Vermittlung im Tennis: Zur Effektivität des Aufschlags im Weltklasse-Tennis: Analysen und Konsequenzen für das Training

Publication: Book/ReportDissertations

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No matter which level of tennis you play, every game and every rally will start with a serve. This applies to junior or adult tennis, to men’s and women’s tennis, to amateur and competitive sports. Accordingly, the serve as an opening shot is of great importance per se. In addition, the serve is the only shot that can be executed with no influence by the opponent and from a self-selected (standing) position. If one considers the rally length in modern (professional) tennis, where regardless if in women’s and men’s tennis 70% of the rallies are finished within 0-4 successful shots, the unique position of the serve becomes increasingly clear, which is why it seems only logical/consequent that the serve is considered the most important shot in modern tennis.
The present cumulative doctoral thesis/dissertation aims to record and analyse the historical development (and their potentially increased importance) of serve efficiency in elite women’s and men’s tennis, compare the gender-specific developments and transfer potential findings into gender-specific coaching implications. Adding to this, a new approach, which hasn’t been used in the existing literature before, was chosen, by directly comparing the 1st and 2nd week match statistics/parameters of the most important tournament in professional tennis, the All England Championships of Wimbledon. Studies I and II include all played men’s and women’s main draw singles matches at Wimbledon over the course of 14 years (between 2002 and 2015), whereas study III compares the gender-specific developments during that time span.
Results of study I show significantly improved serve efficiency over the course of the analysed period of time, while the usage rate of the Serve & Volley strategy significantly decreased, even though the winning percentages remained on the same, successful level. Direct comparison within the men’s world class shows one-sided (significant) advantages in favour of the men competing in the 2nd week of the tournament, which relates to increased importance of serve efficiency ‘en route’ to winning a title at the highest possible stage in men’s professional tennis. Results of study II indicate an extended women’s world class cohort. Similar to men’s results in study I, findings show significantly increased serve efficiency during the analysed period of time, which all relate to players competing in the 1st tournament week. Results of the third study, show one-sided advantages in favour of men’s vs. women’s serve efficiency developments, being significant regarding the quality of 2nd serves and the percentage of double faults. All in all, no analysed parameter, significant or not, shows advantages in favour of women’s vs. men’s professional players.
Match statistics as regular part of media coverage, but also being key elements for match analyses and practice improvements in professional tennis, allow fans/spectators profound insights, players and coaches focused/purposeful analyses of their own (and obviously their opponents) matches, weaknesses and strengths and scientists a selective scientific discussion of the developments in elite modern tennis and in sports in general. With regards to the results of this doctoral thesis, descriptive findings of the long-term analyses and the significant main results of the statistical analyses seem beneficial. Results of study I can be transferred as orientational guideline in competitive and professional men’s tennis, whereas results of study II can be transferred directly to competitive and professional women’s tennis. Findings of the gender-specific comparison of study III imply a development deficit regarding the quality of 2nd serves in professional women’s tennis (compared to men’s development over the same period of time), which consequent leads to a potential need of prioritizing or changing the way of training 2nd serves in competitive and professional women’s tennis.

Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages89
Publication statusPublished - 2022