Playing in a consolation/backdraw bracket in a USTA tournament can be dodgy at best… you are “second class citizens” when it comes to scheduling, frequently you have to play an abbreviated scoring match, and your opponents sometimes blow off their obligations and cancel at the last minute. What can be done?
Tournament player Winder Bill has a novel suggestion for the mid-level competitors. He was flying out to California to play a National Hardcourt tournament and writes:
“There comes a point in the backdraw if you keep winning where a value judgment must be made on continuing to play. For me, I will not play a backdraw match if I have to add the expense of changing flights, and add additional hotel room expense to the close to $2,000 I am already paying for flights, hotel, and rental car.
“I will joyously do it if still in main draw but a potential Friday backdraw match has 3 possible outcomes under our current system.
- I lose. End of story;
- I am winning but default on last point so opponent can keep playing and next round player does not get default;
- I win and create a default in the draw.
Creating Lucky Losers
“My proposal is to add another option: the lucky loser option. I win, immediately tell my opponent and the tournament that I am pulling out, and the loser stays in the draw.”
Winder, it is an interesting idea that lets the “winner” play as hard as he can to get as far as he can; but lets an interested “loser” continue and earn more points.
Main Draw Option
Why not have the same option in the main draw? In one tournament, my partner and I had a “walkover” because the winning/opposing team got injured during their victory and could not continue.
Why not have a “Lucky Loser Window” of time (say 4 hours) and if the player(s) default during that time after their victory, the player(s) they beat can still move forward in the draw???
Know someone who should read this? Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com
Christmas gift? If you are looking for something to give a tennis-playing friend, consider my book, “Senior Tennis.” Available at Amazon.com, through a number of tennis clubs/shops (see the list at “My Book” on my website), or just see me!