The Magic Number One

Craig O'Shannessy

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What is the most common number of hits in pro points? Is that the same as average rally length?

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.

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Craig O'Shannessy is widely recognized as the world leader in analyzing tennis statistics, tennis strategy, and applying his insights in coaching. His research has uncovered the real magic numbers in winning tennis across all levels of the game. He writes for the ATP Tour website and the New York Times among others elite publications.

He has coached on the tour for 20 years working with players including Kevin Anderson, Amer Delic, and Rajeev Ram. His website Brain Game Tennis offers detailed analysis and training programs based on his research that have helped thousands of players around the world.

Click Here to visit Craig's site and check out his amazing training products!

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