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How To Analyze A Tennis Match

Match analysis is crucial for the improvement of a tennis player. Any competitive match is the final test of how good the player is in the technical, tactical, mental and physical aspects of the game.

Too many times I've seen coaches and parents analyzing tennis matches only by watching them rather than taking methodical notes.

This creates a very biased analysis because our beliefs, predispositions and attitudes cause us to see what we want to see.

Instead, we need to analyze the match based on objective facts rather than subjective - and sometimes biased - opinions, and these facts need to be carefully and methodically noted during the match.

The Modified Aggressive Margin System

The match analysis you're about to see is based on the so called Aggressive Margin which I first learned from John Yandell.

I've modified his system, and here's how it works:

As you know, the official statistics of the match (often displayed on TV and on official tournament websites) count the number of winners (including on the service) and the number of unforced errors.

Stats from the Australian Open website

The main difference between the way official statistics are done and this system is done is that I also count shots that force errors. So, these are the shots that I believe forced the opponent to make a mistake.

These shots come into in the same category as winners; the player created and won the point. An unforced error . on the other hand, is a point that is "given" to the opponent where there is (at first glance) no ostensible reason for making the error.

I also look at the stroke with which the last point was made or lost. and note this in the table.

F stands for forehand, B for backhand, S for serve, Bv or Fv for volley, SM for smash, Br or Fr for return, Bp or Fp for passing shot, and I might add Fdrop or Bslice for forehand drop shot and backhand slice to be even more accurate in the analysis.

An example of the stats taken in one game of a match is as follows:

Category: Forex

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