If you’ve ever watched a tennis player dominate with the first serve but saw the second serve obliterated by the returner, you might have wondered: Why don’t more players go for it on their second serve? Wouldn’t they be better off treating their second opportunity to serve like their first one?The answer almost always is no.Most servers win a much higher percentage of points on their first serve than their second serve. For example, in his five-set marathon loss to Kei Nishikori as Monday night turned to Tuesday morning at the U.S. Open, Milos Raonic won 87 percent of his first-serve points but just 47 percent of his second-serve points.During that match, Min Han, a biologist at the University of Colorado, emailed me. “I wonder whether some of the big servers in men’s tennis should serve the fast ‘first’ serve all the time,” Han wrote. “For some of these guys, the difference between the winning percentage on their first serve and that on the second serve seems huge.”It’s a good suggestion. But the season-long numbers suggest nearly every player would be hurt, not helped, by treating the second serve like a first serve. Except in a couple of cases, the higher probability that the second serve lands in the court more than compensates for the higher effectiveness of first serves.Let’s start with the average Top 50 men’s player. This year heading into the U.S. Open, he wins 73.6 percent of service points when the first serve lands in, compared to 57.5 percent when the second serve lands in. But his first serve lands in just 61.9 percent of the time, compared to 91.1 percent of second serves. So if he went for his first serve on both points, he’d win 73.6 percent of second-serve points when the ball lands in, but double fault on 38.1 percent of them. His second-serve winning percentage would be just 45.6 percent, compared to 52.4 percent now. Bad move.This is just an average. It varies widely by player. Mikhail Youzhny has a relatively weak first serve without landing in the court all that often, so he’d be especially unwise to go for his first serve again given a second opportunity. His second-serve winning percentage would drop by 12.7 percentage points.By contrast, Ivo Karlovic, who is 6 feet 10, has a relatively weak second serve and usually lands his excellent first serve in, so he’d gain 2 percentage points on his second-serve winning percentage if he went for his first serve twice. That’s a modest gain, and Karlovic is the only player in the Top 50 who’d get a high enough reward to justify the high-risk tactic. (Raonic would be nearly even, but slightly worse off — as he would have been if he’d gone for second-serve bombs against Nishikori, since he missed so often on first serves in that match.)Even Karlovic couldn’t have anticipated before this season that he would have benefited from the risky strategy. In each of the past two seasons, it would have hurt him slightly. No current Top 50 player who played at least five matches in 2013 would have gained from hitting exclusively first serves, and only Gael Monfils would have in 2012. (Players’ serve percentages are fairly persistent from year to year, and therefore so is the effect of the tactic on a player’s serve success — a correlation coefficient of 0.66 between this year and 2013, and of 0.7 between this year and 2012, for current Top 50 players with at least 25 matches in each season.)The story is similar in the women’s game. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) sent me data this season heading into the U.S. Open. Among 94 players with at least 15 matches, just six would have benefited from going for their first serves on second serve: Victoria Azarenka, Annika Beck, Yvonne Meusburger, Monica Niculescu, Sara Errani and Yaroslava Shvedova.Errani, the 2012 French Open finalist, doesn’t have a great first serve. It was even singled out in a New York Times article this week as one of the oddest strokes on tour. But she lands it in at an unusually high rate, leading the WTA in each of the past four seasons and ahead among regulars this year. And her second serve is bad enough to be worth replacing with the first serve, though not by much: She’d have gained 0.6 percentage points on her second-serve winning percentage with the riskier tactic.The biggest beneficiary of hitting two first serves is Azarenka, the former No. 1 player in the world who was knocked out of the U.S. Open in the quarterfinals by Ekaterina Makarova. Heading into the U.S. Open, she’d have had a second-serve winning percentage of 44.7 percent by hitting two first serves, instead of her atrocious 38.5 percent.Last year, Azarenka and Errani also would have benefited from the riskier serving approach. Beck and Niculescu would have, too. Meusburger and Shvedova wouldn’t have, though.Returns on the tactic also could be very volatile from match to match. Though Azarenka’s pre-U.S. Open stats argue for a riskier serving tactic, it would have hurt her in four of her five U.S. Open matches, including her loss to Makarova.These calculations simplify serving by reducing it to just first and second serves. Most players employ a wide variety of first serves, with different levels of risk and effectiveness. Perhaps a bomb down the T of the court is too risky for a second serve, but a slider out wide lands in the court often enough to be worth it. Then again, go too often to a reliable serve and the returner will adjust and make it less effective.The calculations also don’t account for the psychological elements of the sport. Returners might get rattled if they know they’ll never face easy serves. But the toll on a server who double-faults much more often could be even greater.CORRECTION (Sept. 4, 2:40 p.m.): If the average Top 50 ATP player went for his first serve on both points, he’d double fault on 38.1 percent of his second-serve points. A previous version of this article said he’d double fault on 38.9 percent of them.
