FAQ for rec.sport.tennis (6/6) - Miscellaneous

From: cs30@oit.gatech.edu (C G Smith)
Newsgroups: rec.sport.tennis,rec.answers,news.answers
Subject: FAQ for rec.sport.tennis (6/6) - Miscellaneous
Supersedes: <sports/tennis-faq/rankings_883995341@rtfm.mit.edu>
Followup-To: poster
Date: 3 May 1998 11:47:01 GMT
Organization: none
Expires: 16 Jun 1998 11:45:47 GMT
Message-ID: <sports/tennis-faq/rankings_894195947@rtfm.mit.edu>
Summary: Answers to frequently asked questions about tennis, including
         information about professional tournaments, rankings and players.
X-Last-Updated: 1998/05/02

Archive-name: sports/tennis-faq/rankings

                   FAQ for rec.sport.tennis -- File 6 of 6
                      Table of Contents - File 6

   File    Item    Title                                                 
     6      6.1    Tennis Elbow  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
            6.2    USTA Self Rating System . . . . . . . . . . . .    
            6.3    USTA Rules and Code On-Line . . . . . . . . . .    
            6.4    Origin of Scoring System in Tennis  . . . . . .    
            6.5    Tennis Tie-Break Rules  . . . . . . . . . . . .    
            6.6    Dimensions of a Tennis Court  . . . . . . . . .   
            6.7    Professional Tournament Seeding . . . . . . . .    
            6.8    World Team Tennis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   
            6.9    Common Pro Tennis Acronyms  . . . . . . . . . .   

            A.1    Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    


 6.1                        Tennis Elbow

The following information, compiled by David Poyourow (poy@irvine.dg.com),
may be useful to readers suffering from tennis elbow.

Tips for alleviating tennis elbow:

 + Ultimately, you have to rest it for a long time for it to recede.

 + A doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatories like naprosin, although
   you might find ibuprofin works for you.  A doctor can also give a
   shot of cortisone, or even arthroscopic surgury for it, but that is
   treating the symptom, not the cause.

 + Stretch the tendon before you play by extending your elbow and then
   extending and flexing your wrist.

 + Ice your elbow down after you play.

 + Strengthen your grip to relieve the stress on your elbow with one of
   those blobs or springs you crush in your hand.

 + Relearn your strokes to remove 'wristy-ness'.  Use a locked wrist
   type stroke.

 + Try a shock absorber on the strings.

 + I have done all of the above and my elbow seldom bothers me; however,
   once you get it, you will always have a tendency to have it.

 + Those bands that people put on their forearms change the position of
   the tendon, which allows you to abuse a fresh part of the tendon;
   perhaps while doing this, the old irritated part will heal.


 6.2                    USTA Self Rating System

Self-Rating Guidelines:

The National Tennis Rating Program provides a simple, initial self-placement
method of grouping individuals of similar ability levels for league play,
tournament, group lessons, social competition and club or community programs.

The rating categories are generalizations about skill levels. You may find
that you actually play above or below the category which best describes your
skill level, depending on your competitive ability. The category you choose
is not meant to be permanent, but may be adjusted as your skills change or as
your match play demonstrates the need for reclassification. Ultimately, your
rating is based upon your results in match play.

To place yourself:

   A.  Begin with 1.0. Read all the categories carefully and then decide
       which one best describes your present ability level. If your abilities
       range between two catagories, then choose the lower one.

   B.  Be certain that you qualify on all points of all preceding categories
       as well as those in the classification you choose.

   C.  When rating yourself assume you are playing against a player of the
       same sex and the same ability.

   D.  Your self-rating may be verified by a teaching professional, coach,
       league coordinator or other qualified expert.

   E.  The person in charge of your tennis program has the right to reclassify
       you based upon match results, if your self-placement is thought to be

Rating Categories:

1.0    This player is just starting to play tennis.

1.5    This player has limited playing experience and is still working
       primarily on getting the ball into play.                           

2.0    This player needs on-court experience.  This player has obvious
       stroke weaknesses but is familiar with basic positions for singles
       and doubles play.

