Tennis Stats – The Power of a Graph for Comparison

HomeStats and GraphsTennis Stats – The Power of a Graph for Comparison

Tennis stats produced on a screen serve a purpose, particularly when one looks at percentages. Nothing is more powerful, however, than looking at graphs of their tennis match. That statement is especially true for children.

Recently, I recorded a best of three set match where the first two sets were split. The graphs of each set revealed something very powerful.

Using the GT STATS Scroller to View Different Stages of a Match

In the case of this match, we viewed the graphs set by set. When we designed GT STATS, we wanted users to be able to view graphs at ANY point in a match.

The scroller can be found on all GT STATS graphs. Just slide each button to the game score from which you want the stats to start. Then slide the other button to your desired end point. Choose ANY start and end point you wish. Select a single game if you like.

For the purposes of this exercise, we scrolled from the beginning of the match to the end of the first set, then from the end of the first set to the end of the second set.

The Power of the Graph

The graphs below are the first two sets of a match played by two 14s players.

First set stats and graph of a junior tennis match
Second Set stats and graph of a junior tennis match

The first thing to note is that you can’t see the game score. The first set went to a tiebreaker and was won 7/6 by Junior One.

Before revealing the score in the second set, cast your eye over the side-by-side graphs. Note that there’s very little difference between the red and green bars for each shot for Junior One over the two sets. Junior Two shows very little difference for all shots EXCEPT the forehand. Junior Two made far less errors from that side while keeping their winners/forced errors fairly high.

So, having identified the difference in the stats, here’s the score in set two: 6/1 to Player Two.

That’s a massive turn-around in scoreline as a result of one shot from one player. Junior One doesn’t look to have changed his game much at all. Junior Two has made a change to one shot. To see what that change was, have a look at the Unforced Error location graph below. The bulk of forehand errors went wide (the long red bar in the lower chart).

Note the unforced error location graph separates forehands from forehand returns. The Summary graph adds them together.

Error location graph illustrates Player Two was going for too much

Implications for Junior Tennis Players

As a coach, I’ve been showing those side-by-side graphs to my tournament level players all week. Knowing that an improvement to one shot can make such a huge difference to the scoreline is something that’s not lost on juniors.

It reinforces the need for them to think their way through a match. It also shows them that minor changes can sometimes be all it takes to turn a heartbreaking loss in the first set tiebreak into a second set that looks like a thumping.

Show children tennis stats that mean something.

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