Questions on terminology [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Questions on terminology

Apemant
09-11-2006, 12:12 PM
I'm just trying to make it straight: 'an ace' is a serve which is not even touched by the returner, right? As soon as he touches it, its not an ace anymore? Now does the same applies to the term 'a winner'? If the opponent touches the ball, it's not counted as a winner, even if he only slightly changes the ball's direction?

But if the above is correct, then what is a 'service winner'? My guess was always that it's an unreturned serve (touched, but not returned), but this is inconsistent with the above terminology. If it was, 'a service winner' should have been the synonym to 'an ace': a shot that wasn't touched by the opponent. Anyway, inconsistency or not, did I get this right or I'm missing something?

buddyholly
09-11-2006, 02:20 PM
If the ball is touched but not returned, it is a service winner.

But yes, I think that during a rally there is a grey area between what is a winner and what is an unforced error.

jenanun
09-11-2006, 04:42 PM
and who decided whether a ball is a forced error or unforced error???

there must be someone doing these decision... but who did that?

User id 7816
09-11-2006, 05:01 PM
so 'service winner' happens to be the equvalent to 'forced error', when the opponent touches the ball but not able to do more. now that I think about it, it's better to call it a 'winner' than a 'forced error' ;) the funny part is hearing a commentator call obvious winners UEs :scratch:

Tennis Fool
09-11-2006, 05:04 PM
I don't think that a service winner and forced error are the same. My understanding is that you can force a player to hit a ball out or long. For example if you are both at net and you are in the position to hit a volley back, the other player is forced to hit passed you and send the ball out.

Apemant
09-11-2006, 05:08 PM
If the ball is touched but not returned, it is a service winner.

But yes, I think that during a rally there is a grey area between what is a winner and what is an unforced error.

Wait, what grey area? There are 3 types of points: winners, UEs and forced errors. If you check stats for any match, you see that UEs of, say, Roddick, and Fed's winners don't add up to Rogi's total points. So, if a point is not an UE, it doesn't automatically mean it's a winner. Therefore, I assume that a winner is only when the opponent doesn't even touch the ball; if he does, then it's a forced error (or UE if he wasn't in an unfavorable position at all).

So, winners are easy to count, the grey area is between UEs and forced errors which, I think, depend on how unfavorable position the retriever was in. Unless I get something wrong? What puzzles me is that I don't know whether they count 'service winners' (ie serves touched by the returner, but not returned) to the winners total, or not. Because, if 'winners' mean the opponent didn't touch the ball, then they should count only aces to the winners total, and not service 'winners'. But I don't know if that is the case. Is there anyone here who actually knows how they do those statistics?

JimmyV
09-11-2006, 05:16 PM
I know this is a stupid question but do points won at the net get added onto winners or are they in there own category?

Apemant
09-11-2006, 05:18 PM
I don't think that a service winner and forced error are the same. My understanding is that you can force a player to hit a ball out or long. For example if you are both at net and you are in the position to hit a volley back, the other player is forced to hit passed you and send the ball out.

I believe it all amounts to whatever they define to be an 'unfavorable position'. Because the 'unfavorable position' is not clearly defined, whether something is an unforced or forced error is also not clearly defined. For example, if someone charges the net after a weak shot to the middle of the field, leaving plenty of time for the opponent to prepare his passing shot, I personally wouldn't consider that an 'unfavorable position' for the latter, seeing how majority of people can pass the volleyer with ease, more often than not (in that particular situation), by hitting a winner to either side or even lobbing him. So, if they happen to miss the field, I would consider that an UE, but I'm sure not everyone would do the same.

Apemant
09-11-2006, 05:34 PM
I know this is a stupid question but do points won at the net get added onto winners or are they in there own category?

I assume they get counted as winners if, and only if, they are actually winners. :devil:

I mean, the one at the net could produce a volley winner, or the other could hit a passing shot or even a lob. Those would get added to winners, I guess. But if the one at the net hits the net itself with a poor volley, or smashes into the net, or misses the entire field, or if the other one hits the net, misses the field etc. - then I see no reason to count that to winners. Regardless of that, however, those points would count to total points won (or lost) at the net.

Anyway, I'd really like to hear from someone who isn't just guessing like I am :D

Vass
09-11-2006, 06:19 PM
What puzzles me is that I don't know whether they count 'service winners' (ie serves touched by the returner, but not returned) to the winners total, or not.
They DON'T. It's a type of forced error that happens to be called a "service winner". I dunno where the name for that type of situation comes from though.

Apemant
09-11-2006, 06:56 PM
They DON'T. It's a type of forced error that happens to be called a "service winner". I dunno where the name for that type of situation comes from though.

Yes, that is what I assumed, that the term 'service winner' was just poorly worded. Strictly speaking, 'service winner' should be the same as 'ace', right? Service that happens to be a winner, i.e. untouched by the opponent. That makes it logical to add aces to winners total. Just wanted to clarify it.

atheneglaukopis
09-11-2006, 07:15 PM
My contribution to this thread will be to point out that Federer has stated on multiple occasions that he dislikes the "unforced error" count when playing Nadal, because of that grey area and the way Nadal makes you really go for it because of his great retrieving skills. Federer would count a lot of those as forced errors.

Which is not to say that he doesn't get tight and make more unforced errors when playing Nadal--Rome, anyone?--just that he doesn't believe the people who make those stats are qualified to tell the difference without actually playing Nadal.