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Activity Number: 22
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Sunday, August 9, 2015 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract #315143 View Presentation
Title: Are Women Professional Tennis Players Really Less Consistent Than Male Players?
Author(s): Stephanie Kovalchik*
Companies: RAND Corporation
Keywords: tennis ; sports ; consistency ; gender ; prediction ; Monte Carlo

There is a long-held view in professional tennis that female players are less consistent than male players. However, no study has yet formalized consistency in tennis nor investigated whether consistency differs by gender. Another open question is to what extent the best-of-5 set format for male players (where the winner must win 3 sets) versus the best-of-3 set format for female players (where the winner must win 2 sets) can explain differences in consistency at the four major tournaments of the season (the 'Grand Slams'). Using data for the top 100 professional tennis players on the Women's Tennis Association Tour and the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour between 2010 and 2014, I investigate gender differences for five measures of consistency: upsets, streaks, letdowns, match wins, and shot-making. To determine the best-of-5 effect for consistency in match wins at Grand Slams, I apply a validated Monte Carlo tennis model to evaluate how consistency in women's performance in the past five years at the Grand Slams would have changed under a best-of-5 format.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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