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Every match thread is dominated by people talking about the winner/unforced error ratio and how that determines what happened in the match ("this match was on her racquet!" "pusher!" etc).

There is so much more to a match than that. Just because someone hits 50 UEs in a match it doesn't indicate that they're BBBing - it could be that they're having trouble controlling their shots or they can't handle what their opponent is doing. Likewise, hitting 3 winners doesn't mean someone is a pusher - it could be that they're controlling ALL the rallies and forcing their opponent to miss without actually hitting clean winners.

There's more than just forced errors, of course, but it seems like 99% of TFers rely on W/UE stats to form their entire opinions.
 

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The problem with forced vs unforced is that it's subjective. Even the players themselves might disagree on whether it was forced or unforced.



But as a general rule, the way I see, if you're on slower surface playing a grinding match with long rallies and you have low winners, I wouldn't necessarily say you're a pusher but if you're on grass or fast surface and you're still having low winners, you probably are because if you're in control of the rallies, you'd be hitting for winners. I mean why would you just force for an error when you're in control of a rally and you can hit a winner.



And let's take Wozniacki as an example, is she ever in control of all the rallies? :lol: The idea of her forcing her opponents into errors. :lol:
 

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I have only seen one match where the forced errors stats were displayed.
I thought a new age had begun, but never again.
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I think FEs are just as important to understanding a match as the other common stats.
The trouble with forced errors, winners and UFEs is that someone has to pay a knowledgeable person to create the stats.
It is easy to determine aces, and DFs, but someone with tennis knowledge is needed to determine UFEs and forced errors.
And, apparently very few tournaments or video producers want find and pay that person.
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In other sports there are tons of meaningless stats, but in tennis, except at the big events, good stats are rare.
Probably due to lack of money in tennis.
 

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Erm, yes? We're not idiots. Forced errors can be deducted from total points won, winners and unforced errors anyway. As someone mentioned, it's the subjectivity of the error judgment that comes into play mainly.

The winner-unforced error differential is not everything, but it basically gives a good snapshot of the match. I always advocated a stat called errors per tennis stroke, which would give a sense of how long a tennis rally lasts before it ends in an error. A winner contributes nothing to this number, and an error coming after a 50 stroke rally will contribute very little to this stat too. This would give a good sense of what kind of match was being played.
 
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Yes. Forced errors are important. A smart BBB who doesn't go for the lines too much can have a high forced errors count.
 

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An accurate, unbiased and consistent stats for forced errors is offered only by Australian Open.

It takes well prepared human evaluators.
 

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I know Dcsabas knows. It is an integral part of his AM statistics calculation.
Was going to say the same. And what would TF be without @DcsabaS ? :lol:

But of course it's right. But won't keep many posters from summing matches up to winners and UEs. Usually ridiculous, especially considering the huge quality of some counterpunchers.
 

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The problem with forced vs unforced is that it's subjective.
And let's take Wozniacki as an example, is she ever in control of all the rallies? :lol: The idea of her forcing her opponents into errors. :lol:
:grin2: :grin2: :grin2:
 

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When the ball comes back all the time, the opponent is forced to make a mistake. There's nothing more obvious than that. Now there may be an appreciation of how the ball is kept in the play. What's where all the subjectiveness is on display. Half of the TF comments, live or post-matches, are basically cringing to me. Tennis is a sport, not a video game.
 

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Just about every return of serve that doesn't land in play is a forced error. The server is putting instant pressure on the returner, forcing the returner to make a difficult return.

Forced errors usually happen when there is a clear aggressor and defender in a point. The defender's shot that doesn't land in play is usually a FE (while the the aggressor's shot that goes out is usually a UFE). A good example is when the aggressor has control of the middle of the court and has the defender running from side to side. The defender is just trying to keep the ball in play with slices and lobs and if their shot goes out, that is an FE.

If there is no clear aggressor -- like when two pushers meet on clay courts and have 20-shot rallies with neither going for any winners -- those points usually end in UFEs.

Of course, who is the aggressor and who is the defender can switch multiple times during a point so sometimes it's not clear who is what or when they switched, but that's the general criteria to go by.
 

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Erm, yes? We're not idiots. Forced errors can be deducted from total points won, winners and unforced errors anyway. As someone mentioned, it's the subjectivity of the error judgment that comes into play mainly.

The winner-unforced error differential is not everything, but it basically gives a good snapshot of the match. I always advocated a stat called errors per tennis stroke, which would give a sense of how long a tennis rally lasts before it ends in an error. A winner contributes nothing to this number, and an error coming after a 50 stroke rally will contribute very little to this stat too. This would give a good sense of what kind of match was being played.
This, basically. Winner/UE ratio is a good ballpark indicator of how well someone is playing and what kind of tennis they're playing. High winner to UE ratio usually means you're playing well, but that can be more down to the way your opponent is playing. High number of winners and ues suggests more aggressive playstyle while low number of winners / ues often means a more defensive playstyle. But of course there is a lot more to it than that. Other than aggressive play some things that can cause UEs:
- difficult playing conditions, like very strong wind, sun in the eyes etc
- tiredness, long or short term
- injuries
- being mentally tilted or for whatever reason not quite mentally there
- opponent playing with a lot of variety and disrupting your rhythm
- technical problems with particular shots, e.g. if you have problems with your backhand or with high balls and the opponent keeps exploiting those problems
- very long defensive rallies where eventually someone will make a UE
And probably many more other reasons. Also what I often see is if a player's normal tactics aren't working or are being contered by their opponent they will try to change their tactics, and then playing in an unfamiliar way, especially playing in a more aggressive way than you're used to can sometimes lead to a lot of UEs.
Players like Svitolina or Wozniacki often seem to 'force' their opponent into UEs, when shots that should've been winners keep coming back players will often try to hit harder and harder or go more and more risky and often this leads to UEs.
 

