and they already knew that they had a team win then I can see it totally as being a tank job. But first set is a little more daring.

It also seems a little early in the year for C rated players to be tanking a match.

Could be a tank job, could be he had a really terrible first set .... I think we have all had one or two of those.
I used to try to win the first set then tank the second set, but I found it was harder to pick up the momentum in the tiebreak after losing the first set.

So now when I tank a set I always tank the first set, then win the second set so I have all the momentum in the tiebreak.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I used to try to win the first set then tank the second set, but I found it was harder to pick up the momentum in the tiebreak after losing the first set.

So now when I tank a set I always tank the first set, then win the second set so I have all the momentum in the tiebreak.
When I tank a set ... its because I generally am terrible at tennis some days.
 

joeydivine

New User
From what little I have seen, 4.0 players are generally 4.0 players because they are horribly inconsistent. I wouldn’t read too much into one set of tennis.
Or, because they first picked up a racquet when they were past 40 years old and clawed their way up to 4.0?
 

HBK4life

Professional
My first season of USTA years ago I got partnered with a guy I had never played before. He told me before the match he was close to getting bumped so we had to make the match “close and make it look competitive”. I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about.

That is a long way of saying yes it happens. It happens all the time. People are afraid of playing the best so they manage their ratings. They are cowards.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I played a 4.0 doubles match vs. 2 guys that were nearly undefeated all season. One of the guys was just horrible in the 1st set and could hardly get a ball in the court. 2nd set he starts playing extremely well and we had an epic battle, lost the set and then eventually pulled through in a match tiebreak.

Afterwards I was looked him up and this was his first loss all year. It almost seemed to me like he tanked the first set and then tried to win the 2nd and the tiebreak.

Would losing a set badly keep him from getting bumped up if he ultimately won the match? Do people ever play games like that or did it just take him a set to get going? In the 2nd set we kept everything away from him since he was playing so well.
I'm sure people do this, but it seems kind of dumb because there is no way to know if you're going to succeed or even if it's necessary at all, and you're risking a loss that might hurt your team.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
I'm sure people do this, but it seems kind of dumb because there is no way to know if you're going to succeed or even if it's necessary at all, and you're risking a loss that might hurt your team.
I've just never seen a bigger transformation from 1 set to the next. I've played a lot of league matches and seen people adjust strategies or change slightly from set to set, but he was just a completely different player. I've also had matches with like 6-1, 1-6 sets, but those are where every game is a battle and it's just a matter of who wins those important points.

They were very close to winning in the match tiebreak as well. Maybe he was confident his team would win even if he lost?
 

daman sidhu

Rookie
It is possible I guess.
I know of a guy who manages his matches so that he doesn't get bumped up. He's a strong 4.0 player but doesn't want to get bumped up to 4.5(less opportunity to play in our area). He will lose matches deliberately if he's close to getting bumped up, which he's admitted to his doubles partner(who got bumped up to 4.5 coincidentally)
 

Chalkdust

Rookie
I usually tank in singles. I shoot to win the first set 6-4 which gives me a bit of margin for error. If my opponent unexpectedly wins a game late I can still take the set 7-5 or 7-6.

Then I tank the first 4 or 5 games of the second set, but I like to win a late service game to get back in the groove. Then after losing the 2nd set 6-1 I can blast through the match TB since the TB score doesn't matter.

My target result is a 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 score, which is a bit conservative, but still has more games lost than won to keep my rating down while getting a match win.

I don't tank as much in dubs since it's harder to guarantee the match win when relying on a partner. But if we know going in that the match win isn't needed then I will tank.
 

nyta2

Professional
I played a 4.0 doubles match vs. 2 guys that were nearly undefeated all season. One of the guys was just horrible in the 1st set and could hardly get a ball in the court. 2nd set he starts playing extremely well and we had an epic battle, lost the set and then eventually pulled through in a match tiebreak.

Afterwards I was looked him up and this was his first loss all year. It almost seemed to me like he tanked the first set and then tried to win the 2nd and the tiebreak.

Would losing a set badly keep him from getting bumped up if he ultimately won the match? Do people ever play games like that or did it just take him a set to get going? In the 2nd set we kept everything away from him since he was playing so well.
sarcasm aside... i've done it in 4.0's
long time ago i appealed down to 4.0 after my acl surgery/recovery (1y long - presumed i'd be rusty, turns out i came back into form quickly)...
at the time was winning pretty handily.
some teams clearly threw their worst player at me in #1s (eg. a 3.5 playing up in the 4.0's)
in that case i strived to win 1-6, 7-6, 1-0 (8 games won by me, 12 games lost - should result in a net ntrp drop, despite the win)
i still got bumped up at the end of the season, because when i came across any of the top 4.0s, i'd have to play my A game (because i wasn't at the end high end of the 4.5's, so didn't have enough of a skill gap to be able to manipulate the score)
 

roadto50

Rookie
I played a 4.0 doubles match vs. 2 guys that were nearly undefeated all season. One of the guys was just horrible in the 1st set and could hardly get a ball in the court. 2nd set he starts playing extremely well and we had an epic battle, lost the set and then eventually pulled through in a match tiebreak.

