The Magic Number One
In the first article I gave an overview of what I called the new magic numbers in tennis. Compiled from all the levels of tennis, these numbers included average rally length, the dominant role of errors in determining outcome, and the surprising effectiveness of net approaches. (Click Here.)
This new statistical perspective is turning the way the game is understood and coached upside down. But now let's look at probably the most shocking number of all from this research.
That number is the most common rally length. By that I don't mean the average rally length, but the most common number of times the ball is struck in a point. The most common number of hits.
The question is whether this number is the same, more, or less than the average rally length? I like to ask this question at coaching conventions. Most coaches will say that that the most common number of hits in a point is somewhere between 4 and 6. This I hear even from coaches who are working on the tour.