Re(3): New Hall of Famer for Craig G re: Game Point winners Posted on February 11, 2018 at 08:22:00 PM by Craig G
This is a somewhat tricky topic. The real issue is the scoring system.
Because the winner of a given point STAYS on the court, and is assigned the role of SERVER, it tricks you into thinking that the 88% is related somehow to serve advantage.
But if we changed the rules so that the winner of a point became the RECEIVER on the next point, then the receivers would get the 88%. Maybe even higher if there are more doubles games than singles.
So the 88% figure actually has nothing to do with serving, per se.
However, I would like to address your singles vs doubles question.
When you think about some of the greatest serve-stealers in the history of the game, do you you think that it would be correct to give their receive-winning-percentage to an early game front who doesn't ever go anywhere near the serve?
Or how about the top fronts in the late game championship singles? Just thinking about Dania, if Arriaga, Egi, Diego, Erik and others have their 'Serve and Take Control' game polished to perfection, should we go ahead and project that rate of winning on serve to the incomparably less skilled early game backs in game 1?
Not if we want to win.
Jose M Goitia, in his book, "Jai-Alai: The Other Side of the Screen", objected that "They don't see us as individuals". He didn't mean that in terms of S / R bias, but the complaint still applies.
So I think that the key is to ascertain the general bias in singles and doubles, think about WHY it exists, and then modify it on a per player basis.
But for a final thought, consider that even working out the general S / R bias is trickier than you think.
Let's imagine a singles player who is a whole level ahead of his competition in his all-court skills. But his serve is just ok. Every time he wins a point, he is assigned to serve where he wins again. And again. Nothing to do with the actual serve, but when you add up a bunch of point results from his games, you would say, "Wow, the servers are really kicking ass!". But the truth is that the better players are kicking it, and when they do, they get to serve more than the weaker guys, who typically receive once and then leave the court. Even the beloved partido system has this flaw. (but hurray for tennis, which doesn't)
So IMO, the truth is out there, but not on a silver platter.
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