Afterwards I was looked him up and this was his first loss all year. It almost seemed to me like he tanked the first set and then tried to win the 2nd and the tiebreak.

Would losing a set badly keep him from getting bumped up if he ultimately won the match? Do people ever play games like that or did it just take him a set to get going? In the 2nd set we kept everything away from him since he was playing so well.
Is it done? Yes.

Did the guy you play actually tank? Hard to say. I mean I usually start off horrible in the 1st set and don't get rolling until the 2nd. A lot of my singles matches go 2-6, 6-4, and 6-2. If someone just looked at my scores and didn't realize I usually get off to a slow start, they might think I am tanking.
 
So as someone with two repaired achilles, bad knees (2), slight shoulder impingement, and chronic lower back issues the 5 - 10 minute warm up period generally isn't enough to allow me to go close to 100%. So yes, its possible for someone who hasn't lost all year to drop the first set and look like an entirely different player.

20 minutes of dedicated lower body stretches probably only gets me to 50% of lateral explosiveness and court coverage. Usually takes me ~4 games to pick up some speed.

They probably just tanked it though.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
So as someone with two repaired achilles, bad knees (2), slight shoulder impingement, and chronic lower back issues the 5 - 10 minute warm up period generally isn't enough to allow me to go close to 100%. So yes, its possible for someone who hasn't lost all year to drop the first set and look like an entirely different player.

20 minutes of dedicated lower body stretches probably only gets me to 50% of lateral explosiveness and court coverage. Usually takes me ~4 games to pick up some speed.

They probably just tanked it though.
I've had a lot of matches with 1 sided sets that we split and never thought anyone was tanking. It seems like it's the nature of doubles that sometimes there is a big momentum shift or a team will make adjustments on their return game and figure out the patterns. Plus sometimes players will get mentally or physically fatigued.

In this case though the guy would be right on top of the net and get a sitter volley and miss it again and again. It wasn't like he was playing a physical game style and missing groundstrokes. I guess it's the fact that he went from hardly moving and missing every volley to S&V and volleying like a pro right when the 2nd set started.
 

silentkman

Professional
I played a 4.0 doubles match vs. 2 guys that were nearly undefeated all season. One of the guys was just horrible in the 1st set and could hardly get a ball in the court. 2nd set he starts playing extremely well and we had an epic battle, lost the set and then eventually pulled through in a match tiebreak.

Afterwards I was looked him up and this was his first loss all year. It almost seemed to me like he tanked the first set and then tried to win the 2nd and the tiebreak.

Would losing a set badly keep him from getting bumped up if he ultimately won the match? Do people ever play games like that or did it just take him a set to get going? In the 2nd set we kept everything away from him since he was playing so well.
the life of league tennis and the dynamic rating.
 

ttwarrior1

Professional
people do all the time, if they are the last match, and team has already won, i know a few that will lose on purpose
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
If it were the 2nd set and they already knew that they had a team win then I can see it totally as being a tank job. But first set is a little more daring.

It also seems a little early in the year for C rated players to be tanking a match.

Could be a tank job, could be he had a really terrible first set .... I think we have all had one or two of those.
Yeah, if they need the win then it's pretty risky because anything can happen in a match tiebreaker, unless they are waaaay stronger
 

socallefty

Legend
I once won a match 0-6, 6-0, 6-0 and another match 6-0, 0-6, 6-1. I wasn’t tanking in either match, but to an outside observer it might have looked that way. In the first match, I was a bit hungover (this was during my misspent youth) on a Sunday morning and it took a set for my body to stop being sore and to loosen up. He was also a power player and once the balls got older and I got faster, he couldn’t hit through me.

In the 2nd match, the opponent changed his strategy suddenly in the 2nd set, started charging the net on every point after low slice approaches and it coincided with twilight conditions where I was having difficulty seeing the ball early off his racquet and therefore started missing my passing shots. Once it got darker during the 3rd set and I also started anticipating his low approaches, I had no issues passing him again.

Tennis is strange and momentum can switch like a seesaw as when one player‘s level goes up, the other player’s level often comes down as a result. So, hard to tell if someone tanked or not unless they tell you so.
 
When I was a 3.5, we were beating the opponents easily in a sectional tournament.
My partner kept saying- make it close or we'll get bumped up. I did my best, but they were just not
that good. We got bumped up.
 
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