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A comparative analysis of the spatial distributions of the serve return

Hizan, H., Whipp, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-5895-2667, Reid, M. and Wheat, J. (2014) A comparative analysis of the spatial distributions of the serve return. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 14 (3). pp. 884-893.

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The execution of the serve return is of particular importance given the increasing serve speeds that characterise modern tennis. The spatial distributions of the serve return at the professional level and between two age groups of high performance players (i.e., Under-16 and Under-12) were analysed to determine whether the location of a serve-return was independent of or related to, the gender of the player. Chi-square analysis revealed significant differences in the distribution of first serve-return across the three serve-return locations to wide serves between the male and female Under-16 players (p< .001) and between the male and female Under-12 players (p< .001). When only points won by the returner were considered, no relationship was found between locations of serve-returns and winning the point of the male and female professional, Under-16 and Under-12 players. It was also revealed that professional players attacked second serves by directing second serve returns to the corners of the court These findings aid coaches to value how the serve-return strategies of players may evolve with age and vary with gender — in line with variables of technical skill development and the game’s temporal demands.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Cardiff Metropolitan University
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