Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ying Zhu

Second Advisor

Dr. Anu Bourgeois

Third Advisor

Dr. Yanqing Zhang

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David Cheshier


In this dissertation, we discuss analysis and visualization of performance anxiety in tennis matches along with confidence and momentum. We also discuss the micro-level analysis and visualization of tennis shot patterns with fractal tables and tactical rings, followed by discussion about mapping a tennis player's style of play with a visual analysis technique called tennis fingerprinting.

According to sports psychology, anxiety, confidence and momentum has a big impact on an athlete's performance in a sport event. Although much work has been done in sports data analysis and visualization, analysis of anxiety, confidence and momentum has rarely been included in recent literature. We propose a method to analyze a tennis player's anxiety level, confidence and momentum levels during a tennis match. This method is based on the psychological theories of anxiety and a database of over 4,000 professional tennis matches. Since sports data analysis and visualization can be a useful tool for gaining insights into the games, we present new techniques to analyze and visualize the shot patterns in tennis matches via our Fractal Tables and Tactical Rings. Tennis is a complicated game that involves a rich set of tactics and strategies. The current tennis analysis are usually conducted at a high level, which often fail to show the useful patterns and nuances embedded in low level data. However, based on a very detailed database of professional tennis matches, we have developed a system to analyze the serve and shot patterns so that an user can explore questions such as "What are the favorite patterns of this player? What are the most effective patterns for this player?" This can help tennis experts and fans gain a deeper insight and appreciation of the sport that are not usually obvious just by watching the match. Further, we present a new visual analytics technique called Tennis Fingerprinting to analyze tennis players' tactical patterns and styles of play. In tennis, style is a complicated and often abstract concept that cannot be easily described or analyzed. The proposed visualization method is an attempt to provide a concrete and visual representation of a tennis player's style.


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