Every week, Tennis Analytics dives deep into the data, bringing you a stat of the week to help you understand tennis better and become a little smarter on court.
Stat of the Week: 40%
In contrast to the men, where the largest proportion of return errors occurred from the forehand regardless of court, the women make more return errors when pulled wide in both the deuce and ad courts.
40% of return errors are hit from out wide near the doubles alley.
- In the deuce court, most errors occur on forehand returns from the AA zone.
- In the ad court, most errors occur on backhand returns from the DD zone.
Overall, just over half (52%) of return errors occurred on the forehand side for the women.
Where are most return errors missed? Out OR in the net?
Like the men, most return errors are out (either wide or long). Those account for more than double the amount hit in the net.
According to our data, 12% of returns have “No Placement”, that is, they were framed or “shanked”. This is 4x the percentage for the men.
Point of the Week
As mentioned many times before in the Stat of the Week, the return is arguably the most important shot in tennis, yet the least practiced.
How often do you have someone serve as wide as possible to you on both deuce and ad sides in practice?
It’s easier to just groove the easy returns in practice. Many players don’t even get this far, and only hit returns in matches.
Here’s a return game to try in practice. Have your practice partner serve from the service line and aim wide.
- Play regular games.
- The server can move forward only after the returner makes contact.
- The returner works on making the opponent play the next ball, and aiming down the middle of the court to B or C.
Related Reading: How to Improve Your Return Strategy in Singles
Where do you make most of your return errors? Purchase your player package to find out.
Photo of the Week
Sofia Kenin’s backhand.