SUCCESSFUL TACTICAL PLAYS OFF A SHORT BALL IN MEN’S GRAND SLAM TENNIS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The study used a notational analysis of male’s singles Grand Slam tennis at the US Open, 2013, between the third round and the final to derive the elite tactical intentions employed off a short ball and whether any were deemed significant to the outcome of the point. Short ball tactics were deemed important as 70% of all points resulted in victory for the player hitting off the short ball. Hitting down the line was found to be significant whether the player also hit back behind their opponent or into space irrespective of the outcome of the point (P< 0.001). Hitting to the opponent’s forehand or backhand was significant as to whether the player hit cross court or down the line in respect to the frequency of points that were won (P< 0.05). Approaching the net after hitting either back behind the opponent or into space, was significant as to whether the player also hit the ball to the opponent’s forehand or backhand in respect to the frequency of points that were won (P< 0.001). Approaching the net after either hitting the approach shot cross court or down the line was significant to the outcome of the point (P< 0.05). The paired variables independently compared to the outcome of the point showed no significant influence. These pairs were as follows: hitting to the forehand or backhand, cross court or down the line, back behind or into space, approaching the net or staying back. These results show that certain tactical intentions have a significant influence on the outcome of a point, especially the placement of the shot off the short ball when approaching the net.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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