The patterns of play of elite male tennis players from France, Spain and the USA
Deem, James Philip
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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A notational analysis was conducted to compare the patterns of play of elite male tennis players from different countries. Data was collected on players from France (n=6), Spain (n=5) and the USA (n=6). These countries were studied due to their dominance in world tennis. All players used had an ATP entry ranking inside the world's top 112. Ten sets of data were collected for each country in 2003, from tournaments played on hardcourt surfaces around the world. Post-match analysis was carried out using video recordings from television and the data entered into a database for subsequent query. Chi-square analysis found significant differences in the patterns of play of elite male players from France, Spain and the USA Results revealed that Spain served and volleyed significantly less (P<0.05) and played significantly more shots at the back of the court (P<0.05) than France and the USA. In addition, Spain played significantly less volleys (P<0.05) and made more unforced errors when volleying (P<0.05). Data was discussed in terms of the reflection the results had on the surfaces played upon in the respective countries and of the coaching they may have received. It was concluded that Spain preferred the baseline rallying style of play in comparison to France and the USA who employed more variety in their patterns of play. However, further research is required into the analysis of the patterns of play of performers from different countries. Future study may want to investigate coaching styles in respective countries to find empirical support for variations in patterns of play.
BSc (Hons) Sport, P.E. and Education
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