Match Statistics

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by Mastoor, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    Is there any place on the internet where exact rules for the match statistics are listed?

     

    Who does the stats? What exactly do they count as unforced error as opposed to forced ones? How far from the net players have to be so the point is counted as a net one? Seems as long one foot is in the court they count that as a net point.

     

    Seems that the speeds of all the services are included in the stats even if they are let or fault, not only correct ones.

     

    Does anyone know any of the rules for sure? I am asking because the stats that I see on the screen often disagrees with what I saw during the match.

     

     

     

     
     
  2. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    I haven't found any place on the net for stats beyond the obvious ones.  And that can be frustrating.  Though I believe the stats come firstly from the umpire, and then from the networks.

    The question of unforced errors is an enduring one.  In general, all errors are counted as unforced, as far as I can tell, even though everyone recognizes that there is a forced dynamic to many errors.  As it is said, the only unforced error is a double-fault.  After that, it falls in a gray area, often.  As a Nadal fan, believe me, we believe in the "forced error."

    As far as a net cord, if that's what you're asking about, it has no relationship to the player on the other side.  Do you mean on serve, or during the point?
     
  3. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    This tells part of the story:

     

    <b>Tennis scorers make plenty of unforced errors
    </b>
    By Douglas Robson, Special for USA TODAY
    July 2007

    <b>What exactly is an unforced error? Who decides?</b>

    As the US Open Series winds its way through North America the next six weeks, telecasters and newspapers will refer to various statistics to quantify the outcome of matches. Some will be objective numbers such as aces, double faults and break points converted.

    But they will also cite unforced errors, a vast gray area of subjectivity frequently treated like science.

    Separating a forced from an unforced error can depend on a combination of split-second factors such as spin, pace and player positioning. Circumstance and psychology also factor in: Is the score close or lopsided? Was a player forced to go for a winner or should he have put the ball back into play?

    <b>None are easily judged in an instant, and often these numbers are gathered not by pros but by volunteers.</b>

    "This is something that has driven me crazy for years," says U.S. Davis Cup captain and ESPN commentator Patrick McEnroe, who decries the "huge inconsistencies and discrepancies" in the system.

    "If (Rafael) Nadal hits a forehand crosscourt high up around his opponent's shoulder and the guy misses, it's called an error," McEnroe adds. "That's asinine."

    Most official statistics are gathered by the chair umpire, who enters the score and information such as first serves and second serves into a handheld device that then calculates stats such as percentage of points won on first serve. These are hard, objectively recorded and observed figures. The four Grand Slam tournaments and the ATP tour track and publicize these numbers.

    Neither the men's nor the women's tour officially tracks unforced errors and other stats such as forehand winners or percentage of net approaches won. Companies such as Information & Display Systems (IDS) and IBM, which often use non-paid volunteers with their own experts, do these.

    Like assists in basketball or fielding errors in baseball, what constitutes a forced or unforced error is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. One person's winner is another person's mistake.

    "It's a little bit like the strike zone in baseball," explains IDS veteran Leo Levin, who is widely considered the godfather of stats for professional tennis.

    "There's a written definition for it, but (that) doesn't mean it will be judged the same game to game or match to match," adds Levin, whose company provides stats for tennis (including the U.S. Open) and other sports organizations such as the PGA Tour, LPGA, NBA and NHL.

    <b>Players are well aware of the inconsistencies.</b>

    Informed he had committed 54 unforced errors in a loss in the Sony Ericsson Open in March, Roger Federer begged to differ. The numbers, complained the Swiss No. 1, didn't come close to capturing reality "because the statistics guys have no clue what an unforced error is," he said. "I had only about half that."

    No. 4 Andy Roddick says, "It's subjective, so therefore you know certain places the stats are a little off and other places you're going to look like a superhero."

    Levin says whereas NBA teams hire and train official statisticians, tennis — without a consolidated league structure — is subject to a larger degree of variance.

    "Because unforced errors and certain other stats have no official place in the game, there are no standards for the statisticians and they vary from event to event based on budgets, level of training and the tennis experience of the people," Levin says.

    At the Sony Ericsson Open, IDS staffed 15-18 volunteers, many of them veterans, along with their own personnel. By contrast, Wimbledon's team of stat collectors numbers about 50 and is managed by IBM. Most of the data enterers are students or recent grads who receive a small wage and have some tennis background, according to Keith Sohl, who has directed Wimbledon's data collection for IBM the last 18 years.

    With strict definitions in place, Sohl is confident his stats — everything from serving speed and direction to net or baseline points won — are consistent and reliable. "We would argue that we have tried to take all subjectivity out of it," says Sohl, who says differentiating forced from unforced errors is the trickiest task. "I wouldn't say our guys never make mistakes. They might cough at the wrong time."

    <b>Unlike many sports, the overall consistency of tennis stats is hindered by difference in surfaces.</b>

    Rallies are long on clay, which produces more unforced errors. Grass, on the other hand, tends to elicit far fewer unforced errors because players hit more service winners and come to the net more (almost all passing shots, whether the approach is decent or not, are not considered unforced errors).

    "The difference between stats in Australia and Wimbledon is mind-boggling," says Brad Gilbert, a former pro and current coach of Andy Murray. "Guy hits a 123-mph second serve in Australia and it's an unforced error. If it's a 72-mph serve at Wimbledon, it's not."

    Comparing the subjectivity to basketball, Gilbert notes, "They used to say John Stockton averaged 15 assists in Utah and 10 on the road."

    McEnroe, for one, has a solution: hire former players to become full-time statisticians.

    "There are plenty of players out there who need jobs," he says. "You're telling me the ATP or the Slams can't hire former pros who are teaching somewhere and come over for four weeks a year?"
     
  4. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    If it is volunteers that do the stats, especially if they don't have clear guidance, then everything is possible.

    Moxie, I wonder what exactly they include as net points won during the game because often you may not see a player more than say 5 times on the net during the match yet they say he won say 12/15 points there..

     

     
     
  5. Billie

    Billie Nole fan
    Nole's World Moderator

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    Well, better start counting yourself Mastoor and see how you stack at the end of the match with the official net points statistics.  I think they count every net point where a player is close to the net (LOL) that means both if he goes there by himself or if he is dragged to the net by his opponent (like with a drop shot).
     
  6. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    I'm always intrigued by the term "unforced error" because it boils down to cause and effect. In a manner of speaking virtually everything is forced to some degree.
     
  7. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    Actually I brought this topic after a match in which No1e approached the net barely several times yet the stats say he had 11/14. No way he approached the net 11 times let alone 14, perhaps 5 or 6 times in the match.

    They also said his average serve speed was 185 kph in the match, while each time I saw the speed of his serve the clock showed 146 to 166 kph (all kick serves), though he had some faster serves which all finished in the net or out or touching the cord, therefore they shouldn't count in the stats.

     

     
     
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