Debunkin the myth of left's serve advantage

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by JSummers, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. JSummers

    JSummers Rookie

    Jun 7, 2004
    With the scoring system, there are only 8 ways a game is played out (win or loss):

    Won Game-love (played 4 points, won 4): served in ad (2) times & deuce (2) times.
    Loss love-Game (played 4 points, won 0): served in ad (2) times & deuce (2) times.
    Won Game-15 (played 5 points, won 4): served in ad (2) times & deuce (3) times.
    Loss 15-Game (played 5 points, won 1): served in ad (2) times & deuce (3) times
    Won Game-30 (played 6 points, won 4): served in ad (3) times & deuce (3) times
    Loss 30-Game (played 6 points, won 2): served in ad (3) times & deuce (3) times
    Won Game-40 (played 8+ points, won 5+): served in ad & deuce same number of times.
    Loss 40-Game (played 8+ points, won 3+): served in ad & deuce same number of times.

    Total permutations to serve in deuce > ad.
    -->So it is in contrary to common belief, leftys actually suffer an overall disadvantage that they serve less in the favorite side to pull wide.

    Some argues that leftys serves in ads courts in more often with "important points". But this is meaningless statistically, because in order to get to the more "important point", you need to first win the previous point that leads to it, in deuce court.
    Each preceeding point won is equally important, otherwise that "important point" never materialize.
  2. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

    May 4, 2005
    The Gym
    Look at it this way: righties far outnumber lefties in the sport. lefties play righties more often than other lefties. similarly, due to the righty-dominated field, righties play righties more often. so when a righty plays a lefty, its a slight disadvantage for the righty but it makes no difference to the lefty as he is so used to playing righties.
  3. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

    Jul 19, 2010

  4. GregN

    GregN New User

    Jan 11, 2005
    I think a lot of tv commentators talk about this 'advantage' as they generally talk about a lot of 'trivia' to fill in the spaces of their commentary. I am a lefty and I dont like playing other lefties simply because you dont play them very often and your game requires some adjustment to compensate. I find the biggest problem is returning serve simply because the ball is curving in the opposite direction. Right handers also have exactly the same swinging serve in the deuce court to the left handers backhand as the left hander has in the add court to the right handers backhand.
  5. KenC

    KenC Hall of Fame

    Aug 31, 2009
    I'm a lefty. If there is an advantage, it is very slight. Serves with sidespin can be a little strange for righties, but better players who watch the ball adapt very quickly. As for the serve, what happens on the deuce court for a righty happens on the ad court for a lefty, and vice versa.

    But, there may be a psychological component as most people really don't like to play lefties for some reason. Probably because they haven't accumulated enough experience against lefties to realize the advantage isn't really that great after all.
  6. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

    Sep 10, 2010
    On the lam from the sewretchian vortex
    Lefties with skill kill me...I'm talking about the ones who not only slice wide in the ad court but also kick first serves to my right-handed ROS in the deuce court. They make life miserable for me because I feel like I'm covering the whole doubles width of the court on my own. There's very few RHers that can duplicate that feeling of helplessness. Add in a good kicker down the "tee" on ad points and I'm toast trying to break!
  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Feb 18, 2004
    You've just explained why lefties have an advantage in tennis. Lefties cause problems for both righties and lefties. Why? Because over 90% of the opponents you play are righties so you are accustomed to the spin that they generate. The lefty spin is completely different and makes it very difficult to return serve whether it's to your backhand or your forehand. The ball curves and spins in a different direction and goes off your stringbed very differently. If you don't know how to handle it and hit the ball correctly, it just shoots off sideways from you stringbed. So the lefties biggest advantage is that your opponent is not used to playing lefties.
  8. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

    Mar 23, 2007
    Someplace, Somewhere
    Exactly. I don't know how anyone can say lefties don't have an advantage.

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