Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring - MensTennisForums.com

View Poll Results: Would final set -game- tiebreaks be a good idea?
Yes we can! 3 16.67%
What a dumb idea. 10 55.56%
Worth a try... 5 27.78%
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

We've seen matches at the Olympics and elsewhere which have a long final set, with final scores like 21-19 and such. In such matches one player is at a significant disadvantage because he's always serving to stay in the match. One alternative of course is to go back to a points-tiebreak at 6 all. But that has its own problems.

What I was wondering was why we couldn't have a -games- tiebreak scoring system for the final set. In other words, one player serves first game, then next player serves two games, and the first comes back to serve two games, and so on. As in a normal tiebreak, you need to win at least seven games with a difference of two. That way, you get back the 'fairness' of a tiebreak in that happening to serve first in the set gives no advantage, or disadvantage - the person who's serving to stay in the match at 7-8 is the one trying to break to win at 9-8. But at the same time you don't have to deal with the inherent randomness of deciding everything at the end of a tough match with a handful of points.

What do people here think? In the poll I voted worth a try; it didn't seem like an obviously stupid scheme to me, and I was thinking it might make things fairer. Maybe in some low/mid level tournament somewhere...

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:10 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

But doesn't that guarantee a long set? A lot of sets that go to 6-6 often end at 8-6, 9-7, 10-8, etc. Which is a lot less games then if they played games in the format of a tie-break. It totally destroys the chances of having a shorter match knowing that at the bare minimum you have to play 7 games(which would be insanely rare).

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:13 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

No he's not advocating for all sets to go that way, just sets with no TBs.

I've thought about this myself, but I guess the only logistical problem is that if a player were to play a really long service game in the first game, he would have to serve AGAIN in the 2nd service game, because of how changes of ends are made.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:15 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

I've considered that before. Maybe start doing that at 3-3 instead of 0-0. But I think the players could get tired serving two times in a row.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

Right, I wasn't talking about getting rid of tiebreaks entirely, and using using 'difference-of-two' scoring in every set. I'm saying, in sets where difference-of-two is required (basically final sets in many tournaments), why not alternate serve 1/2/2/2 as in tiebreaks.

In terms of tiredness, I hadn't thought of that, but I think maybe the scheme doesn't have to start at 0-0 in the final set anyway, just at the point where sudden death starts - at 5-5 or 6-6 maybe.

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Last edited by eskinol; 08-03-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:42 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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Originally Posted by orangehat View Post
No he's not advocating for all sets to go that way, just sets with no TBs.

I've thought about this myself, but I guess the only logistical problem is that if a player were to play a really long service game in the first game, he would have to serve AGAIN in the 2nd service game, because of how changes of ends are made.
I know that. I'm saying that if it was 6-6 all and you didn't want to have a 4 1/2 hour match, that you couldn't because at minimum you would have to play 7 more games. Right now it's possible to have a little bit shorter match and win 8-6

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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Originally Posted by Freak3yman84 View Post
I know that. I'm saying that if it was 6-6 all and you didn't want to have a 4 1/2 hour match, that you couldn't because at minimum you would have to play 7 more games. Right now it's possible to have a little bit shorter match and win 8-6
I don't understand this point at all. I wasn't saying a 6-6 set couldn't end 8-6. Why Would there ever need to be seven more games at 6-6 under any scoring system?

In fact, the final scores (and number of games played) are identical under the schemes once you reach five all. Once you're at five all, whether you use alternating serves or tie-break serving, you need difference of two, so in fact you couldn't even tell by looking at the final score which method was used.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

wait i misunderstood the question and voted for dumb idea


I THINK THATS FUCKING GENIUS!!!

Who knows how much longer Isner vs. Mahut could have been.

Brilliant idea, such a shame the buffoons running the ATP don't realize what a smart idea it is.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 03:03 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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I don't understand this point at all. I wasn't saying a 6-6 set couldn't end 8-6. Why Would there ever need to be seven more games at 6-6 under any scoring system?

In fact, the final scores (and number of games played) are identical under the schemes once you reach five all. Once you're at five all, whether you use alternating serves or tie-break serving, you need difference of two, so in fact you couldn't even tell by looking at the final score which method was used.
OH MY GOD I'm so sorry for my idiocy! I thought you meant you do the game tie-break system at 6-6 all in the 5th. I don't know how I got that from your original post because you said nothing about it I think that'd be a good idea then

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 03:13 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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Originally Posted by eskinol View Post
We've seen matches at the Olympics and elsewhere which have a long final set, with final scores like 21-19 and such. In such matches one player is at a significant disadvantage because he's always serving to stay in the match.
Is that really a disadvantage? Do you have some statistics on that?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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Is that really a disadvantage? Do you have some statistics on that?
No, I haven't tried to accumulate numbers. But it's pretty conventional wisdom among players and commentators that having the the advantage of serving first in a set, being ahead, is a pretty legit thing. Also, do you find it psychologically plausible that (say in a match ending 22-20 or something) serving fifteen times with equal scores is just as hard as serving fifteen times to stay in the match? Just consider the pressure of being two points away from losing the match every time it's 15-30 or 30-30 or deuce. Hell, every break point is match point.

I would argue the burden of proof is being misplaced here - it's the person who says it's not a disadvantage to keep having to serve from behind who's making the implausible claim...

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 04:11 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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Originally Posted by eskinol View Post
We've seen matches at the Olympics and elsewhere which have a long final set, with final scores like 21-19 and such. In such matches one player is at a significant disadvantage because he's always serving to stay in the match.
I don't know if that's such a disadvantage. Maybe it's easier to keep serve after the changeover and break before the changeover.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 04:18 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

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Is that really a disadvantage? Do you have some statistics on that?
yeah, statistics would be interesting here. but imo it's definitely a disadvantage seen from the mental side...
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

To be honest I'd be interested in numbers myself. The trouble would be with listing all these matches, since once that was done finding out who served would be easy enough - they always attract attention. I guess off the top of my head I can think of three matches at the Olympics, Isner-Mahut, Federer-Roddick at Wimbledon, and Roddick-al aynaoui (sp?). What else is there?

Edit:
Actually, there's a nice wiki page on long matches:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest..._match_records

They're going by time not score, but there's still a bunch of matches. I'm going to look at every match with a 'big' score and see.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 04:30 PM
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Re: Final sets and game-tiebreak scoring

Fuck this final set TB idea off in slams.

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