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Every match thread is dominated by people talking about the winner/unforced error ratio and how that determines what happened in the match ("this match was on her racquet!" "pusher!" etc).

There is so much more to a match than that. Just because someone hits 50 UEs in a match it doesn't indicate that they're BBBing - it could be that they're having trouble controlling their shots or they can't handle what their opponent is doing. Likewise, hitting 3 winners doesn't mean someone is a pusher - it could be that they're controlling ALL the rallies and forcing their opponent to miss without actually hitting clean winners.

There's more than just forced errors, of course, but it seems like 99% of TFers rely on W/UE stats to form their entire opinions.

Please stop trying to confuse people with ambiguous concepts. We need it all right there in front of us in black and white, so that we can understand it. You know, Mary Carillo and Johnny Mac style.
 

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The difference between the FORCED ERROR and the UNFORCED ERROR is a QUALITY JUDGEMENT made by the tennis statisticians whether the error was EXPECTED or NOT EXPECTED in the given situation, keeping in mind the skills of the average WTA players (practically the Top 100 players). These individual judgements play a very important role in the overall judgement of the playing LEVEL / QUALITY shown by the players, but these are only PART OF THEM, because the number of CLEAR WINNERS are also part of the thing, together with the difference between MORE IMPORTANT or LESS IMPORTANT points, or the POINT WINNING or LOSING STREAKS, etc.

But the SIMPLEST statistical number that can reflect well the real playing quality (= EFFECTIVENESS) of a player is the AGGRESSIVE MARGIN (= Winners -UEs +FEs (on the opponent)), while the simple W-UE difference suggests the winner only in certain cases (30-40% of the matches).

There are MISCONCEPTIONS about what is regarded a forced error:
- Just because a player always gives the ball back safely (with "risking nothing" strategy), it is NOT (and was NEVER!) regarded as she has forced an error on her opponent. Her opponent always had 3 chances (making a winner, making an UE, or forcing an error on the other girl). The "safe play" is "doing nothing play", and this adds EXACTLY ZERO (0) to the Aggressive Margin of the respected player.
- The most obvious example of the Forced Error is, when the other girl HAD TO RUN in order to hit the ball back, and STILL WAS NOT ABLE TO OCCUPY THE PROPER HITTING POSITION, because in these cases the opponent might barely reach (touch) the ball, but are not expected to hit it properly back.
- Similar things might happen if the ball is too high (the opponent has to jump), or bouncing irregularly from the surface (typical on clay and on grass) or the let cord, or the player has to turn around too quickly, etc.
Of course, the girls are NOT all the same. Simona might run faster with ankle problems than the majority of the girls. Serena might serve stronger even if she's ill, compared to the rest. But we should measure EVERYBODY ON THE SAME SCALE. Therefore, we might think that "Simona should have returned that ball well because she's usually so good on the run", but if she misses it, the error's Forced/Unforced nature would be decided keeping in mind the skills of the average girls, NOT Simona's!
- The next most common misconception is that "Clear winners are better than the errors forced on the opponent."
This is quite far from the truth in modern tennis. Because the clear winners (let's say service and ROS winners) are putting ZERO (0) physical workload on the opponent. At the given instant they are good (and they are very good in the finishing moments of a match!), but at the beginning of a match they are only WASTED OPPORTUNITY TO WEAR THE OPPONENT DOWN. In other words, from longer perspective those points are the better, when you could FORCE THE OPPONENT TO RUN, AND THE OPPONENT STILL LOST THE POINT (because of a forced error).
This is like the "fishing strategy" against a very big and strong fish. Before you can pick it from the water, has to wear it down.

But instead of giving out the number of Forced Errors, I support the idea giving out the Aggressive Margin, because the term "Forced Error" can be misleading:
"Forced Error" = made by the respected player (BAD)
"Forced Error" = forced on the opponent (GOOD)
If you see only the term "Forced Error" shown at "Player A", you cannot be sure of which is it.
 

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Just adding spin on the shots can get you lots of forced errors from your opponents. Top spin is the best because the ball will drop faster so you can hit it harder.
Some player like Niculescu and Andreescu can also add side spin on some shots. That can have an unpredictable rotation after the bounce off the court, fooling the opponent sometimes.
 

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Just adding spin on the shots can get you lots of forced errors from your opponents. Top spin is the best because the ball will drop faster so you can hit it harder.
Some player like Niculescu and Andreescu can also add side spin on some shots. That can have an unpredictable rotation after the bounce off the court, fooling the opponent sometimes.
This is right! With tricky spinning shots the player can actually force errors (technical, or ball handling errors) on her opponent. But judging this is not that easy. Sometimes the first sign of the spinning ball is the strangely curved trajectory, and actually most top players are doing everything in order to hide the spin that they are giving to the ball. This is especially true to the spinning serves of some tricky players in the ATP tour. (Nevertheless, some girls are doing it too.)

One of the best methods to hide the spin that was given to the ball is hitting on the run (what Halep likes to do). In this case the opponent is hardly getting enough time to recognize what is going on, and what is the proper return. Also, Simona Halep is usually playing with the spin/speed ratio of her balls in the first half of her matches, without serious redirections. This technical drill is almost invisible for many watchers, they are seeing only that her opponent is "producing many-many UNFORCED ERRORS". ;). In other words, this kind of forced errors are usually classified as unforced errors, but never mind.
 
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