2.5    This player is  learning to judge where the ball is going although
       court coverage is weak.  This player can sustain a slow rally with
       other players of same ability.

3.0    This player is consistent when hitting medium pace shots, but is
       not comfortable with all strokes and lacks control when trying for
       a directional intent, depth, or power.

3.5    This player has achieved improved stroke dependability and direction
       on moderate pace shots, but still lacks depth and variety.  This
       player exhibits more aggressive net play, has improved court coverage,
       and is developing teamwork in doubles.

4.0    This player has dependable strokes, including directional intent,
       on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, plus the
       ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with
       some success.  This player occasionally forces errors when serving
       and teamwork in doubles is evident.

4.5    This player has begun to master the use of power and spins and is 
       beginning to handle pace, has sound footwork, can control depth of
       shots, and is beginning to vary tactica according to opponents. 
       This player can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place
       the second serve and is able to rush the net successfully.          

5.0    This player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an
       outstanding shot or attribute around which a game may be structured.
       This player can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short
       balls, can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop
       shots, half volleys and overhead smashes, and has good depth and
       spin on most second serves.

5.5    This player has developed power and/or consistency as a major weapon.
       This player can vary strategies and styles of play in a competitive
       situation and hits dependable shots in a stress situation.

6.0    These players will generally not need NRTP rankings.  Rankings or
to     past rankings will speak for themselves.  The 6.0 player typically
7.0    has had intensive training for national tournament competition at
       the junior level and collegiate levels and has obtained a sectional
       or national ranking.  The 6.5 player has a reasonable chance of
       succeeding at the 7.0 level and has extensive satellite tournament
       experience.  The 7.0 is a world class player who is committed to
       tournament competition on the international level and whose major
       source of income is tournament prize winnings.

       With this list you can rate yourself. Should you realize that your
abilities range between two categories, then the lower one should be used
to determine your playing level.

Have fun and keep enjoying this great sport.


 6.3                  USTA Rules and Code Online

For those who wish to obtain an online copy of the complete USTA Rules
and Code, this information is now available via the World Wide Web:
    <URL:http://www.tennisserver.com/rules.html>    (Rules)
    <URL:http://www.tennisserver.com/code.html>     (Code)


 6.4           Origin of the Scoring System in Tennis

The traditional scoring system in a tennis game is 15-30-40-deuce-ad-game.
The scoring system is said to derive from the usage of the four quarters
of a clock (15-30-45-60) used to score a game in the pre-modern era.  60
would signify game, while 45 was, in time, "shortened" to 40.

A common (but unproven) explanation for the term "love" to signify a
score of zero is that it originates from the French term "l'oeuf."
Another explanation is based on the idea that to do something for love
is to do something for nothing (zero).

The tie-break in tennis originated with Jimmy Van Alen in the late 1960s.
Van Alen wished to eliminate interminable deuce sets (sets where the score
reaches 5 games all and, under traditional rules, play continues until the
winner of the set acquires a two-game advantage).  

After some experimentation at Newport, R.I., a "sudden death" tie-break
was introduced at the US Open in 1970.  The winner of the tie-break was
the first person to reach five points with an advantage of at least one.
The current version of the tie-break -- first to seven with an advantage
of two -- was implemented in 1975.


 6.5                     Tennis Tie-Break Rules
                           (Source: USTA)

If announced in advance of the match, a tie-break game operates when the
score reaches six games all in any set.

In singles, the player who first wins seven points wins the game and the
set provided he or she leads by a margin of two points. If the score reaches
six points all the game is extended until this margin has been achieved.
Numerical scoring is used throughout the tie-break. The player whose turn
it is to serve is the Server for the first point; his or her opponent is the
Server for the second and third points; and, thereafter, each player serves
alternately for two consecutive points until the winner of the game and set
has been decided.

