REFERENCES
(1) Cruz, S. http://ezinearticles.com/?Tennis---The-
Serve-How-Important-is-It?
(2) Loffing, F, Hagemann, N, St...
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THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE PATTERNS IN GRAND SLAM SINGLES TENNIS

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This study examines the relationship between service patterns and game advantage within the 2010 US Open. The objective of the study is to identify differences in serve placement and accuracy. This will be compared between winners and losers and men and women.

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Transcript of "THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE PATTERNS IN GRAND SLAM SINGLES TENNIS"

  1. 1. REFERENCES (1) Cruz, S. http://ezinearticles.com/?Tennis---The- Serve-How-Important-is-It? (2) Loffing, F, Hagemann, N, Strauss, B. The Serve in Professional Men’s Tennis. Int Jnl of Performance Analysis 9:255‐274, 2009 (3) Unierzyski, P and Wieczorek, A. Comparison of tactical solutions and game patterns in Grand Slam tennis. In Science and Rcket Sprts III Oxon: Routledge, 2004. pp. 169-174 CONCLUSION Performance analysis is the US Open displayed mixed results on service patterns. First serves land more often in the internal, external and deep zones, whereas second serves are placed in the centre. This supports previous findings that second serve accuracy becomes priority to avoid a double fault(3). The more difficult serve placement of first serves leads to aces or serve winners 30% of the time. In contrast, 35% of second serves were lost by the server. Despite first serve accuracy being paramount for consistent performance, winners and losers had the same first serve percentage of 67%. There was also no difference in winners and losers and their serve placement patterns. Regardless of this, winners were still more likely to win their service points which suggests that other factors such as shot selection, speed and rally performance contribute to success. The findings support the contention that successful first serves lead to a greater serve advantage. The advantage also exists more so for men than women. RESULTSINTRODUCTION The serve is one of the most important shots in tennis, constituting 60-65% of match play along with the return of serve(1). It gives the serving player an advantage by being in an attacking position from the beginning of the rally(2). A study on ball distribution of serves in Grand Slam singles finals found a variance in service patterns depending on the player, gender and court surface(3). This forms the basis of the present study. This study examines the relationship between service patterns and game advantage within the 2010 US Open, like that of previous research. The objective of the study is to identify differences in serve placement and accuracy. This will be compared between winners and losers and men and women. METHODS Male (N= 7) and female (N=4) players were analysed on serve (N=1005) during 6 matches from round 1 to the semi-finals of the 2010 US Open singles tennis. Coding of match footage was undertaken by a single analyst using a lapsed-time method from DVD recording. For each serve performed the following variables were recorded: • Position of the serve (Figure 1) • Serve outcome (first serve, second serve or double fault) • Point outcome (ace/serve winner- forced error on return of serve, win or loss) Jasmine BOURCHIER THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE PATTERNS IN GRAND SLAM SINGLES TENNIS Chi-square analysis showed a relationship between service placement and serve outcome (x2 (6) =1003, p<.001)(Figure 2). First serves were more likely to land deep (SR= 3.6) and in the internal (SR= 2.5) or external zones (SR: 2.7). In contrast second serves were more likely to land in the centre (SR= 4.7) . Point outcome was associated with serve outcome (x2(6) = 85, p<.001). 30% of first serves resulted in an ace or serve winner (SR= 2.8). A trend was also identified between second serves and losing the point (SR= 1.7) as this occurred 35% of the time. Results gave no suggestion that winners had a better first serve accuracy (x2 (2) =.068, p=.966). Both winners and losers served around 67% first serves, 30% second serves and 3.4% double faults. Surprisingly, analysis displayed no association between winners serving in more challenging placements, such as deep and in internal or external zones (x2(6) = .708, p=.400). email: U3024765@uni.canberra.edu.au Figure 2: Width and depth placement of first and second serves It was shown that 68% of service points were won by the winning player (SR= 1.9) as opposed to 52% of service points won by the losing player (SR:-1.7). Results showed no difference between genders and first or second serve accuracy (x2 (2) =4.04, p=1.33).There was however a trend towards men serving in the internal (SR= 1.6) and external zones (SR= 1.5). Women were also more likely to serve in the centre zone (SR= 3.1). Figure 3. Point outcome of men’s and women’s serves Overall men have less chance of losing service points (SR=-2) as opposed to women (SR= 3.2)(Figure 3). The ability of men to serve fast first serves in difficult placement zones aids them with a greater competitive advantage. Figure 1. Service box placement zones on the advantage side. E= External C= Centre I= Internal D= Deep E Coaches should employ a significant amount of time in developing an effective serve in terms of first serve accuracy and serve placement. The serve advantage increases their chance of winning serve and in turn the game. A series of chi-square tests in SPSS were conducted based on all categorical data. Trends or relationships between the above variables were analysed (alpha level of significance p<0.05).
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