How the Importance of the Serve Varies between Gender and Different Court surfaces
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this study was to see how the importance of the serve varies between different Grand Slam court surfaces and gender using up to date information. The study analysed male and female matches taking place at the 2013 Grand Slams; Australian Open (N=88 male, N=91 female), French Open (N=88 male, N=86 female), Wimbledon (N=69 male, N=69 female) and the US Open (N=88 male, N=78 female). The data regarding the key performance indicators being analysed were collected through IBM Pointstream. Matches were excluded from the study, if a match was not complete due to an injury or any other reason. Sometimes IBM Pointstream did not have all the service data and these matches were also excluded from the analysis. The data gathered was put into the SPSS statistical package to allow for analysis. A Mann-Whitney U test was carried out to see if there were any significant differences (p<0.05) between genders at the found Grand Slams. A series of Kruskal-Wallis H tests followed between the four Grand Slams, one for males and another for females. Finally if a significant difference was observed (p<0.05), a series of Mann Whitney-U tests were carried out between each tournament where a performance indicator was significant. P values of less than 0.008 were considered as significant. This study found that the likelihood of winning a point whilst serving was influenced by both gender and tournament. It showed that the importance of the serve is greater for males than females as significantly less breaks of serves or occur (p=0.000). The serve is also the most important for both males and females at Wimbledon with serves reaching their highest velocities (Male = 184.4kmh, Female = 158.5kmh) and more aces (Male = 10, Female = 5) occurring on this surface. A consistent finding was that players win more points on serve than when receiving making it a pivotal shot within tennis. This study has laid a base for future research and It can help coaches and players in there preparation and tactics for each Grand Slam tournament.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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