In doubles, the player whose turn it is to serve is the Server for the
first point. Thereafter, each player serves in rotation for two points,
in the same order as determined previously in that set, until the winners
of the game and set have been decided.

Starting with the first point, each service is delivered alternately from
the right and left courts, beginning from the right court. The first Server
serves the first point from the right court; the second Server serves the
second and third points from the left and right courts respectively; the
next Server serves the fourth and fifth points from the left and right
courts, respectively; and so on.

Players change ends after every six points and at the conclusion of the
tie-break game. The player (or doubles pair) who served first in the
tie-break shall receive service in the first game of the following set.
(In other words, the tie-break counts as a service game for the player
who serves the first ball.)


 6.6                 Dimensions of a Tennis Court

The singles court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long and 27 feet (8.23 m) wide.
The doubles court is 36 feet (10.97 m) wide (thus the doubles alleys
are about 4-1/2 feet - 1.37 m - wide).

The service lines on either side of the net are at a distance of 21
feet (6.40 m) from the net. The center service line is halfway between
the singles (or doubles) sidelines.

The net is supported by two net posts (at least three feet - 0.91 m -
outside the doubles sideline - or 3 feet outside the singles sideline
for a singles-only court) to a height of 3-1/2 feet (1.07 m) and
supported at the center service line to a height of 3 feet by a white
strap.  Additionally, for singles matches, the net is supported by two
"singles sticks" (posts) about 3 feet outside the singles sidelines to
a height of 3-1/2 feet.

The ITF stipulates that for ITF competitions (the Grand Slams and Davis
and Federation Cups) the space behind the baseline should be at least
21 feet (6.40 m) and the space outside of the furthest sideline should
be at least 12 feet (3.66 m).


 6.7                Professional Tournament Seeding

The following diagram shows the typical formula used to determine the
draws for 16-seed men's and women's tournaments (for meetings in the
round-of-16).  Sometimes there are some minor modifications employed;
e.g, the #3/4 seed might be placed in the part of a quarter opposite
the indicated position.

As indicated, more restrictions are placed on men's draws.  For instance,
in a men's draw, the only seeded player #1 and #2 can possibly meet in the
round of 16 is either #15 or #16; whereas, in a women's draw, #1 and #2
can meet any one among the #9 to #16 range.

In general, women's seeds are distributed such that seed #n and seed #(n+1)
are distributed in opposite halves of the draw, where n is an odd number.

        Seedings and draw information for 16-seed pro tournaments

    Women            Men

      1               1    --------+
 one of 9-16      15 or 16 --------+        |
 one of 9-16       9 or 10 --------+        |        |
                                   |--------+        |
 one of 5-8        7 or 8  --------+                 |
   3 or 4          3 or 4  --------+                 |        |
                                   |--------+        |        |
 one of 9-16      13 or 14 --------+        |        |        |
                                            |--------+        |
 one of 9-16      11 or 12 --------+        |                 |
                                   |--------+                 |
 one of 5-8        5 or 6  --------+                          |
 one of 5-8        5 or 6  --------+                          |
                                   |--------+                 |
 one of 9-16      11 or 12 --------+        |                 |
                                            |--------+        |
 one of 9-16      13 or 14 --------+        |        |        |
                                   |--------+        |        |
   3 or 4          3 or 4  --------+                 |        |
 one of 5-8        7 or 8  --------+                 |
                                   |--------+        |
 one of 9-16      9 or 10  --------+        |        |
 one of 9-16      15 or 16 --------+        |
     2                2    --------+


 6.8                       World Team Tennis

World Team Tennis is a concept, devised by Billie Jean King, which came to
fruition in the 1970's and has recently made somewhat of a comeback.  World
Team Tennis was at it's peak in the mid 1970's, with the likes of Evert,
Connors, and Borg among its ranks.  The concept gradually died for various
reasons in the late 70's but has been revised in a scaled-down form.

