The Effects of Gender on the Work to Rest Ratio of Elite Level Tennis Players
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The study investigated the work and rest data of elite tennis players at the ATP World tour finals and the WTA End of season championships of 2012, the two end of season tournaments involving the top eight male and female players in the world throughout the 2012 season. The aim was to examine if gender has an effect on the amount of time players work and rest within a three set tennis match. Matches were analysed using the studiocode system, collecting data of when the players were working and when the players were resting. The work periods were divided into two subsections, serve and rally. The rest periods were divided into four subsections; inter-serve, inter-point, inter-game and between end changes. The results show that significantly more male rallies (P<0.05), lasted less than two seconds, compared with females. There was also a significant difference (P<0.05), in the time taken serving throughout the matches being analysed, with females taking, on average, over 1.5s to perform their serve than their male counterparts. The other time variables analysed showed no significant differences between the male matches and the female matches. These variables included; mean rest time, mean work time, rally duration up to 16s plus, inter-serve time, interpoint time, inter-game time and time between end change. The similar level of ability between the males and females, as all players were ranked in the top 10 in the world, and the lack of variation in playing styles, as the majority of players played predominantly from the baseline, were put down as the key reasons for the similarities in the results. The findings of the investigation showed that for both male and female tennis players to be successful, they need to be able to use the three different energy systems; the ATP-PC system, anaerobic glycolysis and the aerobic system sufficiently. Key Words: Work: Rest ratio, Elite tennis, Time-motion analysis
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