Comparison of serve and serve return statistics of high performance male and female tennis players from different age-groups
The serve and the serve return performance of professional, high performance Under-16 and high performance Under-12 male and female players was examined. Collectively, the players served approximately 60% of their first serves in. A significant gender by player group interaction was found for serving aces. Male professionals served significantly more aces than the Under-16 and Under-12 male players (p < .001) and female professional players (p < .004). Female professional players served more aces than the Under-12 female players (p < .003). Independent of gender, player group differences were noted with professionals serving significantly fewer double faults, winning a significantly greater percentage of points on first serve, and winning significantly more points on second serve return than the Under-16 and Under-12 groups (p < .001). The professionals also won a significantly higher percentage of points on second serve return than first serve return (p < .004). However, the male professionals won significantly fewer points on first serve return compared to all other groups (p < .001). The findings point to both age-group and gender differences in the way that the serve and serve return are used in matchplay. Coaches should be aware of these differences and structure their players training accordingly.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-08-01