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Sequences of service points and the misperception of momentum in elite tennis

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Previous performance analysis research has concluded that momentum exists in squash performance. However, these studies did not use the statistical procedures used in research into "streakiness" in sports performance. The purpose of the current investigation was to analyse sequences of service points in 13 elite men's singles tennis. Neither the chi square tests nor the Wald Wolfowitz run tests found any more sequences of points of the same outcome than would be expected by chance (p > 0.05). This suggests that there is no momentum in point sequences in elite men's singles tennis and that the widely held view of players, coaches, commentators and spectators that there is momentum in tennis performance is a misperception.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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