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The Importance of Service in Grand Slam Singles Tennis

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It is established that the serving player wins more points in elite tennis than the receiving player. However, it is not certain whether the advantage of serve relates to the number of aces and serve winners that are played, or if the server's advantage persists as rallies go to 3 or more shots. Data from 214 serving performances of at least 36 points were used from Grand Slam singles tennis matches played in 2007. In men's singles, the advantage of serve still existed in points of 3 to 4 shots on first serve but not on second serve. On second serve, men lost the advantage of serve once the rally reached a third shot. By contrast in women's singles, the advantage of serve was lost after the first 2 shots of the rally when the first serve was in and there was no significant serve advantage when a second serve was required. The first serve in men's singles tennis at Grand Slam tournaments gives the server such an advantage that the 62.4% of points of 3 to 4 shots that are won is significantly greater than the 49.7% of points won if the rally lasts for 5 or more shots.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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