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Tennis - the Greatest Game - What stands to be gained by delaying tactics?
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Tennis - the Greatest Game
Federer vs Nadal - the Greatest vs the Not So Great
Oh, my leg, my leg (foot … toe … ear ...)
No one will rush Rafael Nadal ...
What stands to be gained by delaying tactics?
Time analysis of the Wimbledon 2008 final
Nadal’s other little “sins” ...
In defence of Rafa ...
Some other interesting Wimbledon 2008 Final statistics
So what can be done about those timely injuries?
Too little time?
Timing something that cannot realistically be timed...
In the aftermath of the Annus Horribilis...
A last word on the tennis issue …
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What stands to be gained by delaying tactics?

Before continuing with the time analysis as recorded by means of my program, it is perhaps appropriate to consider what can be gained by a player employing delaying tactics.
  • Resting between points - This is an obvious advantage. Even though both players will seemingly enjoy the same advantage, the server decides when he or she is ready to play. Theoretically, if the receiver is able to hit every ball into an opposite corner, thereby forcing the server to return defensively straight to the middle of the court, the server will be running himself half to death while the receiver hardly raises a sweat. It would then be very much in the interest of the server to take time to catch his breath, with no particular benefit to the receiver. One of the trademarks of Nadal's game is his ability to run down virtually every ball, which requires tremendous physical effort and even more so as the match progresses (e.g. Andy Murray's victory over Nadal in the US Open 2008 semi-finals).
  • Frustrating the opponent - Many players find it frustrating to have to wait for their opponent to start a point. Invariably this reduces the ability of the receiver to concentrate.
  • Requires the receiver to concentrate longer - One of the first things any tennis player is taught is to relax when he or she is preparing to serve. The server knows exactly when he intends to serve and can relax completely up to that moment. The receiver however does not know this precise moment and therefore has to concentrate intensely for a longer period of time. Nadal's time to serve varies from less than 20 seconds to more than 40 seconds, making it difficult to judge when he will start the point. Even if this extra concentration is required for only 5 seconds, Federer would have had to concentrate 18 minutes 10 seconds longer during the match than what should have been the case.
  • Display of arrogance towards all - The player who uses delaying tactics knows very well that there realistically is nothing his opponent, the umpire or the spectators can do to put a stop to these tactics. This only serves to further annoy and upset the receiver.