Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Aim and research questions
To investigate technical performance in three different tennis competitions (ATP Masters AM, Falu Future, FF & Swedish youth national championships, YNC) by collecting data of point characteristics.
Are there any differences or similarities between the competitions analyzed concerning type of shots or shot combinations used, from which hitting zone on the tennis court the shots or shot combinations are hit and the placement of the different shots when scoring points?
Are there any differences or similarities between the competitions analyzed concerning number of valid shots over the net in a rally?
Are there any differences or similarities between the competitions analyzed concerning number of errors (forced and unforced) and winning shots committed in matches?
The sample consisted of a total of 24 matches with 40 different players from three different tournaments which were analyzed using notational analysis software (Dartfish, version 8, Switzerland). Total number of points analyzed were 3154 (AM, n = 968, FF, n = 1068, YNC, n = 1118). Data were compiled in Excel (2013) and descriptive analyses were performed in IBM SPSS Statistics 24. Statistical analyses looking for overall significant differences between the groups were made using Chi square cross tab test. Due to the number of statistical tests that were performed for each domain in the post hoc test, an adjusted significance level of p < 0.001 was used to reduce the risk of Type 1 error.
Significant differences were observed between groups for serve placement, shot used after hitting a serve, type of 2nd last and last shot used, hitting zone and placement by the point winner on last shots. Rallies of longer duration were significantly more frequent in the AM & FF groups compared to the YNC group. Concerning serve outcome, serve return, return placement, shot after serve placement, shot combinations, length on 2nd last and last shot, unforced, forced errors and winners no statistical differences were observed between groups.
This study indicates that higher demands are placed on placement accuracy in the ATP masters and Falu Future tournaments, specifically for the serve, but also for groundstrokes compared to the Swedish youth national championships tournament. This knowledge can be used to identify technical skills and physiological abilities that are important to practise in order to improve performance in tennis on different levels.
Tennis, performance analysis, technical, demands, notational.