G’day from Melbourne!
The general consensus in our sport is that women play longer rallies than men. Considerably longer.
Is that your impression as well?
I just analyzed the last 16 men and women at the 2022 Australian Open to find out what their average rally length has been in their first three matches. The results may surprise you!
2022 Australian Open: Average Rally Length For Last 16 Men & Women
- Men = 3.80 shots
- Women = 3.90 shots
It’s basically identical! The men are averaging 3.8 shots and the women are only 1/10 of a point back at 3.9 shots. We tend to think that women’s tennis is saturated with long grinding rallies from the back of the court. It’s simply not true.
2022 Australian Open: Men & Women
- Shortest Average Rally Length: Maxime Cressy = 2.05 shots
- Longest Average Rally Length: Simona Halep = 5.65 shots
Maxime Cressy is playing the shortest rallies to the round of 16 at 2.05 shots on average, thanks to his prolific amount of serve and volley points. Cressy has served and volleyed on 74% (283/381) of all his serve points, winning 74% (210/283). It’s working a treat for him! On the other end of the spectrum, Simona Halep is grinding out the longest rallies to be the only player left in the tournament averaging greater than five shots per rally, at 5.65 shots. Halep leads the women’s draw in baseline points won at 62% (134/217), so longer rallies are certainly working for her!
What’s fascinating is that when you combine men and women, you find that women occupy six of the leading 10 spots for the shortest rally length.
Average rally length provides the perspective that tennis is dominated much more by shorter points than longer points. To be specific, the average means that the serve goes in, the return goes in, and then the Serve +1 shot goes in, and we almost reach the Return +1 ball landing in the court as well.
But not quite.
When you are working on your own game, make sure you are sharpening the sword of the those four shots as much as possible.