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The relationship between court surface and tactics in tennis using a computerized scorebook.

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to use a newly developed computerised scorebook for tennis in order to clarify the characteristics of tennis tactics used on specific court surfaces. The authors developed a computerised scorebook for tennis that calculates the time duration of shots, points, and the time between points. Data were collected from matches played by male Japanese intercollegiate players. A total of 97 points were observed. Two observers (A, B) were recruited for recording matches using the scorebook. The mean error of observer A was 0.003±0.05 s, while the mean error of observer B was 0.02±0.10 s.

The computerised scorebook for tennis was used to collect data for clarifying the characteristics of tennis tactics used on specific court surfaces. Forty-one matches from the Grand Slam tournaments held in 2003 and 2004 were analyzed. The scorebook recorded the final shot of each point, the result of each point, and the time duration of each shot. The final shots were categorised into the following 5 groups: service, return of serve, ground strokes, attacking strokes, and defending strokes. The time between the impact of the serve and the impact of the return of serve determined the duration of service. The time duration of ground strokes was calculated as the time between the impact of one player and the impact of the other player. A chi-square test was used to compare the distribution of the final shots on each surface. An ANOVA test was conducted in order to compare the time duration on each surface and a Tukey's HSD test was used for multiple comparisons. For the last shot of each point, significant differences were observed between the court surface and the distribution of the type of stroke. The percentage of ground strokes was high on clay while the percentages for attacking and defending strokes were high on grass. Furthermore, the rate of service strokes was high on hard courts. The shot time duration of the 1st service was 0.91 s on clay, 0.71 s on grass, and 0.73 s on hard courts. The time duration of service on clay was significantly longer than the time durations observed on other surfaces. The time duration of ground strokes was 1.36 s on clay, 1.34 s on grass, and 1.35 s on hard courts. The time duration of ground strokes on clay was significantly longer than time durations observed on grass; however, the difference was only 2/100 of a second. Service and return of service strokes were important to the tactics used on grass and hard courts as players must react more quickly than on clay. Ground strokes were important on clay and hard courts, and the average time duration of ground strokes was equal on these surfaces.

Keywords: COURT SURFACE; TENNIS; TIMING FACTORS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-11-01

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