How are elite tennis matches won at Wimbledon? A comparison of close and one-sided contests.

FITZPATRICK, Anna, STONE, Joseph, CHOPPIN, Simon and KELLEY, John (2024). How are elite tennis matches won at Wimbledon? A comparison of close and one-sided contests. European Journal of Sport Science.

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Notational analysis investigations of several sports have suggested that the performance characteristics associated with success differ by match closeness. It is not known whether this is the case in tennis. Therefore, this study aimed to first develop operational definitions for closely contested and one-sided tennis matches, then establish whether the important performance characteristics in elite grass court tennis differ by match closeness. Data from 365 men’s and 374 women’s Wimbledon singles matches played between 2015 and 2017 were analysed. Irrespective of match closeness, points won of 0-4 shot rally length, first serve points won and baseline points won were associated with winning matches, and forced errors and unforced errors were associated with losing matches, for both sexes. Spearman’s rank-order correlations demonstrated excellent agreement between the importance of the performance characteristics in closely contested and one-sided men’s (rs = 0.89, p < 0.001) and women’s matches (rs = 0.90, p < 0.001), respectively. Findings suggest that expected match closeness (of an upcoming match) should not necessarily influence decision-making around practice design and match-play strategy. Additionally, the operational definitions developed for closely contested and one-sided matches developed here could be used in future studies to investigate different competitive contexts

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0913 Mechanical Engineering; 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences; Sport Sciences; 4207 Sports science and exercise; 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2023 13:11
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2024 11:15

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