Harrison posted a 9.750 on her first time on floor after being out all season for the event due to a preseason hip injury. Junior Alexis Mattern takes her turn on the uneven bars at St. John Arena on Feb. 4. Credit: Megan Russell | Lantern reporter The meet result in victory for the OSU women, but coach Carey Fagan said that she didn’t take the win for granted. The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team brought home a big win in their co-ed meet against Rutgers after a two-meet losing streak. For their third win of the season, the Buckeyes posted a final score of 195.775-194.300 over the Scarlet Knights. “At first I felt bad because Janelle got hurt, so I never want to see my teammates hurt,” said Harrison. “But my coach asked me ‘So how do you feel about it?’ and I said ‘Oh, I’m so excited. I’m ready.’” The Buckeyes claimed a shutout for the meet, placing first in every event. Junior Alexis Matter earned a career-best for yet another meet in a row of 39.400 to take first for the all-around. At the half point of the meet, the Buckeyes still held the lead over the Scarlet Knights with an overall score of 97.800. In the fourth and final event, Mattern tied her career-high of 9.925 to earn first for floor. A last minute lineup change was made right before the start of the rotation where Harrison stepped in place of sophomore Janelle McClelland. The OSU women started strong on vault, tallying a 49.025. Mattern posted a 9.825 to place first overall for the event. “I was happy with how the team responded,” Fagan said. “We had a couple of bad landings on vault and that can sometimes shake a team and their confidence, and we needed to make a couple of lineup changes towards the end, but they seemed to really handle it. Sometimes you have a mistake and everybody kind of folds, but this team was pretty mentally tough, so I’m happy overall.” The OSU women’s gymnastics team will travel to University Park next next Saturday, Feb 11 for a dual meet against Penn State. In the second rotation on uneven bars, freshman Olivia Aepli and Mattern led the tea, both scoring 9.825 to tie for first overall. Sophomore Kaitlyn Hoflland missed the stick, falling on the dismount to tally the team low-score of 8.875 for the night. “Today I had my teammates in front of me, I had my teammates behind me when I was going,” Mattern said. “So that really just gave me the strength and the positive energy to just go out and do the best that I could do.” The team gained momentum in the third rotation on balance beam earning a 48.900 for the event. Junior Taylor Harrison posted a 9.878 to take first for the event.
France secured their third World Cup final appearance on Tuesday to the delight of the nation, but for Olivier Giroud it left him with an unwanted bit of history of being the player with the most off-target shots since 1966, reports GoalDespite the fact that the Chelsea forward has been leading the line for France in their World Cup campaign, he has been unable to find the back of the net in his five starts.While his fellow strike partners Antoine Griezmann and the young Kylian Mbappe have both scored three goals each at Russia.On Tuesday’s semi-final win over Belgium, it was Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti who scored for France after his towering header from Griezmann’s corner.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…The 1-0 win ensured France of their place in the final, but meant that Giroud continues his goalless streak.Not only that, but Giroud has now failed to even get any of his 13 shots on target – which is a new World Cup record for the most off-target shots a player has had since 1966.But although he hasn’t scored at the World Cup, Giroud is still France’s joint-fourth all-time top scorer alongside Zinedine Zidane on 31 goals.
Inter Milan are planning a sensational swoop for Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, but they’ll have to sell a player to finance the €30m deal.The former Juventus midfielder looks set to leave the Bundesliga Champions this summer, three seasons after joining the club.Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilio was recently spotted in Germany before flying out to meet owners Suning in China, and rumors are rife in Italy that Vidal is the number one target for midfield position.Manchester United have equally been linked to the Chilean player, but it seems their interest has waned since missing out on the midfielder.Ausilio was informed that the former Bianconero is worth around €30m, and it’s likely a sale will be needed to make the deal work financially.Capello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.Both Matias Vecino or Roberto Gagliardini could be sold in order to finance the move with the former heavily linked with Chelsea in recent weeks.Bayern have told Inter Milan that they have to pay €30m for Arturo Vidal. The Chilean is Inter’s number 1 target for midfield but the Italians will have to sell one player to make the deal work financially. Matias Vecino or Joao Mario could be sacrificed [Corriere dello Sport] pic.twitter.com/qjkIBgtrzu— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) July 22, 2018
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has slammed allegations that he was involved in the kidnapping of his former agent, Leo D’Souza.The ex-France international was accused of kidnapping his former representative due to the financial issues that led to their separation.Benzema referenced the lawsuit, which was filed on the 8th of October, on his official Twitter account, claiming D’Souza fabricated the story.« Un proche de Benzema touche le bras de De Souza, c’est un enlevement » « De Souza est roué de coups, il n’a aucun jour d’ITT » « De Souza dit que Benzema était dans le Van, thèse écartée par les enquêteurs » Ce monde est-il sérieux ? #FautArreter #Givemeabreak #CTrop pfff 🤮— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) October 18, 2018Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.He wrote: “Is this world serious? #Stop #Givemeabreak”Reports in the media suggests, a dispute between the Benzema and D’Souza developed over an $80,000 fee which was withheld by customs officers at Marrakech airport in Morocco.D’Souza, according to his report says, that an attempt to kidnap him took place outside a shisha bar on October 7.The football agent says a black van stopped beside him and a childhood friend of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema demanded he steps in.The 33-year-old claims to have been to have been physically attacked when he refused to get in the van, which got people in the bar get involved in the whole incident.
