Set-to-set Performance Variation in Tennis Grand Slams: Play with Consistency and Risks

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Yixiong Cui, Haoyang Liu, Miguel-Angel Gomez, Hongyou Liu, Bruno Goncalves

The study analysed the set-to-set variation in performance using match statistics of 146 completed main-draw matches in Australian Open and US Open 2016-2017 men’s singles. Comparisons of technical-tactical and physical performance variables were done between different sets; and the within-match coefficients of variation (CV) of these variables were contrasted between match winning and losing players. All comparisons were realized via standardized (Cohen’s d) mean differences and uncertainty in the true differences was assessed using non-clinical magnitude-based inferences. Results showed that there was possibly to very likely decreases in the serve, net and running related variables (mean difference, ±90%CL: -0.16, ±0.14 to -0.45, ±0.24, small) and an increase in the return and winner related variables (0.17, ±0.24 to 0.24, ±0.14, small) in the last sets when compared to the initial sets, indicating the influence of match fatigue and the player’s choice of match tactics and pacing strategy. Besides, winning players were revealed to have lower CV values in most of performance variables (-0.16, ±0.24 to -0.82, ±0.23, small to moderate) except for the second serve, winner, and physical performance variables (0.25, ±0.26 to 1.6, ±0.25, small to large), indicating that they would sacrifice the consistency to gain more aggressiveness and to dominate the match
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0140
Key words
performance profile, match statistics, analysis, winner

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