International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online)

The Effect of Pressure on Mixed-Strategy Play in Tennis: The Effect of Court Surface on Service Decisions
Brett James Bailey, Joseph P. McGarrity

Abstract
This study finds support for mixed strategy play by professional tennis players choosing where to locate their serves. However, we find that servers are less able to adopt optimal strategies when they face more pressure. We use the type of court surface to proxy different levels of stress faced by players serving the ball. Court surfaces that allow more aces put more pressure on the server to hit a good serve, simply because serves are more important on these surfaces. We find that as servers face more pressure, they tend to hit the serve to an opponent’s backhand too often.

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