The Chelsea footballer believes Morata is in good condition and played very good against Crystal Palace in the weekendChelsea footballer Pedro has stated his very happy at how well his teammate Alvaro Morata is playing, especially after the game against Crystal Palace.“The team worked very hard and I’m very happy to score a goal and get the three points because it’s very important for us to stay near the top and to continue in this way,” Pedro told Chelsea’s official website.“The team are playing very well, moving the ball with one or two touches, creating chances and winning games. The important thing for us is getting the three points but we just need to take it step by step and game by game.”Daniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“We were in good condition, playing well and creating chances but a draw is different,” he added.“After, when Alvaro scored again, we controlled the game and moved the ball faster, I then scored the third and that was good.”“He’s in good condition and he had a very good performance,” Pedro added.“He has the mentality to score goals and help the team, that’s the best way for him.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery was delighted to claim a 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town today and hopes it will give his side a boost in their challenge for a top-four spot.The Gunners got off to a promising start at the Kirklees Stadium this evening with Alex Iwobi’s deflected goal handing them a deserved lead in the 16th-minute.Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross then found Alexandre Lacazette, who pulled off a tidy finish just before half-time for his 10th Premier League goal of the season.The French striker and Iwobi wasted opportunities to extend Arsenal’s lead in the second half with Saed Kolasinac’s own goal in stoppage time setting up a nervy ending.However, Arsenal held on to claim a badly needed victory that moves them within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United and level with Chelsea, who will face Manchester City on Sunday, in fifth.Speaking afterwards, Emery hailed the significance of the three points today and voiced his confidence over Arsenal’s prospects of finishing in the top four this season in the Premier League.“It was very important, this victory, it is three points for us to be closer to the top four, and our target is this,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.“Knowing we need to take the regularity at home and away, and today this victory I think can give us confidence and the possibility to continue our target in the Premier League.”He added: “It is game 26 and there is a one-point difference between Manchester United and us. If we ask if it’s easy or difficult for us then I think it’s difficult, but we can [do it].Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“On game 26 we are on our way. Our motivation is very great and every player wants to [work hard] in every match and have regularity and consistency in the Premier League in 38 matches, and now we are getting close to our target and to the other teams.”Kolasinac’s own goal denied Arsenal a fifth clean sheet in the Premier League this season.Emery’s side have conceded the most goals of the top six teams in the league at 37 and are currently down in 17th-place in the clean sheets tally with leaders Liverpool having collected 14 in comparison.“Yes, but we won. The clean sheet is important but above all is to win,” said Emery.“We can take a clean sheet and draw only. We spoke before with the team and we said that above all it is important to win and take individual targets also.“The most important thing is to score one more goal than them, and after that, a clean sheet.“But I think every player worked very well, and in the last action unfortunately for us they scored, and maybe they deserved it.”Arsenal will next face BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Round of 32 Europa League tie on Thursday.HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Arsenal FC at John Smith’s Stadium on February 9, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Selinger: “The Bears are going to be looking for fish as well, keep your property picked up and minimize attractants that might bring bears into a neighborhood. Keep your eyes up when you’re out there recreating.” Police say most bear sightings don’t need to be called in to 911. But police do want to hear about bears that are aggressive, sick, injured, orphaned or rummaging through trash. Jeff Selinger, Kenai Peninsula Area Biologist: “Bears are out moving around so you know pick up the garbage and the trash around the houses and minimize the potential of having a negative encounter with bears by being aware when you’re out in the woods.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department Game and Fish wants to warn the public that bears are on the move and to be “Bear Aware”. However, Police are urging people to stop calling emergency lines to report non-emergency bear sightings. Police say if people see a brown bear in town, they still should call 911 since that is more rare.
For the most current burn conditions call the Division of Forestry’s Kenai Kodiak Burn Permit Call In Line at 260-4269 or visit Forestry.alaska.gov/burn. Residents burning in areas near standing dead grasses or black spruce should take extra precautions, particularly in areas where winds are blowing. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Updated: The Nikiski Fire Service Area has lifted the campfire closure and in conjunction with Alaska State Forestry the burn suspension for the Kenai Peninsula has also been lifted.