The basic Team Tennis concept is as follows: The Team Tennis franchise is
similar to US baseball and football, where teams based in various US cities
compete against one another.  Unlike baseball and football, team members get
paid based on their performance rather than a fixed amount.  Bonuses are also
awarded to playoff teams and to the award winners (Most Valuable Player,
Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year).  In 1995, a rookie could earn up to
$57,500 while a returning player could earn up to $53,500.  Teams consist
of two male and two female players plus a coach.  Each team usually has one
local player of each gender who serves as an alternate at home matches.

There are two five-team divisions.  Teams play two teams in the other
division only once while playing home and away against the other seven
teams, over a 4-week period following Wimbledon. The division winners, two
wild card teams (teams having the best records among the remainder), and the
Championship weekend host team square off in single-elimination playoffs at
the end of this period.  The champion for the season is the team surviving the
single-elimination playoff tournament.

A Team Tennis match consists of five sets: one set each of men's and women's
singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles.  The order of match
play is doubles-singles-doubles-singles-doubles, with the coach of the host
team determining the exact order of sets (e.g., women's doubles first). Prior
to each set, a certain amount of time is allowed for player warmups. A change
of sides occurs every fourth game after a set starts, rather than every odd
game played.  The scoring is "no-ad," meaning that 40-40 is a "game point"
instead of deuce.  If the set score reaches 5-5, a 9-point tie-break is played
(first to 5 points with an advantage of only 1 point required) to determine
the winner of the set.  Match score is determined by total games won by a
team, not by how many sets are won.

At the close of the match, the team leading in games won must win the last
game played to win the match.  Otherwise, fifth-set play continues until this
happens or until each team is equal in number of games won.  In the latter
case, a 13-point super tie-break is then played to determine the match winner.


 6.9                 Common Pro Tennis Acronyms

The following are some of the acronyms you may see in a discussion of pro
tennis and their meanings:

    ATP -   ATP Tour, the men's professional tennis organization.
            The ATP Tour includes tour events outside of the Grand
            Slam events, Grand Slam Cup, and Davis Cup.  Mark Miles
            is the current CEO of the ATP Tour.

    WTA -   COREL WTA TOUR, the women's professional tennis
            organization.  The COREL WTA TOUR includes Grand Slam
            events and the Fed Cup.  Ric Clarson is the current
            Chief Executive Officer of this body, succeeding  
            Anne Person Worcester in early 1998.

    WTC   - Women's Tennis Council - A board comprised of executive
            types from the WTA (4), directors of women's tournaments
            (4), and the ITF (see below - 2), that carries a lot of
            weight in the organization and politics of women's tennis.
            There is no equivalent in the men's game (although there
            used to be).  As of 1995, the WTC was renamed as the
            WTA TOUR Council.

    ITF   - International Tennis Federation - the body that oversees
            the Grand Slams, Grand Slam Cup, Davis & Federation Cup,
            and the Olympics.

    IMG   - International Management Group - one of the large Sports
            Management agencies that manage the affairs of a large
            number of tennis players and run some of the pro tournament
            events.  Advantage International and ProServ are the other
            main Agencies with tennis playing clients, although there
            are also a number of smaller agencies.

    USPTA - United States Professional Tennis Association.
    USPTR - United States Professional Tennis Registry.
    USRSA - United States Racquet Stringers Association.



 -A1- The following individuals contributed to this FAQ or provided
      significant information used in compiling portions of the FAQ:

        Christopher Smith                Shun Cheung                  
        Natasha Austria                  Vijay Baliga                 
        Roberto Barros                   Clark Coleman                
        Arijit Das                       Mike Horgan                  
        Srinivasamurthy Kasibhotla       Larry Larson
        Jimmy Lim                        Charles Lin                  
        Mei-Ling Liu                     David Poyourow               
        Glenn Stein                      Dan Simoes                   
        Howard Zivotofsky                Albert Murdiono
        Alan Vinh



  This FAQ is intended solely for the private use of individuals and may be
  distributed on a non-profit basis.  The authors request that the FAQ be
  distributed in its entirety.